Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Still I Will Thank You - A Thanksgiving Prayer

Dear God:

Well, you've really let us go through the ringer this past year.  It's been one nightmare after another of painful experiences, and, well, with Thanksgiving here, I have to be honest, I'm struggling to think what to be thankful for.

A year ago, my life was torn apart when my wife got sick, had to be hospitalized twice against her will, and our finances were destroyed by medical bills.  Our marriage almost bought it, too, God, but here we are, somehow hanging on.  Our marriage is better than it was before she got treatment, so still I will thank you, Lord.

Next I lost my dear Lucy after 18.5 years.  My companion and best friend for half my life, I miss her a lot, and I wish I hadn't been so distracted by Bianca's illness so I would have gotten her treatment sooner and she might have been less miserable and lived a little longer.  I wasn't ready to let her go, Lord, but still I will thank you for 18.5 wonderful years she blessed me.

In May, I lost my job for no reason I can fathom.  They couldn't give me one either really and I can't prove my suspicions, so here I am still jobless after 7 months and our finances are a wreck again and I'm scared to death, but still I will thank you, Lord, for 7 steady years of employment in there with good companies.

In October, my other job went away when I was replaced, and when the boss said I resigned (his definition of not fighting the decision to bring in someone else), I lost unemployment.  We really need that unemployment, Lord, and I worked hard to get that benefit.  Still I will thank you, Lord, for the months we had it.

Even though some people we used to count as friends have disappeared and not been there to love us through this, especially lately, although we feel alone and abandoned, still you've been there.  Even when we don't feel you.  So still I will thank you, Lord.

Even though I've worked so hard to overcome my disability and worked to hard on my writing and creative stuff and until now, I haven't really had success, even though, still I will thank you, Lord.

Even though I don't know where our next meals come from when the fridge is empty, even though I don't know when all this pain will end, even though I don't know how to rid myself of the anger and bitterness I feel, even though I can't find a job that pays what I've been making, still I will thank you, Lord.

Even though I don't feel thankful.  Even though I'm mad at you for allowing this.  Even though I can't even begin to fathom why you've allowed it, still I will thank you, Lord.

Because your Son died on a cross for me, Lord, when I was so unworthy, still I will thank you, Lord.

But Lord, please let next year be better.  I prefer to thank you when I actually feel thankful.  But still I will thank you, Lord, for life, breath, my wife, my pets, my family, and so much more.

Despite everything, Still I Will Thank You, Lord.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review: Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes

A great read and one I wish I'd had time to read straight through without so many interruptions.  It captured me from the get go and kept me entertained throughout.

The first in a new sword and sorcery series, "Tome Of The Undergates" is about a group of adventurers, led by a human named Lenk, who get hired to retrieve a powerful book stolen by demons which holds the power to threaten the planet.  A motley crew indeed, our adventurers include four humans, a shict, and a dragon man, none of whom are necessarily admirable but all of whom are deeply flawed.

Sykes basically takes two large set pieces -- an opening battle and a closing battle, and connects the dots with a few scenes.  The book is told from the POVs of his band of adventurers, whom we only come to know a little over the course of the book.  Instead, the focus is on action and grit, both of which Sykes gives us in abundance.  He's clearly a master of descriptive verbage, and some of that verbage might not work for those easily offended.  But it does serve to make his battle scenes more realistic than most and it also makes them more powerful and effective at drawing you into the world he's creating.

His world building is strong but he can certainly do a lot more with it and the same can be said for the characters. I would have liked to see the character arcs developed a bit more.  We get their backstories in bits and pieces, some not even given until the very end.  And while these bits and pieces of world building and characterization are strong, they amount altogether to very little parts of the whole.  We still have a lot to learn, but it's a small quibble because Sykes is in this for the long haul.  He's already written a sequel, "Black Halo," which comes out in Spring 2011, and I'm sure we'll learn a lot more about these heroes and their world in the further adventures to follow.

A strong and entertaining story, Sykes invests his characters with distinct personalities and makes good use of humor.  Despite their flaws, we like them, and we root for them, and it's a fun ride to join their journey.  If you like adventure fantasy, you'll love this.  Recommended.  I look forward to more to come from Sykes in the future.

Friday, November 19, 2010

AUTHOR'S TIP: Thesaurus Abuse No

I got criticized once that my writing style uses simpler words.  Why not show off your vocabularly or use more sophisticated verbage, they asked.  My answer:  I'm writing for a wide age group, and vocabulary is only useful if it adds to understanding, not if it takes away from it.

