Skip to content

Networking (aka Having Fun at) Boskone this Weekend!

Conventions are fun. 🙂  So is networking… or as I like to call it, “hanging out.”

 

I actually hadn’t intended on attending Boskone.  With all the traveling I’ll be doing with going to visit Scott, and several other unplanned trips that are now getting planned, I figured I could drop out of this particular New England convention. 

 

But Patty, my friend and owner of Annie’s Book Stop Worcester (which, by the way, could really use readers’ help!!), convinced me to go. 

 

I am not on any programming, save the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading (8:00 Saturday – be there!).  I’ll definitely be at the Broad Universe table, helping out.  And I volunteered to help my friend, Elaine Isaak, with her Chai and Chocolate kickstarter party at 8:30, Friday night.

 

Which is a pretty free-time convention for me!

 

Patty says I need to make this my “bar-con.”  Do my social networking.  We’ll be each others’ wingwoman… because I have a lot to learn from her, and she (and other people, surprisingly to me) think I’m good at this networking thing.

 

In fact, my new housemate, Katie, is sharing a room with me and also hoping to learn some of this networking mystery.

 

Quite honestly, I just like getting to know people and hearing their stories.  If they find me interesting, too, we exchange contact info and possibly contact each other at a later date.

 

Or, someone runs into me and asks me if I know someone who…

 

I guess the trick of it, and “trick” makes it sound so dirty – it isn’t, is that combination of enjoying the company of others and having the mental facilities to remember them in both a social context and a potential business context.

 

In any case, I’m looking forward to my first low-key, non-programming convention in a very while.  Look for me there – I’ll be… just hangin’ around.

Foodie Friday: My Keurig!

ImageAs I mentioned around Christmas, one of Scott’s surprises for me was a Keurig coffeemaker.  It took me a little over a month to clean off a spot for it, and then actually take some time to set it up (which, actually, took less than 10 minutes, including cleaning and all).

 

So, in good geek spirit, I started playing with immediately.  I ran a few of the pods that it came with for me and my mother-in-law for lunch, and then I started playing with what I was most looking forward too, which is the little individual cup you can fill with your own stuff.

 

I started with an Irish Breakfast tea.  It’s an easy gauge for tea, simple, black, I know what it should taste like.  My theory, though, was that it would be too weak because A) black tea needs boiling water, and B) a 4-5 minute steep.  The Keurig heats the water to the optimal coffee temperature, which is between 170-180, and it’s a fast brew, also optimal for coffee.  Regardless, I tried.  My theory was correct, and the black tea was too weak. 

 

Next, though, I tried green tea, which I know has a lower brewing temperature and, ideally, should only steep for a couple of minutes or it gets bitter.  I measured out some jasmine green tea leaves into the little filter and, et voila! – PERFECT green tea.  It had a great bouquet of the jasmine, still plenty of green tea flavor (and I’m sure all the nutrients), and not a hint of bitterness.  Success!!

 

I have not tried white tea, but I’m guessing I’ll have similar issues because, though it has a low temperature requirement, it also has a very long steep requirement.  Herbal teas will probably depend on the herbs, as some need hotter temperatures and/or longer steep periods. Something simple, like chamomile, ought to be fine, but the medicinal herbs will need me to continue using my other methods.

 

Still, I’m SO thrilled with the quality of the coffee that the perfect green tea is a bonus!

 

Yay, Keurig!

Corrupts Absolutely?

I’m in another anthology coming out this March!

 

The call came through last year, and I’d been moved to write the story for some time.  I kept re-emailing myself the call for submissions because I was so intrigued with the idea:

 

A superhero anthology playing with the extent of how much power would corrupt your average, real person.

 

I didn’t get a full idea until the editor added an extra wish list:

 

Female writers and protagonists

Non-meta* individuals who are just super smart or technologically enhanced

Teams or siblings

 

And a few other things, but those three clicked a switch in my brain, and Victoria jumped into my head and started complaining about her boss at this engineering firm who treated her like crap and had grand delusions of being the next Tony Stark.  Ok… maybe the boss wasn’t that delusional, he really was building a massive weapon war suit thing.

 

Thing is, while her a-hole boss may not have any superpowers, Victoria does: She can make technology bend to her will.

 

To find out what happens, you absolutely need to order this book!

 

If not for me, there are some other great writers – including at least two other fabulous Broads that I know.

 

I also have to say, that I’m liking the editor’s marketing plans for this anthology.  He’s already working on promotional blog posts, we’ve got the cover (see the pretty picture), and we’ve gotten a lot of other emails with ways that we, the contributors, can help.

 

As I’ve progressed in my writing, I’m learning how much I love anthologies.  Not many pay well, but I do love having physical books – and the themes totally get my creative juices flowing.

