Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

My Adventure at Fandom Fest

In the usual weird-things-always-happen-on-my-way-to-a-convention fashion I spent the bus ride from Columbus to Cincinnati on a bus that smelled like an outhouse due to maintenance not cleaning the crapper tank, possibly because a massive wind came out of nowhere followed by a torrential downpour as soon as my bus arrived to the station. My Bus Ride from Hell continued through a tornado zone that left the bus delayed due to a traffic jam. But at least I got to see a semi truck laying several feet from the road with its front cabin crumpled like a wadded up piece of paper—an interesting image and one likely to end up in a story some day.

The Cinci to Louis bus ended up three hours late, this on top of a two hour lay-over. Not too bad since I got to spend the time with a couple Iraq vets. We avoided boredom by performing a Three Stooges routine followed up by a game of bloody knuckles. They also described to me an interesting new game they learned in Iraq: I believe it involved an auto grenade launcher and a crate of bean bags….

And all these years I thought Bottle Rocket War could get painful. Silly me.

By the time I arrived at the Galt House (I’ll let other folk blog about the problems with that hotel) it was around 3 am Saturday morning. Since I didn’t have the money for a room, I did what I normally do in that situation; I did the catnaps-in-bathroom-stall-while-avoiding-the-security-guards shuffle.

Got my badge, etc., around 9 or so. At which point I was locked, cocked, and ready to rock.

There were quite a few crickets on the literary panels I was on, and it seems that was pretty much standard for the whole entire literary program track. The plus side was that 10,000 people came to see Bruce Campbell. The downside was that apparently 9,990 of them came only to see Bruce Campbell.

Ah well. Shit happens.

I still managed to sell and sign a couple anthos there, so I’m not complaining. Especially since I can say that H. David Blalock got my autograph. 🙂

The major plus was all the cool writers I got to meet and hang out with, like Selah Janel and D.A. Adams, the Zimmster, Shrews, Charlie Kenmore, Gary Wedlund, Maurice Broaddus, Michael West, Alexx Miller, Marian Allen, TammyJo Eckhart, and many many more (If I forgot your name, drop me a comment and I’ll add it—yes, I’m still that hung over). I also got to party with Paul West and Taylor Kent, and Taylor let me crash in his room and even fed me, and bought my drinks.

You rock, Snarky!

There wasn’t a con suite with free food like at the other conventions I attend, so I didn’t exactly come prepared. If it weren’t for Snarky and Zimmster I probably would’ve starved to death.

You rock, Zimmster!

And a whole lot of interesting discussions went on, ranging from spec-fic stuff to political stuff and other intellectual stuff and…stuff….

Yeah, it’s been two days since I got home and I still feel hung over.

Overall, I had a blast, despite the hotel preventing simple basic things that could’ve made the convention more successful marketing-wise. Oh, and the hotel upping the parking price on everyone at the last minute. :/

Good thing I didn’t come by car.


July 4, 2012 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Time at Context 23 (Day 3)

(total Homer Simpson Moments from last Context 23 entry: 14)

Before I start I’d like to give a big shout-out to Ty Schwamberger, who has edited a Pill Hill Press anthology titled Fem Fangs in which I have a story in. It’ll be out September 20th.

And here’s the sexy cover:

*Ahem!* I think I’m gonna’ need a bucket of ice after that….

Well anywho, at 10am I checked out Writer and Illustrator: A Match Made In Heaven?! with Elisabeth Massie and Cortney Skinner. I think I fell asleep in the audience.

Hey, you try staying cognizant with only two hours of sleep.

At 11:30am I began my first of the two back-to-back panels for the day, Workshops – Set up, Teaching, Attending, with Diana Botsford, Michael Knost, and Mark Tiedemann. That one ran flawlessly, and I think I might’ve impressed a couple people. Perhaps I should do panels with only two hours of sleep more often.

Then at 1pm, in the same room, was my other panel, which I had to moderate, Response to Rejection: A Writers Response, with Rosemary Laurey, Kevin Lucia, Nayad Monroe, Joseph P. Martino, Liz Coley, and Michael West. We all rocked that panel, and I didn’t do a bad job moderating for once.