For example, my friend, a talented writer, just tweeted this from his WIP:  "Her soul was gnawed through, suffocating, sensitive though numb."  Out of context, that does very little for me.  Intriguing use of words? Yes.  But meaningless without more context.  Knowing this friend, he'll give it the context.  So I'm not worried about him, but I've seen plenty of writers who use words like this and end up with a jumbled mess.

Have you ever been reading and come across a word you had no idea the meaning of and it ripped you right out of the story and world?  Do you hate that?  I know I do.

Publisher Candlemark and Gleam offers this comment:  There’s a difference between having a good vocabulary and a good grasp of wordplay and being overly clever; think of the poor, overused thesaurus before running amok. Trust us, saying “her violet orbs welled up with viscous, salty fluids” does not, in fact, work as well as “her eyes brimmed with tears.” Won’t someone think of the thesaurii?

It's not that I'm not impressed with a good vocabulary.  Well used, it can be both educational and intriguing.  I often go through during polishing and substitute words using a thesaurus.  This is to keep it from being stagnant with overly repeated words.  But I'm very careful where and what I replace.  It does you no good to show off words when the reader has to look them up constantly and step out of your story.  It's distracting, annoying, and, in the end, insulting.  Writing is communication.  Communicate with your readers.  Fiction is story telling.  Telling them a story doesn't work if they don't understand it.

So when I've heard people criticize my lack of sophisticated words on occasion, I point to authors who are quite successful and don't need that.  Authors like Mike Resnick, Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson, Timothy Zahn, to name a few.  I'd much rather have words a lot more people can read than words only suitable for a select few.  How about you?

Part of having a vocabularly is knowing when and how to use the words.  If you can't do it well, you don't really own those words.  So don't try and fake it, because, trust me, readers will know.  And it won't give you cred.  It will take away cred.

For what it's worth...

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It's been too long since I posted something helpful for writers.  I really do intend to do that more often here, but as life around me is chaotic, so goes my blogging and everything else.  So if you found the previous posts helpful and were waiting, sincerest apologies.  I hope I haven't chased you off.

Since I am currently halfway through a polish draft of my first novel, which has a contract pending from Diminished Media, I wanted to talk about how I edit.  Everyone has a different method and approach to such things, and there is no wrong or right way.  This is just how I've come to do it and I'm sure even that will evolve with time.

Before I talk about how I edit though, it might first be helpful to talk about my writing process.  I am a writer who doesn't rely on outlines much.  I tend to like to know who my characters are in some rough sense, know a few key plot points, have a TV Guide story pitch sentence and then write and see where the story takes me.  This works well with first novels in series, but as I approach sequels, I am finding outlining a more necessary evil and I'll likely be embracing that more and more.

My first drafts have one goal:  get the plot, characters and basic arcs down as fast as possible.  I want to get the major characters, scenes, and a sense of the pacing all on paper.  I don't spend as much time on fancy descriptions or even in depth emotional monologues.  Those I can flesh out later.  I just want the framework to build on.  Now as I learn my craft and develop my skills, I find I put more of this stuff in first drafts, but my goal is just to get the story told.  I have plenty of time to fix things and make it all pretty and bow-wrapped later.

Because writing is a series of questions and answers for me, I aim to ask questions in each scene.  I keep track of these questions on a list and as I go along try and answer one for every new one I ask once the set up has been done.  This helps keep readers satisfied that they are figuring things out and that the story has more surprises.  It keeps them turning pages.  But forgetting to answer any of these questions is deadly annoying, so I keep a list to make sure they all get addressed by the end.

The second draft, at least a month after the first draft's done with no peeking in between, I go back and read and pay special attention to setting descriptions, character descriptions, character arcs, etc.  I also look for themes or motifs I can use which have just appeared naturally and I find ways to work all of these things into the story and strengthen them, building on my basic blocks.

My third draft is my Ken Rand's 10% Solution draft where I go back and cut absolutely every non-essential word.  I look at overused or overly repeated words, and I use a thesaurus to find words which can replace these and make the prose more interesting.  I also aim to just tighten wherever I can.

There are often subsequent drafts or even drafts in between some of these to work on particular specifics, but those are the three basic drafts.  Each is usually spread apart by 3 weeks to a month for some perspective and I do my best to immerse myself in other projects and flush the thing from my mind as best I can in between.  It's very hard to have fresh eyes for your own work, and you cannot hope to make it the best it can be if you don't find a way to do it.

