Archive for August, 2010

The Crossroads (aka The Dream of Full Time Writing … The Reality of Life)

Okay, so I’ve been unemployed for nine months now and have been using my sudden copious free time to do as much writing as I can.  I have even flirted with freelance projects, tempted by the idea of becoming a full time freelance writer.  Oh, it’s a tantalizing prospect, as I’d be really living the dream.  Unfortunately, little things like life cause me to hesitate from making that final leap.  My wife likes little things in life, like security, benefits, health insurance all things I have to weigh carefully as I move forward.

So I’ve been talking to a lot of freelancers trying to gauge the reality of life as a freelancer.  And to be perfectly straight, the only safety net I’m operating with is the last of our savings.  Which was the first thing I was told:  know The Date.  That’s the date at which not enough money comes in to cover bills (trust me, Significant Others will clue you in on the date if you try to remain blissfully ignorant).  For example, I figure I have a six month window, barring unforeseen circumstances, to get a real job or string together enough clients/work to continue freelancing.

After that, it’s about chasing down jobs.  Research, research, research.  Obviously, short of novels, I can’t make a living just doing fiction work.  So then I have to do other sorts of writing from articles to ghost writing.  Which means I also worry about how much of a drain the non-fiction/freelance stuff is in terms of my other primary/fiction writing.

I’ve looked into the gaming industry and if it works like most other publishing, I’ll be chasing my money.  Even working for large publishers that will continue to support their products, payment can either be delayed or … optional.  Royalty checks have a way of running late.  Gaming companies, like publishing companies, are often run by well-meaning folks who love the industry … but don’t know much about business/money.

Which brings me to the idea of valuing how much I’m worth.  It was a watershed moment, a writer’s emancipation proclamation I called it, deciding that my words were worth professional rates and that I shouldn’t settle for less in the name of “exposure.”  That being said, if I want to make money, it would happen on the non-fiction side of things and I have to measure if that’s something I want to do.

Work-for-hire stuff is also problematic because I don’t get to retain any of the intellectual assets.  I don’t own what I write.  I might want to consider tie-in fiction to supplement my income and help boost interest in your original stuff.  Video game freelancing is certainly on the higher pay grade of the gaming landscape.

*sigh*

It’s a lot of stuff to consider and certainly  one of those things where the “idea” of it sounds great but I don’t know if it’s the “life” I want.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of needing to pay bills and losing control over the kind of career you want to have (similar to the desperation to see ones name in print leading one to make bad publishing decisions).  As a friend told me “a savvy writer needs to understand the difference between what they want vs. what they need to do.”  So it boils down to figuring out how much I need to make, how much time it consumes, and how much of a creative drain it is.  And while I’m calculating all of that, I will keep writing.  At least until The Date arrives.

Weekly Round Up – 08-28-10

In the self-promotion department, there is this … interesting review of Dark Faith.  Or this … even more interesting review of Dark Faith (though I like the idea of a Dark Faith drinking game).  Or, you can go to Choate Road for a terrific review and analysis of the anthology.  For a full round up of reviews for Dark Faith, you can go here.

General:

I am just fascinated by this Faces of Meth photo gallery.  Spoiler Alert:  no one looks good in the “after” meth photos.

Wyclef Jean fighting to get name on Haiti presidential ballot – I’m actually surprised more celebrities don’t run for office here.  I’m pretty sure we’d elect them not because they were any good, but so that we could turn politics into more of a reality television show than it already is.

Spiritual:

Elders:  For Men Only? – “Do you hear the argument that only males can be elders? On what basis is that argument based? Where does the Bible say an elder must be a male? Margaret Mowczko sketches a response to these questions”

Former “Ex_Gay” Leaders Apologize – “This video highlights a number of former United States and international leaders of Exodus ministry apologizing for the role they played in encouraging people to see a conflict in their christian faith and their being Gay.”

Father of the Ancient-Future Path – a nice little piece on the history of Robert Webber.

John Armstrong on “Tradition” – I like the direction of John’s thought.  Been on a similar trajectory myself lately (at least with the premise of his book, Your Church is Too Small).

