May Madness: From RT to Balticon

Memorial Day weekend. You know what that means?

1553242_10154200291475241_7077773905793839550_o

Grill time.

It also means showing respect for those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have cookouts in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. Sometimes, you can forget why we enjoy the extended weekend. This particular one comes with a pretty powerful price tag, regardless of what the sales at Macy’s and Bed, Bath, & Beyond advertise.

But I digress…

AWARDThis May, as you saw in my previous post, has been pretty eventful. Pip made it home safely Monday morning, and when I got home Monday from the day job I was presented with the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Steampunk of 2014. Wellington, Eliza, Dr. Sound, Professor Axelrod & Dr. Blackwell, Tesla & Edison, and new friends Wild Bill Wheatley and Felicity Lovelace brought home the gold (or in this case, the crystal) with Dawn’s Early Light. It doesn’t feel quite real, you know? Two of the finalists have written for me and Pip, and another was a New York Times Bestseller; but we were presented with honors. It’s a little humbling and immensely rewarding.

The best part? No puppies of any demeanor were involved with this distinction. We earned this award. I’m more than good with that. Continue reading

A Thank You Note from Tee Morris

20140121-202530.jpgBeen searching for a writing topic of late (and I have at least two “authorly” blogposts that just need a few more words and a spit-polish before they go live) but the start to 2015 has truly been a mixed bag of nuts. I’ve been Vaguebooking a little around it, but it’s February now and I think I’m starting to see daylight again. The past week afforded me a moment to take a step back to take stock in things, and it came to my attention that I did not do something that happens often on social media. You will see those panicked calls to prayer and for support when things go south in a life. These calls happen often, and sometimes when the follow-up’s come, we wish they wouldn’t. Usually, it’s bad news.

Not this time though.

This isn’t my story. This isn’t Pip’s story either. It does involve us, though, directly. Thing is, it’s not my story to tell; but I will say this much: someone in our family went in for what was described as a “common procedure” but things went south. Pip had flown back to New Zealand for what was supposed to be a week of recovery. Her trip turned into a waiting game. “He could come out of it. He could die…” we were told. A far cry from what we were expecting. Pip and I turned to you all—Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, Buddhists, Atheists, and everyone in between—and asked for your support. Whether they were prayers, blessings, or just thoughts of kindness, you all were there. Each and every one of you.

I know bad things happen; and sometimes, even after people rally around you and shower you with love, bad things still happen. This isn’t me saying “Because of you, everything’s okay!” This is me saying “Thank you for sparing a moment to keep us in your thoughts, hearts, and prayers.”

The dust is settling now, we are all recovering, and things are returning back to normal. We’re okay, and we’re all happy and healthy.

IMG_3088

The support you all showed me and my family reminded me of the same support you all bestowed on me during my job hunt during 2014. Actually, this job hunt started back in 2012 when I had been let go at Intersections. To say “It’s been a bumpy ride…” would be an understatement, but throughout it all you all have been there to keep me going. Sure, I had the writing and the Kickstarter project success to take in and keep me going. There was also a lot of things happening behind-the-scenes that felt like anchors around the ankles. I needed to keep going, keep pushing; and plenty of mornings, I felt lost with no drive whatsoever.

IMG_0450Sometimes, it would be one comment. Sometimes, it would be several comments. Here. On social media. In real life. It would be that support, a moment of positive reinforcement, that would get me out of bed and keep me going. You all kept me, my awesome wife, and my incredible kid in mind, and I don’t know if I ever took the time to say “Thank you” and I apologize for that. It’s been an eventful start to the year, and I wanted to take a moment and give kudos to you. You were there, and you helped me through it all.

Thank you.

Now, I’ve got a book to release, some writing to accomplish, and more days ahead of me. You’ve made it with me this far. I hope you continue this journey with me, together.

Talk to you later.

Stranger on a Train XXX: A Perspective on Death

My friend, Patrick, is dying.

IMG_1360.JPG

Thing is, he didn’t know he was dying. He wasn’t feeling good so he went to the doctor to try and figure out what was going on.

That was July. It’s now August, and he’s dying. The cancer moved that quickly.

Fuck cancer.

People have been asked to send well wishes to Patrick, to let him know how much he means to them. What I’m seeing on my various feeds have been people struggling to do so.

