Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Soon to be Christmas morning. The little one is tucked in, the house is clean-ish, the food is ready for tomorrow. Not bad considering what a hectic, horrible month it has been.

Work, illness and stress are a mean combination. But tonight is the first night of my vacation, and I am already feeling better.

The Glenlivit 12 year old helped immensely.

So Merry Christmas everyone. May you have a good holiday season and a good rest, and if I don't blog again before that, a Happy New Year as well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Christmas Music

I think I have a new favourite Christmas song.

The singer is Tim Minchin, an Australian musician, actor, comedian and writer. And apparently, if you download the song from iTunes in December, half of the proceeds go to autism research.

Tip of the hat to Neil Gaiman, who posted this on his journal first.

And now, since it's 10:30 p.m., it's time for more editing.

Editing and Brain Rules

Charging madly forward. Reached page 267 tonight, removed another 1500 words or so, and am almost pleased with the progress.

So is Gabrielle, who has been giving me gems from the Dragon Moon Press December slushpile. Impressive stuff. Not in a good way.

At work we are putting together some videos and part of my research on it took me to the Brain Rules website. It's a fascinating website, built around the book by the same title, written by John Medina. I haven't had time to dig too deeply into it, but it looks like the man has done his research, and the website itself is a great example of marketing design. There's a lot of neat stuff that I intend to explore sometime when it isn't midnight.

Correction. After midnight. I'm going to get myself four hours sleep and see if I can manage a workout in the morning (or should I say, later this morning?). It's unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Last Edit - Night 1

Did 46 pages tonight. Not bad for a start back, but much more to do.

Here's the thing: My editor needs it back by Christmas so we can get copy set and ready to go for the first round or reviews. The book is still 10,000 words more than what it should be, and while Gabrielle and I have worked out what needs to be done, it still needs to be done before the end of the month.

No problem.


Tomorrow, the goal is 80 pages. Let's see how it goes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taking a Night Off!!!

Why, you ask?

Because last night my editor, the indomitable Gabrielle Harbowy, and I finished going through her notes for Cold Magics. They were good notes and we resolved them all, or marked where I have to fix things during my next task:

One more edit before Dec. 25.

That's right, I have to go through the entire book by Christmas if we want to get advanced copies to the reviewers. And I still need to take out 10,000 more words. Oy veh!

But tonight, I am taking a break. I am chilling out, relaxing, and generally doing nothing except getting to bed on time. My only regret is I don't have a nice bottle of red wine to do it with.

So have a good night. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow (and every day for the next 14) we edit!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Wanna Go!

London Museum Opens Medieval, Renaissance Galleries

Sorry I haven't been around. I've spent the last month editing like a fiend and studying for my last exam, this Wednesday. After that, I promise to return to my regularly scheduled sporadic blogging.

The edit is moving well forward, and I should be done at the end of December (only slightly behind schedule). We are still on target for an April launch, of Cold Magics, which is excellent.

And since I haven't mentioned it in a while, have you read Small Magics? I recommend it, so you'll be ready for Cold Magics when it comes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

I have Cold Magics back from Gabrielle, and am going through her edits now. Great work.

Meanwhile, it's Halloween. Did the shell-out, took the little one trick-or-treating, had her Godmother over for dinner and cooked a damn fine meal if I say so myself. Now stuffed, happy, slightly buzzed on chocolate, and trying to get some work done before bed.

Also, daylight savings change-over tomorrow. Got to change the clocks before I go to sleep.

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Win Free Tickets to Dracula - The Undead!

Remember that show I'm in? This one:

So come on out. It will be great pre-Halloween treat of an evening, and you'll be able to buy your own copy of "Dracula - the Undead," signed by the authors!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

They've Done It...

Two in two days.

My editor Gabrielle Harbowy and my dear friend and reader Kim both finished going through Cold Magics. Excellent work in record time. Both are extremely insightful and each brings a different and extremely knowledgeably viewpoint to the editing process.

My thanks to both.

As soon as Gabrielle gets Cold Magics back to me, I'll be back at it. So far, we are running on time for our deadlines. Excellent!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dracula - The Undead - A Dramatic Reading at the Bathurst Street Theatre, October 28, 2009

I'm on stage! And with a great group of talented people for a great show!

Wednesday, October 23, 2009, at the Bathurst Street Theatre.

My friend Alex is putting on a performed reading of the new novel, "Dracula - The Undead," by Dacre Stoker (yes, he's a relative of Bram) and Ian Holt. This is part of the publicity for the novel and is going to be a lot of fun. And I'm reading Count Dracula!

Alex directs good shows, and I have not doubt this will be another one. Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt will both be joining us on stage, as narrators.

Click on the picture above to go to their website. And do come out to see us if you get the chance. It will be a great show, a lot of fun, and copies of the book will be available at the performance!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Promotions: Brain Storming

So, working on the publicity for Cold Magics (and a Zombie movie!) for the last few days. Been brainstorming possible tactics I could use to promote Cold Magics. Came up with an interesting list. Thought I'd share it:
Amazon Author Page
Amazon Forums
Writing Forums
Book Forums
Blog Tours
Virtual Book Launch
Online Media
Traditional Media
Podcast Interviews
Book Fairs
Sci-Fi Conventions
Book Store Signings
Online Reviewers (other than Amazon)
Traditional Media Reviewers
Library Tours
Book Clubs
Online Bookclubs
Book-lover Websites (Shelfari, iRead, etc.)

Just looking at the list you can see that everything needs flushing out. What can I do with each venue, how do I make contact, who do I make contact with, when do we make contact? There's about a dozen questions to ask for each one, but having the list means having a place to start.

Saturday, October 10, 2009



The opening was mighty gory, as one might expect from a zombie movie set after the zombies have taken over. It looked like the director and special effects team had watched hyenas fighting over a still-squirming zebra decided that it wasn't enough.

But once I got past that, and it took a few minutes to get past, I laughed my ass off. The movie is funny, fast-paced and even had a couple of moments that actually tugged on the heart strings.

Plus a whole bunch of zombie-killing that was a whole lot of fun.

And there's a brilliant cameo.

Highly, highly recommend this movie.

Time to Start Working on Publicity

Yep. Cold Magics is in the hand of the mighty talented Gabrielle Harbowy, who is editor in charge at Dragon Moon Press (excuse the mess; they're building a new website). We're looking for a short turn-around time on this one, and that means getting together the publicity plan.

Now, for those who don't know, there is are differences between publicity and marketing.

Marketing gets you a guaranteed audience through traditional advertising, pay-per-clicks, paid interviews, infomercials, etc. It costs money and studies have shown that, for book sales, it isn't that effective, unless you have massive reach and say... a movie deal.