There was no way Wrath James White was going to let last week’s conversation on agnosticism and horror go without his slant on things, thus we have Atheist Horror.  One reason this conversation fascinates me is because I was just asked the week before how writers of various backgrounds (Christian, agnostic, and atheists in particular) reconcile their beliefs and writing about the supernatural.

Racialicious:

DEA seeks Ebonics experts to help with cases – As a complete aside, back when I was in college, I took a linguistics class.  Only black person in the class.  Teacher announces “next time we’ll be discussing Black English Dialect.  Maurice, you can lead us in that discussion.”  She must’ve snatched herself because the next session, she was twelve kinds of apologetic.  Then proceeded to drop the “g”s from verbs.

Hitler DNA Tests Show He Likely Had Jewish, African Roots, Daily Mail Says – Um…that would be the textbook definition of irony.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER APOLOGY – THIS TIME TO INUIT FOR HIGH ARCTIC RELOCATION – This certainly never got a lot of play in my history class.

Writing:

The unbearable loneliness of the solitary artist – The one thing that people don’t think about when it comes to being freelancers is how lonely it can be sometimes.

9 Must-have Clauses for Digital Rights Contracts – “There are a variety of individuals—traditional publishers included—who are buying up the rights to backlists for little or no advances against royalties, with no firm schedule for publication, with no distribution deals in place, and with little or no expertise in how to actually create an ebook. And yet, writers who have complained for eons about how badly they are used and abused by publishers, are turning around and selling off these assets for a pittance.” So Michael Stackpole educates us.

Yay the 2009 World Fantasy Awards Nominees!

So Publishers Weekly is doing a cash grab from self-published authors.  JA Konrath and Nick Kaufmann both weigh in on this.

10 Steps for Writers New to Scribd by Douglas Clegg – “Grab it while it lasts! These are my 10 basic steps for writers who want to participate in Scribd.com and reach readers as part of this great community”

Ian Hocking retires from writing.  A writer has to write, but when the well runs dry …

Local:

I recently ran across a new blog called Julie’s Mind Edge which talks about a lot of restaurants local to Indianapolis.  It’s great stuff.

Artist Carrie Rapp will be participating in the 2010 OCB Mr/Ms Natural Indiana on Sept 11 at Lutheran High School.

With September’s First Friday quickly coming up, the Harrison Center has: “In the Harrison Gallery – Harlow and the Raven King – new work by Mab Graves; In the Gymnasium – The 3rd Annual Urban Times Neighborhood Fair; In Gallery No. 2 – Sparkles, Sprinklers and Bad Seeds – new work by Erin K. Drew and NERS; In Hank & Dolly’s Gallery – paintings and woodcuts by Ross Wagner.”

Attacking Cons (aka See me at Context)

On the “Writer’s Support” panel at GenCon, I was asked where one can find a writer’s support group.  I told them to look around the room and shared the story of my circle of friends.  We’d gotten to know each other over a couple of World Horror Conventions, realized we clicked with one another and we were all equally serious about getting ahead in this publishing biz.  So we banded together to pool our meager resources.

One strategy we employed was to coordinate our efforts at conventions.  For example, when the World Fantasy Convention came around, we divvied up the list of folks slated to appear (cause, seriously, who wants to Google 500 – 1000 folks) among ourselves and made a spreadsheet of who was going to be attending the con that listed who they were, where they worked, what they had published.  Then we each made wish lists of who we’d like to meet and we let each other know who was on our wish list.  Look, not to burst any myth bubbles, but writers aren’t always the most socially adept of God’s creatures.  So that became another way we looked out for one another:  if ever one of us found ourselves talking to someone we knew one of our friends was wishing to meet, we’d introduce them.  Just a few newbies scrabbling along trying to make our way in the scary world of publishing.

Ah, memories.

