Monday, October 31, 2011

World Fantasy 2011 Recap

I was fully intending to post numerous, daily blog updates, but I just could not keep up after that first, epic night:

After my utter, complete failure, I can only, if you will allow it, provide you a few high points:

Hung out with and thoroughly reinforced the fast friendships I have made these last few years, most notably the As-Yet-Unpublished Gentlemen: Alistair Kimble, Rob Hicks.  AYUG will be a short-lived organization, I pray.

Tim Akers also made himself readily available to both abuse and amuse me.

Hung out repeatedly and well with Peter V Brett, Lauren Cannon, Jay Franco, and Nancy Lambert, whom I have decided, in my laziness, to dub The Easties.  I would call them New Yorkers, but that damn, insanely talented Cannon is from Jersey. That, and they are all far too nice to be truly from New York. I think I might have to check IDs the next time.

As previously mentioned, I drank more than my share on the pub crawl, though I am still amazed at J&J's stamina.

Chatted for so long with Pat Rothfuss we made him late to his next thing. I have no regret of it.

Had a great time telling stories in the hall (or is more properly called a porch?) to Brent Weeks, Myke Cole, and Peter Orullian as well as other fine writers, editors and publishers whose names I forget (I can only hope they will be able to squeegie some portion of the more foul things free from their minds).

Attended some good panels: the sea battle one with Myke Cole being the one I found most interesting.

I attended and assisted in the founding of the Brothers of Flatulism, something I am confident will become a bright star in the firmament of bullshit Holy Orders for future cons. Jim Minz, Rob Hicks, myself, and Alistair form the First Brothers. Others are sure to follow. I am not sure, but there might be a Brother Dribble whose actual name I failed to get. Bearded fellow, with a brown cassock that used to be white. Chants of I think I can, I think I can, were frequently heard before security descended upon us to end our rites.

Made up the Title that would best suit a particular piece of art if it were to be used for a novel from 'Unclasped' to  'Ready Playa One'.

I also hung out with and disturbed Bill Schafer's peace of mind again, but this time he had with him Yanni, who's scathing glances were almost enough to cow me to near-silence. Almost. I, too bore witness to the badge fascist she complained of.

David Drake and Karen Zimmerman were also present, gracious, and fun.

Ticia Isom, Jeni Faries, and Mark Van Name were, as always, fun, though Mark was suffering from a savage sinus infection for most of the con that would have had me whining constantly, but just made him more taciturn than usual.

Chuck Gannon and I chatted at length, and I came away feeling smarter, as I always seem to when I have opportunity to pick his brain.

I furnished the winning bid for two of Lauren Cannon's pieces. They are awesome, as she is.

Sam Sykes and I had more than a few fun words between us.

I also got to hang with a few of my UFGirlz, Sara McClung and Caroline Valdez-Miller. Karen Hooper was, sadly, not among them.

I managed not to make the noise I was making far to frequently last year. Instead there were many mentions of 'Butter Pat' and 'FINISH HIM!

The best thing about this year, though, was that twice, while feeling down about things, my friends buoyed me, lifted my spirits, and encouraged me. 

In short, they were there for me.

Good stuff, that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Epic Pub Crawl

Tonight, the first real night of World Fantasy, was a trip. Nay, it was an odyssey approaching beer nirvana. Jim Minz and Jetse De Vries, aka J&J productions, took us on a pub crawl extraordinary. We  sampled beers from all the local breweries and generally consumed vast quantities of beverages. We also ate well, and told stories both humorous and fun. My roomie this WFC, Rob Hicks, was also along, observing with me as we mere mortals rode the coat-tails of Titans.

After all was done and drunk, we returned to the hotel grounds for a brief sobering session and longer talk  with other guests, many of whom seemed to have arrived while we were pursuing the many fine expressions of the brewers art to be had in the San Diego area.

Tomorrow, hangover permitting, more of same, perhaps with more mere mortals.

All in all, an excellent start to WFC 2011.\

Friday, October 21, 2011


Things settled a bit more at work and I am feeling more energetic, so I got a good bit of writing done today. This is all to the good, I hope.

I enjoyed writing the scene, which is for A Friend To The Watch. It flowed pretty easily from mind to page... I hope that's not a sign it's shit.

Tomorrow, Isabelle's got a game early, so I am done for the night.

Next week: World Fantasy Convention!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recent Writing...

With all the adjustments to how the court is run, things have been inordinately busy at work of late. So much so I have been a bit tired and distracted when I get home, so the blogging has suffered a bit. So, here's what I've been up to...

I have been ideating quite a bit on A Friend To The Watch, and laid down the prologue over the last few days. I continue to tweak it, wanting to get it just right.

You see, seven years ago I had an image enter and refuse to leave my head: A man and a boy are talking over a winter grave, each refusing to understand the other. Both are equally sure they knew the wishes of the dead woman at their feet better than the other.