All-in-all, an awesome weekend. And I managed to go through at least one day without a Homer Simpson Moment…

Except for the minor blunder of going to the bus stop on the wrong side of the street.

Homer Simpson Moments: 15

Oh, and Martino has a nonfiction book out that you might want to get and read – and soon!

September 2, 2010 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Time at Context 23 (Day 2)

(total Homer Simpson Moments from last Context 23 entry: 10)

At 10am I went to Stephen Zimmer‘s Kaffeeklatsch where me and a couple other people got to hang out with him and chat for an hour. There was a lot of coffee to drink, too, which was a good thing since I was still trying to get rid of my migraine from last night. For once, I actually managed to avoid any Homer Simpson Moments.

11:30am was the Mass Autograph Session, and I actually got to sell and autograph two anthos! WooHoo!

What anthos did I bring, you ask? Well….

The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008

Chimeraworld #6 (New World Disorder)

The Four Horsemen: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine, and Death

and Silver Moon, Bloody Bullets: An Anthology of Werewolf Tails

When I got back home, I discovered something really cool about that event. I knew parts of it was getting filmed, but I had no idea I was in it:

I’m on YouTube! Yayyy!

But apparantly I forgot to comb my hair, what little I have.

Homer Simpson Moments: 11

At 1pm I checked out the How Did I Get Here? panel and later got a chance to chat a bit with the awesome and uber-cool Maurice Broaddus. Then I spent the next five hours in the Game Roem playing the Battlestar Galactica boardgame with a couple of my fanly friends. Or is that friendly fans? Eh, we’ll just use the word, friends.

Alas, I sucked at that game. But I still had a lot of fun. 🙂

At 8:30 I was on my Christian Horror panel with Michael West, Jerry Gordon, and Michelle Pendergrass. That one ran smoothly. Probably because I wasn’t the moderator.

After talking about Christianity and Horror, I skipped the 10pm panels and went straight to the Shroud party.

I drank a can of beer, then a second can somehow appeared in my hand, and then a third….

And then I remembered I’m allergic to yeast.

Homer Simpson Moments: 12

After counting Gina Ranalli’s crunches until 3am, I decided to go crash….

And realized I still hadn’t asked anyone about crashing in their room.

Homer Simpson Moments: 13

Later I discovered that pretending to read at the foyer while catching some shuteye doesn’t work if you’re prone to snoring.

Homer Simpson Moments: 14

I wonder if God was angry with me or something…..

September 2, 2010 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Time at Context 23 (Day One)

(total Homer Simpson Moments tally from last Context 23 entry: 2)

I head to the inn immediately after work with a pair of pants a size too big. And wouldn’t you know it? I lost my belt.

Homer Simpson Moments: 3

My niece’s fiancee drops me off. I get out and the first two people I see are D. Harlan Wilson and his cutie cousin (See? I can do alliteration!), Emily. I start to light up a cigarette only to discover that when my niece’s fiancee borrowed my lighter, I forgot to get it back.

Homer Simpson Moments: 4 (and the convention still hasn’t started yet).

Oh yeah. I also forgot my trusty watch.

Homer Simpson Moments: 5

We all talked for a while about writing, the upcoming panels, and various random stuff, and others showed up and joined in on the conversation. At 5:30pm I did my first panel, Humor in Literature. Wilson put out some very good points on that panel and I utilized my usual Gemini charm, even allowing my  Evil Twin to come to the surface for brief periods (hey, I have to let Evil Twin have a little fun every now and then; otherwise, he gets into one of his moods and I get writer’s block, and we can’t have that, now can we?).

I was free to wander around aimlessly until near the end of the night. At 7:00pm my aimless wnadering took me to The End of “Climategate” hosted by Gordon Aubrecht. There, I learned a few things about the scientific method that I hadn’t been aware of, even though I actually should have been aware of since I’m a bit of a science fan.

