I've only been able to attend two panels so far due to my unexpectedly busy work schedule, but I am enjoying the con. I found the mythic fiction panel especially inspiring. It may have given me the start of an idea for a short story. We'll see how that pans out.
My schedule continues to be a little too hectic for enjoying the con in person, sadly. They have been quick to post transcripts, though, so I can get caught up when I have a moment. I can't wait until I can return!
If I haven't already convinced you to give CoyoteCon a shot, here's their official news release:
CoyoteCon, a 31 day, digital conference, is providing writers with a way to connect with others, learn from published authors and other professionals, and practice their writing, all in a groundbreaking format.
Award winning and popular authors, such as Caroline Stevermer (Magic Below Stairs, A Scholar of Magics, Sorcery and Cecilia), Scott Nicholson (The Red Church, Drummer Boy, the Skull Ring), Kealan Patrick Burke (The Hides, Currency of Souls, The Living), Carole McDonnell (Windfollower) and Lynn Flewelling (The White Road, Luck in the Shadows, Bone Doll Twins), join more than 50 other science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, mystery, and YA authors, librarians, and experts at CoyoteCon (coyotecon.com), a free, digital conference organized by Drollerie Press, to share their skills in writing great fiction—and getting it published.
Every day in May, participants have the opportunity to compete against one another in writing/ word count competitions, while every weekend, authors and publishing professionals join con attendees in an online chat room to discuss the art and craft of writing. Con-goers will learn how to write scary ghosts with Kealan Patrick Burke, how to create a fully-realized historical setting with Caroline Stevermer, build a world with Lynn Flewelling, or dicuss ways to manage both a writing career and a disability with Carole McDonnell.
The conference won’t be shying away from the tough issues, either. Sessions on race, non-western perspectives, child abuse in fiction, and mental illness sit along side discussions of artificial intelligence, transformative sex, and steampunk. Publishers Deena Fisher (Drollerie Press) and Stephanie Kelsey (Mojocastle), will also be on hand to talk about mythic fiction, erotica, and ebooks.
Deena Fisher, publisher of Drollerie Press, explains. “There are other, valuable, online conferences, but most of them are forum or blog based, and I wanted the authors coming to the conference to get that same sense of immediacy, that feeling of creative possibility you can get from going to a great writing conference in person. I think the idea of doing it this way came from a combination of things—old AOL chats with other creative people, attendance at business webinars, and the burning jealousy I feel whenever I hear about a con I can’t afford to attend.”
Science fiction, fantasy, and romance author Joely Sue Burkhart has organized a writing challenge to go along with the conference. Modeled after the wildly popular Nanowrimo, Burkhart says, “MayNoWriMo is about the participant setting a challenging goal for him or herself. Whether it’s revising an old project, continuing an existing draft, or completing a partial and submitting it by the end of the month, the point of MayNoWriMo is to encourage and support authors as they juggle life, work, school, and family, and help them succeed in their dreams of writing something they want others to read.”
The conference is free, and registration continues throughout the month of May or until filled, but space is limited.
If you have a child, it's a good idea to read to them. Why not donate to charity at the same time?
We Give Books donates a book to the charity of your choice for every book you read on their website. It has books for kids between 0 and 10 years old, so you can read to your younger kids and let your older kids read on their own. If that's not enough incentive for you, bear in mind that it's also free. If there's one thing I love, it's free charity.
Today, I registered for CoyoteCon. I cannot wait for May. I already got my tickets for most of the special sessions, and I'm even considering entering some of the word wars (I've never competed for word count before; maybe it will challenge me). After going over the schedule, I don't see anything that doesn't interest me to some degree. I think I am most looking forward to the following:
Creating Your Own Religion
Writing Paganism and Non-Christian Religions
Artificial Intelligence and Sexuality
Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction
Character Creation: Non-Humans
Character Creation: Good Bad Guys
Writing Mental Illness Without Getting It Wrong
Rayguns! Writing Steampunk
Race 101 For Writers
Comics and Graphic Novels
If it involves characters, I am there. I've always had a fondness for the character creation process, something I probably picked up from my RPG enthusiasm. I am especially looking forward to anything about non-humans. Don't get me wrong, humans are great and all -- in fact, some of my best friends are human -- I just like things that are out of the ordinary.