A year later I started writing A Friend To The Watch. I finished it two years later. My agent shopped it. It failed, a flawed but promising first effort. I put it aside and concentrated on The Last Captain. That's done, and the sequel is also nearing completion, but I can't get the kid and the man over the grave out of my head until I write it...

I am not doing a re-write. At least, not as I understand re-writes. I am not referring at all to the original novel (150,ooo words or so), just using the situations and characters in my head to formulate an entirely new, and hopefully successful tale.

So, to it I go.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mindgames, Soccer, and Hypercompetitive Pricks

Sunday morning, The Coolness and I had an early game.

We played well and our team won the game, though not without some drama: one player from each teams was given a red card for fighting. I do not generally approve of such conduct, but this was a bit of a special case.

The player from the opposing team was a bit of a drama queen, trying to make calls for the refs and generally being a hyper-competitive prick. So much so that I shall call him Hypercompetitive.

I don't say that lightly, as I have been called such in the past.

Nay, I have examples: I made a clean save on one of his shots. He took four more paces, ramming me after I'd cleanly collected the ball. It wasn't a hard hit, or even something he should have been called on, it was a simple attempt to intimidate me, get inside my head.

The refs and I recognized it for what it was, and him for what he was.

He apologized in a tone that begged me to look at him and call him a liar.

I grunted, punted, and my teammate scored two passes later.

Because, well, fuck him and such mind games.

I stopped a few more of his shots that half. He was good, just not as good as he thought. They had a female striker who was that good, and she was a complete pain in my ass because of it! I was sure one of her shots was going to miss, and pulled my hand back to avoid giving them a corner. Bang! off the upright and in.

My midfielder, in the second half, got tangled up with Hypercompetitive. My player snatched the ball and, as he turned to run up field, his counterbalancing arm slapped the opposing player across the thigh.

"Aww, come on!" Hypercompetitive screamed, raising an arm like he'd been intentionally slapped on the pee-pee with a lead-weighted hand. The drama was palpable.

The refs ignored it, but my players, being good sports, hesitated. We play for fun, after all.

"No whistle! Play on!" I  bellowed. Again, because, fuck Hypercompetive and his mind games.

We moved the ball out.

The next time down, Hypercompetitive blew past my fullback, the same midfielder from the earlier altercation hot on his heels.

I came out, cutting the angle.

Hypercompetitive found the near crease of six inches and sent a sweet shot past me to score. I turned to track the ball, so I missed whatever happened next.

"Dirty playing fuck!" Hypercompetitive screamed, returning my attention to the cock.

My player isn't backing down, shouting at him to calm down and play.

Hyercompetitive keeps it up, howling and beating his chest.

Eventually they are both given red cards and sent off.

He spends his time cheering his teammates and telling them to take shots, much as any team player should.

We score three times more. Them, twice. They had more than ten shots on frame, most from Blonde Striker of doom.

A quick break and Blonde Striker that made life in goal such an adventure is open in the middle. The player with the ball sees a chance though and shoots. I was on it, ready to stuff it. She stabs a foot out, deflecting the shot out of my reach and, thankfully, over the goal.

She collapses, face in hands, "I can't believe I played goalie for the other team" she grouses.

I had it, I could have said or, if I wanted to slip the blade in deeper, Thanks. Instead I helped her to her feet and kept my mouth shut.

Because I might be hyper-competitive, but I try not to be an asshole about it.

After the game, I went and told them both they'd played a good game. Hypercompetitive was gracious, Blonde Striker, not so much.

Ah well, I still had fun. And I hurt less than I did the last two times, despite a few full-extension and fall  to the ground saves.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Where They Come From

My ideas flow forth in rivers, and sometimes my girl has to put a stop to them by plugging my ears with her finger.

She's fast, really fast.

This is the first time I caught her on film:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another False Quote, This One From Bridge Of The Broken

“The responsibility far outweighs the opportunity here: no other will ever be the first human to handle or interact with an alien device. The only thing greater would be actual interaction with an alien intelligence. Still, I am aware of how out of my depth I am, I truly am.” -Rupert Troisrivieres, inmate and forced laborer, Ast-Block 19, shortly after discovering the first of the artifacts of the Leos civilization


I have had better days at work, but that's just cause there was a massive fight between five large mammals in the hallway outside my courtroom today. I entered the fracas, but only to assist a deputy trying to restrain one participant. Then a drunkard decided to impose himself on the court process. I handled him, as well.

Otherwise, things are a bit intense just now, as the courts and I are reconfiguring to the requirements of new bosses and new policies.

Most of the changes are good. Great, even. I am very hopeful, even a bit excited about things for the first time in a long time. I think I might be able to do it for a while yet. Hopefully long enough to get my feet under me in my heart's desire.

Just so long as no drunken large mammals decide to start fights with me or in the courtroom, I should do well enough.