Prompt: On the Campaign Trail
Words: president, dove, tremble, column, united, secretary, impression, soup, milk, armor
“We must show a united front,” Galahad said, wiping soup from his neatly-trimmed beard. “We cannot let the secretary…”
“Oh, stop, Galahad.” Lance signed in his goblet of milk. “This is not the time for force. We must present the dove of peace.”
“Oh, for Heaven’s safe.” Gwen rubbed her face. “Would you two strap on your Big Boy Armor and just get in the column?”
Galahad and Lance sputtered and stuttered but took their places like they were told. Gwen didn’t care if they were being petulant brats as long as they gave the impression of a united front. It was hard enough having to make a show of force to a country that didn’t even have a proper monarch. They had a president or some other such nonsense. How did people pick someone to rule? Like a beauty contest or something? Preposterous!
“For Camelot and Arthur!” Gwen fought the tremble in her voice and sword arm. It wasn’t nerves, it was exhaustion from days on the road herding knights in the proper direction. But by the Heavens she would succeed. There would be a treaty or a surrender before she returned. Which was why Arthur sent her. Failure wasn’t in her vocabulary. She was well-versed in both methods.
Time to see which was mightier. The Pen or the Sword.
Word Count: 221
Note: After watching DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Camelot Episode
If you’re in Austin this weekend, please come out to ArmadilloCon and see me and a bunch of other amazing authors and artists! I can’t wait to be there and be part of such an amazing convention.
I was asked to be a speaker at smallCon on September 9, 2017. I’m so very excited to be part of this particular event.
Adults $25, Students 12-18 $5, 12 and under FREE! Use code “aug30” for 30% off all ticket prices! http://www.small-con.org/tickets/
September 9th at Addison Conference Center
And though she be but little, she is fierce!
Now, for the rest of it… apparently my warranty ran out on my last birthday. I am dealing with some relatively common but not fun health issues. I’m getting all the recommendations, getting all the information and developing the treatment options and plans. Since it seems to hit all at once, it’s been…distracting. I am fortunate to have a proactive health care professionals and supportive family. I am and will be all right but the distractions of life got in the way of some of the writing I “should” be doing. I have been managing to do some of the flash fiction exercises and day job stuff.
The takeaway? Stuff happens. You do what you can and keep going forward.
This is going to be a slapdash type of post. We starting to prep for ArmadilloCon. There are some other things happening this week that are occupying brain space. So it won’t be a “traditional” review post. But it’ll be something. 😎
I get to go and do weirdly random things in my Day Job. Not just conferences, but other meetings in “exotic” locales – such as The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Did you know the Federal Reserve Bank has a museum? You might. They do school trips and other are open to the public for that. But there’s also meeting rooms and a coffee/gift shop.
The Federal Reserve Bank has a GIFT SHOP.
I totally played tourist at my last meeting there. Obviously I bought a pen, but also a decent portfolio for other meetings and such. The prices weren’t bad. The pen has shredded money in it. The pencil was a gimmee pencil from the museum, which may be made from recycled, shredded money for all I know.
It’s a bit ironic that I gave money BACK to the Federal Reserve Bank, but yes, yes I did because. Hello, it’s me. I do these silly random things. And really not that expensive. The portfolio was less than $20, the pen was like $2. Granted the logo is just embossed on and could rub off and it’s obviously not leather, but still. It’s cool. And the pad that came with it? Has days and dates you can circle to date your meeting notes or story draft. The pen is a typical black ink ball point.
Prompt: History Rewritten
Words: funeral, condemn, distribution, button, sink, art, jealousy, brain, tax, lover
Ellie couldn’t condemn Connor for what he did. The brain does funny things at funerals. This situation was no different. But there was an art to time travel, and just hitting the button wasn’t it.
“This is a huge mistake, you know that, right?” she asked. “You have no idea what’s going to happen if we mess with the timeline.”
“Don’t go into a time wave distribution lecture on me, Ellie. I’ve heard it. I get it. I just don’t care.” Connor’s expression was grim.
“You know this isn’t a sink or swim situation. We’re both going to drown in this.”
Connor turned on her with a primal snarl. “You didn’t have to come.”
“Oh, please, like I was going to let you rampage through history. Someone had to be a voice of reason.”
That got a snort of derision from her partner. They’d worked together for years, but that was all. Ellie admitted feeling a brief pang of jealousy when Connor’d introduced her to his lover. But Seven had been good for him. Now…they were going to tax their resources.
A moment later, they materialized on a street corner. A vehicle bore down on Seven. Ellie rushed into traffic and shoved Seven out of the way. She felt the vehicle hit her, then nothing. It better have been worth it.
