Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Covers coming soon

Wyrd Goat is, in conjunction with the anticipated release of Innocence and Silence, the third book in the fantasy series by E.M. Prazeman, issuing new covers.  Here's a low-res version of the first one, unless I freak out and change my mind and do it all over again!

Comments are welcome.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Great Outdoor Mind Expander

We had a little bit of rain last night, and I wore a jacket to work.  It feels good.  And, bonus, the weather report claims we'll have a nice, warm afternoon.

With the next four days off, I'd planned on writing, editing and working on book covers for various Wyrd Goat Publishing projects, but with weather like this I'd much rather be gardening.  I may have to embrace the power of 'and'.  I'll probably be sore, tired, and coming back to work at the end of it will become needed recovery time.

It'll also be a good opportunity to write, edit and design book covers outside.  I think differently when I'm outside.  Something about the environment makes different parts of my brain activate.  I'm not sure it's quantitatively better, but when your focus is creativity then anything different from the norm is better for future work, learning, expanding, all that good stuff.  So the quality of work is probably the same, with some parts getting worse and other parts better thanks to the change in external environment, but overall because I'm doing some new things, in theory my work overall in the future will be better.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Pretty soon it's going to get pretty uncomfortable to be outside, not to mention that once the rain begins, it would be pretty dumb to expose my computer to that.  I think it's past time to pledge to work on my computer for at least an hour outside everyday, weather allowing.  We'll see how long I stick to that.  I'll keep y'all posted as far as things that change in my prose, editing style and artwork.  Anyone else want to give the challenge a try?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tomatoes Forever

I'm still having issues logging in from home, which makes posting super-extra irregular.

The growing season is extra long this year, with unusually warm (and, unfortunately, dry) weather.  This means that even though I started my tomatoes kinda late, I'll have some ripe ones this year.  Yay!  One of my customers at work has already harvested about a five gallon bucket worth out of his garden.

I think this is the first year in three years (or more) that I've had ripe tomatoes.  Cold, wet springs have done them in.  The last time I had ripe tomatoes I kept the seedlings in my greenhouse practically forever, potting them up all the way up into gallon pots before I set them in the ground.  And they were fantastic that year.

Which makes me want to build a permanent greenhouse even more, one big enough to safely house a small propane heater to keep them toasty at night.  Because life is too short to go without home-grown tomatoes with the exception of an occasional good year here or there.

My DH and I have been making tasty lettuce-free salads a lot lately.  Here's one of my favorite variations:

Chop into bite-sized pieces: two tomatoes.  Place in a medium/large bowl, drizzle with about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and stir.
Chop up/slice:  one cucumber, two sticks of celery, half a green pepper, half a cup of black olives, half a cup of green olives, and 1-2 tablespoons (or more if you like heat) pepperoncinis.  Place ingredients as you chop them on top of the tomatoes but don't stir until the end of the recipe.

Add a pinch of salt, pepper to taste, two tablespoons of pepperoncini juice, 1 tablespoon of olive juice, and a pinch of dill.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese and 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar.  Toss salad, taking care to make sure the tomatoes are all mixed in well, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Orycon 34

Orycon is coming up.  Orycon 34.

My relationship with the convention has changed a lot over the years.  My first (unofficial) time, a friend and I went downtown and snooped around on a Sunday afternoon while everyone was packing up and closing down.  I think it was one of the early cons, Orycon V or maybe '84.  A Dr. Who mini-fest was playing in one of the rooms.  My friend said we couldn't go in there without a badge.  I picked up a free Buckaroo Banzai headband.  I still have it.  I'm not sure if those were being handed out to promote the 1984 movie, or if they were leftovers after it had already come out.  You'd think I'd be able to date it.  Nope.  That was in the 80's, and that was a looooong time ago.

Years later, I got an official membership and tried out the writer's workshop.  Back then the convention had a lot more editors showing up.  Different time, different economy.  I got a lot of encouragement from two people I respect to this day:  Dean Wesley Smith and Gardner Dozois.  I ended up being invited to a small writer's group.  I had no idea what wonderful relationships would grow from that group.  I don't see Mary Rosenblum and Mike Moscoe (aka Mike Shepherd) as much as I like.  Orycon is the one place I can depend on seeing them for at least a few minutes.

As I began to show up more regularly, I made some convention friends I looked forward to seeing each year, and I put up art in the art show.  I even made some sales there. 

Later still I became involved in helping out.  It started so innocently, organizing the Child Care room.  I graduated to the writer's workshop.  C.S. Cole took over for me and now runs an amazing ship.  I briefly became involved in Programming, then faded away as my work load at home and the day job ate up what little time I had to devote to it.  I still help when I can, but sadly, not as much as I'd like to.

Which brings me to this year.  I'm a panelist.  I have some e-books out.  I have a teeny, tiny micro-publishing company.  I've published a couple of short stories, with one still in the pipeline for a really great magazine.  I can't wait to announce that when it happens.  I have to decide soon whether I should try to put up something in the art show again, and whether I should print up promotional materials.  It's not as clear-cut as you might think.  I used to try to make professional connections and break in with my writing.  Now the whole writing world has changed, and I have all these great friends ... mainly I want to just hang out and listen and learn and give hugs to long-found friends.  Promoting my cover art and writing doesn't seem natural after spending so many years as a member of a community.

But there are always the new kids, and some of my buddies might want to have a look at what I've been up to lately, I guess.  

It'll be interesting and fun, as it always is.