Monthly Archives: September 2011

Paranormally Speaking

By Tina R. McSwain

I am very serious about the paranormal and what I do.  Sometimes, however, things happen where you just have to laugh.  This is one of those times.

The names have been changed to protect the innocent, and especially, the guilty.

If I ever ask you if you want to join me on an adventure, you might want to think twice before you answer. See, I had this case referred to me by another team. Their leader had a medical procedure and could not drive, so had only ever talked with this client on the phone. I took the case and had some correspondence with the client myself. Now, this guy was very gruff on the phone, talked with one of those slow southern drawls (although, he told me he was from Chicago) told me he had ghosts in the house, he lived with his mother, and the ghosts were making quite a racket. He even told me that he had shot a hole through his house the first time he experienced this because he thought someone had broken in. So, I figured this was going to be redneck meets ghost from hell. (As I later found out, that needed to be the other way around, but more on that later) When he called me at 3AM one weeknight, that should have been a clue.
So, I asked my team member Charlene if she would go with me on this consultation. (I did warn her about the shooting incident), and she said she would. I told her it might not turn out to be much, then again it might…who knows, “but at the very least, it would be an adventure” Boy, no truer words have ever been spoken!
So this past Sunday, we set out for Columbia. We stopped for gas, and were preparing to go down the ramp for I77 south, when the woman in the mini-van in front of us decided to do a 3-point turn and come directly back up the on-ramp headed straight for us. I was in mid sentence and lost my train of thought as I watched this unfold in front of us. We avoided the head-on collision and went on our merry way. We got off at the ramp and turned right and started looking for the road we needed. At some point, we decided to get out my new GPS whom I have officially named “MaggieMoo” (short for Maggie Moose) as she is the 7″ wide screen version. (Maggie passed away last week) She got us to our destination, but much like Charlene’s “Garmin Bitch”, she said we were at our destination several houses before we actually got there, so we had to resort to reading address numbers. Of course, we passed the house and had to perform the first CAPS U-turn of the day.
It had started to rain earlier, so we got out and carefully walked up the steps of the front porch to knock on the door. The only thing we heard was dogs barking from inside the home. Big dogs from the sound of them. No one came to the door. After standing in the rain for a few minutes, I suggested we go back and sit in the truck and I would call the guy. Just as soon as we sat down in the truck, the side door opened and a guy was standing there. I asked him if he was the client, he said yes, so I introduced myself and Charlene.
We then made our way to the side door and up the steps. Upon getting inside, he was in front of us shooing two  Rottweilers back away from us and the door. One was growling and barking, one was not. It was at this point that the big one scooted past him, straight by us and out the door about the same time that he was saying “don’t let him out” and reaching in vain for the dog’s collar. He said a few choice words and said, “I’ll never get him back now.” He yelled after him, “Pookie”! So, feeling somewhat responsible, (I don’t know why, I would have put the damn dogs up somewhere when I had strangers coming to my home) Charlene and I started out after Pookie.
Charlene started walking down the road, and I followed. She soon got out of my sight, so I thought I would turn around and run back to get the truck. I backed out at warp speed and got to the road where I slowed down to look for Charlene. Going slowly forward with flashers on, I finally spotted Charlene and yelled to her and asked if she saw him. She not only saw him, but had him by the collar!! Now, I am seeing this from the road. So again, I backed up at warp speed, causing Charlene’s coke to go in the floor and all over MaggieMoo. I turned into the drive way of the home where Charlene had cornered Pookie on the lady’s front porch. Now, I thought this lady was being helpful to Charlene. I later learned the details of this exchange.  She kept telling Charlene she had a pit bull and she better not let Pookie near him or they would fight.  She also told Charlene not to let Pookie go near her flower garden.  Well of course, Pookie made a beeline for the flowers.  So, anyway Pookie (who weighed in I am sure at around 200 LBS) was all but dragging Charlene down the steps of this lady’s porch. She was trying her best to wrestle him towards me and the truck and away from the flowerbeds. I had the brilliant idea to open the back door of the truck and try to entice Pookie into the back seat. It worked! She led him to the back and he jumped in. Charlene, who I thought was going to require oxygen, then got in the front and sat back in the seat as we both listened to the tears and rips and crunches of everything in the back seat that Poookie was walking all over and standing on. I didn’t care. We had the dog and were heading back home with him! The chain collar was loose and had dug into Charlene’s hand, so she had taken it off and just used the regular collar to get him in the truck. She sat there in the front seat, collar in hand, wheezing and gasping for breath, looking rather ragged!
