Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

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

Writerly Update 3/2/10

The first draft of the novel is finally finished!

I thought that blasted thing was never going to get done.

Also, if you’re attending MARcon this May 28-30 at Columbus, Ohio, then don’t forget to sign up for some workshops–specifically a workshop on dialogue that is being taught by Yours Truly. 😉

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Time at MARcon 44

Here’s a quick run-down of my 2009 MARcon experience:


Got my badge and went to the consuite for some grubb. Talked to a couple fellow convention-goers while Samuel T. Clemmons had a Mark Twain tea party thingy. I was too deep in conversation to catch the whole thing, but that’s okay. I found it on YouTube when I got home:

At the Dealer Room, I ran into T. R. Chowdhury, who I met once before at Context 21. Since I owed her a book purchase, I bought hers and T. M. Crim’s book, Shadow Over Shandahar: Child of Prophecy. As of this date, I’m currently on Chapter 4. Pretty good so far. The writing style reminds me of Ed Greenwood a bit.

I checked out the Twilight panel before going to the panel I was on with Brian Mosteller, Rebecca Kernaghan, and David Pitstick: “As a Gamemaster, What is Your Goal?” Prior to the panel I had a conversation with a Klingon about the new Star Trek film.

People got a laugh at my idea of using a half-orc named Bubba as a cell mate to make sure a player “gets the hint” on why his character should stop causing needless trouble.

Afterwards I went and ate Sushi at the Consuite and ran into a couple people I had met two years ago at MARcon 42. Then I went to the “Con Sociology 101” panel. Alas, I had a hard time listening due to the heavenly sight of a hot babe with some really sexy boots on – and a really, really big gun….

Then I went to the restroom, splashed some cold water on my face, and went outside for a cigarette. On my way down the hall, I encountered hotty with big gun again. Back to the restroom for more cold water.

What can I say? I love guns.

Visited the Vampires in Literature panel, mostly because I knew there’d be a few hotties dressed like vamps there. Oddly, there were only two. I decided I’ve seen enough horror panels for one night, so instead of visiting the Scared Hot panel, I had a one-on-one discussion on religion and ancient societies with a guy whose name I can’t remember. Eh, I can barely remember my own name half the time.

Smoked a couple more cigs then crashed out at the all-night movie theater. Unfortunately, I got so enamoured in the movies that I only got about 45 minutes of sleep in. Somehow I even skipped the Catacombs/Guilty Pleasures and Play Party going on across the hall from the movie rooms.

Dang, I’m such a geek….


Ate some breakfast then went to my 10 AM reading at Suite 501. Discovered it was locked. Went back downstairs to let the staff know. Ran into Nick in the elevator on my way back up, who gave me the key. Alas, only one person showed (I think his name was Steve. I met him once before at MARcon 42, so you’d think I’d have his name memorized by now. Remind me to have everyone write down their names from now on. I sooo suck at remembering names), so I just let him skim through some of my published work, and we talked about writing and publishing for about 10 minutes. Once we realized no one else was showing up, we went back downstairs. As I handed Nick back the key, he introduced me to a guy from OSU who was conducting interviews for a local radio show that’ll be hosted by NPR. I’ll let you know the date and whatnot of when it’ll air when I find out. I know it’ll be sometime this fall.

Oh yeah, prior to heading to my 10 AM reading, I went outside for a cig and had a nice conversation with a hottie dressed as a Twi’lek slave dancer. The costume was 98% body paint. Yep. Cold water time….

Now you know why I stay single. 😉

At 11:30 I visited the “Writing and the Rest of Life” panel being done by Ross Martinek, Tracy (T. R.) Chowdhury, Charles Coleman Finlay, and Faith B. Van Horne. Learned some interesting tips.

At 1 PM, I was on the “I Have No Idea Why I’m On This Panel” panel with Evan Mill Seigling, Finlay, and Michael Z. Williamson. The goal was to figure out what three things we each had in common based on the questions being asked us. Eh, getting two out of three ain’t bad….

Immediately after that panel was my 2:30 panel, “How do You Write The Other,” with Tim Waggoner, Martinek, Andrew S. Swann, the Author guest of Honor: Simon R. Green (who I’ve dubbed “The Brit”), and Williamson. That was the best panel on that day. The Brit has a sense of humor par excellance. He can literally say something that you know will offend half the people listening, but say it in a way that’ll have you laughing too hard to even realize that you’re supposed to be offended.

Sigh. If only I could be so wittily skillfull.

Williamson, btw, is just as witty and funny in his own way. Playing off those two was what helped make me look good. 😉

(Note: the reason I know all these names is because I have this handy-dandy little booklet in my hand to refresh my memory with)

Hanged out at the consuite, went to eat some grubb elsewhere (and get loaded up on CAFFEINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), took another smoke break, then visited the “Diseases For Your Characters” panel.

One word: MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

Me so evil… 😉

Missed the Tracy Chowdhury reading at 7 (Dangit!) but caught the “Practical Technology” panel halfway through. Why? I got sidetracked….

Don’t ask. My memory’s a bit hazy anyhow. Only 45 minutes of sleep, remember?

“Open Short Story Readings” at 8:30. Martinek was the moderator. Only two people showed up with stories to read. After the one guy nearly killed us over with what amounted to just a set of comedic punchlines….