I wonder if anyone is Googling me with Context fast approaching.  Context is one of my favorite conventions.  It falls into that category of part relaxacon, almost as much a family reunion as con, much like Necon or Mo*Con.  Plus it’s one of the few cons I can take the whole family to.  As I’m continuing to do more panels at cons, you can catch me on these:

Saturday 10:00 a.m. – Blogging – Creativity and Publicity*

Sanford, Martino, Pendergrass, Harris, Broaddus, Greene, Harriett

Saturday 1:00 p.m. – How Did I Get Here?

Buckell, Broaddus, Valerie, Heaphy, Kemp, Tiedemann, Rotchey, Allen

*In the event that I am not fully cognizant at ten in the morning on the Saturday of a convention, I’ll leave a few posts here on the topic of blogging:

Blogging about blogging

Bob Freeman is Nuts

Writers Blogs

A Time For Career Selfishness

I have a couple of writer friends in particular that I’m thinking of right now who have selfless hearts.  They are quick to lend a hand (organize conventions, organize book signings, put together writer retreats, become a one person publicist for their friends, be a marketing guru, read/crit stories, and otherwise bend over backwards) for their people.

It reminded me of a conversation I had at Necon many years ago, when I had but a few short story credits to my name.  A rather physically imposing writer sidled up to me.  A big burly guy, fresh off his motorcycle, with arms the size of my legs, and he put one of those massive tree trunk arms around me and pulls me aside with the words “we need to talk.”

And he was not a man to be refused.

“I’ve been watching you, he said.  You run around and do all this stuff.  You’re on message boards, you’re helping friends, you’re reading and critting stuff for folks, you’re organizing events and are pitching in to help out.  So … do you actually write?  I know that you do, I’ve read your stuff.”  [insert inner squeal at the thought that *he* reads *me*] “It just seems to me that you’re so busy doing stuff now that you aren’t taking the time to finish things and nurture your own career.  I know you want to help people wherever you are and I love that about you.  And I can see by the look on your face that this is not computing.”

And he was right.  Because I am looking at the kind of guy he is:  helpful to all writers, no matter what stage of their career they are and willing to put himself out there to lend a helping hand.  Which was one reason why his words seemed counterintuitive to the point of contradictory.

“Think of it this way:  take a bit, focus on your career, push through to the next level and think of how many others you’ll be able to help from that next level.”

Now, on more than one occasion, I have had a bout of “fear of success”.  The sudden sense of contentment where I am rather than risking continued heartache (read:  possible rejection) by sending my stuff out there for possible publication.  But his words cut to the quick of the matter from another angle.   It was easy to play at being a writer, doing enough stuff—book reviews, con attendance, even wrap yourself up in a cloak of good deeds, etc—to keep me in that world.  But that’s not what I wanted from things.  I wanted to be a writer.

[And we’ll skip the part about how much time I had lost trying to help those who either didn’t want or weren’t ready to be helped.  Or getting bogged down by the sheer amount of users, takers, sponges, and all around general dirt bags who can suck up so much of our precious, precious little time.]

So I decided to go back to doing my job as a writer and put aside a lot of the other stuff for a little while.  I needed to focus on what I was meant to do and held on to the belief that I could still pay it forward once I was in that position.
Of course, I say all this and look around.  The gentle soul who imparted those words to me, as well as the collective of friends that we share, ARE SOME OF THE WORST EXAMPLES OF SELFISHNESS!  They’re all still quick to read the work of a newbie, dole out advice to all comers, mentor when they can.  I can only barely refrain from fixing each of my fans breakfast in bed and inviting them over to the house.

So, I guess in short, change, but don’t change.  The heart of generosity and selflessness should never be diminished or discouraged.  We need as many lights in this world as possible.  Just don’t forget to do what you were meant to do.

And, uh, but you can still help me out on occasion.

Weekly Round Up – 08-21-10

In the self-promotion department, a REVIEW: DARK FAITH, EDITED BY MAURICE BROADDUS AND JERRY GORDON by Dylan Fox.  Here is a Booklist Webinar – Selecting and Recommending Inspirational Fiction (where me, King Maker and Dark Faith may have been name dropped a few times).

General:

Why Our Generation Doesn’t Care About Prop 8 – “One demographic strangely absent from this debate is younger Christians. Though we don’t normally shy away from advocacy—see Darfur, clean water projects, orphan care, poverty and missions—our generation seems unwilling to fight this battle.”  Wonder why?