We slowly drove back to Pookie’s house. I dared not blow the horn and frighten a strange 200 lb. Rottie that I now had in my back seat, so we waited for what seemed like forever for the client to appear at the side door. I yelled through the barely opened driver’s window that we had his dog and for him to come and get him. Now, this guy moved VERY slowly. We later concluded that he was barely lucid, being on pain meds, due to a recent wreck. Barefoot on the rocks, he finally made it to the truck and proceeded to open the back door and grab the dog by the collar. Pookie jumped out of the back seat, and when he did, the client lost his balance, staggered around a bit, and fell to his left, catching himself on a pickup truck parked beside us. When he finally managed to right himself, I saw his right hand slowly come up, grasping something in it. Clutching what you ask???…Pookie’s collar!
Yes, Pookie had escaped and run off again, this time without a collar of any sort. The guy said, in a really slow thick-tongued voice, “Well, he’s a dead dog now, that road out there ain’t nothin’ but a meat grinder”.  I looked at Charlene and said “get in the car”. The look she gave me would have melted the entire continent of Antarctica!  But, I could not have slept that night had I not gone after the dog again. So, in the truck we were, off again.
We went to the house Charlene had retrieved him from the first time. No Pookie. Then, she spotted him running down a dirt path, luckily for him and us; this was in the opposite direction of the main road. We gave chase in the truck. He stopped, so we got out and tried to coax him to us. He looked at us and ran the other way! We jumped back in and drove further down this dirt path. He stopped again. This time, I jumped out and said,”c’mon Pookie, let’s go for a ride”, and started to clap my hands wildly and added a great deal of enthusiasm in my voice. It worked! We both hurried to the back of the truck. Pookie was running around and around the truck looking for a way to get in. We couldn’t get the back doors open quick enough (as they remained locked when we got out of the front), so Charlene opened the front passenger door, and in jumped Pookie. I yelled at Charlene to shut the door. We looked at each other, caught our breath, and then got in the front seat with Pookie, who took up every inch of space in the front of the truck. I was smashed to one side of the seat trying to slowly put the truck in reverse, not wanting to move too quick and set him off. Charlene at this point had a lap full of Pookie! She could barely reach her arms around him to roll up the window. There was “dog fog” all over the windows where he had nosed and panted and snorted. So, we couldn’t see a thing and I had to back out of the dirt path and onto the main road. I managed to use the left side mirror as it was the only thing I could see. I couldn’t see over Pookie, or around him to view the other mirrors, so I just watched the side mirror to be sure I didn’t fall off into the ditch. I asked Charlene if she could see down the road, and she was able to slowly turn her head and look to be sure I didn’t back out into oncoming traffic.
So, off we go to Pookie’s house again! This time we waited, and waited, and waited. The client finally showed up at the side door. I yelled at him to bring me the collar. I yelled at him a second time to bring me the collar. He just stood there, with the door cracked looking out at us. I yelled at him a THIRD time to bring me the collar, almost following my statement with DAMN IT! All the while Pookie was standing in both our laps, and had licked Charlene’s face up one side and down the other. Her arms, her hair, were all full of Pookie drool. When he finally saw the client, he walked over and stood in my lap, licking my face to the point that my glasses sat sideways across my nose, and cocked way up over the top of one eye. The client finally came down the stairs and walked to the side of my window and handed me the collar. I took it from him and carefully and slowly slipped the collar over Pookie’s head who was literally in my face at this point. Had I set him off, I would have been faceless as he was only inches away from my face and head, standing on me, barely fitting in between me and the steering wheel. Once I got the collar on him, Charlene reached over and took the collar with one hand and opened the door with the other. There was no way in Hell we were going to let his owner have him again. He jumped out of the front seat and Charlene guided him into the house.
Meanwhile, the smaller female Rottie had come out and jumped into the back seat of my truck as I was preparing to pick up the papers that had spilled in the driveway. I said to the client, “the other one is in there now”. He said, “she bites”. Great, I thought!  He called her by name and she followed him into the house. I then told him to put both dogs up before we came into the house again.  He walked away and closed the door.  We waited several minutes for him to come back.  He never did.  I guess he forgot about us.  Probably best, it had been one weird day.  I have yet to hear back from him.

