Stranger on a Train XXV

An entirely different kind of day.

First day back to work for a lot of people today, and you can tell everything just feels different. I saw a lot of people smiling this morning. I noticed a lot more kindness from strangers.

And yeah, I noticed a much longer line at the Starbucks. Welcome back to the daily grind, DC!

It was also a different kind of attitude at the contract job. The Account Manager wants me to bring a fresh set of eyes and ideas to the channels. The guy training me also commended me on how quickly I was moving in picking up the voice of the individual accounts, faster than people anticipated. I even got the go-ahead to post, which I did. So today was a bit of a confidence booster.

This year really hasn’t been all doom, gloom, and downward spirals. Writing-wise I’ve never had it better. I know, apart from the stage, I’m happiest when I’m writing. Editing Dawn’s Early Light brought that home. I’ve enjoyed some accomplishments I never dreamed in me, and I find myself back on the precipice again. Pip and I are right on the cusp of something huge, and all it’s going to take is that one nudge, that one magic moment, that could keep us writing full time. I wish I knew what we needed to do, but until then we’re just going to have to remain on this path. Guess I’ve been thinking about that razor’s edge with the James River Writers’ Conference beginning tomorrow, then next week taking part in Octopodicon out in Oklahoma. Pip and I have been given rock star treatment this year. Seriously, like motherfucking rock stars. By some fantastic people. Doctor Q. Doctor Midnyte. ConTemporal. Authors After Dark. They have all been little blessings.

I just don’t want to let anyone down.

Interview for a full time gig tomorrow, and then it’s back to Richmond—my hometown—for some serious talk about writing, both the craft and the business. Then next week, Oklahoma. Lots of travel, and time away from Sonic Boom. That’s the downside.

But we’re having a Family Movie Night. Guess what Blu-Ray we’re rocking on the home theatre tonight?

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Dragon*Con 2012: Booksignings, Parsecs, and Unabashed Geekgasms

Yep. It’s here. Dragon*Con.

Tomorrow morning, Pip and I hit the Interstate system of the Mid-Atlantic, heading to the grand event where tens of thousands of geeks of movies, television, books, costuming, and just about anything else you can think of descend on the unsuspecting city of Atlanta. We’re facing our busiest Dragon*Con ever (see what happens when you go a few years without hitting an event like this — they make you work!), and the breakdown is here:

Thursday

  • We check in. We see whatever we can. We party a bit with Alex White.

Friday

  • The Retro-Cast: Steampunk Podcasting & More – 8:30pm in Westin Int’l BC (Main Room)

Saturday

Sunday

  • Steampunk Author Roundtable (Part 1) – Sunday 1oam in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Book Signing, Larry Smith Books, Sunday 12:00-1:00 in Marriott Booth 309
  • Book Signing, The Missing Volume, Sunday 1:30-2:30 in Marriott Booth 614

Monday

  • Social Steam: Steampunk, Social Media, and Making It Work – Monday 10am in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Steampunk 101 — Monday, 11:30 a.m. at Hyatt Embassy D-F
  • How Do You Take Your Steampunk — Light or Dark? – Monday 1pm in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)

Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

Let’s see exactly what kind of trouble the two of us can get into this weekend. Pictures to come…

Stranger on a Train: New York Comic Con

And awwwaaaay we go!!!

Between the surprise priority video job at work, our child getting sick, the drama of getting out of Manassas, and WordPress for the iPhone borking on me and devouring my post, it is hard to believe we are on the way to New York Comic Con and yet here we are, chugging through New Jersey…

The recent crisis at work this week brought about an epiphany: some people are under the impression that video editing is the same as putting together a PowerPoint presentation. Thing is, you can’t do in PowerPoint what I put together in Final Cut Pro. You want more than you average slide presentation. Yes I get that. But as Jimmy has learned under The Commodore’s tutelage: You don’t get anything for free.

Boardwalk Empire. That’s some incredible storytelling there.

I am taking some cold comfort in that I did something no one else could do. It’s what my friend Al Garnett calls “the price of being a badass” — you raise the bar and people expect you to go Superman at a moment’s notice; but then again, no one does what I do there. No one could. That’s fact, bro. Straight up.

So now, Pip and I head for NY ComicCon. We want to get a hardbound copy of Phoenix Rising to Felicia Day, and I’d like to get Mark Hammil to sign my copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Funny thing — even with being pro, I’m still the fanboi.

