False Alarm

Published September 10, 2014 by barbaraannwright

Okay, so not moving. I was amazed when things were going so quickly for getting our new house. Turns out, my disbelief was justified. Being pre-approved for a loan does not a loan make.

So we’re not going anywhere.

In further sucktastic news, Polly, our big lab, hurt her tail this morning.

Polly.

Polly.

Those of you with big dogs will know that tail injuries are pretty common for the over-excited dog. But a cut on the end of a tail leads to Dexter-like levels of blood spray. Our porch looks like a crime scene. I see a trip to the store in my future to secure a cleaner harsh enough to get blood off stone. We researched on the internet how to get a bandage to stay on a dog’s tail, but all we found were very unhelpful suggestions that would have required us to go to a hardware store. Here’s my simpler solution: apply bandage, then slip a clean sock over the dog’s tail. Secure with tape and hope the dog lays still long enough to let herself heal. We’ve had to reapply the sock once already.

In more badass news, my struggle with viral arthritis appears to be under control. The meds I’m on are working well, and the doctor thinks I might be able to stop them soon.

Also in the badass category, I’ve got the final edits for The Fiend Queen and am powering through them, so you’ll have a pretty sweet book in January. Check my 3-D graphic, courtesy of Maria Zannini:

 

Sweeet

Sweeet

Also also badass, here is my FenCon schedule! All the places you can find me at FenCon XI, September 26ht-28th:

Saturday 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Trinity I – IV
Female Protagonists and their evolving role in Literature

Description: It’s been a long time since the pulps used women as simple plot devices. Strong female leads make for great books, and we explore some of the best and worst examples of female protagonists in fantasy and science fiction.

Panelists:
C. Dean Andersson, Paul Black, Lillian Stewart Carl, Stoney Compton, Selina Rosen, Barbara Ann Wright, J. Kathleen Cheney *

Saturday 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Pin Oak
Pimp My Monster

Description: Let’s trick out our undead, partially deceased, shapeshifters, and other things of nightmares for the 21st century. How to put a fresh twist on these festering creatures from the past.

Panelists:
Aaron de Orive, Christopher Fulbright, Angeline Hawkes, Craig Wolf, Barbara Ann Wright, Steven E. Wedel *

Sunday 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pin Oak
Why Should You Join A Professional Organization?

Description: Professional organizations have much to offer, but are they for everyone? Or like Groucho Marx, would you rather not belong to a club that would have you as a member?

Panelists:
Lou Antonelli, Cathy Clamp, Amy Sisson, Barbara Ann Wright, Peri Charlifu *

Sunday 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Addison Lecture Hall
When Will it Ever End?

Description: How long is too long? When should a series hang it up, or is there no limit to the number of books an author can or should write in a specific setting? Which well-known series have done an excellent job of holding our attention across multiple books, and which have jumped the proverbial shark?

Panelists:
Eric Flint, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Rob Rogers, Shanna Swendson, Barbara Ann Wright, Linda L. Donahue *

Hope to see some of you there!

Ch-ch-changes

Published August 27, 2014 by barbaraannwright

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? After all, I’ve been in one place for more than a year. That’s right, folks. I’m moving again!

Well, it’s not completely official. Not yet. We’re in the offer/counter-offer stage. For those of you who haven’t been with me very long, I move a lot. Since 2008, I’ve moved four times, not counting now. It’s because we not only wanted to try out several different areas of town, we wanted to rent until we found the perfect place for us, and it looks like we finally have. Now we want to buy.

It’s made me think a lot about the sheer amount of stuff in my life, stuff that I’ve packed and unpacked and now will have to pack and unpack again. There is the desire to just chuck it all and start over, but it’s more than that. Being confronted time and again by the things I surround myself with has actually changed how I see those things. Objects that used to give me joy just don’t anymore. That’s when I had to start wondering, was it just the hassle, or is it me that’s changed?

