Tag Archives: The Feeding of Sorrows

Rob’s Update: Menhir Musings

Week 3 of 2019

Greetings all

I’m sitting at my booth at Menhir, an SCA event in Murfreesboro, TN as I’m winding my way to ChattaCon next weekend.

Those In Peril Cover
Those In Peril Cover

This has been a good week for me. I’ve managed to get a solid number of words written and fixed a number of plot issues in The Feeding of Sorrows. j

Also, the cover for Those In Peril, the alternate naval history anthology that includes my story “Far Better to Dare, was released. As you can see, the cover is really cool and I’m excited to be a part of the project. Also, “Far Better to Dare” is perhaps my favorite story that I’ve written so far.

This week I’ll be working on two projects. One, throwing more words at the page on The Feeding of Sorrows. I’ll be in a sort of writer’s retreat this week and anticipate major progress.

Second, I’ll be mostly alone, so I can read The Eyes of a Doll out loud without annoying anyone. It’s time to do a re-edit of it so I can get new stock for Gulf Wars.

With that, I better start focusing on customers passing by. Have a great week, everyone.

Current Playlist Song

I don’t have any music right now, nor did I listen to any music on the drive. Instead, I listened to Dune. It’s been over twenty years since I read it and some intriguing comments by Christopher Ruocchio on Twitter brought it to mind. I had an Audible credit, so…

One interesting note about Audible books is the detail to me. I have a tendency to read the gestalt of a paragraph instead of every word. I miss some details here and there, but it suits my need for speed. With audiobooks, that’s not an option, so it gives me an interesting perspective, especially on books as deep as Dune.

Quote of the Week

Dune is, of course, full of great quotes. This is one describes part of the challenge of a writer, I think.

“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.”
Frank Herbert, Dune

News and Works in Progress

  • The Feeding of Sorrows (58,516)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AFS (2,556)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on Cedar Sanderson, one of my favorite people out there. You can find her interview at: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1634

Today’s Weight: 384.2

2019 Word Count: 12,415

Shijuren Wiki: 879 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 518 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works

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Rob’s Update: Time And Man Alone

Week 2 of 2019

Greetings all

Welcome to 2019. Notably, the first full week of 2019 and back into the rhythm after a long and wonderful holiday season.

My holiday season basically stretched from the middle of November to Monday, if I count all the work I did to prep for Thanksgiving, Kris Kinder, and Christmas with relatives.

This was probably the largest Christmas I have ever experienced. We hosted eight others, and while this house can handle ten just fine, it was a bit or mental shift for me. I come from a tiny family. Right now, the close family to me would count five. My mom, my aunt Ginger, her husband Don, and Jimmy and Justin. Really, that’s it. Oh, I have more relatives, but I’m not close with any of them, mostly because of distance.

Anyway, we had a great time. I got to meet my sweetie’s brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. I got to spend more time getting to know her son and parents, who I’d met but have spent little time with so far. We all took turns cooking, and we ate way too much.

As mentioned in earlier posts, that buildup to the holidays was tough on my writing, along with moving stuff. I am, however, catching the rhythm again. I just realized last night I’ve written over 13k words in January so far. I’m on schedule for the year, even if I don’t realize it.

More is coming. I’m pleased with The Feeding of Sorrows. I like the plot and the characters. The biggest challenge for me has been writing in someone else’s universe and wondering if I’m messing with their plans. I suspect I’m not. I suspect this is me just over-worrying, but it’s something to remember for future collaborative stuff.

I actually had one of those Muse moments on Wednesday. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes the Muse grabs you, shakes you, and tells you what to right. I wrote a whimsical piece of poetry for a friend in about half an hour. I may post it next week, after I’ve showed it to him.

This weekend I head down to Wichita to go to Calontir’s Coronation. There I’ll be stepping up as the new king and queen’s court herald for the reign. Fortunately, they are considerate of my convention schedule, and it won’t really impact my plans. It will also get me out of the house some more, and I think in 2018 I might have been a bit much of a hermit.

In any case, I’m excited for what is to come.

Have a great week everyone.

Current Playlist Song

Xanadu by Rush. Rush is my standard writing playlist these days. I may add more to the list, but it’s been exclusively Rush of late.

Quote of the Week

Yesterday was the 58th anniversary of the death of Dashiell Hammett. This week’s quote comes spoken by The Continental Op, and shows one of the many reasons I love his writing.