I can live with that.

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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!

New York ComicCon: The Details

First, I want to give a huge shout-out to Stephanie Kim, Assistant Publicist at Harper Collins. She has made this happen along with the crew of New York ComicCon, and with i’s dotted and t’s crossed I am now here with the details on what will be happening in the Big Apple this October!

DATE: Friday, October 14
PANEL: Steampunk in Comics and Literature

TIME: 9:00PM-10:00PM
LOCATION: 1A01

Steampunk traces its origins back to the science fiction of the 19th century, and the term itself was coined to describe a genre of Victorian sci-fi being written by modern authors. At the same time,  steampunk and Victorian industrial age aesthetics have long held a  great fascination for comic and manga artists of various backgrounds. Continue reading

FenCon VIII: Where I’ll Be

As mentioned on The Shared Desk, Pip and I are heading to the Lone Star State for FenCon VIII (also the host of DeepSouthCon 49). We’re looking forward to it as the guest list and programming promises to be a fun time. If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area between September 23-25, you will be able to find me at FenCon taking part in the following…

Now this is the official FenCon schedule, but there are going to be at least two unofficial events. These events that will include a Friday night tweet up and a “Let’s Crowd into Tee & Pip’s Room” recording of The Shared Desk. Keep tabs on these off-the-clock events at The Captain’s Quarters on Facebook.

Eleven days and counting until we mess with Texas — it’s time for FenCon!!!

The Ministry MAY-hem Wrap-up at Balticon 45!

So, I’m all rested up and recovered from an amazing weekend at the Steampunk World’s Fair (review in the works). What’s next?

Why, another con appearance, of course…

Concluding The Ministry MAY-hem Tour (at least, this part of it) is an old favorite of mine — BALTICON. It was nearly ten years ago when I first arrived at this event with Morevi.  I looked something like this back then…

This was before the time of facial hair, before the days of podcasting, before the days of Facebook, Twitter, and Social Media. Right now, I’d love to go up to that guy and say “You have no idea what’s in store for you, bro.”

What a long strange trip it has been. And with the premiere of Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, it may just get a wee-bit stranger at Balticon 45 as tea parties, time traveling dances, rock-and-roll courtesy of Ditched by Kate, and panels-panels-panels are all in store! Here’s my schedule for the next few days… Continue reading

Counting down to one wild weekend ahead…

Yes, it has been a little quiet on my blog…but that doesn’t mean I’ve been standing still.

The 2011 Steampunk World's Fair

Our first steampunk exposition, The Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey, is happening this week; and they are making us feel welcome! The guest list is mind-blowing, and yet we — the steampunk rookies — make their Lovecraftian promotional poster.

I think this is a sign of a FUN weekend ahead!

Both Pip and I will be there as part of “Ministry MAY-hem” and there are more details about the weekend to be found at the Ministry website. Track the weekend on Twitter by following the #SPWF hashtag.

We hope to see you this weekend as we get our steampunk funk on!

Losing Your Heart (and Your Preconceptions) in San Francisco

You might have seen last week on my Facebook or Twitter stream a series of check-in’s from San Francisco. If it looked like I was having fun, I was. I caught up with my best friend from high school, touched base with a friend from Intersections, and even found a really fun Tiki Bar just across from my hotel! The funny thing was I was working (seriously, I was…), although it was the last thing I expected to do so passionately. I was expecting to be miserable, frustrated, and counting the minutes until it was time to go home.

This was one of those times when I was thrilled to be wrong. Continue reading

The Price of Publicity

I promised myself to work on my blogging skills. It’s a bit like getting back into shape, you know? I’m struggling to get back into a routine, and everyone around me is telling to cut myself a break considering the year I have been facing. The reality is, just like staying in shape, I have to do this. Next year, as many of you know, I will be returning to novel-length fiction with my first mass market paperback novel, Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel. Me. The Kiwi. Steampunk. The cover is just beautiful, I’m telling you. Stay patient and, as soon as we get approval, we will go live with it.

2011 is a big step for me as a writer; and I’m trying to take everything I have learned since 2002 when Morevi first rolled off the presses, and apply it to the now. One of the hardest lessons I learned over this near-decade of writing professionally is just how easy it is to find yourself in the red. Not the red ink of an editor’s pen, mind you, but the financial red of your bank account telling you in so many words that you — the professional author — are flat broke. Continue reading