Racialicious:

I grew up watching Charlie Chan movies with my dad, which made sense as I was his number one son.  I love the idea of RE-ENTER CHARLIE CHAN?

Spiritual:

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral Step by Step 5 (by T) – “what role scripture plays in each of our thinking, and ask what does it mean for scripture to have “primacy” among the members of the Quadrilateral, not just for Matt and myself, but for anyone.  Or does this conversation show that “prima scriptura” is either a mistake, or, as I’ve said about “sola scriptura,” a mirage we cannot ever reach?  Does the existence and/or frequency of explicit teachings and examples in the scripture matter for how much primacy we give to scripture in a given theological issue?  (It’s harder to give primacy on issues where scripture is silent, for instance, or is it?)  Does location and role in the NT vs. OT matter?  How do we let the forest of scripture (the larger narrative) as well as the trees (specific examples and commands) have appropriate sway?  When should tradition, reason, and/or experience play the primary role in building our thinking about God?”

The Internet Monk revisits the topic of The Emerging Movement: Getting the Big Picture and Where Is “Emerging” Now, and Where Is It Going? I can’t help but wonder how many church plants followed in Mars Hill’s footsteps and “had become a big institution that wounded people in similar ways as the churches many Gen-Xers swore they would not mimic.”  The more things change …

Matt Cardin, long time friend to this blog, hits us with two posts which give a lot to chew on:  This I Believe: An uber-agnostic on religion, psychology, consciousness, the paranormal, and the meaning of life and Lovecraft, Christian Horror, and Weird Fiction, both of which reminded me of my piece on Horror and the Fear of the Lord.  All of which comes back to Mike Duran’s piece On “Christian Horror” and Atheist Dread.

Q & A: Anne Rice on Following Christ Without Christianity – “The tipping points behind the novelist’s departure from the institutional church, and why she still reads D.A. Carson, Craig Keener, and N.T. Wright instead of ‘Twilight.'”  Scot McKnight reminds us that Anne Rice is Not Alone.

Evangelicalism’s Radical Diversity 7 – “Question: How has evangelicalism been co-opted by the Republican party? Or, slightly different, how has the Republican party accommodated itself to evangelicalism?”

Writing:

Looking for some good reads?  Try the Top 10 Forgotten Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novels.

Jason Sanford hits us with a couple of great blogs this week:  first, For students: A few words on genre and literary fiction; and then Our science fiction isn’t your father’s SF.  And he gives us a some good reads with The online SciFi Strange anthology.

Author and Character – a fascinating piece on separating the author from their work.

Tobias Buckell gives us a few Chapter thoughts.

Since I did a blog on whether or not I should do a book tour, along come Mary Robinette Kowal with some Debut Author lessons: Signing stock for bookstores.

The topic of Writing the Other II – Race gets revisited over on the Apex blog.  I think people take it for granted that whenever I write a white character, I am writing the other.  However, I have great resources at my disposal, like Stuff White People Like.

Tananarive Due on Why I created a social network for writers.  And Tom Piccirilli writes about why he writes.

One fascinating phenomena about signing a book deal is how many people think I’ve become rich.  Well, here’s a list of the highest paid authors over the last year.  You’ll note that I’m not on the list, nor would I appear on this list if it was extended by several hundred thousand.

Local:

I recently ran across a new blog called Julie’s Mind Edge which talks about a lot of restaurants local to Indianapolis.  It’s great stuff.

Artist Carrie Rapp will be participating in the 2010 OCB Mr/Ms Natural Indiana on Sept 11 at Lutheran High School.

With September’s First Friday quickly coming up, the Harrison Center has: “In the Harrison Gallery – Harlow and the Raven King – new work by Mab Graves; In the Gymnasium – The 3rd Annual Urban Times Neighborhood Fair; In Gallery No. 2 – Sparkles, Sprinklers and Bad Seeds – new work by Erin K. Drew and NERS; In Hank & Dolly’s Gallery – paintings and woodcuts by Ross Wagner.”

