Sunday, December 25, 2011

Late night Christmas Poetry

The cake is now baked, the whisky's been poured
And downed as we wrapped the whole Christmas hoard.
It's way, way too late as we stumble to bed,
Hoping to lie down and sleep like the dead,
But knowing that soon the child will arise,
And wake us all with her loud, happy cries.
It's that time of year, so what can you say,
But Merry Christmas! And may you nap later today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

They Read my Story in Salem (or Why the Internet is Really Cool sometimes!)

I received an email today from Kevin Newland Scott, who was participating in Deck the Halls: Grown-Up Storytime at the Salem Public Library in Salem, Oregon.

And there, he read my story, "A Visit from Cousin Charles." (which you can find here)

A quote from his email:
Everyone wanted to know where I had found the wonderful Christmas ghost story -- and it was a lucky Google. I was looking for a Christmas ghost story by Robertson Davies, and chanced to turn up one that mentioned him.

I am all sorts of thrilled!

Thank you for picking my story, Kevin, and I am very glad the audience enjoyed it.

And now I'm wondering if I can get another one written by Christmas. Hmmm...

Merry Christmas to everyone who attended the event, and heck, Merry Christmas to the rest of you!

Science! Learn like they did in "The Matrix"... maybe...

What if there were a technology that would allow you to learn how to do new things with no conscious effort?


Click the link above to read the whole article, and then imagine opening your eyes in the big chair and and saying, "I know Kung Fu."

Cool.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

NaNoWriMo Wrap-up and next steps...

I wrote 50,440 words. I also took 6 days to recover. The question is, was it worth it?

The answer is, I'm not sure (how decisive of me, eh?).

Yes, I wrote 50,000+ words on my new novel. On a normal month I write around 20-25,000. So I doubled my output. The problem was, it wasn't a sustainable pace.

Like a lot of other people who tried it, I have a full time job and a small child. I also have a nasty exercise habit that gets me out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and a convention I go to in the middle of it all. All of them are immoveable objects in my life.

So what did I give up?

Sleep.

I averaged 5 hours a night or less for a month. Yes, I can do that. No, it is not happy making. It leaves me zombified and drinking too much caffeine, which in turn (because I am allergic to caffeine) leaves me shaky, irritable, prone to mood swings and given to sudden exhausted collapses, one of which happened on a weekend with my daughter.

That was not happy making.

The other issue is that the name of the game in NaNoWriMo is volume, not quality. I can already see that there's at about 10,000 words that are going to be cut entirely. And there's a fair amount of the rest that will need some serious re-working (even more serious than usual, and that's saying something).

So while I highly recommend NaNoWriMo for those who need impetus to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I will not be taking part next year. Instead, I am focusing on three writing projects between now and then:

1. Editing my new book, a young adult piece set in Victorian London.

2. Finishing the third book in my "Magics" series for Dragon Moon Press (which was my NanoWriMo project last year).

3. Writing a new historical fiction piece that's been brewing in my mind for a while.

Will I get it all done?

I think so. And hopefully with more sleep than I got in the last month.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good-bye, Anne McCaffery

You gave me dreams of dragons.

Cover Image from The Dragonriders of Pern

Friday, November 18, 2011

SFContario!

This weekend is SFContario!

I'm tearing myself away from NaNoWriMo (32,819 words, by the way, which puts me past last year's count. YAY!) to staff the Dragon Moon Press table, which this year will feature:

When the Hero Comes Home (anthology), edited by Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood

Small Magics and Cold Magics by Erik Buchanan (of course)

Destiny's Blood by Marie Bilodeau

Triptych by J.M. Frey

Authors J.M. Frey and Marie Bilodeau will both be at the convention (Marie on Sunday only), and both will happily sign books whenever they get the chance.

Also, panels!

