Rambling

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

Fuzzy Logic

Oh my goodness is is nice tonight.  It is dropping into the 50s tonight under a clear sky and a lovely full moon.  I had a fairly productive day.  Several projects have advanced a step or two and tonight it was all about Pirate Fight Club.  You all know the first rule of Pirate Fight Club, however, we all know the rules are really just guidelines so I am going to chat about how much fun it is to spend an evening getting to know a new poly-carbonate prop sword.  We have our routine and it is fabulous.  I can’t wait to invade the Public Library on the Saturday morning of Sept 23rd. Now, giving it back may be in question ….

As for tonight, let’s just say my logic is getting a bit fuzzy with all this serious moonlight.  Ta Ta For Now and don’t let the werewolves bite ….

Finally

The major heat has broken and the full moon approaches.  It is finally a truly productive time of year.  Tonight has been quite the night at The Desk Of Endless Tasks.  Bills have been paid, a flock of emails answered, a couple of pitches put out to the universe, and now a bit more work on the current projects.  Yes, clearing the desk completely is a wonderful goal, yet, for now, I am happy to dealing with up to date projects and making the clear spot grow a little bit each session.

The impending full moon has me thinking about my old adage hanging over my desk.  Do Not Confuse Effort With Results
With so many possible projects pending, it can be so simple to lose your way in the “window dressing” of getting things done.  Every so often, I have to remind myself that effort and results are not directly related.  You would think that they are, but I promise, there are lots of influences between the two.  I know that I am a little weird, but,  I actually need the whole “paying the bills” experience.  It gives me a chance to look things over, keep the whole evil scheme budget in mind, and basically review the progress of the last two weeks.  So rather than dread the experience and add way too much effort into it, I just go for the results.  It works for me.

How does it get so late so fast?  There are still metaphorical miles to go tonight.  The Lycan Eze seems to holding so another lash or two from The Desk and a bit more shall be done …..

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

This week – cupcakes

Do to yet another aspect of my past, I can cook pretty well.  A few weeks ago, Brandon and Joe got into a conversation about the show “Cupcake Wars”.  Apparently, there had been a recent challenge involving chocolate and Parmesan cheese that left my co-hosts in a debate as to how those turned out in the real world.  I finally made it home last Thursday at a decent hour so the challenge was on.  On air, The Geek Patrol all agreed that in the right proportions, they are very tasty cupcakes.  Score another round for Geek Eats 🙂

http://www.geektankradio.com

Now, I see we have a new Doctor.  I know the show is taking a risk, but I will wait to see what they do with this new direction.

Farewell to Martin Landau and George Romero.  2017 continues to claim more of our greats.  Time to break out a few old movies.

I am finally getting back into the swing of a few things, so more to come.