The Zombie Panel  I was on a panel at CONduit discussing zombies. We had a blast. Probably one of the funner panels I’ve been on.  I was up there with my friends, co-author Mike Kupari, ghosthunter Tom Carr, artist & writer Zach Hill, writer Jaleta Clegg, and writer & b-movie expert Nathan Shumate.

Have a listen. We had a good time on this one.

Joe Biden and Bud Light presents: teh bestest president EVAR!


Damn you, Joe Biden! I’m supposed to be working right now… But you have to go and say something so profoundly stupid that I’m forced. FORCED I SAY! To take time out of my busy schedule in order to blog about it! Don’t you realize how much stuff I’ve got to do today?

Joe Biden was giving a speech in New Hampshire.  At this point, I’m seriously impressed that they let this guy out unsupervised. (hell, unsupervised? I’m surprised they let him out unmedicated).

From Politico

“We have a leader with a backbone like a ramrod and now – now – the real Barack Obama, the president who inherited the most god-awful circumstance any president has inherited, is coming into sharp focus.” – Joe Biden

I want you to think about that for a second. Obama inherited the most god-awful circumstance any president has inherited.  EVAR!

As part of my application package to be White House speech writer, I went ahead and filled in the rest of the speech on behalf of Joe Biden.

Yeah, Lincoln and that whole pending Civil War thing? Nothing.  Suck it, Lincoln. Abe Lincoln is a little girl that wears frilly tutus in comparison to Obama! Abraham Lincoln’s beard wishes it could grow on Obama. Harper’s Ferry? More like Harpers FAIRY!

Truman and learning about the Manhattan Project and having to decide to drop atomic bombs on Japanese cities? You call ending the biggest war in history, and deciding between killing two cities and ushering in the atomic age, or sacrificing half a million Americans and millions Japanese in an invasion a crisis? Obama eats crises like that for breakfast. Then he poops clean energy and free healthcare!

Andrew Johnson… “ooooh, the president has been assassinated and now I have to reconstruct a shattered war torn nation!” Cry me a river, Johnson, you punk ass bitch.

But wait, there’s more!

Biden told New Hampshire Democrats, calling the Bin Laden operation “the boldest decision … any president has undertaken on a single event in modern history.”

Yes… An operation that’s been going on for ten years searching for our greatest enemy, (kind of a no-brainer that) and they finally find the guy, and Leon Friggin’ Paneta and Hillary Friggin’ Clinton still had to coerce the president into finally, finally, finally letting the Navy SEALs do their job (that they would do gloriously the split second you let those bad ass killers off the leash anyway) …


Cuban Missile Crisis? Yeah, Threat Level DEFCON Kiss Your Ass Goodbye, standing on the brink of nuclear annihilation against an enemy prepared to burn the world to see who’d blink first? NOTHING COMPARED TO OBAMA!  Go eat your “chowdah”, Kennedy. The only reason you got to bang Marilyn Monroe was because Obama wasn’t legal yet, so she had to settle!  

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” You call that a Cold War? Obama would have PIMP SLAPPED down the wall.  Then he would’ve had time to play four rounds of golf and catch an Elton John concert before collecting another Peace Prize, the Tony Award, and the Motor Trends Car of the Year Award.

Snort… Reagan… Whatever. “I was an actor.” Well, Obama is a mother-****ing Jedi Knight compared to you!  You know how the presidential limo got stuck in Ireland… Obama got out and lifted the limo out with his bare hands. Then he caught a friggin’ leprechaun, gave its pot of gold to ACORN, and then ate the little green bastard. Lucky charms this! I never saw Ronald Reagan eat a leprechaun!

Plus, Obama would totally kick the ass of any other president at golf… As hard as he trains, they wouldn’t have a chance. He could beat all of them at basketball too! (well, except for Taft, because everybody knows the Big Man was an absolute monster on the courts… Mad props, Taft)

You would not believe his vertical leap

Smokin’ Joe out. Peace.

EDIT:  I just saw the Instalanche.  For those of you that don’t know, I write books for a living:

ConDuit in Salt Lake City this weekend

This weekend is SLC’s annual sci-fi convention. 

I’ll be there, doing the panel thing. It should be fun. Most of the time I’ll be hanging out and shooting the bull.

Here is the schedule:

