Things you can do what are good.

Airship Ambassador

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Ask most people about 2016 and, instead of giving you a nuanced selection of highlights and amusing anecdotes, they will be sick into a bucket. That is because, by pretty much anybody’s standards, 2016 has been, on the whole, horrible. If it wasn’t the Tories trying privatise air or bring back gollywogs, it was Donald Trump groping his way to the top, like an angry toddler in a wig.

Unless you are a paid up member of the KKK, mad person or recently fed dog, it’s very hard to justify 2016 as anything but an enormous and unexpected delivery of donkey poop arriving on your doorstep, first thing on Christmas morning.

Never fear gentle reader, for I have the solution- over the past 12 months I have been working on a cure for 2016. Steampunk medicine if you will, but without having to swallow any painful cogs along the way…

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Convention Wrapup

Posted: March 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

Home now in the cool dark and quiet. I love cons but they can be especially draining sometimes, lots of people, lots of interaction. It’s good but exhausting, and having a severe sinus flareup all weekend did not help.

Didn’t win the Darrell Award this time around but I’m still happy and honored to be a finalist, especially considering they get easily over a hundred nominations for short stories. And I was sitting at the table with the runner-up and the winner, and they were very cool people who were so excited to win. I was happy for them. Good times all around.

Didn’t sell a lot of books, which is a bit disappointing but I think mostly my fault. I need to work on my marketing and of course there is the fact that collections of stories and poems don’t exactly fly off the shelves. No worries though, I have some plans to get some into local stores and the hands of the people. More on that later.

To the people newly checking out this blog, HELLO THERE. Nice to meet you and I hope you are enjoying the stickers I handed out liberally at the thing. I’m working on the next project, a steampunk/fantasy series and website, most of which was supposed to be ready to show off at the convention but due to my own tardiness with everything, will have to wait about a week.

So please, check back soon! More cool stuff and things on the way, lots of fun times to be had, plenty of words to read. Enjoy!

~V

So, It looks like I will be in the Darrell Awards Panel at MidSouthCon around 3pm Saturday the 19th. And also at the Darrell Awards Banquet at 6pm that night, which will preclude my participation in the “Jocks, and Nerds, and Goths, Oh My!” panel, so some changes have been made to the thing.

The new thing now appears thusly:

MidSouthCon 34 Schedule

  • Friday 9:00 PM
    Humor, Gore, & So Much More
    Ridgelake

    Panelists will discuss writing horror novels; when it’s okay to add humor, how much gore is too much, and which is better gore or suspense?

  • Friday 10:00 PM
    Dystopias, Zombies, and Apocolypses
    Ridgelake

    Panelists will discuss this new trend in story telling and what type they think rules over the others.

  • Saturday 11:00 am
    Pro Row

    I’m selling books and stickers and fun and OMG I may have to lie down because of the hangover I’m sure to have from Friday night.

  • Saturday 3:00 pm
    Darrell Awards Panel
    Ballrooms D&E

    “It’s just a chance for the readers to get to know some of “our” authors and for you to get to know some of your readers or potential readers.” Also probably high shenanigans.

  • Saturday 6:00 pm
    Darrell Awards Banquet

    Presentation of the Darrell Awards. Awkward eating of food in front of strangers. That sort of thing.

  • Sunday 11:00 AM
    Writing Real Events
    Ridgelake

    Panelists will discuss how to write real events in a story, whether non-fiction or retelling it to make it a part of the story. Real events, like hangovers, you know.

That’s all for now, I’ll let you know if anything changes.

~V

Brain Not Brain

Posted: March 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

Me: Hey I’m awake at o’dark-thirty in the morning, feeling good, I should write.
Brain: NOPE
Me: Uh, what?
Brain: WANNA LISTEN TO MUSIC AND SURF THE WEB FOR CAT PICS AND STEAMPUNK GOGGLES.
Me: Dammit…

And so here we are, however, I now have some pretty badass steampunk glasses on the way, and I found this desktop background which may be the greatest ever, so I guess we’ll call it a win-win. Sometimes you gotta work with your problems, not against…

 

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MidSouthCon34 Schedule

Posted: March 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

Let there be panels!

This is the current panel schedule for my Con experience, which may or may not change before the actual convention. YMMV. Those 11am joints are gonna be hell on my hangover, but worth it. They’re all in the same room at least, so I will be able to find them on time, probably.

The Pro Row event will have me riding a table somewhere downstairs with books and merchandise and snarky anecdotes. Come buy my crap! I need money to pay for booze and all the weird stuff I’ll probably buy from the dealer room. I’ll even sign stuff for free. I’ll sign my books, other people’s books, whatever you got. I’LL SIGN YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE.

