September 4, 2015
If all is going as planned, right this minute I am at DragonCon running around like a mad thing being on panels and doing early holiday shopping and gawking at costumes and so on and so forth. I am very likely having a good time!
In the meantime, I think I’ve mentioned I’m re-watching Babylon 5 and enjoying it immensely. On the book side, I’ve just read Naomi Novik’s Unprooted, and it may be the best thing I’ve read all year. It reminded me very much of Robin McKinley’s and Patricia McKillip’s writing, and that’s very high praise indeed coming from me. Very recommended. I’ve also just read (late, I know!) Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper series, and I can’t wait until my niece is old enough to start handing her books by ALL these authors. Actually, I’d recommend the Beka Cooper books to just about anyone as well. Good adventure stuff right there.
Next up, as soon as I get back from the convention: Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife.
September 2, 2015
Title: Mission Statement: Objectives in Urban Fantasy
Description: Authors discuss stated protagonist goals in the genre: protecting the human world from the supernatural, or vice versa.
Time: Fri 10:00 am Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Autograph Session
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: International Hall South – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Transformations: Werewolves in UF
Description: Authors in the genre discuss their chosen variation of this intriguing supernatural being.
Time: Fri 05:30 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Heroism and Sacrifice
Description: UF protagonists who sacrifice happiness to make the world better for others.
Time: Fri 10:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Hunting Monsters
Description: Whether a job or a calling, our panelists’ protagonists track down and destroy monsters
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Augusta Ballroom – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Comedy and Calamity: Humor in UF
Description: Authors share ideas on combining humor w/ more serious aspects. Laughs guaranteed.
Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Reading: Carrie Vaughn
Time: Sun 10:00 am Location: Edgewood – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Backdrop: Settings and Locales in UF
Description: Our panel of authors discusses how their settings influence their characters and worlds.
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
On Sunday at 1 pm I’ll be signing books at the Missing Volume, Booth 1301-1303.
I’m also going to be spending time at the Wordfire Press booth extravaganza, tables 39-41 I — not sure exactly what times yet, but they’ll have my books for sale.
So PLENTY of opportunities to see me and get books signed. I don’t want to hear anyone say after the con they couldn’t track me down!
August 26, 2015
Bubonicon is this weekend, and DragonCon is the weekend after. And then a research trip and a book festival. And so begins a month of travel. I think I’m ready for it. We’ll see. Will I see you there? Are we super excited yet?!?
It may not feel like it some days, but I have been a busy little monkey, and the products of my busy-ness will be trickling out over the next year. What can you look forward to?
STUDY ABROAD: This is my YA space opera novel, the one I might have referred to as “the Polly book” over the last year or so. It’s due out in May 2016 from Tor. I’m sure I’ll be talking a lot more about it in coming months.
AMARYLLIS AND OTHER STORIES: I’m working with Fairwood Press to put together a collection of short stories, not specifically Kitty and not limited edition, spanning the whole of my career to date and across all genres. There won’t be any overlap with Straying from the Path, and I think this’ll really be a great intro to my short work. Patrick of Fairwood Press published many of my early stories for Talebones magazine, and we’ve been talking about doing a collection for going on ten years now. I’m so happy it’s finally going to be a reality. This’ll be out sometime in 2016, but Patrick has already kindly put up a pre-order link. That’s how excited we are about this!
I also have a couple of surprises in the wings. More info for you when I get some solid release dates.
A couple more links for ya:
My talk at the Tattered Cover a couple of weeks ago was recorded, and the podcast is up! This includes me reading my current work in progress — a novel about Cormac.
I did an interview with Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing.
And now, back to the word mines! Heeee-ya!
August 21, 2015
I have a couple of big thoughtful meaty posts started, but I can’t seem to get my brain focused enough to polish them up. Next week for sure! And next week, a month of traveling starts. I’ve really enjoyed my time at home, but I need to start thinking about what I need to do to gear up for Bubonicon, DragonCon, and beyond.
Also, it didn’t help that I had to take my iPad to the iPad hospital yesterday. That was stressful! But it’s all better now.
I thought I had a good picture of the West Thumb Geyser Basin, but I can’t find it. A little late to be organizing my Yellowstone pictures from two years ago, yeah? But I found this one, which I like quite a lot. This is at the Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the beautiful, colorful spring you always see in aerial shots. Well, this is from the boardwalk alongside. It doesn’t show the whole great scene, but the colors and layering are still magnificent. The whole park has spots like this, where you just have to squint a little and you’re suddenly on an alien planet.