“The face she made at me was probably meant for a smile. Whatever it was, it beat me. I was afraid she’d do it again, so I surrendered.”
– Dashiell  Hammett

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (approx 15,000)
  • The Feeding of Sorrows (52,679)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AFS (2,556)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on A.E. Lowan, which is the pseudonym of three writers working together. You can find that interview here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1615

Today’s Weight: 389.2 (Basically starting 2019 where I started 2018. Given the challenges of last year, I’m OK with holding steady. Not this year though.)

2019 Word Count: 10,196

Shijuren Wiki: Not quite sure. I’m having to redo a bunch of things and it’s down for a couple of weeks. Working on it though. I was at 874 at one point, though.

Four Horsemen Wiki: 501 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works

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Rob’s Update: 2018 AAR

Welcome to 2019. I’m excited about the upcoming year as I have a bunch of opportunities. Before I get to that, though, it’s time to look back at 2018 and give myself a grade.

I didn’t write enough. My goal was 365,000 published words. I included blog posts with that in part to ensure that I would update the blog consistently. My final total was 245,900. Essentially, I was one novel away from my goal.

I should have, indeed, finished The Feeding of Sorrows. That would have put me around 350k and I would not be too disappointed. However, I did not, nor did I finish None Call Me Mother.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

The good news is that next year I won’t have to move, nor will I start it in a cramped house. Furthermore, I won’t have to replace the flooring in seven rooms of my house. There are still major projects to do, but we’ve made huge progress. It is not unreasonable to admit to myself that I put most of my spoons in late 2018 into getting the house under control.

Next year, however, I can’t allow that to happen again. I need to publish 3 novels. My plan is to finish The Feeding of Sorrows by the end of January. I think I can, though I still have some 60k to go.

Then I will return to Shijuren with None Call Me Mother. I will release that in May. After that, I plan for a new Edward novel in December. When I started Where Now the Rider I had a mystery in mind but went a different direction. It’s time to finish that. Edward has a long way to go.

I don’t know how many short stories I’ll do next year, but I have one scheduled already. I also have several that I’ve been playing with for a while that need to get finished.

I’ll also continue to count my blog words. Again, I do that to ensure I update the blog consistently. The three regular columns will continue. I’ll do a creator interview aiming for Tuesday, a magazine review aiming for Wednesday, and my update for Friday. That regular schedule will start next week.

My goal for 2019 is 400,000. A nice even number.

My other professional goals were to improve both the Shijuren and Four Horsemen wiki. I did well, but like with my writing, not as much as I’d hoped. The Shijuren wiki is up-to-date, but needs to be improved and cleaned up.

As for the Four Horsemen Wiki, I had hoped to do more. It stands at 479 entries. My goal for 2019 is to get that up to 1500 or so. That’s about 20 entries per week, which I was doing for a while in 2018 before things got too busy.

I’ll continue to travel as much as I can fit in during 2019. I will be at ShadowCon in Memphis this weekend and ChattaCon at the end of the month. In March, I’m excited to be one of the featured panelists at FantaSci, which is the first Four Horsemen Universe convention. There’ll be lots more, including LibertyCon, which of course I’ll announce here and on my mailing list.

My personal goal in 2019 is much like what it was in 2018, improve my health. I started 2018 at 384.8. I ended it at 387.2. In other words, I held steady. Give all the upheaval of 2018, I call that a win.

Along the way I also spent much of the fall getting myself a good relationship with a local doctor. I haven’t had a standard doctor in well over a decade, and it’s nice to get that relationship going. It meant I had about fifteen different medical visits during the fall, including a colonoscopy.

My next step is to consistently exercise. My basic daily goal is to get 1000 and one. That’s 1000 words and one mile of walking. That’s the minimum I aim for each day. Most weekdays, I’ll hope to do more, lots more when it comes to writing, but it’s an easy to remember daily goal. If I do that, then at least the day hasn’t been a waste. Can’t waste days in this business.

Overall, my professional grade for 2018 is C-. I didn’t write enough, nor did I do enough of the background stuff. Personally, I would give myself a B+. I’m in better shape, both physically and mentally than I was in 2017. I’m in a comfortable home, with a great sweetie, and things are going well. My final grade for myself in 2018 is a B-. I can do more, but it wasn’t awful.

Now to go do more.

Have a great year everyone. May we all do more and smile doing it.

