Balticon 50!

So, it's been a while. But Balticon celebrated it's 50th anniversary, so I wanted to post some photos.

First, here's grandmaster Larry Niven! I got to shake his hand.

Next, the first of many hall costumes I saw. I thouhgt costumes were stellar this yer.

Next, I did a Broad Universe Rapid Fire reading with several other Broads, including this one, Jodi Lynne Nye.

The Mad Hatter and the White Queen, I presume!


Hildy Silverman moderated a panel on the slush pile that had very dramatic lighting.

John Picacio gave a wonderful poresentation on his and some other folks' art

Connie Willis spoke on where story ideas come from.

Superheroes were taking over the con suite!

Another couple of hall costumes

The Liars Panel. That's GoH George RR Martin in the middle.

Me with the TARDIS.

Brick Barrientos did a scienc fiction trivia contest

The view of the Innter Harbor from the hotel

BTW, this hotel wil host the 2018 World Fantasy Conevtion! Yay!
Egyptian hieroglyphics

ABNA Contest

Well, it's only a small step but I entered a novel in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and it made the first round cut. The book is called Turnabout, and I tried entering it in the YA category last year and didn't make the cut. I honed the blurb (the first round is judged solely on the 300-word blurb) and switched to the science fiction category, and I made the cut this time. The contest accepts approximately 2,000 entries per category, and the first round cuts that down to about 400 or so. The next round will be announced in mid-April and will be judged based on an except consisting of the first 3,000 to 5,000 words, depending on what the author submits.

We celebrate the small victories. 
Statue of Liberty

The Big Apple

Last week I was in New York city on business, and I managed to take time out for a sunset cruise of New York harbor, including (of course) a swing by Ellis Island and its most famous landmark.  My phone doesn't take great photos, but here is my best shot of Lady Liberty.  I had never sen her in person before. She looks darn good for her age!

Statue of Liberty

The bridges were pretty cool, too, and the skyline itself is beautiful. Because the streets are laid out in a much more uniform grid than cities like DC, there are places where there is a gap in skyline, almost like a canyon, and you can see all the way through the city. I didn't get any photos of that because my camera was too slow, but it was a neat effect.  So was the view of sailboats against the skyscrapers, which I did capture.


I'm on Fire (so to speak)

I now have a Kindle Fire. I bought it more as a tablet than as an ereader, as I prefer reading on my Kindle Paperwhite. It's funny how we get used to convenience. I own a laptop that doesn't weigh more than a few pounds, but when I travel, lugging it around seems like a lot of work. I bought the Fire mostly for travelling, so I can browse the web, read and send email, and keep up on FaceBook and other social media without replying only on my smart phone.

On the other hand, I do like the appearance of the Fire's Kindle app in that the screen is enough bigger that justification works much better. Amazon also puts the book title as a header all the time, not just when you have the menu up, which is nice.  And for nonfiction books with illustrations, a color LCD screen is a plus. It's too big to carry all the time in my purse, though, so I will definitely keep the Paperwhite. The Fire can do the read-aloud thing, but sadly, you can't email Word files to it, so I will still hold on to the Kindle Keyboard (aka Kindle 3) for proofing my own manuscripts.
Dealers' room

Balticon 2013

With my husband still recovering from surgery, we did a very abbreviated Balticon this year, only one day. In fact, I went to exactly one panel, which was on self-publishing. The panel was pretty good as it talked about very specific things like tools to use for conversion and how much artists get paid for covers (very little to lots, depnding on the artist and the type of cover). I would have liked more on page layout, as all anyone seemed to use was MS Word, which sucks swamp water at book layout.

It seemed to me that there were a lot more hall costumes this year, with a heavy emphasis on steampunk (see below) and also there were quite a few small children in costumes (mostly fairies and such).  We had a very nice day and got to see some of our con-going friends, and we did sign up for memberships in Capclave, which we plan to attend.


Our WFC 2013 memberships are sold!

Well, as soon as the membership rolls closed, our two memberships to the 2013 World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, UK went like hotcakes. Why do we say that? Did hotcakes always sell well? I don't see why. I can't recall the last time I bought any.

In other news, my husband is recovering nicely from his latest spinal column surgery, our driveway is being replaced and widened, and the cat (see above) turned out to be not missing after all, as he was merely asleep in the basement on top of some shelving where he had figured out how to climb up but not down.
Tower Bridge London

Anyone want to make a Brighton beach memory?

No, that's not the Taj Mahal. It's the Royal Pavilion in Brighton (UK), which it looks like I will not be seeing this year. Is anyone planning to attend the 2013 World Fantasy Convention in Brighton? Our plans have changed, and we now have two memberships that we would like to sell for what we paid for them. Since we signed on at WFC San Diego, we only paid $120 USD each, which is much cheaper than they're going for now (£125, which is almost $190, USD).


There's a really nice guest line-up this year, including Richard Matheson, Richard Christian Matheson, Joanne Harris, Joe Hill, Alan Lee, Brian Aldiss , and Tessa Farmer, with China Miéville as the MC. And since it's in Britain, they're not just "Guests of Honor," they're "Guests of Honour"!

Anyone who is interested, message me or post a comment. Sigh.


Handling rejection

I got a rejection letter from DAW Books today. DAW is unusual in that they will accept manuscripts directly from authors, without an agent sending them—or at least they used to; I'm not positive that's still the case, because I haven't sent them a book in at least six years. That's because I got an agent about six years ago, and while she has not yet sold any of my books, she has shopped a lot of them around, and so she is the one who has been getting the rejection letters. 


The letter is very nicely worded but it's clearly a form letter and doesn't even list the title of the book, so I don't know which book it is they finally  got around to reading and decided they could live without. 

I'm back and I'm in print!

Gosh, it has been ages since I posted here. The  LJ interface looks radically different, and I hope I can remember/figure out what to do.  

Anyway, I decided my first short story sale finally seeing the light of day was too big for me not to post about it,  My short story "Cold Comfort: (it's about a woman who gets emotionally involved with her refrigerator) appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of SPACE AND TIME agazine. I was tinkled pink to see it come out (a year or so after I sold it).

It's the last story in the issue, and it even got an illustration! Sorry, I took the pic with my cell phone so it's not great art, but what the hey!