This Book is Awesome

(aka, Famous Sunday School Mishaps)

I’ve mentioned before how I first got in trouble in a Sunday School class for adding bloating bodies to the flannelgraph of our lesson on Noah’s Ark.  It’s not a story I shared with my boys, as many of my antics, let’s just say I 1) didn’t want to give them any ideas and 2) want to have room to provide context and talk through to use my many, many failures as teachable moments.  Hadn’t gotten around to that one yet.

Apparently, the boys were going over the flood story in their Sunday School class this past Sunday.  They ended up drawing pictures depicting the story.  Both boys became enraptured with the phrase “drowned like stones”.  So they both ended up drawing dead bodies floating on top of the water.  And began to regale me with tales they found in the Bible.

This book is awesome!  As my youngest told me he found a scene where there was a beheading.

This book is awesome!  Did you know there were parts where folks were eating each other?  My oldest informed me.  (Yes, that’s a person on a spit in the lower right corner.)

Uh … yeah, this is going to come back to haunt me.  (I can already hear my wife saying “they’re your sons”—they always become MY sons after something like this—“so you handle it.”)

I was talking to a friend and he mentioned that he was disconcerted about how we sanitize and present the story of Noah and the flood as some cute tale of a guy saving some animals.  It’s rare that we confront the horror of what we have encountered.  Here it is, the God we say we worship and he’s wiped out nearly all of creation, saving essentially one family.  That’s a lot of men, women, and children now dead.  How do we reconcile that with the image of a loving Father who knows the numbers of the hairs on our heads and wants us to pursue a relationship with him in love and without fear?

Just like we forget that there are other aspects to God than just love.  We forget that God is also holy. And, like Aslan, the lion from C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, we need the occasional reminder that there is a (righteous) fearful element to holiness. “Make sure you stay alert to these qualities of gentle kindness and ruthless severity that exist side by side in God” (Romans 11:22a, The Message version). This idea isn’t comfortable, but it’s good to wrestle with.  You may spend a lifetime of journeying wrestling with many parts of this awesome book which seem incongruous or contradictory.  But don’t let words like “inerrancy” keep you from loving people or pursuing knowing God.

After one VBS lesson (again, on the Flood), the boys came back with the idea that every time it rained, God was mad at someone.  We have to be balanced and careful with our depictions of God, especially if we act like we understand Him perfectly.  Eric Seibert in his book Disturbing Divine Behavior: Troubling Old Testament Images of God about the God depicted in the Bible:

1. The God who really is and the God who is sketched in the Bible, that is, the Textual God vs. the Actual God, must be distinguished. And here he is saying that the Bible’s depictions of God are from a human point of view and reflect Ancient Near Eastern views of God that are not modified.

2. The God of the Bible, he says, must be judged by God in Jesus or Jesus as God so that what conforms to Jesus is the Actual God and what doesn’t may be the Textual God.

3. And he argues that the Bible’s inspiration is “general” instead of “comprehensive.” He doesn’t care for accommodation theories and finds the traditional evangelical view of plenary inspiration too problematic so he concludes that inspiration is general instead of comprehensive.

All of which would be lost on an eight and nine year old.  So I’m left with yeah, the book is awesome.  Yeah, there’s a lot of cool stuff in it.  Some of it is descriptive, telling us what happened and what folks did; and not prescriptive, that we shouldn’t imitate everything that everyone does in it.  Words have meaning and power and stories often leave us with questions.  There are stories which disturb us and stories that uplift us.   There are things in there we like to pretend/wish weren’t in there and hope that no one notices.

Apparently not while the Broaddus clan is on the case.

Weekly Round Up – 08-14-10

In the self-promotion department, another great review of Orgy of Souls.  For that matter,  Jason Sanford reviews Dark Faith.  He’s not the only one:  “At times surprising, scary, humorous and almost always thought provoking, DARK FAITH is a must read for fans of religious horror and those seeking some chills of a deeper nature.” (from The Horror Fiction Review).  Also, Laird Barron suggests a list of horror/dark fantasy writers folks’ should go read.  Number five was of particular interest to me …

General:

Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office (33 Photos) – this is just made of pure awesome.

