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No Arisia this year

I’ve decided against attending Arisia this month. Since it’s held in Boston, which is only about an hour and a half away, I’d intended to take the train up on Saturday and come back in the early evening. I was an accepted participant, but most of the events that interested me fell outside of that time frame (and also had a high level of author interest and lots of competition), so I wasn’t scheduled for any panels this year. But, live and learn. Next year, it would make sense to stay in Boston for the weekend.

I’m still planning to attend Boskone in February and will be posting my schedule shortly. There’s also a small con in March (South Coast Game Fest in Swansea, MA) and I’ll be there at least one day. More details soon.

August writing summary

This month was mostly about the novel-in-progress. The highlight, however, was attending Gen Con for the first time in a decade. I met lots of interesting people, touched base with friends old and new, signed some books, played some games, and talked about various Secret Projects.

August summary:

Publications: 1
Submissions: 2
Acceptances: 2
Rejections: 1
Projects currently in circulation: 3

Work in progress:
  • Writing Draft Zero of a historical fantasy novel
  • A Mythos-themed novella, still in brainstorming stage
  • Awaiting editor’s notes for a short story solicited for a shared-world anthology


  • Winterhexe, a German translation of the Pathfinder Tales novel Winter Witch, was published by Feder & Schwert.


  • “Family Matters,” a new flash fiction story, submitted to a webzine
  • “The White Tunic,” a story published in 2013, submitted to a reprint anthology

Acceptances: 2

  • “The White Tunic” was accepted for publication in a fantasy reprint anthology by Digital Fantasy Press. I’d submitted it last month to their horror anthology; this, apparently, was a better fit.
  • A review of A King’s Obsession, a historical novel by Allison Weir, was accepted and scheduled for publication in Renaissance Magazine, issue #112

Rejections: 1

  • “Dead Men Tell No Tales” did not make the final cut for a ghosts & pirates reprint anthology.

Completed in August:

  • Wrote and submitted “Family Matters,” a flash fiction story (800 words)
  • Wrote “Turning Characters into People,” an article about the writing process, to be published on my Patreon.
  • Wrote 7 blog posts for this website, including two longer articles on the topic “Setting as Character.”

Writing related:

  • Attended Gen Con 50, participated in 11 panels, the Candlekeep seminar, and the Worldbuilder’s Party charity event organized by Patrick Rothfuss.
  • Working on a Patreon account, which is still in the planning stage.

Books read:

  • Focus by Daniel Goleman
  • Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax, by Dorothy Gilman

Books reading:

  • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science, by Norman Dolge
  • How the Mind Works, by Stephen Pinker
  • The Private Lives of Tudor Women, by Elizabeth Norton

Gen Con 50

Since Gen Con badges sold out for the first time ever, I was expecting wall to wall people. There were lots of people, but there was also so much to do, in so many places, that the crowds never felt overwhelming. And everyone looked so happy to be there, so the general mood was upbeat and energizing.

Except for an occasional foray into the dealers’ hall and an afternoon spent gaming at the Worldbuilders Party, I spent most of my time at the Writer’s Symposium. It’s a great program, very well run. Some of the panels went better than others, but in general the people who attended asked good questions and seemed genuinely interested in the topics under discussion.  I was particularly impressed with the moderator of the Candlekeep seminar, which was packed with hardcore Forgotten Realms fans. He kept the tone upbeat and enthusiastic–no small feat when you consider that the fiction line has been put on indefinite hold and game products are few and far between. Thanks to the Dungeon Master’s Guild, there is new content coming out, and a lot of the discussion focused on this new(ish) venture.

The highlight for me was meeting people in real life with whom I’ve worked or communiated online–sometimes for years or even decades:  a longtime, hard-working moderator of the Candlekeep forum, several editors who have worked on my novels or short fiction, and a bunch of readers.  It’s a bit of a shock when people with grey hair tell me they’d read my books when they were teenagers, but then I do the mental math and yep, that sounds about right. Elfshadow was published in 1991.  Oy.

This was the first con I’ve attended in several years. Going forward, I plan to be more active in con attendance. Next up: Arisia!  Details to follow.

So. Many. GOATS!

Everyone loves goats!

If you’re going to Gen Con and you’re interested in donating to a great cause, consider the Worldbuilder’s Party, an afternoon of gaming and goats. Lots of goats! Every ticket purchased will provide a goat for an impoverished family, via the wonderful Heifer International organization.

I’ll be tag-teaming with Brad Beaulieu to run the board game “Lords of Waterdeep.” He’ll be running games from 1-3:45 and I’ll be stepping in from 3:45 to 5:00. (Note: Since I’m a late addition to GenCon, I’m not listed among the participants.)

Here’s a link for more information. 

Gen Con schedule!

As of this morning, I have a Gen Con author page and an event schedule.  I’ll also post the schedule to my Upcoming Events page, and update that page as plans continue to develop.

Thursday, August 17:

Friday, August 18

  • 10:00 – Worldbuilding 101. With Richard Lee Byers.
  • 12:00 – Signing. With Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, and James Lowder.
  • 1:00-5:00 – Worldbuilders Party.  A gaming event organized by Worldbuilders, Patrick Rothfuss’s charitable organization. I’ll be running “Lords of Waterdeep” from 3:45-5:00.

Saturday, August 19

Gen Con 2017!

I wasn’t planning to attend Gen Con this summer, but just this week the stars aligned and plans fell into place. I’ll be there from Wednesday afternoon through Saturday (leaving very early Sunday morning), and will be participating in the Writers’ Symposium.  Schedule of events coming soon.i

Hope to see many of you there!