2019 Cosine Convention, Carrie Vaughn, steampunk

Attented one day of the 2019 COSINE convention here in Colorado Springs. Lots of author focus and some great panels. I really enjoyed it and I think I learned a lot.

First, I was able to get some additional perspective on a genre that’s been fascinating to me for several months now: steampunk! In fact, I’m going to shift my primary WIP novel project to steampunk. Or rather to steam-magicpunk (remember, you heard that term first here, folks!). I’ve thought for some time that the novel probably deserves a re-write, since I created a whole new storyline during NaNoWriMo2017 – a storyline that I tacked on to the existing work with bubblegum and baling wire. The concepts are good, the plot is solid. It just needs a mulligan to make everything flow more correctly. So at the same time I’ll put in a dwarven steam locomotive, gas/oil lighting, small steam engines, etc. I’m very excited to change the environment around the characters. I anticipate something very unique and very interesting.

The next thing I found at the con was a whole new list of writers to be intrigued by. The Guest of Honor was Carrie Vaughn, whom I’d heard about but hadn’t read. I’m now interested in checking out her Kitty series, as well as other short stories, etc. I’m also curious about the works of the following authors:

Carrie Vaughn also mentioned the Wildcards anthology project, Tor.com, and the Baen free library. A variety of other books were mentioned that I jotted down through the course of the day.

A long To Do list! For those that might read more of my blog entries, you know To Do lists are kinda my thing.

I’m sad to say that I discovered this con just as it is ending – there won’t be any future COSINE’s. Very sad. Still, it inspired me, gave me lots of ideas, perhaps let me make a few contacts in the industry, and most importantly, it was fun!

I’ll put that in the Win column!

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2019 Plans

Well, 2018 is over and it was a big year for my writing. In fact, it was far more fulfilling and eventful than I’d anticipated. So now it’s time to figure out what to do with 2019.

First, I’ve selected several online/paper publications that I really want to get into. I’ve sub’d to several of these and always received polite declines. I really want to get my name in there! These include Ellipsis, Cabinet of Heed, The Forge, Apparition Lit, Arcanist, Steampunk Journal, and Glimmer Train. I’ll be tailoring my submissions toward these specifically. I’m excited for the challenge.

In addition, I intend to make some serious changes to my WIP novel. I’ve worked on this novel off and on for many many years. In 2018 I used NaNoWriMo to really make great forward progress. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do the same for 2019. However, I recently read several steampunk series (by my current favorite author Lindsay Buroker) that inspired me to reconsider the entire novel with a steampunk theme. Local steampunk coffee shop JavaPunk also contributed to my inspiration. I’m really excited about this idea and once a few contract jobs finish up I hope to be able to spend some energy on the WIP. It’s working title is “White Dragons on a Blue Sky”. The steampunk thing is getting more and more intriguing to me.

I need some Scrivener and Aeon skills, too, so learning those are on my list. I also want to find ways to make this blog more useful, and not just about my projects.

So it should be a fun and interesting year from a writing perspective. I’m also going to be doing even more with music. A buddy and I are starting a recording project this month, and our band is going to be recording a couple of the tunes I wrote. The recordings are “serious” or for public consumption, but the process will really help. I hope someday to be able to expose the songs to the real world. We’ll see.

So Happy 2019 to y’all. Let me know in the comments below what you’ll be working on. Please follow me on Twitter and let me know your goals there too!

Yeehaw a holiday story with Ash and Strom

Woohoo finishing the year strong with a standalone holiday story featuring Strom Coalbeard and Ash Brightspark. These two are in trouble again, this time in a small down where a troll interrupts the holiday festivities. Strom is a reluctant Santa, while Ash has transformed himself into an elf (his regular dragon form would scare everyone). And you get to meet Max the Dog.

After you finish, you can go check out more of their troublemaking in “The Absurd Adventures of Ash and Strom,” put out last summer by The Evening Theatre. The five story series was very popular on their site and I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy it. Don’t expect anything deep or particularly mature – the two characters are silly and they don’t take life too seriously. Maybe that’s the lesson…

The Absurd Adventures of Strom and Ash:

  • The Misplaced Tower – story 1
  • One Slick Dragon – story 2
  • The Great Cherry Battle – story 3
  • The Megalodon – story 4
  • The Homecoming – story 5