I also want to learn more about graphic novels. It's a medium I've wanted to work with for a while now.
Only ten days until the con!
Keeping your muse locked in a cage and not bothering to feed it should be a crime. If it was, you could slap the handcuffs on me and drag me away. I would plead guilty, no contest.
It's not that I don't want to write. I do. I am just the most unmotivated person I have the displeasure of knowing! Depression makes this trait even more pronounced, and I think I've had a fair share of that for the past year or so. Without getting into too much detail, I've had some trials and tribulations in regards to our current economy. It's getting better, but I still have a way to go before I'm happy and comfortable with my position. Anyway, this has been a major drain on my mood, and my creativity has suffered. A lot.
On the plus side, I've had lots of time to read. I'm really catching up on my Pratchett.
This morning, I felt like change was coming. I looked at myself and said, "What the hell happened to me? Nuts to this." So, now I'm trying to reconnect with that ol' muse o' mine. I've recently started reading some new specfic and writing blogs in the hopes of arousing my play ethic (I try not to think of writing as work). Also, I'm trying to revive my blog here. Not that I have much to talk about, but I should at least make an effort. I can post interesting links and such, if nothing else.
I can let depression and lack of motivation control my life only for so long. After a while, they just become excuses. I will not excuse my behavior any longer.
Before I go, I did stumble across something today that I found intriguing. It's an online specfic writing convention called CoyoteCon. As much as I'd love to go to conventions, a few factors prevent me from doing so -- two such factors being location and money. This convention, though, eliminates those factors entirely, being online and, best of all, free. My soul sings whenever something is free. If I was an angel, it would give me wings. It may not be the same as a physical convention, and I do lament missing out on the experience of interacting with fellow specfic enthusiasts in person, but considering how shy and introverted I am, this presents a viable alternative for me. I definitely plan to register two days from now.
Behold the poster.
See you there!
Okay, okay, it's not an actual entry. But I was mentioned in the entry for Ian McHugh's story, "Once a Month, On a Sunday," since we were published in the same issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. That's enough to get me excited. I should channel that excitement into motivation. Now there's a goal to aspire to -- having my own entry on Wikipedia.
Of course, it might help if I did some actual writing, huh? Getting off the internet now.
If you want a free PDF of Realms of Fantasy, go to their website to download it. Mmm, I should really get a new subscription with them. Maybe when I have some extra money.
Speaking of things you should read, if you're into superpowered people, you might want to read Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey. It's not quite a superhero book, but still very interesting. There are at least a few instances of heroism within, though no true supervillains (though there is plenty of wickedness abound).
There is not much to share as far as my creative endeavors are concerned, but otherwise, I'm still alive. I bought a new notebook so I can get away from my laptop when I need to write. I think I shall take it on its maiden voyage today. I have some contests on which I want to work.
And now, I leave you with a book recommendation. If you are a fan of superheroes, I suggest you give Soon I Will Be Invincible a read. It takes the subject seriously (well, mostly), and I think it creates an interesting super-mythology. It is told from two different viewpoints, one a supervillain and the other a superhero. No time or desire for a full review, so I'll leave it at that.
I have discovered a place called the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. It is "a community effort to catalog works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror." And look, here I am: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Ruskin_Drake.
And yes, I found it by googling myself.
So, now I have a concrete and visible motivator to increase my publishing credits. One story is in no way enough! It looks so lonely sitting there by itself. I'd best get to work and give it some friends.
I just finished this book a few days ago, and I recommend it. Interesting premise, effective execution. I've heard good things about the author's other works, and if they are as good as this one, I need to find them in the near future. Perhaps the library will have them.
Nothing else of interest to note here. Just living as best I can.