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Back to the Road--CleCon Preview, and Other Things

Back we go once again...for those who wonder, my battle with COVID-19 appears to have been a brief one. About three days of hideous flu-like symptoms, which made the rounds of my body and senses (see previous posts).

So with that taken care of, I feel pretty lucky I got away with it; it did take longer than planned to get my full strength back, but I'm pretty much there.

Working from home is kind of a trip; I do not have the equipment luxury that I do at the job, so you do with what you can. I use a reasonably cheap ACH audio rig from Australia, a decent mic, but logistics don't always work.

The replacement replacement window has deadened some of the extraneous sound in the studio, but you can tell I'm not in the booth. Oh well, quality has not been bad. Today you can download free gear, use a cheap mic and camera, add a Twitch/Twitter account and suddenly you're a podcaster, talk show host, gamer, presenter, whatever you like.

In a way it's cool, because it opens the doors to communications, and this industry will always have a need for talent, tech, software, and all of that. Of course, you have those who are broadcasting whatever they think they know. I don't know who said it, but some wag on a message board said it best: "A Smartphone and a Twitter account does not make you a journalist, kiddo!"

I certainly encourage people to use the means you have at hand, but remember the responsibility of such: you will get questioned, criticized, picked on, flamed, blocked, bashed and threatened, among other fun parts of the business.

So yeah, I am away from the studio for three whole days. What am I doing?

This, indeed! I'm back in Ohio for the return of "CleCon," and it is going to be a blast. Two years off from the pandemic, but we're gonna have a good time together (who got the VU reference?).

Old friends and new will gather to promote, sign, sell, network and talk up our little business. I'll be speaking on various panels through the weekend, and when not doing that, I'll be walking about, sitting in to listen to others, and possibly snag a few interviews for the podcast. Check the News/Events tab to see my latest podcast episodes.

CleCon is not just authors, but gamers, creators, cosplayers, performers, developers, you name it, it is here! We're having professional cosplayers, a very unique musical guest (The Harp Twins), and there will be a lot to check out.

I do not consider myself a veteran of these, but CleCon does a great thing: the bookstore! You can put your books on the shelves, and they do the selling. I'll of course do an autograph session in the store, and it gives us the freedom to move about.

I travel alone to cons, and there are a couple more coming for me this year. I swore up and down last year I'd never do another con, I know; CleCon was the exception to the rule, because of the way it's set up, and how it operates. I'm confident once more than I can actually go to one of these and not deal with the drama of a certain place.

That said, last night, I got to be part of a special thing:

The file was too large, so here it is: the 100th episode of Rob and Joan Cartter's Meet the Authors show! I was one of a lucky six who made the cut to do the two-hour special. I was able to talk about my books, the writing life, and I also really enjoyed listening to my fellows promote their works, but also to tell their stories.

We do tend to tell those stories in our minds, but they are original, and most intimately ours. We share the poems, words, tales and such from inside us because they need to come out and we hope for some kind of connection. Did our story get you? Did you identify with a character? What did you learn? Did you get moved?

We hope for that.

That now takes us back through my 5-hour sojourn through Western PA and Eastern Ohio. I did not pass through Columbiana County, site of the train derailment, so I have nothing new to add to that debacle. I passed through 300 miles of the western hills, the farmlands, and a lot of flat areas in Ohio. I've not been this way in four years, so it was interesting to look around again.

A little bleak, here in late winter/early spring, but a good travel day. A good time to just drive, listen, watch, and think of having some fun once again.

I do have to this:

Yes, gotta catch 'em all!

All three volumes of the Sweet Dreams Series will be on hand for sale! The questions have come to me--what is next? Are Aki and the gang going to something big next?

Well, I'm working on it. This is rest time for Aki; everyone needs to grow up a little bit, get settled, and we'll see what they may find in the coming years.

I'm returning to my hybrid fiction with the coming release. We have edits to do, and a lot more.

I also must sadly say farewell to the brilliant artistic talents of Mitch Bentley. The man whose work graced all my covers has retired. I will miss him; he of incredible talent, artistic quirkiness and humor did incredible work for me. To be fair, the new work will require a different eye and hand, and we'll find out more about that down the line.

Right now, I'm getting ready to plan for tomorrow, listening to Krishna Das' satsang (welcome back from the world, KD), and letting my brain calm down. So much more to do, to say, to discuss.

Later. Peace, Out.


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