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My Dragon*Con 2011 Schedule (Redux)

Because you might have missed it, here it is again. Write it down!

And be sure to attend PRINCESS ALETHEA’S TRAVELING SIDESHOW! Readings! Dancing! Singing! Puppets! Rubber duckies! Zombie Haiku! Free FABULOUS swag bags for the first 48 people! Fun for the whole family! You don’t want to miss it!

Convention Dates are Fri(9/2/11), Sat(9/3/11), Sun(9/4/11), and Mon(9/5/11)

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Title: Reading: Alethea Kontis
PRINCESS ALETHEA’S TRAVELING SIDESHOW! (come early)
Time: Fri 05:30 pm Location: Edgewood – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

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Title: Parade!
Time: Sat 10:00 am Location: The streets! (Look for me with the Dark-Hunters)

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Title: Interview with Sherrilyn Kenyon
Description: Q&A with the bestselling author of the Dark-Hunter series.
Time: Sat 02:30 pm Location: Regency VI – VII – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel

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Title: Dragon*Autographs
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: M301 – M304 – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)

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Title: Scary Fairy Tales
Description: Fables and fairy tales in dark fantasy literature.
Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: Montreal / Vancouver – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

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When I am not at these locations (and not walking in the Parade – Sat, 10am), I will most likely be found at JANET LEE’s table in Artists Alley. I will do my absolute best to bring some books to sell…but airplane luggage charges being what they are, coupled with the fact that I sold out quickly last year, please remember that it is always best if you bring your own copies of books for me to sign.

Now I’m going to check out some more Dragon*Con TV and make a grocery list. Granola bars, tea, beef jerky, baconnaise…CHECK. See you soon!

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Nifty Site of the Day

The nifty site of today is the Book Blogger Directory — the “Big Blog of Book Blogs” — most specifically, this page which lists a plethora of YA Science Fiction and Fantasy blogs.

Definitely worth checking out!

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The Princess and the Unicorns

A few years ago — 2009 to be exact — I decided I was going to bring the unicorn back. I missed it. Not as something to bastardize or make fun of, but the honest-to-god legendary immortal being of magnificence and power. I remember reading all sorts of historical books about unicorns when I was a teenager, so I started collecting them again.

And then I started writing stories.For who better to bring the unicorns back than a Princess?

Now, selling stories with unicorns in them used to be about as east as selling stories with elves — which is to say, impossible. But I got Beth Wodzinski to cave and buy not only a unicorn story, but a STEAMPUNK unicorn story called “The Giant and the Unicorn,” against her better judgement. And that was just the beginning.

I wrote a postapocalyptic space opera called “The Unicorn Tree” and sold it to an anthology. I wrote what I consider to be the best story I’ve ever written — “The Unicorn Hunter” — for John Skipp’s upcoming DEMONS anthology. I even wrote a very short (500ish-word) new fable about the unicorn for New Myths, but their site went down when I wanted to submit it, and by the time it was back up again, I’d forgotten all about “Unicorn Gold.”

When Jason asked me if I had anything to contribute to his new Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy e-Anthology, I pulled up my fiction file and went through the stories one by one…and found it again.

“Unicorn Gold” is about a selfish prince, and the lessons he learns from trying to snare a unicorn. It’s a lovely little story — I’m so glad Jason came along to rescue it from the depths of oblivion known as the “AK WRITING” file.

I encourage you all to pop over and purchase Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy (only $2.99!) for your e-reader. I am only one of many stories on this fabulous Table of Contents!

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“Dedalus and the Labyrinth“ – J.M. McDermott
“The Imagination Hospital“ – Guy Hasson
“Ride of a Lifetime“ – Patrick S. Tomlinson
“The Komastu“ – Jennifer Brozek
“Stinker City“ – George R. Galuschak
“Tailfeather“ – Monica Valentinelli
“Temple of Regrets“ – Maurice Broaddus
“Haunted Empire“ – Deanna Knippling
“And Night Swallowed the World“ – Paul Jessup
“BollyWorld Gods, Bubonic Men, and the Cyberpunk Samurai“ – O.M.R. Anwar and M. Zak Anwar
“Coming Home“ – Gene O’Neill
“Extremum“ – R. Thomas Riley and Roy C. Booth
“Ride the Wild Wind“ – Gill Ainsworth
“In Her Image“ – Michael A. Burstein
“Unicorn Gold“ – Alethea Kontis
“Gemphalon“ – Elizabeth Engstrom
“G-O-O-D-B-Y-E“ – Nick Mamatas
“Covenant“ – Lavie Tidhar

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Barrels of Ugh

The migraine monster has been raging for almost a week now, the fairy goddaughters have come home from vacation sick as dogs, and Dragon*Con is in less than two weeks.

