Coping With Christmas Craziness

Home Alone

What do you mean, you don’t have any left in stock?!

So, we’re once again neck deep in the holiday season. I always feel like days this time of year come at me in a rush. In the space of just a few weeks, I have:

  • My sons coming home for Thanksgiving
  • Gathering with my family on Thanksgiving
  • Cutting down and setting up a Christmas tree
  • Saying goodbye to my boys again as they head back to college/law school
  • My brother’s birthday (he lives hours away from me, but it’s still something I mark every December)
  • My oldest son’s birthday
  • The monthly library board meetings
  • Annual events, such as parties, concerts, work events that always happen in December
  • Scrambling to come up with halfway decent gift ideas for the members of my family
  • Buying (or attempting to buy) said gifts
  • My sons come home again
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas
  • Saying goodbyes again
  • New Year’s Continue reading
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Go Red Sox!

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Support a Writer in Need

If you’ve listened to short fiction podcasts, you know the name Eugie Foster.

Eugie Foster

Podcastle, EscapePod, Pseudopod and The Drabblecast have aired more than 20 of her stories.  She’s lent her voice as a reader of other authors’ work on those shows as well. Her work has appeared in magazines and e-zines such as Helix, Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, and Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. One of my personal favorites is Daughter of Bótù which appeared in both Realms of Fantasy and Podcastle (I’ve embedded the mp3 of the podcast in this post; give it a listen). She has amassed an impressive list of awards, including a 2009 Nebula Award. Without question, she is a very gifted writer who spins mesmerizing tales.

She also has impressed me as very warm and professional. I’ve had the opportunity to see her on a number of panel discussions at Dragon*Con over the years, and her remarks are always thoughtful and informative. On a personal note, I spoke with her for a few minutes after a panel discussion at Dragon*Con 2012, and she couldn’t have been more gracious. We commiserated about the demise of Realms of Fantasy, and I think she may have even accepted a Purgatory bookmark from me. Continue reading

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The Geek Side of Life: Interview with Lauren Harris

Exorcising Aaron Nguyen
00:00:00 – It’s Dragon*Con week! … I have an unreleased episode ready to go
00:03:34 – Promo: Nutty Bites
00:04:05 – A chat with Lauren “Scribe” Harris about her new novella EXORCISING AARON NGUYEN
00:36:12 – Promo: The Way of the Buffalo
00:36:42 – Say hi to me at Dragon*Con!

Download a copy of EXORCISING AARON NGUYEN

Find Lauren online:

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A Good Lesson in Gratitude

This is an inspirational story of three survivors.

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What Is Success?

success

My friend John Anealio made a pretty dramatic announcement on his blog yesterday:

I’ve been plugging away at this particular phase of my artistic life for about 7 years now. I’ve spent the majority of this time trying to write good songs and to get people to listen to them.

Songs like George R.R. Martin Is Not Your Bitch, The Millennium Falcon For Christmas, Summer Glau & Steampunk Girl found niche audiences and helped me to obtain whatever notoriety that I have. It’s been great. Those songs are the reason that I’m able to communicate with you right now, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

But there’s a dark side…

For every song that got a lot of attention, for every write-up on Tor.com or io9, for every opportunity to open for Paul & Storm and Molly Lewis, it left me wanting more. It left me feeling like I deserved more. That’s a dark place to be. Continue reading

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Listen To This Song: ‘I’ll Be Your Thor’

Terrific new song by John Anealio.

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My Balticon Schedule

BALTICON 47

This weekend brings one of my favorite events of the year — Balticon, a science fiction/fantasy fan convention, held at the Marriott Hotel in Hunt Valley, Maryland. For the second consecutive year, I am a guest at the con and will be participating in a number of events. Here is my schedule for the weekend:

Saturday, May 25

  • Noon – Blogging for Dummies, with Brand Gamblin, Suzanne Rosin, Allison Gamblin (Chesapeake Room)

Sunday, May 26

  • 10:00 a.m. – Autograph session with Mur Lafferty and Dina Leacock (Maryland Foyer)
  • 1:00 p.m. – Talk To Me: How To Conduct Podcast Interviews with Hugh O’Donnell, Stephen Granade, Thomas Gideon, Chris Lester and Alex White (Chesapeake Room)
  • 5:00 p.m. – Reading, with Chris Evans and Alicia Goranson (Pimlico Room)
  • 6:00 p.m. – WordPress 101, with Pamela Gay, Doc Coleman and Nutty Nuchtchas (Chesapeake Room)
  • 7:00 p.m. – Full Cast vs. Straight Read, with Veronica Giguere, Christopher Snelgrove, Chris Lester, P.C. Haring, Renee Chambliss and Nobilis Reed (Derby Room)
  • 9:00 p.m. – Music in Podcasts, with Alicia Goranson, Chris Lester, Alex White and P.C. Haring (Derby Room)

I can’t wait for the weekend to start! If you’re going to be there, please stop by my panels or reading or autograph session and say hello.

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What To Work On Next?

I’m in a bit of a limbo land, not sure what to work on next. My ghost hunter novel, tentatively titled And Ghosts Return, is out to a bunch of agents. I’m not working on a new novel yet, though I have a couple of ideas kicking around in my brain. So, rather than writing, I’m spending a fair amount of time these days contemplating what I should write next. Some of the options:

  • I got the idea a few weeks ago to design a role playing game based on P.G. Holyfield’s Land of Caern universe, which most of us know from his terrific novel Murder At Avedon Hill. Have I ever designed a game before, let alone an RPG? Um, no. I’ve spent a few minutes jotting down ideas and researching how one goes about designing a game, but this idea is still in its embryonic stage. P.G., to his credit, told me to knock myself out.
  • Write some short stories. I know possible topics for short stories are all around me, but I’m having trouble finding some that appeal to me. I suspect I’m letting the perfect be the enemy of the good here. An idea doesn’t have to be The Greatest Thing EVAR, it just has to be a story someone might want to read. Of course, pondering what would make a good story idea is also an excellent way to procrastinate on actually writing a story. Like exercising, I find writing stories exhilarating once I get going, but actually getting started requires convincing myself.
  • Start outlining a new novel. Since no one has actually made an offer to me for And Ghosts Return, I’m not inclined to work on a sequel, though I think the story line has sequel potential. The logical thing is to start something brand new, and the options are limitless. To date, I’ve written four novels — one drama/romance, one action/adventure, one humorous, and one paranormal/horror. Should I pick a new genre? Sci-fi? Epic fantasy? Another paranormal book with a different set of characters and setting?

Now, if someone else wrote this post and I was reading it, I’d say, “Just pick something and start working, already!” Which I will do. Watch this space for a progress report over the weekend.

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Everything You Need To Know About Politics

If you remember nothing else, remember this: Strange women lying in ponds, distributing  swords is no basis for a system of government.

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