Friday, May 27, 2011
– Ninja Myths and Legends ?
CAN Ninjas walk through walls, defy gravity and meld with shadows? Are
they assassins, elite warriors or soldiers with great press? The myths
and legends of the secret and deadly ninjas explored.
(Benjamin Wilcher)
– Where are the new monsters? We have Hellboy and a few others ,bu
more and more, writers are going back to the old standbys. Where are
the “new” monsters today?
(Amber Argyle, Roger White (M), Larry Correia, Dan Wells, Paul Genesse)  A panel on monsters? Why ever would they put me on that? :)
– Con Etiquette
So, you’re new around here? We have the scoop on what to expect at a
convention, how to plan your own experience and how to approach
artists and authors in ways that will leave a positive impression.
(Pam Oberg (M), Erin Ruston, John Saffell)
– Writer’s Workshop
Robert J Defendi and Dan Willis
Come and bring 5 pages or less. They say that you learn more from
critiquing others than being critiqued yourself. Well, we’ll learn
critiquing skills at the your fellow attendee’s expense. No really,
we’ll try to be nice. Dan very rarely bites.
– Drawing fabric. How to draw clothing, capes, drapes and other
fabric so it drapes and flows. In other words, how to draw fabric so
that ti doesn’t look like it’s made of wood.
(Brian Hailes (M), Zachary Hill, Kevin Wasden, A. J. Bell)
– Reading 12:00 – 12:25: Janus Daniels
– Reading 12:25- 12:50: Jason Anderson
1:00 PM
Ninja Myths and Legends, cont.
CAN Ninjas walk through walls, defy gravity and meld with shadows? Are
they assassins, elite warriors or soldiers with great press? The myths
and legends of the secret and deadly ninjas explored.
(Benjamin Wilcher)
– Romance vs. Sex: how hot is too hot?
They tell us to SHOW, don’t tell. But when does a scene meant to show
the depths of the relationship between characters slip from loving
expressions to unabashed porn? Does an honest, adult experience add or
subtract to the story line?
(Michaelbrent Collings, Jaleta Clegg (M), Dene Low, Ann Chamberlin)
– What Do You Mean, My Character’s in debtor’s prison? Why earning
money and financial planning is crucial for story development. What
is the economy like? How does your characater earn a living? Why
should you care?
(L. E. Modesitt (M), Jr., Paul Genesse, Ann Sharp, Dave Wolverton,
Elisabeth Waters)
– Writer’s Workshop (cont.)
Robert J Defendi and Dan Willis
Come and bring x pages or less. They say that you learn more from
critiquing others than being critiqued yourself. Well, we’ll learn
critiquing skills at the your fellow attendee’s expense. No really,
we’ll try to be nice. Dan very rarely bites.
– Heather on Leather Pouches
One of our favorite costumers presents a workshop on making pouches.
(Heather Monson)
– Geek Magaine
There’s a new magazing coming to town and it’s just for us geeks!
Come learn more!
(Dennis Lundstrom)
– Reading 1:00 – 1:25: Karen Webb
– Reading 1:25 – 1:50: Karen Hoover
2:00 PM
– Brainstorming with your Subconscious, using fortune-telling cards
Sometimes the ideas are there but it’s difficult to grab hold of them.
The ancient art of Tarot can help guide an author to deeper
understanding of characters and their interactions, as well as
brainstorm plot twists and turns.
(Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury)
– Adding Flavor To Your Vanilla Character
Recipe for a protagonist: Add good qualities. Recipe for a villain:
Add bad qualities. Hmm, the mix seems…bland. How can an author
spice up the characters without ruining the overall ‘dish’?
(Carole Nelson Douglas, Daniel Coleman, Angie Lofthouse, Dene Low
(M), Michael Young)
– Balloons, dirigibles and other forms of air travel
Man has been wishing for flight since the dawn of time. But planes and
rockets aren’t the only way to fly. Even with modern rocketry, our
fascination with balloons and other forms of “air” travel is
boundless. Come learn more about mans’fascination with this form of
(Kevin Evans)
– Horror: A Constant State of Fear: Why horror is so popular among
contemporary readers, and how it differs from traditional forms. What
makes us want to be scared? Our panelists will discuss Poe,
Lovecraft, King and other notable horror writers.
(Michael R. Collings, J. Scott savage, Nathan Shumate, Dan Wells, Paul
F. Anderson (M), Eric Swedin)
– Reading 2:00 – 2:25: Stephen Gashler
– Reading 2:25 – 2:50: Anna del C Dye
3:00 PM
– Screenwriting 101
Writing a script is a different form of story-telling using dialogue,
scenes, pacing and actor reactions. Here is the basics of putting
together a screenplay.
(Blake Casselman, Michaelbrent Collings)
– To Cliché Or Not To Cliché: When it is it okay to use cliché and
trope and when should you avoid it like, well, the plague?
(Suzanne Vincent (M), Peter Orullian, Berin Stephens, Michael R.
Collings, Tracy Hickman)
– What the filk –
Description: Filk 101. What is filk? What’s all the singing about?
Who is doing it? Where can I get some! – A discussion about the basic
notes and measures of the filk musical genre.
(Joey Shoji, Danica West (M), Kathy Mar)
– Magnetic Torsion Fields and Faster than Light Communications
What on earth (or off it) is a Magnetic Torsion Field? And what does
it have to do with communications and space flight? Interested? Come
listen to what our expert has to say!
(David Yurth)
– KidCON: Secret Codes
Learn how to build and use a simple code wheel. Specifically for
children 8 – 12, but everyone’s invited!
(James Clegg (M), Josh Peltier, Robert J Defendi, Ann Sharp)
– Reading 3:00 – 3:25: Roger White
– Reading 3:25 – 3:50: Dene Low
4:00 PM
– Mapmaking for Writers
Ever get lost in your own world? Do your readers get lost too? Drawing
a map of your setting can be just the thing to layout your story and
add a lot towards making your world feel real. Our presenter shows
how easy it can be to make your world look fabulous.
(Isaac Stewart)
– Streamlining Your Fiction: How to know what stays and what goes to
make your story as good as it can get?
(Jessica Day George (M), Suzanne Vincent, Howard Tayler, Bryce Moore,
Dave Wolverton)
– Japanese culture in anime and manga. To truly understand the
nuances of anime and manga, you need a basic understanding of Japanese
culture. Come find out what you’ve been missing in your anime and
(Jessica Harmon, Charlotte Randle (M), John Saffell, Emily Sorensen,
Goku Zagreus, Joe Monson)
– Why to join a fan club. You start your new job. What happens when
your co-workers find out that you are a Lt. Commander on the USS
Tsunami or that you are an Honorable Lady in the SCA? What you could
say could frighten them off or introduce them as possible new members
to your organization.
(Laura Lind, Erin Ruston (M), Martin Calderwood)
– Cape making: You, too, can make a great-looking cloak! It’s not as
hard as it appears – if you know the tricks.
(Ruth Roper (M), Keri Doering, Linda Lyon, Heather Monson assistant)
– KidCON: Clue game
Find the clues outside 10 rooms to solve the mystery and find out who
did it, in what room and with what weapon.
(James Clegg)
– Reading 4:00- 4:25: Amber Argyle
– Reading: 4:25 – 4:50: Michael Young
5:00 PM
– How Not To Talk Down To Your Audience. How do you find the right
balance between talking over your reader’s head and treating them like
a child? Especially when they ARE children?
(Jessica Day George, Dan Willis (M), Bryce Moore, Julie Wright,
Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury)
– Main Address: Brian Hailes
CONduit proudly presents Brian Hailes, our artist guest of honor. He
is a past winner of the Illustrators of the Future and Winner of the
USPS National Stamp Design contest. He has written and illustrated
several books and a newly published graphic novel.
– Women in Fantasy
