Friday, July 27, 2007

And where the heck was I that missing week, anyway?

We got the chance to take a week at a cottage. We took it. Here's the view from the porch:

It was a great week. Here's our daughter, Maggie, discovering the water:

...And after playing in the water:

And visiting a friend on the way home:

And we got home just in time for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows madness back home in Toronto:

Got my copy that night, thanks to my friend Kat, who managed to get a wristband (yes, you needed a wristband) so she could line up for the book at midnight.

A good week it was.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Polaris 21

Some time ago I said I'd talk about how Polaris 21 went. And now I am.

When we last left our bungling hero, I was stumbling around the house until 3:30 AM the night before, having gotten the dates for Polaris 21 completely wrong, and now was desperately scrambling to get organized. Finally, I succumbed to exhaustion at 4:30 AM.

Up at 7:30, I finished getting the stuff ready and them proceeded to call my assistant way to early to see if he was available. Of course he wasn't, so I went by myself.

And I had a blast.

There were great costumes, wonderful displays, great merchants (I bought a Bokken!). I sat on five panels ranging from the effects of TV, Film and Video game violence to how to manage using technical talk in your sci-fi writing without completely driving off the reader. Met some great people including Tanya Huff, who's vampire books (blood line, blood ties, and many others) are being made into a TV series. Good for you Tanya!

Both stage combat workshops went well and were reasonably well attend (though scheduled at the same time as Tanya Huff's and Barbara Hambly's signings, dammit), and the two people who showed up for my reading both said they liked the book very much and would buy it as soon as it comes out. And one of the people who was coming in to kick us out for the next group, said what he heard sounded really tense and interesting.

And if you figure that that makes three people who were there and three people is a crowd, then there was a whole crowd of people at my reading and everyone in it loved my book!

And if you're reading this, guys, go here to get an advanced copy!

Oh, well, that's what happens when you get put opposite Marina Sirtis signing autographs. I wouldn't have been there myself.

I'm on the clock in three minutes, but I wanted to end by saying I had a great time and thanks to David at Polaris for inviting me, and to everyone I met, played with, and talked with.

See you next year!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Who Do I Play with Now?

I just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In fact, I just reread the entire series from beginning to end.

I will try very hard not to give away any of the plot because I know there are many out there who haven't finished it yet. Instead, I wanted to talk about how I feel.


Not because what's in the book itself (I won't say anything about that yet), but because the series has ended. Definitively.

Harry and Hermione and Ron are done their adventures, and even though I can go back and read them again (and will) it won't be the same. I know what happens now, I know all the clues and all the stories and while each time I read it I will find new things and learn a bit more about the characters, it won't be the same.

It feels like all my friends moved away, and I am standing in the middle of the street alone.

Who do I play with now?

And that is the sign of a very, very good book, and a very, very good series.

I promised I'd talk about Polaris 21, and while I'm at it, I'll talk about where I've been for two weeks. But not today. Today, I'm going to think about my friends whose adventures are done.

I am going to miss them.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The King of Stupid

No, this is not a blog about politics. It is a blog about what happened to me on Friday night.

See, I have trouble going to sleep on Friday nights. My brain says, "Hey, you've got tomorrow off, you can sleep in" even though there is no sleeping in when you have a toddler. Nonetheless, I end up doing silly things like staying up until 1 AM or later.

This Friday (actually Saturday, 1 AM) I decided that, since I wasn't sleeping, I should start prepping for Polaris 21, where I thought I was scheduled to do my first public reading of Small Magics and teach two stage combat workshops on July 14 and 15.

Note I said "I thought."

I open my email and discover what everyone who is reading this and follows conventions already knows. Polaris 21 is actually July 6 to 8. I've missed the opening party, one of the panels I was supposed to be on, and I am completely unprepared.


I end up awake until 3:30 AM pulling together stuff for the convention, then 4:30 trying to calm down enough to get to sleep. My assistant is not available this weekend, my weapons for the course are not ready, and I have to create promotional materials for Small Magics on the fly using what little office supply type stuff I have around the house.

Did I mention CRAP!!!!?

My next post, I'll tell you how it all went.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Well, How About That...

Back in high school I knew a girl named Angie Abdou. Now Angie is an author with a book of short stories out and a new novel. Here they are (click on each picture for their Amazon link):

Angie is launching her new novel, The Bone Cage, on September 21, 2007 at Pages on Kensington in Calgary, Alberta.

Congratulations Angie!

On Writing and Arguing: Logical Fallacies

This post by my friend Chet at The Vanity Press led to some thinking on my part on logic and the nature of language, which in turn led me to a list of common logical fallacies created by Dr. Michael C. Labossiere and posted on The Nizkor Project website.

Now, I took logic in university and did absolutely horrid at it (something to do with the class being at 8:30 AM, I suspect). Even so, I believe that understanding logic is very important. So much so that I believe we should be teaching it in high school along with rhetoric (the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively) so our kids can tell when politicians (or teachers or parents or advertisers) are lying to them.

So there's the link. Have a read. Then try to remember it the next time you listen to a pundit.

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