 

 

Rob’s Update: Happy Holidays

Greetings all

It’s Christmas Eve and I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Thanks for making my holidays better.

I apologize for the lack of updates the past few weeks. It’s been extremely busy, but also extremely productive. We completed most of the projects in the house, and for the first time since I bought the house, I feel like I’m on the downward curve. I knew this house would be a major undertaking from the day we walked into it, so it was no surprise that it would take years. It’s a great feeling to see so much progress.

That’s my biggest Christmas gift to myself. I had a great deal of fun getting gifts for my family. We have ten here this year: my sweetie, her parents, her daughter and son, her brother, sister-in-law, and nephew, and my mom. It’s been great and Christmas isn’t even here yet.

I also had fun sending out gifts to readers. I hope the recipients all enjoy their loot.

I’ve also done better than you might expect with writing as those tasks got finished on the house. Since several of the tasks were something like: “finish the room, then unpack the moving boxes intended for the room,” we’ve actually been able to get close to fully unpacking from the move. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re almost nested. It’s a good feeling, and I think the work and need to nest bothered me more than I realized.

I’m over 40k on The Feeding of Sorrows now with scenes popping up. Better yet, I haven’t even written the battle scenes, and I’ve noticed that writing battle scenes are usually the easiest parts. I’m targeting the end of January to finish it.

I’ve also made progress on None Call Me Mother. That story is writing itself in my head, and I’ve had some scenes jump at me to get it written. I’m not sure on any kind of date yet, but it’s coalescing.

Last week, I got asked to contribute to another anthology. I had the germ of a story jump out at me on that one as well. I expect it will be published in the summer.

I’ve two other short stories that are coming along in my head, along with some of the older ones I’ve dabbled with. This pleases me, as I need some more of the short fiction foundation. There are some Shijuren stories, too, and I’m planning on a Shijuren anthology hopefully by the end of 2019.

This isn’t a full update, but I plan on a full 2018 in review and list of 2019 plans in the next two weeks, and will return to normal updates following that.

Again, thank you for reading my books, giving me reviews, and generally making this possible for me.

Have fun these holidays and I wish you all a great 2019.

Rob

Rob’s Update: Thanksgiving

Week 46 of 2018

Greetings all

We’re coming up on Thanksgving and I want to start by thanking all of you. I can’t do this job without you guys reading my stuff, giving me reviews, and talking me up.

And since this is the season of giving, I’ll be sending out some prezzies. I’ll do a drawing and send out gifts to the lucky winners. I’ll randomly choose 5 of those who are on my mailing list or who are regular readers of my blog. If you’re a regular reader and not on the mailing list, I suggest you add a comment and I’ll put you into the pool. Or, you could just subscribe to the mailing list. In any case, I’ll do the drawing in a couple of weeks, so that I can make sure to get your prezzie to you by Christmas.

Thanks to all of you. I really appreciate you.

Back to the news. I missed last week’s update. Sorry. It’s that time of the year that I routinely do a bunch of house improvements. I host an SCA party every year in early December and like to clear up a bunch of things to make the house ready. Also, this Christmas, my sweetie and I are hosting her family along with my mom.

Gotta make sure the house is acceptable for *both* moms. That’s only mildly terrifying.

As for writing, I’ve been going through a tough patch. It happens, sometimes, and all I’ve found to do is throw bad words at the page. I’ve also had a couple of really nice things happen on the professional front of late. They’re small, but it’s often the little things that make my brain weasels nag at me, so it’s nice to see that small things can pacify them sometimes.

As I said, I’ve written some awful words recently, but the short story that I recently submitted is a notable exception. It should be released 1Q of 2019 and I’m excited. It’s one of those stories where the muse just told me what to write. It doesn’t happen often, but in this case it leapt out at me.

I shelved The Feeding of Sorrows for a couple of weeks to work on None Call Me Mother. I made some progress but am turning back to Sorrows this week. I just needed a break and some ideas are coming back to me.

And with that, it’s time for me to go throw those ideas onto a page.

Current Playlist Song

They’ve set the Pandora Station at Brewbaker’s to disco and right now they’re playing the Spinners I’ll Be Around. Good song, but a little creepy when you read the lyrics.

Quote of the Week

I’m saddened to hear of the passing of William Goldman today. This has been a horrible week of celebrity deaths, as he joins Roy Clark and Stan Lee.

Because I enjoy black humor, I’ll choose my quote from The Princess Bride.