Hey. At least after him, my stuff came off sounding like a pro’s. 😉

Ate some Deli at the Consuite, and loaded up on more CAFFEINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pumped myself up with more Nicotene and went to the 10 PM “Buffy!” panel, then did the “War Stories From The Gaming Table” with Kernaghan, Alex Rodriguez, and Chowdhury at 11:30. Whether it was because of the Masquerade party or the all day/all night gaming sessions (or both), nobody but the panelists showed up. So, we all went over to where Clemmons, Martinek, and Lisa Richards were doing “Open Adult Readings”.

Guess who else showed up? Yeah, that guy with the killer stories. *shudders*

Eh, at least they were funny….

Suffice it to say, having done all that on only 45 minutes of sleep, not even the movies were enough to keep me awake.


Got up around 6:45 AM, got cleaned up and dressed in the restroom, ate breakfast and loaded up on more C & N. Caught the “Super Robots In Anime” panel because nothing’s cooler than giant robots and hotties dressed up as Anime characters….

Yeesh! Maybe I should, like, just give up on the whole being single thing….

It’s warping my fragile little mind.

Checked out the 11:30 AM panel, “In Space, Who Can Hear You Pray?” There’s something about watching an atheist and a religious person have an argument that kinda gives that same “watching a train-wreck” feel you get when watching an argument on economics between a Keynesian and a Hard Money Austrian. It just leaves you going, “Whoa….that was like, so cool…look at all that blood….”

Then I attended my 1 PM panel, “I’ll Rip Out Your Eyestalks And Stomp On Them,” with Williamson, Martinek, and Green. So yeah, you can probably already imagine how fun that panel was. After a half-hearted attempt to keep it intellectual, we basically devolved down to having the attendees make up some nasty sc-fi critters and have us figure out ways to kill ’em dead.

Only The Brit would instead try to figure out how to have sex with the big nasties. So yeah, The Brit had us laughing our butts off the whole time.

Have I mentioned that this panel was the one con-goers claimed was the best panel of the whole convention?

After that, my last panel to visit before heading home was the 2:30 PM “Programming Brainstorming” for next year’s MARcon.

Erm, I think I got volunteered to help plan the next MARcon.

I never have learned to keep my big mouth shut….

Hey. At least, what with a Horror theme and all, MARcon 45 is GUARANTEED to be awesome! 🙂

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MARcon Tomorrow, Plus….

Yep. Tomorrow I head to MARcon. Good thing it’s bacically right down the street from where I live (give or take a couple miles), since I might have to do the bus home – take shower – bus back shuffle while catching catnaps at the all-night movie room. There might be an all-night gaming room there too, and I haven’t gamed in, like, almost a year, so – eh, who needs sleep?

Also, to keep you all occupied while I’m incognito, Flash Fiction Chronicles will be posting an interview tomorrow. Can you already guess who it’ll be featuring? 😉

That’s all for now. Time to head to the dayjob.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Fear and Trembling | , , , , | Leave a comment

Writerly Update 5-12-09

The A Work In Progress podcast will be out late. I’m busy trying to cut the final episodes for The Silverblade Prophecy before MARcon. Once I have the final episodes cut, I can relax and chill before going into agent search mode (as well as working on Book II).

Two more subs have been sent. A 3rd story is in the second rounds, plus received an 11-day rejection and a 32-day rejection. I’m also getting interviewed again (WooHoo!).

And speaking of MARCon, here’s the full, complete schedule of where I’ll be at and when:


4PM – 6:59PM: Wandering around aimlessly

7:00PM-8:29PM: Panel (As a Gamemaster, What is Your Goal?) at Franklin A.

8:30PM-11:30PM: Wandering around aimlessly (perhaps doing Karaoke at the Con suite aroind 10:00? Eh, we’ll see).

11:31PM-approx. 2:00AM: Partying (maybe, preferably, but who knows? I might have to head home early before coming back in the morning)


10:00AM-11:29AM Short Story Reading in Suite 501 (possibly while hung over – unless I succeeded at the Zen of Moderation last night)

11:30AM-12:59PM: Wandering around aimlessly (while avoiding attacks from orcs, zombies, stormtroopers…maybe they don’t like my jokes?), and perhaps taking a nap somewhere in a corner.

1:00PM-2:29PM: Panel (I Have No Idea Why I’m on This Panel) – Union C

2:30PM-3:59PM: Panel (How do You Write THE OTHER) – Franklin A

4:00PM-11:29PM: Wandering around aimlessly (“rglbrgllll……brrrraaaiiinnnnssssss……”); eh, or maybe I’ll go chuck some dice for a while. 😉

11:30PM-?: Panel (War Stories from the Gaming Table) – Champaign


10:00AM-12:59PM: Either wandering around aimlessly or sleeping in.

1:00PM-2:29PM: Panel (I’ll Pull Out Your Eyestalks and Stomp on Them) – Franklin BC

2:30PM-5:30PM: Wandering around aimlessly.

;)See ya’ there.

May 12, 2009 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

MARcon is a Go

Yeppers. I’ll be at MARcon here in Columbus, May 22-24. So far, I’ll be on 4 panels:

Friday (22)
7 PM: As a Gamemaster, What is Your Goal?

Saturday (23)
1 PM: I Have No Idea Why I’m On This Panel (this one promises to be a fun one)

2:30 PM: How do you write THE OTHER

Sunday (24)
1 PM: I’ll Pull Out Your Eyestalks And Stomp On Them

April 5, 2009 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment