Appearances

To Con Or Not To Con…

This past weekend I was a literary guest at ContraFlow (http://contraflowscifi.org/) in New Orleans.  First of all, this event is like going home to visit all your favorite relatives.  It is chilled and groovy and a great weekend.  Of course, the weather reports going down were a bit dicey with a tropical storm named Nate headed up into the Gulf of Mexico.  However, the drive down was truly lovely and of course, I could always bail out on Saturday if the weather truly got worse.  Friday night was fabulous and getting to visit with fans and friends old and new is an experience everyone should have.

The staff and regulars of the con seemed to not be worried about the storm so I checked with the hotel staff, they were not even ruffled.  Then the curfew for New Orleans dropped and some folks thought of it as a night off.  The truly local news predicted Nate would brush by and keep rolling.  The network stations were showing us how prepared everyone was.  The national news basically left you feeling like you needed a will.

I opted for the local view and hunkered down for a good time.  Of course, the cell phone keeps getting texts from everywhere are people saw the news and decided to see if I was safe, turned all furry (full moon), swept away, or if the mothership had finally returned.  Now, you should always side with caution and prevention especially when it comes to major acts of nature.  I am happy that I stayed and that Nate did as expected and we all had such a wonderful time.

To the staff of ContraFlow, you are all fabulous.  To my fellow celebrity guests, it is always so good to get together to visit and hang.  For the shenanigan gang, there is video proof that we really need adult supervision.  And, yes, the vids will be posting soon.

Upcoming Appearances:

November 3rd – Malice in Memphis
http://www.maliceinmemphis.com/ 
If I understand the invitation correctly – I am the guest of honor in the murder mystery.  So, does that mean I am a detective or the murder victim?

November 4 10:30 am to 1:00 pm
Desoto Writers Alliance at the Southaven, MS Library for a mini-conference on publishing.

November 17th to 19th – MCFC – The Convention!
http://www.memphiscfc.com/

Seminars:

Oct 19th – National College/Tech Ed – Polish your work and make it shine – before you hit send
Rules are meant to be broken sometimes, but you must learn them before breaking them.  The Rule of Three – One of the oldest techniques in writing used to create engaging content. Have you finished your first short story or novel?  Formatting 101 – Follow the Guidelines.Grammar & Punctuation – Common Mistakes that Drive Editor’s Crazy

Nov 16th – National College/Tech Ed – Finding Your Voice – I Didn’t Know I Lost It
What is voice in writing and how to find yours; the difference between voice & style.  Writer’s Block has you stalled – try these tips to breakout of the box.

Dec 21st – National College/Tech Ed – Instilling Humor in Your Writing
Even the darkest of themes can use a little humor. How does humor and horror go together? The humorous laugh versus the nervous titter? Do readers and authors laugh at the same thing? Why have humor? Does the humor flow naturally or do you have to work it in to change the scene?

http://www.darkoakpress.com
http://www.geektankradio.com
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

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Pirates, books, a full moon, and so much more …

As I sit here at The Desk of Endless Tasks catching up from an amazing week, I am getting peeks of the nearly full moon through the blinds.  There is indeed something all about a full moon in October.  I know that logically, this full moon is just like all the others, but, it is just the thought that this is the full moon that signifies the full on shift to fall.  Yes it is almost enough to make you want to howl.

My adventure as a pirate was amazing.  A month of our hard work paid off and we had a wonderful “fight”.  Yes, there is video and, yes, it will get posted to the Dark Oak channel on YouTube.com.  I will post a link here next week.  However, we all looked fabulous as pirates.

piratesallan

New Orleans is next for ContraFlow  (http://contraflowscifi.org/) this weekend.  Not that I need an excuse to go to New Orleans, but this is a great convention run by great people and I am going to have a great time.  If you are in the area, stop by and join the madness!

Geek Tank Radio (https://geektankradio.wordpress.com/) just keeps getting bigger and better.  A quick shout out to our Canadian fans (we just found out we have).  The Geek Eats challenges are growing.  We tried the KitKat Pumpkin Spice flavor and they were pretty good, but I decided that if we are doing pumpkin spice, let’s do it right.  So, I made a couple of batches of mini loafs of pumpkin bread.  It is always a good feeling to leave the studio with an empty food transport.

Upcoming Appearances:

October 6th to 8th at ConraFlow (convention in Kenner, LA.)
http://contraflowscifi.org/

November 3rd – Malice in Memphis
http://www.maliceinmemphis.com/ 
If I understand the invitation correctly – I am the guest of honor in the murder mystery.  So, does that mean I am a detective or the murder victim?

November 4 10:30 am to 1:00 pm
Desoto Writers Alliance at the Southaven, MS Library for a mini-conference on publishing.

November 17th to 19th – MCFC – The Convention!
http://www.memphiscfc.com/

Seminars:

Oct 19th – National College/Tech Ed – Polish your work and make it shine – before you hit send
Rules are meant to be broken sometimes, but you must learn them before breaking them.  The Rule of Three – One of the oldest techniques in writing used to create engaging content. Have you finished your first short story or novel?  Formatting 101 – Follow the Guidelines.Grammar & Punctuation – Common Mistakes that Drive Editor’s Crazy

Nov 16th – National College/Tech Ed – Finding Your Voice – I Didn’t Know I Lost It
What is voice in writing and how to find yours; the difference between voice & style.  Writer’s Block has you stalled – try these tips to breakout of the box.

