mmerriam: (Old Lynx)
Yes, I will be at Minicon this weekend. Yes, I will be on a couple panels and doing a couple of events. Yes, I would love to chat with you. Yes.

Friday 8:30 pm – Why Are We Still Having This Panel? - Veranda 5/6
There are panels that have been done a thousand times (you know the ones we mean) – which ones are still necessary? Which will we gouge our eyes out it we see again? (Moderator)

Saturday 2:30pm – Artistic Bravery - Veranda 3/4
Releasing your work into the wild can be the scariest part of the artist process. If you want people to see your work, you have to take the first steps and share it. Hear stories from writers and artists detailing the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to sharing.

Saturday 3:30pm – Mass Signing – Garden Court

Saturday 6:00pm – Reading – Veranda 1/2

Saturday 6:30pm – MinnSpec Reading – Veranda 1/2
mmerriam: (Old Lynx)
I had a pretty good Minicon this year. The two panels I was on were well attended and had both excellent panelists and thoughtful audiences. I played music three nights in a row, which was a little tough on my hands, but worth it. My reading was reasonably well attended and I sold a few books and signed a few more.

10277096_10152328791850138_7346936324522975136_n
*Photo courtesy of Baron Dave Romm

The three panels I attended were pretty good as well, though I had to sit on my hands and bit my tongue a couple times at the first one. I only made it to one reading this year, Cat Valente's, but I loved her story and reading-style. Made friends with some visiting musicians and got to help take them out for Malaysian food. On Saturday, three different people gave me three different types of cupcakes. It is a mystery as to why this happened, but I am not complaining. I mean, cupcakes!

But mostly what made it a great convention was hanging out with people--too many to name here--but Minicon felt more like a family reunion this year, maybe because I learned how to make my own fun at conventions. I am planning to return next year for the 50th Minicon celebration.

I didn't hardly work at all at the convention, which says something about how engaged I was, but I did work a little and even a little more yesterday.

1. Completed the first draft of the 1979 section
2. Added small scenes to the 1979 section to seed other sections
3. Made notes and started outlining 1929 section
4. Search for and added 1920s music to playlist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ghosts Of the Places We Live

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Old Lynx)
FRIDAY, APRIL 18

Navigating the World of Small Press Publishing - 8:30-9:30PM - Veranda 7/8 (K)


SATURDAY, APRIL 19

Local References in Urban Fantasy - 11:30AM-12:30PM - Veranda 7/8 (K)

Reading - 3:30-4:30PM - Veranda 1/2

Signing - 5:00-5:30PM - Ballroom Foyer

Minicon 48

Apr. 3rd, 2013 08:20 pm
mmerriam: (Kimiko - Science)
Rather than doing a play-by play write-up of Minicon (as I have done in the past), instead I am going to give you guys my thoughts and impressions about the convention this year.

It seemed smaller. I heard the final numbers were something around 350 people, but I don't think I ever saw more than 30 people at a time.{ETA: I have heard the official warm body count was 505 attendees. For the life of me, I have no idea where they were.} I attribute this to a small convention being spread out in a large space. The energy also seemed lower this year, but I noticed that at MarsCon as well, so maybe the Twin Cities SF convention scene is just having a low-keyed sort of year.

I got to visit with several friends and make a few new ones. I was not on any panels, which seemed strange to me, but there was nothing I felt so strongly about that I had to be on it. I did attend a few panels ( and made a contribution to one from the audience), and I thought they all went well. I sold a few books, mostly at my signing, but also at my personal reading and the MinnSpec reading.

The MinnSpec reading was the one trouble spot for me this year, as there was conflicting information about the time. The pocket guide said 3:00pm on Sunday and everything else including the sign hung on the door said the reading was at 2:00pm. We showed up at 2:00pm, read to a handful of people, then everyone scooted out for another reading in another room. No one showed up by 3:10, so we left as well.

The music was lovely again this year, but I simply did not have enough energy to stay up late for the music circle. I partook of several good conversations with various smart and lovely people.

