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Archive for the ‘WFC’ Category

Some Cool People I Met


Sarah Beth Durst (on the left on the left) is an extremely cool person. Her book Into the Wild, a YA fantasy, is coming out in June 2007. She did a reading from it at the convention, and it sounds like a LOT of fun. She likes the fairy tales, and brings them into the modern world in a uniquely entertaining way.

Clover, Heather, and I ran into her and Tiffany Trent, another YA author, at the Cheesecake Factory. Mmmmm . . . Godiva chocolate cheesecake. Huh? What? Okay, back to Sarah. As I said, extremely cool person. I’m adding a link to her blog on the right, so go check it out.

Tiffany Trent is on the right on the left, and she is also an extremely cool person. Her book Hallowmere is due out in fall 2007, I believe. I’ll link to her site as well. I didn’t get to spend as much time with Tiffany as I did with Sarah, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading her book when it’s released. Oh, and be sure to check out Tiffany’s book cover. The model is just beautiful, and looks like the unnatural offspring of Scarlett Johannson and Angelina Jolie. I’m not quite sure how they could manage that, without any y chromosomes, but check her out, and you’ll see what I mean.

Oh–and even though I didn’t meet them, the other writers in these photos, Jo Whittemore and Deborah Millitello, also have books coming out. Based on the excerpts they read for us, I have added them to my list. (I tried finding a website for Deborah Millitello, but was unsuccessful.)

OTHER COOL PEOPLE I MET BUT DON’T HAVE PHOTOS OF:

Eric Flint–my mother likes him a lot, and he has done quite a lot to progress the e-book movement.

Carole Nelson Douglas–she’s a HOOT! She was staying on the same floor we were, so we kept running into her. She reminds me of Eliza Dushku (Faith/the dark Slayer) grown older. She wears awesome high heels, and cool vintage clothes, and has great stories to tell. I picked up one of her books on my way home from Austin, and devoured it in an hour or two (Cat in a Hot Pink Pursuit, in case you’re interested, and yes, I recommend it highly. It’s a mystery, and it’s very entertaining. I came in near the end of this series instead of the beginning, and it appears that she has a huge arc in addition to the smaller book-sized arcs, because there were some mysteries that didn’t get solved, so she’s got me hooked.) I picked up two more of her books today, one a fantasy and the other a non-Midnight Louie mystery, and I expect to be as highly entertained as I was both by the book I’ve read so far and by her persona. So go read her, if you haven’t yet. You’ll thank me.

Elizabeth Moon. I honestly had no clue who she was, but was very amused the night I arrived at the hotel. Clover and Heather met me in the lobby, and as we entered the elevator to go up to the room, so did Elizabeth Moon. Clover said, “You’re Elizabeth Moon! And you’re in the elevator!” Elizabeth Moon said, rather dryly, that she does ride elevators from time to time. I ran into her (not literally, fortunately) on Saturday morning, and she said that she had just finished her bacon and felt like singing. I never felt like singing after eating my bacon, but hey, I say go for it!

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World Fantasy Convention

This may get broken up into several posts, but I’ll see what I can do.

THE LOOT:
I was thrilled to find a nice bookbag full of books waiting for me. I was even more thrilled to find the trading table, where people kept taking books they didn’t want anymore, and I kept snaring more and more books.

The Black Tattoo – Sam Enthoven
A Princess of Roumania – Paul Park
The First Betrayal – Patricia Bray
Cross Plains Universe: Texans Celebrate Robert E. Howard – Scott A. Cupp & Joe R. Lansdale, eds.
Smoke and Shadows – Tanya Huff
Night Wars – Graham Masterton
The Prodigal Troll – Charles Coleman Finlay
Best Short Novels 2006 – Jonathan Strahan, ed.
George and the Angels – Glenn Meganck
Ancient Fire – Mark London Williams
Thud! – Terry Pratchett
The Mount – Carol Emshwiller
The Vampire Who Loved Me – Teresa Medeiros
Shadow Touch – Marjorie M. Liu
Genetopia – Keith Brooke
The Eyes of God – John Marco
No Present Like Time – Steph Swainston
The Conqueror Worms – Brian Keene