Homer Simpson Moments: 6

I wandered around some more, talked to a few people, then caught the last half of 8pm’s Motivation for Writers with Tim Waggoner, JD Williams, Elizabeth Massie, Linda Robertson, Laura Bickle, and Jo Lynne Valerie. Alas, I only heard half of what was being discussed because I was too fixated on the uber-hotness of the female panelists. Looks like I need a new Moments category.

I’m Too Damn Male Moments: 1

However, I did remember that I promised to get one of Laura’s books back when we met at MARcon, and since she and I were both on the next panel in the same room as the Motivation for Writers panel, I figured I’d run to the Dealer’s Room, buy Embers, and run back to have her sign it. Unfortunately, I forgot that the Dealer’s Room closed at 9.

Homer Simpson Moments: 7

Luckily, Laura had an extra copy on hand, decided to give it to me to review for my SpecMusicMuse entries, and even signed it for me. 🙂

So, anywho, my 10pm panel, Stupid Villains, Smart Villians, started. I had the pleasure of sitting among Bickle, Steven L. Shrewbury, and the awesome Michael West. This was the first panel at Context that I had to moderate. Remember the last entry where I told you I ended up being completely unprepared? Um, yeah….

So, without getting into too much detail:

Homer Simpson Moments: 8

Well, the panels were over, but the night was still young, so the fine folks at Shroud Publishing decided to throw a pre-party party with open readings. They wisely decided to do the readings at the start while people weren’t yet too intoxicated. they even allowed me to do a reading. 🙂

However, there was a bit of a time limit to allow more than just a couple readers to be able to read, and I picked a story that was too big for the time limit. Fortunately, I reached a section break in the tale just before the time limit expired. But still, I guess I have to count that as:

Homer Simpson Moments: 9

Most who know me already know that I almost never pay for hotel rooms because (a) I rarely find enough people I know who are going to the same place and thus share the bill with and (b) there’s no way in Hell I can possible afford the rates, especially after being unemployed for seven months straight. In places like MARcon, there’s always the good ‘ole all-night theater to go to. At Context, however, if you can’t find someone who’ll let you crash, then you’re stuck doing the catnap-while-avoiding-security-shuffle for the rest of the night if you have no way to get back home.

Usually, you can find someone who’ll let you crash, unfortunately (and I’ll go ahead and blame this on the rum) I forgot to ask anyone. However, I did learn a valuable lesson: toilet seats are not comfortable things to sleep on.

Homer Simpson Moments: 10 (and this was just the first day)

September 1, 2010 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Time at Marcon 45, Part Three of Three

Lucy told me today why she missed the Saturday 10am panel. She and Gary got caught in traffic. It happens.

Oh, and I found more zombie footage, too! 😀


Looks like the zombies managed to break out of the Hyatt and plague the city. Sorry, Columbus.

Okay, now onto


Despite the bizareness of Saturday, I somehow managed to get enough sleep to get rid of the migraine. Got up around 8am, cleaned up, and got dresses (dresses? Has to be a typo). Hung out at the consuite and outside until I had to moderate my first panel for the day at 10am, Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism–Fact Vs. Fiction with Elizabeth Gunther, Faith Van Horne, and Lexi Taylor. One couldn’t be there because she was sick, but three out of us four ain’t bad (Wasn’t there a song called that once? Or was that “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad?” Oh well). Me being the only Christian (even if my Christian views are on the pseudo-gnostic end)on the panel made things a bit interesting, but since I have Pagan and Wiccan family members, I basically knew what I was talking about; although, the other two obviously knew a lot more about it.

Then came the 11:30 panel, Creating Logical Societies, with James O. Barnes, Tammy Jo Eckhart, Ross Martinek, Joseph P. Martino, and D.A. Adams(of The Brotherhood of Dwarves fame). Adams didn’t show, though (Or at least I think he didn’t show. My memory’s a bit fuzzy). But, then again, the zombies snacked on a lot of people yesterday….

