mo*con

Gypsy’s Library

5

I love this picture. I found it by accident the same night I found the eggshell. Not only is it a cool library that I would love to have… I would totally live here! It reminds me of the tree I used to climb as a child and hide in to read. I dragged many a novel up that bark and sprawled across those limbs precariously to vanish into other worlds filled with monsters and mayhem and damn I miss those days on occasion!

Of course, for today’s purposes we’re just using it for a blog pic, but it was a good excuse to show you and toss a link for everyone to go check out what else Lori Nix has on her site.

The real meat of this blog is regarding my library. Or rather, my contributions to libraries around the world.

Yep, it’s a writing update. Boring, I know. But it comes with pretty art work and two links to more pretty art work =)

2010… from my mind to your library:

“Good Enough” Short story in Dark Faith, the Mo’Con Anthology: available through Apex Publications

“Black Hole Sun” Short story written with Alethea Kontis in Dark Futures, An apocalyptic sci-fi anthology edited by Jason Sizemore: available through amazon

6 Days, my novel, coming from Maelstrom, a new line of Thunderstorm Books pre-order 10.1.10

“Spilled Milk” short story written in Brian Keene‘s Rising Universe, to be included with his novella The Rising: Deliverance, coming from Maelstrom, a new line of Thunderstorm Books pre-order 10.1.10

“Divorcing the Dead” short story which will be available as a special chapbook with the above mentioned pre-orders if they’re ordered by 10.31.10 (HA! fat chance them being available after 10.4.10). Chap will also include a short from Brian Keene.

“Spell” Short story in Up Jumped the Devil, a Nick Cave anthology coming from PS Publishing

“Childhood Ghosts” short story coming up in the Halloween edition of Shroud.

“Where did all the Monsters go?” Article, also coming up in the Halloween edition of Shroud.

Now then… I’ll ask you a question next week. This week? Get a book, go climb a tree and read!

Knee… Elbow…

swearingMaurice let me do some crazy things with panels at Mo’Con this year, and we giggled through the panel on sex and fiction. One of the points we were making was when it’s appropriate to call sex organs by vernaculars and other silly names.

Revisiting the topic after hearing a word for penis I was unfamiliar with, I went Googling.

I know better than to go Googling.

I do.

But it’s a disease and I’ll never learn.

So, as I travel across the states and try and survive the long trek through Michigan, yet again, I’m setting this bad boy on auto-blog. Here’s your silly to end the week…

2062 names for the penis

Oddly, there are only 172 nick names for female genitalia, and only 129 synonyms for breasts

Now then… while you giggle your way down the lists, guess which ones you should never use in your writing!

Love-Hate Relationships

lovehateOnce upon a time there was a panel. This morning there was a blog. And on my first cup of coffee, I find myself blogging back… really?!

See, the point to the panel was that “the internet is forever“, so you need to be careful what you graffiti on its walls. But another thing that came up was, while some things shouldn’t be posted online because they’re too personal, others shouldn’t be because readers may develop a love-hate relationship. Or worse, hate-hate.

Do you, or perhaps someone you know, have an actor whose work you like, but hate them as a person because of something they said? Sure you do. We all know someone like that. My parents will watch Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner, but ignore anything that falls out of their mouths because they disagree with them religiously or politically. That’s love-hate. Hate-hate would be Jane Fonda, who has said and done things that have turned my parents away from her as a human, let alone actress, for-evah.

It’s the fear of that second part that came up on the panel. Someone in the room, name withheld to protect the innocent, summed it up perfectly. “I can never never blog that I hate cats… because all cat lovers will then hate me.” And it’s true. You know the saying “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game,” but it’s harder said than done for some. And as a writer, as any type of social being with an audience, we must all be careful what we say. We must choose our words diligently, even outside our fiction.

Now I will personally post just about anything in my blog. I feel the more human I admit to being, the more real I am to the two-dimensional world of PC screens and iPhone bookmarks, the better. But there are some things I hold back on. There are certain aspects of our lives I don’t feel should be given to the world. Partially for the love-hate issue, but partially because it’s just none of their damn business (that one was for you A). Wrath’s blog wasn’t a love-hate thing, even though his tweet suggested he thought I would think that. Wrath’s was a human thing. And as human’s we are imperfect by nature. Is the blog Mo’s fault? No. It was the type of blog that makes us real. Unlike the type of blog that makes us stupid *ahem, Mo* and gives reason to have panels such as the one we had at Mo’Con this year. Certain conversations are best saved for the phone calls to your closest friends. Others can be shared with the human collective for humor or insight. There is a difference. That was the point to the panel, and this blog entry. I don’t want to know everything about my favorite writers or actors. Just enough to make them human. And I’ll give you just enough to make me human in return.