All-in-all, though Minicon was small and low-keyed this year -- and I also took the approach of taking it easy -- I had a good enough time to sign up for next year. I wonder if I'm hitting an age where small, intimate conventions are what I really desire and enjoy, as opposed to large, loud, rollicking conventions.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Kimiko - Science)
I am taking it much easier at Minicon this year than in years past.
SAT - 3:00-4:00 Veranda 1/2
READING: Michael Merriam
Michael will read from his new short story collection, "Whispers in Space."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SAT - 5:00-5:30 2nd floor foyer
SIGNING: Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Michael Merriam
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUN - 2:00-3:00 Veranda 1/2
Rapid-Fire Readings - MINNSPEC
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I will also probably bring my bass guitar and sit on the music circle Saturday night. For the most part, I plan to hang out, go to readings, and chat with friends.
mmerriam: (Default)
Here is my Minicon Schedule --

SAT 10:00 AM Krushenko's - Atrium 7
Appending Our Cultural Heritage
Public domain works such as Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland inspire new stories. How does an author make a topic uniquely their own, and still respect the original story? Shakespeare's work has inspired countless retellings - and he practiced such adaptations himself. How does the author make a topic uniquely their own and still respect the original story? When is a derivative story a crime against the source
Beth Friedman, Jane Yolen, Jason Wittman, Michael Merriam(M), Ruth Berman, Will Alexander

SAT 4:30PM - 5:30PM Atrium 2
Reading: Michael Merriam
Michael Merriam, author of *Last Car Annwn Station, Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep*, and over 80 short stories, will read from his forthcoming novella, *The Curious Case of the Jeweled Alicorn.*

SUN 10:00 AM Krushenko's - Atrium 7
Folklore or Fakelore
...or does it really matter? Authors who romp through the folk stories of the world, borrowing/grabbing/snatching up tropes as they go will either tug their forelocks for doing so, find excuses for themselves, or boldly go wherever they want to and be happy to do so. Is there a proper use of our folkloric inheritance, or should the world's basic stories be up for grabs for whomever and whatever we want?
Adam Stemple, Dana M. Baird(M), Jane Yolen, Michael Merriam, Ruth Berman, Will Alexander

SUN 2:00 PM Atrium 2
Reading: Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers
Members of MinnSpec, a 300+ strong writer's organization, read from their works. More information about MinnSpec at http://www.meetup.com/MNspec/
Jason Wittman, Michael Merriam, Pat Sullivan, Sarah Olsen, Terry Faust
mmerriam: (Default)
And now I have my Minicon Schedule

Short Stories and the People Who Love Them - 10:00AM Saturday - Krushenko’s
What is special about the short story format? What makes a good short story? What opportunities does a short story afford the writer and the reader? What's are some of the positive and negative issues in the short story market? Panelists: Eric Heideman(M), Michael Merriam, Ruth Berman

Non Western Cultures In Fantasy - 11:30AM Saturday - Krushenko’s
Writing in cultures beyond North America or Western Europe. Working in new geographies offers readers and writers chance to step out of their comfort zones or reclaim their heritage. What are some of the challenges and which writers do this well? Panelists: Eric M. Heideman (M), Michael Merriam, Adam Stemple, Ricky Foos, Marissa Lingen

Ask A Writer - 4:00PM Saturday - Veranda 2
Always wanted to know how a novel is born? How does a writer structure their day? Is it all glittering parties and intelligent company? Come ask a panel of working writers anything! Panelists: Michael Merriam (M), Jane Yolen, Pamela Dean

Common Misconceptions About Publishing - 11:30AM Sunday - Veranda 5/6
How is the publishing industry structured? What exactly does an author sell to a publisher, and what do publishers want to see? Why are books the length that they are? Published authors and editors talk about their experiences and share their "If I knew then what I know now..." stories. Panelists: Michael Merriam (M), John Scalzi, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Michael Merriam Reading 1:00PM Sunday - Veranda 1



*I've been doing Ask A Writer at all the various SF/F conventions I'm attending this year. I knew it would draw different writers at different conventions as well as getting different audiences with different questions. I thought it would be a great way for the audience members to come ask questions to writers at different points in their careers.
mmerriam: (Default)
And now I have my Minicon Schedule

Short Stories and the People Who Love Them - 10:00AM Saturday - Krushenko’s
What is special about the short story format? What makes a good short story? What opportunities does a short story afford the writer and the reader? What's are some of the positive and negative issues in the short story market? Panelists: Eric Heideman(M), Michael Merriam, Ruth Berman

