Posts Tagged ‘MacFang’

Bouchercon Report

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Publishing, I find, has an unerring sense of timing. Other authors can back me up on this. If an author has a vacation, wedding, conference or other function to attend, that author will get revisions, edits, copyedits or galley proofs just prior to or during said event, along with a request that the work be done immediately. It doesn’t matter if you’ve planned your entire writing schedule around this event or whether the event was spur of the moment. The conflict will arrive.

This is what happened to me and Bouchercon. I missed most of the non-Lee Child related events of the con because I was upstairs in my room doing revisions.

Shot of Lee Child interview at Bouchercon

The bright side is that I had three days where I was uninterrupted by family, friends, chores, pets, laundry, cooking or intense needs to alphabetize the pantry. I had a small ziplock bag of roasted, unsalted mixed nuts and enough energy bars to have 4 per day plus a few for insurance and my own copious amounts of Yerba Mate. I went out for one meal while I was in the City. The rest of the time, it was mostly me, McFang, assorted nuts, Yerba Mate and energy bars.

Mostly I faced a view not unlike what you see below.

I attended a small number of panels, mostly when I was brain dead from revisions. My impression, limited though it was, is that the RWA panelists are by and large far more prepared and prone to stay on topic. But that impression is based on a very small Bouchercon panel sampling and my having listened to 99% of the panels for the last three RWA’s. I was surprised by the minimal publisher presence. Kensington was the only publisher I noticed doing much in terms of outreach to readers and writers. This strikes me as a mistake.

There were a lot of readers, booksellers, bloggers and librarians there and many of them thought they had to pay for ALL the books, including books that were clearly publisher freebies (to my RWA-ized eyes). In fact, I personally heard of a lot of attendees at the opening night signing say they were 1) looking for the cashier to pay for their free books they didn’t know were free or 2) declining to get signed books because they believed they had to pay for them. That night there was also a second room with food and more authors signing, but, again, many people, myself included, did not know about this room. There was no announcement and no signs pointing people to the overflow room. I would LOVED to have checked out more books and authors!

What I saw at Bouchercon

The panel of Kensington authors stayed on topic and spoke about serial killers. (Shiver) It was really really good. I went down and got all their books afterward. I left other panels because the presenters talked about their books (in detail) and NOT about the supposed subject of the panels. I did recognize several Harlequin editors, but there were no RWA style publisher presentations.

Bouchercon, however, has a very nice intimacy. It was easy and fun to talk to people, and I liked that there were a lot of male writers around, all the ones I met were very pleasant and interesting folks to talk to. I think many of these authors are making a mistake by not attending RWA.

There were a several things I think were pretty neat, such as right after a panel, the authors headed down to the Book Room where they were available to sign books. Kensington authors had stock to sign and give away, but the majority of other authors I saw did not. You had to find a bookseller to buy a book you wanted signed. Hmm. Makes sense for backlist titles, but frontlist or about to be released? Those books should have been put into the hands of all those readers and librarians — they’re your talkers, the ones who will generate sales now and in future.

View of the Bay Bridge from my Bouchercon Hotel Room

Here’s a tidbit for you: I came home with 20 books, signed and unsigned and that very afternoon, I drove to the bookstore and bought three more backlist books by authors I heard being talked about. Sheesh. My son says I’m hopeless and I think he’s right.

View of the Bay Bridge at night from My Bouchercon Hotel Room

The upshot is that I would go to another Bouchercon if it was close, but I don’t think I’d go out of my way to attend another, unless/until I start writing mysteries or thrillers.


Drive by Post

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Deadline panic is in full force.


That is all.

Oh, and when I bought MacFang (because I suspected my Dell laptop was nearly End Of Life) I gave the Dell to my son. Today, the Dell’s hard drive failed.

Well, ok that’s bad for him because he was using it a lot. But when it went to turn on his desktop, nothing. Apparently, the video card has failed. On his desktop, that’s built into the motherboard. Sigh.

He has a paper due end of the month so I’ll be buying him a new laptop. If I have the cash. I need to call my accountant Monday to find out how much estimated tax I have to send to Uncle Sam.


Miss Behaving

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I just scheduled a post (It will post tomorrow, August 12, 2009) over at the Risky Regencies that is, well, just plain odd. But so fun! Head over there, check it out and join the fun.

Update: permanent URL to the post is here. Click on over if you think you’d like to be a Risky Regencies Minion of Evil.

What else? I’ve been working hard on The Next Paranormal. I’ve got just over 40,000 words and things are starting to shake loose as to what plot points aren’t going to go anywhere and where I need to concentrate instead.

I remain baffled by my dog’s inability to get on the bed by himself. Unless there is food on it.

MacFang continues to be a pleasure to work with. I smile whenever I see his fangs. But mostly I smile because he’s not breaking my back to carry around.

Off to word-work for me.


