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Sunday morning. Tracy, Frank, Mark and I did NOT go to Panera Bread for breakfast!

saving room on your feed... )
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Saturday was my launch party. It was fabulous! But other stuff happened first. Let's go through this sequentially, shall we?
A whole bunch of us walked over to Panera Bread for breakfast--What can I say? Tracy's love of it rubbed off on the rest of us. At ten, Eric and Shauna sat on a panel about small press publishing. As soon as that was done, HRB had a panel all its own. We told the tales of our path to publishing with HRB, a couple of us read. It was basically a bunch of us sitting around talking, and was a lot of fun. At noon I sat on a panel entitled Star-Crossed Lovers, and afterwards, a whole bunch of us went out and got lunch. Where? Um...someplace totally NOT Panera Bread.

Ok, it was Panera Bread.

Three o'clock was the mass signing--an abysmal failure! Wow, it was pathetic. There were about forty or so authors in a semi-circle and about fifteen people milling about trying to avoid eye-contact. It got kind of funny after a while. Steven Gould (one of my instructors from VPX, a well-published author whose book, Jumper, was made into a movie starring Hayden Christensen a few years back) held a computerized, "Take pity on us!" sign over his head. It really was pretty funny. Solidarity among authors. Can't beat it.

But at FOUR o'clock, my launch party LAUNCHED. Eric made me a giant poster of my book cover to mark the party room for anyone looking for it. It's hanging in my office right now. We had a good turn out, many of the attending authors came to support me, lots of people who just wanted cake stopped by, area friends came into the city to be there. I had a surprise guest--my friend Mary drove all the way up from Columbia, Mo. I hadn't gotten her email telling me she was coming, so it was extra-fabulous that she was there. The cake had the cover of ATNL on it. I got to eat Vic's face. It was delicious. A few pics:

 (top left--partygoers, top right--signing books! bottom left--Me and Mark. Terrible pic of me but Mark looks good so I figured I'd suck it up and post it anyway. That's Tom tucked into the corner.)

I had a pic of Tom, Mark and me but I can't seem to access it. I also had a pic of my cake but now I can't find it. If/when I do, I'll repost.

After the launch party, Frank and I went to a beautiful restaurant, Lidia's, with Jen and David (area friends) and Mary. All too soon, dinner was over, but the party was still rockin' back at the hotel. I caught up with friends, hung out for a bit, and at ten o'clock, it was time for the game of charades Yard Dog Press challenged us to.

I wish I had pictures. Selina Rosen mooned us. I fell off the stage. The whole thing was hilarious, and tons of fun. Tracy cheered us on from the audience. She had pom poms. Really! Hadley Rille Books won by a point. Woohoo! We'll give them the chance to redeem themselves next year--if Selina promises not to moon us. Of course, we won't believe her.

After charades, roomcon! But it was packed and it smelled like too many people sweating, so Eric, Eric's daughter Laura, Mark, Tom, and I headed across the street to a lovely AIRY park we noticed earlier in the day. I'm sorry to say there was a homeless person on just about every bench. It made me sad. But we hung out for a while, talked and laughed. Frankie joined us after a bit (he'd played golf two days running and was a bit exhausted.) But there was another day left--only ONE!--and at around one, we all headed to bed.

ConQuest Day Three: done. 

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Friday was a GREAT day.
more pictures and such )

And then I went to bed and didn't sleep because all that story just kept bouncing around in my head. But I did sleep after all, because then I dreamed it. I'd say "curses!" but it was pretty great, actually.

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You don't want to know about the airports and the flights--though you should know that I did NOT freak out! I'm not afraid of flying, I just hate being packed in with a whole lot of people. This was a small plane, and even though it was full, there were only about forty people on the plane. And it was daylight. I was fine.

I'm going to start with the start--
many pics below the cut )
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ConQuest was outstanding. I got to see old friends, meet some I've never met in the flesh, hugged many of them, had dinner with all of them (and lunch and breakfast.) It was like being in a dorm with all your best buds. And I got to be QUEEN! Sparkle Queen, book queen, queen of the world. At least, that's how I felt. Eric, Lisa (our publicist/PR maven), Karin and Eric's whole family not only crowned me (really--I got a crown!) but planned for months to make it the weekend it was.

There is more to come, but it's going to take me at least today to gather my thoughts--and swipe pics from the internet, because I had only my cell phone camera. From the signing on Friday to saying good-bye to everyone on Sunday afternoon, it was festival time in Kansas City; for us at least.