Publicity is cheaper, but does not have a guaranteed audience. Instead, have to build an audience by persuading them that what you have to sell -- in this case, Cold Magics -- is worth talking about. If you can do that, proper publicity can lead to interviews, articles, book reviews, word-of-mouth and from them to sales.

Interestingly enough, good publicity can far outweigh good marketing as a tool for getting audience (people listening to your message) and sales. Especially now in the days of social media.

So, step one is building a publicity plan. We're looking at a six month plan at this point, to promote and get interest before launch (launch date will be announced soon). There will also need to be a post-launch plan to keep attention on the book over the summer, through the convention and book fairs, and then into the fall season, when it's a great time to convince people they want to be buying my books as presents to give to others.

And I cannot tell you how cool it is to be able to say "my books."

So, this weekend is about getting the plan together (plus cleaning and laundry and all that fun stuff). I've been doing research for a fair while, have the concept going and the lists I need to get made, and from there it's a matter of putting the pieces together.

I'll put up more details about the plan going forward because I did say this blog would be about book marketing, and I haven't done much of that lately.

So, off to get groceries, then work on the plan.

And because I haven't mentioned it lately, now is an excellent time to read Small Magics, so you'll be ready when Cold Magics comes out.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Gabrielle Says Smart Things About Queries and Submissions

Gabrielle Harbowy is the highly talented and highly intelligent Editor-in-Charge over at Dragon Moon Press. On Monday she sent me a link to a great podcast interview she did about queries, submissions, and pitches on the Irreverent Muse.

Gabrielle knows that of which she speaks. For those aspiring writers out there, I suggest taking a listen and taking what she says to heart. Because nothing makes your submission end up in the garbage faster than not following the submission guidelines.

And to add to the coolness, she plugs Small Magics! And she likes my elevator pitch!

Geek Link!

Saturn's got another, enormous ring!

Courtesy of NASA, who always have the cool space pictures, by way of the CBC, who always put NASA's cool pictures where I can find them.

A Hat Tip (and apology) to Molly

This is the first of three posts tonight. Why? Because I can! I'm not editing!

(This is a state of affairs that Gabrielle, our editor in charge over at Dragon Moon, assures me will end shortly)

This post is for Molly who sent me a couple of great pictures she took over at Worldcon. If I look a little dehydrated, here's why.

Me at the signing table, my name gloriously misspelled.

Erik with Ursula Pflug.

Ursula Pflug is another author with two novels out and a whack of short stories, including the collection which she was promoting at WorldCon.

And Molly, my apologies for the delay in putting these up.

Molly sent me the pictures September 6 and, alas, it's been a busy month or so for me and I haven't been able to get them up until now.

Great shots both, and for many more great shots of authors at WorldCon, have a look at Molly's photo album on Picasa.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I finished the edit of Cold Magics last night. I just sent it off to my publisher, Dragon Moon Press.

The ending was stunningly anti-climactic. I finally made the last changes, ran the spell-check one last time, hit save and I'm done!

And it's 11 p.m. on a Monday night and everyone is asleep and I had to be up in a few hours for work.

So this weekend, I will celebrate. Last night, I had a quiet glass of Glenfiddich, sat at the table and wondered what I was going to do with myself tonight.

Apparently, the answer is blogging and laundry.

And by the way:

I'm done! Squeeeee!

Friday, October 02, 2009

I Am the Coolest Dad Ever

We have movie nights with our daughter Maggie every Friday night. Usually this consists of watching one of her cartoons, then starting to watch one of our lighter movies like Charlie Chaplin or Mr. Bean, and her saying, "Noooo. I don't like this. It's scary! I don't want to watch it! No!!!!"

But not tonight.

Tonight, I got Maggie to sit down and watch her first full-length, grown up movie. From beginning to end. And what did we watch?

We skipped over the ROUS's in the fire swamp, and we put on the mute for the yelling and torture scenes (though she wouldn't let me skip them) scenes, and we skipped over the holocaust cloak because that's loud and scary. And there were lots of explanations before each fight scene and I explained to her how blood works in the movies and all of that.

But she watched it. Beginning to end.

And you know what she said to me as we were going upstairs to brush our teeth?

"When I'm big, I'll go to your class and sword-fight with you and your friends."

And I said, "Yes. You will."

I am the coolest dad ever.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Neat Little Website

At work, I'm part of the team designing and building the new website. One of the things we need to do is ensure our website is accessible for those who are colour-blind, which led me to searching the internet for a tool to check it, which led me to is the website of web designer and developer Jonathan Snook. It's nice little website with some interesting information, including his Colour Contrast Check. This handy tool allows you to put in any two colours (a foreground and a background) and see how well they fare in meeting standards for web accessibility. Alas, the piece I was working on didn't fare well at all, so it's back to the boards for me. Argh.

A great, very handy little tool.

And now, I'm going to... wait for it...

All right, it's editing Cold Magics.

Anyone surprised?

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Little Night Music

Friday night and I have nothing to say.

So how about some music?

This is a Soundie featuring Matthew Barber, produced by Athens Soundies

For those reading this on facebook (and there are some...), here is the link to the video.

And what is a soundie, you might ask? In this case it is the pet name for a single-take, live music video. For the history of the name, have a look at the Athens Soundies website.

Also, check out some of the bands. They've got some good stuff out there.

Tonight I am editing Cold Magics again. Then I'm to sleep well before midnight if I have to use a bottle of scotch and a meat tenderizing hammer to get there.

(exact method of using these two devices left as an exercise for the reader)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What? How did a week go by?

It's been a week since I've posted anything, which is bad from a marketing point of view. Most things I've read suggest you should be writing at least a post every two or three days for best coverage, with 2 out of five posts on brand (meaning about my books).

So where have I been?


I've a lot on the go right now, in work, in school (yes, I'm back in classes), in writing and in life. So much so that I haven't been sleeping at all well. The result: no posts.

So, I'll try to come up with something a bit more creative later this week. Now, I am going to go to sleep for a few hours.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We're Men! Manly Men!

One of the guys on, the workout forum I hang out on, posted a link to an article that led me to The Art of Manliness, which is a well-thought-out website on all things manly.

Now, be certain that it is not a website on all things macho. Being macho and being manly are generally two different things. Here, the focus is on manliness, from dressing well for little money to what to carry in your briefcase, to the five things every man must master to save his life.

The Art of Manliness is a fun, informative, well-written site, and -- putting on my communications hat for a moment -- an excellent example of niche marketing.

Hat tip to Cheeze Baron, who led me to the site.

By the way, am I the only one who, when he hears the word "manly," thinks of this:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Killing Your Creations... Again

So I've got a scene in Cold Magics. I really like it. It has great emotion, depth, pathos, all sorts of fun things. Unfortunately, it does nothing to advance the plot.

I've tried modifying it, I've tried shortening it, tried changing it, but none of that works. It's either the original scene, or nothing. And the original scene doesn't add anything to the book. All I can do is kill it.


