War On Squirrels: Squirrel Combat

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Reading. For Fun?!

A Good Read. [CC-BY-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

A Good Read. ([CC-BY-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.)

What’s that?

I love reading, I really do, but I find it hard to carve out the time to do it anymore, and by “it” I mean for fun, for leisure reading. With a more than full-time day job, and with all the research reading I do for my own novels, saving the world, and helping little old ladies across busy intersections, it’s just très hard to do.

But.

I did manage to finally complete one novel I had been reading since, like, spring. This was Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. It’s classic King fare in its relation.

So, occasionally, I do pick up a for-fun read, but it’s far and few between. Maybe after I release my next novel, and I again begin on a whole new manuscript, I’ll have a little more time.

You know, except for my research reading.

 

War On Squirrels: Vicious Squirrel in Traffic

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War On Squirrels: Squirrel Verbal Assault

This is some more of my Renaissance Man brother‘s commercial work (that’s him in the squirrel suit; he doesn’t look much different in real life, btw). There are a whole series of them. I’m gonna post them here, cause they’re so dang funny.

Okay, it’s about hunting. And Remington air guns (which can really break the skin and probably cause a serious infection—well, a bit more, actually…).

But, my brother’s commercials are hilarious!

Enjoy.

MileHiCon 46…or This Blog is Really All About Aaron Michael Ritchey

MileHiCon46 Tardis, October 24- 26, 2014

MileHiCon46 Tardis, October 24- 26, 2014

I love MileHiCon!

MileHiCon started at “OctoCon,” November 15, 1969, changing its name to its present incarnation in 1972. But it has become the primo Colorado science fiction (SF), fantasy (F), and horror (H) convention of the state. Well, okay, there’s also a COSine, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is also SF/F.

My first experience with MileHiCon started several years ago, when I’d actually gotten a billet to be on a self-publishing panel…but had gotten sick and had to bow out. I then declined over the next several years because of work travel during the month of October, etc., but since last year (a great “Time of Change” for me with a new job and new novels being released), I decided time to put myself back out there.

I was assigned to three panels that also included an “Autograph Alley”:

  1. Friday, 6 p.m., Self-Pub Part 1
  2. Friday, 7 p.m., Self-Pub Part 2
  3. Friday, 8 p.m., Autograph Alley
  4. Saturday, 3 p.m., Threat From Above
  5. Sunday, 11 a.m., What If: Alternate Worlds/Readings

It has been a few years since I’d been on any panels, and I kinda forgot how freakin’ fun they are! You can prepare as much as you want, but I love the questions, the interaction from not only the fellow panel members, but the audience! You just never know where a line of questioning will take you!

And where else can you seriously discuss such topics as (as one audience member put it, and pardon me if I butcher the actual question—I’m not known for my memory): “What would be the differences between aliens [the extraterrestrial kind, here] taking over our government and subjugating us from how our own government is currently doing that?“, and have everyone not roll their eyes and leave the room! This was from the “Threat From Above” panel. I am not a fan of the whole ETs coming to Earth to kill/eat us storyline, but it was fun being part of the whole “fantastic” conversation.

I severely enjoyed everything I was a part of—all my panels, taking in the whole Con thing, and even having my own “Frank Fan Club” (aka “FFC”) come up to see me (they know all-to-well who they are…)! Thanks for attending my Self-Pub panels and for your support, and for buying me free iced tea and water! You’re the best.

Friday, October 24th

I arrived Friday afternoon, after dropping off my consignment books at the Colfax Tattered Cover Books Store (yes, I actually have my books in a bookstore! So, Denver area people, feel free to check out actual copies of Psychic, ERO, and The Uninvited at any Tattered Cover location!). I also sent bookmarks (just this past Friday, actually), so they should get out whenever the staff can get to them. Anyway, it was hot for October–85 degrees! I mention this because my 9th floor room’s (with a [great] view!) a/c was not working. I later got maintenance to work it, but even then, it wasn’t a major cold air flowing forth like an Arctic blast out of Canada. It was a light flow of air, even with the high fan. Again, I mention this because I was hot the rest of the day and night. And not the good kind of  “hot,” either…but “hot” as in I never really cooled off the entire rest of the day or night, my face flushed and warm, heat rash (and I don’t get heat rashes…), that kinda “hot.”