So that's how I write, in succinct summary.  How do I edit?

The one advantage of editing is it uses a different half of your brain.  It's a different thought process and focus than the writing itself, so once you've done all those other things you can really start looking at mechanics like grammar, punctuation, word usage, etc.  The Ken Rand draft is editing in a way, and I do much the same in my editing phases, cutting whatever unneeded words I can, etc.  But on the other hand, I am looking primarily for how can I make this as shiny as it can be.  What repeated sentence patterns have I gotten stuck in that I can rework in places to keep it fresh?  Which places can I use more emotion to make action more powerful or build the character-reader connection?  Where can I use more of the five senses to make it more real to readers?  What questions did I fail to answer?  Which did I answer incorrectly or incompletely?  Is anything unclear or convoluted?  Is anything missing -- holes, etc.?

I also read the manuscript out loud, word for word.  It's different when you read out loud.  First of all, most readers read like this only silently to themselves, so you'll get a sense of the flow for readers by doing this.  You'll also find awkward phrasings, run-ons and other issues which you don't always find just by reading your overly familiar prose.  You can find where you need a better mix of sentence sizes.  You can find where you need to break up paragraphs differently.

I always find I'm overly wordy.  No matter how many times I've tried to cut before.  Here's where I find out how much I overstated and how much I needed more color.  I add more interesting setting decriptions or emotional descriptions.  I trim repeated dialogue and phrases.  I realize I have repeated things too many times and annoyed the reader and cut as many of those as I can.  If I have to keep them, I make them tighter and rephrase them so they don't sound the same each time.  I also look at where the story lags in pace.  Are things out of order in sentences or paragraphs.  Etc.

The editing can take a while or go quickly, but I always make at least three passes on these things, the middle being the read aloud one, to make sure I don't miss anything.  After all, when this book gets printed it will represent me potentially well after I die.  I want to be represented well.  Oh I know I'll write better as time goes on, the more I learn my craft.  And I know publishers, agents, editors will all jump in with improvements as well beta readers.  But I don't want any of those people to feel their time was wasted so I've got to make this the best it can be before they even see it.

I am impatient.  I don't like to wait.  And I have jumped the gun on stories and novels with betas, agents, etc. too many times.  Burned markets and readers.  It's too bad.  Because now they might never realize what the book and story came to be.  The potential they saw or didn't see won't be realized in their eyes.  Hey, I want everyone to read my stories, because I think I have something important to say.  That's why I write.  Isn't that why anyone writes?

In any case, when I'm done I get that feedback and make adjustments to that.  It takes a lot of effort to do all these drafts and editing phases, I know.  It takes a lot of time to wait through them.  But in the end, I want to be proud of what I write, and as I prepare to sign a contract on this novel, my second ever novel attempt and first science fiction novel, despite all the missteps I've made in sending it out too early, etc., I'm proud of it.  I'm pleased how it's come out and I know all the work has made it better.  I can't wait to see what it becomes after the publisher and editor do their thing.  And I hope it pleases you, reader, so I can write another one and another after that.

In any case, that's a summary of my editing process.  If you have questions or want more details or just want to say hi, please comment below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

For what it's worth...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: Unstoppable

An adrenaline pumping action buddy film with good characterization and family friendly language (more than most), "Unstoppable" grabs you from the get go and never stops.  The story of two railroad workers, an engineer and conductor, who find themselves moving head on against an out of control train loaded with cars containing toxic and highly combustible chemicals, the movie unfolds rapidly with the bungling railroad management worried about themselves at every turn while the heroes try and stop a major disaster.  The train is barreling toward major population centers where their families live and it's too heavy for conventional means to stop.  Their ingenuity and determination, along with that of a few collaborators, are the heart of this film.

Stars Denzel Washington and Chris Pine (the new Kirk from last year's "Star Trek") share the heroism nicely.  Both have nice backstories and strong action moments, and both, in the end, play key roles in saving the day.

My only criticism is that, even though this was based on a true story, the portrayal of the railroad management is played too much to stereotypes of the greedy idiots in suits.  Surely things were more complicated than that in real life.  At a short length of under 90 minutes, the writers and filmmakers could have rounded out of those parts a bit more to add depth to the film.