Non Western Cultures In Fantasy - 11:30AM Saturday - Krushenko’s
Writing in cultures beyond North America or Western Europe. Working in new geographies offers readers and writers chance to step out of their comfort zones or reclaim their heritage. What are some of the challenges and which writers do this well? Panelists: Eric M. Heideman (M), Michael Merriam, Adam Stemple, Ricky Foos, Marissa Lingen

Ask A Writer - 4:00PM Saturday - Veranda 2
Always wanted to know how a novel is born? How does a writer structure their day? Is it all glittering parties and intelligent company? Come ask a panel of working writers anything! Panelists: Michael Merriam (M), Jane Yolen, Pamela Dean

Common Misconceptions About Publishing - 11:30AM Sunday - Veranda 5/6
How is the publishing industry structured? What exactly does an author sell to a publisher, and what do publishers want to see? Why are books the length that they are? Published authors and editors talk about their experiences and share their "If I knew then what I know now..." stories. Panelists: Michael Merriam (M), John Scalzi, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Michael Merriam Reading 1:00PM Sunday - Veranda 1



*I've been doing Ask A Writer at all the various SF/F conventions I'm attending this year. I knew it would draw different writers at different conventions as well as getting different audiences with different questions. I thought it would be a great way for the audience members to come ask questions to writers at different points in their careers.
mmerriam: (Default)
Here is a list of conventions and other events I will attend. If anyone wants to come up to me and say hello, I'm easy to spot: I'm the large man with the white cane. I'd love to visit with you.

Speculations Reading with Michael Merriam
Friday, February 4, 2011 6:30 PM
DreamHaven Books
2301 E 38th St
Minneapolis MN 55406

Con of the North -- February 18th-20th, 2011. The Twin Cities' longest running games convention, held at the Holiday Inn St. Paul East.

MarsCon -- March 4th-6th, 2011. Held at the Airport Hilton, Bloomington, MN.

Paganicon -- March 25th-27th, 2011. Held at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel, St. Louis Park, MN.

Minicon -- April 22nd-24th, 2011. The Grand Dame of Minnesota SF&F Conventions. This Con is held at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington, MN.

4th Street Fantasy Convention -- There hasn't been an announcement of dates yet.

CONvergence -- June 30th--July 3rd 2011. CONvergence is at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington, MN. This convention hosts the Tales of the Unanticipated magazine release party.

Diversicon -- July 29th–31st, 2011. A Twin Cities convention that celebrates and explores the connections between speculative fiction and diversity.
mmerriam: (Default)
Here is a list of conventions and other events I will attend. If anyone wants to come up to me and say hello, I'm easy to spot: I'm the large man with the white cane. I'd love to visit with you.

Speculations Reading with Michael Merriam
Friday, February 4, 2011 6:30 PM
DreamHaven Books
2301 E 38th St
Minneapolis MN 55406

Con of the North -- February 18th-20th, 2011. The Twin Cities' longest running games convention, held at the Holiday Inn St. Paul East.

MarsCon -- March 4th-6th, 2011. Held at the Airport Hilton, Bloomington, MN.

Paganicon -- March 25th-27th, 2011. Held at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel, St. Louis Park, MN.

Minicon -- April 22nd-24th, 2011. The Grand Dame of Minnesota SF&F Conventions. This Con is held at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington, MN.

4th Street Fantasy Convention -- There hasn't been an announcement of dates yet.

CONvergence -- June 30th--July 3rd 2011. CONvergence is at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington, MN. This convention hosts the Tales of the Unanticipated magazine release party.

Diversicon -- July 29th–31st, 2011. A Twin Cities convention that celebrates and explores the connections between speculative fiction and diversity.
mmerriam: (Default)
It is a official, these are places I will be.

Writing Cross-Genre: Cross-genre fiction is coming popular at the same time that many new sub-genres are being defined. What is there about SF today that calls for ever more specific categories while also inviting blurring of those boundaries? One might say the whole point of genre is to help bookstores/libraries/etc know where to shelve your book, and cross-genre books are notoriously difficult to categorize. And if no one knows what to do with your book, it probably won't sell well. So why write cross-genre fiction? What is the appeal? Friday 8:30 PM – Krushenko's

Minn-Spec Meeting and Meetup: Learn about this resource-sharing network for professional and aspiring speculative fiction writers. Saturday 11:30 AM - Krushenko's

The Editors Panel: Editors answer questions/share their thoughts about the craft of editing. Saturday 2:30 PM – Krushenko's

Reading: I'll read an excerpt from my forthcoming novella, The Horror at Cold Springs and something from my collection, "Shimmers & Shadows." Saturday 4:00 pm Veranda 1.