But enough about how hot I was.

Room With A View.

Room With A View.

Okay, I got settled in, ate, and scoped out the evening’s itinerary. My first panel was at 6 p.m., a Self-Publishing panel that actually spanned two sessions, with another at 7. I then was to be part of an en masse autograph session, called “Autograph Alley,” up on the second-floor Atrium. I straightened out a few details about how to peddle my books and bided my time checking the hotel and MileHiCon’s setup, then…

Six o’clock!

The Self-Publishing panel’s room was full! I hadn’t spoken before a crowd like this in a few years, and I was really looking forward to it! My fellow panel members and I had quite the lively discussion of Indie publishing, why we all did it, and how dissatisfied everyone was with the world of traditional publishing. Though I’ve been writing since I’d been six years old, and released my first novel, Sleepwalkers, back in 2001, I was the relative newcomer to the whole Indie thing, since I didn’t jump full-bore into this until last year. Everyone else had been doing this for some time. The reasons for dissatisfaction are nothing new. While most of the panel members seemed to keep a close eye on their sales records, I’m one of those writers who puts out a book and immediately goes to the next one. I try to promote and market as much as I can, but I don’t obsess over my rankings, don’t even track em. I have more than a full-time day job and don’t like sitting down for 25 hours a day. I’m more Zen about all this. I figure my work will find it’s audience.

Good questions were asked by the audience, and about half way through the session, my FFC showed, there, standing in the rear of the room like stalkers. Well, stalkers with smiles. And good intent. They attended the second session, and sidled up near the front. Hiding behind a row of others. But I saw them. Kept an eye on them. Even have pictures. Restraining orders.

Aaron Michael Ritchey, MileHiCon46, Autograph Alley, Oct 24, 2014.

Aaron Michael Ritchey, MileHiCon46, Autograph Alley, Oct 24, 2014.

Next was Autograph Alley!

The setup was on the second-floor’s Atrium, and here’s where this post takes a perverted turn. I could sit at any available opening at the Autograph Alley table that was not already, uh, “saved,” to borrow a so-High School term, so found a spot by…

Aaron Micheal Ritchey.

Hint: if you ever get a chance to sit in a hole next to Aaron Michael Ritchey—grab it. You’ll never be cooler in your entire life!

Aaron is a trip.

And he’s so much taller in person.

No, really, he’s, like, eight feet tall.

Now, I know how my cat feels. From now, on, I’ll get down on all fours when addressing her. I’ve shrunk one-and-a-half inches the past couple years, but as you can see, those inches wouldn’t have made any difference.

Tall Aaron Michael Ritchey, MileHiCon46, Oct 24, 2014.

Tall Aaron Michael Ritchey, MileHiCon46, Oct 24, 2014.

Aaron is peddling his newest work, Long Live The Suicide King. On the other side of me was Jeanne C. Stein (don’t ask her what the “C” stands for, there was a whole article in the program about that), and she’d told me it was a great book, that I should get it, so I did. I began reading part of it, and was blown away by his writing. The guy is good. So, not only is Aaron freaky crazy tall, charming, an excellent conversationalist, handsome, and a close personal friend of all Saints and all furry creatures great and small, but he’s also a talented writer.

Damn Aaron Michael Ritchey.

Damn him and his chocolate!

Oh, and did I mention he gave away chocolate?

Bastard.

I think he was also mitigating Global Warming and helping homeless people while he was sitting there. I distinctly heard “Ebola” and “Mr. President.” Twice.

There was no hope for my books. Me.

Aaron Michael Ritchey, MileHiCon46, Autographing Book, Oct 24, 2014. Totally Not Staged. Well, Maybe A Little.

Aaron Michael Ritchey, MileHiCon46, Autographing Book, Oct 24, 2014. Totally Not Staged. Well, Maybe A Little.