I just wanted to say that while the reason totally sucks ass, it’s okay to feel pain, like you want to cry, like you want to scream into the Void and give it the middle finger. What you’re feeling isn’t wrong. Cry. By all means cry…

…so long as you take this moment to tell Patrick what you feel.

I didn’t get that chance with my buddy Jon whose funeral was last week. I didn’t get that chance with my theatre mentor, Glyn. I didn’t tell P.G. Holyfield how I truly felt about him when I last saw him at Balticon, when I was surrounded by friends old and new, by people who meant so damn much to me.

I didn’t say it then, but a couple of days ago, I got a second chance.

A moment to say “I love you, Patrick.” presented itself and I took it. He knows. I should have told him sooner, but he knows now.

No, I fucking hate why I had to tell him, but I told him. I wasn’t going to piss away this moment, and the three of us—Pip, Patrick, and me—bore everything. We made this moment ours…

…and we cried.

Yes, it’s going to be hard. Yes, you will cry. It’s okay. Cry. So long as you speak your heart. When will you get that chance again?

I love you, P.G. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for making me part of yours.

When you are done with telling Patrick what you feel, dig deep and give. If you can’t give, share.

We are not losing one of the good ones…

We’re losing one of the best.

IMG_1362.JPG

Barbecue Zen: A Life Lesson from a Cookout

(photos from Nutty Nuchtchas and Bruce F Press Photography)

10385393_10201495629506364_381941092020939126_nThe week following Balticon 48, my social media feeds could easily be broken down to two topics: retrospectives of the event (which was awesome, by the way, and if you weren’t there—think about being there in 2015) and a variety of perspectives on the #YesAllWomen hashtag. While nostalgic and contemplative the looks back to the Memorial Day Weekend were, it’s been equally disheartening reading stories from people I admire and hold in high esteem like Dr Pamela Gay, Jared Axelrod, Chris Miller, either being victim of or watching others victimized by people who think they are cast in a season of Mad Men. Sure, there are men who behave badly in our culture but I had no idea just how deep this dark, twisted rabbit hole reached.

In this post I want to talk about both. In particular I want to talk about that amazing cookout you may have heard Balticon talk about on Friday night, and what we all can take away from it. Continue reading

So Long, and Thanks for All the Tweets: My Final Friday at Intersections

Staying on track.You might have noticed a few enigmatic tweets from me on Friday. I got a few responses of concern but I was okay. Still am.

No, really, I’m good. January 6, 2012 was a date for the books so I’ll just go ahead and kick off this blogpost with what happened.

Somewhere around 10:15 a.m. last Friday, I was told my services at Intersections, Inc. was no longer needed.

If you’re expecting a complete and utter meltdown against my former day job, you’re not going to get it. Never will. I will only say this: Continue reading

A Steampunk Tweetup in Texas!

With only a few days remaining until FenCon, Pip and I are planning furiously for what is promising to be a really fun weekend of panels, podcasting, and steampunk. We owe a special thanks to Matt Bowerman for being our location scout for our own “kickoff celebration.” If you’re in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on this Friday at 8 p.m., we are hosting a Texas tweetup — steampunk style — at Spring Creek BBQ.

For non-FenCon attendees, it a chance to hang. For FenCon attendees, the restaurant is just five blocks north of the hotel. Pip has made an event page live on Facebook (please RSVP there), but here are a few extra details…

TIME: Friday, September 23, 8:00 p.m.
ADDRESS: 14941 Midway Road, Addison TX
MENU AND INFO: www.springcreekbarbeque.com

We are also planning to wear our steampunk gear for the tweetup! Ladies, strap into your favorite corsets. Gents, wear your best bowlers (or, if you’re doing the Wild, Weird West, your sharpest ten gallon hat)! It’s time to gear up, chow down, and jump into a good time in Texas! Pip and I hope to see you there!

I Remember Joe: 2011

Pranks. Rope-a-Dope Tweets. Misinformation. I’m not the biggest fan of April Fool’s Day. Never have been. I don’t like practical joke played upon me and playing them on others I’m not too crazy about. (One of many reasons a particular joke a few years back pulled on me jumped the shark. Seriously. They aren’t my thing.) Yes, I hate April Fool’s Day.