Women have come a long way in our society, which is reflected in our
fiction. But how do you create a female character that fits in her
setting and your story without resorting to past stereotypes?
(L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Amber Argyle, Dene Low (M), Elisabeth Waters,
Carole Nelson Douglas)
– Archaeology in SF media
Just so we’re clear, The opening scene in the first Indiana Jones film
is NOT a good role-model for the care and recovery of ancient
artifacts. Is there any good archaeology done in the movies? How about
Timeline? The Stargate series? Are there any movies that get it right?
And, just because it’s so much fun, we’ll talk about a the really BAD
examples, too.
(Eric Swedin (M), Charlotte Randle, Jessica Harmon, Erin Ruston)
– KidCON readin 5:00 – 5:25: Eric James Stone
– KidCON reading 5:25 – 5:50: Steve Harmon
– Reading 5:00 – 5:25: Michaelbrent Collings
– Reading 5:25 – 5:50: Jaleta Clegg
6:00 PM
– Ghosts of Utah presented by the Crew of Residual Hauntings and WPI
Have you ever had the feeling someone is watching you? Well, maybe
it’s not just your imagination. Many places in Utah are haunted. Join
our local ghost hunters to hear about their experiences with the
spooky side of Utah.
(Tom Carr, Wasatch Paranormal Society members)
– Hickman on Writing
Tracy Hickman offers his insights and answers questions regarding
and publishing science fiction and fantasy in the Age of New Media for
and profit. Examples will be given from the Hickman’s new Scribe’s Forge
Online Writing seminars. Come and learn new ways of getting your stories
– The Doctor Debates
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Eccleston, Tennant and
Smith Doctor’s? A Geek fest for Doctor Who fans!
(Karen Webb (M), Karen Hoover, Jason Shumate, Ami Chopine)
– A day in the life of a slave
What would it be like to be a slave in ancient Rome or Scandinavia?
The Antebellum South? The planet Tatooine? Are there different forms
and degrees of slavery? Do slaves have ANY rights?
(Ann Chamberlin (M), Ann Sharp, Anne Wingate)
– Wire-wrapping demonstration
Presentation on how to wrap a pendant. (If you wish to wrap your own,
please let Michael know. Kits can be available for $40.00.)
(Michael R. Collings)
– Dungeoncrawlers Podcast (6-9 PM)
Gaming, interviews, geekdom and more are covered in this weekly
podcast and radio show. You are invited to sit in on a live taping!
Dungeon Crawler is also available on UtahFM, Monday nights, 6-9 pm.
7:00 PM
– Suspense: Building to a Satisfactory Conclusion
Step by step, inch by inch the author has drawn the reader to a
growing sense of impending action. Now what? Does the buildup match
the payoff? Did the writer over-promise and under-deliver? What’s the
effect of doing the reverse? How can a writer use suspense to keep
the reader on the edge of his or her seat and then let them go with a
contented sigh?
(Clint Johnson, Michaelbrent Collings, Berin Stephens, Dave Wolverton
(M), Carole Nelson Douglas, Michael R. Collings)
– Macinima Demonstration
Computer graphics have come a long way since the first Tron movie.
Fans can even use rendering technology to make their own movies or
mash together clips using their favorite properties.
– Tri-Destiny Concert
Tri-Destiny is a local singing/songwriting trio that returns at last
to CONduit. Enjoy their concert with LIVE accompaniment!
– KidCON: Wonderwand Demonstration
Levitate small foil shapes with “magic” electric wands!
(electrostatic repulsion).
(Charles Galway, Laura Lind)
– Dungeoncrawlers Podcast (6-9 PM)
Gaming, interviews, geekdom and more are covered in this weekly
podcast and radio show. You are invited to sit in on a live taping!
Dungeon Crawler is also available on UtahFM, Monday nights, 6-9 pm.
8:00 PM
– Ice Cream Social and Jesters Royale Improve Troupe
Our annual Ice Cream Social is still just 50 cents a scoop! Grab a
bowl and choose your flavors. While you enjoy your treat, The Jester
Royale Improv Troupe returns to delight with their geek-flavored
– Dungeoncrawlers Podcast (6-9 PM)
Gaming, interviews, geekdom and more are covered in this weekly
podcast and radio show. You are invited to sit in on a live taping!
Dungeon Crawler is also available on UtahFM, Monday nights, 6-9 pm.
9:00 PM
– Mascot Contest
– The Mascot costume contest participants will be asking for your
votes for the best representation of our theme.
– Zombie Outbreak! Zombies everywhere NOW WHAT! a panel on what to do
once the zombie outbreak happens. What do you need in your survival
kit? And what about those twinkies… ?
(Tom Carr, Aleta Clegg, Nathan Shumate (M), Zachary Hill, Larry
Michael Kupari)  Now this one should be a lot of fun. This is like Zach’s second panel and Mike’s first. Tom hunts ghosts for a living and Nathan has seen more zombie movies than I have. (and that is really saying something)
– Tall Tales Night at CONduit
Come share your favorite “tall tale.” It can be one you made up, or
one you “borrowed” from somewhere else. Candy bars for the best tall
tale in each category. Come participate of just listen in.
Hosted by Steve Harmon
– Filk Showcase
A concert-style showcase of filk music. Come enjoy the Music with
short performances by
(Kathy Mar, UFO Chorus)
10:00 PM
– Late Night Filking/Hymnal Filk
Never been to a Filksing? Come try it out! We’ll be here late!
(2:00am) We will start the evening off with a sing along and then move
to a pokerchip-bardic circle. Hymnals included!
(Dawnya Thill, Kathy Mar, Erin Ruston)
– Star Party (Laura Lind)
Come look through telescopes at the stars! (Weather permitting.)
Saturday, 28 May 2011
Any time Saturday: One on One Poetry Workshop.
Bring one of your poems and talk with Dr. Collings in the Dealers’
Room. Dr. Collings is a poet and a poet tactician. He will help you
see not only how to fix the poem but why you need to make a change.
8:30 AM
Tai Chi with Janus Daniels
Want to limber up for a day of costuming, panels and fun? Join Janus
as he leads you through a simple tai-chi workout.
10:00 AM
– *The New Face Of Self-Promotion. It used to be the publisher did
most of the book promoting. Now, it’s up to the author. What should
you do to sell your own book? How can you atrract readers?
(Michaelbrent Collings (M), Jaleta Clegg, Jess Smart smiley, Tristi
Pinkston, Larry Correia, Steve Diamond, Kevin Wasden) Because I am a self promoting son of a gun. Even other writers stand in awe of my mad pimp skillz.
– Killer Breakfast with Tracy Hickman)
An interactive roleplaying event. Spend a few minutes playing a pre-
generated character, watch the fun and sing alone with this
interactive introduction to roleplaying. It’s a must-see event!
Audience participation encouraged! (First of 2 hours) However, because I’m on a panel at the time, I have to miss Killer Breakfast, which is always awesome.
– When Plants Go Bad!
Think foliage can’t hurt you? Plants engage in chemical warfare,
practice deadly deception and even ‘hunt’ for meat. Find out the
interesting and creative ways (insert reverb) When Plants Go Bad.
(Dan Lind, Ami Chopine)
– Wig styling and care
Come for 1 of 2 panels on wearing, styling and caring for exactly the
right wig to set off your costume.
– Belly Dancing 101
Did you ever want to belly dance? Now’s your chance! Come learn some
basic belly dancing moves!
(Lori Bowers)
– Reading10:00 – 10:50: Dave Wolverton
11:00 AM
– Podcasts: who, what, and when. Why we podcast?
There are a lot of podcasts originating from Utah. Come listen to a
few of our local podcasters
(Tom Carr, Dan Wells, J. Scott Savage, Robert J Defendi (M), Alice
Beesly,Lillian J. Banks. Revan and Malak)
– Killer Breakfast with Tracy Hickman (cont.) (2 hours)
An interactive roleplaying event. Spend a few minutes playing a pre-