Weapons and Armour - Fri. 8 PM, Parkview
An examination of the historical and ongoing technological race
between weapons and the equipment that makes them obsolete. (Erik
Buchanan, Stephen B Pearl, Adam Shaftoe(M), David Stephenson)

Are there any new stories? Sat. 4 PM, Parkview
It's been said that there's a limited number of stories - the number
varies with who's saying it - but each generation of writers seems to
come up with a few truly new ones. How can you break out of the
classic story forms and do something really new, while still being
understandable to readers? Is it even worthwhile to try? (Erik
Buchanan, Derek Kunsken, Ira Nayman(M), Craig Russell, Michael
Swanwick)

Accents and Speech Patterns - sun 11 PM Ballroom BC
When representing accents and ways of speaking in fiction some authors
choose to add slang terms while others may write entire novels in a
vernacular accent. When is it too much? Is it worth sacrificing
readability for authenticity? Our panel will give tips, strategies and
techniques for accurately representing speech in fiction. (Richard
Baldwin, Erik Buchanan, Ian Keeling, Stephen B Pearl(M), Robert
Charles Wilson)

So do come by this weekend, if you have a moment and want to have some fun. It's a great little con and this year is hosting the Aurora Awards.

Or, if you don't have the cash to spare, but want to get your hands on some fine DMP books, the dealer's room is open to the public from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A bit of fun...

As I mention from time to time, I'm a fight director and an actor. About a week ago, my friend Kevin Robinson, a stunt coordinator, asked me to come out and stunt-double for an actor on a show he is working on.

So I said yes.

The video is a bit dark, but that's me, wearing a wig and padding, on the left.

A great bit of fun, thanks to Kevin and Chris Mott, his assistant, who made sure I was safe and that most everything went off smoothly and on time.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

J.M. Frey's Triptych makes Publisher's Weekly Top Books of 2011

Congratulations to J.M. Frey for a great debut novel! Looking forward to seeing many more good books from you!

Here's the link!

And in case you don't know about Triptych, learn more and buy it here.

Well done, J.M.!

See you at SFContario!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Nanowrimo - week one round up

Well, got through the first week and got 15,223 words.  My goal was 17,000, but still, not bad at all.

I had a strong start last year, too, but didn't make the finish. I only managed about 30,000 words.  Just like last year, life is remarkably busy and I have a convention right in the middle of it.

So the real challenge this year is to show a little more self-discipline than I did last year with my free time.

On a good night, I can write a thousand words in about an hour (maybe a bit longer. I tend to lose track of time).  If I can keep up my self-discipline for the next three weeks, I can easily put down 1500-2000 words a night. But there are things I'm going to need to do:

Get enough sleep: I never do, and with a month like this I really need to, which means

Stay on schedule:  Even tonight I'm up later than I should be. I live on a tight schedule most of the time, and this month, it's tighter than most. I need to get my writing done in the time I have (usually 1 to 2 hours a night) and get to sleep by 10:30 p.m. so I can get up at 5:30 a.m. and

Exercise: I really need exercise. It keeps my brain alive and keeps my damaged bits from falling apart entirely. Also, it's fun.

Stay away from coffee: I know, everyone talks about living on caffeine during Nanowrimo. I'm highly sensitive to the stuff and drinking it messes me up after a few days.  Drinking it during the day leaves me exhausted at night, drinking it at night means no sleep, and no sleep means no creativity and no writing.

So that is the end of Week 1. Let's see what week 2 will bring!

In Time

Went out to the movies last night in the company of four lovely women (you know who you are) and saw "In Time."

Fun little film. Nothing too deep, nothing too groundbreaking. The whole "time is money" thing worked fairly well, and the whole movie was a fairly straightforward allegory for corporate greed. It's also a not bad chase money. And while the ending was predictable, it was fun predictable.

For the most part I liked it. The one thing that I really didn't like was Amanda Seyfried's shoes.

Seriously. The shoes. Because I don't care how much you practice running (and her character wouldn't have practiced much before she met Justin Timberlake's character) no one runs that fast in 5 inch spike heeled platforms.

I know Amanda is short and needed to be in frame with Justin, but couldn't they have found a nice pair of combat boots for her? Just for believability's sake.

(Of course, making a movie about people who turn 25 and then only have a year to live unless they earn more time, chances are believability wasn't high on the list).

Still, it was a good bit of fun and all four of the women with me assured me that Justin looks cute with his shirt off. So if you like a good gritty near-future sci-fi action movie, I'd give this one a try.