Take books. I love stories. I always will. And I like physical books (though I also adore my Kindle). I like their smell and their sound when you flip the pages. I like bookmarks and have a small collection. At one time, I collected books and had over 2000.

Now I’ve pared that down considerably, giving books to friends, donating them to libraries or Goodwill. I used to sell them to Half Price, but since that would only gain me store credit, I decided that giving them away was the way to go. I’ve kept those that mean something to me. I’ve kept my favorite authors, but most that I read, I just…let go. It didn’t give me the pain that it once would have if I’d been forced to part with them.

The only other collection I have that rivaled them is my pen collection.

And it's grown since then

And it’s grown since then

This was taken in 2009 or 2010, so the pens have grown considerably. They were starting to take over my desk, and I began to wonder if I care about them as much as I used to. It gave me joy once just to look at them. Now, not so much. So far, all I’ve done is move the bulk of them to a bookshelf, but once I start packing, I think I might go through them, pick out those that resonate emotionally with me, and slowly give the rest away. Maybe I’ll even include them in any giveaways I do in the future.

It’s bittersweet, like most change. I’m sad that I don’t care about the pens or the books like I used to. It reminds me of when I drifted away from toys in childhood. I remember trying to play with them again after I’d lost interest, as if I was letting them down by forgetting them. I tried to summon the joy I once had, but I just couldn’t. Now I’ve started looking at other things and saying, “Do I still love that? Do I need it?” I’m resisting the urge to go hog wild and get rid of almost everything. I’m afraid I might come to regret that. And I’m also trying not to beat myself up if I do want to keep some things that make me happier just by having them around. I still have quite a few journals that I’ve never used, but they’re sparkly and pretty, and I like to stare at them sometimes.

Maybe that’s what I’ll rate everything by. Stare-ability. On a scale of 1-10, how much do I want to just sit and stare at this? Seems as good a measurement as any.

Have your collecting habits evolved over time? Is there any collection you once loved that now you think you can do without?

Hard at work

Published August 13, 2014 by barbaraannwright

I’m here. I’m just tired. I’ve been traveling a lot and working on my new project and gearing up for promoting The Fiend Queen in January…and doing laundry.

Deep breath.

I just wanted to share this fact that I uncovered while researching bears for my new project. According to wikipedia:

“A grizzly–polar bear hybrid (also pizzly bear, prizzly bear,… or grolar bear[1][2]) is a rare ursid hybrid that has occurred both in captivity and in the wild.”

Pizzly bear is my new favorite animal. Or maybe it’s a grolar bear. Eh, I like ‘em both. They sound utterly terrifying.

Any fun facts you’ve found out about recently?

Bold Strokes Books Camp!

Published August 6, 2014 by barbaraannwright

Last week, my publisher, Bold Strokes Books, hosted a writers’ retreat in upstate New York at Easton Mountain Lodge.

I call her Speedy.

I call her Speedy.

Together me and my intrepid, tiny rental car (not really an intrepid) groaned up hills and valleys for some spectacular views.

There were breakout sessions filled with helpful information, hours with no events so we could write or read or hang out, and wonderful lunches and dinners provided by the hard working volunteers at Easton.

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Did I mention the views? The fields and hills stretched far into the distance. There were deer, beavers, geese, even a bear! Thankfully, the bear only appeared outside a car window and not in anyone’s cabin.

I received some much-needed encouragement and a clear direction of where I want my novel to go from here. I needed this trip more than I knew.

Say what you want about big versus small publishing, I don’t know many publishers that would offer their writers an experience like this. I reconnected with some old friends and made some new. (The Facebook friend requests have been flying.) I wrote about 5000 new words and finished two books.

CORN!

CORN!

All in all, it was a wonderful, inspiring experience!

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Gnomed!

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The bunkhouse I shared with Jennifer Lavoie and Juliann Rich.

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Guest rooms at Easton Mountain.

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The kitchen

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Breakout session room.

 

Have you ever been on a writing retreat? Were you inspired?