generated character, watch the fun and sing alone with this
interactive introduction to roleplaying. It’s a must-see event!
Audience participation encouraged! (Second of 2 hours)
– Poetry: when every word counts, how do you make it work?
(Michael R. Collings, Charlene Harmon (M), Karen Evans, Michael Young,
Karen Hoover)
– Writing/illustrating Graphic Novels
Graphic novels use both art and words to tell their stories. In a well-
designed piece, the elements work together, seamlessly passing the
story between the visuals, descriptions and dialogue. But learning to
balance, reinforce and illustrate the plot can be a juggling act. Come
listen to our experienced panelists share their knowledge.
(Brian Hailes, Blake Casselman, Andrew Adams, A. J. Bell, Jess Smart
Smiley, Kevin Wasden (M))
– KidCON: Making Capes from pillowcases and towels
Because every kid needs a cape!
(Heather Monson, Linda Lyon)
– Reading 11:00 – 11:25: Karina Fabian
– Reading 11:25 – 11: 50: Daniel Coleman
– SIGNINGS (11 AM – noon): Carole Nelson Douglas, Howard Tayler,
Karina Fabian, Jessica Day George, Dene Low, Roger White
– Masquerade Meeting
Mandatory registration for anyone wishing to participate in the
CONduit masquerade. Rules for the event will be explained and
questions answered.
– Plotting a Novel in an Hour
Robert J Defendi
In this fast-paced brain-storming session, we’ll outline a novel in an
hour. Discovery writers beware. Not for the faint of heart.
(Robert J Defendi)
– Comic Art
What are the techniques for drawing comics? How does comic art differ
from other types of art? Find out here what skills are needed to make
great comics.
(Brian Hailes, Jess Smart Smiley (M), Emily Sorensen, Kevin Wasden,
Rebecca Jensen, Travis Walton, A. J. Bell)
– Humorous Horror: You could die laughing
Dean Koontz did it. Buffy did it. The Little Shop of Horrors did it.
They managed to combine the tension of danger while tickling your
funny bone. There are a lot of current writers doing it, too. You’ll
laugh ’till you.. you know.
(Jaleta Clegg (M), Eric James Stone (M), Carole Nelson Douglas,
Karina Fabian, Michael R. Collings, Paul F. Anderson)
– The History of Chocolate
Ah, chocolate. From Aztec beginnings and Victorian chocolate houses to
our modern decadent variety, chocolate holds a unique place in our
imagination and palates.
(Karen Evans)
– Reading 12:00 – 12:25: Peter Orullan
– Reading 12:25 – 12:50: Jessica Day George
1:00 PM
– Masquerade walk-through
Need to get a feel for the stage? Figure out how to block your
masquerade skit? Now is your chance.
– How to Write Great Villains
We’ve all read stories that feature well-developed heroes but the
villain is as dimensional as a flattened Popsicle stick. What do you
need to make your villains become as complex as their evil schemes?
(Clint Johnson (M), Amber Argyle, Roger White, Howard Tayler, Dan
– First aid in the middle ages. What do authors need to know about
willow bark, leaches, herbs and other medaeval medicine to write
better stories?
(Dene Low, Ann Chamberlin, Ann Sharp (M), Daniel Coleman, Dave
– The Big Bang Panel (Bazinga!)
Are you a fan of “The Big Bang Theory?” If not, you should be! Come
learn wny.
(Eric Swedin (M), Elyse Moulding, Andrew Adams, Jessica Harmon, Jacob
Harmon, Blake Casselman)
– Knitting Chainmail with Ami Chopine
You can knit chainmail and viking/dwarf helmets (with beards).
Bring 2 large knitting needles (US size 13 or 15)
Preferably these will be 24 inch circular needles, but you can use
straight ones too, it will take extra sewing later. I can teach you to
knit on any size needle. Bring your own yarn. Patterns will be
– KidCON: Treasure Hunt
Get your Treasure Hunt card, go to the various desginated locations
and get your card stamped and turn it in to be eligible to win a prize.
(James Clegg)
– Reading 1:00 – 1:25: Lesli Muir Lytle
– Reading 1:25 – 1:50: Ann Chamberlin
– SIGNINGS (1 – 2 PM): Tracy Hickman, Michael Young, Peter Orullian,
Jaleta Clegg, Kevin Wasden, Julie Wright
2:00 PM
– *Military on Military SF/F
How does SF/F get the military right and how do they get it wrong? How
do we use present and past war college lessons to write realistic
future battles?
(Steve Harmon (M), Roger White, Zachary Hill, Kevin Evans, Lee
Modesitt Jr., Michael Kupari, Col. Rob Fabian)
– The Mike Show
Reminiscent of older talk shows, Mike Oberg “interviews” several of
our guests and local pros.
(Mike Oberg, Carole Nelson Douglas, Brian Hailes, Peter Orullian, Anna
del C Dye, Tristi Pinkston)
– What A Kid Wants In A Story
Some adults have a tendency to talk down to kids. Some writers do it,
too. Or they don’t know what a kid looks for in a book. Our panel
“gets it.” Come hear more about this growing genre.
(J. Scott Savage (M), Jason Shumate, Dene Low, LuAnn Staheli, Bryce
Moore, Julie Wright, Jessica Day George)
– Tracy Hickman Reading
– Filk Oldies but Goldies
We’ll be singing the filks of years and artists past. Join us for the
well-loved memories and melodies from filk prior to the 80s!
(Joey Shoji, Julia West (M), Kathy Mar)
– KidCON: Make your own CYO Adventure comic out of a single piece of
paper. (Psst! It’s not just for kids!)
(Jess Smart Smiley)
– Reading 2:00 – 2:50: Tracy Hickman
2:30 PM?Chocoholics Contest in the Consuite
3:00 PM
– The Two Faces of the Samurai
Samurai were proud warriors and peacemakers. Bushido is also said to
be the basis of the Jedi Knights. Come learn more!?(Dr. Al Carlisle,
Steve Harmon)
– X-treme Dungeon Mastery
What is the epic new gaming system by Tracy Hickman and Howard Tayler
that brings the focus back to STORY and FUN? Come hear all about it
from the creators! (Then buy it in the Dealers’ Room!)
(Tracy Hickman, Howard Tayler)
– SF&F Mystery: combining genres
A vampire detective with a robot sidekick or a ghost solving her own
murder. A growing trend in speculative fiction that’s breaking all the
(Carole Nelson Douglas, Michaelbrent Collings, Dan Wells (M), Anne
Wingate, Karina Fabian, Michael R. Collings)
– Superhero Movies
Superhero movies seem to either do very well or trip on their capes.
What makes one soar and the other flop? What are your favorites?
(Blake Casselman)
– KidCON: Drawing Superheroes
Come join our Artist Guest of Honor and learn how to draw a superhero@
(Brian Hailes)
– Reading 3:00 – 3:25: Andrew Adams
– Reading 3:25 – 3:50: Paul Genesse
– SIGNINGS (3 – 4 PM): Dave Wolverton, Paul Genesse, Ann Chamberlin,
Jason Anderson, Karen Hoover, Nathan Shumate,
3:30 PM
– Eric James Stone Booklaunch Party (3:30 – 4:30 in the Consuite)
4:00 PM
– Joey Shoji Filk Concert
Pegasus-award-winning singer/songwriter Joey Shoji shares his talent
with Caped CONduit in this concert of science fiction and fantasy-
themed songs
– Monster in an Hour
Come enjoy our yearly contest waged between several artists drawing
from audience suggestions
Cooks have “Iron Chef” with a secret ingredient that they have to
incorporate into their instant creations. Selected CONduit artists
have “Monster in a Hour” where they take their audience-selected
challenges and create a masterpiece. Their pieces will be sold in the
art auction on Sunday to benefit our charity.
(Mike Oberg, Brian Hailes, Kevin Wasden, Sarah B. Seiter
– How to give good critiques and receive critiques well
Giving and taking criticism is almost an art form itself. Learning to
separate the elements of a story to see its weaknesses and strengths
is as difficult as learning to separate oneself enough to receive the
critiquers gift.
(Tristi Pinkston, LuAnn Staheli, Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury (M), Lesli
Muir Lytle, Angie Lofthouse, Steve Diamond)
Writing Music for your Books
(Michael Young, Berin Stephens, Stephen Gashler, Peter Orullian)