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Catch me at a con!

by Gail Z. Martin

Fall is just around the corner, and that means that I’ll be back on the convention circuit.  If you’re headed to one of these conventions, please stop by one of my panels/readings or catch me in the hall and say hello!

Dragon*Con—Labor Day Weekend

Here’s my official panel schedule:

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Breaking In: How it’s Done Description: Trying to break into the SF/Fantasy/Dark Fantasy/Urban Fantasy markets? Fri 01:00 pm : Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Broad Universe Reading Description: Quick cuts read by some up and coming female authors; their own works or works they find influential. Time: Fri 10:00 pm Location: Greenbriar – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: 101 Fascinating/Gruesome Ways to Kill a Character Description: What’s the most fascinating way to kill a character? Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Podcasting Writers Roundtable Description: Join popular Podcast authors to discuss the changing face of books and online media. Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: 204 – Hilton

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Broad Universe Reading Part 2 Description: Quick cuts read by some up and coming female authors; their own works or works they find influential. Sun 01:00 pm Location: Fairlie – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Down and Dirty Internet Marketing Description: How to get your stuff noticed. How to interest potential readers, viewers, listeners, etc. Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: 201 – Hilton

Then Oct 14-16 I’ll be at Capclave, Gaithersburg, MD.  The week of Halloween, Samhain, Dia De Los Muertos and All Hallow’s Eve is my Days of the Dead online blog event, Oct. 24 – 31.

Nov            18-20 I’ll be at Philcon in Cherry Hill, NJ, and then I hope to be in several Charlotte-area bookstores in early December.

Next year is already shaping up.  Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come:

I’ll be chillin’ in Boston for Arisia in January!

I’ve accepted invitations to SheVaCon and Mysticon (both in Roanoke) in February, and should be back in Charlotte book stores with the launch of The Dread, Book Two in The Fallen Kings Cycle.

In March I’ll be at Ravencon as well as at the Arizona Renaissance Festival outside of Phoenix.

I’ve also been invited to Book Expo (BEA) in June, although I don’t have a schedule of events yet.

That’s what’s solid so far—I’ll add dates as I get confirmations.  And if you just like to talk about the craft and business of writing, please join me in person for my monthly Meetup, the  Thrifty Author Publishing Success Network!



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The World I Live In


Crymsyn Hart

The world as I know it is surrounded by the people who care about me, the pets who use me for pillows and give me the brown eyed stare that tries to hack into my will and force me to take them out and stop writing, and the hundreds of books that make up the universe in which I plow through every day. I have a coffin that has become a character in my head named Jerry, who is turning out to have an affinity for eighties horror movies. My collection of bookcases house the volumes I use to escape the world that I live in.

The universe I survive in lingers in my mind, divided into separate and yet blurring realms where heroes and heroines traipse hoping to catch me off guard when I have nothing going on or might be in between worlds. Sometimes I traverse two or three realms, balancing several at a time. People ask me how I can keep everything straight with all the different projects I have going. The answer is I’m insane.

I have three different devices I work in and each of them I have a different book going on. Others ask how I keep from the worlds not crossing over. Well the ideas are kinda compartmentalized in my head the characters don’t seem to socialize with one another. I guess they don’t want to ruffle any feathers especially when you might have a vampire talking to an angel or a werewolf noshing on imp. They are busy living in their own minds maybe carrying on their own inner monologues with people in their minds. So there are worlds within worlds, universes within universes and now I am starting to sound like Men In Black Two.

But this is the world I live in, working on the day job, slaving in the house and making dinner for the hubby. I write to relieve the screaming in my head and create more realms with monsters and hot hunks who have fangs or tales. It keeps me busy and makes me wonder who is writing me.

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Should I podcast my fiction for free?

by P.G. Holyfield

Five years ago the question was, “Should I podcast my fiction for free? Will it hurt my chances of getting published?” But with the success of writers such as Scott Sigler, Philippa Ballantine, and Nathan Lowell, that question has become nearly moot. When I went to my publisher I was able to say “The most recent episode of my podcast novel has 18,000 downloads so far.” My novel was published by a small yet respected fantasy/sci-fi publisher, but even larger publishers have begun to admit that an unknown writer that has established himself or herself with an online following might be worthy of consideration. And the saying that used to be “EVEN THOUGH I’ve given it away for free” is now “BECAUSE I’ve given it away for free.”