I haven’t read any of them yet, although I did start The Black Tattoo. It’s a good read, as far as I can tell, but I did only get a few pages into it. I only took one book down to the trading table. It was a horror novel called Pandora Drive by Tim Waggoner. It was well written, but extremely squick-inducing. I don’t like anything with child molestation, and there was a child who was being stalked and pursued through a fair amount of the book. Of course, even taking that out of the mix, it was still squicky enough that I don’t know that I’d have liked it.

THE HOTEL:
The Renaissance, a Marriott hotel, in Austin. Very nice. The beds in our room were very firm, a little too firm for me to sleep comfortably. But the rooms were nice, and the lobby and meeting rooms were lovely.

I want to post about some cool people I met, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I’ll add some pictures, too, if I can figure out how to format them the way I want to!!!!

It’s been a long day.

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NaNoWriMo Update

I haven’t had a chance yet to assemble everything to do a grand total word count, but I’m between 9,000 and 10,000 words. The novel is going beautifully. I’m amazed that I got as much writing done over the weekend as I did, but the atmosphere was stimulating and my muse was very active.

I don’t have time now to do a huge update, but suffice it to say that the World Fantasy Convention was fantabulous. I met some incredible writers, publishers, etc., learned a lot, just had a superlative time. I’ll post more and add photos sometime in the next few days.

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. . . what a good $65 haircolor can do for you? I didn’t even have the time to get a cut last night, but just getting a good haircolor job and a blowout, and I feel (and look) hot and sexy. And when you feel hot and sexy, you are hot and sexy. You carry yourself differently. You have the attitude. If someone pays you a compliment, you don’t brush it off as a thing of no consequence. You say thank you, or you strut your stuff and show off for the person. It’s fun. I know that my husband can go to the drugstore and get a box of L’oreal for between $7-$10 and color my hair, and do anywhere from a poor to a pretty good job. But I never feel as good after his hair color jobs as I do after I go to the salon and get pampered and spoiled for a few hours, and I never look as good, either. And hey, it’s just money, right? Granted that I’ve got at least 10 different places to put every dollar I just spent on that haircolor job, but I need to look good and I need to feel good.

Of course, I wouldn’t have gone last night had Joe not experimented with lightening my hair and really messed it all up. I don’t get this obsession he has with taking my hair lighter. My skin tones look creamy when I have darker hair, and when I put some red in it, it looks even better. When I go lighter, I get this horrid washed-out look, and it’s nasty. If he wanted a blonde, he should have married someone with different skin tones. But he loves me, so he’s stuck! Nyah-nyah!

On other subjects, I have to go to new employee orientation at work this afternoon. Have I mentioned that yet? It’s so humorous. I temped here for almost a year before they finally made me permanent. They wanted to hire me long before that, but it took them a long time to get through all the red tape to upgrade the position so they could get me the salary I wanted. So yeah, technically, I’m a new employee. But I’ve been here over a year now. So it’s just funny. It’s also really annoying that they scheduled new employee orientation when I’m coping with month-end. But corporate doesn’t get our schedule, so I just have to deal with it and move on. It also doesn’t help that I’m off tomorrow. That means lots of overtime next week, because I’m going to come back to a huge stack of work on Monday. But it’s worth it.

When I get off work, an hour later than usual thanks to orientation, I’m going to dash by the house to see if my winter white damask grannie boots FINALLY arrived from Newport News, and then I’m driving straight to Austin. It’s WFC weekend, and I’m very excited. Lots of fun sessions to attend. And last night while I was procrastinating packing, I looked up the hotel online. Wow! Nice hotel! If you’re interested, check it out. It’s the Marriott Renaissance in Austin. I’m sharing a room with Clover and one of her sisters, so it won’t be too expensive.

