That Virtual Con

A week or so ago, I mentioned I was participating in a virtual con.

Pros and cons? Mostly cons, but I think it might just be this particular con. If I’m not mistaken, this was the first con the sponsor has run, so of course, there are going to be glitches. One of those glitches–and a very annoying one–was that vendors weren’t on the list to access the site early so we could set up our booth. Our group leader somehow managed to get in because she set everything up by the time the convention started. Although we had a zoom tour of the con like a week or so before, the set-up wasn’t exactly user-friendly. I was mostly confused. But it worked in the end, and we were all in our places with bright, shiny faces on Day One.

The con’s big rule was this is a safe place, and no harassing or trash talking–people, groups of people–whatever. Anybody reported doing these things was going to kicked out of the con, no ifs ands or buts. Okay, fine.

We didn’t have a Day Two. The con was held on a platform (can’t remember the name) that when I signed in, insisted I have my webcam and mic on. Okay, fine. I’m not sure how this worked, but we found out that attendees didn’t have to have their cams and mics on, and if they didn’t, they were invisible. Completely invisible. So a few of us were in the booth,… Continue reading

Shit Never Ends

Sorry I can’t be cheery today.

Like I was yesterday.

Grr.

Fuck.

Grr.

Fuck.

Reality sucks.

Ciao.

The Weight Of The World

Atlas.

That’s who I’m feeling like right now. The only time he got a break was when Hercules offered to take his place so Atlas could go see his daughters. Ol’ Herc was a great guy.

I don’t have daughters.

It’s good and bad. The good part is I can now honestly say The Moreva of Astoreth has been critically acclaimed. Six out of 7 critical reviews, all stellar. I’ve entered it into can’t remember how many contests in the past month. Doesn’t matter. I’m not keeping track of anything. If I win something, they’ll let me know. Audio book still underway. I’ll be getting a solid chunk of change in the next month or so stemming from the bankruptcy–a company I had an outstanding loan with continued to debit my bank account after the petition was filed last April. All that money, almost a year’s worth, is coming back to me. What it means is that I’ll be able to afford the audio book’s sticker price as well as get some damned much needed stuff fixed around my house. Like the plumbing. Especially the plumbing.

Now the hard stuff. Ageing parents. Being locked out of family communications. The latest is that I learned my mother has mild dementia through an offhand comment my father made about the lawyer who’s setting up the trust. I knew there was an issue–nobody goes to see a neurologist for fun. But that was over a year ago, and when I asked about it,… Continue reading

Rewarding

The Moreva of Astoreth has won a book award.

Love it when that happens. Because it means I don’t suck.

I’m entering it in every contest I can–at least the ones that aren’t a scam. You’d be amazed how many there are. Maybe you wouldn’t. No matter what’s going on, there’s always going to be someone who’s going to try and get over, to part you from your wallet. I’ve learned a lot about that on this author’s journey. More than I ever cared to know.

So I’m trying something new. A virtual con dealer’s table. I’ll be selling beside 3 or 4 other authors, sharing a booth. I don’t have enough inventory to justify a booth of my own, so we do it as a group and split the cost. Since the lockdowns began, I’ve gotten fairly good at the tech stuff. Well, sorta fairly good. Good enough, is probably a better way to put it.

I miss in-person cons. Yeah, I know–I’m not a people person. But there’s something about being at a con… I don’t do people because in a crowd, I can feel my energy being sucked out. I get home, and I’m just so tired. Yet cons are the opposite. Maybe it’s because you’re with thousands of like-minded people who, like you, are weird and excited to be there. It just kind of buoys you along. Something else I’ve noticed over the years, too. I’m not depressed at cons. It’s like all that good energy… Continue reading

They’re Comin’

The reader reviews are coming in for The Moreva of Astoreth.

Of course, there aren’t many. Too soon–after all, the book was released on the 5th. And most of my ARC readers didn’t come through. I’d asked that they post on release day. Maybe they’ll come later. Now, though, I understand why it’s said that ideally, your team of ARC reviewers should be at least 30. And the more, the merrier. In my case, out of 15 ARCers, only 4 have posted as of today.

Overall, the reviews are good so far–the holy grail of 5 stars dominate. A couple of 4s. With my books, the 4s usually end up dominating. Not that a 4 star rating is a bad thing. It’s that if a reader actually leaves a real review–other than “I liked it,” or “I didn’t like it,”–the first sentence is usually “I didn’t like the Moreva at first, but later I was rooting for her,” or something similar. When I see those, I can’t help but smile. I think, “you weren’t supposed to like her.” At the story’s start, Moreva Tehi is a small-minded, bigoted bitch. As it progresses, she dramatically transforms into a completely different person. If I’d drawn her as a sweetheart at the beginning, there’d be no story. Or, if I’d made it into a story anyway, there would have been no impact. It would have been just a nice little romance. Like a Hallmark christmas movie.

I think I get the wide… Continue reading

CHECK IT OUT!!!