 

Besides Corrupts Absolutely?  I’m working on two other stories for two other anthologies.  I’m not accepted in either yet, but I’m writing!

 

On top of that, Christy and I have reunited yet again. 😀  Yaayy!! For those of you who are Shadow Guard Fans, keep an eye out for some Super Special Updates!!!!

 

Happy Writing!

 

*meta – a common word for “mutant” or someone with special powers.

My blogging plan…

ImageIt’s not working so well. 

 

Well, there’s a post here when it ought to be scheduled, more times than not… but I’m barely hanging on, and there’s been a lot of borrowing from other sources – look, the podcast!  Look – a cute cat!

 

I have a lot to say; I have articles in my head.

 

I have no time…

 

Little things around the house, reworking my whole schedule, fitting in this exercise and eating protocol… total time eaters.

 

I may end up just posting a photo of my houseguests on Friday.

 

Also – people near Worcester – sign up for the Writing Workshop I’m doing with two great friends this Saturday.  Today is your LAST DAY to do it. 🙂  Here’s the info on how to register.

 

Part of the blog-eater is this workshop – so I’m sacrificing for you!

 

🙂  Happy mid-week.

Broadly Speaking Travels Through Time!

Broadly Speaking Travels Through Time!

Welcome to the January 2012 edition of Broadly Speaking. According to the Mayan Calender, this year is the year that we run out of time. (Or, more probably, a new cycle begins quite uneventfully.)  But if we can’t go Back to the Future in our own version of The Time Machine, we can at least talk about it. 

Join your host, Tracy S. Morris, for a timely discussion about the adventures of women writing science fiction, fantasy, horror — and everything in between.
 
Up first, Tracy and Melanie Fletcher discuss the rules that one must decide on before writing about time travel. 
 
Then, listen to a round-table discussion on the various conflicts that are inherent in time travel fiction with Pauline Baird Jones, author of Steamrolled, Kathryn Sullivan, author of Talking to Trees,  S.A. Bolich, author of Firedancer and Lynda Williams, author of the Okal Rei Saga.     
 
We hope that you can make time to listen to this podcast. If not, save it in your player for sometime when you have time on your hands.

Calico Contentment

ImageIt’s been a long time since I’ve written about Calico or horses.  How about a Cali post?

 

Every time I’ve gone to the barn, it’s been a day to celebrate.  Not just because she’s a fabulous horse, but for the crazy weather. Calico is a fan of weather.  Well, maybe not rain, but everything else – and every change is something for her to kick her heels up to – quite literally.

 

S.A. Bolich has been doing a fabulous blog on horses for writers, and I’ve had several writer-specific entries on horses.  While this entry isn’t specifically for educational, it definitely gives some insight to equine thought.

 

When I’m not riding Calico, we do ground work, and I always start ground work – and often any riding session with anyone but me – with a free lunge. (The horse is in an enclosed area, but not tethered by any lead; the human makes them move with either a lunge whip or a long lead and their body posture.)  My posture is relaxed and all I do is flick my wrists to wave her away from me.  She usually dances off and shakes out a bunch of bucks and hops, breaks into a gallop, does a rollback (like a rear but in motion to change directions) to turn around, hops and does a few laps.  When I see her relax into her usual easy trot, I make her turn around – a good way to get a horse’s attention.  From there, we do laps at different speeds with a lot of direction changes (because horses get bored going in the same direction; who wouldn’t?).  After that, we work on turning and stretching and standing and, occasionally, tricks – like target practice.  In general, we just have a bunch of fun while getting our exercise in.

 

Calico is always particularly happy when we can do this in the outdoor ring.

 

Now, we live in New England, so weather isn’t always accommodating, but so long as it’s not raining or downright treacherous or at night (my biggest problem – and a winter problem), we go outside.

 

Last time I was there, we had fresh snow, so Calico was really “feeling her oats.”  Lots of zooming around and tossing her heels, and my isn’t it fun to do a sliding stop!  (You know that cartoon trope where the character stops so quickly they continue to skid forward and leave marks? Yeah, that’s about it – it’s actually a reining maneuver in the Western show circuit.)

 

Today, it was in the 40s.  All the snow on the ground was melted and we had about a quarter inch of grass-clinging mud above the frozen ground. The sliding stop was ESPECIALLY fun.  She dug all sorts of lines in the outdoor pen, turning diagonally to maximize her sliding space.  In fact, she was so pleased with her accomplishment, that during the actual exercise part, when I put out a pole for her to walk over (like an obstacle… it’s a pole, flat on the ground, but horses think it’s the Horse Eating Pole of Doom! and try to avoid it) she went further down the arena.  I thought she was trying to avoid the Pole of Doom! by getting out of reach, so I moved to head her off – noooo! I hardly started heading in that direction when she decided to take about four steps of a superfast canter and make a sliding stop that ended less than a quarter of an inch from the Pole of Doom!  Her tail was up, her neck was arched (a proud posture – yes, horses do like to show off!) and she looked at me ‘cos, “Mom, wasn’t that just awesome?!”