Including Disabled People In Fiction: How is disability presented in movies, book and TV? What are some of the best examples, and what makes us change the channel or press the eject button? How can publishers and authors make media more friendly and accessible to disabled fans? Sunday 2:30 PM – Verandas 3 / 4

Reading:
mmerriam: (Default)
It is a official, these are places I will be.

Writing Cross-Genre: Cross-genre fiction is coming popular at the same time that many new sub-genres are being defined. What is there about SF today that calls for ever more specific categories while also inviting blurring of those boundaries? One might say the whole point of genre is to help bookstores/libraries/etc know where to shelve your book, and cross-genre books are notoriously difficult to categorize. And if no one knows what to do with your book, it probably won't sell well. So why write cross-genre fiction? What is the appeal? Friday 8:30 PM – Krushenko's

Minn-Spec Meeting and Meetup: Learn about this resource-sharing network for professional and aspiring speculative fiction writers. Saturday 11:30 AM - Krushenko's

The Editors Panel: Editors answer questions/share their thoughts about the craft of editing. Saturday 2:30 PM – Krushenko's

Reading: I'll read an excerpt from my forthcoming novella, The Horror at Cold Springs and something from my collection, "Shimmers & Shadows." Saturday 4:00 pm Veranda 1.

Including Disabled People In Fiction: How is disability presented in movies, book and TV? What are some of the best examples, and what makes us change the channel or press the eject button? How can publishers and authors make media more friendly and accessible to disabled fans? Sunday 2:30 PM – Verandas 3 / 4

Reading:
mmerriam: (Default)
These are the conventions I'll be attending this year: Con of the North -- February 5th-7th, 2010. The Twin Cities' longest running games convention, held at Holiday Inn St. Paul East.

Minicon -- April 2-4, 2010. The Grand Dame of Minnesota SF&F Conventions. This Con is held at the Sheraton in Bloomington, MN.

CONvergence -- July 1-4, 2010. CONvergence is at the Sheraton in Bloomington, MN. This convention hosts the Tales of the Unanticipated magazine release party.

Diversicon : A Twin Cities convention that celebrates and explores the connections between speculative fiction (SF) and diversity.
mmerriam: (Default)
These are the conventions I'll be attending this year: Con of the North (gaming con), Minicon, CONvergence, and maybe Diversicon depending on a couple of things.
mmerriam: (Default)
It was a good Minicon. Not great, but good. Though I have been hearing that we had the same number of attendees as last year, it seemed quieter to me, as if the convention was striving to fill up the space and not quite making it. It is a worrisome thing. Programming wise, Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound went okay, I thought, especially for a 10:00 am panel. We talked about what humor and satire can do that perhaps other styles cannot, talked about some favorite humor and satirical writers and their stories, and took good questions from the audience.

My reading was reasonably well attended (I didn't get a count, but it was somewhere between 7 and 10 people), and I read a little bit from Shimmers & Shadows and then from something new, since I had mostly familiar faces. The Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup, however, was a complete bust. No one showed up except me and the other presenter, so we called it off. This did allow me to catch some music.

The MinnSpec Rapid-Fire Reading could also have gone better. We only had three members show up to read, instead of the usual six or seven. Oh well, what can you do.

Breaking into Publishing in the 21st Century on Sunday morning was tons of fun and we had a good mix of panelists, including the GoH, Karl Schroeder, who is a solid mid-list novelist, Scott McCoy a horror writer and editor, and Rick Brignall, who works more on the journalistic and freelance end of Spec Fic. The audience was engaged and asked good questions, and I think we covered all the stuff we wanted to from how breaking into publishing is changing rapidly, to where we thing it is going in the future.

Social Contract: What Negative Emotions is it OK to Evoke in Your Readers? with
Phyllis Eisenstein, Scott McCoy, and Pamela Dean also went well and we talked extensively about the contract, and what readers expect, and what writers and readers both bring to the work. We named works we felt broke the contract and discussed why. Solid panel with great panelists.