– Making and publishing an ebook or audiobook
Carolyn Nicita Presentation
– Eric James Stone Booklaunch Party (3:30 – 4:30 in the Consuite)
– Reading 4:00 – 4:25: Bryce Moore
– Reading 4:25 – 4:50: Nathan Shumate
5:00 PM
– Main Address: Carole Nelson Douglas
Brave New Word: Reading, Writing and Publishing ‘Rithmatic.
The ex-newspaper reporter and multigenre author of sixty novels examines
becoming and being a writer, making a living, and the current post-
moment. Audience Q&A.
– KidCON: Mad Science: Electromagnetism
Science is awesome! Throw in some Van de Graaf generators and… wow!
(Karen Webb, Laura Lind)
6:00 PM
– Dave Wolvertion Presentation: From Idea to Story
Getting from idea to story is not as easy as it seems. But there are
tips and trick that make the journey a lot easier for a writer and a
lot more enjoyable for the reader.
– Bad fairy! You’re NOT a Vampire!
Recent books and media have warped Vampires into best friends and love
interests. In many ways they’re more like fairys and fey folk than
vampires of nightmares and legend. Our panelists have a few things to
say on the matter.
(Dan Lind, Clint Johnson, Jessica Harmon, Erin Ruston (M), Tracy
– Filk Contest
Bring your original or parody filk song for a judged concert! Great
Fun and Great Prizes including massages by Holland Heart and Hands,
and gift certificates to local eateries!
(Joey Shoji, Kathy Mar, Dawnya Thill)
– Drawing Faces
Draw along with artist Rebecca Jensen as she demonstrates how to draw
the human face, including classic facial proportions, male and female,
different features, and various races.
– Reading 6:00 – 6: 25: Chris Weston
7:00 PM
– High Fantasy: it’s more than just elves and unicorns
High Fantasy has long been the realm of elves, fairys, trolls and
magic. But high fantasy is more than slaying dragons and rescuing
(Amber Argyle, Anna del C Dye, Ami Chopine, Chris Weston (M), Peter
Orullian, Stephen Gashler)
– Swap Meet
Wanna make a deal? Got that great collectable you awnt to sell?
Here’s the perfect place!
– Artists on Art
Four of our favorite artists talk about art: creation, marketing,
business. You’ve admired their work, now hear what they have to say
on the subject.
(Brian Hailes, Howard Tayler (M), Kevin Wasden, A. J. Bell, Travis
– Rev Mayhem concert
Come hear a great local band! Rock music fit for a geek!
– Sector Five Broadcast
Sector Five Radio broadcasts from on AM 630 K-talk every Saturdaynight
from 7 to 10 PM. They’ll be doing a live broadcast from CONduit.
8:00 PM?Masquerade
Sector Five Broadcast (Boardroom)
Sector Five Radio broadcasts from on AM 630 K-talk every Saturdaynight
from 7 to 10 PM. They’ll be doing a live broadcast from CONduit.
– Legend of the Five Rings Celebrity RPG Game
Come watch some of our “local legends” play a truly epic game.
(Robert J Defendi, Larry Correa, Howard Tayler, Steve Diamond, Dan
Wells,   Basically this one is an excuse for a bunch of novelists to play L5R. I’m going to be a Crab berserker that plays the flute for anger managment. No. There will be no actual flute playing.
9:00 PM
– Near Eastern Dancing
Sector Five Broadcast (Boardroom)
Sector Five Radio broadcasts from on AM 630 K-talk every Saturdaynight
from 7 to 10 PM. They’ll be doing a live broadcast from CONduit.
– Legend of the Five Rings Celebrity RPG Game
Come watch some of our “local legends” play a truly epic game.
(Robert J Defendi, Larry Correa, Howard Tayler, Steve Diamond, Dan
10:00 PM
– Legend of the Five Rings Celebrity RPG Game
Come watch some of our “local legends” play a truly epci game.
(Robert J Defendi, Larry Correa, Howard Tayler, Steve Diamond, Dan
– All Night Filking
HOW FANNISH ARE YOU?!! – Take the all night Filk Challenge! Come
embrace your uber-nerd by not only visiting fandom but reveling in it!
Come and sing til the sun comes up and then join us for a post sing
breakfast in the hotel restaurant when they open at 6:00 am
(For those who wish to attend breakfast in the morning the price of
the buffet is $11.00 which includes Tax )
10:00 AM
– Ghosts of Utah 2
More about Utah Ghosts and Ghosthunting with Tom Carr and the Wasatch
Paranormal Society!
(Tom Carr and members of Residual Hauntings and Wasatch Paranormal)
– What Makes A Successful Writing Group And What To Avoid.
Some writing groups give lots of great praise but no concrete
suggestions. Some seem to live for scathing, tear-you-down bromides
but again, don’t give useful feedback. But others, oh, others manage
to point out problems AND strengths in ways that challenge and
inspire. How do you find one of that kind?
(Robert J Defendi, Ann Chamberlin, LuAnn Staheli (M), Bryce Moore)
Dave Wolverton, Chris Weston)
– Mystery Men: Superheroes who should never exist.
What are some of the most bizarre superheroes you can think of? Wanna
share? Or just come listen to our panelists come up with some heroes
we hope never to meet.
(Jaleta Clegg, Steve Harmon)
– Planes, trains and rocket ships
As kids, we played with toy models, as adults we build them, write
about them and travel on them (or hope to). In this panel we’ll talk
about what’s so great about modern mass transit.
(Kevin Evans, Karen Evans (M), Richard Luke, Kathryn Luke, Eric James
– Chainmail Worlshop/Demo
Ever wanted to learn to make chain-mail? Our panelists have the links,
pliers and patterns to give you a hands-on lesson in making pouches,
jerkins and teddy-bear apparel out of metal.
(Mike Oberg (M), Toad Cox, Dan Lind)
11:00 AM
– A day in the life of an ancient Egyptian
Ancient Egypt is more than what you see in “The Ten Commandments.”
It’s more than the pyramids in the Valley of the Kings. Stargate used
it as a basis for the Go’auld. Why are we so drawn to one of the
oldest civilizations on our planet?
(Jessica Harmon (M), Erin Ruston, Ann Sharp)
– Writing a Multi-Book Series. How do you write a second (third, etc.)
book in the same world and not lose your audience? How do you keep
the story fresh and the characters interesting?
(L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Dan Willis, Larry Correia, Dave Wolverton (M),
, Chris Weston)  Lee and Dave have written tons of books. Dan’s written for Dragonlance. I’m now writing in 4 active series at one time. So yeah, we know about this topic.
– Firefly: Then, Now and Forever
It lasted for one season, spawned a popular movie and continues to
live in the hearts of fans everywhere. A discussion on the past and
future of this great franchise.
(William Pace, Brian Wiser, Blake Casselman (M), Tom Carr)
– 101 Costuming Ideas in an Hour
Keri Doering shows you how easy it is to come up with effective and
creative costuming ideas in very little time.
(Keri Doering)
– Chainmail workshop/demo
Ever wanted to learn to make chain-mail? Our panelists have the links,
pliers and patterns to give you a hands-on lesson in making pouches,
jerkins and teddy-bear apparel out of metal.
(Mike Oberg (M), Toad Cox, Dan Lind)
– Using your environment for setting ieas. (Kamas, Kanab, Unitahs,
Moab, etc.)
Utah is a state that covers a variety of environments from the high
Uinta s to formations of Goblin Valley to the desert to the Salt
Flats. Settings you can exploit tao make your worlds richer and more
(Eric Swedin, Jaleta Clegg (M), Dan Lind, Karen Hoover)
– Walking the razor’s edge between hurting your character for story
and hurting your character for sensationalism. Whydo you want to put
your character through the wringer in the first place?
(L. E. Modesitt, Jr., T. Wingate, Julie Wright (M))
– Anime vs Manga. What are the differences, what are the similarities?
Is Anime just a move from the page to the screen or is there more
demanded out of the animations? And what can you do on the printed
page that you can’t do on the screen? Our intrepid panelists venture