A couple of quick links today:
Our guest blogger on Heroines of Fantasy this week is the venerable Dr. Debra Doyle. The Players on the Other Side takes a funny and fantastic look at what makes a really great villain. Debra was one of my instructors at VP--wise, wise woman in more ways than I have room to list here. Read what she has to say, and never create another flat villain.

Speaking of Viable Paradise, time is running out! Submissions close on June 15th. This year's instructors are Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Steven Gould, Steven Brust, Sherwood Smith, Elizabeth Bear, James Macdonald, and none other than Dr. Doyle herself. If you're stalling--DON'T! If you've the means to go--do. It'll change your life.

My soul sister, Diana, put up my book trailer and an excerpt of ATNL up on her blog--The Write Catch. Go on over and read the opening chapter! 

My giveaway is still going strong! Woohoo! 292 signed up to win ATNL at the moment, and 210 for Finder. If you want a shot at either of them, both are still open over at Goodreads: A Time Never Lived and Finder

And lastly--looky dis! A Time Never Lived is up on Amazon. It says "out of stock" but that just means they haven't gotten their supply of books yet. And at Barnes & Noble Woohoo! Never gets old.

Thanks for all the well-wishes before I left! I am happy I left the computer home. I wouldn't have had time to check it--but it was nice to see all that when I got home. More later!


May. 23rd, 2012 04:58 pm
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Off I go! I've decided not to take my computer, so I'll see you all on Monday! Wish me luck! Woohooo! So excited.
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Something else I learned from Myths, Lies and Half-truths of Language Useage.
Read these words out loud:
Now say this one... )

Ha! Kinda cool, huh? That's called a linguistic fossil: evidence of how that collection of letters used to be pronounced. The English used to say the words above as dafter, slafter, onslaft, etc. Why did laughter keep the old sounds while the others dropped off? Well, I don't know, but I'm sure someone does. Actually, I do a little, but it's too long to go into here. So freakin' cool.

Virginia Beach was amazing, as usual. I have a new respect for Velveta cheese, as it figured prominently in a story involving a one-eyed sea serpent, a giant, and aliens. I wish I could explain further, but I'd have to be put in the witness protection plan if I did. I spent too much time on the phone; so much so that my dollbabies threatened to take my phone and toss it into the ocean! Next year will be different, I swear. If I go back on it, they absolutely WILL follow through on their threats.

Four of the ladies and I went to see The Avengers--and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the delectable eye-candy onscreen. Nope, not even a little. Intellectually stimulating film, The Avengers. I watched it for the articles--honest. And really, I did love it the way I loved Thor and Iron Man and The Hulk. I love me a superhero movie, yes I does.

We played games on Monday night, talked books on Tuesday, watched American Idol together on Wednesday, we made Kumihimo things in the afternoon and went out for dinner on Thursday, and on Friday, I got to visit with the spectacular[ profile] kskye1027, who met me at the Sonic and bought me a cherry coke. The days were full of silence and writing, chatter and walks on the beach, The Daily Show with Julie and Marg and Mary. Breakfasts and strong coffee, so much good food, and cake.
The week ended too soon. It always does. I know that's part of what makes the week so special. Like Brigadoon, it happens only once in a great while, and for a short time--magic. That's what dollbabyweek is. Total magic.

I got some pretty cool news last week on the Finder front. I can't tell what it is, because it's just a possibility at the moment, and one I won't know the facts of for quite some time. But it is monstrously cool. You'll have to take my word for it. :)

AND! I finished all my reworkings and fuddlings of Beyond the Gate and handed it off to Kim who might just end up being my editor on this one. Very exciting. Now I wait, like a good author should, and must, and hates doing anyway.

Last but not least, I got my panels for ConQuest next week--yes, next week! I can't believe it!
Linguistics in SF/F: (moderating this one) What does a fully developed language add to a story/world? how do you make one? From Pig Latin to Huttese, languages help shape a world mythos.

Star-Crossed Lovers: They Don't Just Happen in YA Discuss the adults who find true love and the demons/werewolves/vampires/fairies/evil governments they must battle.

The Rapunzle Syndrome: Can you have a strong female character and still be rescued by a man? Rapunzle needed a prince, but the prince needed Rapunzle. Can you have romance with both hero and heroine on equal footing or does there always have to be a damsel in distress?

I also have two book signings and a launch party in there! And a barbeque on Sunday. It's going to be one hell of a long and busy weekend!

That's my wrap-up of the week. How was yours?


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