Cat Wars: The Beast Pt. 2

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The Mighty Huntress sprawled in the center of her Home Territory. The enemy hadn’t come sniffing at the crack under the Great Barrier in a while. All was well with the world. If she was lucky, Two-Legged Alpha would bring a sample of the extra-tasty treats he occasionally found–or caught, she could never figure out which.

In the midst of this very pleasing contemplation, the Great Barrier opened–and stayed open! It wasn’t yet prowl time, and this development confused and worried her. She jumped to the top of Soft Plateau and asked for reassurance. Two-Legged Alpha rubbed his fore-paw over her, but the distracted feel to his touch failed to entirely comfort.

After only a couple of strokes, Two-Legged Alpha rummaged around on the floor, clearing out a lot of clear space. The Mighty Huntress was slightly reassured. He’d done this periodically. It wouldn’t take long, and peace was quickly restored. But not this time.

Two-Legged Alpha rummaged around on the Tiny Plain outside the Great Barrier. Taht was odd. The only times he’d done that, he’d awakend….

VROOOM!

The Beast was invading!

As the Beast crossed into her territory, the Mighty Huntress vanished and reappeared in the caves under Soft Plateau. Onward came the Beast! But Two-Legged Alpha was stalking it. He’d managed to grab it!

It was a mighty struggle. Back and forth they surged, covering the entire cleared space. Finally Two-Legged Alpha managed to rake it with a hind claw and the Beast went silent. Two-Legged Alpha dragged the corpse back onto the Tiny Plain.

A significant clearing of space had occurred, and not just in the center of the room. Two-Legged Alpha paused to look at the hard outcropping next to one end of Soft Plateau. To her shock, Two-Legged Alpha picked up the outcropping! He not only picked it up, he moved it to the other end of Soft Plateau and placed in line with Soft Plateau’s length. Then he left, leaving the Great Barrier open.

The Mighty Huntress followed him out the door, but stopped at the top of the stairs and watched him turn the corner at the bottom. Then she went back to her Home Territory to investigate the changes in landscape. She sniffed the hole where the outcropping used to be, but could discover nothing.

Moments later she heard something outside the opened Great Barrier. A quick look over her shoulder showed the Mighty Huntress that Two-Legged Alpha was struggling with another outcropping! She returned to the caves under Soft Plateau. Two-Legged Alpha placed the new outcropping where the previous one used to be.

This new one was bigger, sturdier. It had more space and two levels of caves: one on the floor, one just under the top. Though the second level smelled strongly of The Mastermind. It definitely belonged to Two-Legged Alpha first and The Mastermind second. The Mighty Huntress would have to make do with the floor level. Nothing new with that. She settled in to make it her own.

Still recovering and other miscellaneous stuff

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I’m still recovering from ArmadilloCon. No concrud, just tired. Made today’s exercise session and private lesson a touch difficult to get through. Wonder how long I’ll last at sand volleyball tonight.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the challenge of a tough exercise schedule. Having spent all weekend doing another of my favorite activities just makes this week more awesome. I’m motivated and have the mental and emotional energy to push forward. Physical energy, though, is a bit lacking.

Mostly, though, I’m shocked at ReaderCon’s mishandling of their own no tolerance policy. I know it takes more guts than a Board of Directors often has to stand up to something like that, but if you’re not going to be able to enforce a policy, don’t have the policy. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the link. The ironic thing is that deep down, they probably realize it would help their numbers more than hurt. Despite a Big Name Fan blasting the con to his followers. This stuff gets around. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few cons banned him preemptively, since he has a record. A friend called the (lack) of sufficient action of the Board “terminally stupid”. I’d have to agree.

On a brighter note, I’ve also finished the basic outline of my next book. We’ll see how closely I manage to stick to it. I should probably revisit sending query letters for my last book. Hmmm. Decisions to make. This book is shaping up to be much better, but the other is still a good story…and a different genre. Maybe if I spend two hours on the new book and one hour on query letters (and the accompanying research), I can manage both. Though if I hit a procrastination streak, the number of posts to this blog may very well increase.