So, I did my best to ingratiate and inject myself into his (Aaron Michael Ritchey’s) conversations with his throngs of admirers, hoping to endear myself to his admirers—admirers who buy books—since I had no chance in hell of selling any books while sitting next to this freaking Charm Magnet.

Aaron Michael Ritchey.

Charming his fans with wit and wisdom. Sweets.

Sitting all by my lonesome, I’d cast longing glares “over there,” hoping Aaron Michael Ritchey would cast me even a sidelong glance, acknowledge my pitiful existence, and give me entry into a conversation before he’d cut me off to interact with yet another fan. I looked for any opening into any of his conversations.

Yeah…,” I’d say from my corner perch, with a short chuckle, or “Yeah!” I’d inject, if the timing was just right.

I think somebody sneezed in my direction. Open-mouthed.

Charming bastard and his chocolate. So unfair.

Aaron Michael Ritchey Chocolate

Aaron Michael Ritchey Chocolate

I can’t seem to just write “Aaron” in this blog—even that was hard to do, just there—because the way Aaron Michael Ritchey sez “Aaron Michael Ritchey” when he introduces himself on a panel, or sticks out his massive Giant Hands to introduce himself to you, just has a flow to it, a certain je ne sais qoui that just rolls off the lips and makes you stare at him in childlike wonder.

He has pancakes. Or, I guess, panache, is the word. But I’m sure he also has pancakes.

Yes, I’m firmly hetero, but (damn him!) Aaron Michael Ritchey (did I mention he’s freakishly tall?) is also sexy. That boyish grin, that devilish charm. The engaging manner. How he brings The Party with him wherever he goes. Absolutely kills it.

I, really, had no chance at this Con with him there.

So, I ate his chocolate.

Cried inside.

Guy With Long Beard T-Shirt, MileHiCon46, Oct 24, 2014

Guy With Long Beard T-Shirt, MileHiCon46, Oct 24, 2014

Uttered another “Yeah!” across the three-foot gulf that separated myself from His Greatness. I pleasantly chatted with those who openly took pity on my choice of seating….then one guy in a cool T-shirt came by and let me take a picture of his shirt. He graciously moved his beard to allow a better shot. Thanks, Guy With Long Beard!

Then, my FFC showed!

Yay!

Someone actually came over to see me! Here!

They were the coolest. There was a lot of chatting and smiles and laughter shamelessly and loudly tossed about once my FFC arrived, and I finally felt like a real author (see Aaron Michael Ritchey). Fit in with the rest of the Cool Authors.

Then…it happened.

My founding FFC member laid out the MileHiCon program before me…and asked me to SIGN it!

Wow. My first program!

Not once…but twice!

Yes, she had me sign the Self-Publishing panel write-ups (of which there were two) in the program. But, there wasn’t much room to write near the second paragraph, so I hope “Ditto” worked for her.

But, I signed my first program!

MileHiCon Badge 2014

MileHiCon Badge 2014

You see, any fool can publish a book and autograph it these days…but when you get a program thrown before you, like Jeanne C. Stein did, multiple times beside me that night, where I secretly pined away with my sidelongs glances at her casual celebrity, I hoped I could one day attain such stature.

And I did!

So, after the hour of sitting and pining for Jeanne C.Stein’s celebrity and Aaron Michael Ritchey’s Über Coolness, we all packed up, and Aaron Michael Ritchey and I found ourselves in conversation before the grand staircase. I remember it well….

He wore black.

I wore humility.

In his giant shadow.

We talked about our current and future projects, about those projects stretching our writerly abilities—and chocolate. Specifically, how he got his name on the chocolate packaging. We talked about “being your authentic self.” Or your “vanilla self.” Just being “a self.” We talked about the manuscript I’m working on now that involves voices in one’s head. Writing what’s inside you and expressing it in various ways. Aaron Michael Ritchey is a good person. Write on, dude!

After our private conversation, Aaron Michael Ritchey and I parted ways for the same bar. I think he was thinking I was getting stalkery at this point, so I dropped my gear in my room, and retreated into the dark interior of the bar…where I was to meet my FFC!