On Twitter, Popularity Does Not Mean Influence – I may have to blog on this topic.  I know a lot of writers who confuse the number of their FaceBook friends with their ability to harness fans.

Racialicious:

SDCC NOTEBOOK: THE FAN DIASPORA & ERIC WALLACE ON DIVERSITY IN DC COMICS – “Reginald Hudlin summed up a lot of fans’ concerns about DC Comics’ recent storylines during his annual “Black Panel” in his response to a fan’s question: “DC Comics is very much into the nostalgia business,” Hudlin said; later in the hour he called it “bad business.” No one in the room packed full of POC fans disagreed with him.”

Black Women and the Hollywood Shuffle – “Director Julie Dash’s critically acclaimed short film Illusionsexamines the precarious role that black women play in the Hollywood film industry. In it, black women exist along the periphery of the industry, even though their talents are central to the success of the studio. Although Illusions was made almost 30 years ago, the challenges that black women face in the film industry have changed very little.”

Spiritual:

The Terror of Faith – “Growing in faith is an extremely dangerous proposition.  It’s been compared to leaping off a cliff, and that’s a good comparison:  We can’t see where we’re going, and we have to trust the result of our choice to someone or something beyond ourselves.”

An Open Letter to Ken Ham – Creationism (especially the literal seven days version of it) has never been one of those “I’ll die for” issues for me.

Black Theology, Slavery and Contemporary Christianity – “This interdisciplinary study draws on biblical studies, history, missiology and Black theological reflection, exploring the strengths and limitations of faith as the framework for abolitionist rhetoric and action.”

Writing:

Brian Keene hits us with two great blog posts:  Looking for a Few Good Women, on the nature of fandom and writers; and Mid-List Blues, on the crumbling landscape of the publishing industry and the need for writers to take their careers into their own hands when possible.

What crumbling landscape?  Check out Jim C. Hines’ blog, The Death of Print/Publishing, Part MCCLWTFXVIII.

SF Magazines Circulation 2009 – each year I look forward to Warren Ellis’ analysis of the dwindling numbers of “the big three”.

But is *horror* dead?  Matt Cardin begins the conversation.  But then, I wonder what Catherynne M. Valente has to rant on that topic?

Gaiman vs. McFarlane: 2010 – “Part Twenty-Five Senior U.S. District Judge for the 7th Circuit Court for the Western District of Wisconsin Barbara B. Crabb announced her decision on July 29: “IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff Neil Gaiman’s motion for an order to compel discovery relating to the money earned from derivative characters Dark Ages (McFarlane) Spawn, Domina and Tiffany is GRANTED. Defendants Todd McFarlane, Todd McFarlane Productions, Inc. and TMP International, Inc. are to produce the requested information promptly and in no event later than September 1, 2010.””  There’s a complete breakdown of the case.

Writing Through the Fear – I don’t know whether it is heartening or disheartening to know that no matter how large you loom in the business, say someone the stature of Tananarive Due, there will still be times when self-doubt gnaws at you when it comes to the blank page.

Indiana Attorney General Investigates New Century Publishing – New Century Publishing presented itself as a selective small press–but in fact it was a vanity publisher.  Remember the writer’s rule of thumb:  money flows TO the writer.

Adopted Sons

A few years ago, I wrote a piece on Adopted Dads, recounting the importance of having him in my life.  Well, I guess turn about is fair play.  He has recently started a blog and I asked if I could run part of it here:

Guest Blog by Mark Williams

Maurice Broaddus doesn’t need anyone to toot his horn for him; He does a perfectly good job of that for himself. Afterall, this is a guy who holds an annual convention named for himself. Mo-Con has been gathering horror authors together in Indianapolis for 5 years now. Maurice has been writing professionally for some time. His pontifications can be found on his blog, his reviews at Hollywood Jesus, and in columns for Nuvo among many other sources. He has had short stories, novellas and now novels published. I have had the privilege to watch his growth longer than most.

Maurice came into my life about 30 years ago. He was a studious 4th grader who took part in the Sunday School class I taught at the Eagle Creek Grace Brethren Church. The class was filled with a crew of enjoyable but rowdy boys. There was something about Maurice that drew me to him. He was polite, studious and eager to learn. He was new to the church and was just learning to fit in, initially quiet and a bit reserved. All of those qualities made me want to reach out to him, but it was more that. I felt a connection with him. God laid a burden on my heart to befriend this young man

Maurice has brought so much joy in my life. Before I had boys of my own, Maurice filled the place in my heart reserved for fatherhood. My wife and I would have Maurice over to our house sometimes just to play games in the backyard sometimes to spend the night watching movies. Over the years, we spent countless hours discussing a variety of topics finding mutual interests in comic books, horror stories, politics and most importantly the Bible. Maurice always amazed me with his thirst for knowledge. He was never satisfied with what he was being taught in school and he would go to great lengths to expand his knowledge. I remember when he was in junior high his complaining the school didn’t have a class in Latin available so he set out to try and teach himself Latin by checking out books in the Library. I also remember when he was in High School and he had to write a science paper and he elected to defend creation and argue against evolution, this done in public school. Maurice makes me proud. I watched with pride when he accepted his diploma at Northwest High School, married Sally, introduced me to his sons, took on leadership positions in his church and most recently gave me copies of his first published novel and the book of short stories he edited.
I like to think I have had some influence on Maurice’s life. I know he has had influence on mine. The most important part I played was introducing him to Jesus Christ. Maurice has remained faithful to God and has led others to the Lord himself and has counciled many in his various ministries.

I don’t get to see Maurice as much as I would like. He leads an extremely busy life and I too have limited time for social gathering. I read his blog, which is very well crafted and I heartily endorse for those who want well thought out discussions on the issues. He is certainly his own man, and where once before we agreed on most everything, Maurice now has formulated opinions I sometimes question. I have concerns about his judgment at times just like every father has concerns for a son who ventures in a direction where peril might lay. But my confidence in Maurice is not diminished. He has pursued his goals steadfastly and is now seeing the fruit of his efforts.

Maurice has become an accomplished writer. He has won awards for his short stories written a novella Devil’s Marionette and has co-authored the novella Orgy of Souls with Wrath James White and most recently signed a 3 book deal with Angry Robot a division of Harper Collins. The 3 books will comprise a trilogy telling the story of The Knights of Breton Court. Maurice has also edited, along with Jerry Gordon, an anthology Dark Faith for Apex Books.

He goes onto give his opinions on King Maker and Dark Faith.  But I’m not linking to him anymore if he’s going to keep posting old pics of me.  Sheesh.

GenCon 2010 Seen Through Twitter

Sure, I could give you a thorough recap of GenCon.  It was the first time I REALLY dug into the convention as opposed to dropping by to say “hi” to some friends and then taking off.  I could go on about having a great time with Matt Forbeck, Monica Valentinelli, Anton Strout, Tobias Buckell, Jesse Scoble, Lucien Soulban, Lawrence Connolly, Christina Stitt, Jenn Brozek and many other new friends, but I won’t.  I could go on and on about how The Broaddus Clan ran ourselves ragged between GenCon, the Broaddus Family Reunion, First Friday, old friends dropping into town, and about a half dozen other things this city decided it had to throw THIS WEEKEND.  Instead, I’m going to summarize the convention as seen through my twitter feed:

I love that the usual downtown street musicians are playing super hero theme songs.

Wow, the morning came early. This will be an interesting panel…

So I’m on the “crafting the love scene” panel. because I speak of the pompatus of love.

“I write my sex scenes like I do my fight scenes.” * “You’re married, aren’t you?”

Filking. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

“That’s not a costume. That’s a cry for help.”

Ha! There’s a booth here for “gamer’s soap”. Oddly enough, there’s no line there. KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

and then i stabbed @antonstrout with a pen …

Nerds gone wild!

