Radcon Day 1

We left the house at 7am this morning. This from a girl that doesn’t usually wake up till 11am because I work nights, but we needed to get over the pass and into Pasco before my first panel today.

The pass we usually take was closed due to snow so we had to take the longer route. It was also snowing but not as bad as the main route. It will also be better when we drive home because it’s closer to Pasco so it will still be light when we get there. We usually end up driving over the pass in the middle of the night, and that isn’t fun when it’s snowing and you can’t see any lines on the windy roads.

We made great time and got to Pasco just after 2pm. My first panel was at 3:15 on (re)tired genres. It was a good discussion with several other authors. We mostly talked about revitalizeing “tired” genres and making something new from them. The second panel was right afterward concerning how big a fish you need to be. Another good panel with a couple of good authors. Neither panel had very many people in the audience, but it was day one and the majority of the participants get here on Saturday so it wasn’t that surprising.

Still, it was awesome to get to be on the panel this time instead of listening from the audience. And I love that my badge says pro.

After my two panels we had dinner, than headed back to the room where I finished Ghostly Intentions”. That means a new edit when I get home, then I can publish this thing and get back to work on the next Half Blood Sorceress novel! Yes!

Also, Prophecy by Barlight is free this weekend. And if you’re in Pasco I’ll be selling some paperback books and giving away pins.


Tales from Radcon 2016 and a Question

2016-02-13 12.20.50Now that I’m getting over the con-crud I thought it was time to share what happened at RadCon with everyone, and what I took away for myself from it.

First: Radcon was amazing! So many amazing things happened, so many new friends, so much new information. Gregg and I had to take some time to process it all. It’s been a week and the excitement of RadCon wore off a little bit, but the knowledge and encouragement are still working.

For Gregg this was a moment of validation. He won the best in fantasy for the masquerade, then he was invited to stand up at a panel and talk about his armor, and the road to it’s completion. He had several of the speakers (men and women currently working in prop/armor making for TV and movies) there oh-ing and ah-ing over his armor. Then they invited him to be on a panel next year as a full member. It was overwhelming. Gregg might have done a happy dance a few times, and then just collapsed from sheer joy.

It was so amazing to watch him transform from the unsure, self critical person he had been into this massive beast of a man walking through the crowds with his head held high, clad head to toe in red and black armor that he made with his own two hands. The pride, the smile, the final moment when he could say “I did something great!”

Sure, there are still little imperfections that bother him, little things that stand out as “I need to fix that.” Every creator has that little voice in the back of their mind saying those things, and we wouldn’t want to make our stuff better if we didn’t. But…as one of the panelists (a man who works on Grimm) said “There is only one person who sees all the little mistakes, and that’s you. Everyone else just looks at the overall piece.” (paraphrased, of course.)

I watched his transformation with pride, and happiness…and maybe a little jealousy. I realized that I needed that same transformation for myself. The same validation that yes, I am a good writer, and yes I’m on the right path. And I realized that I didn’t know how to get there. For me…it was a moment to realize that I need to get my shit together and figure out what the hell I’m doing.

So for the past week, while I’ve been battling con-sars, I’ve been thinking about my writing career, where it’s going, and what pieces I want or need to change.

First of all, The Bradbury Challenge has been a fantastic thing for me to do. NaNoWriMo has it’s good points, especially in learning to write faster and let go of the inner critic, but the Bradbury Challenge focuses on finishing things, and really need that emphasis on getting things done.

I haven’t been doing well. It’s been seven weeks and I’ve completed three stories. That’s not a story a week. This week I had a good excuse. First the convention, then a horrible head cold that knocked me out for three days, and left me incapable of writing. But what about all the other weeks? What excuse did I have then? And were they really good enough?

Now the truth is I have written almost every day since November first, and accomplishment in itself. I put down 6.4 thousand words on my novel last month, getting it closer to publication. I wrote 11k more on the short stories I worked on. But I didn’t finish all of the Bradbury stories. I didn’t send them to my newsletter as I promised. And this month I’ve only written 5k so far.

I should at least be continuing with a story if I fail to finish it the week previously. Instead I have come up with new stories every week since January first, and written plots and paragraphs for all of them. I LOVE the idea phase of a story a thousand percent more then actually finishing a story. Brainstorming is second nature to me, and if I get an awesome idea for a novel I have no problem jotting down 3-5000 words in a couple hours on that idea.

But ideas don’t make a career. Ideas are just that…ideas. They have no form, no function, and no monetary value. If all of my stories stay ideas I get nowhere. I get no actual career.

This, I think, is what I saw with Gregg and his armor. At the end he was sleep deprived and his body was screaming for relief. He kept telling me about pains in muscles he didn’t know existed, or his hands cramping, or being surprised he didn’t break something when he hit his hand with a mallet. But he kept going. He wanted to finish that armor. Not just a few pieces, he wanted the whole set.

