I Don’t Know What To Say

I’m having one of those days, in which I know I’m supposed to come up with something brilliant (or wise, or maybe at the very least amusing) for everyone to read here today. I’ve got nothing. I’m writing a short story that’s due in about 15 days, and I spent the weekend prepping panel choices for the writer guests for ConCarolinas (are you coming? We’d love to see you there!) I had two editorial Skype meetings for an as-yet-unnamed super-secret project. I’ve brainstormed a choreography for an upcoming belly dance show in the fall and gathered bags and boxes full of unnecessary possessions that I’m going to sell at my parents’ yard sale this weekend.

Is it any wonder I’m blanking on what to write today?

******** I was a guest at Anachrocon back in February. It’s a charming Steampunk con in the wilds of Atlanta GA. The panels I […]

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If You Meet A Writer On The Road

It’s that time of year… SF and fantasy cons all over are gearing up. Writers are gassing up their cars, making hotel arrangements and packing their bags with books, bookmarks and all manner of swag to give out to admiring fans from hither to yon. Cons are great fun, for the most part. If you’re headed to ConNooga this weekend, Mysticon or Anachrocon next weekend, or another con down the line, you’re sure to have a good time. But I beg of you, keep your good manners handy. There are a few things you just shouldn’t do when you go to a con.

First, let’s talk about the facility itself. Most cons are held in hotels. The hotel and the con have a contract together, with the hotel agreeing to host the panels and activities and offer attendees a discounted room rate in exchange for an upfront payment from the […]

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What I don’t want to see…

So, I’m going to follow what Misty did yesterday and discuss Congregate. (I promise, a discussion of adjectives is coming!!)

I was on an “Ask the Editor!” panel with a few other people, and the first thing that was asked was “what really makes you say no, or what do you not want to see?”

That’s easy. The most obvious is a story that starts without any action: a description of the weather; a description of the setting/ landscape; a description (including backstory) of the main character. The submissions that do this have a very difficult time being published. Readers want to be engaged, and tension /conflict /action do that. To quote Nirvana: “here we are now, entertain us.”

But the thing that disappoints me even more than that is the following. When I open a sub and read a great opening line, and then it is followed by great […]

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What the Actual?

I love going to cons. Very often it’s my only chance to see people I adore, since we don’t all live close enough to have coffee dates. But not only that – it’s just fun. I got home from Congregate a few hours ago. While there I moderated a panel on diversity in SF/F and its fandom (which was incredible! I wish you all could have been there!) served on panels about the Weird Wild West, settings in fiction, and Kickstarters, read my work out loud to an appreciative audience, and appeared as the middle bottom square in a truly hysterical version of The Hollywood Squares (John Hartness sat next to me, and I just can’t describe how crazy the whole game was!) Friday night I shut down the bar with a bunch of people, and Saturday night my husband and I flitted from room party to room party until […]

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Hey guys, since we don’t have a post today, I am taking a poll:

How many will come to ConCarolinas?And how many want to do our annual MW lunch on Saturday?

Show of hands??? Cause I need to make a reservation if you guys want to do lunch!

Ethics in Speculative Fiction

I spent this weekend at Mysticon, in Roanoke VA, where I learned a few things, taught a few other things, observed wacky behaviors and brilliant ones, too, and generally had a great time surrounded by my people. I rode up with Gail Martin and John Hartness. We drove through nearly impenetrable fog and snow-covered hills, chatting and laughing all the way. On Saturday morning, I joined John to read our work to an appreciative audience, and premiered Miniature Pirate Theater as accompaniment to the reading. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve watched tiny plastic pirates work a tiny plastic stripper pole while John reads from Bubba the Monster Hunter. Gail’s launch party for her latest, Ice Forged, was a raucous affair, full of happy people eating cake and buying books. I met a couple of writers who’ll probably be making guest appearances here later on this year, and got […]

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What Do You Want?

Okay, guys, I’m going to cheat a little today. But it’s all in the name of making you happy! I’ve been asked to appear at some upcoming cons (one of the really fun aspects of a writer’s life!) and of course, I have to help by making suggestions for panels. Normally I can come up with a half-dozen or so reasonably good ideas, but I suddenly found myself worrying that we’re repeating the same old panels over and over. I know we can always talk about “Strong Female Characters” or “How To Approach An Agent” and hopefully reach a few people who haven’t seen that panel a hundred times, but maybe there are other subjects we’ve neglected.

Normally the blog is about bringing information to you, the readers, but today I’m asking for your help. Are there any panel ideas you’ve always wished would turn up at a con? […]

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