Word Count: 221
There are some distractions here, but there will be writing, but I don’t know how prolific or GOOD it will be. But I’ll doing something, even if it’s just the flash fiction writing exercises. Because there’s no stopping.
But next week is ArmadilloCon 39 in Austin. Here is my preliminary schedule:
Frodo had Samwise, Han had Chewie…
Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Ballroom F
C. Clevenger, R. Eudaly, Mi. Finn, J. Rountree, P. Sullivan*, S. White
Sat 10:00 AM-11:00 AM Southpark A
M. Cardin, R. Eudaly, K. Hoover, S. Leicht, J. Perez, R. Schwarz*
Freewriting (timed writing) and keeping a journal for Inspiration
Flavors of Flash Fiction
Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Southpark B
D. Cherry, N. Drayden, R. Eudaly, J. Lansdale, R. Rose*,
Flash fiction is another great market both online and off. Learn about different markets as well as techniques for writing a great flash fiction story.
T/TNG: A Generation Later
Sat 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Southpark B
R. Eudaly, P.J. Hoover, R. Klaw, D. Liss, A. Porter*, H. Walrath
It’s been 30 years. Seriously? What has aged well, what not? How does it stand up against later SF on TV?
Sat 5:30 PM-6:00 PM Conference Center
Sun 11:00 AM-Noon Dealers’ Room
D. Afsharirad, M. Bey, S. Brust, R. Eudaly, J. Reasoner, N. Shawl
I try to give equal time to pens. This is another Pilot Precise V5 RT (retractable) This is the Deco Collection in assorted colors . I don’t remember spending a whole lot for them, so don’t judge the MSRP too harshly.
This pen has a solid feeling point for the heavy-handed writers. This is a 0.5mm – hence the V5 – but it’s still a decent point. I’ve come around on the needle point fear. They’ve been a lot sturdier than I ever remember them being in the past. I bought the four pack – red, blue, green, and black. Some packages come with a purple as well.
The pen is about 5.5″ long and has a decent retraction mechanism. It’s light but well-balanced. The ink is richly pigmented and flows well from the tip. The lines are smooth and the ink dries quickly on paper with minimal smearing. The barrel has “art deco” patterning that matches and corresponds to the ink color and a matching rubber grip with a nod to ergonomics.
This is a good workhorse pen that has a price point, so if it’s stolen off a desk, it’s no big loss. It’s refillable so you can use them a good long time.
1. How does it work? – 1 – This is a solid working pen. The ink is well-pigmented. The point is relatively solid for a needle point.
2. Look and feel – 1 – It’s a basic retractable pen. There’s a nod to ergonomics. The clip is metal, so that’s solid.
3. Material – 1 – It’s recycled plastic with a metal clip. It is what it is. The decorations are cute, though.
4. Overall Design – 1 – It’s functional. It’s an average length stick pen with a decent point and ink. It’s refillable and eco-friendly
5. Price Point – 0.5 – This pen is refillable. The five packs on line are a bit pricy to look at. I don’t remember what I paid for the four-pack, but I had to have gotten them on sale. Perhaps if you refill them, that helps keep the cots down.
Prompt: Political Machinations
Words: appointment, dangerous, cost, empire, kitten, mug, converter, essence, tennis, poke
“The only way you could possibly lose this election is if you play tennis with kittens on camera.”
“Wouldn’t that … oh, you mean as the balls, right.” Buck Ingram wasn’t always the sharpest crayon in the box, but he was the candidate the party put up probably because he was “malleable”. No one asked Fran Johnson’s opinion on that. They only asked her to get the candidate elected, or if already elected, the prime appointment.
Fran knew she helped build an empire in essence. She was good at her job, too. She knew which buttons to push, which nerves to poke to get the job done. Buck was a challenge she fought tooth and nail to overcome. His affable mug and aw-shucks obliviousness hid a steel-trap mind—but getting to the point was…well, she’d house-trained puppies with easier “bombs” to dodge.
“We’ll just head over there to the power converter doohickey and do the photo shoot there.”
Fran cringed. The “doohickey” Buck referred to was the main console feeding the grid from the nuclear power plant. One wrong move…well, dangerous didn’t begin to cover it. If he…well, a mishap would cost untold lives, not to mention economic and environmental devastation. The country and the world would never be the same.
“Oopsie! I guess it’s a whole new world now,” Buck said.
Word Count: 222
Obviously it’s not Wednesday. I got caught up yesterday in doing Responsible Adult Things and Breathing-In-Spite-of-Crepe-Myrtles day. So, yeah, I thought about a blog post then… not so much.