And Wrath… because ‘dueling blogs’ come with direct responses:

1.) My ex did that. I hated it, but it wasn’t why I divorced him.
2.) I hope Christie throws things at your head when you’re doing that.
3.) I think all men do that.
4.) I know all men do that.
5.) *gasp* You can’t control things while sleeping? My god, I suppose your snore, too!
6.) You admit it, though. 2 Points
7.) City mouse and country mouse were popular for a reason.
8.) Part of why we love you…
9.) We’re all like that sometimes.
10.) hehe, me too! Why do you say that like it’s a bad thing?
11.) Deals are good.
12.) You do other things around the house though, right?
13.) THERE is your cat hate… but I think the populous will forgive you.

and 14, because I too am human and not perfect: No, men don’t change… Relationships can fail based on that alone. Women hope the men will change, they don’t. Men hope the women won’t, they do.

ps. While reading this to the hippie, his 10-year-old piped in: 15.) I like pie!

Lemonade Stands & Vulvasaurs

Mo’con V: Kelli Strikes Back and oh boy, did she!! Although like every year, I walk away filled with memories and love. ahhh Mo’Con, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

me-moconI love thee for the roadtrip with friends through apocalyptic landscapes and inbred McDonalds, where the bathroom played “The Whiter Shade of Pale.”
I love thee for returning me to the birth of garage talk, and boys that know not to hide my trampoline.
I love thee for chicken Marsala and Chateaubriand.
I love thee for late night river banks.
I love thee for not letting me DIE after touching the hair of a diva.
I love thee for helping plan the hunt for the perfect margarita… and bail money.
I love thee for your tiny entrepreneurs and many cans of soda.
I love thee for allowing us to watch a fighter scream at other fighters on television.
I love thee for letting us kill Brian Keene again… and again… and again.
I love thee for giving me permission to not only swear up to 10 times in church without repercussions, but for allowing us to say things like vagina, penis, rotisserie sex and vulvasaur in a church without lightning.
I love thee for letting me scold Gary Braunbeck, repeatedly, in public with a giggle.
I love thee for making normally snoring panel viewers, active panel participants.
I love thee for Alice… and her Queen of Hearts.
I love thee for latenight con-ho smackdowns.
I love thee for creating book signing factory lines.
I love thee for your ninja assassin teams.
I love thee for proving Don Johnson is NOT dead.
I love thee for introducing the best waitress EVAH! “Here ya go… this might suck!”
I love thee for lines like “Aragorn & Gandolf were way cooler than Christ.”
I love thee for your Twilight Zone liquor stores and push-vs-pull door wars.
I love thee for LIVE radio shows and flying moon pies.
I love thee for newbies under wing.
I love thee for unspoken words in a post-party empty garage.
I love thee for magic battles and being called a nerd.
I love thee for big gulp sized absinthe… which were not mine!
I love thee for birthdays and anniversaries.
I love thee for thunderstorms and roadtrip snuggling.
And I love thee for letting me run the show and not letting me ruin it…

Other reports include: Brian Keene, Jim Leach, and Alethea Kontis, plus her pictures.

Mo’Con V

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So… whatcha doing this weekend? Guess where I’ll be. Yep. Indianapolis. Because I love the midwest—er, Maurice. And because I took over the con.

It was a joke. I never expected him to do it. But he did. So yes, the “kelli” in “kelli strikes back” would be me. And since I get to be in charge of programming, we’re going to have fun!!  There will be poetry and flash fiction. There will be blogging faux pas and penises. Jerry Springer vs. God. And food—lots of wonderful food. And of course, friends, family, colleagues, and smoke breaks full of amazing conversations. Beyond just me, the guests include: Brian (zombie guy) Keene, Wrath James (could kill you with his pinky) White, Alethea (bow to the princess) Kontis, Jason (not the porn star) Sizemore, Chesya (the original Diva) Burke, Alex (if only my stick figures looked that good) McVey, and others (not that wannabe writer that changed his name to And Others).

You sure you want to miss this?

There will also be Dark Faith and Last Rites. Each full registration will receive a copy and over fifteen contributors will be on hand for a mass signing. And since I’ll have a pen handy, I may actually bring some other things to sign…and holy crap if Alethea didn’t convince me to bring my pathetic attempt at art along (yes, to give you all something to laugh at).

So yeah, this weekend… what are you doing? If you’ve got no plans and can swing it… here’s a suggestion: Mo’Con!!

Dark first, Faith second…

darkfaith_sm Dark Faith is coming… it’s coming soon. You should click the book cover over there and pre-order it if you haven’t already. Me? I’m going to light a cigarette, fill my coffee cup and spew a little regarding this collection—with Maurice‘s blessings, if not request.

Faith is not god. Faith is not religion. Faith can be a belief. It can be a trust. And among the things that faith can be, you would occasionally find “just a word.” In this collection, that’s what it was originally. Well, more of a concept than a word, but it wasn’t the whole sentence. It wasn’t intended to be the whole collection.

As I said in my Dark Faith Devotions contribution on Apex’s blog—after I had a fit when I saw the last question—the original idea behind this book was to cover the themes of Mo’Con: race, gender & faith. Note that Faith is part of the whole. The collection was supposed to encompass Mo’Con, the heart of the conversations and panels, and point behind the last four gatherings.