On the bright side, it should knock 10 pages off the book.


I had the exact same issue (different scene) when I was writing Small Magics. Sometimes there's good bits that just don't fit the book you're writing. And even if they're really, really good bits, there's still no point in keeping them in the book.

So I have a file on the computer where I keep the scenes I can't use. After all, I might be able to use them somewhere else, right?

All right, I'll never use them, but I still keep them. Anyone out there want to tell me I'm not alone in this?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Twelfth Night by Urban Bard

Late night posting tonight. Just saw Urban Bard's production of Twelfth Night. They did a great job, and I wanted to spread the word.

Urban Bard is "...focused on using Toronto's urban landscape in unexpected ways to stage entertaining and relevant theatre." Their venue was the park space behind the College Park building at the corner of Yonge and College. The production had the audience moving from one location to another to see the action of the play.

The actors all did fabulous work, the physical work was great -- especially the fight work. The venue sometimes worked against them, with people walking through or behind the scenes, and with others having loud conversations near the locations. And, of course, College Park is near the hospital district, so we got to hear sirens on regular occasions as well the normal street noises.

All this, however, added to the experience, rather than detracting from it. It gave a fun, entertaining ambience to the production, which the cast and crew carried off in fine style. They made excellent use of the surroundings, including the fountain, stairs and various other obstacles.

My compliments to Scott Moyle, the Artistic Director, who did a great job bringing his vision to life, and to all the cast and crew. Excellent work from everyone.

Urban Bard's Production of Twelfth Night runs September 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 24, 25, 26 at 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Feeling a Little Zen-ish...

Or possibly a little peckish, but I'll go with the Zen because I need a lead in.

There's an interesting site I stumbled across called zenhabits, whose focus is "simple productivity." They've got some interesting articles on decluttering your life, slowing down to enjoy the roses, and doing less to be more productive (very zen, that last).

The blog is run by Leo Babtauta, a Guam-based writer. It has some excellent articles, and the owner has spawned a second blog: mnmlist, which is all about living better with less.

So, if you're feel zennish, of feeling like you need to get your life simplified, head on over and have a look.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Universal Health Care Message

I try to stay away from political matters on this blog, and I try to stay away from talking about my job. The first, because politics isn't really my focus, and the second, because it is never wise to talk about work on a public forum, even if you like your job, which I do.

Tonight, however, I get to do both:

See, today my boss forwarded me the latest newsletter from Longwoods Publishing, a Canadian company that "... publishes academic and scientific research, commentary and information related to health sciences and health care."

This week Longwood Publishing has on their website a video entitled "Universal Health Care Message to Americans from Canadian Doctors & Healthcare Experts." It's a good, solid piece that dispels several of the lies put out by the opponents of universal healthcare in the USA, and talks about the benefits of the single-payer system:

Everyone is welcome to register opinions, of course. I will say, however, that if you are going to engage in personal attacks on other commenters or unnecessary rudeness, I will delete your comment without explanation or warning. Differing opinions are welcome, but there is no excuse for being uncivil.

Buy Small Magics
if this is your first visit to my blog, whether or not you came solely as a result of this video being posted here, do me the goodness to nip over and buy Small Magics while you are around.

Think of it as doing your share to stimulate the economy.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Just thought I'd mention, for those who are on facebook and like to see what I'm doing with my time, I've started a facebook fan page to see about doing some social media marketing as things go forward. So, if you are on facebook and not yet a fan, pop on over and sign up.

After all, if a certain well-known pizza chain can get 1,000,000 fans, there's no reason I can't. Right?


All right, I'm shooting for the stars but, hey, you have to start somewhere.

And now, editing!

Random Blogstuff

Whenever I stumble across an interesting article at work, or when I'm surfing the web, I think, "this would be a good piece to blog about." Then I email it to myself and promptly forget all about it.

So here are a few sites and articles that I found while clearing out my yahoo inbox:

David Cheong had an interesting article on 11 Ways of Staying Focused, for all those of us who have trouble BIRDIES!

So Misguided is a Canadian blog about publishing, marketing, books and technology. Interesting information, and she does book reviews, including reviews of fantasy, so I may have to send something her way when Cold Magics hits the shelves next year.

Over at Yahoo there's a short piece on how to eat so your brain works better, for all those who have trouble BIRDIES!

If you are a skywatcher, you can learn exactly when satellites (including the international space station) are passing over your head by going to Just enter your location and they do the rest.

My long weekend is going to be spent in equal parts working, editing Cold Magics and playing with my child. With luck, there will be an element of sleeping in there as well, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

West Side Story, Forum, and Zastrozzi

I should really do a post on each one, but my time is limited and well, I wanted to talk about them all.

For those who haven't been following, I've been at the Stratford Festival this weekend. Saw three wonderful shows, ate mostly great food, including a wonderful dinner at Down the Street, a great lunch at Fellini's and unfortunately, the worst eggs Benedict it has been my misfortune to eat at a restuarant I will not name because they cook everything else well. Their hollandaise sauce looked like they hadn't bothered putting in egg and tasted worse. Blech!

Enough about that, though. On with the plays:

I cannot say enough good things about this production. Absolutely amazing, Great dancing, great singing, well-staged and excellent fight choreography. The actors were vibrant and drove the plot forward. Extra points to the girl playing Maria for letting herself be that vulnerable on stage. Amazing.

My one quibble was the inclusion of a boy as an observer type. He also sang "A Place for Us" in Act 2. Now, I don't know if this was part of the original show, or if it was something the director pasted on. Either way, didn't work. The boy playing the part carried himself quite well, but the concept didn't work.

Interestingly, the songs "Officer Krupky" and "Cool" are reversed in the play from where they were in the movie. This is a change they made for the film, and was very effective, as "Officer Krupky" seems out of place in the grimness of act 2.

Overall, brilliant.

This was done exactly as it was meant to be: stupid fun. Lots of gags, lots of laughs, lot of cheap jokes, and I am pretty sure that the actors were working hard to crack each other up as well as the audience. In other words, comedy at it's best.

The woman who played Maria played Philea in Forum. She was brilliantly funny. This was some of the best comic staging I have seen in a good while. The actors were given great direction, and they ran with it.

What can you say about Zastrozzi? I have done this play. And watching them doing this play, I can say that they did a very good job with it. Because Zastrozzi is a very hard play to do right. There's something about it that doesn't ring true, and too often it is done by earnest young actors finding deep meaning in it (I was one of them). It's a fun play, with sword fights and sex and laughs and brutal violence. But it isn't an easy play.