into these issues and more.
(Jessica Harmon, John Saffell (M), Joe Monson, Goku Zagreus)
– LARP/SCA costuming
Costuming for LARPing (live action role playing) is not he same as
costuming for the stage or for a convention. You need to be able to
move in your costume: sit, stand, run and fight.
Your costume needs to be wearable and washable. So, how you can look
the part and still be able to do all that’s required of a LARPer? Our
experienced panelists discuss the ways to make your Live Action Role
Playing and historic re-creation garb work with your personas.
(Laura Lind, Heather Monson, Linda Lyon)
– Colored Pencil Coloring Workshop
Its not just for kids. Colored pencils are a medium that have been
getting a lot of respect in the art world, as their adherents wield
them to great and delicate effect. Come learn how to draw, blend,
shade and use colored pencils in your art.
(Sarah B. Seiter)
1:00 PM
– Art Auction
Going, going, Gone! Come to the art auction to defend your final bid
or whisk that desired piece away from your fellow bidders.
(Mike Oberg, Joe Monson)
– Building your audience: What can a writer do to gather – and keep –
fans. How do you keep your readers coming back book after book and
tellking their friends to read?
(Dave Wolverton, Steve Diamond (M), Karina Fabian, Carole Nelson
– Possibilities of Real Space Travel
Even before Yuri Gagarin made it a reality, man has dreamed of
traveling through space. Now, that dream is closer than ever.
(J. David Baxter, Dr. David Yurth, Laura Lind, Robert J Defendi (M),
Col. Rob Fabian)
– Em’PHA’sis on the wrong syl’AH’bul
A filk writing workshop on scansion- When to force it and when not
to, what rules of English can be broken or mangled to make your song
work and how!
(Joey Shoji, Kathy Mar, Dawnya Thill (M))
– Wigs 2: care and maintenance.
It’s not enough to have a great-looking wig. If you don’t know how to
care for it properly, it won’t last.
– KidCON: Choose your own ending
Get a story starter and go from place to place reading the next part
of the story and choose your own ending.
(James Clegg)
2:00 PM
– Art Auction, cont.
Going, going, Gone! Come to the art auction to defend your final bid
or whisk that desired piece away from your fellow bidders.
(Mike Oberg, Joe Monson)
– Romancing the Ghost: Paranormal romance
What is the draw of loving the dead and undead? Is it the moral and
emotional turmoil that forbidden love can kindle? The idea that there
is someone we can’t really fully have? Or is it another manifestation
of loving the ‘other’?
(Ann Chamberlin, Julie Wright, Ann Sharp, Elisabeth Waters (M))
– Potters of the Caribbean: The year in film
It’s the beginning of the summer film series. What films have we liked
so far, which ones disappointed and what are we waiting anxiously for?
(Bryce Moore, Blake Casselman)
– Future Conventions in and around Utah
CONduit and Life, the Universe and Everything, of course. CONclave of
Horror? World Horror Con? Westercon? What is in store for Utah in the
future and how can YOU influence the coming events?
(Dave Doering, Charlie Harmon (M), David-Glenn Anderson, John
Saffell, Tom Carr)
– KidCON: rope making
Come learn how to make your own rope.
(James Clegg, Jessica Harmon)
3:00 PM
– Robert E. Howard: Discussion of the short life and long influence of
the energetic pulp writer who created “sword and sorcery” and became
one of the most influential people in American fantastic literature.
(Nathan Shumate, Zachary Hill (M), Eric Swedin, Paul F. Anderson)
– Literary Chameleon Q&A: Author answers impertinent questions while
morphing from feline PI Midnight Louie to Paranormal Investigator
Delilah Street to Sherlock Holmes frenemy Irene Adler.
(Carole Nelson Douglas, Dave Doering)
– Making your own online movie and web series (directing, acting,
producing, etc.)
Computers and the internet have put tools in the hands of fans that
used to be only available to a select few. Even making your own movies
is now possible. But wait! How exactly is that done? Geekatplay
Studio will have some DVD freebies of sky set extensions
(Blake Casselman, Janus Daniels (M), Ami Chopine, Vladimir Chopine)
– Historic Costuming.Making costumes that look authentic but aren’t.
Choosing fabrics that fit the historical period and fit the design of
the costume isn’t as cut and dried as it may seem. And not all
historical outfits allow people to move comfortably or fit a modern
(Laura Lind, Dan Lind, Lori Bowers (M), Linda Lyon, Keri Doering
– KidCON: Surveillance
Learn how to see around corners, track people and trail a suspect.
(Tom Carr, James Clegg (M), Josh Peltier, Ann Sharp, Robert J Defendi)
4:00 PM
– Swordmastery Demonstration and Presentation
A demonstration of swordsmanship techniques, weapons and how to
choreograph a fight for stage and writing.
(Adam Meyers)
– What to do when your magic or technology fails
It happens to the best magician. You study, compile all your
components; you charge your lazers, stockpile your ammo and then…
nothing. So, when your best isn’t, how can you still save the day?
Sometimes the best storeis come when things go horribly wrong.
(Howard Tayler, L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (M), Dave Wolverton, Elisabeth
Waters, Peter Orullian)
– Book Reviewing and Having Your Book Reviewed:
Why are book reviews so important? How can you use them to advance
your career? How do you write a good review? What do authors expect
from reviews?
(Steve Diamond, Larry CorreiaSteve runs Elitist Book Reviews. He’s going to give the reviewer perspective and I’m going to talk about it from the author’s perspective. I’ll even share bits from my favorite bad reviews! :D
– CONduit Fiction Contest Winners Readings
Winning stories from the 2011 CONduit writing contests will be read.
– Filk in an Hour or Two…
Come help write this year’s CONduit Filk song in just an hour!… er..
or Two!
(Steven Fox, Joe Ficklin (M), Joey Shoji)
5:00 PM
– Position and Positioning: Why a poor farmer will never be more than
a farmer in the Old World
– In America, we say that any child could grow up to be President.
Certainly, even the poorest become the top of their profession. But in
many places and past times, that’s not possible. What happens to a
culture when no one can rise past their station?
(Dan Willis, Jessica Day George, Helge Moulding (M), L. E. Modesitt,
– Urban Fantasy
So, you drag yourself home after a long shift and mutter under your
breath about the fairy dust sprinkled all over your now floating
kitchen table. Your best friend calls to complain about her zombie
boyfriend’s breath and a ghost laughs in your ear. In it. *Sigh* It’s
gonna be one of THOSE nights.
(Lesli Muir Lytle, Karen Hoover, Larry Correia (M), Bryce Moore,
Carole Nelson Douglas)  Yay, urban fantasy! Which technically is what MHI and Grimnoir both are, though I didn’t know that when I wrote them.
– Online Publishing
Printed media is still king, but there’s a new kid in town who’s got a
loud voice. What is th is new “medium” for publishing? What are the
strengths nad pitfalls of POD, ebooks, and other electronic media?
How can it help you get a goot in the door?
(Kevin Evans, KarenEvans, Carolyn Nicita (M), Nathan Shumate)
– Cheers and Gripes
Want to share your opinion of this year’s convention? Now’s your
(Mike Oberg)
– Filk in an Hour or Two… (cont.)
Come help write this year’s CONduit Filk song in just an hour!… er..
or Two!
(Steven Fox, Joe Ficklin, Joey Shoji)
6:00 PM
– Dead Dog Party
– Filking at the dead Dog
Still not done yet? Neither are we! Come sing until the hotel rolls
up the convention space carpets! Great music, great company and great
fun! There is no better cherry with which to top off your CONduit