So as we are now in the time of bloggers getting big book deals and publishers taking chances on pre-blogged or podcasted fiction, the question isn’t “Should I?” but “How do I do this the right way?” Because it’s not that you are trying to build “an audience,” but that you are building a relationship with your readers/listeners. Especially for those that are reading their own words, you are creating a connection to your audience that cannot be matched by any other medium. Your audience hears your voice and if you are telling a good story, your listeners begin to care about you in ways that most first time authors publishing traditionally cannot leverage. In cultivating that “horde” that we hope to inspire, here are some things to think about:

  • Website presence – Some people have used sites like to host their podcasts, but a great looking personal website that has content in addition to the audio podcast is vital for audience engagement.
  • Release Schedule – Most podcast authors use a serialized release schedule and do not release the entire story at once. Releasing consistently (weekly works well) creates an ‘event’ atmosphere around your podcast. Yes, there are many who won’t start listening to a podcast novel until the author has completed it, because a) they want to make sure the author finishes the audiobook/podiobook and b) they want to mainline the entire novel and not wait a week for the next 30-45 minutes of your story. But for those that get hooked and wait patiently (or in some cases, impatiently), these people have a tendency to become rabid fans that will proselytize your work better than you ever can.
  • Make friends and influence… yeah, you know – Most podcasters use the first three to five minutes of each podcast episode to talk to their listeners. Depending on how open you are with your audience, they become invested not only in your story but in your life and your struggle to become a published author.
  • – Having your own website is vital, but just as important is having a “story only” version of your podiobook on Consumers of podcast fiction know this is the place to go for good stories, and many that will never find your website will find your book here.
  • Short story podcast fiction – do you have short stories that can also be podcast? There are podcasts such as Escape Pod that are paying markets, and if you can get a short story on one of these outlets, you can drive people to your podcast novel.
  • Audiobook vs. Audio Drama – Most podcast novels are done as straight reads, such as what you find on But could your story work as more of an audio drama, with a full voice cast, music, sound effects, etc.? It doesn’t take an expert to see that this would cause an exponential increase in the time you would spend creating your podcast, but for those that have tackled that beast (like myself), if you do it well, you create another reason for people to give your podcast a chance.

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Paranormally Speaking

By Tina R. McSwain

Tis the Season…

…for Ghost Walks and Haunted Attractions.  At this time of year, you can surely find a way to get your scare on.  From the local haunted trails, haunted hayrides, and haunted corn mazes to the large scale production haunts in the woods or large commercial buildings where everything imaginable jumps out and tries to frighten the life out of you, there is bound to be something for everyone.  Even the theme parks have tossed their pitchfork into the fire on this one, opening at night during the season, complete with scary rides and made up monsters around every bend. 

My favorite though is the Historic Ghost Walks in the area.  These are of educational value and offer the best chance at really seeing a ghost or undergoing a paranormal experience of some sort.  Some sites are more active than others.  Take Historic Rosedale Plantation for example.  Located near center city Charlotte, its ghost walk may just prove most eventful.  Another good choice is Latta Plantation in northern Mecklenburg county.  Either is a  good choice if you are interested in experiencing real ghosts!   So, take a camera, bring a digital recorder, go on the Ghostwalk and try your hand at a litte ghost hunting while visiting some of Charlotte’s oldest homes.  You might just meet some of the past inhabitants!

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Things I learned from this year’s summer movies

by Gail Z. Martin

What did I learn from this summer’s crop of action flicks?  Well, they weren’t really intended as educational fare, but in between bites of popcorn, I picked up a few life lessons, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Transformers—prepare for your job interviews if you don’t want to look like a dofus.

Thor—wait until you’ve been crowned before acting like the king.

Pirates 4—asking nicely for things like a mermaid’s tears will get you farther than kidnapping and larceny

Harry Potter 7—that pile of junk in your attic just might be a valuable relic.  Or just a fire hazard.

Green Lantern—stopping to help at a traffic accident can change your life.

Captain America—never underestimate the skinny kid.

Cowboys and Aliens—don’t bet against a low-tech rebellion.

