Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From Pi-Con--Recommendations and Mentions from Year in Best Spec Fiction Panel

I have returned--exhausted--from another year of Pi-Con, an intimate scifi/gaming con that's held in Enfield, CT. I might get to a more general round-up of events, but promised the attendees of The Year in Great Speculative Fiction panel that I'd put up the great books, television shows, movies, and other miscellania that was recommended.

So, here ya go...

Panelists: 2012 Guest-of-Awesome Shira Lipkin, Pi-Con staff member Erin Whittey, Renaissance Man George Claxton, and I moderated.

I took "Moderator's Privilege" and decided to include items from roughly the past year and a half. Because I have That Kind of Power.

See my scepter? I really *do* have that kind of power.
Below is the list by category. I've chosen not to list authors, because these items should be pretty easy to find by name. But if you need clarification on an item, want to correct something or vehemently agree or disagree, please leave a comment. I also invite my fellow panelists to tell me where I've erred.

Items in blue are those I found while researching this panel, but may not have made it into the actual discussion. I tried to keep track during the panel, but there are limits to my powers--even with the scepter. Items in red are those I recall our panelists being particularly enthusiastic about.

In no particular order...

Da Best of Da "Year" (part of 2011--8/2012)


Red Country
The Avengers
Courtney Crumrun (comic)
A Dance With Dragons
“Here We Cross” (poetry collection)
The Heroes
Being Human
Dark Knight Rises
“Moment of Change” (poetry collection)
The Wise Man's Fear
The Cabin in the Woods
 The Bible Repairman and Other Stories (story collection)
The Alchemist
Game of Thrones
John Carter

Among Others
The Hunger Games

Lost Girl
Super 8

Ataka Witch

Falling Skies
Source Code

The Killing Moon/
The Shadowed Sun
True Blood

This is Not a Test
Walking Dead
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Code Name Verity
Torchwood-Miracle Day
Attack the Block

Doctor Who

Rule 34
Once Upon a Time
Beasts of the Southern Wilds

The Gone Away World
Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows

Red Shirts

The Rook Book
Young Justice

Ready Player One
Phineas & Ferb

Hunting Ground


I Don't Want to Kill You

Ghost Story

The Drowned City


(more BOOKS below)

Radiant Days
 Goblin Secrets

The Freedom Maze
 Throne of the Crescent Moon

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Facing the Truth


So again, it has been a while. But I'm not going to apologize for that.


It has been a year of tremendous (and sometimes painful) growth for me. I had to face several truths about myself, and about how I've been conducting my life. I had to admit things to myself, and I had to make some changes.

And most of it's stuff I don't really want to get into now. Suffice it to say, the last year sucked but I've come out intact and feel I'm a better human being for it.

For the purpose of this post, I will say that I had definitely hit a plateau in my writing. And it was completely one of my own making. I was subconsciously waiting for a magic bullet to appear--one that would eliminate stress, drive my kids around to their classes, build me an office to write in, and generally somehow "put me on the map." All without really putting in the work.

And you're not going to get on any map if you spend two hours a week (if that) writing.

I really had to let go of the fear of failure, and stop using my many responsibilities as a crutch for just not doing it. 

This does not mean I don't have many responsibilities, and having a spouse and young kids is a full-time job in itself. BUT IT DIDN'T NEED TO BE MY CRUTCH.

So after a lot of mental work and good advice from my writing group, I hurled myself over the plateau, and I'm super-excited about what I've been writing. I finished a flash fiction piece for a contest last week, and I've been writing additional chapters for my novel-in-progress.

Most importantly, I feel ready for failure--because I know that if I fail it means I'm out there trying.


I'm really going to make an effort to update this blog regularly again. It will help me if I know people are reading it, and I welcome comments of any type. Please bookmark this blog and/or share it on your various social networks. I promise to be entertaining or at least annoying.