Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And They Solve Crime!

One of the problems coming up with blog topics, is that writers, contrary to public image in the media (I'm looking at you, Richard Castle.) Our day-to-day lives aren't really that exciting. I mean, they are, in the sense that we have a really cool job making stuff up, controlling our little fictional universes, like demigods. But with the exception of certain crime fighting crime novelists, it just doesn't make good television, watching someone sit on their butt staring at a computer 8 to 10 (to 12 to 18) hours a day.
Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
(So today I could change it up and tell you about the last three days I spent lying on the bathroom floor, in between calls to Ralph on the porcelain phone. It would be TMI, but at least it would be dramatic.)

But if you're reading this blog, chances are you're a reader, so you know that living in your head really IS exciting, in a way that TV can never fully catch. Not until they invent five sense surround sound-smell-taste-touch-ovision. And as much as I love movies, and you know I love movies, there's nothing like vicariously living in adventure in the pages of the book. It's probably as close to Avatar as I'll ever get. (As hard as it is to reconcile that I'll never get to ride a pterodactyl.)

For me the writing experience is very much like creating that surround-o-vision movie in my head. The challenges come from keeping it exciting for you and putting all those senses, the full 5D role-playing experience, into words that will transmit it into your head like an avatar interface. Put in those terms, that's a pretty damn exciting job.

Even if I'm not solving crimes on the side.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guinea Pigs and Bad Dogs

I am practicing using my Dragon speaking program for my blog posts. Just being upfront about that in case it says anything weird. For examples, see this post here. I've also noticed he doesn't like it when I yell at my dogs. If you ever see a blog post with the weird interjection, like, "Penny, stop that!" Or "Penny, where did you get that?" Or, just a general, "what the hell is going on here?!?" You'll know why.

Anyway, my first attempt, is over here: at my Genreality post for Friday.

You'll also find my guest post on the fictionista's blog (yeah, I figured that word would give it trouble. Since I use so many made-up words, let's hope this thing has a steep learning curve.) Anyway I'm talking about the joys of being a nerd, so go check it out and confess your secret dorkitude.

Most important, if you live in the North Texas area, you'll want to come and say hi at the Denton Barnes & Noble this Saturday (February 20th) from two to 4 PM. I will be signing books with four other North Texas authors. The details are here, and I hope to see you there.

That's it for me today. More news and blathering (it recognized blathering! It's already getting to know me.) on Monday. Catch you then, peeps!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Day!

Hey. I posted my weird ideas of what's romantic over on the Genreality blog. Go over there and tell me the most oddly romantic scene you've read, watched, or written. (Some of you have heard my theory of why that scene in Aliens is the basis for my romantic ideal. And no, not the "get away from her, you bitch" scene. I'm not THAT screwed up.)

In real craziness, in addition to the family drama, and personal health drama that i'll tell you about if it turns out to be anything but I'm still hoping it won't, we've had record breaking snow in North Texas.  Like almost a foot of snow. I know that's not much for some of you, but considering that one inch is cause for a major freakout here, 11.4 is crazy. 

Now, at the risk of sounding really provincial, I've only seen this much snow once in my life--when I went on a high school ski trip. The thing is, no one here is really prepared to deal with this. We don't own snow boots or snow shovels. (Though I do own galoshes, which keep my feet dry, if not warm.) Or snow tires. We have salt trucks for icy roads, but those just go on the highway. Few people here know how to drive in the stuff. It's nuts. But also beautiful and sort of fun.

Here's just a few of the pictures I took. 
Snow Day
The backyard this morning.

Penny in the snow yesterday afternoon. It wasn't nearly as deep as it is now.

This is the spot I cleared to give the dogs a place to do their business. Penny was the only one remotely curious about the snow (and so the only one I've got pictures of), but even she was daunted this morning.

I hope you're all keeping warm, wherever you are. It's a great day to curl up with a good book. Just saying! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

The last one on the clue bus (as usual)

So, AggieCon was a lot of fun. Totally different crowd from some of the other Texas cons, but it was fun meeting new people. Came home kind of wiped out, dealt with family stuff, then crashed. Had more weird dreams. These, however, were less terrifying by the ones inspired by the FenCon people introducing me to literal videos. Specifically the one below, which I'm posting because you just have to see it to believe.

I mean, seriously. It's like some kind of like some kind of Harry Potter cracktastic slash fic come to life.

Thanks to Tim Miller I had nightmares of being chased by glowing eyed zombie vampires. (Yes, I know that's redundant on the undead front, but the secondary characters in my dream were very specific. "Run! Zombie Vampires!"  Which will teach me to stop for directions in the middle of the night on a Texas State Highway.)

I'm I the last one to know about these literal videos?  The one to Meatloaf's I Would Do Anything For You (but I won't do that) nearly killed me. Kool-Aid man for the win. The most awesome thing, though, is really how completely trippy these videos were from the beginning.

Anyway, if you want to waste the better part of a day, google "literal videos." Just don't do it when you have somewhere to be.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekend Update

Hey writer types. Today is Friday, so check out my Genreality post today, which concerns the deceptively simple question: "What do you write?"

Here's the update on my grandmother. After the car accident she was in 3 weeks ago, she kept getting worse, not better, and every time they sent her home from the hospital, we'd end up back in the ER a day or two later.  Eventually they figured out she had congestive heart failure. Now, on ER and Gray's Anatomy, this would mean she had only until the end of the episode to live, but actually you can get along okay for awhile. Sometimes a good long while, comparatively speaking.  So she's been at a rehab hospital building up her strength, and she'll coming home today. Which will make her SO happy.  What can I say. The women in my family are set in their ways, like their own STUFF and not to be on anyone elses schedule. But we do what we have to do.

Speaking of schedules. Mine is heating up again.  I'm off to Aggie Con in College Station, TX this weekend. (My schedule is below so you'll know where to find me.)  And on February 18th, I'm doing a LIVE WEB CHAT on Fiercebook.  Details on that to come.  And a booksigning in Denton, TX on February 20th.

Here's my AggieCon schedule.

5 PM  Paper or Plastic. The Great E-Reader Debate.

7 PM "Out of Context" - Audience participation is a must as our guests make up science fiction/fantasy definitions for obscure words and abbreviations. (Think Balderdash with a spec fic twist!) (I don't know why I get picked for these things. You'd think I was a good bull***t artist or something. ahem.

11 AM "Sorcerers in the Sewers, Dragons in the Penthouse"  Urban Fantasy Panel

12 PM "Writing Workshop Part I, Criticism 101" - Bring the first few pages of your manuscripts to get feedback by professional writers.

3 PM  "Sci-Fi Stitch and Bitch"  Bring your knitting, sit around and talk. What could be more fun.

4 PM  Fashion Show!  Everyone shows of their fancy SFF duds, and I'm the MC so please come and pretend I'm entertaining.

8 PM "Do Kids Still Get Goosebumps?" - YA and kidlit panel.

9 PM "Geek Chic TV" - Is nerd back in? (Answer: When did it go out?)

11 AM "A Warlock, a Demon and a Monk Walk Into a Bar" - What's so funny about sci fi and fantasy?

12 PM "Colonel Mustard In the Drawing Room with the Wrench…"  Fantasy and Mystery crossovers.