But anyhow, an interesting question was brought up: what’s the purpose of thieves’ guilds? And everyone had good points to make about that, especially James, who’s current novel happens to be Thief King. I also tried to emphasize the importance of understanding a society’s economics, even if most or all of that doesn’t end up in the story, itself. You’d be surprised how much economics can shape as society, especially with different monetary systems. And Ross also had great points regarding how geography can effect how a society ends up.

Actually, everybody rocked on that panel.

Since I had an hour-and-a-half before my next panel, I grabbed some grub (nice, squiggly ones, too) then went to the dealer tables. Between Stephen Zimmer’s autograph session yesterday and the dealer table (where I ran into Tammy again), I got to bring home some nice loot, including an autographed copy each of The Exodus Gate and Women of the Bite. I don’t recommend Women of the Bite to kids, though. For adults, however, it’s great.

At 2:30 I moderated Real Tyrants v. Fictional Tyrants with Ross Martinek and David Wyatt. It rocked, though it sometimes went off topic. My poor wee brain was too vegitated by this point to moderate effectively.

At 4pm I moderated my last panel for Marcon, The Musical Muse with Ross Martinek, Linda Robertson, Randy Auxier, and the lovely musical muse, herself, Catherine Asaro! I can’t recall if Linda showed (by this point I was so vegibrained it was a miracle my brain could even function, period. Doing 10 panels, a workshop, a reading, and a signing in three days can do that to you). But it was an awesome panel and more people showed up than we had expected. And I managed to plug Megadeth, among a few others.

MWAHAHAHA!!!! Me Evil Metalhead!!!!!!

June 3, 2010 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Time at Marcon 45, Part Two of Three

It took me five hours just to go through my e-mails because my computer decided to have a fit. Remind me to take the machine outside and shoot it later.

Where were we? Oh, right!

Saturday (May 29):

After only three hours of sleep in the all night movie theater, I got up and did my get-cleaned-up-in-the-bathroom-without-getting-caught routine, went outside for a cigarette, nabbed some food down in the cafeteria area (I learned later that the consuite was open. Sigh. Money down the drain), and wandered around aimlessly until 10am.

And here is here I have to pull out the paper thingy and booklet thingy to help refresh my shoddy memory. Does anyone know where I can get a brain transplant real cheap?

I didn’t have to do any panels at 10am (and if I had remembered that, I would’ve slept in a little). On listening to a panel, it was a toss-up between UFOs, The Latest News or Marketing Your Story. In other words, pleasure or business. Like usual, business won out and I went to the Marketing Your Story panel. Lucy Snyder was supposed to have been on it, but she didn’t show up (Was there a party last night that I didn’t know about? C’mon guys, you know how much I like parties!). But the other panelists were great, especially Laura Bickle. Remind me to buy one of her books when I finally have a dayjob again.

Oh yeah. Did I mention she’s CUTE?

At 11:30, I moderated the How to Write Horror panel with Tim Waggoner, Lucy Snyder, and Gary Braunbeck. And yes, I felt like a rank amateur compared to those three awesome wordsmiths, but I think I held my own pretty well, and also learned some great stuff to boot. And again, being the moderator was a piece of cake because they definitely knew how to do panels. Lucy Snyder’s Spellbent is another book on my Must Get list. And yes, Lucy’s cute, too. 😉

What is it about cute female writers that makes me want to buy their books? Oh well.

At 1pm, a sleep-deprivation-caused migraine kicked in, and I spent much of the time eating sugary stuff and consuming CAFFEINE!!!!!! at the Consuite before I had to start the straight 6-hour blitz I was scheduled for. I also decided to head up to the Regency Foyer to hang with Stephen Zimmer while he, Emilie Bush, and Laura Bickle did their Autograph Session.

Oh yeah. Did I mention she’s CUTE?

I’m suddenly experiencing an odd sense of deja vu….

Then, at 2:30, I moderated The Business of Writing with Wayne Spencer, Shaun Moore, Rosemary Laurey, Tim Waggoner, and Michael Z. Williamson. And of course, naturally, one of my questions was, “What can you write off on your taxes?”

And yes, I took notes. MWAHAHAHA!!! Take THAT, Infernal Revenue Servants!