During the editing, while checking on Maurice’s sanity, I was occasionally regaled with tales of woe regarding Race and Gender submissions. Apparently, even for atheists, Faith is easier to write about, thus, Faith overrode the other two ideas in the final TOC. I hadn’t actually realized this until I saw a review of Dark Faith the same day I received the Devotions questions and called Maurice to have a tizzy. I knew that mine was the only Gender story and that Moe had a Gender poem to compliment it, but the fact that Race had also been lost was news to me. In response, he sent me the TOC as requested, with a notation next to each story regarding the concept it falls under…

POEM:  “The Story of Belief-Non” by Linda D. Addison – faith
“Ghosts of New York” by Jennifer Pelland (3600 words)  – faith
“I Sing a New Psalm” by Brian Keene (2000 words) – faith
“He Who Would Not Bow” by Wrath James White (6000 words) – faith
“Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch’s Damnation” by Douglas F. Warrick (6700 words) – faith
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by Kyle S. Johnson (3500 words) – faith
“Different from Other Nights” by Eliyanna Kaiser (3700 words) – faith
POEM:  “Lilith” by Rain Graves – faith
“The Last Words of Dutch Schultz Jesus Christ” by Nick Mamatas (4100 words) – faith
“To the Jerusalem Crater” by Lavie Tidhar (2900 words) – faith
“Chimeras & Grotesqueries” by Matt Cardin (5300 words) -faith
“You Dream” by Ekaterina Sedia (3900 words) – faith
“Mother Urban’s Booke of Dayes” by Jay Lake (5000 words) – faith
“The Mad Eyes of the Heron King” by Richard Dansky (4400 words) – faith
“Paint Box, Puzzle Box” by DT Friedman (6000 words) – art
“A Loss For Words” by J. C. Hay (5000 words) – art
“Scrawl” by Tom Piccirilli (4000 words) -art/sex
POEM:  “C{her}ry Carvings” by Jennifer Baumgartner – gender
“Good Enough” by Kelli Dunlap (3500 words)] – gender
“First Communions” by Geoffrey Girard (2600 words) – faith
“The God of Last Moments” by Alethea Kontis (5000 words)] – faith
“Ring Road” by Mary Robinette Kowal (5100 words) – faith
“The Unremembered” by Chesya Burke (4800 words) – race/faith
POEM:  “Desperata” by Lon Prater – faith?
“The Choir” by Lucien Soulban (5000 words) – ?
“Days of Flaming Motor Cycles” by Catherynne M. Valente (4000 words) – ?
“Miz Ruthie Pays Her Respects” by Lucy A. Snyder (2900) – faith
POEM:  “Paranoia” by Kurt Dinan – faith
“Hush” by Kelly Barnhill (3500 words) – faith?
“Sandboys” by Richard Wright (3900 words) – faith?
“For My Next Trick, I’ll Need a Volunteer” by Gary A. Braunbeck (8000 words) – faith

You see that? My/Jen’s Gender. One Race, but not race alone, it’s in combination with Faith. And three “Art”—which weren’t even in the original plans. Who knew when Alethea, Wrath and I were given the on-the-spot task in the lawn chairs to name this, that our title would be prophetic? Faith it is… But now the small portion of other things looks like they don’t belong, when really, we were just following guidelines and trying not to inundate the poor guy with too many Faith submissions.

Of course, the irony in all of this is that I hate being called a “female” horror writer. When Moe said he wanted the Gender story I laughed and agreed and looked at it as a challenge. And reminded him of that hatred. No one calls Stephen King a “male” horror writer. No one calls Wrath a “black” horror writer. And I dare someone to call Clive Barker a “gay” horror writer. So why are “women” pointed out in the field? I never understood it. I never agreed with it. And here I was, agreeing to be part of it. Okay, if that was the case it’s going to be one helluva bloody, mean, ugly story from a chick, about a chick. People tend to forget that 8% of serial killers are women and almost 40% of domestic abuse comes from the female side of the relationship. I didn’t forget that. I remembered it and ran with it… and hope you enjoy it.

What was my point? Oh, that’s right, that last question on the Devotion. I suppose I could have just lied and tried to twist some form of Faith into my story, but that’s not how I’m built. Instead, I’ll point you to this collection called Dark Faith. You should get one. But remember, titles can be deceiving (look for my forthcoming Vampire Apocalypse, with nary a fang in it). Faith isn’t always god. Faith isn’t always religion. Sometimes, faith is just a word in a title that encompasses a whole lot of other things that only fall under that concept every third Tuesday, when the moon is full, and you hop up and down on one leg, while reciting nursery rhymes to deaf inmates.

And hey, if you’re not doing anything next weekend, come to Mo’Con. It’s going to be fun, and I’ve completely taken over the panels. There will be great food, amazing conversations, friends, colleagues and panels regarding Atheism (faith), Penises (gender/sex), and Blogging (umm… race? Not so much).

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