A friend of mine heard me ruminating about this piece and did some research on it. Apparently it is based on a novel written by Percy B. Shelley when he was a teenager. Explains a lot about the angst in the piece, but doesn't explain what George F. Walker did with it. In his notes, George F. Walker does mention that he only had the time to do two drafts of the piece. It shows. Unfortunately, Zastrozzi became an iconic piece of Canadian Theatre before he had time to do a third draft. Too bad.

The actors took the parts and ran with. All of them did great jobs on a hard piece. Good work.

And now I am home, and back to editing. It was a good weekend.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Billy Bishop Goes to War

I'm here at Stratford, slightly drunk and happily stuffed, having just finished a wonderful dinner at Down the Street, after spending the afternoon watching West Side Story, which I will rave about tomorrow, because tonight I want to talk about a magnificent performance I saw on Tuesday: Billy Bishop Goes to War, featuring Eric Peterson and John Gray in the roles they originated 30 years ago.

My God, Eric Peterson can act, and the dynamic between John Gray and him on stage is incredible. They've been friends for 30 years, and it shows. John Gray's music and lyrics are as powerful now as when they were first written, and Eric Peterson has the ability to grab an audiences attention and hold it in a way that few actors can manage. Even when a cel phone went off in the audience, which can be a killer for a one man show, he managed to keep his cool, gently scold the audience member and get everyone else in the audience to check to make sure their phones were off, all without being mean, without losing his dignity, and without ever losing his hold on the audience.

Soulpepper has "Talkback Tuesdays," where the actors stay and talk to audience members who wish to ask questions. Wonderful idea - a great way to learn more about the show, the performers, and the concept behind it.

An interesting thing that was raised in the talkback, and that one saw in the performance, was the change of the nature of the show for the actors. When they were younger, it was a play about coming of age, and the horrors of war. Now, as both actors are the age Billy Bishop was when he died, the play for them has changed, taken on a new meaning as a story of survival.

Great play.

Tomorrow, I will rave about West Side Story. Tonight, I'm going to sleep.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Little Night Music

A great bit of fun from Old Man Luedecke, whose album Proof of Love won the Juno for best Roots album this year.

The man plays a mean banjo, and has a great turn of phrase in his lyrics. Enjoy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

More on Social Media

This time, talking about websites, and I want to take a moment to say I am very annoyed at my inability to find a webs designer willing to take on the job of rebuilding my website for free.

Sigh. I'll just have to pay someone, then.

Anyway, and interesting article from SEOwizardy on the importance of making your website ready for social media. Very much sales oriented, so if you aren't selling things from your website, you probably won't be interested. On the other hand, if you're an author...

Anyway, enjoy. I'm going back to editing for the last 15 minutes before I go to bed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Social Media - A Cool Video

Think social media is a fad?

Socialnomics doesn't, and they've put together a cool video to convince you that social media is the next social revolution. Here it is:

Courtesy of my boss, who sent it around work.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Dinner with... well... Near Neil Gaiman

It was like having dinner with Neil Gaiman! Only he was sitting two tables away and talking to someone and I could only sit and watch casually because I didn't want to stare or do something crass like going over to interrupt him to start gushing about his work.

French-Canadian food. Great little restaurant and as soon as I remember the name, I'll put it in here.

But it was cool to see him! Wish I'd gotten to his signing, but I was running around like a mad creature pushing books and doing panels. Too bad. He seems like a neat guy, though he has a strange fascination with bees and bell jars.

So this is my six-day late-WorldCon wrap-up piece. Work has been busy as all get out and I've been too tired to do anything except edit a little bit and get to bed. Today, however, the house is mine, and I wanted to post about what an excellent time I had hanging out and going to panels and doing panels. It was all cool.

I spent a great deal of the convention hanging out at the Hades Publications table. Met Brian and Anita Hades, and had good talks with them. Excellent folks who run a fine publishing house (and I don't just say that because the publish Small Magics through their Dragon Moon Press imprint).

Also got to hang out with my soon-to-be editor Gabrielle Harbowy, who will be doing the edits on Cold Magics in the near future. Good woman, excellent editor, and fun to hang out with. She was also present during my dinner with near Neil Gaiman and can attest to the fact that he was two tables away and we didn't go over and act like idiots in front of him.

I didn't make it to any of the parties except the Tesseract book launch because exhaustion had its way with me. Work has been long and busy and home has been the same. Plus there's the writing which I need to finish ASAP.

The panels I attended were fun, and the ones that I was on were more so.

Panels I Attended: The Function of a Cover (sell books), Podcasting (get professional help), Elizabethans and fairies (didn't talk about fairies much, but lots about Elizabethans and magic).

Panels I was On:
Research and Writing (with Aliette de Bodard, Darlene Marshall, Mindy Klasky, S.M. Stirling -- ever feel like you're outclassed?). This was a great panel. The other panelists were extremely well-versed in the topic, and very well spoken. I discovered I was the moderator when I walked in the room, but managed to pull myself together to ask intelligent questions of the panelists and answer some of the audience questions fairly intelligently myself. Cannot say enough good things about this group and the audience we had. Thanks to everyone.

Also, met a woman from the audience who was the spitting image of someone with whom I went to high school. No relation at all, but a professor down in the USA (If you happen to read this, send me the name of your book [it was an academic study of on science fiction] I want to get a copy).

Martial Arts Primer for Writers (with Sean McMullen and Walter Jon Williams -- remember that outclassed thing I mentioned before? Here it is again!). This one was a hoot. Nothing like putting three martial artists on a panel and letting them go. Got put in an armbar by Sean, got to demonstrate some cloak and dagger fighting with help from an audience member's cloak, talked a whole bunch of martial arts and even managed to be occasionally on topic. Lots of fun.

I did two other panels: The Morning Workout with Birgit Houston on Saturday to which no one attended but myself and Birgit, who is a lovely woman and an excellent martial artist. And Fitness for Geeks with Nancy Louise Freeman (whose name I kept geting wrong. Sorry, Nancy!) which was all right, but under attended. Nancy was a great co-panelist and excellent to work with.

I was supposed to do another panel, but had to get on the highway instead.

And that's my time at Anticipation/WorldCon 2009. Great fun and maybe I'll get back to Anticipation next year, if I've got something to show (like a new book!)

UPDATE: The restuarant was the Restaurant Vallier. Great food. Try the halibut BLT (Yes, halibut. Welcome to Quebec). Thanks, Gabrielle!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Saturday at WorldCon

Four things to carry when running in a strange city:
  1. Map
  2. Water
  3. Camera
  4. Taxi Money
Four things Erik didn't take with him while running this morning.
  1. Map
  2. Water
  3. Camera
  4. Taxi Money
Got to the promenade at Mt. Royal and saw the 7 a.m. light shining over the city. The river was flowing with white light, and the windows of the cars going over the bridge flashed silver as they headed into the city.

I tried to figure out where I was going from there, but couldn't and headed down the mountain. then I saw an interesting road. So I took it.