At 4, I taught my workshop, Dialogue. Hmmm, I think I need to come up with a niftier title for the workshop. Two people signed up, but only one showed up. But that’s okay because the one who showed up enjoyed my workshop so much that she gave me a good review to the awesome folk running the convention. YIPEEEEE!!!!!!! 😀

At 5:30 I did an Autograph Session with Denise Verrico sitting to my right and James O. Barnes on my left. We got to chat a little in between them signing autographs, and Stephen Zimmer showed up and hung out with me while I waited for my two-and-a-half fans to arrive.

They didn’t. 😦

Well, not then….

Because the Zombie Walk came through! Curses! Foiled by the zombies again!

According to the surveillance videos, the zombie infection began at 2:30, and by 5:30 was just no longer containable.

Eh, at least I didn’t get trampled by them this year, so they can have all the brains they want. I don’t mind.

At 7, me and Chris Nickel ran the Paper v. Electronic Gaming panel. It rocked even though I did still have a migraine and was hopped up on enough caffeine to kill a horse (or maybe it rocked because I was?). And Stephen decided to hang out and find out what us gamers were all about.

At 8:30 I breathed a sigh of relief that I managed to survive the 6-hour blitz, sleep deprivation, migraine, caffeine & sugar overdose, and ZOMBIES!!!! and headed to the How to Make a Horror Movie panel. Stephen Zimmer totally rocked that panel.

At 10 I caught a bit of the Is BDSM Really Scary? panel while waiting for the Haunted House to open.

Stop thinking that. I’m perfectly normal, thank you very much. My psychiatrist tells me so every day.

Hey! So what if my psychiatrist is my evil twin and imaginary friend! He still does a good job, dangit, and better yet, I don’t have to pay him anything!

Okay, let’s talk about the haunted house then. Um, I suppose it would’ve been a better experience if I hadn’t entered through the exit and exited through the entrance….

Why are you looking at me like that?

After the Haunted House I went and caught the last bit of the Hot Anime Chicks panel.

Hmmm, BDSM, haunted houses, and hot anime chicks–I smell a story brewing.

See? There’s actually a method to my madness. :p

By 11:30 I was too worn out to keep going, so I made my way toward the all night movie theater. On the way I got stopped by Ericka (Yay! I’m getting a hang of the whole remembering names thingy!) who purchased a copy each of The Four Horsemen: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine, & Death and Chimeraworld #6 (New World Disorder) anthologies for me to sign. WOOHOO!!!HAPPYHAPPYJOYJOYHAPPYHAPPYJOY!!!! 😀

At the theater I caught the tale end of Twilight: New Moon (no pun entended) then became mentally assulted by Dark Side of the Moon.

I tell you truly, if I hadn’t been insane before, I certainly am now after watching that film.

I went over to the other theater, since I obviously wasn’t going to get any sleep in the first one, and what comes on? Ju-on, the original Japanese version of what became The Grudge in the U.S. The one film whose entire series of sound effects I have a pathological fear of.

I’ll leave you to guess how much sleep I got.

And on top of that, I woke up Sunday morning with the realization that I completely forgot about Catherine Asaro‘s 10pm concert!

Argh! Foiled again! Curse those zombies! Next year I’m bringing a broadsword and collecting me some zombie heads!

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Time at Marcon 45, Part One of Three

I’ve got my handy-dandy pocket program sheet thingy in front of me because, like always, I completely suck at remembering names. Overall, I had a blast, but doing the amount of panels I do takes a special kind of crazy, so I don’t recommend it–unless, of course, you’re crazy like me. 😉


My brain is still a bit zombiefied so bear with me.




I got there early, roughly around 2pm. Strange how two hours of wandering around aimlessly can fly by so fast….


At 4pm I was on my first panel for the day. Yep, already doing a panel, and the convention just started. Horror of the Mind’s Eye with C. Brown, S. Sandridge (Eh? Who’s that Sandridge guy? I don’t recall seeing anyone named–oh, wait. Nevermind), M. McKean, and…G. Braubeck? Shouldn’t that be Gary Braunbeck?


