Sometimes life just kicks you in the balls.
The guys reading this know what I’m talking about, and I’m fairly certain that most of the ladies will know what I’m talking about with a fair degree of empathy, even if I don’t know what the female equivalent would be.
I don’t talk about my day job much here (and I will stick to the usual doing-something-for-the-Navy-somewhere-on-the-East-coast) but I will expand on it a bit to let you know that I’ve essentially been biding my time at one job, awaiting the opening of another one: the DREAM job for one in my line of work, the gold-or-silver ring you wait for your whole career to bring you to. Well, after doing everything the job asks for the last two years, and getting ready to go to the DREAM job . . . it was, of course, snatched all away. Now I have essentially a year more to wait, hoping it will come through this time, and being promised a variety of things to assuage me. I hold no animosity for my current job or the folks that had to give me the bad news, but DAMN IT. Just damn it.
So, I was feeling pretty low. I made vague plans to hit the water in my new kayak, stymied only somewhat by the fact that it was due to be rainy and freezing all weekend. Whatever. It fit my mood. But theeeennnnnnn . . . .
Super-Indie Author Chris Kennedy sent me a note saying “Forget all that reality stuff! Come and kick back with me at IllogiCon in Raleigh, NC!” And wouldn’t you know it, I did and it was awesome!
Illogicon is a fun, fan-run science fiction convention about half to a third the size of my only other experience at RavenCon last year. But since it was smallish, the rules weren’t quite so rigid, and they graciously allowed me to participate as a panelist. I sat in on “Using the Military in Fantasy,” “Independent Publishing 101,” “Indie Publishing Finances,” and “Worldbuilding,” and I managed not to embarrass myself during a single one. In fact, it almost appeared that I knew what I was talking about. I also attended but did not participate in “SF/F for the Younger Generation,” “Using Religion and Spirituality in Science Fiction,” among others. I talked up A Sword Into Darkness, REMO, and Riding The Red Horse, gave away a few copies and a bunch of postcards and business cards, and made and renewed contacts galore. Not only did I touch base with Chris, I also met fellow indie superstar Ian J. Malone, Baen Slushmaster Gray Rinehart, Intergalactic Medicine Show Editor Edmund R. Schubert, Baen Editor/Publisher Toni Weisskopf, and authors Clay and Susan Griffith, Gail Z. Martin, Jacqueline Cary, Christopher Garcia, and Misty Massey. It was a great time, not least of all because my little Gabster came with and impressed everybody with her involvement and her last-minute cosplay.
It was tons of fun and inspired me to hit the keyboard hard so I can finish Demigod, write Lancers Into The Light (ASID 2), and put out even more shorts in 2015 than I did in 2014. They also inspired me to get my name out there more. So, even though I’m probably a day late and a dollar short, I’ve sent in queries to guest or panel at a bunch of area conventions this year. I have no idea how many (if any) will say yes, but here’s what a 100% attendance schedule would look like:
- MystiCon, Roanoke, VA – February 27-March 1
- ROFCon, Virginia Beach, VA – February 27-March 1
- MadiCon, Harrisonburg, VA – March 13-15
- RavenCon, Richmond, VA – April 24-26
- BaltiCon, Baltimore, MD – May 22-25
- ConCarolinas, Concord, North Carolina – May 29-31
- LibertyCon, Chattanooga, Tennessee – June 26-28
- Con-Gregate, High Point – North Carolina, July 10-12
- DragonCon, Atlanta, Georgia – September 4-7 (Yeah, right, this is like San Diego Comicon East)
- Capclave, Washington DC – October 9-11
- HonorCon, Raleigh, North Carolina – TBD – October 31-November 2
- AtomaCon, Charleston, South Carolina – November 13-15
I don’t know if any of these might say yes, but I may attend some of the closer ones regardless. I’ll definitely be attending RavenCon. It was just too much fun last year.
All in all, a pretty good weekend after all. Thanks, Chris!