But it's a minor quibble to a story which keeps your heart racing despite 80% of the screen time taking place aboard a single train between two men.  There are some nice action pieces here, and the writers have done a good job of explaining all the various science and realities of railroad technology which allow the situation to happen and impede attempts to stop the train.

The language is mild for an action flick as well.  A few four letter words scattered but not enough that I even remember them.  And none of the most memorable lines had them.  Given Hollywood's tendency to equate four letter words with coolness, the filmmakers get high marks from me on this.

Highly recommended.

For what it's worth...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

18 Month Do-Over

Have you ever wished you could have a do-over?  Go back and undo something you did, however large or small, and just make different choices?  It's something we used to holler as kids "Do-over!"  Now here I am as a 41-year-old adult feeling the same way.  If I could go back and redo the past 18 or 20 months and make different choices how would life be for us?  How much of the present trouble could we have avoided?

We couldn't likely have avoided my wife's medical crisis.  Signs of that impending issue were evident months before we moved.  It would have been dealt with differently in some ways, but much of that issue would have been faced the same as here except for a closer network of family and friends to provide support.

We probably would have yet to live in a house, which changed our perspective on housing forever.  We just adored it.

The restlessness and stagnation of life we felt before we left St. Louis might be worse.

I might well have still lost my job at the unnamed company I telecommuted for. 

We'd still be in Saint Louis for one thing.  And having lived there for 9 years, the support system we've found there is wider and deeper in many ways than anything we've had time to establish here locally.

We wouldn't have our beloved dog Amélie or cat Doce, whom we adopted from shelters in El Paso.

There are people here we care about whom we wouldn't know.

And there were some classes I taught in Juarez I wouldn't have been able to teach.

Overall, though I still wonder what would life be like?  Would I be unemployed?

Would I have written the two novels and dozens of short stories I've written?

Would I have made all my Twitter friends?

Would I have gone to the conventions I attended?

I would not have had the stress my challenging part time position has brought to my life.  There are benefits of experience as well as some songs I wrote through that which might not exist, but I do think our life could have been just fine without that stress.  The only thing is, again, I met some fine people whom I think the world of and wouldn't have had the chance to know without that.  Those would be a loss.

It's hard to say, looking at all of this, if I'd really do it or not.  I think I'd make a few different choices, and I think I'd put my foot down stronger in some ways and places also.

For one, the friends who never called us at all despite all our difficulties, never offered help or encouragement, whom we only heard from to criticize us for something they found disturbing in a FB post or blog, etc., well, I'd stop thinking of them as friends.

For two, I'd stand up more firmly to both recently employers far sooner about issues which ultimately backfired by getting fingers pointed at me undeservedly.

For three, I would have made sure my wife got to do some fun things she's wanted to do since we came which I never made time for and we now can't afford.

I wouldn't stop being honest about the troubles because I've heard from many who face similar situations whom it has helped and I've heard also it helps those who haven't been through such situations to empathize more with those who have.  Empathy is a very good thing.

I wouldn't stop using Facebook and Twitter to mention things I find ludicrous.  Even things from my daily life or relationships.  That's what those are for.  And commiserating with those people has been a true pleasure and support.  I wouldn't change some of the friendships I've made, although I might have considered them at different levels than I had been thinking they were (so they've proven to be).

So would I really want a Do-Over?  On specific bits and pieces, yet, but overall, probably not.  After all, how could I live without my Amélie and Doce?  And not without the true friends I've found along the way.  Sometimes I just wish there were more of them.

For what it's worth...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bonus Giveaway

Most of you know about my book sale to help us through my unemployment period.  I have a special bonus for the next four people who purchase my book "The North Star Serial.  But my book and you get another book free.  It will be done on a first come, first serve basis, so you need to first order the book then email me through the contact button on my website www.bryanthomasschmidt.net to tell me which of the following you want.

Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker (2 mass market paperbacks available)
Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Girl (1 trade paperback) - Hugo and Nebula winner
Sam Sykes' "Tome Of the Undergates" (1 trade paperback)

Once they are gone, they're gone.  Here's info on the book
The book is getting really good reviews (see below for examples) and people of all sexes and ages from 9 to 65 have enjoyed this book.   Even non-SF fans have enjoyed it.  It’s short with small 4 to 5 page chapters (each episodes of a larger story).  It makes great Christmas gifts.  Please consider buying a copy today.  
"The North Star Serial" is 13 episodes of space opera escapism about a female starship Captain and her crew.