Agh! *wads up paper thingy and throws it away*


Okay. My first panel at the con, and the only one I didn’t have to moderate, and it rocked. One of the coolest things about being on a panel where you’re surrounded by seasoned pros is they know how to make even you look good. And on top of that (as I discovered later), moderating such panels gets to be pretty easy when the panelists on it know how to play off each other and thus make it run smoothly with little to no moderation (fortunately for mild-autistic little me).


Did my first in what would become a long list of run-to-consuite-forget-to-eat-run-to-bathroom-run-back-to-consuite-forget-to-eat-again-run-halfway-up-steps-then-back-down-to-consuite-and-finally-remember-to-eat routine in between panels. At 5:30 I listened in on the How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse panel because, well, incase we ever have one I want to know how to survive it. BTW, did you know that if the zombies aren’t being caused by a virus you can cook them for food? Mmmmmmm……zombieburgers…….yum………


And Michael Z. Williamson was nice enough to tell me the best strategic ways to place my stash of Bouncing Betties in the event of a zombie outbreak. Now all I have to do is remember where I stashed them.



Oh crud.


Um, let’s move on. 7pm, How to be Edited was my first of the remaining nine panels to moderate that weekend, with T. Lee Harris, Ross Martinek, Marian Allen, Tim Waggoner, and the wuvable Lucy Snyder. Yay! I CAN remember names sometimes! That panel went flawless because, y’know, I can moderate like that. 😉


Actually, all I had to do was yap once in a while and keep track of the time. That’s what’s cool about moderating a panel filled with seasoned pros. They don’t really have to be moderated all that much. Now, if everyone in the world could act like seasoned pros, Anarchy could actually work. Sigh.


At 8:30 I watched the play, Farce of the Living Dead, performed by The Confused Greenies. It was LOL hilarious!


At 10pm I shared a reading panel with the super-awesome auther/film maker, Stephen Zimmer (who’s currently beta-reading my latest novel manuscript. Squee!!!–and yes, I completely stole the Squee from Eugie Foster. Shhhh….don’t tell her, okay?). It appears that Stephen and I have something in common: we both have really really shy fans who never appear at readings. But, hey, Richard Hatch was doing an autograph session at the same time our panel was scheduled, so we forgive y’all.


So, after catching up and chatting with each other for half an hour, we both decided to close early and head to the Erotic Readings panel done by Tammy Jo Eckhart, William Levy, Lisa Kay Richards, David Wyatt–I think. *Scans through booklet thingy to cross-reference with now-unwadded paper program thingy* Yeah, that’s their names. Eckhart, I knew (I was able to remember another name! Yipeee!).


I had to go find some ice cubes after that panel. Don’t ask.


At 11:30 I went to my last panel for the night, The Best and Worst Villains, and discovered that I’m not the only person who thinks that Kefka from FF 6 rocks! And the one person in the room who agreed, she was CUTE!


Sigh. I’m always the bridesmaid but never the bride. *sniffle, sniffle*


Those Bouncing Betties have got to be somewhere. Maybe I stashed them next to my improvised Hello Kitty hand grenades. Eh, I’ll worry about it later.


The last panel for the night ended a 1am, so off to the all night movie theater I went. And what was on as I walked in?


Shaun of the Dead! WOOT!


So, like always, I didn’t get much sleep. Three hours at most.


Okaaaaay, what was that big boom sound outside?


Um, ah, looks like I now know where the Bouncing Betties went.



June 1, 2010 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

My Time at Context 22

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…but overall it was fun, fun, fun.

Day 1 – Fun in the Rain

2:30 P.M. – 4: P.M.: During my bus ride there, I get rained on…twice. Worse, all my pretty display books I had in my makeshift backpack ended up waterlogged. Fortunately, my books for the autograph signing were protected by the cardboard boxes I kept them in. While the boxes got a little wet around the edges, those books remained nice and dry.