Erik's rule of running in a strange city: Never fall for the voice in your head that says "hey, what's over there?"

I fell for it. I ended up going through the McGill campus and then the restaurants of the student quarter. Saw nineteenth century tenements huddled together, their fantastical rooflines -- turrets and crenellations-- facing down the bland squareness of the 1970's high-rise apartments across the road. I saw the beautiful Parc de la Fontaine (if misspelled, I am sorry) and discovered I'd run about 4 km further than I intended and had to backtrack, get back, shave, shower, and rush rush rush to my 9 a.m. panel --- to which no one came.

Obviously I missed blogging on Friday. I was completely exhausted. But during the day I went to interesting panels on the importance of covers and podcasting SF/F, and ate shish tauk for lunch and went to the launch party for Tesseract 13 and heard six of the authors to read their stories. They are all amazing, I bought it, and I am adding it to the "must read" stack.

There were a dozen parties happening Friday night, and a hundred good restaurants near the convention. And I went back to my room, dumped my stuff, got pizza and a salad from the restaurant in the food court near my hotel read most of Sojourn by Jana G. Oliver which I cannot say enough good things about, and went to sleep early.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

And I'm here!

At WorldCon, having a blast. Went by the Hades publishing table (who publish Edge, Dragon Moon and Tesseract) signed three copies of my book that were sold while I was there, and met the folks in charge.

Going to be going to bed soon. Will post pictures tomorrow, if I can manage to download them, and will wax eloquent about how wonderful the signings for Small Magics went. I have two of them. One in the autographs area in the morning, one at the Hades Publishing table in the afternoon.

--Oh yeah, and I'm doing an interview for a podcast tomorrow!

Talk to you later!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Truer words were never spoken...

From Tate Hallaway at Wyrdsmiths:

You know what I hate about being a writer? Writing.

Good Tips of Being on a Panel

Five days until I arrive at Anticipation (AKA WorldCon 2009), and I am prepping for my panels and getting my materials together. I'm getting all sorts of excited, first because it's WorldCon, which is going to be huge and great fun, but because it's Montreal, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada.

Meanwhile, my friend and editor-in-chief, Gabrielle Harbowy, is writing clever things on her blog about what to do as a panelist at a convention. It's a good little list and one that I will try to remember and no doubt forget and I wander around, enjoying the whole thing.

Look forward to seeing folks there. Now, I'm going to go do some of that editing on Cold Magics that I'm so far behind on.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Language Lessons....

I have to admit to never wondering about why the "i" in the word "I" is capitalized. It was just something that one does. Over at the New York Times, however, someone has wondered and written a whole article explaining things right here.

It's an interesting read, for those interested in such things, which includes me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Bit About Script Writing

Found while contemplating writing a screenplay this afternoon. The website has some good information about writing scripts, as well as some great links to movie scripts online.

I have a few screenplay ideas floating around in my head at any given time, but haven't had the time or energy to put them down lately. I'm too busy trying to get Cold Magics finished. It is nice to think about, though, and today at lunch I started doing a script outline just for fun. Maybe once this piece is done, I can take the time to write a screenplay.

I think writing a horror movie would be neat, don't you?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I got Drupal working on my website. Time to start a long, slow rebuild process...

You know, it just doesn't sound exciting when I put it like that...

Time to start building my brand-new, interactive, blog-capable, updatable website!!!

That's better!

A Little Marketing Stuff

Been so busy this week that most nights I haven't been home 8 p.m., so what energy I have left has has gone into editing, rather than blogging.

That said...

A while back I came across some book marketing information which looked pretty interesting and sent it home with the idea of posting it here.

So, here are the websites:

Have a look, and if you find it useful, let me know. Also, if you find it useless, let me know. I'm curious as to what people think.

Back to learning Drupal for the new website. And editing.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Good Band

Blitzen Trapper.

Heard them on CBC and found one of their videos on YouTube. I like their sound and they've got a nice way with lyrics.

Here's the video for "Furr"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Small Steps Forward

My website ( has been a constant annoyance to me because I simply haven't had the time to upgrade it, nor the money to hire someone else to do it (I have high hopes for the lottery this weekend, but let's be serious).

Now, however, I have taken the first step. I have changed my website from a shell site (hosted as but with my domain name) to a true website, with actual page names and everything.

The next step is recreating it so that it is more content management friendly. I want to have an easily updateable event calendar, my blog, and other nice web 2.0 features there without having to do all that HTML that I'm just not that good at.

So, one small step forward for tonight. And if there are any cheap, good website designers out there who can show me how to build this thing using Drupal, I'd appreciate the help.

Anyone? Anyone?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Two Cool Things!


Dr. Steven Beebe of Texas State University discovered part of a manuscript that appears to be a collaboration between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien called Language and Human Nature.


In finding this story, I also found the C.S. Lewis Foundation website, which is kind of cool. Interesting mandate.

Well, F**K!

What? I'm lessening the pain.

The pain of what I'm not sure, but there's pain in there somewhere and I am lessening it!

CBC says so!

And now, more editing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


So I'm running a test here, because I signed up for NetworkedBlogs on Facebook, which is supposed to be running material from my Blog to my facebook page -- my page, not my profile, but it seems to be sending it to my profile. Not certain just yet.

So this is a test. We will see if it is working.

UPDATE: Apparently, the blog needs at least 4 followers on facebook to be visible, so we will see what happens. It's there, and I've sent out invites.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Talk from a Literary Agent

Found this blog today at lunch.  Nathan Bransford is a literary agent from Curtis Brown LTD and runs a nice little blog with excellent advice for writers and those seeking an agent.  Also his blog links on the side are well worth a read, too.

Funny enough, I am not in the market for an agent right now, not because I don't want one (I do, and if any are reading, you'll be hearing from me in the future) but because I don't have anything to send to one at the moment.

I'm up to my eyebrows in editing Cold Magics right now. The King Below, which I could be marketing to an agent, is languishing on the shelf in need of a re-write, while my next one is still sitting in my brain, bubbling away like a stew pot getting ready to explode.  Problem is, I need to keep a lid on it because I don't have time to start another project right now.

So not this year, but next year, I will be looking for an agent.  One that handles historical fiction as well as fantasy. I have a cool idea for the next book.

Polaris Wrap Up

Well, I had fun.

Polaris as usual was a blast.  Nice people, good panels, great staff, and the folks at the hotel were very nice to us all as well.  I stopped one of them on my way out to thank them for the great work they did to make us all comfortable.

My highlight of the weekend was when one fan attending one of the panels dragged a friend forward and said that she 'd bought my book the year before and liked it so much she'd convinced her friend to buy it, too.  That's the kind of word of mouth I love to hear.