In the interests of not using “FFC” the whole time, I will call my FFC “Darla” and “Morgan.”

The three of us discussed all-things writing and even comic-stripy. They asked me the hard, penetrating questions, like would I like a drink or something? Was I hungry? And where am I with the whole “character” versus “story” thing? I watched them eat cheesecake (I wasn’t hungry). Then out of nowhere, from within the dark bowels of the inner bar, comes a man. He stops before me while my FFC and I are engaged in (once again) shamelessly and extra loud tossed about raucous laughter, because we’re pretending to be inebriated and firmly ensconced into “The Literary Set.” In public. I turn to this Tall Man of Mystery Who Has Specifically Sought Me Out (what is it with all these tall dudes around me?)…and find he’s a friend of mine. Or, more to the point the best friend of one of my bros-in-law. And I’m out at a Denver bar with some lady friends. Laughing it up, free iced tea and cheesecake everywhere.

Well, this gentlemen (I will resist using his real name—or even a facsimile—since he’s a “civilian,” and not of “The Literary Set,” so as to avoid any legal complications in this or any other life…) is on a business trip staying at a nearby hotel and was hanging with some of his peeps at this hotel. We all had a good laugh, he had a shit-eating grin on his face (well, truth be told, he always has a shit-eating grin on his face…), and we talked about the MileHiCon and showed him the program. Explained what I was doing here at near-midnight. In a bar. With women. Cheesecake.

We laughed, he looked at me like I was an alien or something (which, really, this was the perfect place and time to look at me like that), and he left.

Well, come midnight or so, my FFC had to make their trip home, and I was callin’ it a night! But, by the gods, what a glorious night it had been!

Saturday, October 25th

Okay, back to MileHiCon reality.

My Saturday panel of “Threat From Above: Alien Invasion Stories” wasn’t until 3 p.m., so I had a full day to kill, so I’d signed up for a solo book signing in the Atrium. Long story short, I sold one novel (that makes a total of two!), and a friend stopped by, so we chatted. But while I’d was standing there all by my lonesome, I realized how cool all this was. Being a part of something that has been a part of  the SF/F/H community for years. And as I pondered this, there was this really neat pantomiming “snow beast” of some kind I’m sure others will recognize, playing around with people in the open area before me. So I motioned the beast over and it posed for me as I snapped a picture.

Cool Snow-Beast-Thing, MileHiCon46, Oct 24, 2014

Cool Snow-Beast-Thing, MileHiCon46, Oct 24, 2014

Thanks, snow-beast-thing!

At 3 p.m. I attended my panel, and we had really fun discussions about aliens and government and the two clashing. My novel, ERO, isn’t so much about “alien invasions” as it is about aliens in more of a Whitley Strieber sense (check out his Communion books). So, I tried to inject that into the conversation, but, as one member of the panel reminded me, yeah, the panel’s title was alien invasion….

Heh-heh. Where’s your phaser when you need it?

After that panel I roamed the Con checking out the vendor and artists’ rooms. There was a lot of fascinating “eye candy” to look at. Cool and strange stuff for sale you won’t find in your normal IKEA. Cthulhu busts to sword-and-sorcery jewelry-to-art of all kinds: space ships and alien landscapes to muscular and barely clothed warriors. I also popped in on a room that had Roomba-sized robots dueling each other, called the “Critter Crunch.”

Yeah, MileHiCon!

Sunday, October 26th

My final panel was at 11 a.m., titled, “What If: Alternate Worlds Discussion and Readings.” Turns out this was more of a “themed reading” session than an all-out discussion, so we all read a chosen piece for our audience, and in the remaining time had brief discussions on the topic-at-hand. I read from my August release, Psychic, the first appearance of JFK in my novel. Chapter Six, Section 1. I read it because it gives a good “alternate history” feel to what I was trying to do. There was another, earlier section that actually hit the same topic, but it was more exposition and I really wanted to be in Kennedy’s head for this reading—which this Chapter Six section was. Like the other panels, we had some interesting discussion in the few minutes of remaining time we had, from actual alternate-and-current historical facts to how badly stuff like this can go wrong, because of alternate history fans who know their current history. But this last topic (to me) is no different than than the basic topic of releasing novels: there’s always someone out there waiting (desperately panting, I might add) and wanting to prove you wrong about something in your work. You just can’t escape that kind of thing. All you can do is what you can do—your best, your research. If errors are actually pointed out in your work, note them, thank the person for pointing them out, then correct them and re-release when you can.