7 P.M-11 P.M..: Opening ceremonies were cool. Clemmons is always a blast. Soon after eating some grub, I went immediately to my first of many panels for the weekend—Writing Fantasy, with Sandy Lender, Cinda Williams Chima, Tina Morgan, and Timothy Mulcahy. And yes, I’m using the booklet thingy to remember all the names again (for the most part). That panel went quite well, and yes, I brought along my Ancient Pagan Symbols by Elisabeth Goldsmith book (which didn’t get as wet as the others did) to make my usual points with, and pimped out The Silverblade Prophecy podcast novel.

After that, I went to listen to the Trusting Your Reader panel with Jason Sanford, Holly Sullivan McClure, Tina Morgan, Ty Schwamberger, and Michael D’Ambrosio. I’ve interviewed Ty before, but this is the first time we got to meet face-to-face. He’s even cooler a dude in person than he is online. I ran into Holly when I had first arrived, and we got to chat a bit before the convention started. We have three things in common: we’re both Christian, we both tend toward Gnosticism (just not the commonly known whacked out version of it), and we both know all about the NAU and Amero plans (Heh, and some people still say that’s “just a conspiracy theory”).

I also met Lucy Snyder before the convention and chatted a bit with Nick Winks and a couple other people.

Then I had my second panel for the night—What’s a Monster? with McClure, Lender, and um somebody with the last name of Arceneaux (the full name’s not in the booklet, and there’s a whole lotta’ Arceneaux’s on Google—ay, yi, yi, me and my poor little brain…). Naturally, during the panel, I gave out the definition of “Human” in Black’s Law Dictionary: “See ‘Monster’. Yeah, people got a kick out of it.

Then to the Apex Party….

I don’t remember a whole lot, but I do remember a couple things: I met a bunch of folk whose names completely escape me (you know who you are, so feel free to give a shout out in the comments section to help jog my shoddy memory) as well as hung out with Maurice Broaddus, Ty, and a few others. The party got broken up by security, so of course a few of us continued the party in other parts of the hotel. Ty’s girlfriend was nice enough to give me cigarettes.

And I don’t recall passing out three times. I only remember passing out once…and waking up on a floor in a hotel room with a hangover. Two guys who I also met at last year’s Context were nice enough to let me crash in their room. I’m trying to remember their names—WARNING, WARNING, BRAIN CELL OVERLOAD!!!—ugh, I hate my brain. Give a shout out, guys, you know who you are, and I do too…well, everything except the names. Man, I suck at names.

Day 2 – The Panel Marathon

A word to the wise: never ever do 6+ hours of back-to-back panels, readings, and autograph sessions with a hangover. It no feel good. Especially with eggs and bacon for breakfast.

I did my Best Books panel at 10 A.M. with Nick Winks, Mark Evans, and Dave Creek. I think I did well. I think…. After that was my reading. Alas, nobody showed. It might be a good thing, though, considering how reading with a hangover feels like.

Then came the two-hour autograph session. Alas, I didn’t sell one single book. However, later, Nick bought a copy off me and officially became my first autographee. And after he read my story, he started telling people how cool my story was. 🙂

Next came the 1 1/2 hour Education of a Writer panel. And no, I can’t remember who all I was with. There was, like, over twenty of us on it. Clemmons and the writer GOH’s were obviously there, as was Creek (I think), Lender, and Jackie Gamber. Way too many names for my poor wee brain to remember, even with a booklet thingy.

At 4 P.M. I went and got some grub at the Chinese restaurant across the street. Alas, poor airhead me was unable to find the Consuite with all the free grub until the third day. I then went and checked out the Editors, Publishers, and Agents… panel with Jason Sizemore, Lucy A. Snyder, Lawrence C. Connolly, Michael Knost, Dave Creek, and Mike Resnick. Resnick was his usual curmudgeony self, but dang, that guy knows his stuff!

At 5, I was on the Why Write About Freedom? panel with, Marian Allen, Sara Deuerell, Dennise Verrico, and Dan Gamber. Um, actually, Tobias Buckell was supposed to be on the panel, too, but he got sick and had to leave. The only name that’s familiar to me is Gamber, I thought the female was actually Lender, and there was this older guy (a Libertarian, like me) whose name currently escapes me. Overall, it was a cool panel, and I got to coin the phrase “Freedom is spelled G.U.N.S. Ampersand A.M.M.O”.

