Posts Tagged ‘Wrap-up’

C3 Con Wrap-up

Kara and I are home and unwinding after a wonderful weekend at the Creatures, Crime & Creativity (aka C3) con in Columbia, MD.

I was the Friday night keynote speaker, and Saturday night’s keynote was by the delightful Julie Hyzy.

C3 also marked my wife Kara’s first time as a panelist at a con! (She’s in the picture above, seated to the far right.) After all these years of supporting me from the audience, Kara got to be one of the panelists, for Friday afternoon’s “Living with a Professional Liar: Writers’ Spouses/Partners”. As I’d expected, she was witty, charming, and relaxed.

I can’t say enough good things about C3. It was well-organized and housed in a lovely space, and the panels were run by superbly prepared moderators, and attended by keenly interested writers of varying experience levels. This is a relaxed con for people who take writing seriously.

I need to thank con organizer Austin S. Camacho for inviting me to deliver a keynote address (something I’d done only once before, as a commencement speaker at my former high school). But the best part of the con was making many wonderful new friends, including Dr. Glenn Parris, Dana King, Denise Camacho, Corky King, Shawn A. Cosby, Julie Hyzy, Serg Koren, David Simms, and others who I hope will forgive me for neglecting to recall their names off the top of my head, but it’s late and I’m tired.

The definite highlights of my weekend at C3 were getting to know Julie Hyzy (whose childhood and path to authorship paralleled mine far more closely than I had thought possible) and spending time with Shawn A. Cosby, whose “Noir at the Bar” reading (“Doubt Not That the Stars Are Fire”) blew me away.

A great weekend, and one I’d heartily commend to anyone who would be keen to spend a weekend among others who take the craft of writing (but not themselves) seriously.

Shore Leave 37 Wrap-up

As always, Kara and I had a wonderful time at the Shore Leave convention this past weekend. The best part of the weekend was time spent with good friends who (regrettably) live too far away to see on a regular basis.

We drove down to Baltimore from New York City on Friday with our friend (and my editor at Tor Books) Marco Palmieri. We had good luck avoiding major traffic snarls and our journey was swift and pleasant (not least because Marco is such excellent company on road trips).

Once at the recently remodeled (and now quite lovely) Hunt Valley Inn, we settled in, picked up our credentials, and wandered about. We checked out the dealer’s room, where Kara found Harry the Hare, a delightful new friend for my pal Mister Bunny:


After my very well-attended first panel on Friday — alongside Christopher L. Bennett, Amy Griswold, Mary Louise Davie, and Chuck Gannon — Kara, Christopher, and I escaped the hotel for dinner at The Greene Turtle with Dayton Ward, Kirsten Beyer, Kevin Dilmore, Bill Leisner, Scott Pearson, Marco Palmieri, and Dave Galanter and his wife Simantha.

After helping Marco promote my upcoming novel 24: Rogue at the “Coming from Tor Books” panel, I raffled off three ARCs (advance reader copies) of the book at the end of Meet the Pros, as well as a couple of the book’s gorgeous cover flats.

On Saturday I made it to my 10am panel (a cruel joke of scheduling the con foists upon me every year), and even stayed awake through my 11am panel. I got to pontificate and bloviate alongside fellow pros Martin Berman-Gorvine, Melissa Scott, Amy Griswold, Richard White, David Harten Watson, Russ Colchamiro, Joshua Palmatier, Jim Johnson, John Jackson Miller, Susanna Reilly, and Mary Fan.

After a much-needed afternoon nap, I took part in the “What’s Coming from Star Trek Books” panel, along with fellow Trek scribes Christopher L. Bennett, John Jackson Miller, Peter David, Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, and the amazing Kirsten Beyer.

The Saturday night tradition of authors descending en masse upon a great local barbecue joint continued, and this time we were honored to be accompanied by John Jackson Miller and his wonderful family. After dinner, Kara and I retired for a while to our room, where we opened a few bottles of wines we had made with friends over the past few years. We shared them with Simantha Galanter, Jenifer Rosenberg, Scott Pearson (who had been away from Shore Leave for far too long), Marco Palmieri, and Marco’s guest (and now our delightful new acquaintance) Sunny Moraine.

