Friday, October 31, 2014

Out of Ink

It works like this. In my eternal quest for productivity, organization, and spiritual fulfillment, I keep this giant whiteboard calendar on my desk wall, where I record not only my appointments, but also what I actually DO with my time.  Thusly:

The secretary and "no whining" sign are unfortunately less effective.

It's not a perfect system, but it helps me partition the abyss of wasted time that my good intentions would otherwise fall into.  I also got these cool see-through markers to help me color-code the calendar.

It's not just a marker: it's an erasable ink missile delivery system.
 As of today, here's where we stand:

Red ink (writing and related fingers-at-keyboard activities - blogging, critiquing, so on) totally out.  Does not write any more.  Black ink (events) also totally out.  Green (paid jobs) and blue (wifery and household things) nearly full up. 

And that is pretty much how I've spent my time this year: hell-for-leathering the writing/socializing/doing part, and ignoring everything else.  I don't regret it, but I am a very particular kind of tired. 

Which is why I think I will have to enjoy NaNo from the sidelines this year.  Really wanted to do it, but I'm just about out of ink, gas, and juice.  (Also why I've totally fallen off the face of the blogosphere this month - if anyone missed me, please know that you are my favorite.)

BUT.  We all know that I would feel horribly lonely and unloved if I didn't have at least a few more gigs between now and holiday hiberation, and I'm delighted to say that this month has no less than three:

I will be at the Saginaw Public Library this Tuesday the 4th for their Annual Author Reception.  If you're in this neck of the woods, stop by at 6 - the name of my talk is "Building a Better Bookshelf", but I'll let you in on a secret: it's less about the shelf than the books on it, and less a talk than a collective discussion and literary pep-rally.

Likewise, for those of you in the greater Toledo area, I'll be up at Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green on Thursday the 13th.  This is a one-of-a-kind coffee shop / bookstore / community house, which is graciously having me out for a reading from 7 to 9 PM.  (No, don't worry - there won't be nearly that much reading!  Given my penchant for turning everything into a social occasion, I strongly suspect there will be a lively discussion there too.)

And finally - the crowning glory, here - I'll be doing my "Dialect to Die For" class at Winter Wheat at Bowling Green State University on Friday the 14th.  And I know what you're saying: "But Tex, I already saw that one at DFWcon, and plane tickets are so expensive!"  To which I say, "Yes, but what you have NOT seen are my secret weapons, Jason and Sheri Wells-Jensen, and their class on creating constructed languages."  So if you want to know how they do it on Star Trek, get some Priceline help from Bill Shatner and come on out!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Is That a Saguaro, or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Hello again, Internet friends!  Going to try to keep it short this week, as your intrepid reporter is once again on the road, reporting live from an undisclosed location.

I can disclose this cactus, though. It is super freakin' weird.
Anyway, here's all the latest from the Tex Files:

I will be presenting at North Lake College's annual Arts & Literary Festival next week!  This gig is especially near and dear to my heart. I've attended a lot of schools, but NLC is my spawn point, my Hogwarts, my ancestral alma mater. If you are lucky enough to live in the Irving area and have daytimes free, check out all the A & L festival - they have an amazing lineup, and it's all free to the public.

I am also delighted to say that I've been accepted as a speaker at The Mid-American Review's Winter Wheat Festival!  This is kind of obscenely exciting, because *not only* am I going to get to go to Ohio (AND SEE REAL ACTUAL SNOW), I'm also going to have near-fatal amounts of fun with my supreme arch-linguist co-conspirator Jason Wells-Jensen and his posse of language-constructing, uke-tickling adventurers.  If you or a loved one are going to be in the greater Toledo area November 14th-15th, come treat yourself to a back-to-back lineup of dialect and conlang and all the writer knowledge you can handle!

Digitally speaking, I'm featured over at Lawrence Schoen's Eating Authors this week. It's not only a perfect example of an ambiguous modifier, but a great excuse for me to tell the tale of the dinner that broke me.  (Full disclosure: the phrase "cheese-smothered fetal dachshunds" also worked its way in somehow.)

And finally, the endlessly effervescent Laura Maisano lit up my life with a stellar review of One Night in Sixes.  This is kind of triply delightful, because Laura is NOT ONLY the senior editor of Anaiah Press (aka somebody who reads for a living) AND the mother of a very active toddler (aka somebody who has a whole lot of non-reading demands on her time), BUT ALSO my sworn rival: her first novel, Schism, has just been picked up for publication in 2015 - and I already know it's going to blow the barn doors off.  Quick, help me congratulate her before jealousy drowns us all - and get ready to hear plenty more of her name before we're done!

(You will also hear more about sinister cacti, big-ass balloons, cheerful tube-dogs, and a whole passel of arid autumn delights, just as soon as I get time to write about them. Pics included.)

You better watch out for those man-eating jackrabbits, and them killer cacti.