Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Job

I mentioned it before on my Ad Astra post, but I thought I'd talk about it again. Cause I want to. I am now a part of a new website called Hardcore Nerdity which launches on Thursday, and I have to say it's already been a huge learning experience.

For those who may not remember the synopsis:

Hardcore Nerdity is the pet project of Mr. Jonathan Llyr. Some of you may know John in his former role as an on air personality for the Space Network. He's since moved on from the channel but now he and several colleagues are starting this amazing website. Contributors include the incredible Rob Salem (if you are Canadian you will have seen his articles in the Toronto Star and, well, everywhere), the effervescent Simon Evans (another Space veteran and former MuchMusic producer/presenter), myself, the lovely Lesley, my good friend Casey Hudecki (fight chick extraordinaire), along with the friendly folks over at angryrobot.ca: Nadine, Toku and D. If you have any nerdish leanings this will be the site to check out. John has serious nerd connections. The site will feature a weekly podcast, articles, interviews and original comics. This week's podcast is awesome, beginning with a seriously lively and hilarious chat between John, Rob and Simon, and featuring an interview with the amazing David Hayter, screenwriter for X Men and X Men 2, about his working on the screenplay for Watchmen.

Okay, back to me and my learning experience.

First of all I am interviewing people. I mentioned my fear of this before, but it is something I have never really done before. It's weird, because a lot of my friends work in television and are extremely proficient at the interviewing, but it's a world I know very little about. I've always found interviewing a terrifying prospect. Not so much the interacting with other people, but the responsibility that comes with the role. Here you are, one chance to talk to someone of note in an industry you find interesting, and if you ask them the wrong question or forget to ask them something important, that's it, you blew your chance. I am a fan of the "re-do". There really isn't such a thing with interviews.

At the same time, I find interviewing very exciting. I love doing the research about a person ahead of time, learning all this interesting stuff about them, really getting to know someone. I also like the actual interview, the conversation. So I think I'm totally into this interviewing thing, even if it still scares me a little.

I'm also writing articles for the site, and that is something new as well. Now I like to post to this blog at least twice a week, and that has given me a good sense of how to handle deadlines, but it's interesting writing articles within a certain framework. In this case the SF/Fantasy genre. I feel like I am writing essays again, much like my post on Magical Realism. I am quoting people, and having a thesis, and it's been ages since I've really written anything like that. It's been a challenge definitely, but fun.

So it's been an interesting new job, and the site hasn't even launched yet!

With that in mind, I wanted to ask my loyal readers, for their help. I am posting an article twice a week at Hardcore Nerdity, all in the SF/Fantasy realm - books, tv, film, comics, gaming, whatever - does anyone have any article suggestions? Anything they would like me to investigate, or write about? I already have an article on Battlestar Galactica and Watchmen, and I am sure I can come up with more considering I have opinions on everything, but it would be cool to see what kind of stuff you guys would think would be cool!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Time for more rehearsal pics . . .

Yes ladies and gents, the ever popular production of Macbeth by the ever fabulous Tempest Theatre Group is back in town! And you know what that means . . .

Artsy black and white rehearsal shots by yours truly!

(just for a change of pace, considering we've been rather "author" oriented lately)

Robbie Westgate (aka King Duncan) napping in the corner. I enjoy this picture because of the windows and the reflection on the floor. You may have other reasons to enjoy it. That is perfectly acceptable.

The fab Mr. Steven Burley (aka Malcolm) in a snazzy hat. Beside him sits Phil Borg (aka Ross) having an enthusiastic chat with the ever lovely, Ms. Lesley Livingston (aka Lady M).

Our ever so talented director and the Mr. Mac himself, Jonathan Llyr. I believe at this moment he was discussing his plans for the show with Mr. Burly from the above photograph.

And a little change of pace, yes, an actual colour photograph, of the "happy we finally have sun and warm temperatures" Ms. Casey Hudecki (aka Second Witch). Note the awesome sunglasses.

Monday, April 21, 2008

And tagged again!

And no it isn't a tag back which as we all know is so illegal.

No. This time I have been tagged by Sue Eves with a really neat one.

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment back to Sue's blog (she's the one who tagged me - you will in turn nominate the person who tagged you - ie me) once you've posted your three sentences.

So . . . nearest book . . . that would have to be . . . (aside from my own) . . .

Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly, a non fiction book about pirates.

Page 123:

"Mower was a Boston man, thirty years of age, "of short stature, thin favoured, and dark complexion," and he had good reason to be worried. No sooner had the pirates taken the ship than they decided to force Mower to join them. The methods which they used left him with little choice."

So now I tag (again):

Lesley Livingston

Catherine J Gardner

Heidi the Hick

and . . .

Holly Kennedy

David L McAfee

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I love blog tag!

Well every once and a while it happens that I get tagged by another blogger. In this case it happened the other day when djpaterson appeared in my comments section.

So thank you sir for the tag! And now I shall proceed to share with you all:

6 (more) Random Things About Me

1. Guylian chocolates are my favourite (the ones shaped like seashells? Yeah those ones . . .).

2. My window by my computer looks out onto the brick wall of the apartment opposite with the exact same kind window staring back. But it isn't a perfect mirror image as it is slightly further north than mine is. And I have no idea why that is.

3. I love making business cards. I get very artsy doing it. My favourite kinds are the ones that are glossy on one side.

4. I love art history. In university I wanted to double major in it, but the drama portion of my degree was just too time consuming.

5. In that line of thinking, I adore Toulouse Lautrec. Specifically his poster art.

6. I hate shopping, but I love new clothes. This is a problem.

Now I have to tag six other bloggers, but to be honest I just can't think of who today - head is a bit fuzzy. So I am instead tagging these three (half of six, so I figure it still works with the play on numbers):





· Link to the person who tagged you.

· Post the rules on your blog.

· Write six random things about yourself.

· Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blog

· Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

· Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Talking to Teenagers

Tuesday I went to a highschool and spoke to a group of around 80 teenagers about writing. It was actually the same highschool where my father (who has since retired) was once head of the English department, so that was cool.

I was really nervous.

I hadn't spoken to teenagers before.

Know what I learned?

It's a lot like talking to adults.

And a lot like talking to kids.

Okay yes there are differences between all three groups, and I'll elaborate on them in my next post (because I think they are interesting), but this post is a moment of revelation post.

So this is the revelation:

I'm starting to think people are just people.

Yup, pretty sure . . .

It's nice.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And yet more Ad Astra pics . . .

I am obviously on some kind of picture binge. Anyway, the lovely Lesley sent me a few more pics from Ad Astra that I thought I would share (Doug you will be happy to see we have an auction pic finally!)!


This was really special. Lesley happened to run into her good friend Darth while we were at the convention. It was such a coincidence he was at Ad Astra as well! I don't think she had any idea he was coming. It was a really special reunion - man the stories they had to share . . .!

Me and my friend Scotty (who you have seen several times on this blog as his pirate self, and who also lent me the steampunk goggles for that photo a few posts down). I am wearing a pirate hat. I think I would make an awesome pirate! Except for all the killing and stealing. I'm not so into killing and stealing . . . but aesthetically . . . I think I could rock the pirate thing.
(man the flash of the camera really washed out our faces!)

And finally me and Lesley all glammed up for the Sunburst Awards Auction. You will note we are attempting to auction off our own books. We have no shame.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My book in the Philippines

Here is an awesome photo of my book in the Philippines courtesy of the Bibliophile Stalker (appropriately named it would seem).

Now I know I know, how exactly can we prove that this photograph was indeed taken in the Philippines. Well we can't. But that is what faith in our fellow bloggers is all about. At any rate, thanks so much Mr. Tan for sending the pic my way!

I also thought I'd post this pic of my book in Germany that I was sent quite a while ago but totally forgot to post! It too is awesome (it's the book in the centre with the orange spine)!

This is probably a good time to remind people that I will always be open to pictures of yourself and my book in any and all countries. If you are wearing an enjoyable costume, so much the better. Just make sure when you send the pic you also send permission for me to post it!

I do so love my super secret spy blog readers! I highly doubt anyone has such super secret spy blog readers as I do!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Some Ad Astra pics . . .

And here as promised are some pics from the event (Ad Astra). These are just from my camera, so there aren't too many seeing as I was rather busy. And none of me and Lesley as our glamorous auction ladies (sorry Doug, soon I hope). But I hope to collect some from my fellows that I will be able to share with you all soonish.


John Llyr (looking confused), Peter Halasz (looking far away) and Scott Bakker (looking fuzzy)

Scott Bakker looking less fuzzy. At least in the picture. Cannot speak to his emotional or mental state at the time.