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya: What’s that?

Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.”
The Princess Bride

Thanks to all three of you for brightening my life. Your stuff gave us a bunch of ‘loose change’ to treasure forever.

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (approx. 15,000)
  • The Feeding of Sorrows (approx. 25,000)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AFS (2,556)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

The interviews listed above conclude #FourHorsetober. It was a lot of fun to do, and included 24 authors delivering over 33 thousand words about their careers, interests, and writing techniques. Many thanks to all of htem.

Today’s Weight: 381.4

Updated Word Count: 237,958

Shijuren Wiki: 874 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 479 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

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Rob’s Update: Ain’t No Mountain

Week 37 of 2018

I suspect we often forget just how much stuff we have to hang on the walls. I know I didn’t actually realize just how much I’ve got. SCA awards and memories, sports memorabilia, family and friends, maps, ships and aircraft, and, of course, Rush posters and memories. Oh, and fantasy art. Plus other random stuff.

Sheesh.

And that doesn’t count the stuff my sweetie has. At least we’ve started the process but man there’s a lot.

After I finish this email, I’m headed off to TopCon in Topeka. I’ve generally done a poor job of publicizing myself in the region, and this is another opportunity to fix that. I’m making progress, but I should have done better previously.

The Magazine Reviews have helped with that. I often don’t get to go to the Kansas City SF/F fan group meetings because of conflicts. September’s is scheduled for tomorrow, for example. However, I’ve been able to interact with some of those writers and fans a bit by chatting about the reviews. This week’s review, by the way, is the Analog of September, 1968.

In general, I’ve been very pleased with the response on those reviews. It’s especially gratifying because I enjoy doing the reviews and I can see them already improving my writing. Lots of win to go around.

This week, I didn’t write a ton, but what I did is good. Damn good. I’m making progress and stories are starting to flow on their own. I probably won’t finish The Feeding of Sorrows by the end of September, but I will have finished another project that will be announced in due time.

And now, time to get to Topeka and make ready for the weekend.

Current Playlist Song

Today Brewbaker’s Pandora is set to disco and motown. I have to admit, I enjoy a goodly amount of disco and motown, even though I’m more of a metal and hard rock guy. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote is sort of by me and sort of by Dante Alighieri. I’ll be at a con this weekend, which means I’ll be signing books, which then means I’ll be having customers roll on my Wandering Signature Chart. This is one of my favorites…

“Abandon all hope, ye who read my books.”

News and Works in Progress

  • RTM (3,416)
  • The Feeding of Sorrows (approx. 20,000)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AFS (2,556)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on Bethany Loughlin-Frost. You can find the interview here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1384 and her Amazon page at: https://www.amazon.com/Bethany-Frost/e/B01AR1SWUG/.

Today’s Weight: 384.6

Updated Word Count: 189,305

Shijuren Wiki: 874 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 417 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works

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Rob’s Update: A Sword For Striking

Week 34 of 2018

Greetings all

It’s been a fun week for me. I have been settling into my new desk, which is awesome. I haven’t completely nested, but I love it. Many thanks to my friend Johan for building it for me.

I’ve also started a new weekly article on my blog called “Mag Review.” I have about 700 SF/F mags from the 30s to the 70s and each week I’ll read through one, reviewing each story and riffing off whatever strikes my fancy. The first one looked the Spaceway of June, 1954 and you can find it here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313.

I’m doing that exercise for a variety of reasons. I’ve had this collection for a while and only read a few of them. I’ve needed to fix that. Also, it’s good professional development, both as a writer and to spark ideas. Plus I know a lot of people who will enjoy reading these reviews. Like my interviews, I think it’s a win-win for everyone.

My big writing announcement is that my story A Sword for Striking was accepted for one of the new Four Horsemen Anthologies. I really appreciate Chris and Mark for giving me a part of their sandbox. Next week I’ll start working on The Feeding of Sorrows, which is the next chapter in the Foresters.

In terms of writing, I’ve been nagging at my short stories. I’ve also been plotting some others. I’ve not really done much with them in terms of different number of words, in fact I’m not changing the totals from last week, but I’ve been polishing and thinking, which is hard to quantify.

Projects and ideas are starting to flow like mad, actually. I spent today with a writing buddy brainstorming ideas.

So I think I better go write.

Current Playlist Song

“Piano Man” by Billy Joel is playing overhead at Brewbaker’s. I know that it’s overplayed in some ways, but I actually really love the way he captured the various personalities at a bar.