Just ignore the shoes.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

SFContario Schedule

Hi Folks

I'll be at SFContario from Friday November 18 to Sunday November 20. Mostly I'll be staffing the Dragon Moon Press table, selling books and signing away madly. But I also managed to land on three panels this year. Here they are:

Weapons and Armour - Fri. 8 PM, Parkview
An examination fo the historical and ongoing technological race
betweeen weapons and the equipment tha tmakes them obsolete. (Erik
Buchanan, Stephen B Pearl, Adam Shaftoe(M), David Stephenson)

Are there any new stories? Sat. 4 PM, Parkview
It's been said that there's a limited number of stories - the number
varies with who's saying it - but each generation of writers seems to
come up with a few truly new ones. How can you break out of the
classic story forms and do something really new, while still being
understandable to readers? Is it even worthwhile to try? (Erik
Buchanan, Derek Kunsken, Ira Nayman(M), Craig Russell, Michael
Swanwick)

Accents and Speech Patterns - sun 11 PM Ballroom BC
When representing accents and ways of speaking in fiction some authors
choose to add slang terms while others may write entire novels in a
vernacular accent. When is it too much? Is it worth sacrificing
readability for authenticity? Our panel will give tips, strategies and
techniques for accurately representing speech in fiction. (Richard
Baldwin, Erik Buchanan, Ian Keeling, Stephen B Pearl(M), Robert
Charles Wilson)

Looking forward to seeing folks there!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Something for the Narnia fans out there


Embedded from of xkcd.

And twistedly brilliant, I might add.


xkcd solution for Narnia

Monday, October 17, 2011

And it is done!

Finished my story for the new Dragon Moon Press anthology and have sent it off to the lovely and talented Gabrielle Harbowy, editor extraordinare. Very happy making.

Now there are three projects ahead of me:

1. Start writing the third Magics book.

2. Start editing The King Below.

3. Start editing City of Phantoms.

A lot of work to be done, but it should all be fun.

The rhyme there was not intentional.

In the next day or so I should post my schedule to SFContario, so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SFContario and a Finished Story

After much hemming and hawing, I decided to go to SFContario 2/Canvention 31. I will be doing panels and staffing the Dragon Moon Press table.

The hemming and hawing centred around NaNoWriMo, which I will be using to help kick-start the next Magics book. I have a whole big bunch to write, and it was a hard decision to lose most of three days to a Con, but the folks at SFContario are great and I wouldn't want to miss it.

I'll post my panels as soon as I know what they are, along with our table location and hours.

In other news, I finished my story for the new DMP anthology. Going to edit it tonight and send it out, if all things work out (which they rarely do, but I have high hopes for tonight).

Then I will be engaging in a mad editing/writing frenzy for the next few months. Whee!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

And so it begins again...

I've put down 924 words today for a new short story anthology from Dragon Moon Press. Wrote it in under and hour while my daughter was doing her ballet class. Very cool.

And once this is done, I will be starting on the new "Magics" novel. Got a title (not telling you) got a plot (still not telling you) and got a plan for writing a whole bunch very quick. We'll see how well it goes.

(It would be so cool to have it finished for Christmas. It's nearly impossible, mind you, but it would be very, very cool.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And Another One Down...

Very happy making kind of week. On Monday the new website went up at erikbuchanan.ca, and today, I finished writing "City of Phantoms." Yay!

Now I have short story for an anthology I need to write, then on to writing the new "Magics" book while editing "the King Below" and "City of Phantoms."

Friday, September 02, 2011

Want to see something really cool?

It's the "When the Hero Comes Home" book trailer!




And what a damn handsome fellow that is!

You know, this is an excellent time to pick up your own copy!

Here's the paperback.

Here's the Kindle.

Have fun!

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Reviews for "When the Hero Comes Home!"

And very good reviews they are, too!

And I get a mention in both!

...And it’s a really good anthology. It’s clear that Harbowy and Greenwood carefully considered their theme and the authors and stories that are its backbone. Every story is well-plotted and contains characters that leap off the page. Characters that feel, that make you feel along with them. When I got the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book, I was excited by the subject matter I’d heard so much about at Ad Astra. I popped it into my Kobo right away, and was glued.
And mentions my story here:
My Top 5:
  • An Evil Not Forgotten by Erik Buchanan
  • Brine Magic by Tony Pi
  • The Legend of Gluck by Marie Bilodeau
  • Ashes of the Bonfire Queen by Rosemary Jones
  • Dark Helm Returns by Ed Greenwood
Yay!

I love small presses. Really, I do. They are so much more likely to put out interesting anthologies, such as When The Hero Comes Home...