Sunday was a whirlwind of packing the car, attending my last panel (a discussion of etiquette and netiquette in publishing, with Marco Palmieri, Mary Fan, and effervescent YA mystery author T. J. Perkins), and saying rushed farewells.

As is ever the case, it seemed there was never enough time to hang out with everyone we’d hoped to see. We had only brief moments with many good friends, including Robert Greenberger and his lovely wife Deborah, and their daughter Kate Pakaski and her husband, Michael; Michael Jan Friedman and Howie Weinstein; the always erudite Allyn Gibson; fellow bunny-phile Phil Giunta; and last (but definitely not least) my best buddy Glenn Hauman (despite his being literally in the room next to ours).

The drive home was long because of the usual summer-weekend traffic in New Jersey, but the time passed quickly thanks to Marco’s fine company and some hijinks that might soon be revealed (pending some post-production to clean up the audio).

All in all, a fine weekend of good friends and interesting discussions. I’m already counting the day’s until Shore Leave 38.




NYCC: Post-con wrap-up

Well, the madness of New York Comic Con is now behind me. It’s been a long and busy four days, though I spent only three at the con.


I made the rounds of the major publishers and exhibitors, said “hi” to lots of folks I know, and made a tour of the show floor.  I thought the con was crowded on Thursday; the next two days made me pine for the throngs of Thursday. Fortunately, the day ended on a high note: dinner at John’s Pizzeria with my pals and fellow authors Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, Christopher L. Bennett, and Robert Greenberger.



Because of a lunch appointment that ran long, I was late to my scheduled signing, which was graciously hosted by John S. Drew and Keith R.A. DeCandido at the table for their long-running podcast, The Chronic Rift. Already feeling the drag of fatigue, I bailed from the convention early.



I got up absurdly early so my wife and I could drive out to New Jersey and meet friends for the next phase in our latest wine-making adventure.

A month ago, we met and decided on what kind of wine to make: a variation on the traditional GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend. Our concoction, we decided, would be 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Malbec.

Last week we met for “the crush,” in which we poured our grapes into the de-stemming machine, crushed the fruit to release the juice, tested it for its brix (sugar content), and added the yeast to begin the fermentation process. This week we met to sample the “must” (the early fermented juice) and press and filter the juice from the skins and solids, and pump it into a steel vat for its first racking (to settle its sediment and any lingering solids). Now we wait until March for the cask tasting; after that, in May, we’ll convene again for the bottling.

After driving back from New Jersey, I went into the con to meet with Kevin Dilmore, his Hallmark cohort Christine Taylor, and Robert Greenberger for a hasty lunch (procured from one of the myriad meat carts outside the Javits Center. Then I made a final tour of the show floor before I settled in for my last signing at NYCC 2012, again at the Chronic Rift table.

While I was there, I had the pleasure of granting two interviews: one to a Velva Carter video production, Fans: The New Moguls, in which I talked about my writing career and how it relates to (and arose from) my involvement in fandom; and an audio interview with Julio Angel Ortiz and John S. Drew of The Chronic Rift, in which I discuss my new Star Trek: The Next Generation trilogy, Cold Equations.



My wife, who visited the con today with a friend, reports that early in the day there were only four or five copies left of Cold Equations, Book I: The Persistence of Memory. I have no idea whether they sold before the end of the con’s last day, but I hope they did.

As for me, I spent today cleaning up our house; planning the menu and shopping list for the week; buying groceries; and generally decompressing from the pressure-cooker environment of the con. This week, I hope to get some more writing done on my current screenplay-in-progress. Next week, I’ll be going to see RUSH at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Then, at the end of the month, I’ll be jetting south to Nashville for Geek Media Expo.

October’s proving to be a crazy-busy month for me — but thankfully it’s also proving to be a blast!