Dec 21st – National College/Tech Ed – Instilling Humor in Your Writing
Even the darkest of themes can use a little humor. How does humor and horror go together? The humorous laugh versus the nervous titter? Do readers and authors laugh at the same thing? Why have humor? Does the humor flow naturally or do you have to work it in to change the scene?

 

http://www.darkoakpress.com
http://www.geektankradio.com
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

Pirate For A Day

This coming Saturday, I get to return to a bit of stage with the Pirate Raid at the main library here in Memphis.  If you are in the area, please come out for the festivities.  As an appe-teaser, let’s just say that the battle between the buccaneers for Fortune and Glory and the enforcer for Capt. Hook will be served with a lot of HAM.  It is going to be quite the show.

Now that I have said that, let’s take a little look behind the curtain if you will.  Just what does it take to put on a show like this?  First of all, there are the costumes.  Some are far more difficult than others, but they are all a lot of work.  Not only do they have to look the part, but the actors have to be able to move and work effectively in them.  Next, there are all the props.  All of that stuff comes from somewhere.  You don’t get to see the hours of hauling and setting up.  The “Glamorous Side of the Business” as I like to call it.

Finally, there is the acting and maybe even a bit action.  Most of the players you will meet have been playing their characters for years and do them with practiced ease.  However, this time, there will be a sword fight.  What you get to see will be a short, entertaining, and hopefully thrilling bit of theatrics.  What you didn’t get the see was the weeks of practice.  The scripting of every single move, every single foot step.  You don’t get to see all of the sore muscles and bruised knuckles as the actors learn the choreography.  You don’t get to see the sweat of trying to get it right changing to the elation of knowing the show is going to be fabulous.

Come and enjoy the show.  We have put a lot of heart and sweat into making it look seamless and natural.  And yes, those swords really do hurt 🙂

Upcoming Appearances:

September 23rd Pirates Raid at the Benjamin Hooks Main Library
From 11 am – 2 pm
October 6th to 8th at ConraFlow (convention in Kenner, LA.)
http://contraflowscifi.org/

http://www.darkoakpress.com
http://www.geektankradio.com
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

piratesposter

A Bit Skeptical

reneelive

This coming Sunday night, I will be the guest on Renee Live.  I have been the guest skeptic on this show for years.  While I am told that I am loved on this show, I personally believe the the audience loves to hate me.  I am the Capt. Buzzkill to the true believers’ zeal.  The show is fast paced and very funny as Renee tries in vain to get me to crack up.  Bless her poor heart, she is too easy to get into the giggles.  No matter how many imaginary friends she brings to the effort – she cracks first, but she never gives in.

The main theme of the show is about the paranormal world and my part in it as a devout skeptic.  The number one question is, of course, just what does a skeptic do besides say that he or she doesn’t believe it?  I will confess that most skeptics do just that.  That is not being a skeptic, that is simple denial.  Being a good skeptic is much harder.  First of all, you need to have a working knowledge of the topic.  Second, you have to have an open mind and realize that a witness really did have an experience.  Third, you must be able to follow the evidence to the other possible scenarios that may have created the experience in question.

Do to my varied life experiences, I know a lot about how a building works, ages, and decay.s  This makes me a very tough skeptic.  The reason I enjoy being the “snarky skeptic” is to get to see all the new stuff people are seeing and recording while out investigating and I get to see if there is truly anything that may actually be outside the mundane.  My deepest fear, is that some fired up newbie is actually going to blindly stumble upon something that would actually be repeatable and thus capable of being studied.  They will bungle the data collection and one of the keystone discoveries of our time will be lost.  Basically, I love the stuff that is not easy to debunk.

Enjoy the remaining full moon ( I know I will) and tune in Sunday night.

http://www.diversitybroadcastingnetwork.com/

Upcoming Appearances:

September 10th Renee Live Show – Podcast
Show starts 8 pm Central – 10 pm
Featuring: Allan Gilbreath
http://www.diversitybroadcastingnetwork.com/

September 23rd Pirates Raid at the Benjamin Hooks Main Library
From 11 am – 2 pm
Featuring: Allan Gilbreath

http://www.darkoakpress.com
http://www.geektankradio.com
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

Goth at the Gallery and Paranormal 101

ionsundergalleryThis coming weekend is going to be a blast.  Friday night is Goth at the Gallery.  IONS Gallery is hosting a Goth night where you can do your best Goth Distraught in 30 seconds or less and maybe even when a prize for it!

Saturday night is going to be the Paranormal 101 workshop and investigation at the gallery.  Expedition Unknown will be there to show people the tricks and tools of the trade while giving the attendees a glimpse back into the rough and tumble days of downtown Memphis.

As a quick note, I would like to thank everyone I met and chatted with at the UFO Day Festival.  In spite of everything, I had a good time with everyone.

The New Orleans Genre Writers Conference

nolapicI am so honored to have spent a phenomenal weekend at the New Orleans Genre Writers Conference in the company of good friends old and new who are dreamers of the fantastic. Thank you one and all, The Rob Cerio, Alexis Tucker, Pauline Blacker Grigsby, Kimberly Richardson, Jen Mulvihill, Michelle Brundage Weston, HDavid Blalock, Jason Fedora, Laura Wood, Kalila Smith,Sue Quiroz, Alys Arden, Debbie Soileau, Emily Bufford, Kirsten M. Corby,Marie Beau, Dionne Cherie Ballon and everyone else who attended and participated. I hope you all had a wonderful experience and I hope to see you all again soon 🙂