The Fall Deathmarch

I have really got to stop doing this to myself. I am too old to run around the country like this.

First, I must offer my regrets to the fine folks at River City Comic Expo in Little Rock. There will be many fine guests there this weekend, so please show up and visit with them!

So that kicks me off at Dragoncon, where some postal shenanigans unfortunately delayed my official confirmation and thus my panel schedule is pretty light. At the moment, all I know about are panels on the Writers Track at 2:30 pm. Friday and Sunday, an Apocalypse Rising panel at 4 pm. Saturday, and my reading will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. More panels may be added in the future, and I will offer chocolate and a free limited-edition chapbook to attendees at the reading on Sunday.

Naturally, a limited presence means less opportunity to sell books, especially in a zoo like Dragoncon among 65,000 of my closest friends. But I will be there, and I'm bringing the new book as well as some older titles and out-of-print rarities. I will not be bringing art unless someone specifically requests it, so if you'd like photo prints or posters, check out the store and let me know ASAP.

If I can, I will find a centrally located spot and camp out there in the evenings, bag beside me, and you can find me if you'd like some books. Please do! I have a hotel bill to pay!

On my way back, I may try to do a coffeehouse in Nashville Monday night. Anyone interested? If so, please let me know, and I'll set something up.

The weekend after that, I'm at Imaginarium in Louisville, Ky. with the full Literary Underworld. Last year's Imaginarium was delightful fun, but it was more than that. As I watched the programming last year, I thought, "If I were a beginning author again, there is no better place I could be than here." Everyone knows Stephen Zimmer does the best literary tracks on the mid-south tour, and he outdid himself at last year's Imaginarium.

My part includes my "Business of Writing" seminar on what to do when the book is written, and the LitUnd crew will be in full force in the dealer's room - which will be open to the public, so if you are in the Louisville area and aren't going to the convention, you can still come by and shop! If you do, please look for us under the grinning skull and say hello. Both evenings we also will have our Traveling Bar in our room for author cocktails, and I am looking forward to pouring the cheap booze once again.

The next week is Excellence in Journalism, the joint conference of the Society of Professional Journalists, Radio Television Digital News Association and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. I will be attending in my capacity as president of the St. Louis Pro Chapter of SPJ, as well as a member of the national ethics commission and as voting delegate for St. Louis Pro. Fortunately, this time nobody's going to ask me to speak, except maybe at the ethics commission meeting, so we can all reminisce about the good old day in Columbus. *ducks*

EIJ takes place in Orlando this year, and I am flying, so I am only bringing books if someone specifically requests it. Check out my website and let me know if you want me to bring stock. And if any of my Orlando pals wants to have coffee, let me know! Fair warning, though: I'm landlocked at my hotel unless I grow wings or taxis are free. We do get one day's admission to the House of Mouse, but it hardly seems like fun without Man and Boy. If I have time, I might pop over there just so I can get some pictures of New Fantasyland, take a selfie at the Scene of the Crime and make Jimmy cry.

The next weekend I actually get to stay home and unpack, only I'm working my Sunday shift for the newspaper - what's left of me.

The following weekend is Archon! And I'll be several tables away from one of my fearsome gods, Harlan Ellison. I stalked Ellison at my very first Dragoncon, and learned more in a weekend than I had in a year of studying the industry and reading every book on writing I could find. I wrote an essay called "Stalking Harlan: Here Be Dragons" about that Dragoncon, and I think I shall have to repost it before Archon. I am simultaneously excited and terrified to meet him again.

Archon is always a great show for us, both for sales and for conversation with readers, fans and friends. Literary Underworld will be there in force, and you can find our booth on Authors' Row... but no cocktails this time, folks. We can't afford the main hotel for Archon, so we will be commuting from our home where we keep the good booze.

Then I have a weekend off, I think. My brain keeps telling me I'm obligated to something that weekend, or maybe it's just that I'm so overbooked this fall I can't comprehend of a day off. Finally, we have Leclaire Parkfest, which thankfully is one day and only a block from our house, so it's a nice quiet coda to the Fall Deathmarch. That one will be just me and Jim with books and art.

At this point I expect I will be accepting only local signings for the Christmas season, unless someone makes me an offer I can't refuse. Next year is booking fast, too, and honestly, I'm not booking this many things in a row in the future.

I'm getting too old for this shit. I promise if y'all buy more books, I'll stay home and write more. How's that for a deal?