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Showing posts from September, 2010

the bitch is done

It's funny how the end of the rough draft always feels like I've spent the last mumblety months slugging it out with the Muse, and that bitch does not fight fair. I've got the bruises to prove it.

Someday maybe rough drafts won't be like pulling teeth sans anesthetic. Someday I might even be able to write a book ONCE and be done with it. But no - whenever I write a book, the first draft is a long, awful slog through the story I know I want, and no matter how good I think I am, the book is never, ever as good as it was in my head.

This one is no exception. Finishing the first draft always feels a bit of a letdown: "Well, that wasn't nearly as good as I thought it would be. I suuuuuck."

It's the second draft when it gets fun. Because I'm deranged, I rewrite a book from scratch. As in, I retype the entire thing, rewriting as I go. I wish I could do like other authors; print out a copy, mark it up with red pen, make the changes and off we go. But my m…

Dragoncon: Denouement

Angelia woke me up again Monday. I fired her again. I got to my panel on time and rehired her.

The morning panel was on horror and comedy, starring Lee Martindale as moderator and several other fine folks. I barely remember this panel, as I neglected to consume caffeine before it, so hopefully I didn't say anything too stupid. Death is easy; comedy is hard.

Then began the mad dash. Angelia and I returned to the room to pack up and pack out; most of our roommates had already vacated the premises. First we had to haul my six boxes of books down to the booth, then my suitcase, cooler and bag o' food to luggage storage. The only upside was that I checked out on the in-room TV, which was a nice bit of the future and saved me standing in that line.

Thus I bid farewell to Angelia with my soberest gratitude for manhandling me through the convention. When talking to her father, Angelia said the best part of being my flunky was access to the VIP greenroom. I snarked that I thought the …

Dragoncon: Sunday

Angelia woke me up again. I fired her. But I unfired her when she gave me tea, so I think she’s holding them in reserve.

My signing was scheduled with Mercedes Lackey and A.C. Crispin. When Mercedes saw the line to Spain for her books, she declared in a loud voice, “You are all insane!”
Note to self: Mercedes had pre-signed bookplates for those who had more books than she could sign. That would be a good choice if/when I ever become famous enough to need them. In the meantime, I'll sign whatever you put in front of me. We sold a few books, mostly to Lackey fans who wandered over. It's funny that I do 10 times more signing in halls and after panels than I ever do at my actual SIGNING. I don't mind at all, but it's so dull sitting there at the signing that I wish people would come by just to chat. :)

From there I went to the reading, and that went really well. The room had a decent crowd, including a few people I didn’t know. As always, I had to duck out for the five …

Dragoncon: Saturday

I am too old to stay up until 4 a.m. and get up at 8:30. Just. Too. Old.

My flunky for this show is Angelia Sparrow, who was kind enough to volunteer her services as “bodyservant.” That’s a new title for the person who gets me from point A to point Z, makes sure I do things like “eat” and “drink water,” and generally kicks my ass.

Angelia woke me up at 8:30 to remind me that I volunteered to join Walking With the Stars. It’s an effort by Stu Segal to counteract the health-destroying aspects of con: get up a little earlier and go for a walk around the block. To entice the fans, Stu asks authors and artists and other famous people to walk, so the fans will exercise in order to spend time with us. It’s an excellent goal and I clearly remember volunteering as a “star.”

So I fired Angelia and told her I was going back to sleep. Fortunately she’s impervious to being fired, because she watched me fire Dana several times last year and God alone knows how many times I fired Katie. I haven’t …

Dragoncon: Friday

Thank goodness, the Kerlak booth was up and running before I even got there. My books are happily ensconced on the shelves, hopefully not to stay there long. Hello, book lovers! You can find me in the center of the exhibition hall, near the Troma Films booth. I will happily sign anything you put in front of me.

I got into the hotel room with a minimum of fuss, which is remarkable. Now that I’m here and most of the nonsense is behind me, I find that I’m not all that stressed anymore. Maybe it’s because as I write this, I’ve spent the last couple of hours lounging around my exceedingly luxurious hotel room. I may quibble with the Marriott’s prices, but I must say, they know how to make a comfy room. It may be less comfy when the hordes descend, but that’s okay too.

I wish I had money. They have a spa in this hotel offering all kinds of ridiculous body wraps and massage and facials. Just once I want to be rich enough to have all that kind of stuff on a trip. Alas, I’ll have to settle for…

Dragoncon: Thursday

THURSDAY

This is the year of being broke. Okay, I’m usually broke. Especially at Dragoncon. But this year I have discovered new depths of poverty. And misfortune, as I discovered the key to my cash box has vanished, leaving the small amount of cash and a few checks inside inaccessible to me short of rolling over the damn thing with that cartoon squishy thing from ROGER RABBIT.

Wednesday night I drove down to Nashville and crashed with my good friend Stephen. The starscape over the Land Between the Lakes is something to behold – the faint stars-between-the-stars you can only see when you get well away from the lights of civilization. It was almost worth how utterly exhausted I was post-drive.

Thursday allowed me to sleep in, so I did. Then I drove from Nashville to Atlanta, which let me meander over the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains. Along the way I suspected my tires were soft due to excessive rattling, so I stopped at the Sam’s Club in Murfreesboro to fill up a bit. That’s wh…