I spent a lot more time in the consuite, which was fun and good. I'm sad that I missed both Pamela Dean's and Pat Wrede's readings, but I had other commitments at the time. The Steampunk panel was also well done and I enjoyed it, as was the Be Careful What You Wish For panel, which might have been my favorite of the convention because it was full of smart people talking about wishes and fairy tales and other things I love and it ended with a slightly dirty joke.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I finished chapter 20 of Rija's Tale yesterday. The whole thing is too talky and will need some serious editing later, but it's good enough for the moment. Last night while lying in bed, I figured out the rest of the novel. I'll be making notes today and doing a rough sketch of an outline, then off to the finish line. I'm guessing between 20K and 30K to go.

Rija's Tale


Now I'm off the run errands, and then back to Rija: She's at the point where she is done with the running and about to make a stand. I suspect she'll do some ass-kicking in her near future.
mmerriam: (Default)
It was a good Minicon. Not great, but good. Though I have been hearing that we had the same number of attendees as last year, it seemed quieter to me, as if the convention was striving to fill up the space and not quite making it. It is a worrisome thing. Programming wise, Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound went okay, I thought, especially for a 10:00 am panel. We talked about what humor and satire can do that perhaps other styles cannot, talked about some favorite humor and satirical writers and their stories, and took good questions from the audience.

My reading was reasonably well attended (I didn't get a count, but it was somewhere between 7 and 10 people), and I read a little bit from Shimmers & Shadows and then from something new, since I had mostly familiar faces. The Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup, however, was a complete bust. No one showed up except me and the other presenter, so we called it off. This did allow me to catch some music.

The MinnSpec Rapid-Fire Reading could also have gone better. We only had three members show up to read, instead of the usual six or seven. Oh well, what can you do.

Breaking into Publishing in the 21st Century on Sunday morning was tons of fun and we had a good mix of panelists, including the GoH, Karl Schroeder, who is a solid mid-list novelist, Scott McCoy a horror writer and editor, and Rick Brignall, who works more on the journalistic and freelance end of Spec Fic. The audience was engaged and asked good questions, and I think we covered all the stuff we wanted to from how breaking into publishing is changing rapidly, to where we thing it is going in the future.

Social Contract: What Negative Emotions is it OK to Evoke in Your Readers? with
Phyllis Eisenstein, Scott McCoy, and Pamela Dean also went well and we talked extensively about the contract, and what readers expect, and what writers and readers both bring to the work. We named works we felt broke the contract and discussed why. Solid panel with great panelists.

I spent a lot more time in the consuite, which was fun and good. I'm sad that I missed both Pamela Dean's and Pat Wrede's readings, but I had other commitments at the time. The Steampunk panel was also well done and I enjoyed it, as was the Be Careful What You Wish For panel, which might have been my favorite of the convention because it was full of smart people talking about wishes and fairy tales and other things I love and it ended with a slightly dirty joke.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I finished chapter 20 of Rija's Tale yesterday. The whole thing is too talky and will need some serious editing later, but it's good enough for the moment. Last night while lying in bed, I figured out the rest of the novel. I'll be making notes today and doing a rough sketch of an outline, then off to the finish line. I'm guessing between 20K and 30K to go.

Rija's Tale


Now I'm off the run errands, and then back to Rija: She's at the point where she is done with the running and about to make a stand. I suspect she'll do some ass-kicking in her near future.
mmerriam: (Default)
I am back home after the first night of Minicon. I registered, did opening ceremonies, hung out in consuite. The one programming item I wanted to do was moved to Sunday, against a panel I'm on. It was very low-key.
mmerriam: (Default)
Rija's Tale is still chugging along. I'm out of the middle and moving toward the end. Mostly I need to figure out who lives, who dies, and how wide a swath of destruction I end up with.

Right now I'm juggling action versus romance while trying to keep the (somewhat thin) plot moving along. That said, I have notes to go back and sprinkle more plot (and sub-plot) into the story.

This isn't the most sophisticated novel I've ever put together, but it is a solid action novel with an interesting protagonist. This novel is stronger on character than anything else, but character is my strength. The next novel is going to be plot-driven instead of character driven.

Rija's Tale

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is my absolute final schedule for Minicon. I forgot about the MinnSpec reading, so I'm overbooked. We're not staying at the hotel this year, and were not going to be at the con until later on Friday, probably around 7:00 pm or so. We'll be there all day on Saturday and most of the day on Sunday. I'll try to blog about the convention in the evenings. I'd take the laptop with me and blog at the con, but Shiba is a big old moose of a machine, really more of a desktop replacement than something easily portable.

Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. -- Krushenko's
Michael Merriam(m), Karl Schroeder, Rob Callahan, Greg L. Johnson

What is it about the writings of humorists (like Terry Pratchett) that allows them to work on controversial issues that other writers won't touch? Does humor give more license for subversion? What about depth? How does humor allow writers to strike deep emotional chords with their readers?
---------------
Reading:
Saturday 4:00 pm -- Veranda 1

I'll be reading something in support of Shimmers & Shadows, and maybe something new.
---------------
Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup
Saturday 5:30 -- Krushenko's
Michael Merriam (host)

Welcome to Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers (aka MinnSpec)! Come learn about this valuable resource for local aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers.
----------------
MinnSpec Rapid-Fire Reading
Saturday 7:00 pm – Veranda 1

Members of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers give short (5 - 10 minutes) readings of their works.
-----------------
Breaking into publishing in the 21st Century
Sunday 10:00 am -- Veranda 3/4
Michael Merriam(m), Karl Schroeder, Scott McCoy, Rob Callahan, Rick Brignall

An update of the perennially popular "Publishing 101" topic. What do you as a new writer need to know to get your big break? How is the process changing with the advent of printing on demand, audio books, and the paperback publishing industry in a state of freefall? Last year's advice on how to break into the business may already be obsolete.
---------------------
Social Contract: What Negative Emotions is it OK to Evoke in Your Readers?
Sunday 11:30 -- Veranda 3/4
Phyllis Eisenstein(m), Michael Merriam, Rob Callahan, Scott McCoy, Pamela Dean

How much of a social contract do writers have with their readers? What about making past memories come back painfully?
~~~~~~~~~~

Neil Clarke has a movement to save the Semiprozine Hugo.

I'm in support if this, not just because all my sales have been to semiprozines, but because I think semipro fiction magazines are actually publishing some of the best stuff around. Sure, they can also publish total crap, but so can the big boys, and I think the smaller magazine provide a better platform for experiential work, work that is a little out on the fringe, work that pushes the envelope, and works by writers who are cutting their teeth and learning their chops.

If the fact the Locus has dominated this category over the years is the problem, maybe it should be divided into fiction and non-fiction sub-categories. I think that should be the case for all the magazine-based Hugos.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've been trying to read more short fiction, getting some reading done in the nooks and crannies of my day. I've got two pieces I want to recommend.

Haxan by Kenneth Mark Hoover moves at a slow, lanquid pace, building tension and suspense. The story is throw-back to short fiction of the American West, and reads a bit like Elmore Leonard back when he was writing this sort of thing, with a light, mysterious fantastical element. Having grown up on the westerns of Leonard, L'Amour, Brand, and Grey, and the fantasy stories of Moore, Leiber, and Vance, this is my kind of story, and Hoover gets the details right.

Gone Daddy Gone, Josh Rountree's tale of surfers, guitars, and nature spirits, struck a chord in me because it the kind of story I would write if I had that much skill, and it ends as any good fairy tale should. Recommended.
mmerriam: (Default)
Rija's Tale is still chugging along. I'm out of the middle and moving toward the end. Mostly I need to figure out who lives, who dies, and how wide a swath of destruction I end up with.

Right now I'm juggling action versus romance while trying to keep the (somewhat thin) plot moving along. That said, I have notes to go back and sprinkle more plot (and sub-plot) into the story.

This isn't the most sophisticated novel I've ever put together, but it is a solid action novel with an interesting protagonist. This novel is stronger on character than anything else, but character is my strength. The next novel is going to be plot-driven instead of character driven.

Rija's Tale

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is my absolute final schedule for Minicon. I forgot about the MinnSpec reading, so I'm overbooked. We're not staying at the hotel this year, and were not going to be at the con until later on Friday, probably around 7:00 pm or so. We'll be there all day on Saturday and most of the day on Sunday. I'll try to blog about the convention in the evenings. I'd take the laptop with me and blog at the con, but Shiba is a big old moose of a machine, really more of a desktop replacement than something easily portable.

Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. -- Krushenko's
Michael Merriam(m), Karl Schroeder, Rob Callahan, Greg L. Johnson

What is it about the writings of humorists (like Terry Pratchett) that allows them to work on controversial issues that other writers won't touch? Does humor give more license for subversion? What about depth? How does humor allow writers to strike deep emotional chords with their readers?
---------------
Reading:
Saturday 4:00 pm -- Veranda 1

I'll be reading something in support of Shimmers & Shadows, and maybe something new.
---------------
Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup
Saturday 5:30 -- Krushenko's
Michael Merriam (host)

Welcome to Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers (aka MinnSpec)! Come learn about this valuable resource for local aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers.
----------------
MinnSpec Rapid-Fire Reading
Saturday 7:00 pm – Veranda 1

Members of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers give short (5 - 10 minutes) readings of their works.
-----------------
Breaking into publishing in the 21st Century
Sunday 10:00 am -- Veranda 3/4
Michael Merriam(m), Karl Schroeder, Scott McCoy, Rob Callahan, Rick Brignall

An update of the perennially popular "Publishing 101" topic. What do you as a new writer need to know to get your big break? How is the process changing with the advent of printing on demand, audio books, and the paperback publishing industry in a state of freefall? Last year's advice on how to break into the business may already be obsolete.
---------------------
Social Contract: What Negative Emotions is it OK to Evoke in Your Readers?
Sunday 11:30 -- Veranda 3/4
Phyllis Eisenstein(m), Michael Merriam, Rob Callahan, Scott McCoy, Pamela Dean

How much of a social contract do writers have with their readers? What about making past memories come back painfully?
~~~~~~~~~~