This was supposed to be – and still is a “Care and Feeding” post from a Writer to Con-Runners – with Pop Culture Con Runners (not all of you, obviously) emphasis:
If you’re going to bring writers and artists to your event and have them do panels here are somethings to consider:
1. Give your panelists tables in which to sell books/art. If you’re asking a writer or artist to GIVE you their time by doing a presentation (read NOT paying them to be there), then at least offer a table so they can make some cash.
2. ADVERTISE THE PANELS. Though there is something to be said about “if you build it, they will come” but someone needs to know you’re there. Your audience might really want to know about whatever topic your writers/artists spent time creating presentations for.
3. Treat your panelists like any other guest. If you’re advertising actors, cosplayers, musicians, etc. ALSO mention your writers and artists (and not just the “Big Names” but everyone participating in your programming). We’re value-adds, I promise.
4. Communicate – amongst yourselves and with your panelists. Make sure everyone knows check in procedures – if/where the badges are, where tables, rooms are, and that any promised technology assistance is available so we come across as the competent professionals we are.
5. When you DO communicate with panelists, make sure you identify yourself and your event. In all likelihood you’re not our only event on the calendar – coming or going. No one likes to have to ask (or answer) the question(s): WHO are you? Or “What is this about?” Goes back to the “competent professional” vibe.
I’m sure there are more, but that whole trying to breathe thing is mucking up thought processes. Did I miss anything? What would you add to the list? Or what do you think I’m wrong about? Con runners – or folks with pop culture event experience – chime in with your side. Love to have a balanced conversation.
Writers (and likely other creators) are trying to do the best job possible to 1) get our name/face out to the populous, 2) do the best job for fans and conventions possible, 3) be pretty decent professionals. We want to learn how to do this better for everyone involved. Let’s talk about it.
The Pilot G2 is a classic and has been go to ink. It’s a classic that’s been around for ages, so what else is there to say about it? They’ve changed – or decorated – barrels. They’ve played a bit with point sizes, but overall the Pilot G2 is a Pilot G2. But this time they’ve added “tech” by creating the G2 PenStylus.
The PenStylus G2 has a charcoal gray casing with white dot accents and the classic grip matching the color of the ink. It runs just short of 5.75″. The rubber grip is pretty comfortable for an inexpensive, every day pen. But instead of the traditional push plunger retraction mechanism, the “plunger” is a stylus. The pen retracts by pushing down the molded plastic clip.
The ink is still awesome, the roller is smooth for a 0.7mm. The pen has good ink reservoirs with rich tint to the ink. The conical tip is smooth and lays down a solid line as expected from the line. The feel is good. The ink does seem to dry quickly as is traditional. The stylus works as expected on touch screens.
These are a bit more expensive – probably because of the stylus and they’re new. I almost got these on AmazonPrime Day, but found them cheaper in the Back-to-School aisle at Target. These are 2 pack for between $7 – $9, which makes them the more expensive G2.
To the numbers:
1. How does it work? – 1 The ink is strong and comes in decent point sizes. The retraction mechanism is solid if different from what you expect. The stylus is functional.
2. Grip and feel – 1 – It’s fairly basic retractable pen with a decent drip that hasn’t changed much over time, but it still gives a comfortable feel for long-term use.
3. Material – 1 – It’s rubberized plastic pen. It’s solid for what it is.
4. Overall Design – 1 – These are a standard. They’ve made basic changes to the design to accommodate the stylus.
5. Price Point – 0.5 – These run between $3.50 and $4.50 a pop which more than the regular G2s. They should be refillable, but I’m not seeing refills for these yet. If they do end up having the refills, then they will be a solid pen for everyday use.
Prompt: Office Intrigue in the Future
Words: time travel, trousers, supervise, successfully, law, identity, mustard, kitchen, tooth, fly
Ever have one of those days where you wished time travel was real? Well…DON’T! It’s a trap! I’ve been to the future. You don’t want to know. And the past? Yeah, well, it’s behind for a reason. Who am I? I’m the fly on the wall. I have successfully spied on folks for years. Now I supervise the newest generation of surveillors.
We were designed first in the name of “morale” in private corporations. They wanted to know what employees were really feeling but were afraid to say. They started in the kitchens, finding out who got mustard on their trousers, but it grew quickly after that. Espionage. Secrets. Lies.
Because once the corporations got their fill of employee secrets, they went after rivals. Then sold this “perk” to government. No one had a secret identity anymore. Privacy was gone. The law changed.
Now? We fight other surveillance systems tooth and claw for market share and information. I was the best at it when I was in the field. I had the adaptable AI. I learned how to best camouflage. How to best gather the tiniest nugget of information.
The shiny new chipset thing they’re such hot stuff with their nanotech and shiny holographic cloaking. But this old RAM has a few tricks up its motherboard.
Word Count: 216