Quote of the Week

Oliver Hazard Perry died on this day in 1819. After the battle of Lake Erie he provided a brilliant and succinct after action report.

“We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.”
– Oliver Hazard Perry

News and Works in Progress

  • CB (6,526)
  • AFS (2,681)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on my friend Steve Kubien, who is a fantastic woodturner. You can find his interview at: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1306.

Today’s Weight: 388.4

Updated Word Count: 177, 026

Shijuren Wiki: 874 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 376 entries

Wiki updates will resume this week, so expect those latter numbers to change.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works

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Rob’s Update: Grey My Way

Week 27 of 2018

I’m in Indianapolis at the Lincoln Square Pancake House getting ready to load in for InConjunction. They have a take on biscuits and gravy involving jalapeno cornbread and queso. I had to try it.

Anyway, I’m slowly recovering from LibertyCon. What an amazing time. My detailed after-action report is here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1224. LibertyCon is so good, that all 750 tickets for 2019 sold out in 6 hours yesterday. Actually, 5 hours, 52 minutes, and 20 seconds, but who’s counting.

I’ve got mine, don’t worry.

The big result, from my perspective, is a slight change in priorities and focus. I’ve got two books currently planned, None Call Me Mother and The Feeding of Sorrows (working title for the Four Horsemen novel). However, I’m going to turn more focus on some short stories.

This weekend is InConjunction, which is a much different con. I’ll be involved in a variety of panels plus I’ll be selling in the author’s alley next to Jon Osborne, another writer in the 4HU. Then I get home as quickly as I can. I should be back to Olathe on Sunday night.

I’m ready. It’s been a crazy last two months, and I still have a month or so to go. It’s been productive, and I’m really happy with the direction everything is going, but I am so glad I don’t have anything huge scheduled for a while after Pennsic.

Anyway, the stories aren’t going to write themselves, so I better get back to work.

Current Playlist Song

Something too low to hear over the voices of other guests, but with the occasional country twang.

Quote of the Week

I heard this song on the drive yesterday, and as my birthday approaches, it seems more and more relevant.

My life is slipping away
I’m aging every day
But even when I’m grey
I’ll still be grey my way
– Rush, “I Think I’m Going Bald”

News and Works in Progress

  • CB (6560)
  • TAV (2,007)
  • AFS (2,681)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s interview was with Rob Hobart, an amazing gamer and now a writer. You can find the interview here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1229 and his Amazon page at: https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Amatsu-Empire-Moon-Book-ebook/dp/B07CWKP2LW/.

Today’s Weight: 386.8 (Last week)

Updated Word Count: 154,715 (Finally totaled up everything)

Shijuren Wiki: 874 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 376 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell
Currently Available Works

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LibertyCon 2018 AAR

I’m sitting at Prince Street Pizza in Gallatin, TN and I’m exhausted.

Which means my plan is proceeding apace.

I’m in Gallatin because I’ll be staying at Mark and Joy Wandrey’s place for a few days before going to InConjunction this weekend. I’m exhausted because LibertyCon is the best SF/F convention around.

The best part of LibertyCon is the amount of professional networking. I got to plan for new projects and learn from some of the best in the SF/F world. It’s changed my writing schedule a bit, and that’s a good thing. I’ll talk about that more as time goes by, but some of it is too ill-formed at the moment to really discuss yet. However, I’ve planted some seeds in Shijuren and other universes that should end up being very fruitful. I begin the AAR with the networking comments because those started on Thursday before anything else.

I’d like to especially thank Steve Jackson, Bill Fawcett, and Chuck Gannon for taking the time to answer questions and pass on some of the lessons they’ve learned. Great stuff for all of them, and they’re the biggest reason I’ll be adjusting my plans over the next year.

My first panel happened on Friday at 2pm. This panel discussed historical fiction and also history in fiction. It went very well because Louise Herring-Jones, David B. Coe, and I all had good experience with historical processes as well as fiction. We all had lots of good stuff to say. Coe, in particular, showed off why he was  a deserving guest of honor with his discussion about his Thieftaker Chronicles set in Revolutionary War-era Boston.

The rest of Friday involved getting this arranged for Jamie Ibson’s party, Opening Ceremonies, and my Author’s Alley stint. That all went smoothly, including a number of sales in the Alley, which can often be hit or miss. We held Jamie Ibson’s room party in my room to make life easier for Brandy, and it went well. I went to bed late.