Neil Clarke has a movement to save the Semiprozine Hugo.

I'm in support if this, not just because all my sales have been to semiprozines, but because I think semipro fiction magazines are actually publishing some of the best stuff around. Sure, they can also publish total crap, but so can the big boys, and I think the smaller magazine provide a better platform for experiential work, work that is a little out on the fringe, work that pushes the envelope, and works by writers who are cutting their teeth and learning their chops.

If the fact the Locus has dominated this category over the years is the problem, maybe it should be divided into fiction and non-fiction sub-categories. I think that should be the case for all the magazine-based Hugos.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've been trying to read more short fiction, getting some reading done in the nooks and crannies of my day. I've got two pieces I want to recommend.

Haxan by Kenneth Mark Hoover moves at a slow, lanquid pace, building tension and suspense. The story is throw-back to short fiction of the American West, and reads a bit like Elmore Leonard back when he was writing this sort of thing, with a light, mysterious fantastical element. Having grown up on the westerns of Leonard, L'Amour, Brand, and Grey, and the fantasy stories of Moore, Leiber, and Vance, this is my kind of story, and Hoover gets the details right.

Gone Daddy Gone, Josh Rountree's tale of surfers, guitars, and nature spirits, struck a chord in me because it the kind of story I would write if I had that much skill, and it ends as any good fairy tale should. Recommended.
mmerriam: (Default)
Here is where to find me at Minicon 44, this coming weekend.

Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. -- Krushenko's
Michael Merriam(m), Karl Schroeder, Rob Callahan, Greg L. Johnson

What is it about the writings of humorists (like Terry Pratchett) that allows them to work on controversial issues that other writers won't touch? Does humor give more license for subversion? What about depth? How does humor allow writers to strike deep emotional chords with their readers?

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Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup
Saturday 5:30 -- Krushenko's
Michael Merriam (host)

Welcome to Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers (aka MinnSpec)! Come learn about this valuable resource for local aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers.

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Breaking into publishing in the 21st Century
Sunday 10:00 am -- Veranda 3/4
Michael Merriam(m), Karl Schroeder, Scott McCoy, Rob Callahan, Rick Brignall

An update of the perennially popular "Publishing 101" topic. What do you as a new writer need to know to get your big break? How is the process changing with the advent of printing on demand, audio books, and the paperback publishing industry in a state of freefall? Last year's advice on how to break into the business may already be obsolete.

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Social Contract: What Negative Emotions is it OK to Evoke in Your Readers?
Sunday 11:30 -- Veranda 3/4
Phyllis Eisenstein(m), Michael Merriam, Rob Callahan, Scott McCoy, Pamela Dean

How much of a social contract do writers have with their readers? What about making past memories come back painfully?

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Reading: I still don't have a time, and likely won't until the actual convention. I'll be reading something in support of Shimmers & Shadows, and maybe something new.

April 2017

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