So really — if we’re being honest — this is the first post in my new blog Distractions. This will likely only make sense to people actually viewing it on May 3rd, 2015: for the rest of you I’ll have migrated over all my blog posts from my other sites to this one, and it’ll look like this blog has been going on since 2009 or so. It hasn’t been, but through the magic of changing the publication date on posts, it’ll seem like it. Tell no-one.
I thought long and hard about what to call this blog. Steve Lake already took The Stylin’ Lounge, so I couldn’t do that, although I am clearly stylin’. Titles are important, especially when you’re coming from a writing background like me. More than the first sentence or the first paragraph or even the cover, the title is your introduction to the reader. Mine had to do a lot of things at once, because this blog will inevitably be about a lot of things at once: not only writing, but I diary of sorts about Engen Books and the things I do for it, as well as just relevant things I do.
I picked Distractions because it says everything I need it to: it speaks to the writing process (and the greatest enemy of it: the wandering mind), it encapsulates just that little bit of madness that seems to bleed out whenever I sit down to write about my life, and of course: this is a distraction. This, writing for the website, even right now. Anything I’m doing that’s not writing is technically distracting me from writing.
What’s been distracting me from writing lately? Well mostly, everything you see around you on this page. I finally convinced my Engen Books partner Ellen Curtis to let me totally revamp the site into an engine that’ll allow me to post more easily, because I’m a very busy human and the long waits between posts are unacceptable. Hopefully this is the end of that. But as a consequence, I’ve spent the last week migrating the old website over to that new process. It should be done. If you’re finding dead links or anything else that’s kinda weird, please comment on the page that’s the issue to let me know, it’ll be fixed pretty quickly.
Last weekend was the Ninth Annual Sci-Fi on the Rock, which was an amazing experience. This is going to possibly sound a little odd, but we get the most business done at these conventions: and I don’t just mean sales (although thank you to everyone who did buy our books, thank you so much). No what I mean by business is just the ease of having so many charged-up, excited, creative people all at arm’s length for four days. There really are few events that can process that. In the span of a few mere days, I managed to link up with Steve Lake and talk about the future of his Full Moon series, see Melanie Collins for the first time in ages and get her permission to upload her short story Woven by the Thief to GoodReads for free (coming soon, can’t wait), met an artist who may well be making the international cover to Smoke and Mirrors, met a designer and talked to them about the possibility of Engen jewelry (no, really) AND got to network with amazing talented authors like Scott Bartlett and Dave Reynolds. All that, and spend a lot of time working on synergy between Ink’d Well Comics and Engen Books while hanging with one of the nicest guys in the comic-book industry, Jay Paulin.
Actually, lets talk about Jay Paulin for a moment, because not only does he produce stellar art-house style graphic novels with the help of artist Ariel Marsh and support of his wife, the amazing and beautiful Dr. Heidi Paulin (who also happened to give me a lot of help with medical advice during my latest book), but he’s also an amazingly energized guy, and probably one of my best friends. There were many late nights chatting, and one great night at a great restaurant — Get Stuffed in Downtown St. John’s — where we all got together with the dry wit of Mr. Scott Bartlett and shared a meal.
Almost forgot: Jay and Ariel brought us buttons. With Black Womb on them! Amazing. 🙂
Ariel actually got stranded in the city for an extra day, which led to a great time taking her around to some touristy things around St. John’s, including: fog, fog, and of course, fog. Also: The Geo Center, which I learned has a downstairs, which makes sense. I always thought it was just a gift shop. We also managed to introduce her the Ches’s famous Fish and Chips, Signal Hill, and Jumping Bean Coffee. Ariel is an amazing artist, evidence by her work on Super-Galactic Space Explorers and Emma Awesome, and even some great art she’s done for me, see left. She’s a rare talent, and now I’m happy to say, a rare friend. 🙂
There was a lot going on last weekend, and I’m sure the second I’m done this post I’ll realize I left something out. The Dysfunctional Writing Panel (not filmed, sorry guys), Ellen’s Early-Bird Panel, Fat Apollo’s Storytime, all that stuff is what makes Sci-Fi great. But the big big big BIG news from this year has to be that we’ve opened up submissions to anyone who has attended the con for next year’s tenth anniversary Sci-Fi from the Rock collection.
We’ll be posting up the official guidelines soon, but as it stands anything “Generally Geeky” is going to be accepted. We’re planning a massive collection here to celebrate all the people that make Sci-Fi on the Rock a reality for a decade, including retrospectives on past years by Steve Lake, artwork for every story (which Ellen has elected me to produce, we’ll see how that goes) and what will hopefully be a simply massive amount of fiction from the greatest sci-fi lovers on the planet.
All said, Sci-Fi on the Rock 9 was amazing. Big thanks to Steve Lake, Tara Murphy and co. (they don’t get it enough) for putting on a great show I’ll be remembering for many, many years to come.