ArmadilloCon

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ArmadilloCon is one of those conventions that seeps into your blood. It’s not a wild “PartyCon”, nor is it known for outstanding costumes. This is not to say there aren’t any parties, or there are no costumes. On the contrary, there are usually two or three public parties and several private ones. Likewise people do show up in costume. This year, the notable costumes were a Victorian woman (spoiled only by a modern stroller), and a steampunk warrior whose armor seemed to be made from a spray painted set of lacrosse pads. ArmadilloCon definitely falls into the category of “Relax-i-Con”.

Few parties, fewer costumes, and a very relaxed atmosphere; yet I find myself coming back year after year. It is a science fiction/fantasy convention, but unlike most such, the emphasis is on writing rather than visual media. The panels are intimate, and the great majority of panelists are easy to approach. As might be expected at a literature-based convention, there are plenty of readings by authors and book signings. There are also many panels on various aspects on the craft of writing. Some of the panels I attended I would consider my favorites from this year’s lineup include: “The Still Changing Definition of Urban Fantasy”, “Story Ideas I Hope to Never See Again”, “Stump the Panel”, and “Writing Erotic Fiction”.

I find it amusing, though not terribly surprising, that the “Writing Erotic Fiction” panel is always among the funniest, most productive, and most helpful in improving the craft of writing–even in other genres. Maybe it has to do with the types of personality that write such things. Maybe it’s that the panel is held late at night when inhibitions have dropped. Whatever the reason, at every convention I’ve attended that had such a panel, the erotic writing panel has always been among the best. I recommend going, even if you’re not interested in erotic writing per se.

In additionn to the panels, the attendees at ArmadilloCon are friendly and willing to talk about nearly anything. Making new friends is easy, even for rampant introverts. Even shy people might find it easier to approach people here. Ironically, despite me living locally, most of the friends I’ve made this year live a fair distance away–like Oklahoma.

The most memorable thing that happened to me at this year’s con was talking with Elizabeth Moon for half an hour. (Yes, that Elizabeth Moon.) We started off with shooting candy from her miniature replica crossbow and talked about stuff ranging from how she chooses her reading selections to autism to getting to wield the actual Lord of the Rings swords used on the set (i.e. not the backups).

The only thing I regret is the tendency of this Con to sneak up on me. Why do I regret it? There is a writing workshop I would love to participate in. Unfortunately, by the time I’m aware of the approaching Con, it’s long past the deadline for submitting to the workshop. I’d love to get feedback from published authors, editors, and agents.

If you want to attend a convention with wild costumes and wilder parties, go to DragonCon. If you want a relaxed atmosphere, or an introduction to genre literature, or you want to examine and improve your own writing, ArmadilloCon is truly an excellent convention.

Top Search

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I just want to thank all of you who made “creepy stalker”, and variations thereof, register on my top search list. For some reason I find this extremely amusing. It’s good to know that some of my more bizarre and ironic posts (or at least the titles) are being enjoyed by so many. Though I halfway expected “cat wars” to be a little more popular.

Feast or famine

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Getting back into writing is an interesting process. And by “interesting” I mean “near paralytic”. During my down period, I couldn’t write. Not that I was physically incapable, but that I had neither the desire nor the mental energy. Now that I’m coming out of the abyss, I have too many ideas overwhelming me. I seem to have trouble finishing a story. Maybe I should work out a rotating system. On Mondays I could work on the vampire mythologies. On Tuesdays I could work on the Ellendahl short stories. On Wednesdays I could work on the romantica stories. Thursdays would have to be for mainstream works. Fridays could then be dedicated to works not yet categorized.

Actually, this sounds like a workable solution. Hmmm.

Agent of the Dragon Prologue finished

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At long last, the full prologue for Agent of the Dragon is up on my Agents of Ellendahl blog. Go here to read it from the beginning. There will be a break while I finish up a short story in the world of Arithan.

Post Awesomeness Letdown

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Yesterday was awesome. Lots of activity, lots of fun, even met a few new people. In yesterday’s post, I’d worried I’d over-extended my capabilities. Today I was sore, but not too sore to move and lift and do errands. That tells me my activity level was about where it should be. Kind of scary, now that I think of how much energy I expended. Next test is…can I recover in time to do it all again next Monday? I hope so, cause it’s been a long time since I’ve had that kind of fun. I missed it.

So where’s the letdown? It’s in the fact that I have to wait until next week to do it again.

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