Anywhere you go…

In preparation for a bit of professional writing I made a map showing a rendezvous in Asia of two airships – the Copertino and the Wakefield. Once I’d finished getting the time markers along navigationally accurate great circle paths, I realized the work was wasted if I didn’t incorporate more of the data represented in the graphic within the text of the story.

This completely changed the beginning of the tale and, I think, will involve the reader faster. A much more in medias res start. I recently had an unrelated experience that, although it went remarkably well, I would have preferred it went “even better”. Once writers and editors finish with a piece it amounts to the same sort of wishing.

I’m very glad I caught this opportunity and that my habit of maps with stories served me very well in this instance.

Ministry-map-copy


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Beyond the conventional…

Note: You have my apologies for missing a few posts. I had intended to post my Dragon Con schedule of panels and some other important information about that event prior to it. It turns out the world wide web is more of a guideline than a rule. In addition, this being my second Dragon Con, I am still getting my sea legs with regard to the frenetic pace.

Both of the panels on which I was a presenter took place on Sunday (Sept. 6) as part of the Alternate History Track ably run by Enrique Velazquez (a.k.a. “Dr. Q”). The first topic was under the description, Dieselpunk and Raygun Gothic in the Media and we discussed the cousins of steampunk. There have been many attempts to define the line between steam- and dieselpunk but during the panel we linked it to what I feel are two important distinctions:

• Whether the airship is lighter or heavier than air. This is broadly a question of all technological differences between the two sub-genres – airship or not.
• The societal changes of the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. The summary of the Interwar period between WWI and WWII is too vague and simple. Dieselpunk is grimier than Steampunk. The loss of affluence and of innocence, along with a drastic change in social order deserves more attention in the differentiation in history and in fiction.

My second panel was called, Vintage Advice and Accessories for the Modern Gentleman and it began with a discussion of etiquette – as it, if fact, should have. Each member of the panel has a bit of a reputation for being sartorially savvy (including myself, if I may say so modestly). Being known for proper comportment is something to which we should always aspire and diligently work to improve.

The host of the panel, asked us to name an aspect of behavior we would like to see return to daily civil interaction and another that we did not see as having much chance at restoration.

costumesI mentioned that Dragon Con can be hectic. There’s too much to see. Leanna Renee Hieber and Alethea Kontis provided veteran advice and both were far busier than I.

Ms. Hieber was on four times as many panels as I, three of which I was glad to attend. With her impressive career in publishing and her scholarship of Victoriana and the paranormal, she was able to provide a fine through line of the fantastic and magical – leading to Derek Tatum‘s introduction of dreadpunk as a newly defined subgenre.

And for the second year in a row Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow entertained me (and many others). This feature of the Dragon Con YA track has been going on for far longer and based on two shows, I recommend it to all ages.

A fine discussion of creativity involving Ted Naifeh, a talented artist I’ve known for many years. There will be more on that in future posts.

Then came a visit with Randy Reitz and Cathy Cox – my second this year. They both provided some valuable insight on some upcoming projects, some of which readers of this blog know about and another about which I’ll be able to share details next month.

It was then time for Space Coast Comic Cons inaugural. I’ve been to many first-year conventions and this one did so many things right. I was happily recruited by Mark Who 42 as a panelist for two Doctor Who-related hours.

All of this was enjoyable and a learning experience. Now back to art and writing.

vortex

This just in…

This is an interview I was pleased and honored to be able to do at last year’s Dragon Con. The video dropped this morning. When speaking extemporaneously, it’s difficult to remember exactly what was said. This was a fascinating reminder.

For a transcript, please visit here. And thank you, June and buzzymag.

Really‽… (Oh! Good!)

On Day One of this journal and account, it would be quite unfair to hint that Teiresias is the only muse for my present research, writing, and art. I have never known true encouragement for this sort of work. Not like this.

Leanna Renee Hieber is an established, successful author with seven books to her credit, including the upcoming The Eterna Files (releasing from Tor Books on 2/3/15).

Along with Bruce Boxleitner and Trevor Crafts, we first appeared together on a New York Comic Con panel together – Diana Pho’s Welcome to the Brass Screen (10/10/2013). Later that evening and during dinner, the seeds were sown for Leanna and I sharing an affinity in terms of creativity. We knew we wanted to work together but were uncertain as to how we might do so. I was not surprised to learn that she is also a talented actress and singer. Other projects of mine were going to require both. I began looking for opportunities to which I could invite her.

During this nearly-past year, she started expressing appreciation for my talents and perspectives. We began developing a character for an upcoming television series and as her (the character’s) back-story grew, we felt she had greater potential in a fuller story. This character prompted Leanna to select me as a co-author.

At first, the offer was a shock and surprise. I want to emphasize how astonishingly rare this kind of support has been in my experience. I had imagined becoming an author as early as 1976. (I was 12 years old.) My mother was antithetical to encouragement; she found what I wanted to write about frightening and potentially humiliating. Do I have to say how terrible it is to have a dream shot down by a parent?

My Very Dear Friend Leanna Renee is the precise and critical opposite. And I’m EverThankful we met. I recommend purchasing her novels. I’m working my way through them as I write my own, solo books (including the Teiresias tale) and she and I plan our future novels together (the first of which involves that very special character mentioned above).