If you’d rather have one of my music CDs, I have tons of those available to.  The book is $7.49 plus shipping.  CDs are $13 each.  You can get a discount and get the book for $5.50 plus shipping.  If we can sell 125 copies (the current on hand stock), you will be helping with $687.50, 75% of our rent.

Thanks for your friendship and support.  Here’s some reviews to wet your appetite.

Description: Ellen Maze
May 12, 2010
Ellen Maze rated it Description: 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: star trek fans, space opera fans, all ages
Shelves: books-to-review
Captain Janaai Resnick has her hands full in this first installment of the North Star Serial. Not only does she have to prove herself to her crew, but also as soon as they head out, she must prove herself a capable leader when the ship is attacked by the Korelean threat.

Author Bryan Thomas Schmidt creates for us a likable and believable female lead that is supported by a cast as three-dimensional as those at the helm of the Star Trek series. With snappy dialogue and genre-correct technology, I think anyone who enjoys the space opera will put this one at the top of their list. I don’t usually read this genre, and I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was.

As a bonus, at the end of this tale, Schmidt includes novel excerpts from a couple of his upcoming works, THE WORKER PRINCE and SANDMAN.

Ellen C Maze
Author of Curiously Spiritual Vampire Tales
Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider (less)

Description: Chad
May 27, 2010
Chad rated it Description: 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: first-reads
I really liked Part I of the North Star Serial. I am looking forward to further adventures of CAPT Janaai Resnick and her crew against the Korelean forces. This is a good sci-fi book that keeps the unnecessary subjects of sex and vulgar language out of the space battle storyline. The book is clean, wholesome fun that I know my 10-year old son will really enjoy and he is one of those that does not like to read.

The Koreleans have a deep hatred for Christians who have colonized the galaxy after escaping persecution on Earth. CAPT Resnick has just been given command of NORTH STAR, a destroyer in the Coalition Command fleet. While on her first assignment she comes into contact with Koreleans forces and thus the war begins. Many themes are at play here and the storyline is solid. I want to follow the story a find out what happens to the entire crew in future parts of The North Star Serial.

I also really enjoyed the excerpts from both The Worker Prince and Sandman. I will keep my eyes open for these novels as I am certin that they reach bookstands

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. Thanks to Bryan for making this book available in the giveaway program. These first 13 NORTH STAR Serial stories are the start of a great adventure! (less)

Friday, November 5, 2010


For those who don't know, November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise know as NaNoWriMo.  I have never participated in this before but decided this year I would.  I had planned to write a SF novella, but after a couple of days being stuck on that, pulled out my old first novel, the love story I had tried to write two plus years ago, and decided to revisit it.  The NaNoWriMo rules say no previous words, so this likely won't count for credit.  I have copied a few dialogue sections from the old novel, but mostly rewritten everything else.  In any case, I don't care.  I love this story and believe it deserves to be told, and I've learned a lot about my craft since I first started to write it.

One of the refreshing things about it is the switch from my usual genres.  Having crafted science fiction and fantasy novels and dozens of speculative fiction short stories since giving up on this novel, I was getting burned out.  All I've written and read has been those two genres.  I feel very refreshed to be stepping away from that for a bit, and I hope that freshness carries over when I return to speculative fiction after this novel draft is finished.

9452 words in three days.  3 whole chapters.  Feeling pretty good.  I can tell the structure and writing is much better than the last time, although I definitely will need to do some more drafts to work on the descriptive prose and emotional arcs.  First goal is to get the story and basic character arcs down.  Once I know the themes, all the rest can fall in place much more easily.

Likely I'll take another pass at my fantasy novel before revising this one, but then I'll have to move on to a sequel for "The Worker Prince" as I prepare for its publication.  I will want to get that done and to the publisher by the time the book comes out next Spring so I can stay on schedule with that series for one book a year.

In any case, it feels good to be writing daily again.  It's taken some time away from job hunting and editing, but I need to do this for me.  Almost five months of barely writing has really left me depressed and discouraged about my writing career.  Professional writers can't afford that kind of time off and if I want to reach that goal, I can't either.

I'll keep you informed as I keep chugging along.  Whatever the case, it'll be nice to have three novels instead of one by the Spring next year.  I just hope these two have better luck helping me get an agent than "Worker Prince" did.