I will continue to work on my book this weekend, thanks to Liz’s kindness in loaning me her laptop. I’ll post my progress on Monday. So send happy thoughts my way for a safe journey, and a fun time!

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I coined a new word: blupdate. It’s so much faster to e-mail your sister and say, “I blupdated,” than it is to e-mail your sister and say, “I updated my blog.” Well, I guess it’s not that much faster, but it works for me. Of course, maybe it’s been used by billions of bloggers around the world, and I’m once again totally slow on the uptake. Or else perhaps it’s been considered and rejected by billions of bloggers, which makes me not only totally slow on the uptake, but totally lame as well. Yay! I’m lame! Woohoo!

Joe said he loves it when I say Woohoo! So I’ll say it again. Woohoo! He’s not here to hear it, and I’m not really saying it, but it’s fun to type. Woohoo! Woohoo! It’s Friday!

It’s nearly the end of October, which means I only get to look at the picture of Jason and Medea for a few more days. That makes me sad. Medea, as portrayed in this painting, looks like a surly teenager mixing a magical concoction with an air of self-importance. Jason is sitting watching her, barely able to sit still; his muscles are all tensed; he’s ready to spring into action as soon as her charm or spell is prepared. His interest seems to lie not in her, but in what she can do for him. His eyes are fixed not on her face or her figure, but on the goblet in her hands. She knows it, and so she is dragging it out as long as possible, hoping that she can impel his interest to her. I have really enjoyed my Pre-Raphaelite calendar this year! Shall I take a sneak peek ahead to see what I get to look at during November? I shall: It’s a far less fascinating portrait of Saint Cecelia being serenaded by two angels. I’d rather look at Jason and Medea for another month. Who is Saint Cecelia anyway? I guess it’s Google time again.

I’m not sure why I’m so thrilled about its being Friday. I actually have to work an extra two hours today, to make up for having had two doctor appointments this week (one follow-up with the neurologist–everything’s fine, see him again in 3 months–and one quick visit to the regular doctor about the sore throat–it’s allergies, I have a prescription for an antibiotic in case it turns into an infection). And I have to work four hours tomorrow as part of making up in advance for being off next Friday. But it’s worth it, since I’ll be going to the Fantasy Convention in Austin.

I’m really looking forward to the convention. The last time I checked the preliminary programming schedule, the majority of the sessions I want to attend actually are taking place on Friday. If I had to choose to miss either Friday or Saturday, I’d have chosen to miss Saturday. I had planned to skip the banquet. Who wants to pay $50 for a dinner? Not I. And I’m still not familiar enough with the world of fantasy that I don’t know anything about the award nominees. But my best friend Clover called and said that she and her sister want to go to the banquet and she doesn’t want me to miss it. She asked if I would let her buy my ticket to the banquet. I swallowed my pride and said yes. How incredibly amazing is that of her???? With everything that she’s got to deal with, she wants to do that for me! I don’t know Clover’s sister yet, but I’m sure that with the 3 of us sharing a hotel room, we’ll get to know each other pretty doggone quickly. And if she’s even .001 as cool as Clover, she’ll be pretty great.

Work proceeds apace on the preparation for NaNoWriMo. The-character-formerly-known-as-Verity is no longer named Verity, but she is refusing to tell me her name. I’ve been poring over lists of Celtic, Middle English, and Anglo-Saxon names, and haven’t found just the right name yet. I wish she wouldn’t be so doggone stubborn about this, but my characters tend to be stubborn. I guess they take after their creator in that respect. I did find a phrase yesterday that might work, and it’s one I can actually see her mother saddling her with, but I’m not quite sure yet. We’ll see. Now I’m trying to figure out if my Big Bad is redeemable or not. He hasn’t told me yet. He definitely has some noble qualities, and is not doing evil for the sake of doing evil. But I don’t know yet whether he can be brought to a marriage of true minds, or whether the impediment will remain. I want to have at least a reasonable idea of how this story will play out before I start writing.