Do I want my writing career even half as much as he wanted that?

It is no surprise that they invited him back to speak at the conference. It is no surprise that he had many people in his industry talking to him, encouraging him, and telling him how truly awesome he was, and is. Because he is amazing! He has persistence, and he has a passion, a real hunger, for his craft.

Do I? Or is this more of a hobby that I just enjoy when I’m not playing video games? I don’t think it’s a hobby, but then again, where are the finished products?

That’s the question I’m going to be asking myself the next couple of weeks as I am working on my short stories, and finishing things. I’m not at 100% yet, still recovering from this sickness, and still very, VERY, tired. But that’s nothing but an excuse, and I know it.

So are my passions bigger than my excuses? Time to put up or shut up, I think.

The Price of Admission

We got back from Radcon a few days ago, and then I came down with a horrible sickness. For me being sick means I need to sleep, and sleep a lot, to the point where it’s almost impossible to stay awake.

So for the past two days I’ve been barely able to speak, an d stay awake. I’ve been awake now for a couple hours so I think I’m on the mend, but even as I type this I can tell I need to go back to sleep. YAY CONCRUD!

But it was so worth it! The convention was amazing, and Gregg was impressive. You can see a lot of pictures from the convention over on his instagram, and a bunch more on my instagram.

I started writing a blog post about the experience and everything that happened. I’ll have to come back tomorrow and finish that. For right now I think it’s time to go take another stab at writing a short story before crashing again.

But here are two photo’s to wet your whistle. Me, as Velma, posing with a furry Scooby Doo, and Gregg in the awesome red armor that he made getting compliments from Dragon Dronet. More on that later.

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A long week

It’s been ten days since I started coming down with a cold. I felt drippy, achy, coughy… Ya, it was terrible. Is terrible. It is now day 10 and I still am feeling run down and tired. I finally went to the doctor and she said all I could do was take time to let it run it’s course. I didn’t have a bacterial infection, just a normal virus and there isn’t a cure for that. At least she gave me some strong cough syrup. Maybe I can get my voice back again.

So it’s Tuesday. Usually we have Story Telling Podcast on Tuesdays. Last week we didn’t because Garrett and I were sick. This week I’m sick. I don’t know if they will be doing the hang out tonight, but I literally can’t speak. My voice is entirely gone. I was told not to talk at all. So I’m talking with my fingers through the keyboard.

2015-02-13 21.55.24I think part of the reason I’m still sick after ten days is that I spent the weekend at Radcon having fun with Gregg and Trish. I even sold a book! It was kind of awesome. Here are some pictures from the con!

There was so much to see. So many people dressed up as their favorite characters, or just fighting. Even some fire dancing. We went to a few panels and did a lot of shopping. Learned a lot.

Next year I plan to go again. In fact Gregg and I want to make cons a regular part of our lives and try to hit three of them a year. We live in a great area for it. There are tons of conventions near Seattle. RadCon and NorWes con are the two we are definitely going to go to. The third might be the “lets experiment until we find the one where we belong.”

Because that is what we both found at Radcon… we belonged. Or rather it really felt like it. I am terrible at talking to random people, and yet while at RadCon I couldn’t help but just talk to people and tell them how nice their outfit was, or how great their paint was. I couldn’t help sharing my fangirl over a certain comic or anime. I was surrounded by people who loved the same things I did, and it was amazing!

If you ever have a chance to go to a convention I suggest you do so. There are tons of them. Some for Sci-fi, some for steam punk, and many for very specific things like Star Trek, Dr Who and Firefly. Find the one that really encompasses your inter fandom and meet people who love what you love.

Just don’t do it while you’re sick if you can help it. That was the only down side to the whole thing and I had to miss out on after parties because of the sickness. Ug!

Venturing out of the Hobbit Hole

2015-01-27 00.23.12The books are here! And so are my tickets. I’m going to RadCon!

Oh God! I’m going to RadCon!

Okay Crissy, breathe, it’s okay. We can do this thing!

In all seriousness, I am excited and worried, and nervous all at the same time. I keep telling myself that this nervousness I am feeling isn’t anxiety over crowds of people I don’t know, no it’s EXCITEMENT. Because excitement is just as gut twisting and hard to deal with, but not as scary.

So, I’ve got the books, and maybe I should pack an overnight bag.

Also, writing is going swimmingly. I am back to my 1000 words a day, and feeling great about finishing a few more chapters. I have added another 8,000 words to Mermaid’s Curse since the beta reader made some suggestions. Wow, that’s a lot more then I thought, and I still have another 5-10k to go. The final scene I’m writing is, of course, a big battle scene that I’m leaving to the end because I dread writing battle scenes.

So… If you are at RadCon tweet me. Come say HI!. I’d love to meet you.