As part of my marketing efforts, I had this video of my books created. More books will be added as they are published.

I’m deliriously happy with it.

Now, if only the conventions would start again…

Ciao.

And I love the music.

Going For The Gold

The pre-publication reviews are coming in for The Moreva of Astoreth.

One editorial reviewer wrote, “Bland may very well be the Alice Walker of science fiction.”

Other reviews so far have been just as praiseworthy.

Fuck it. I’m going for the Nebula in 2022. The Nebula Awards are sponsored by the Science Fiction Writers of America. This is no pissant group–you can’t be a member unless you’ve sold a minimum of $5K worth of books. That’s a hella lot of books. Nebulas and Hugos (sponsored by another organization) are THE top awards for speculative fiction. Like winning an Oscar. So you know competition is fierce.

I’m going for the 2022 Hugo, too. With enough support, an author can win both for a single work.

If I win one or the other or both, my black ass will be on the freakin’ MAP. Authors who’ve won in the past have seen their book sales skyrocket internationally, and Hollywood, Netflix, HBO and others have come a-knockin’.

Got a lot of work ahead of me, getting the book in front of the right people.

I’m pumped.

Ciao.

Christmas Horror

It’s become a thing again, you know.

The British Victorians were big on it. Christmas was for ghost stories. Gather ’round the roaring fire, gas lamps on low–okay, maybe the lamps off for effect. Drawing room drenched in gloom, shadows thrown by the fire, wind moaning through the eaves, mice scurrying in the walls…

I suppose the only Victorian story that has really survived into modern times is Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Now we have Krampus. An obscure, Alpine creation–Victorian era, maybe–that has hit the big time. Sweeping bad children into his sack and then flying off to hell. Their parents probably didn’t miss them. One version has it that Krampus and Santa travel together. Santa brings the presents, Krampus the coal.

Pretty sure I’d have been swept into the sack.

The Moreva of Astoreth drops in less than 2 weeks. Twelve days, to be exact. Files uploaded to the sales platforms, copies out to ARC readers, now uploading to review sites.

It was a trip through hell to get to this point, though. In the middle of editing the galleys, my computer decides to head off to tech heaven. Rush to buy a new one (there went my December ad budget), get it set up. Up and running now, I go into the directory to find the latest TMOA files didn’t transfer. No .docx, no .pdfs, no .jpgs, no .mp4s, no nothing. Go into Dropbox, discover I hadn’t backed up in quite a while. Shit. Go into OneDrive.… Continue reading

The Show Is Over. Loser!!

The Loser.

You know your shit was bad when people around the world are dancing in the streets because you lost the election. The entire world–glad to see his ass gone.

This has been the craziest post-election bullshit I’ve ever seen. Then again, until now, there’s never been this kind of post-election bullshit. Par for the course for an overgrown toddler who’s got delusions of grandeur. Gonna run in 2024. Uh-huh. He’ll be as old as Biden is now. And Biden’s in much better shape. At least we’ll have a real government again. Speaking of government, my bet is that Harris is going to be the driving force, and Biden will do the politics. He’s very good at that–he knows how to play the game. He didn’t spend what, 35 years or whatever in the Senate for nothing. And don’t forget–he’s has the Obama aura. Biden might not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s smart enough to surround himself with very smart people. He won’t be led by the nose, but he’ll listen. And that’s what we need.

So now the “healing” begins, Biden says. We must forgive and move on. Ha! In a pig’s eye. Fuck that noise. Why the hell would I even THINK about forgiving these fools when they’re still spitting in my face and slinging death threats? Extend the olive branch. Riiight. These motherfuckers will just snatch it and rip it to shreds. They’re not interested in peace. They’re interested in remaking… Continue reading

Up, Down, And Spun Around

Feels like it, anyway.

So here we are, a few days away from the final two months of 2020. January 1 of this year feels like a lifetime ago. January 1, 2021 feels like a hundred years from now.

Keep on truckin’. Showing my age, there.

Nervous about the election? Me too. For the first time, I didn’t go to my polling place. I voted early. And dropped my vote into the ballot box. No shade on the Postal Service, but what with that asshole jacking around with mail boxes and such, I wasn’t taking any chances. I haven’t heard about any shenanigans around my way. Just because I haven’t heard doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, though. That Barrett woman has been confirmed to the Supreme Court. Like there was any doubt. It’s the height of hypocrisy. Four years ago, it’s “oh, we can’t confirm a new Justice before the election!” This time, it’s “we gotta get somebody in stat!” Last night, I dreamt Court was in session, and that woman was trying to explain something or other. Justice O’Connor was still on the bench, and rolling her eyes like Judge Judy. I was sitting behind the bar with my housemate. I leaned over and whispered, “the one time in my life I wish Scalia was here. He’d shut that bitch down in a New York second.” I still don’t understand what the hell is the matter with the Trumpers. They call the rest of us “sheeple.” They think themselves… Continue reading