Got to hang out with some nice writer types, got to see some actors, and got to have a great time while talking up Small Magics and Cold Magics, which I am going to work hard to have ready early next year, rather than late.  I want to have something new to show all the good folks come 2010.

A great time, and if any of the Polaris organizers are reading this, thank you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Polaris Day 2, Quick Blog

Day 2 at Polaris and I have temporary access to WiFi (Thanks nice Sheraton people!).

I've just downloaded Cold Magics on to here so I can work while I'm standing around, and am looking forward to a great afternoon.  Love the people here.

So, off to work, schmooze and have fun!  Will report in tomorrow! 


Last night was the first night for Polaris 23 and a load of fun as usual. Attended the Blastoff party and got to speak with Matt Frewer, who is a very nice man and told me some interesting things about Doctor Doctor which he did in the 1980's and which was brilliantly funny.

Also got to meet Michael Hogan, another fine actor from Battle Star Galactica and many fine TV series including CTV's Cold Squad. Good actor.

And, finally (among the actors) got to meet the lovely Claudia Black who is as beautiful in person as she is on the screen and a lovely to talk with.

Saw and spoke with various other writers there, too: Douglas Smith, Julia Czerneda, Lesley Livingston, and Adrienne Cress.

Did my first panel at 11 p.m. and had great fun with it, but I didn't get to bed until 1:30 a.m. and my little girl got be up at 7:30. Man, am I tired.

Will be heading over there at noonish today. Looking forward to a good afternoon of schmoozing and book selling.

I'll be doing my reading at 7 p.m. tonight, and panels at 10 and 11 p.m., so do come out if you are in the area. My signing is tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m.

Now, time to figure out which bit of Cold Magics I should read. First time reading any of it in public, too. Hmmm...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Look! We made the news!

Blasted Beahiour made the Mississauga News!

Here's the article.

And while you are at it, go vote for the film if you haven't!

Well, crap

I went out doing the nature walk thing with a friend of mine this weekend. I was taking some nice pictures during a conservation walk near Kingston, with the intention of posting them here.

Until I dropped the camera. Onto the path. And it broke.


Going to see if I can get it repaired, or if I need a new one.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Blasted Behavior

I did a fun film project for my friend Alex. "Star Wars: Blasted Behavior" takes the star wars hero to anger management. It's a good bit of fun and it's now one of the finalists for the "2009 Star Wars Movie Challenge." Have a look, please vote for us, and pass the word around. The more views, the more votes, the better our chances of winning!

Blasted Behavior

Shared via AddThis

Countdown to Polaris!

10 Days until I'm at Polaris 23. Looking forward to it. It's a great time with lots of great people, and everytime I go, I meet someone new and interesting.

I'm still waiting to see which panels I'm on, but I will be doing a reading, both of Small Magics and Cold Magics, if I have the time.

So do come to Polaris. It's a lot of fun. Here's the link:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buffy vs Edward

Now that's funny!

Hat tip to my friend Erin, who first saw it on Perez Hilton

Friday, June 12, 2009

2009 Toronto Small Press Spring Book Fair

Just a quick note to let those interested know that I will be hosting the Dragon Moon Press table at the Toronto Small Press Book Spring Book Fair.

I'll have copies of my own book available (autographed, of course) and copies of other books by Dragon Moon Press authors, all at good prices. Should be a lot of fun for everyone.

So if you are around, come on down. Here's the information:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Daniel Levinson at Stratford

Daniel Levinson is one of the best Fight Directors in the business. He has deep knowledge of acting, stage violence, direction and human nature, all gained through years of experience.

He's also a friend of mine and one I don't see often enough. We both have busy lives and their no longer in the same business, unfortunately.

This year, Daniel Levinson is one of the fight directors at the Stratford festival, and if you go here you will read a great article where he talks about his work. And buried in the article is a video of him doing his work.

Dan is amazing. My wife and I are going to Stratford this summer, and his work is one of the big reasons.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Geek Link!

Giant dinosaur posture is all wrong.

What did your mother tell you? Stand straight!

Friday, May 22, 2009

100 Pages In!

Actually 107, but it sounds more dramatic this way.

I've had to change my schedule, decrease my workouts, increase my sleep and decrease my writing time, but the net result is better progress. I reached 107 pages last night in the Cold Magics edit.

It's been interesting analyzing how I write when doing my first draft (which is part planning and mostly stream of consciousness). Things get said two or three times that onlly need to be said once. Other things aren't said at all because I think I've written them when in fact I've only thought them. Oops.

I am also proud to report that I've managed to knock off 35 pages from the draft. This means I only have another 165 pages to cut. No problem, really.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saw the New Star Trek Film

Awesome. Absolutely awesome. Loved it.

They set out with this movie to renew a franchise which, let's face it, has been slowly dying out. I think they just might succeed, if they can keep the writing tight and the movies looking as good as this one.

Loved the guest appearance.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Now That's Just Neat!

Fit to Print

Imagine being able to go into a bookstore and order any book in existance and have it printed. This is the first step.

It will, I think help revitalize the publishing industry if they do it right, and can certainly do wonders for bookstores. As well as keeping what's new nd popular on the shelves,they would be able to print up the books as they are ordered, including all the backlist stuff that is so hard to find, and that makes Amazon so popular.


Monday, May 11, 2009

God, I Hate Technology

Okay, I don't really, but tonight I've got something of a passionate hatred for it since it's taken me two hours and two calls to the service centre to get the wireless network hooked up to my computer.

Everything is set and working and now we have a home wireless network, but oy veh!

I'd like to thank the D-LINK support service people who were unfailingly polite and helped me run through this whole mess. It's a massive pain, but they sorted the mess.

And now, editing, though it's going to be token because I am already tired.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Finally Saw The Watchmen

Excellent film. Absolutely amazing some of the things they did visually, with the soundtrack, and with the story.

I found a few parts overdramatic, and the gore level was a bit high for my taste, but considering one of the major focuses of the movie was man's capacity for violence, it did serve a purpose.

Overall, a great movie.

Of course, most of you reading this have already seen it, so there's not a huge amount of sense in my talking about it. Still, good film.

Meanwhile, editing away, I'm several chapter in now and Cold Magics is looking like it's going to be a very good book.

Once I get it cut down by 50,000 words or so. Sigh.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Geek Link!

Baby Mammoth!

Vey cool discovery. Amazing picture.

Unfortunately, the first page and the first paragraph of the second page is a writer's dramatic reconstruction of the baby mammoth's death.

But once you get past the fiction, there's some excellent stuff in here about the discovery, loss and rediscovery of this little mammoth, how it was preserved, and what they learned from it.

Really, really neat stuff.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And the edit continues...

And I am back at the beginning. Again.

This edit is becoming something of a frustrating process for me. I spent a week editing the prologue, which was too long and, when I finished editing it, was still too long.

That's when I realized it was also unecessary. Completely. A waste of paper.