Conan—If you don’t want someone to reassemble the evil mask, destroy it, don’t just hide the pieces.

I’m not sure what kind of life wisdom any of this imparts, but passing along these disturbed ramblings is just another one of my many public services.  Enjoy.

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Multiple Personalities

by Casey Daniels/Kylie Logan

Not everyone is lucky enough to not only have more than one personality, but to be able to celebrate it. That’s what I’m doing today because last week, a new alter ego of mine made her first official appearance.

She’s Kylie Logan, author of the Button Box mystery series. Book #1, “Button Holed,” hit store and virtual shelves last Tuesday.

It’s been an interesting road to publication for Kylie and it all started, quite simply, because I like buttons. As Josie Giancola, the heroine of the new series comments, buttons are little bits of history, and tiny works of art. They say something about a person’s style, and that person’s social class. Many antique buttons display incredible workmanship, dazzling jewels and even say something about a wearer’s love life; back in the nineteenth century, it was fashionable for young ladies to have a photograph of their beau put on their coat buttons!

Still, I never thought about actually writing a mystery series about buttons until a couple years ago when I visited Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’d just finished lunch at a charming coffee shop and I was alone on the front porch, sipping coffee and knitting, when a couple sat down at the table next to me. There are a couple operative words in that last sentence, namely, alone and next to. You see, they decided to pick that very moment to break up.

I listened to it for ten minutes or so and honestly, I expected them to apologize. After all, there was no doubt I could hear everything they were saying. They didn’t. Instead, they went on and on and I’d had enough. I gathered up my knitting and went next door to an antique shop.

What I didn’t know until I opened the door was that it was an antique shop that specialized in buttons.

Thousands and thousands of buttons.

I was in heaven, and the nice lady who owned the place was only too happy to tell me stories and answer my questions.

It was that encounter that gave me the idea for the Button Box mysteries. Josie owns an antique button shop, too, though hers is in a Chicago brownstone. It’s there that she meets a famous actress who’s come to Josie for the buttons she’ll put on her wedding gown when she marries a European prince. And it’s that actress who is murdered in the shop. When Josie’s cleaning up, she finds an unusual button–one she knows didn’t come from her collection.

As for those multiple personalities of mine . . . readers who enjoy the Pepper Martin mysteries by Casey Daniels can expect much the same light and airy reading experience and (hopefully!) the same sort of humor and intricate plotting. However, there are no paranormal elements in Kylie’s books as there are in Casey’s.

Because Kylie is a new person, she has her own, new blog. You can find her at:

or on Facebook.

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Paranormally Speaking

By Tina R. McSwain

While many were in Atlanta, GA for Dragon*Con, I and a few of my team members were in West Virginia.

We left Charlotte around 11am, and stopped in Hillsville, VA about 2 hours
later. Hillsville has a huge Flea Market that lines both sides of the main road
for miles, and basically shuts down the town for the 3-day weekend of shopping.
After a sampling of “fair food” for lunch and a little bit of browsing, we got
back in the car and headed to Moundsville. We got to the West Virginia
Penitentiary around 10:30pm. We could not enter until 11pm.

We went into the “hot spots” of the facility…the “Sugar Shack”, the Hole, the
Cafeteria and Kitchen, the Wheel Gate, Maximum Security, the Infirmary, and the
Psychiatric Ward. Except for the BATS in the hole, it seemed rather quiet.
Nothing has changed, CAPS still has to meet the challenge in dealing with
nature. Unfortunately, we are becoming experts in dodging bats…………lol Photo,
audio, and video results are currently under review.

We left WV Pen a little after 5am. We then headed to Pt Pleasant, WV, which is
the site of the Mothman sighting. It was about a 2 hour drive. We had
reservations at the reportedly haunted, Historic Lowe Inn. We couldn’t get in
until 11am, so we had quite a bit of time to kill. Some of us walked around the
small town, photographed the statue of the Mothman, visited the site of the
memorial where the bridge once stood, and checked out a few of the local shops.
We had arrived just two weeks shy of the big Mothman Festival they have once a
year in September, usually during the middle of the month..

We finally got our room, and were all in the seating area of the Room 316. We
had left the door open, and I saw what appeared to be a girl go past the door.
We had requested two of the “haunted” rooms…312, 314, and 316. We had 316, and
312. That end of the hotel did not disappoint.

