Saturday, November 29, 2014

A fan's resignation from Context

I was going to bitch about Ferguson today. Still might at a later time. There are some things that are pissing me off royally. But then I saw something from a friend that changed my mind.

I could ramble on about my love for the convention, but you can find that throughout the blog. I could rant my anger, but Steve is a tad more eloquent than I and I can’t think of anything to say that he hasn’t. There is a part of me that wants to point out the others who have withdrawn themselves from future Contexts, but that isn’t my place.

I think my time is better spent talking about opportunity. Specifically, the opportunity the members of Convention Committee and the board members of Fanaco have before them. It is still possible to make this right and establish trust among the con-goers. It will be hard to do so, after the way this has been handled thus far, but not impossible. We want to go. We want to have fun and we will gladly give our money to do so, as long as you show us that we can feel safe and secure in doing so.

I want to believe that pride can be put aside in favor of what is quite objectively the right thing to do. That it is possible to acknowledge that this wasn’t handled the correct way and that we can move forward. Then I would be perfectly comfortable coming again next year and continuing to tell everyone I know that they should come along.

Until then, I cannot attend future iterations of Context and that makes me very sad.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Super nano writing month

Welcome to November, friends and neighbors. That time of year while we are supposed to grow out facial follicles and sprout words like a garden drowning in miracle grow.

I know myself well enough to be very doubtful when it comes to the possibility of creating a novel, but I've decided to push myself harder than I am used to doing. Just to see if I can do it. At this past year's Context, a very simple challenge was issued to me by someone who would hear nothing of my whining about lack of writing.

Write 250 words a day.

Hell, I thought, that's easy enough. So easy that I never got around to doing it. Now I am and I have been reasonably successful. So far, I am sitting at roughly 2700 words written this month. If I keep it up, I'll have at least 7500 words written by the end of the month. Paltry compared to those of you kicking out more than that in the course of a work week, but a milestone of dedication for me.

So, if you are a friend or even an acquaintance, feel free to ask me where the hell my 250 is any time you see me this month. I need to keep my ass in gear.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Some good news and significantly less bitching.

The world has been more than a bit shitty to me and mine as of late. While I know that existence tends to do that from time to time and am completely aware of the fact that, at this very moment, there is some child somewhere in the world dying slowly in pain and terror from an inoperable tumor, that information does fuck all to help me feel better. World’s smallest violin and all. But, sometimes really awesome things happen, too.

For instance, I have reached a few of my publishing goals over the course of this last month by sharing TOC space with some of my literary heroes.

Case in point one:

Jamais Vu, issue three. Wherein I dissect some concerns I have with the events of Shaun of the Dead, proving how erudite and entertaining I am. But, lo, who else do ye spy on that cover? Why I do believe that is Harlan Ellison, public asshole and wordsmith extraordinaire without whom Science Fiction would not be where it is today. I may swoon. And what-ho, thar be Piccirilli, whom you might recognize from how firmly I swing from yon testicles. I’ve also been reading Steve Resnic Tem for years and have been getting quite into Damien Angelica Walters. Matt Betts, if you happen to read this, I see why you’ve been telling me to read Stephanie Wytovich so much. That mermaid poem kicked my ass.

If you are going to buy a copy (which you should because DID YOU SEE THOSE PEOPLE I LISTED ABOVE?), I highly recommend buying a physical copy. Honestly, the physical/e-book divide means jack squat, but Paul Anderson really did go all out in making sure this makes for something special. From the matte cover to the interior art to the craft of the layout, it really is worth spending the few extra bucks.

Case in point two:

wherein I have a poem someone once told me made them itchy. It is also pretty cool and likely worth the $9 by itself. But, again, peep the TOC (which is, admittedly, tough to get at through the amazon site) and you will see Marge Simon nestled among the folds therein. Yes, the Marge Simon who contributed to the Stoker winning Four Elements (with Linda Addison, Charlee Jacob and Rain Graves) and well as Vectors (with Charlee Jacob as well). Vectors has been one of the single most influential works of poetry for me and now I have my words in proximity to hers. Also, Dora Badger’s “The Worms Crawl in” and Montilee Stormer’s “Between” are pure gold. This one is pretty fun.

Finally, thanks to a little help from the Little Red Reviewer herself, I have been contacted by someone at Orbit and will be receiving a review copy of Mira Grant’s new Parasitology book. Fuck yes.

So, crap will still keep happening. I will be deeply in debt the rest of my life. Things getting better seems like a very relative bit of phrasing. But I have an amazing wife to whom I have now been married for ten years. I have friends without whom I would probably be curled up in a corner weeping and shuddering. And these silly little grotesque thoughts of mine keep creeping further out into the world.

I’ll take it.