So I've cut it.

And now I am editing the new begining for the book, and am hoping to make some better speed, though so far it hasn't been happening. We shall see, though.

Back to it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Erik at Ad Astra

Was looking around the web one day...

All right, I was looking to see how many mentions there were of my name. This is a valid marketing exercise and should in no way be construed to be me desperately attempting to stroke my ego by finding signs of my popularity.


No, really.


I discovered Nick's Musings, which is a blog by a literature student from Waterloo. On there I found this post about Ad Astra, which featured some great pictures of panels, including this one of me:

Nick, great photo. I especially like that you caught Small Magics in the shot, too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fantastic Creations

My friend and favourite sword- and prop- maker, Chris Warrilow, now has a website for his business.

Fantastic Creations is the best little prop house in Toronto. Great selection of stuff, amazing prices, and really, really good quality. I have a broadsword, rapier and dagger all made by him and all fantastic. Daniel Levinson of Rapier Wit has swords made by Chris 15 years ago that is still going strong.

So, if you are in the market for a prop or weapon for the theatre, film, or TV, give Chris a call. I highly, highly recommend him.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Performance Art at Its Best

I'm sure many people have heard of them already, but I just found out aboutImprov Everywhere, a group that works to make people's lives slightly more surreal and a fair amount more amusing by putting together strange, wonderful, interactive performance art pieces.

Looking at their website it looks like they started in New York, but have certainly spread around the globe, especially with the success of their No Pants Subway Ride.

It takes a certainly level of madness to be this creative. My hats off to them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And They're Off!

I began the edit of Cold Magics this week. I've run into a slight snag in that I'm sick as a dog right now, but plan to be going again very soon. Will attempt some tonight, but not much. I'm for bed in half an hour.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I just finished reading PS Showcase #5: Impossibilia, a collection of short stories by Douglas Smith. I've had the great pleasure of meeting Douglas at a few Conventions now, and the even greater pleasure of hearing him read. He is excellent live, which is good, because it takes an excellent reader to bring out the quality behind excellent writing.

Impossibilia is a wonderful book, with three of Douglas's short stories: "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh," about art, death and psychic time travel, "Spirit Dance," about northern Ontario, native spirits and shapeshifting and ""Going Down to Lucky Town," about what happens when you can see good luck... and bad luck.

Each one is an example of how a master at the art tells a story -- and I'm saying this out of sheer envy. I write a decent short story, but Douglas has fine tuned the art of writing short prose to the point where he says very well in 10,000 words what other writers would take 100,000 to say.

Impossibilia is an amazing little collection and if you like the short story form I recommend it.

Douglas is rumoured to be working on a novel. I can't wait to see it when it comes out.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Geek Link!

For all you archaeology buffs out there, possibly the coolest archaeology geek link I've come across in a long while:

The Archaeology Channel

This is a great website. All sorts of neat videos on all things archaeological. I watched a really interesting one on the relationship between early steel forging and the deforestation of part of India.

Very cool.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Great Weekend!

I just finished up at Ad Astra, and I want to say, I had a blast!

As with every con I've been to (all three now) folks were friendly and fun, panels were great, the other speakers lots of fun to discuss and argue with, and everyone very nice. Some great costume work, too.

So, lots of fun was had, lots more to be had. My next goal is Worldcon in Montreal in June, and I'll be blogging more about that soon. And now, I need a nap and then, I need to do homework.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ad Astra - Quick Saturday Blog

Having a great time so far at Ad Astra. I actually had people at my reading of Small Magics! It was amazing. Especially when you realize I was opposite the guest of honor meet and greet and the pajama party. I damn near left myself.

And I had my camera in my pocket and was going to take pictures but I forgot. Sigh.

I had a great time. I met the woman who will be editing my next book for Dragon Moon Press: Gabrielle Harbowy. Nice woman, great sense of humour was willing to listen to me ramble on for far too long.

Got to hear Douglas Smith read one of his short stories. He's amazing. Great writer. Has his first novel nealrly done and I can't wait to read it.

(Word of advice to folks out there: long periods of low sleep + too much caffeine = babbling idiot)

Today, I've got a panel in the morning and an autograph session in the afternoon. Then I get to come home and miss entirely the evening sessions in favour of grinding out this report which we should have done far more on by now. Oh well.

Off to shower and shave, then off to the Con!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Little Bit of Luxury

It's troubled times, we all know, and there's many folks facing a lot of hardship. Those of us who have jobs are working hard to keep them, and those who don't are working hard to find new ones.

In the midst of all this struggle, though, a little luxury is a fine, fine thing. Here's a great little article on luxuryfrom CBC. It's also a great reminder that luxury doesn't have to mean having all the fancies.. It can just mean treating yourself once in a while.

Now THAT is comedy!

This one is making the rounds of facebook, but I had to put it here after reading it:

Pub is closed by Monty Python grenade

Yes, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is once more loose in the world.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ad Astra, Bookmarks and Marketing

Well, another long weekend filled with work. Fortunately, half of it was for myself instead of for class, so that was nice.

Built a bookmark to help push Small Magics at Ad Astra next weekend. My reading is at 9 p.m. Friday night, and I'm hoping to bring in some people. I'll also be doing a signing on Saturday at 4 p.m. I'll be bringing copies of Small Magics, so if you want one, here's a place to get it.

The bookmark is pretty cool:

Not bad for 8 hours work on Gimp (open source image manipulation software. Not Photoshop, but mighty good). Now the issue is, can I get them printed on time for Thursday evening, which is when they are stuffing them in the package. Got a call out to a print shop near my work, so we'll see what happens.

Very much looking forward to Ad Astra. I haven't been since Sandy McMaster and I did a stage combat demo there year and years and years ago. Should be lots of fun, a good chance to promote the book, and I get to do signings and all that other fun stuff.

Also, while surfing for ideas for the website at work, I came across a couple of interesting sites. One — Browsershots — allows you to see what your website looks like on a bunch of different browsers from all over thee internet. Mine looks mighty similar in all of them, so I'm quite pleased. Another — WebDistortion — is by an Irish web designer and is giving me some interesting ideas for when I resdesign my website, or possibly when I hire someone else to do it. I'm kind of busy and those things take time. Also some good articles on web marketing.

And finally, a fun little piece on why you get all your best ideas in the shower, and how to retain them.

And that's it for me. From Sunday night to Thursday I had a grand total of 16 hours sleep, so I'm now playing catch up.

Hey, only three more weeks of classes left, then a week to recover, and it's time to start editing Cold Magics (the blurb is halfway down the page). I'm looking forward to it almost as much as I am looking forward to getting started on my next writing project.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Late Night

I am once more burning the midnight oil, and unfortunately, not writing while I'm doing it. This has been a pattern for the last few months as I take classes and try to stay ahead of them.