Sigh. Now, if only I could have that on a coin—preferably a gold or silver one.

Immediately after that panel, I managed to crawl over and participate on Putting the Science in Science Fiction with Santora, Catherine Asaro, Creek, D’Ambrosio, and Mulcahy. What with all those degrees around me and me being a high school dropout, I was bursting brain cells just to try not to sound stupid. I think I managed. Asaro, being both a hotty and a Quantum Physicist pretty much rocked that panel.

Of course, someone just had to ask us what education and degrees we had. Figures….

After that panel, I went and got some grub at the Mexican restaraunt. Oh boy, their hot sauce is HOT! Worse, it’s even hotter coming out than it was going in.

Ugh! Certain parts of my body still burn just from the memory.

Then I did my 8 PM panel, The Prose of Gaming, with James Daniel Ross. What with the combination of a hangover, queasy stomach, super-paneling brain drain, bursted brain cells, and hot sauce trauma, I was more than happy to let Ross do most of the talking to our one guest. Besides, he’s a good orator.

I skipped the 9 P.M. panels and went straight to the Meadowhawk Press and Shroud parties. And no, I did not get drunk this time! I ingeniously figured out the perfect caffeine-to-alchohol ratio in order to consume mass quantities of both caffeine and alchohol while remaining completely sober.

And, no, I did not fall on my arse trying to break dance; my Evil Twin tripped me.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Day 3 – A Sun, Sunny Day

I managed to wake up in time to do my 10 A. M. panel, Keeping The Faith, with Jason Sanford, Aceneaux, Creek, Asaro (a.k.a. Hottie Quantum Physicist), Wyatt, and S. A. Swann. I was definitely in my element on that panel and also flashed the handy-dandy Ancient Pagan Symbols book. What can I say? I love that book. It’s a major eye-opener when it comes to symbolic literacy.

Then I was on to Since When Can I Understand the Troll Speaking? with Stephen Zimmer and Sandy Lender. That panel was small enough to turn into a round-table discussion, and Linda Winks was there with one or two others. It’s also officially the first panel I ever moderated (Yay!). Naturally, since a troll appears in The Silverblade Prophecy, I got to plug the podcast novel yet again (Yippee!).

At Noon I got to listen in on Gender Issues in Writing and Publishing and did my last panel at 1 P.M.: Translations, with Maura Heaphy and Stephen Zimmer, which was all about translating books into movies, music into stories, etc. Eventually, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen popped up in the discussion which allowed me the opportunity to coin yet another new phrase: “Jesus Christ Has Chrome!!!”

Erm, in order to understand that, you’ll have to see the movie. I’ll give you three hints, though: Optimus Prime, the “Three Kings”, and a certain “star” in the east. 😉

Seriously, all that is in the movie.

Tended the closing ceremonies, got applauded for doing the most number of panels at this year’s Context, met new folks, made new friends (even if I can’t remember all their names), and ate out at a bar & grill with the fine folks at Meadowhawk Press and Shroud Publishing.

All-in-all, it was fun—despite the water-logged books.

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Context 22 Update

This is an update for my Context 22 Schedule:

Mass Autograph Session (Sat. 12-2 PM; Alder): I’ll have the books at the autograph table, so that no one will have to run to the dealer’s room and back. I figure it’ll work out better that way since I only have 5 trade paperbacks and 1 hardcover available.

Sat., 1PM: Panel – Translations (Oak 1/2). At first I thought some guy named Dandridge was on the panel, but then I realized my last name got misspelled. 0_o

Yes. I can be an airhead.

August 19, 2009 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Dragon*Con a No-Go :(

Due to learning yesterday that the house we’re renting is in foreclosure and is being auctioned by the state, without our landlord letting us know, I won’t be able to attend Dragon*Con. All the money I saved up will have to go into finding a new place to live. 😦

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , | Leave a comment