Yeah, I know it’s usually cheating to post about how you’re not going to post for a while, but this is important. Thanks to so many reasons I refuse to rant about here, our personal privacy is being constantly eroded. I happen to think our Fourth Amendment rights are just as important as all the rest. So like many folks, I’m stepping away from the Internet on April 22. Just wanted everyone to know, and to say there will be pictures when I return–RavenCon photos and your first peek at Hellfire Lounge 4. Meanwhile, good luck on #StopCISPA Monday.
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Between deadlines and conventions, 2013 is shaping up as a wonderfully busy year.
For those of you who missed it, I was one of the guests of honor at James Madison University’s Madicon the first weekend in March. I had a great time with old friends and new, and as usual, I have the pictures to prove it.
This weekend will find me in Richmond at RavenCon. This year’s writing guests of honor are Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. The artist guest of honor is The Devil’s Panties creator Jennie Breeden. I’m looking forward to all their panels, but I confess, I’m especially looking forward to Jennie’s. Her web videos are laugh-so-loud-you-scare-the-cat funny, even when she’s hawking merchandise.
I can only hope to compete on my five panels. Yeah, you know what’s coming–my RavenCon schedule:
3 p.m., Room F
Steampowered–the Rage of the New Victorians
From werewolves to anti-zombie airship pilots, the Empire has struck back. What is it about this genre and time period that is so appealing. Is it the machinery? The celebration of intellect? Or is it the clothes?
Carl Cipra (Moderator), Laura Anne Hill, Jean Marie Ward, Susan Zee
11 p.m., York Room
Yes, But is it Funny? Comedy in Science Fiction
…And presumably everything else. This is the late night panel. You really think we’re going to stay on topic? Mwahahaha!
Jim Bernheimer, Bud Sparhawk, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Joan Wendland
2 p.m., Anna Room
Judging a Book by its Cover
What are the latest trends in science fiction, fantasy and horror covers? What do you love–and hate–about book covers? And what are the latest trends?
Betty Cross, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), J. Andrew World
4 p.m., Room E
Gaslight fantasy. Weird west. Dieselpunk. Cyberpunk. Explore the punked-out fictions that are not set in a British Victorian or Edwardian past.
Betty Cross, Laura Anne Hill, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Susan Zee
1 p.m., Room E
The Discreet Charm of the Historical Fantasy
What prompts otherwise sane writers to spend years researching Imperial Japan, the Silk Road, or the Ripper’s London. How do they know when they’ve gotten it right?
Day Al-Mohamed, Maggie Allen, KT Pinto, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator)
Hope to see you there!
Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago at 10:00 am. Add a comment
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Last week, Diane Whiteside received a letter from a fan of her novel, The Shadow Guard. The fan was seeking the grave of Col. John Fitzgerald, aide-de-camp to George Washington at Valley Forge and prominent Alexandria cit mentioned in Diane’s book. When the usual sources (Wiki, Google, etc.) came up empty, Diane asked me if any of my friends at Alexandria’s historic Carlyle House might know. I promised to ask the next time I volunteer (sometime after Dragon*Con). In the meantime, I started rooting around in my local library.
Fitzgerald was the driving force behind Old Town Alexandria’s first Catholic Church, St. Mary’s, so I started with the records for St. Mary’s Cemetery, copies which are conveniently located in every Alexandria branch library. From there I went to compilations of The Alexandria Gazette obituaries and the records of the Hustings Court. (Fitzgerald was a big wheeler dealer on the local real estate front.) I confirmed his town home was located on the corner of King and Fairfax Streets, where the main branch of Burke and Herbert Bank now stands, but hey, that’s a no brainer. They’ve even got a plaque to that effect on the bank.
Today Diane and I met for lunch. By some odd quirk of timing, we drove into the Market Square parking garage in Old Town at the same time. We planned to lunch at O’Connell’s but power was off on that side of the street, so I asked, “Would you like to eat Italian? There’s Landini Brothers and Il Porto across the street. Which one would you prefer?”
“Landini Brothers–you mentioned it first.”
After lunch we headed for the Queen Street branch of the Alexandria library, home of the local history collection. Julia, the librarian on duty, wasn’t quite sure where to look. I’d already searched the St. Mary’s records. So we rooted around in the transcriptions of Alexandria tombstones. Nada.