Unfortunately, it isnt happening.

Right now I'm wired on caffeine to stay awake, struggling to get finished what I need to get finished (which is neither writing nor classwork but some old business which should have been resolved months ago), and hoping that once this is out of the way, I can get focused on the things I need to focus on to get caught up and maybe, with luck, even ahead.

On the bright side, I'm booked to go to two conventions this summer, and have to book myself into a third (that one in Montreal - expensive, but the publisher will be there).

Anyway, back to the grind. I want to get to sleep before midnight.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Geek Link!

'Oldest English Words' Identified.

Interesting little article on some lingusitic studies trying to determine which words in our language may be the oldest, and which are most likely to disappear in the near future.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Marketing Stuff

Can you tell I'm taking a class in this right now?

Anyway, found an interesting site called Dosh Dosh with some good marketing information on it, run out of my hometown of Toronto.

Not sure what's with all the anime images but they do attract the eye and the information they are hanging around is sound. There's some good tips for those of us trying to organize a marketing campaign.

This article, for example, on Push Marketing vs Pull Marketing does a nice job of laying out some tactics to use online for getting more folks interested in what you sell.

Anyway, it is late, and no more homework is happening tonight. I'm gonig to see if I can get some sleep and manage a workout tomorrow morning.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Geek Link!

At last! We can bring Neanderthals back to life!

We can! Really! Maybe. Or maybe not, depending whose opinion you ask.

Here's the article.

More importantly, they have just about recreated the neanderthal genome which will tell us a great deal about the evolution of humankind as we know it.

H/T to Kat, who told me about it (and put stuff like this on your blog, will ya?)

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I'm taking a corporate communications certificate right now. Lots of fun and lots of good PR information (gee, why would I want that? Hmmm)

Part of my assignments for one class is to put together a survey for people to take. It's part of an imaginary PR campaign for a mental health charity.

It is anonymous and does not record IP addresses. So if you have a minute or two to spare and would like to help, go here and fill it out:

Click Here to take survey

Thanks everyone.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's and Coraline

Valentine's Day today and what better way to enjoy it than going to see a creepy kid's movie?

(After a really, really good dinner. Steak oscar with crab and a shrimp skewer. Yum.

Coraline, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, is amazing. Excellent animation, excellent combination of stop motion and CGI. And well acted, too, I thought. Fairly faithful to the book, from what I remember. And take a good look at Coraline's dad and think of who he looks like.

Excellent movie, highly recommend it. Do not take small children to it. It is rated PG-13 for a reason.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Little Friday Night Music

Heard some Bruce Cockburn on the way to work this morning and had him in my head most of the day. Here's one of my favourites.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Book Marketing: Website Stuff

I'm prepping up marketing plans right now, as I've mentioned recently, getting ready for a re-launch of Small Magics and some other exciting things, and part of that, of course, is my website.

Now, my website has existed in a state of benign neglect for most of the last two years and I haven't had the time, energy, or money to do much about it. Things are still pretty similar in terms of time and energy, but I do have some money (gotta love having a job) and that makes things better.

So while looking around for tips on developing a better website, I came across the blog of Rich Page, who calls himself a web optimizer and who has a decent blog with some good tips directed towards making your website more attractive to those who visit, and more effective at pushing your product. Some good reading there for those who are interested.

There are a few things I need to do very soon on my website, starting with getting a good content management system so I can update it quickly and easily, rather than having to do all that HTML I'm not so good at. Other stuff:
  • Put this blog on my website for better visibility
  • Turn my website from a shell site (which means all pages have the same URL, basically -- it's cheaper) to a proper website to increase my SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Develop the social media tools to make the website accessible across different channels
  • And a whack of content updating
So, lots to do, and while it often feels like this has very little to do with writing, the fact is that is I want other people to read what I write, and to do that, I need to let them know I'm alive. And a good web presence is a cheap and easy way to do that.

And now, sleep. I'm tired.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cold Magics

... is finished. I just completed the first draft.

About bloody time, too.

And now, I sleep.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Researching and Learning...

Been doing a lot of wandering as I prep my maketing plan for the Small Magics relaunch and the advent of the next book in 2010 (oops, did I let that slip?) and have been gobbling down whatever information I could about the publishing industry in general, as well as small press, literary festivals, conventions, and all that fun stuff.

It's been good, though I'm suffering from information overload at the moment, justbecause there is so much out there. Still, no rest for the wickedly determined (or maybe just hte wicked, I haven't decided yet).

One of the more interesting things I found along the journey was Publishing Trends website and blog, which features articles about publishing and what people are reading. Interesting places to learn more about the industry.

And now, back to work. I have 20 tabs open on this browser and would like to deal with them all tonight.

Then there's that pesky writing thing I'm doing...


And another cool one: The Writer's Edge

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Running Down the Dream

I haven't been blogging much lately. The joys of working full time, commuting two hours a day, having a small child, taking classes, getting exercise, writing in what spare time I have and desperately trying to get more than 5 hours of sleep a night.

So what am I doing all this for?

I want to write fiction for a living. Not for part of my living; for a living. I want my books to be on shelves across the country, around the world and translated into different languages. I want to be cranking out at least 2 books a year, and I want to do it for the rest of my life.

It's a long row to hoe. And as all of you may have noticed, it's taking a while.

Life has a nasty way of interfereing with one's plans, and my life has certainly been interfering with mine. That's all right. Life is how you get the material you need to write.

So why I am telling you all about this?

Well, I some interesting developments have happened recently. My wonderful publisher, Dragon Moon Press, and I are going to relaunch Small Magics. This fall, I think, though we haven't got a solid date yet. And we are doing this as part of a publicity campaign for something else, which we will announce at the relaunch (hint, it's been a while coming...)

The next step on this is simultaneously building the publicity campaign for the Small Magics relaunch and the campaign around the big announcement. It means lots of writing, lots of media work, and lots of learning to do thingsI don't know how to do, like developing RSS feeds, podcasting, and developing specific social media directed campaigns.

There's lots to be done, including, possibly, a new blog that details this whole mess, as well as keeping up this one. And it's all going to take time. You know time, that one thing I don't have any of this year?

If it isn't challenging, it isn't fun.

The next steps are for me to finalize my publicity plan for the Small Magics relaunch and get working on that at high speed, keep writing on the other projects, and finish my classes at high speed. I'll be finished them this fall, all things being equal, but meanwhile, there's lots to do.

That's me. Stay tuned, and I'll be starting to put in details about the process.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Doctor in the House

As a note, when I tried to embed this from quizfarm, it came out absolutely awful. I had to make a jpeg from a screen shot and add the link, just to make it fit. You can still get to the quiz from here; just click the picture, but I don't recommend trying to embed the code in your blog.

The Furnace is Broken

Bloody hell.

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