Why spending $50 to be eligible to vote for the Hugos is actually a really good deal

As many of you know, I’m one of this year’s finalists for the prestigious Campbell Award for best new writer. The winners will be decided by the folks that have bought voting memberships to WorldCon.  If you aren’t already attending WorldCon, you can purchase a Voting Membership for $50.

But why would you do that? (other than to vote for me, obviously…)

Howard Tayler pointed out something awesome today. There are actually some perks to buying a Voting Membership other than voting for me. (though that is by far the most important of all possible reasons). 

You actually get a whole mess of e-book reading material out of the deal, and at e-book prices, you’re actually getting one heck of a deal.  A few years ago they started putting together samples of all of the Hugo nominated author’s work into a big package for the voters to go over, so they could actually read the nominated stuff in question.

All of the novels that are eligible for best novel are there to download. Blackout, Cryoburn, The Dervish House, Feed, and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. If you were to buy just those, that would eat up most of the cost of the Voting Membership.

But wait, there’s more!

I’ve always wanted to say that… In addition, the novels of the Campbell finalists (like Monster Hunter International) are on there. Dan Well’s excellent I Am Not A Serial Killer is there too. (which I’ve plugged many times, and if I wasn’t also in the running, I’d be encouraging ya’ll to go vote for Dan).  Moxyland by Lauren Beukes is up there too, as are samples of Lev Grossman’s and Saladin Ahmed’s stuff. (the other Campbell finalists, though I am clearly the only one with a cover featuring a big dude holding a shotgun and a severed head… I’m just sayin’)

And if that wasn’t enough, you’ve also got all of the short stories, novellas, novelletes (including the story that just won the Nebula Award written by my friend Eric James St0ne).  And just when you think it can’t get any better (kind of like the Sham-Wow) all of the graphic novels are there too, like Girl Genius, Fables, a couple others that I haven’t looked at yet, and the always excellent Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler. (a man so awesome that John Ringo writes epic space operas starring a thinly veiled version of him… How do you know when you are the best? When John Ringo has to base the man that saves the universe on you).

So basically, that’s a ton of really good reading for only $50.  And then you can VOTE!  

And just like the Oscars, you’d be surprised how few votes actually determine the winners.

This is where you can join:   The voting is open until July.

The writers/publishers don’t get paid for this. The money goes to pay for WorldCon. Which believe me, we are all perfectly happy about.

How to save money, if you are complete and total idiot

My wife told me about this article from Yahoo news.  It is about how a family is saving money in these tough times.  Sure, I’ve got lots of things I need to catch up with on the blog, but this was just too awesomely stupid not to fisk.  Judging from the over 6,000 comments about how ridiculous this is, I’d say I’m not alone.  As usual, they are in italics, I am in bold.