The rest of the time you will find me roaming the halls of the Con in various states of sobriety and inebriation. Looking forward to this one, it’s gonna be a good time.

There will be some other events here and there, at least one kick-ass room party, and I think I know the band. More information on cool stuff to come as I get it.

Thanks!

~V

MidSouthCon 34 Schedule

  • Friday 9:00 PM
    Humor, Gore, & So Much More
    Ridgelake 

    Panelists will discuss writing horror novels; when it’s okay to add humor, how much gore is too much, and which is better gore or suspense? 

  • Friday 10:00 PM
    Dystopias, Zombies, and Apocolypses
    Ridgelake 

    Panelists will discuss this new trend in story telling and what type they think rules over the others. 

  • Saturday 11:00 am
    Pro Row
    Rook’s Corner 
  • Saturday 6:00 pm
    Jocks, and Nerds, and Goths, Oh My!
    Ridgelake

    Panelists will discuss stereotypes and when is it okay or not to use them.

  • Sunday 11:00 AM
    Writing Real Events
    Ridgelake

    Panelists will discuss how to write real events in a story, whether non-fiction or retelling it to make it a part of the story

 

I am filled with enjoyment this morning.

My short story, Zedhead, from “Alien Hookers and Other Strange Words” has been announced as a Finalist for a Darrell Award at this year’s MidSouthCon. This is the third time I’ve been a Finalist for a Darrell Award and it is still a huge thrill to make the cut. I will be doing various panels at the Con (more on that in a separate post) and attending the Awards Banquet on Saturday to find out which of the four short story finalists has won. I wish everybody the best of luck, and am truly honored to be here.

The Darrell Awards were begun in 1995 to support and recognize Midsouth sci-fi, fantasy, and horror literature. I cannot say enough good things about these folks. I  have been fortunate to win two awards for short stories previously and it is an enormous help to my motivation. Artists need encouragement!

I am also glad that Zedhead was the story chosen to be a finalist. A kind of dark and serious look at PTSD through the lens of a zombie apocalypse survivor, it is a story that really resonated with me and was particularly difficult to create. I kept working on it and getting overwhelmed and coming back to it and re-writing it and editing and I think it took around a year to get the whole thing finished. As someone who has issues very similar to the main character, I wanted to portray the struggle as best I could and at the end I think I got it about right.

The fact that several people who have read it really picked up on that, and that the Darrell Awards has recognized it, makes all that work worthwhile.

Thank you.

More info to come!

~V

Source: 2016 Darrell Awards Finalists — And Two Winners – Announced

Bookly/Writerly Update

Posted: February 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

I am really, really, happy with the new art for both books. I think the new covers really snap attention, and with the editing pass and better format for ZS I am calling both books actually finally done. Will be ordering a lot of copies to take to MidSouthCon next month and for possible distribution in local bookstores after that. I’ve decided there will definitely be a third book in the “Other Words” series, but before I do that I gotta do this other thing.

I’ve been working on a steampunk/fantasy thing for a while now, based on the “Heroes and Airships” short story from ZS (also Dreams of Steam II Brass and Bolts​, which I recommend) and am now fully involved in the process of taking that from a story to a three book crazy idea. The plan is to get a website up and running that will allow me to regularly update people on the process as I write the first novel, and also to familiarize people with the world and genre, and also hopefully to get ’em hooked into the idea and hot for the book before it’s released.

This is going to be probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, creatively speaking, in my life. I write in fits and starts, riding the waves of inspiration and then crashing into the rocks of depression and other terrible analogies. I have to learn to overcome this to generate the kind of output that can reasonably publish books in a timely fashion, and that’s going to be really hard because my brain don’t work like that right now. It’s going to take training and motivation and possibly hard drugs. We shall see.

I will be working with my very talented niece Aney Carver​ and her web design company to get the website up and running properly. There will even be a Patreon set up, in case foolish suck- uh, I mean kind and generous people want to give me money. Worth a shot.

A lot going on, plus this year I’m trying to make myself enter at least one writer contest or publishing contest of some kind each month, which is weird and scary because both success and rejection are hard on my brain. But I’ve done one so far, and I’m entering some poetry in another today, and I have a helmet, so that will help.

And I would like to say to everyone who has bought a book or read a story or just dropped a word of encouragement from time to time, I really appreciate you people and I’m glad you enjoy the words.

Thank you.

(puts on helmet)

I CAN DO IT!