Then Julia pulled out Ethelyn Cox’s Historic Alexandria Virginia Street by Street. It contained a page on Fitzgerald’s King Street warehouse which noted his burial site as Warburton Plantation, the present site of Fort Washington.
Oh, and the warehouse? It’s the same building where we ate lunch.
I love Alexandria.
Posted 9 months ago at 7:21 pm. Add a comment
You may have noticed a new con in the sidebar. Madicon 22 has invited me to be a guest along with longtime buds (and great writers!) Jana Oliver, Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, as well as friends-to-be Jonah Knight, Megan Amberly and R.S. Belcher. The dates to remember are March 8-10, 2013. The place is James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
For the here and now–or the hear and now, if you insist–I read a selection from “Lord Bai and the Magic Pirate” in this month’s BroadPod, the Rapid Fire Reading of the air sponsored by Broad Universe. I’ve read bits and pieces from this story before, but never this section.
I’ve also posted the opening of “Burning Down the House”, my story in Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy. If you put it together with the excerpt here, you can get a real taste of the tale. Yes, that was another bad pun, but you’ll have to read the excerpts to find out why. Enjoy!
Posted 10 months, 1 week ago at 9:26 pm. Add a comment
Let’s see if I can squeak in under the Six Sentence Sunday wire with the first six sentences of my ongoing WIP, Highway From Hell–the story of Orpheus from Eurydice’s POV. Enjoy!
Snakes. Why did Orpheus have to collect snakes?
“It slithered right past me. It’s a miracle I’m not dead!” Our housekeeper was screeching so loud my phone couldn’t handle it. Her distorted voice hooted in my ear like she’d pushed it through a wah-wah pedal.
Posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago at 8:00 am. 2 comments
“Wagner’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds.”
Just got home from the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD production of Siegfried. Greg is the Wagner fan. I confess, I’m meh on opera, but from the music to the singers, the performances were glorious. I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen a more perfect Siegfried–the boy who doesn’t know fear–than Jay Hunter Morris, and Greg has 78s, LPs, CDs and DVDs of every production ever. Even better, off-stage Morris sounds just like Owen Wilson. Hee!
Posted 1 year ago at 11:08 pm. Add a comment
The iconic Duzell, born we don’t know, entered our lives in September 2006 and left as considerately as he did everything sometime around eleven this morning. He got me through some of the worst times of my life, always gentle, always the gentleman. I wasn’t ready for him to go. I don’t think I would’ve ever been ready. Sometimes you are blessed with a friend, human or animal, too good for just one life. I wish my sweet boy many such lives, all of them filled with the love he deserves.
Posted 1 year, 1 month ago at 6:39 pm. Add a comment
It’s getting closer and closer. The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity goes on sale March 6. To whet your appetite, here’s another Six Sentence Sunday snippet from my cat shifter story, “Fixed”. Enjoy!
He feinted right. With a triumphant woof and the crackle of dead weeds, his pursuer plunged into the brush. Jack veered left, gaze locked on the outdoor balance beam. If he could run the dog into the log . . .
“Look out!” a female voice screamed.
He turned just in time to see a bicycle twice his height tearing up the center of the path.
Posted 1 year, 2 months ago at 8:00 am. 3 comments
No matter how hard or how loud her inner paranoid told her he couldn’t be trusted, the rest of her wasn’t listening. Her respiration slowed, lulled by hints of scents which had no place in a sickroom—sandalwood and ginger and the faintest trace of sweat. The longer she stood there and watched him breathe, waiting for her to act, accepting it…
Something fluttered, soft as feathered wings, inside her belly.
“Maggie?” he whispered.
Why did he have to say her name like it mattered?
Posted 1 year, 3 months ago at 8:00 am. 12 comments
As promised, February’s first three Six Sentence Sunday entries are all from my short contemporary romance, “Hoodoo Cupid”, available wherever fine ebooks are sold.
Today’s scene takes place in the ER after Maggie Scanlan’s hoodoo has done it’s work on her professional rival and new boss, Dan Constantine:
When [Dan's] eyes focused on a person—the way they focused on her now—it was like being targeted by a pair of lasers. The fan of creases deepening at the corners of his eyes and his slowly widening smile only made it worse.
“My ride.” His voice had a husky quality—a subtle roughness like vintage mohair upholstery, which inspired almost as much thigh wriggling and skirt palming among the agency power groupies as his eyes. “Talk about answered prayers. Please tell me it’s going to be a long one.”