I can do this. I know I can. I am awesome. But I’m wondering if I should just get sick now and get it over with or fight…possibly to the death?

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Word Metrics Tues-Thurs

Figures, once I started with this that it would only take two days for me to get Shanghaied. Tuesday I had to work at the bookstore until 1am, and Wednesday I was down like a dog with a serious migraine (that I’m still fighting off). Yesterday I did get a lot of work done that I needed to do, but it wasn’t fiction. (Book reviews, Book pitches, email responses, etc.) I didn’t even manage to record a fairy tale this week.

I have to work at the bookstore a ton this weekend, but I have tonight after 6 off, and Sunday after 6 off too. I plan to get some writing done then, and I will report when accomplished. I’ve come to far this week to fall off the wagon already!

Feel free to scold me about this. I did ask you to…

xox

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Parnassus Rising

Like many other folks who live in Nashville (or used to), I mourned the loss of Davis-Kidd Bookstore. I met David Sedaris at that bookstore, and Orson Scott Card for the first time. I had my very first booksigning there. The staff actually knew about books and cared about books and actually read books and recommended them to people. (Amazing, right?)

Bookstores are closing now…but it doesn’t come as a shock to most people. Many of them are staffed with kids who make minimum wage that will get fired if they don’t sell their quota of e-readers or membership cards or magazines or candy bars.

I remember my first trip to a Barnes & Noble. I wanted to move in there. It was wonderful. Apart from the Barnes & Noble in Cool Springs, TN (where I volunteered for Harry Potter Day), I don’t get that same feeling anymore. The closest I’ve come since then was at Turn The Page, the tiny bookstore in Boonsboro, MD owned by Nora Roberts.The staff is wonderful and kind and very helpful, and the store hosts signings and women-only events and features local artists. It’s a destination spot, and well worth the journey.

Perhaps more authors should open bookstores.

In that vein, I heard a rumor that Ann Patchett was openng a bookstore in Nashville. I hoped it would come to fruition (about as much as I was mad that I’d already moved away). Today, a friend sent me an article confirming those plans. Parnassus Books is set to open in October! Huzzah!

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Bestselling author Ann Patchett and business partner Karen Hayes will open Parnassus Books in Greenbriar Village behind the Donut Den on Hillsboro Pike in October.

‘Nashville wants this’

Brookside Properties will develop the 2,500-square-feet bookstore, located in the former suite of Tan 2000 and Beyond. The company also is developing retail space near the new bookstore that will include a vitamin shop, toy store and several restaurants.

“I think Nashville wants this and needs this, and I don’t want to live in a city that doesn’t have an independent bookstore,” Patchett said.

You can read the rest of the article from the Tennessean here for more information.

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RIP Colin Harvey

I honestly don’t know what to say. No one from the Codex Writers has ever died before. I’ve been in shock since I woke up this morning and saw all the Tweets and thought groggily, “I know that name. He’s a movie star, isn’t he? Movie stars are named Colin.”

Our Colin was a star, all right. I hope he’s finally taking that trip to Mars he always dreamed about.

I just sifted through my inbox. We’d exchanged emails in December, chatting about the benefits of selling short stories to anthologies versus stand-alone magazines. We talked again in May when I asked him to participate in the Month of Writers interviews I set up, inspired by Codex. Here’s is his interview.

I never got to meet Colin in person, and now I never will. That is my loss.

He was too young for this–but my friends are too young to die at any age.

I don’t know what else to say. This is just weird. And horrible. I don’t even want to hit the “Publish” button, like somehow I can make it not true anymore.

My heart goes out to his family. My heart goes out to all of you who have Colin in your thoughts today.

Love you guys. xox

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Word Metrics

I’m posting this, and then I’m going to bed. I SWEAR.
It’s back to the novel tomorrow.

Date: Monday 8/15
Project: “Like a Thief in the Light”
Deadline: August 15, 2011
New words written: 2264
Present total word count: 4464 words – FINISHED!

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The Secret Password

Okay, so I’m testing out my Super Secret Password Protected Posts with this story I just finished. I encourage you to enter the password and read the story, and then email me with your feedback! I wrote this one kind of quickly so I know it’s rough, but I sent it off anyway…because there was a deadline, and that’s the risk we take.

I have my own thoughts. Now I’d like to hear yours.

Here’s the password hint: In “The Monster & Mrs. Blake”, what did Mrs. Blake give Jeremy to feed the monster under the bed? (plural)

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Protected: New Story “Like a Thief in the Light”

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