I hate April 1 even more as one of my best friends, Joe Murphy, passed away on this day in 2007.

joetribute

For those of you new to podcasting, you might have missed the wit of my friend, Joe Murphy. He was (and still is) an amazing guy, his voice now part of the history of such podcasts, as Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi, The Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas, and the award-winning The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. He was taken from us too soon, and on April 1 I remember him. Continue reading

I Remember Joe: 2010

I’m not the biggest fan of April Fool’s Day. Never have been. The history behind April Fool’s Day is quite cool, but that’s about it. I don’t like pranks played upon me and playing pranks on others I’m not too crazy about. (I do remember one prank, though, where a college suitemate covered another suitemate’s doorway with newspaper. Guy opens the door and sees a wall of headlines staring back at them. I had a hand in that, and that was funny. Not to mention, harmless.) April 1st Is also crappy when you have to report news or stay on top of current events, and too many news outlets now think it’s “fun” to throw in gag stories. And now, on Twitter, tweetpranks are running amuck.

Yes, I hate April Fool’s Day.

I hate it all the more as one of my best friends, Joe Murphy, passed away on this day in 2007.

joetribute

Every year, Jack and I ask that you remember our fallen friend, Joe Murphy. From the reaction on Facebook to my profile picture already (only posted an hour ago, and Robin Hudson, Marc Bailey, and Robert Goshko suggest Root Beers to be drank in his honor), the Community keeps Joe in their minds and hearts.

For those of you new to podcasting, you might have missed the audio wit and always-clever banter of my friend, Joe Murphy. He was (and still is) an amazing guy, his voice now part of the history of such podcasts, as Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi, The Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas, and the award-winning The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. He was taken from us too soon, and on April 1 we remember him.

I got to see Joe a month before he died, and it was hard. He was sick. You couldn’t deny that. On April 1, I remember my friend, Joe, in memories like the one I have posted above. I remember his banter against Michael, Evo, and the crew of the original Wingin’ It. I remember his loyalty. He pushed me to be a better writer, and he never pulled punches on how I carried myself, both as a writer and as a person. This is how I remember Joe. A smile that can turn around a bad day. An honest opinion that you could grow from. He was an amazing guy, and I miss him terribly.

Please syndicate this tribute show (originally produced in 2008 as part of the Give Us a Minute podcast.) through your feeds, blog about Joe Murphy, tell a friend today about Joe, show your support in an avatar change (be it a picture of Joe or a candle in remembrance), and let the Community know that you also remember Joe.

GUEST BLOGPOST: In Which a Delivishly Clever Archeologist Writes with a Most Scandalous Flair!

Hey, everyone! You may all think I’m suffering some sort of steampunk kick; but as you heard in my previous podcast, it is the focus of my attentions. My current work-in-progress now circulating the market is a steampunk romp entitled Books & Braun: Volume One — Phoenix Rising, co-written with Philippa Ballantine. I have always been fascinated with this sub-genre ever since hearing about it from two of the most creative people I know, J.R. Blackwell and Jared Axelrod.

And it was another creative type, the incredibly-witty, and delightfully-sultry Gail Carriger who — in a ways and means of promoting her paranormal steampunk romance, Soulless — made the offer to write guest blogpost.

Gail is my first. You always remember your first…

So I’m bumming about the internet, as you do, and Tee tweets me…

“Wanna guest blog?” says he.

“Delighted,” says I. “Got a topic?”

“What makes Steampunk so sexy?” says he. Continue reading

Krakens Comedy: “The Turnover” with Christiana Ellis

krakens-player_card

I’m not sure how this idea came about, but I’m going to give credit to the Queen of Social Media Comedy Chrisitana Ellis. The two of us collaborated on this skit first podcast on the original release of The Rookie, my favorite of Sigler’s works. Scott is re-casting his football Science Fiction epic, and Christiana has dropped in her feed our tribute to his gritty, galactic grid iron world.

So what is featured in “The Takeover”? Along with The Rookie, Christiana and I manage to tip our petypalups to…

  • Firefly/Serenity
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Farscape

We also show that some things are timeless and universal, transcending light years and alien races. And listen to Sandra’s ringtone.

I’ve done a few fun sketches, both for Christiana, for other podcasts, and myself. This one is a favorite. Enjoy!