August 17, 2015
My event at the Tattered Cover two weeks ago was recorded, and you can now listen to the podcast!
And here’s a new Holy Taco Church newsletter!
Current TV watching: I’ve started re-watching Babylon 5 all the way through. I’ll take as long as I need. I’m only up to season 1 ep. 6, but I am reminded how much I really really like this show. This is my third time through, I think. I also think that criticisms of the show — bad acting, bad writing, bad production values, etc. — are off base. These aspects of the show aren’t any worse than the average episode of 90’s Star Trek, and criticisms of it ignore the incredibly ambitious thematic and narrative scope of the show. Having seen the whole thing through once, it’s very cool to see the seeds planted early on. Earlier than you might remember. Ep. 1.06 might be our first glimpse of a Shadow vessel, though we won’t know what they are for another season yet. Ep. 1.05 features a side plot where the various alien races give presentations on their dominant religion, and in the middle of the Minbari ceremony Delenn gives this very significant look to Commander Sinclair — and that won’t pay off for a couple more seasons.
Also in that episode, right at the end, Sinclair present the dominant Earth/Human religion — no one knows what he’s going to do, he hasn’t told anyone about the presentation he’s worked up. Well, this is what he does: he has gathered together representatives from every different religion he could and introduces them to the alien ambassadors one by one. And the line of representatives stretches out, dozens and dozens of them. It’s so earnest and endearing, it’s just great.
Complain about the production values of the show all you want, but that one scene of Sinclair presenting Earth religions in all their astonishing diversity is as great — and more deftly presented — a celebration of human diversity and ingenuity and value as Kirk or Picard ever gave a speech about.
July 17, 2015
Could it be I accomplished a ton of stuff this week because I didn’t travel last weekend? Am I just going to have to resign myself to the fact that traveling pretty much shoots down the entire week after I get home? Or did that just happen this one time? Or did I just feel like I accomplished more because I’m in a better mood?
I may be over thinking this. But I did have a good productive week which felt nice.
I love my to-do lists, so you can imagine my consternation when I stumbled upon an article that said the most brilliant genius type people in the world don’t use to-do lists. They use schedules, and instead of simply making lists they actually plot out what they’re doing with every minute of every day and that’s how they accomplish things.
The problem with this sort of article of course is how it implies that if you don’t do things this exact way, you’ll never be successful. Meh.
This article (which of course I can’t find now) insisted that you can’t prioritize to-do lists the way you can prioritize schedules, and that by actually planning your day out to the minute, blocking out chunks of time for each task, you’ll accomplish more.
I decided that would drive me bonkers. As open-ended as my days are, it would be really easy just to blow off entire schedules like that. And that would make me feel so defeated and awful about myself. . .
Because you see, I can prioritize my to-do lists. I have a master list, and at the end of each day I make up the list for the next day. That list goes on a little square post-it note. I can’t overschedule. And it’s very satisfying to actually cross off everything on the post-it note and throw it away. If I ever find myself looking for something to do, I refer to the master list. I’m always doing something, and my schedule can’t get entirely blown up by the unexpected.
One size does not fit all with this sort of thing. What works for you all? Precise scheduling, a to-do list, or some combination of both?
July 10, 2015
Just a quick note. It’s been a wibbly wobbly week, sorting through the mess on my desk, contemplating the long-term to-do list, and looking forward to a few weeks at home with no travel. Bliss! I hadn’t thought I was traveling that much, then I realized I’ve been home one weekend out of the last seven. Yikes! I may work at home, but I still like those free weekends to remind me to kick back and relax a little bit.
I updated my appearances page! (The info can also be found on the link on the right-hand menu.) My next thing will be on August 5th at the Tattered Cover on Colfax in Denver — we’re having a release party for Kitty Saves the World. Yay!
Here’s the rest of my current scheduled appearances. Not too many, but what there are should be GREAT! And yes, I’m going to be bringing some costumes to DragonCon! Will I see you there?
August 5: We’ll be having a big party celebrating the release of KITTY SAVES THE WORLD at the Tattered Cover on Colfax. More info about times and such when I have it!
August 28-30: Bubonicon in Albuquerque.
September 4-7: DragonCon! This is the year! I’ll see you there!
September 27 or 28: Fall for the Book Festival in Fairfax, VA. Not sure which day I’m appearing yet but I’ll let you know.
October 23-25: MileHi Con in Denver.
And in 2016:
May 6- 8: Creative Ink Festival in Vancouver BC.