We investigated the lobby area first. Then, moved up to the 2nd floor. There
is a parlor with a seating area and a piano. This place was probably one of the
more active areas. We all got a sense of hair standing on end here. The hotel
owner reported the same sensation. We continued our hunt on the second floor,
then moved up to the third. Again, I thought I saw a girl move from left to
right across the hallway. We also checked out the ball room on the 4th floor.
It is now used for storage. There was a creepy Halloween prop there, and if you
didn’t know what it was, it would have surely caused one to jump… We
finished our investigation around 1:30am.

We did meet a few of the other hotel guests. One couple knew of the hauntings
reported there and were glad a paranormal team had the “haunted rooms”. They
had actually asked for those rooms themselves. There was another couple in Room
314, the lady stopped us to tell us that she had been awakened by her bed being
shaken. It unnerved her to the point that she had gotten up to have a

We left the next morning. It rained all the way home and we got stuck in Fancy
Gap, VA in the fog. We arrived in Charlotte just in time for the tornado

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Why I do what I do

by Crymsyn Hart

Have you ever sat down and said, yup I know what I am going to do today? Then you get started on it and something comes up. Or the unexpected happens. That was me this morning when I turned my phone on and it wouldn’t turn on. It just kept rebooting. So at this point I start to panic because without my phone I can’t do anything because its my link to the Internet and since I have no home Internet and bounce my computer off the phone as a hot spot the first thing I had to do was get the phone fixed. The Sprint guy looked at the phone and also had no idea what was wrong with it so they fiddled with it and got it back to factory settings, but they ordered me a new phone and told me not to turn off my current one in case it happens again.

After the heart stopping moment of the day, I looked to see if there was any work from the day job and there wasn’t. So I was back on schedule. I could write for the rest of the day and work on the three books that I have going at the moment.

While I was writing, I got a great email from someone who had read one of my books and she said that it had made her cry. But in a good way because she had identified with the characters so much. Reading that made the rest of the frustration of my morning and the day fall away. It’s emails or short acknowledgments like that which help me get through the rough times in my day.

So I wanted to take a moment to say thanks to all those readers who acknowledge us authors. You are the reason why I pick up my pen every day or pound away at my keyboard or argue with my characters because they are not cooperating.

Thanks for reading whatever authors or genre you read. We really do appreciate it.

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Last Friday Night at Dragon*Con (with apologies to Katy Perry)

by Gail Z. Martin

There’s a Klingon in my bed
There’s a Vorlon in my head
Guinan’s serving in the bar
Reavers  passed out in the yard.
Con suite’s closing for the night
Is that a tattoo or a bite?

Photos of last night
Posted on the site
It’s a fandom blur
But I know for sure
It ruled.

Last Friday night.
Yeah we gamed on tabletops
Then we did some True Blood shots
Think we filked but I forgot
Last Friday night

We went LARPing in the park
Crashed the Green Room after dark
Had some panels jump the shark
Last Friday night
Do it all again…Do it all again

What can I say—it was Dragon*con!  Just got back from Atlanta, and it was wonderful, as usual.

I had a great panel schedule, because it also gave me time to wander the vendor rooms and art show and catch some live music, as well as the panels with the stars of True Blood, and appearances by William Shatner and Carrie Fisher.

Panels were a lot of fun and very well attended.  How can you not have fun when you’re on panels with folks like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Carole Nelson Douglas, Brent Weeks, David B. Coe, Scott Sigler, and other fun guests!  And I saw lots of other friends, like my esteemed co-blogger J.F. Lewis, my Ravencon roomie Jean Marie Ward, and all the Broad Universe crew, plus folks from my Thrifty Author Meetup group, and many more friends, colleagues and con buddies.

Costumes were fantastic, as always.  Saw a lot of great Steampunk interpretations.  My favorites were the Steampunk Green Lanterns and Captain America.  Lots of anime-inspired costuming too, as well as characters from all the big hit summer movies and top video games.  I think my favorite con t-shirt was the one with a white anime cat dressed in camouflage with a big gun—Halo Kitty, of course.

Of course, it was a total mob scene, and the elevators can only be compared to the Japanese subway, but otherwise it wouldn’t be Dragon*Con.  So now you know where I was Last Friday Night.  And all I can say is—Do it all again!

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