Meet MacFang

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Without further ado, I present to you, MacFang

Carolyn's MacBook Pro with Fangs

AKA, Carolyn’s MacBook Pro. I think I’ll update my wallpaper to some politically incorrect picture of Alexander Skarsgard as Eric.

For example, this picture:
Mr.JanuaryPhoto from TrueBlood Wiki

Discuss at will.

Sometimes my craftiness surprises even me.


Reporting In

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

First, thank you to everyone who commented on my post about Pantsers, by the way. It’s nice to know there are many others out there. Solidarity! And there was that fascinating hint of others who share my love for office supplies. That’s my biggest regret about not being more of a plotter type, because plotters seem to use a lot of neato supplies for which, mostly, I have no use.

In other news, I am, of course, working on The Next Paranormal which is going pretty well, all things considered. I’m above 30K words and there are interesting developments. Not as fast as I’d like, but consistent progress also gets things done. I’m looking forward to having enough written that I can really tear in to the story. First draft writing is hard work.

All my ARCs of Indiscreet, my October historical from Berkley have been mailed out as have the prizes for my newsletter subscriber contest. I do indeed hold subscriber only contests, so if you like my books and want to know about when the next one is out by all means subscribe.

Last night I went to see Harry Potter. Golly, those movies are well done. But all the movie trailers were terrible. There wasn’t one single movie previewed that seemed even remotely interesting. What’s up with that?

I am giving some thought to the best way to put fangs on my beautiful MacBook Pro. I’ll have to go stroll around an art supply store looking for appropriate materials. I want to put them on the forward edge, where you’d reach to open the laptop. Anybody have any ideas on that one? Too bad HBO doesn’t sell an Eric Northman laptop skin, because I’d be all over that.

Since I’m on the subject, I LOVE Fang. (That’s the MBP) It’s smaller and lighter than my old Dell and on the 4+ hour flight from DC to SFO, I used hardly half the battery, and I had it on pretty much the whole time. It’s small enough to easily sit on the airplane seat tray without bumping the neighbors or anything. It’s great in the back of the car, too and no problem in waiting rooms either. (Son has had orthodontist, ortho xray and dentist appts — all routine, no worries!)

I’m delaying any action on the possibility of adopting a Greyhound. We have two gates that need fixing first. One of them is a simple fix. The other is a bit more complicated, but I’m also not clear on why it’s an issue. The objection was, in essence, What if someone leaves the gate open? Certainly a good question, but how is that any different than the possibility that someone in a house facing a street would leave the front door open? In our case, if that were to happen and the dog was also outside unattended, it would still have to choose that direction to run — which is not line of sight from anywhere near the house. Homes with gates across the driveway are the exception not the rule, yet Greyhounds get adopted into homes where an accidentally open door puts them directly onto a street. What we have is not one but two barriers to road access and that is actually safer.

At the moment, I don’t have the energy to call and argue the fallacy with the guy. And I’ve always been one to resent and deliberately fail sekret tests and trick questions because they piss me off and I more than halfway think that’s what’s going on here.

I need to think about it more.

Anyway, that’s the weekend report. Any fang art suggestions are welcome


A Happy Monday!

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Today is a Monday and I am not at work. Nope. And I slept in. Bliss! I am futzing around before I do the final errands necessary before I leave for the Park and Fly hotel tonight. It’s fun. No writing, because then I’d have to back up to Fang again (just testing out a potential nickname for the MacBook Pro.) and Fang is currently in the laptop bag.

I got up a bit early (but nowhere near the usual 4:15 am) to finish making coffee cake. Twitter user @RedRobinReader sent me the recipe. You make the (yeast) dough the night before, then make coffee cake rings with it the next day. I had my doubts since I needed to add A LOT of extra flour when I was making the dough yesterday. And then this morning I had a total failure on the merinque and had to start over on that. But my goodness, this coffee cake is heavenly! I can’t eat anything else the rest of the day now.

The Next Paranormal is going pretty well. I’m over 26,000 words and had to do my first re-org to get things in a sensible order. For once, the theme has revealed itself to me very early on. I am quite happy with that. I think it’s because of the new laptop. Apple is some pretty awesome technology, peeps. So far so good!

I handed over the old laptop to my son after making a new login for him on it. By the time I get back from DC, I should know if I need to pull off anything else. Then I can do a total remove of my files. In the meantime, I have deskspace! Oh my gosh. Do you know now long it’s been since I’ve seen that corner of my desk? It’s kind of scary, actually.

If you’re going to be at RWA, please come by the Literacy Signing and say hello! It’s Wednesday, July 15 from 5:30-7:30. All proceeds go to charity, and there will be some great authors there.

Friday July 17 from 3:00 to 4:30 Berkley and Grand Central have their author signings, so stop by there too! I’ll be splitting my time between them. Bummer that they’re at the same time…

If you’re at RWA and you want to meet up, AND you’re on Twitter, the absolute easiest thing to do is dm me via Twitter. Or just tweet me. @cjewel

The conference hash tag is #RWA09 I’ll be on twitter and blogging when I can.