 

Cast lists and a near miss

Published July 16, 2014 by barbaraannwright

It’s been an odd couple of weeks here at my house. I’m struggling with joint pain, but luckily, my doctor thinks it’s viral arthritis instead of rheumatoid which is a very lucky thing. I know people who live with RA, and while I feel greatly for them, I don’t want to join their ranks.

In fits and starts, I’ve been working on cast lists for all my books, updating each one so that it reflects the characters at the start of that particular book. I’ve got The Pyramid Waltz and For Want of a Fiend done. Those tabs are at the top of this page. Now when people are lost about who a particular person is, they can just come to my page and have a look-see. Do check them out and let me know if I’ve missed anyone. Accidents happen. I’ll have tabs for A Kingdom Lost and The Fiend Queen up soon.

I hope everyone can come see me at ArmadilloCon on July 25-27. Here’s where to find me at the con:

Protecting the Indigenous Tribes Fri 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Room E Maresca*, Compton, Wright Indigenous peoples confront a diverse range of concerns. What should be done to ensure their existence?

40 Years of D&D Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Room F Benjamin*, Finn, Maresca, Marmell, Sarath, Wright How did D&D inspire authors?

Build the Perfect Thief Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Room E Finn*, de Orive, Foster, Sheridan Rose, Sullivan, Wright Thieves can make delightful characters, but what does it take to create a great thief? Brad Foster will make an accompanying drawing to be sold for charity.

Gothic Novels of the 1800s Sat Noon-1:00 PM Room F Sarath*, Cheney, Jones, Swendson, Wright Discussion of how gothic novels came to be and which stories can still hold up today.

Reading Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Southpark A Wright

Evil Characters Sat 10:00 PM-11:00 PM Room D Denton*, Acevedo, Marmell, Rountree, Stufflebeam, Wright Discussing the best evil characters in history.

Are You My Mummy? Sat 11:00 PM-Midnight Room D Webb*, McDonald, Waldrop, Wright I want more mummy stories! Why aren’t they being written? Are there any good ones out there?

I hope you can make it out to this great event. These panels are bound to be very entertaining. And don’t worry about that reading hour. I plan to do a humorous talk about dealing with rejection and probably how to sell books with Barbies. And I will have new swag to give away.

Anyone else planning to go to an event? Anyone else heard of cast lists on websites? I hear that’s the new thing, and you know how I like to jump on a bandwagon.

Denver Pride!

Published June 25, 2014 by barbaraannwright

So, first, my space at the table was all like:

21 books and a pile o' swag.

21 books and a pile o’ swag.

And by 5:00, I was like:

Only a copy of For Want of a Fiend left, and a little bit of swag

Only a copy of For Want of a Fiend left, and a little bit of swag

But by 5:30, I was totally:

Gone!

Gone!

The rest of the swag trickled away on Sunday, but the books sold out in one day. I couldn’t believe it. People in Denver want lesbian books, yo.

We had a blast of a time, not too hot, just a little humid in parts. Met some colorful characters:

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Found my next car:

I'm going to get lots of tickets.

I’m going to get lots of tickets.

Saw walking condoms in the parade:

In a rainbow of colors, yes, literally

In a rainbow of colors, yes, literally

And our booth was by some strange statuary, but then again, all of Denver has some strange statues. Read the conspiracies about the Denver airport sometime:

Instead of a tiny horse on a huge chair, that's a life-sized horse on an enormous chair

Instead of a tiny horse on a huge chair, that’s a life-sized horse on an enormous chair

I even saw my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble downtown:

Woot!

Woot!

We laughed we cried, we went to bed at 10pm because we were exhausted. Thank you, Denver, we had a wonderful time. :) An extra special shout-out to my friends, David Slayton and Erin Kennemer for helping me pimp books. Lots of those sales were directly attributable to you.

How many of you attend Pride events or anywhere with bookseller tents? Have you ever bought or sold books there?

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