For what it's worth...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

World Fantasy Report

I keep putting this off but I have to blog something this week and I really don't know why I haven't just gotten down to it.  Maybe it's because I don't want to acknowledge that World Fantasy Con is over.  So fantastic an experience was it that I wish it could have gone on much longer than it did.  As much as I did in those four days, it passed like a flash, and looking back it wasn't long enough.

Unlike many cons, World Fantasy is a literary convention focused on writers, editors, publishers and artists.  It leans heavily toward pros, semi-pros and aspiring pros, and it is all about one thing:  networking.  Sure, they have the World Fantasy awards.  Sure, they have panels.  But the heart of this convention is community.  And I felt a part of the community of Science Fiction and Fantasy in a special way.  I met some people I have long admired and wanted to meet, and I met others who are just getting started just like me.  Some of those were friends I'd already met on Twitter and Facebook.  Some were new faces.  Either way, it was a delight to be able to finally say "yes, I know these people."

I spent a lot of time just meeting as many people as I could.  In some cases, I used the excuse of books to get signed.  In others, I used my position with Tangent.  At no time did I try to sell anyone my work.  Instead, I focused on just making a good impression and getting to know them.  In the end, I found people often asked me about myself in turn.  One person at the TOR party, upon hearing my dream of one day being a TOR author, introduced me to Tom Doherty himself as a great new writer.  Mind you, this was someone who had never read my work.  Doherty asked me what I was working on and who I was going to send it to, then suggested I send it directly to one of his editors.  I could have pinched myself.

Another time, I got to chat with editor John Joseph Adams, who happens to date a friend of mine.  JJ is a really nice guy and I enjoyed picking his brain about editing and his approach as well as anthologies.  I pitched him an idea of my own to get his opinion and he thought it was a good idea, then suggested some potential markets.  I already have one publisher interested and want to approach another just in case.

I also spent several hours with Mike Resnick, one of my writing heroes.  I've befriended him on FB and Twitter, and though I didn't remind him of his promise to buy me a drink, instead we talked about my novel and how to market and he introduced me to several people who came by -- Kay Kenyon, Gordon Van Geller, and others since Mike knows everyone.

Lastly, I spent several hours chatting with Jeremy Lassen and the publisher of Brilliance Audio about publishing and other topics.  They were very kind to this ignorant neophyte and explained things, offering the wisdom of their experience.

I also got the chance to give out some copies of my book "The North Star Serial, Part 1."  Mostly to friends, including Mike Resnick, as a thank you for their support.   I attended readings of friends like John Remy, Sandra Wickham, JJ Adams, and Saladin Ahmed.  And I got autographs and brief chats with luminaries like Paolo Bacigalupi, John Scalzi, Peter Straub, David Drake, Gene Wolfe, David Hartwell, Gordon Van Gelder, and others.

With all the free food in the Con Suite and the free books, I was in unemployed person's heaven.  I still spent a bit of money on a few books and meals and luggage costs, but overall, I just got the chance to hang out and relax.  The two or three panels a day I managed to attend were informative and enjoyable.  And downtown Columbus turned out to be a great experience as well.

For me, as I prepare to release my first book, I got a better sense of what a con might run like, which can help me prepare to participate more fully as a writer next year.  And I got a lot of brochures on various cons to help me learn about what's out there.  Truly a memorable experience.  I'm so glad I went.

To Simon, Livia, Blake, Sam, Sandra, Erika, John, Christie, JJ, Saladin, Brenda, John, and the other new friends who let me hang out with them, such a pleasure.  I look forward to doing it again.

For what it's worth...

Monday, November 1, 2010

World Fantasy Con, Columbus, Ohio

World Fantasy is still a whirlwind for me, and I am in definite withdrawal.  I will post more reflections on this as I have time to process, but I will say that 30 minutes chatting with Tom Doherty in which he asked "when are you going to send us something," 2 hours chatting with Mike Resnick and being introduced to all of his contacts as well as getting his advice on marketing, publishing, etc., and an hour picking John Joseph Adams' brain on editing definitely justified the cost of the event.  Add to that meeting so many wonderful people from my Twitter and Facebook feeds and many new ones as well, just made me feel like a part of a big family and that's really encouraging.

More on the panels later, but they were wonderful, even though there were many I wished I could attend but didn't make it because of balancing sleep, panels, and networking.  The parties were fun, the free food unexpected, and the travel smooth.  I am so glad I got to go, and I so look forward to the next one.

Thanks to all who helped make the time so enjoyable and productive. Here's some pics of the relative people:

For what it's worth...