Dear Spartan, no one from 300 had man boobs. MOOBS! #genconfail

It is too early in the morning for larping…

The Ram Brewery knows its market: I’m eating the “Dire Troll Bomber”. (although … Cthuhlu Tar Tar …)

“I speak Klingon.” * “By strange coincidence, I’m fluent in douchbaggery.”

My chick bad, my chick hood (@supersjbroaddus) … though my chick loses hood points for making the boys costumes for gencon

Spending my time photobombing this dude in the Jack Sparrow costume

Day 3 of the Magic tournament. I refuse to enter the room because I know none of them have been by the gamer soap booth.

QOTD: “That booth is like the cast of Twilight walking into a gay bar.”

It’s too bad my kids want little things like a college education, because GeekChic would have a lot of my money right now.

Apparently 1K of the 60K of my fellow nerds have decided to crop-dust the Apex Books table because of my gamer soap jokes…

Hmm…the Apex Books minions get younger & younger. And the dress code is now out of Super Mario Brothers…

Dear TGIFridays, no one in the Caribbean eats anything called “reggae ribs.” You might as well serve it with “rasta pasta”.

Seriously, I’m networking. Don’t ask me to explain the women dancing in cages behind me. I blame @apexjason.

“What kind of girl says ‘! know he has french fries on his head, but he’s hot.'” #InDenialOfLivingInHisMomsBasement

Uh oh. @apexjason just yelled “do you think you’re better than me?” to the french fry guy. #RedneckBattleCry.

The full photo album can be seen here.

W.I.P. – 07-28-10 Edition

In case you notice my blog being fairly sporadic over the next few weeks, it’s because I’m in the final push on a few projects.  Not to mention Gencon, a sekrit project, and Context really tying up my August.  I figure at the very least, I can update you on the status of my latest projects.

King’s War – as Book One of the Knights of Breton Court trilogy, King Maker, prepares to make its U.S. debut this October, I’m hard at work wrapping up the first draft of Book Three, King’s War.  Remind me to shoot myself if I ever get the wacky idea to take on a sprawling mythology with dreams of boiling it down to three books.

Wrath of GodWrath James White and I are teaming up for another project.  Our last story, Orgy of Souls, went so well and we had a premise so tantalizing neither of us could resist.  For any curious about the universe this postapocalyptic tale takes place in, read his contribution to the anthology, Dark Faith.

I Can Transform You – Speaking of Orgy of Souls and Dark Faith, the guru behind Apex Books, Jason Sizemore, got it in his head that he and I ought to collaborate on a story.  A murder mystery set in a dystopic future, no less.

Nisi Shawl is “editing WisCon Chronicles Volume 5. I’m looking for essays between 1000 and 6000 words long, on or adjacent to the theme of “Writing and Racial Identity,” with the focus on 2010’s WisCon 34–panels, discussions, and other events. I want written contributions from people who attended WisCon 34. I will need these contributions by August 27. Photos, drawings, poems, interviews, and (very) short fiction will also be considered for this book.”  I am busy revising my essay for her as I write this.

It’s probably too early to discuss my latest collaborative project in depth.  But I’m teaming up with a pastor to write about the front lines of urban ministry and what it means to engage the poor.  That’s three collaborations, which isn’t so bad as it means I have to do half the work.  Usually, I can count of my partners having an equally busy workload so when I turn around a chapter or section, it can be a minute before I get anything back.  Unfortunately, there are those rare times when I’m so focused on something that projects bottleneck.  Now would be one of those times as I keep swearing “this will be the last chapter I do before I take a break.”

Oh, and I’m outlining my next solo novel as I’m hoping to do what I did with the first draft of King Maker and write it during this year’s NaNoWriMo.  It will be a novel length treatment of my story—again from Apex Magazine—Pimp My Airship.

Speaking of pimping things, I thought I’d mention the latest project my sister is working on.  I’ve written about her before about her being one of the best moms that I know.  When she’s not busy convincing me to write about unicorns, rainbows, and moats full of skittles (those of you who follow my nonsense on Twitter get that), she is writing as the Indianapolis Parenting Tweens columnist for Examiner.com.  Go and check her out.