Even though I fell asleep late, I was up and lively at the Four Horsemen Roundtable at 10am on Saturday. I had the new laptop set up and showed off some of the wiki, along with showing the author pages. I also edited and added a few Wiki pages live, much to the delight of the audience in a few cases.

Then was the banquet at noon. The banquet is always an interesting animal for me. I don’t usually get big sales or networking, but it’s always enjoyable. Chuck Gannon, by the way, was an amazing MC.

At 3pm I then had a reading. I used Chapter 7, which is the chapter including Olga Belobashnina Cherepanova. It’s actually a perfect section for reading, as it’s essentially an entire story arc on its own. It’s only about 15-18 minutes, which usually means I have more time, so I also read the Epilogue to Brief Is My Flame, which doesn’t really include spoilers, does include the riddle, and hints at what’s coming in None Call Me Mother. The reading went well, though there weren’t many people there. Unfortunately, a woman who heard my reading last year and wanted to hear this year’s showed up after I was done. I ended up giving her my reading copy of the text at the Kaffeeklatsch. Nice, very smart woman who I’m glad likes my stuff.

Anyway, then was my autograph session. That was not particularly well attended, at least not for me, but I got to do some more networking.

At that point, it was time to prepare for the Brief Is My Flame / Four Horsemen room party. I’d like to thank Jamie for helping and contributing, even though he had to be at a different party. Anyway, it was a huge blast. My new drink, the MAC Round, went very well. I sold a few books, made a number of new readers, and we had a great time. I got to sleep about 3.

Which meant the Kaffeeklatsch at 10am was damned early. I made it, but I was generally content to let people swirl around me.

Following that was the Upcoming in the Chris Kennedy Publishing panel. I was in that panel because I’ll have two follow-ups to “Where Enemies Sit” from For a Few Credits More. The first is a short story for the Lyon’s Den anthology that I’ve talked about a couple of times. The second is the full-length novel. I announced the working title of the novel, The Feeding of Sorrows, which, like “Where Enemies Sit,” is a line from the Havamal.

I just want to take a quick moment and thank Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey for letting me be a part of the 4HU and tagging along on their coattails.

Anyway, that was the last thing I had scheduled for the con itself. I went to closing ceremonies, entitled the Bitch at Brandy session where they actively solicit ways to improve LibertyCon. I have no doubt this is one reason this is the best-run convention going. The big announcement was next year’s LibertyCon will be at the Read House on 31 May – 2 June, which is about a month ahead of their traditional date. However, that means LibertyCon 2019 is only 11 months away.

Sunday night at LibertyCon includes a traditional trip to a Brazilian steakhouse and more socializing / networking, and then back to the hotel for the Dead Dog party. Last year at this party, I got to do a play-test of a game similar to Cards Against Humanity with Steve Jackson. This year, I got to play one of the newly released versions of the game, Conspiracy Theory, and even won a copy to bring home. It’s a hoot.

The only real problem with LibertyCon is that there’s so many cool people to talk to and only three days to do so.

Again, I’d like to compliment the staff of LibertyCon. I’m quite serious when I say it’s better run than any other con I’ve ever seen, and it’s not close. Brandy Spraker does a fantastic job organizing things. Rich Groller is the most on-the-ball programming guy around (by a wide margin). It’s actually kind of silly how quickly he responds to stuff. Matthew Fanny keeps track of memberships, and I was a bit of a jerk to him this year as our circumstances kept changing and I switched plans with my membership four or five times. He just took care of me, even though I wasn’t easy. Misty Kat Gutierrez-Walker had the game room thrown at her at essentially the last minute, but, as she has done in the past, kept things going.

This year had to have been hard on them. They didn’t know if they were going to have a site in 2018, so they basically did the normal work of a con in about 6 months, instead of a year. That also included adapting to a new site (the Marriott Downtown), which had very particular rules. A great hotel in many ways, but not necessarily great for LibertyCon. Anyway, they did it all and the only real issues I saw came from hotel weirdnesses (like not having stairs from floor 3 to floor 2 that did not go through “employee only” areas!?!?).

This is my fifth LibertyCon, and like all the others, I’ve come out with improved plans and greater goals. I’m definitely earning a place and a name in this business in great part because of this con.

So, I know where I’ll be the weekend after Memorial Day in 2019.