 

I assured her of her awesomeness with a positive compliment, a moment of relaxed posture and breaking eye contact for a moment, then looked back and wiggled the lead rope just a little to make her go forward. 

 

She looked down at the pole, then at me, cocked her head, “Oh, you still want me to do this?”

 

Hand and rope flick again. Eye contact.

 

She sighed, tossed her head, and delicately stepped over it before picking back up her trot.

 

Yeah, horses have personalities.  And they like having fun as much as any of us.  Haven’t you ever done a running slide on a patch of ice or fresh waxed floor, then was all “Yeah, that was most excellent!” when you avoided falling flat on your bum?  (Horses fall on their bums, too, I’ve seen it… and some do hurt themselves while playing.)

 

Speaking of hurting themselves, because of the slippery mud, we didn’t spend too long outside and I didn’t let her get too rambunctious – it isn’t terribly hard for a horse to pull a ligament or twist an ankle – just like a person can.  Even when they’re just fooling around.

 

Hope you enjoyed the little Calico fun – and maybe, if you’re a writer, you got some ideas about how your equines can show some believable personality.

Newsie, News, News, News!!

ImageJanuary is more than half over!  I’m doing stuff with Deadlines!

 

First, this is the LAST WEEK for anyone to sign up to take the fabulous New England Horror Writers Workshop at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA! 

 

Kristi Petersen Schoonover, TJ May, and I are running an all-day workshop covering the craft of writing, editing, and business for writers – including a critique of the first 2000 words of your manuscript!  The workshop is only $30 – and we’re giving a $5 discount to members of the Worcester Writers Collaborative, New England Horror Writers, Broad Universe and Worcester college students. Sign up three ways:

 

Paypal & email pattyatannies@gmail.com

Stop into Annie’s Book Stop at 65 James Street in Worcester

Call Annie’s at 508-796-5614

 

We’re planning on having a fabulous time!

 

xx

 

In yet another event, visit Tatnuck Bookseller on 18 Lyman Street, Westborough, MA for the Worcester Writers Collaborative Author Explosion (Not Literally!) on Sunday January, 29th! 

 

Eighteen local authors (including me!) will be reading and signing and generally having a lot of fun.

 

Come join us!

 

xx

 

Arisia was fabulous!!  UnCONventional did wonderfully in its debut, and Our Fearless SPH Leader, Kate Kaynak, was happy to go home many boxes lighter than she came. 

 

The party was a blast – and it was so good to meet so many of our contributors!

 

We had CAKE!!  (That’s me & Kate holding it in the pic, surrounded by our valiant team of editors and contributors!)

 

The Broad Universe table was also well visited with many sales, and we had a great showing on many fun panels.  For a more comprehensive review, check out these blogs by my buddies, Justine Graykin, Kendra Saunders, and David Sklar.

 

xx

 

Bad-Ass Faeries 2 also had another great review!  And they especially liked “Party Crashers” by Christy & me. J

 

xx

 

And, um… I have a pile o’ papers that needs minimal attention before I go to bed…

 

Hope to see you at an event!

I was not savvy…

I was not savvy or awake enough to join many of my compatriots in the censorship blackout protest regarding SOPA/PIPA. What I have heard scares me, but I confess to a certain level of ignorance – to much to say anything useful here.

 

So, let me link you to people & resources who do know more than me so you can read what I read and make your own decision to contact your senators and congress representatives.

 

I did.

 

John Scalzi:

 

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/01/18/on-sopapipa-for-the-people-who-arent-blacked-out/

 

Nicole, who organizes the Worcester Bloggers meet-ups:

 

http://nicolecommawoo.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/sopapipa/

 

Wikipedia:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Learn_more

 

Electronic Frontier Foundation:

 

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/how-pipa-and-sopa-violate-white-house-principles-supporting-free-speech

 

Please, research this topic and educate yourself.  What rights are you willing to give up, and what will you fight for?

Fire with Friends

This past Monday, my friend Val came over and shared my annual fire ritual with me. 

 

It was good to share it with someone new.  She added another energy, and we added a few more parts to suit our needs for 2012… I’d organized my papers and things ahead of time, she needed to get rid of a particular artifact. 

 

After that, she interviewed me on faerie rules. 🙂

 

All in all, it was a lovely, magical night.

 

And I am tired.  So here’s a cute picture of Val and Loki.

 Image

May your 2012 catch fire in a good way!