...Really, there are no lackluster stories in this collection, and I could easily sing the praises of each of them. Pick up a copy from Amazon and enjoy, or go to the Dragon Moon Press site to check it out.
And says this about my story:
Let me highlight some of the gems inside, in order of appearance. Erik Buchanan's What Evil Remains gives us a picture of a veteran of a wizard's defeat dealing with post-traumatic stress, a good man who served his community and bears the mental scars to prove it. Truly heart-wrenching.
Excellent reviews and very happy making. So, if you haven't picked up your copy of When the Hero Comes Home (Paperback or Kindle), I (and they) recommend you do so now!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Polaris Day 1

Friday night at Polaris and things are off to a great start. Marie Bilodeau and J.M. Frey were both in attendance, as was our lovely and talented assistant, Katrina.

We have a great spot for the table, and we sold a good number of books for a Friday night. And we're starting to get buzz for the launch. All in all, very happy making.

But I need to mention...

KINDLE!!!!



Coolness!

If you are a Kindle owner, please buy them and let me know how they look!

Back to Polaris:

I had my first panel tonight, "How to judge a book by it's cover, with the very intelligent and knowledgeable Julie Czerneda moderating and myself, Stephen B. Pearl and Nikki Stafford talking. Good experience, great information and a quite appreciative audience, which is a great thing on a Friday night.

Will be taking some pictures tomorrow and posting them when I can.

Thanks to those who were there for a great evening, and everyone remember the "When the Hero Comes Home" Book Launch and Champagne Brunch on Sunday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

"When the Hero Comes Home" Reviews!

The first are in, and so far, so good!


"When the Hero Comes Home edited by Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood, was a real surprise. I expected it to be good, but I wasn't expecting it to be as moving as it was. This is a perfect example of how an anthology of stories should work, individual tales tied together by a cohesive theme"

Nice! And he even mentions my story, "The Evil that Remains."

You can also find that review on Amazon, where someone who bought the kindle edition said:

"I don't read short stories...usually. This one piqued my interest based around a cool theme. I thought it might have one or two good stories, then a lot of filler -- but fortunately, they were all top notch. The stories (by a mix of shared-world veterans and Cdn authors) are all excellent...such that I found I wanted to tell people about the plots or characters -- that special moment when you HAVE to share the experience with someone."

So, so far, so good, and I encourage everyone to get their own copy, either at the book launch, or on Amazon in paperback or Kindle, and write their own review!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

"When the Hero Comes Home" Champagne Brunch and Book Launch!

On Sunday, July 17, 2011, we are launching Dragon Moon Press's new anthology, When the Hero Comes Home with a Champagne brunch at Polaris!




From the DMP website:

When the epic battle, the mission, and the quest are over, can a hero go home again?


When the Hero Comes Home, answers these questions with nineteen powerful stories by some of today's top and up-and-coming fantasy and science fiction writers.


Edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy, the anthology features new fiction by Jay Lake, Todd McCaffrey, Julie Kagawa, and an all-new Jig the Goblin story by Jim C. Hines.

The official launch will be at GenCon in Indianapolis but thanks to the generosity and time-shifting of the good folks at Polaris, and that most wonderful of publishers, Dragon Moon Press, we get to have our own Canada/Toronto book launch!


And by "we" I mean, me, J.M. Frey, Marie Bilodeau and any other of the authors that can make it.


We're spreading the word now, and as we get more folks, I'll let you know.


Here's the announcement from the Polaris Program:

When the Hero Comes Home Champagne Brunch and Book Launch

Join Dragon Moon Press at Ten Forward as we celebrate the launch of our new anthology, When the Hero Comes Home. What happens when the epic battle, the mission, and the quest are over? When the Hero Comes Home answers the question with 19 powerful stories by some of today’s top and up-and-coming fantasy and science fiction writers. We’ll have champagne mimosas and a continental brunch, readings by authors, prizes, and of course, chocolate! Copies of When the Hero Comes Home will be available for sale and authors J.M. Frey, Marie Bilodeau and Erik Buchanan will be ready to sign them for you.

Sunday, July 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Ten Forward.

So how can you get there?


Well, first, you have to go to Polaris. Here's all the details. Then just come on in. We'll have a mimosa just for you!


And if you just can't wait for the launch party to get your copy of When the Hero Comes Home, not to worry:


You can get the paperback here at Amazon.


