Huh. Did you know I have a blog?

Because I done completely forgot about it.  Sorry for the extended absence and lack of new content!  Been working on LITL, attending Cons (plural – Con-Carolinas, LibertyCon, and Con-Gregate), working on day job stuff, dealing with . . . issues (the people at the Facility had to get the dimensions of my rubber-room just right), and absorbing a great deal of pop culture for BLUFing (which you shall see presently).

To catch up on all matters and restore the faith of my dwindling readership, a few tweet-worthy summaries:

Con-Carolinas – AWESOME Con, with some of the best cosplay, great panels, & best format of all for putting readers with authors. Mucho books sold.

Liberty-Con – LOOOONG drive, but damn worth it. No cosplay to speak of, but much sci-fi goodness, new writer friends, enthusiastic panels.  Mucho books sold.

Con-Gregate – 2nd year, very earnest and well run, smallish but fun. Facebook friended a ton of folk I’ve met.  Fantastic folks, but few books sold.  😦


“The Keeper and the Kept” – New short story, begun w/the 100 Word Hook exercise with Alan Wold is finished, ready for submission!

“Clicker” – my weird wild west story canters along, still looking for a home.  😦

Lancers Into The Light – 4 chapters in, 1/4 – 1/5 done, progressing, much editing will be needed.

BLUF – Bottom Line Up Front reviews for “The Last Ship” and various movies will be up soon!

And now, a bunch of recent pics, mostly from Con-Carolinas, but LibertyCon and Con-Gregate too!

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And now you’re all caught up!

Prose and Cons

Whew!  Sorry for the delay in posting my RavenCon report here, but I was so blasted with ideas and advice, I had to get some of it out as actual writing before it vanished like the play-by-play of a dream.  Now, however, with a thoroughly re-written and re-submitted short story complete, and plans upon plans for more SciFi-ish goodness to come, I can now relax and tell you about my first science fiction convention.

Two things stand out.

First, these are awesome people and I’ve been missing out.  It is FANTASTIC that the nerds and geeks among us have the opportunities to gather together to achieve a critical mass (not a fat pun) and then explode outward into a multifaceted mushroom cloud of fandom without reservations.

Second, I’m afraid I’m not awesome enough of a fan to cast aside all inhibitions and revel in it to the n-th degree.  In a place where introverts are encouraged to REALLY extrovert without judgement, I still found myself holding back.  There would be no costuming for me.  When exhorted to get up and dance like a monkey for a good cause, I still found myself only dancing like a nervous cro-magnon.  It was no fault of the Con that I could not release an uninhibited über-nerd upon the Richmond DoubleTree Hotel.  The fault lies with me.  I still find myself on the outside looking in, trying to find the right niche between aspiring author, published author, veteran, sailor, officer, and nerd/geek/neek/gerd.

But I’ll get there with a little help from a BUNCH of amazing new friends.  First, I finally made contact with the Baen Books crowd!  I met Gray Rinehart, their slushmaster who took so much great time helping shepherd along ASID, Tedd Roberts (Speaker to Lab Animals), Michael Z. Williamson, Sarah Hoyt, Patrick Vanner, Jim Minz, and soooo many Baen Barflies (like the Royal Manticoran Navy crew, Peggy, and Julius — who is certain global warming is directly responsible for the rise in superhero movies).  Drinking and woo-hooing were accomplished in style at two great parties on two great nights.  Sailor Jerry, we hardly knew ye.  A special shout-out goes to Joelle Presby and CDR Andy Presby, two great writers and mega-brains living in nearby Norfolk who work with the great David Weber, helping to flesh out the Honor Harrington universe.

I met and got to speak at length with the Guest of Honor, Hugo/Nebula/Campbell award winning author Elizabeth Bear.  Bear gave me a lot of great advice and encouragement and was surprisingly gracious and down to earth for such an accomplished author.  I really hope to be able to attend the Viable Paradise workshop, as she recommended (as long as I can a. Wow them and b. Afford the time and expense).  I’d love to spend a week working with writers and people of her caliber.

Writers, editors, and fans everywhere, and not a single one made me feel unwelcome or unworthy in where I am and where I aspire to be.  My favorite new contact/bud is Chris Kennedy, one of the Con guests who is in very much the same position as myself.  He’s a retired Navy CDR and former kick-ass aviator (he kicks ass in other ways now) who just released his fourth self-published book, the second book of his planned space opera trilogy, the Theogony.  Okay — no lie — go get Janissaries and When the Gods Aren’t Gods today for some great military science fiction, written by someone who DEFINITELY has the bona fides, along with a smattering of myth and fantasy.  I hope to guest at future Cons, like Chris did here.  And he did his panels in the ultimate Navy fashion:  with PowerPoint!  Best part, he also lives nearby in Virginia Beach, so I see some beers in our future.

And, of course, there were the panels and the Masquerade.  I had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and got told the best thing a writer can here:  You, sir, have an ugly baby.  (Yep, that’s a good thing.)  I read the opening of “Bumped” and they INSTANTLY knew what was wrong with it, lifting blinders I didn’t even know I wore.  That was the story I re-wrote on Sunday and Monday.  It’s shorter, smarter, and a lot more professional now.  Hopefully editors will agree.

And that’s about it for RavenCon.  Con virgin no more!  Pics or it didn’t happen?  Well, here’s some pics!20140426_122836 20140426_113456 20140426_202934 20140426_224750 20140425_224736 20140426_202955 20140426_202640 20140426_203825 20140426_131630 20140426_203032 20140426_202926 20140426_201814 20140426_121834 20140426_203001 20140426_202602


Quoth the RavenCon, Ever More, Ever More . . . .

Whelp, this outta be good for some kicks.

I have arrived to the lovely Hilton Double Tree hotel in Richmond, VA, just a couple hours north of my usual stomping grounds, ready to attend my first science fiction convention, RavenCon (named in honor of Edgar Allan Poe, who grew up here).  I’ve got a box of books under my arm (give-away, signed promotional copies of A Sword Into Darkness) and a stack of postcards advertising ASID and REMO.  I’m ready to put my name out there and try to drum up more contacts and more business.

But what I’m really here to do is to get my geek on and my nerd out (or is it the other way around?).  This Con is not huge, but it’s got at lot of great writers attending that I’ve really wanted to meet.  The great Elizabeth Bear is guest of honor, but they also have Rob Balder (love his comic), Gray Rinehart (the Baen slushmaster whom I’ve wanted to meet), James Minz, and big names (for me) Sarah Hoyt and Michael Z. Williamson.  That’s a whole lotta Baen, of course, but Baen is my favorite publishing house, so what would you expect?  They’ve published two of my shorts, almost published the novel and workshopped all of the stories that have gone into REMO.  I’m just a Barfly who’s never been to the bar.

There’s a lot of other stuff too like Dealer’s Rooms, panels, movies, and of course the Masquerade.  There’s lot to oogle and goggle about, but I promise pictures after.

And if you happen to be at the Con or in Richmond and want to meet up, just shoot me a comment down below!

Raven Con Richmond Va