Today at work there’s a pumpkin carving/decorating contest. I have fantastic ideas. But when it comes to actual execution, I pretty much suck. I went to the Wall2Wall Mart last night, and got a foam pumpkin (I didn’t feel like dealing with the mess of a real pumpkin), some Halloween-themed finger puppets, and some crepe paper streamers. When I got back home, I covered a cookie sheet with foil, and then put some styrofoam on top of the foil and covered it with black crepe paper streamers. I drew a door and some crescent moon-shaped windows on the pumpkin, and wrote “Trick or Treat” over the door. And I taped the pumpkin onto the crepe paper-covered styrofoam. Then I got some sticks from the back yard that still had some dead leaves clinging onto them, and stuck them into the styrofoam, and strung some of that fake spider web stuff across them. And I put toothpicks into the styrofoam and put the finger puppets on top of those, to be kids trick-or-treating. It’s really cute, in an extremely lame sort of way. If I had my camera, I’d take a picture. But I don’t. So just imagine it. Cute, but lame. I haven’t seen any of the competition–my pumpkin was the only one up there when I took it over to the judging table–but we have some really creative people here. I’m not expecting to win a prize. I’m just saying.

The Weight Loss gods must love Liz and me. See, she works in Arlington and I work in Bedford. We like to meet for lunch once or twice a month, but the only places that are right in the middle are a fantastic hamburger place called Al’s (really, really great food, but not so good for the diet), a Chinese buffet (I like Chinese, but the buffets around here stink), Wendy’s, and a southern cooking place (Southern cooking, good, but not for the diet). But just last week a Subway opened up in the same strip center that Al’s is in. So today we’re going to meet at Subway for lunch. I’m happy about that. Decent food, not too expensive, and it fits in with the plan. Tomorrow’s weigh-in. It’s been a difficult week, because I’ve been feeling cruddy with this sore throat/allergy stuff, and haven’t been doing well eating-wise. So I’m expecting either no loss or a slight gain, which is cool. It’s a process. I have to keep reminding myself of that. It’s a process that will take time, but if I just keep plugging away, I’ll get where I want to be!

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1. My husband is as vain as a peacock. Yes, I know that’s cliched and trite, but he IS! We went out to dinner on Saturday night, and I made him stop at Old Navy for a few minutes. See, I’ve decided that I’m going to start picking out his clothes. He has a great sense of style for his stage wear, but not so much for daily wear. He doesn’t have a bad sense of style, you understand, just not great. So I grabbed a pair of snug-fitting black cargo pants, a black thermal Henley shirt, a black wool blazer, and black wash sneakers with the white toes, and shove them at him with orders to try them on. He did, and dang! The man looked hot! So it took absolutely no persuasion my part for him to decide to buy the outfit. Here’s where the vanity part comes in. We hadn’t eaten yet, as I made him stop at Old Navy before we went to dinner. So he goes back to the dressing room to change into his new outfit so that he would look chic. At Red Robin. He also wore it yesterday when he went to the grocery store to get me a salad and some vitamin waters (I have been having really bad muscle spasms in my back, and he was pampering me). And I noticed this morning when he stopped by my office for a minute on his way to work that he was wearing the blazer over his work shirt (not a good look, but I wasn’t going to argue with him).