In these difficult times it is always useful to learn how other people have tightened their belts. Let’s see what wisdom Yahoo: News For Imbeciles has to share.

How do you explain to your kid that he can’t have a summer vacation because of inflation?

Easy. You just explain it to them as you would with any complex subject. As a good parent you owe it to your children to teach them about fiscal responsibility. Only a total loser parent would turn their kids out into the world without understanding how to balance a budget.

Instead, my family and I looked for meaningful ways to save on our summer activities.

Yep. Loser parent.  

By doing some of the work ourselves, looking at money more rationally, and committing to stuff, not fluff, we plan to save $12,975 in summer 2011.

That’s not too shabby. That sounds like some really serious cuts! Let’s see how they pulled it off.

Summer entertaining – Garden parties, barbecues, and family reunions make summer special. To keep our menus rich while saving money, my sister and I agreed to serve ground beef instead of steak at all 10 of our family get-togethers. In this way, we plan to spend $1.50 per person on meat instead of $15, for total savings of $1,350 this summer.

Holy crap!  Who has 10 family get-togethers over the summer? My wife has 62 first cousins (no, that isn’t a typo) and they don’t come close to that. Who the hell are these people? The House of Saud? $15 in meat per person?  You invite all of your relatives over two out of every three weekends and give each of them a lobster tail?

Summer vacation – To save on airfare and rising fuel prices, we searched the Internet for a local venue that would make a good vacation site.

You used the internet? Wow! I hear they have the internet on computers now!

We chose Mount Baker, located 30 minutes from our home. We plan to pitch a tent, camp for a week, fish, hike, play guitar, and listen to audio books by the campfire. Instead of our usual $5,000 vacation allowance, we plan to spend $400, thus saving $4,600.

Wha…. Huh?  Your usual vacation allowance is FIVE GRAND per YEAR? I’ve been married for 13 years and I spent about half that on a vacation. Once. And I’m now upper middle class. You do that EVERY YEAR?

I’m suspicious that this was either written by Timothy Geitner or a Kardashian sister. It really could go either way.  

Painting the house – Every year we hire student painters to refresh the exterior paint to keep our home looking pristine and to protect the wood siding.

Seriously? You PAINT your house every year? Where do you live? Mars? Are you outside the terraformed zone?

What in the hell is wrong with you idiots? A financial article from these people is like reading an article on safe sex from Ron Jeremy.  “I only did it with 200 hookers this year, for a savings of nearly 100 hookers!”

Our neighbors, on the other hand, paint their homes every five years. To save money this summer, we’ve decided to paint the trim around the windows and doors only and to do the work ourselves. That will save us $1,500 this summer.

I hope you die in a fire.

I like to put a new roof on my house every year, not that I’ve ever done it. So this year I didn’t do it again for another savings of $20,000!

Garden landscaping -In summer, we typically hire an arborist to trim our trees, spray them against parasites, and feed the roots. We also hire landscapers to edge the lawn, mulch the yard, and plant perennials.

A real financial savings article would tell you what brand of shotgun shells trim tall branches the best… Or in really lean times the article should tell you what types of bark are edible when boiled.  

This year we plan to do the work ourselves and to borrow tools from our neighbors.

If I was your neighbor and you asked to borrow my tools, I would hit you in the face with a shovel. Then I would throw your corpse into the pig pen I built in the back yard, which would not only conceal the evidence, but would also fatten up my pigs! By slaughtering my own hogs without having to pay for feed, I’ll save nearly $1,500 on bacon!  

We also intend to mulch the flowerbeds and give up on perennials. In this way, we intend to save $625.

A proper article on financial savings and gardening would point out which species of weeds can be woven into shoes.  

Summer clothing – Every year we shop for clothes by inspiration, walking through the mall and picking out a new bathing suit, dress, T-shirt. This year, we will each get a small summer-clothing budget, which will force us to shop at outlets or secondhand stores. This step will help us save $1,400.

You know you are in trouble when one of your big tips is to buy clothes on sale. Cavemen who wear skin cut off of dead caribou with sharp rocks know that.

Summer remodeling – Because of dropping home values, this year we will not go ahead with the deck remodel we were planning. Instead, we will patch the old wood with wood putty and prime and will paint it once more to protect against water damage. In this way, we will save $3,500.

I was totally going to add a tower onto my house made out of gold bars, unicorn horn, and Faberge eggs. Instead I bought the kids a Slip & Slide. In this way, I saved a billion dollars!

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that whoever wrote this was one of the people we had to bail out from under their interest-only home loan. Thanks, Yahoo, now I have even less faith in my fellow man.


Back from mega-tour, need to catch up

There will be more posting in a few days, but I’ve got to catch up first.  4,800 miles driven. 7 states visited. 9 signings. 80 stores visited.  Whew, I’m beat. 

Full report to follow.

Signing in Seattle tonight – University Bookstore at 7

I’m signing books and shooting the bull at University Bookstore in Seattle tonight at 7.  Come by and say hi.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m at Aunties in Spokane and Sunday I’m at the Fairview Ave Hastings in Boise.

Signing at Powells in Beaverton tonight

I’ll be at Powells in Beaverton Oregon, starting tonight at 7:00.  Today we manged to visit most of the book stores in the Portland area. I found the Danner factory outlet store and spent $500 on several pairs of blemished size 15 goodness… Because when you have feet like mine, you buy every pair of shoes you can find.

Also, my wife has decreed that I can no longer refer to Beaverton as Beaver By the Ton. (which in my defense, I only did every single time I saw Beaverton on a road sign, which in her defense, was a lot). See you there tonight.

Also, when driving around downtown, Portland’s college student pedestrians are far too hip and urban to look both ways before crossing the street. Looking both ways is soooooo lame… I think I might have run over Scott Pilgrum.  Meh… Oh well. 

Up next, Seattle. Signing at the University Bookstore on Friday night.

Monster Hunter Alpha eARC available NOW!

I’m still on mega-road-trip-super-tour, but I just found out today that the eARC for Monster Hunter Alpha has been released for your reading enjoyment.

The next signing is at Powells in Beaverton Oregon Wednesday night starting at 7. See you guys there.

Come and see me in Huntington Beach

We’re leaving San Diego now and are on the way to Huntington Beach. Come and see me at the B&N at 2:00-4:00. 

Myterious Galaxy last night was awesome, as was Poisoned Pen the night before. Both of those places brought in extras of the limited edition hard covers for me to sign if you guys want one.  Lots of stuff so far this trip, and will blog about it when I’ve got more time.


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