Nadine and Chris from angryrobot.ca (Nadine is showing off her sound equipment and Chris is taking a picture of me at the same time as I am taking one of him.)

Me making sure to take a picture of me proving I was there, or at least pretending to be there by showing up at the hotel at the exact same time the convention was going on.

Jim C Hines reading from his book at his book launch. Just moments before I and my 7 points won a prize. Yes I like reminding people I won a prize.

Julie Czerneda, Lesley Livingston, Rebecca Moesta and me at our panel for writing for young people.

Julie hosting the launch for Misspelled, while Lesley (in the grey t-shirt with the batman logo on it) looks on in fascination.

Me wearing a pair of Steampunk goggles belonging to my pirate friend Scotty. They is awesome.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

And the follow up report . . .

So as you all know last weekend was the Ad Astra convention and I have to say it was an absolute blast. I hope to get some pictures soon, but for the moment you are all just going to have to settle for the narrative.

I started out Saturday morning as the lovely Julie Czerneda's assistant teaching a writing workshop for young people. I have to say it was really cool. I've taught a fair bit of drama to kids, but I have never really taught writing. Julie on the other hand has. And she rocks it. We had around 8 teenagers show up, and they were so enthusiastic about writing and SF/Fantasy and it was just so special. They did some group work where they chose an object and had to brainstorm story ideas. Then they chose one to elaborate on. And then Julie made them keep the same story idea, but gave them a new genre. Very interesting to see what they came up with. Winged Rats From Outer Space is my new favourite title!

After that I reprised my prize girl role for the Sunburst Awards Auction with the ever lovely Lesley Livingston (who has a very lovely new website designed by my very lovely other friend Joanna - check it out!). We of course looked fabulous, more glamorous this time I think. Oh and we raised a fair bit of money for the auction as well!

The rest of the day was chatting and hanging out with folks in the bar. I met up with authors Scott Bakker, Robert J. Sawyer, Caitlin Sweet, Steve Perry and Jim C Hines again this year and went to the book launch of the latter's third book, Goblin War. He had this game going where we had to collect goblins (drawings of goblins on paper) from different people at the convention. I only got 7 points. But I still got a prize! So I was happy. Not so happy as the kid who won first prize who got a GORGEOUS signed print of the cover art.

I actually wound up interviewing Jim for a podcast for a website that the sensational Mr. Jonathan Llyr is launching May 1st called Hardcore Nerdity (another awesome title, man this blog is filled with them today). Side track on Hardcore Nerdity for a second:

Some of you may know John in his former role as an on air personality for the Space Network. He's since moved on from the channel but now he and several colleagues are starting this amazing website, and if you have any nerdish leanings this will be the site to check out. The man has serious nerd connections. It will begin as a feeder site off of Angryrobot.ca, and then when the content builds up, it will take the training wheels off as it were and be on its own.

Anyway, I'm going to be a part of the whole thing, as I must confess to having quite nerdish tendencies myself. And that's why I got to interview Jim! And it was my very first time being an interviewer and I was super nervous, but I think I actually did okay! Besides Jim and I get on really well, so we really just had fun with it. Well you can judge for yourself sometime in May (and you'd better believe I'll be promoting me).

Back to Ad Astra:

I interviewed Jim in the afternoon on Sunday. In the morning though, Lesley, Julie, Rebecca Moesta and I had a panel of writing for young people. At first I was sad because there were all of two people in the audience, but after we began it started to fill up nicely until it was quite well attended. I think we did pretty well, and after a slow start we got some good banter going. It was a lot of fun, and I always find it very interesting to listen to other authors talk of their experiences.

Almost right after was the book launch for Misspelled, an anthology that several characters from this blog post were involved in. Both Lesley and Jim had short stories in it, and Julie was the editor. It was great fun, and they added a theatrical bit to it that is a bit to complicated to explain so I won't. Then they had cupcakes. And I like cupcakes.

But it was also really special because, okay, now Lesley is this big time two book deal Harper Collins author, but her story in the anthology was her first official sale. Not only that but it is the lead story in the book. So it was really special seeing her sign books (she signed mine!), and I dunno, it was cool.

And then the weekend was over and I was pooped.

All and all, a good time. Gots to say. A good time.