And the Kindle version right here.


I hope to see you at the launch. It's going to be a great time.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Announcement - When the Hero Comes Home

Yay!

My short story "An Evil Not Forgotten" will appear in the new Anthology "When the Hero Comes Home," edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy.

Coolness!!!!

Below is the text of the official press release:

WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME, an anthology of fantasy and science fiction tales—co-edited by Bestselling author Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy, Editor and Associate Publisher, Dragon Moon Press—will be released in August of 2011 by Dragon Moon Press.

When the epic battle, the mission, the quest are over, can the hero go home again? Is she too changed to resume where she left off... Is the life he left behind is no longer waiting for him?

In WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME, these questions are addressed in nineteen powerful stories by some of today’s top and up-and-coming fantasy and science fiction writers.

"We've been very pleased with the stories we've received. Strong storytelling featuring great characters, from both new voices and established writers. They’ve given us wildly different approaches to our theme—which is just what the title of the book says it is," says Greenwood.

"It's a thrill to be able to work with Ed and with so many other talented writers, and to have an opportunity to showcase some of Dragon Moon Press's up and coming authors. Each story gives the theme its own fresh, fascinating spin. Whether you're into swords and sorcery, science fiction, or urban fantasy, there are stories here that will grab you," says Harbowy.

The anthology features new fiction by Jay Lake, Todd McCaffrey, Julie Kagawa, and an all-new Jig the Goblin story by Jim C. Hines.

Title: WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME
ISBN-13: 978-1-897492-25-3
Release Date: August, 2011
Publisher: Dragon Moon Press
Format: Trade Paperback, E-book
Distributor: Ingram

For preordering and promotional information contact: eic@dragonmoonpress.com


Did I mention yay? Because, YAY!!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Geek Link! The Science of Social Networking

Apparently, a single new connection can dramatically increase the size of your social network. And here is why:


Interesting little article, which explains how my facebook fan page can leap up in the numbers.

If you'll all just join it, that is...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Green Hornet or, Dammit, They Said It Better than I Could!

I saw The Green Hornet last night and was trying to come up with a way to tell folks what a good movie it was. Loads of fun, completely irreverent, and a total hoot.

But while I was searching for a way to say it, I stumbled across io9's review, whose title alone said the whole thing better than I could:


So read their review, which sums it up very well, then I highly recommend going to see The Green Hornet. I laughed myself silly, and the explosions were pretty good, too.


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Science! Plastic to Oil in one easy machine...

Found this via Care2, a social action website. They have some interesting stuff on a variety of topics, so have a look if that's your thing.

Aniko Ito is the CEO of Blest, a Japanese company. One day, he wondered why we didn't convert the plastics back into oil and use them. So he built a machine that could.


And here's the video:


Cool, eh?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

It's a brand new year, and a brand new blog post!

I'm excited about this year. I don't have a new book coming out (damn this whole "life" thing with its busy "life-iness") but I've got one I'm working on and two others I want to start on.

I learned a while ago that one book at a time is the best way for me to write, so I have to hold back on the others for a bit. Still, it gives me motivation to hurry up and finish this one.

The day job that keeps me in beer and skittles is going along very nicely and I am enjoying my work. My daily schedule has resolved itself into something that I can live with and still do my writing and get some exercise (the latter of which fell desperately behind last year).

Now, because no post of mine would be complete without a shameless plug for my work, I will mention that the New Year is an excellent time to treat yourself to a new book or two. I recommend:


and


But, then, I would. That said, check out the reader reviews. They're pretty darn good!

And Look, I got Interviewed!
(I was mighty busy when this came out, first with NaNoWriMo and SF Contario, then with Christmas, so I missed telling everyone about it at the time.)

While I was at Con*Cept in Montreal, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Denis Lalumiére of Cinemaniax and Sébastien Mineau of SithClan. This guys did a great interview and asked some really good questions. Thanks to both for an excellent time.


The introduction is in French, but the interview is in English.

And I have to say, the folks in Montreal are wonderful. Had a great time, and they even put up with my lousy (and I mean really, really lousy) French. Must also thank Dragon Moon Press author Marie Bilodeau, who went there with me and did most of the talking. It was a great weekend.

So Happy New Year to all. I look forward to a great year of writing, conventions, and telling everyone all about it.

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