2. I joined Chicory’s Crazy Mixed-Up group. The first mix CD arrived last week, and I am in love with the first song on the mix. Have you ever heard “One Angry Dwarf and Two Hundred Solemn Faces” by Ben Folds Five? It’s a great song! It’s always a good day for me when I can add a favorite to my songs list. There are actually several on that CD that I really like, but that’s got to be numero uno. So yay for Briar! Oh, and while I’m talking about this song, I have the CD in my car stereo. I don’t have much headache today, and I had it really cranked when I zipped out at lunch to get a bottle of salad spritzer for my salad. The line “kiss my ass” is repeated several times in the song. Well, as I pulled into a parking space at Tom Thumb, the line rang out just as a little old lady was walking by. She looked at me, gave me the big hairy eyeball, and then looked away from me and determinedly sped up and raced to her car. I’m sorry, ma’am. I really didn’t mean to offend you with my raucous music.

3. Back in June I paid my $150 registration fee to go to the World Fantasy Convention in Austin on November 2-5. When I finally got hired at my job, I figured I’d just bag it, since I can’t take vacation time for 6 months. But the registration fee isn’t refundable, and Joe just about flipped his lid at the thought of my throwing away $150, even though I can’t take the time off. I asked my sister if she wanted to go (memberships are transferrable), but she can’t afford to. So today I talked with my supervisor. She agreed to let me work extra hours on the preceding Saturday, which is part of that pay period, and through Thursday the 2nd, and will let me be off on Friday the 3rd. So I’ll only miss the first day of the convention. I’ll just drive down to Austin as soon as I get off work on Thursday, 11/2. Back last November, when I first decided to go, I’d hoped to have my manuscript ready. I won’t, oh, all kinds of I won’t, but on the positive side, I’ve done a whole lot of fantasy reading, and have a far better understanding of how to write this manuscript. So when I do go back to the keyboard, it will be a much better manuscript than it would otherwise have been.

4. Taste of Arlington, an annual event that benefits Theatre Arlington and the YMCA of Arlington, takes places this coming Thursday, October 12th. My sister works at Theatre Arlington part-time, and I volunteered to work a shift that evening. I’m looking forward to when she and I get off our shifts, so that we can go see all the exhibits and taste all the yummy foods. I’m going to crash at her place that night. Hmmmm . . . wonder how productive I’ll be at work on Friday!

5. I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday morning, but I refused to weigh in. See, I weigh every morning at home, just to keep myself on track. Every morning last week I weighed about the same. But on Saturday morning, the scale was 3 POUNDS HIGHER! I was really ticked off. By this morning it was back to where it had been. I was really dehydrated, and have been drinking a lot of water since then, so maybe that’s why the scale was so high. I don’t know. Anyway, I don’t know how much I really weigh. So I’ll report that next Saturday morning. I promise I’ll weigh in next Saturday no matter how obnoxious my home scale is. Although if it pulls that stunt again next Saturday morning, I may hurl it out the window before I go to WW.

6. I e-mailed Chicory an idea for the next S-Project theme, and she liked it! And she said she wants me to post it. So I will, tomorrow. I lay in bed yesterday (because I couldn’t move, because of those nasty back spasms–maybe because of being dehydrated?), and tried to think of a story I could write around that theme. And I realized I have a positive genius for thinking up the most disgustingly schmaltzy schlocky ideas. But hey, at least I realize they’re schmaltzy and schlocky. That’s got to count for something, right? Needless to say, I’m not going to write any of those. And if you see the theme, and wonder WTF I was going to write about that could possibly be schmaltzy and schlocky, email me. I’ll tell you in private. I think I finally came up with a decent idea, if I can only remember it. So when you’re reading the theme and cursing and wondering how you’re going to come up with a story or a poem about it, don’t blame Chicory. Blame Canada!

7. If you drink a full glass of water before each meal, during each meal, and after each meal, you’ll eat less and feel less hungry. You’ll also pee a lot, which means you’ll get more exercise. See, not only will you have to go to the bathroom much more often, but some unknown corollary of Murphy’s Law will set in, and the urge to go will hit you when you are the furthest possible distance from the bathroom. So you will have to go further, and you will either be walking at a very fast pace or you will be outright running, so you’ll get more exercise in. Ask me how I know. On second thought, don’t ask. I’ve got to go. Now.

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