I spent the rest of the Con checking out other panels, like a 1) NaNoWriMo “support group,” 2) one about if books are always better than movies, and 3) whether or not there is such a thing called “privacy” anymore with social media. 1) No, I don’t do NaNoWriMo; I’m always working on something else and don’t get into too many “groups things,” but wish the rest of you all the best!, 2) not always, but Aaron Michael Ritchey on caffeine is simple more Aaron Michael Ritchey!, and 3) In today’s world there really is no more “privacy” on anything electronic. There are things companies do that totally skirt laws that, when combined with other methods that are “legal,” can put together a scary profile of who each of us are, what we’re looking at, buying, and even thinking. I’m not in the least naïve about electronic-anything, but after listening to these Supreme Nerd Geeks who have their hands in this stuff, I just wanted to pull the plug on everything and go Stone Age. Mainly just on principle. I despise the ill intent with individuals and companies who do this, intentionally skirting laws—not even “just” laws, but inherent personal rights and freedoms—to get what they want. Just because you can do it does not mean you should.

But, such is life.

Mario Acevedo Paint Demo, MileHiCon46, Oct 26, 2014

Mario Acevedo Paint Demo, MileHiCon46, Oct 26, 2014

Earlier, I also sat in on a painting demo, by Mario Acevedo. Mario is a cool dude of many talents (he used to detail more specifics in his bio, but seems to have severely truncated all that). An ex-military helicopter pilot-turned novelist, with books that involve “x-rated bloodsuckers,” he also (apparently, I found out for the first time, here) paints.

Of course he does.

Initially I wondered what the heck I was getting into, walking into a room that had plastic all over the floor and Mario in the middle of it with a knife in his hand…but—whew!—it was actually a paintbrush.

Mario Acevedo Paint Demo, Steampunk Chic, MileHiCon46, Oct 26, 2014

Mario Acevedo Paint Demo, Steampunk Chic, MileHiCon46, Oct 26, 2014

So the few of us there sat in chairs that ringed the Master in his white Captain’s hat as he worked from a picture of a steampunk chick. I always love to see the opening brushstrokes of artists…to try to see what they see when they begin a work. To see how they’re thinking ahead to what colors will go underneath others, and therefore go to “canvas” first. It was fascinating! I didn’t get to hang around and see the final result, though, dang it.

But, while there, as I watched Mario work his magic, a voice entered my head…God, was that You, trying to tell me something? What is it, God, what do You need to tell me—

It wasn’t God, but it was close: it was…Aaron Michael Ritchey.

Wow—bonus! He was now in my head!

I now had Aaron Michael Ritchey with me wherever I went! How cool was that?

Well…as it turns out…waaaay down the open area outside these sessions…was Aaron Michael Ritchey, carrying on a conversation with some fans. The acoustics were such that Aaron Michael Ritchey’s voice carried really well, so much so that it was actually louder in the “Dexter Room,” where Mario was painting, than where Aaron Michael Ritchey was actually talking.

Dang it, no Aaron Michael Ritchey in my head.

I bring this up, by the way, not to embarrass Aaron Michael Ritchey, but because it totally ties into the manuscript I mentioned about on Friday, with my private conversation with Aaron Michael Ritchey after the Author Alley gig (one can never say “Aaron Michael Ritchey” too much…). The one I’m working on that involves voices in one’s head.

Synchronicity.

Aaron Michael Ritchey is synchronicity.

Damn Aaron Michael Ritchey.

Final Notes

Here is Mario Acevedo’s final version of the steampunk chic—I love the whole steampunk feel! Thanks for allowing me to post, Mario!

Final Version of Mario's Steampunk Chic, MileHiCon46, Oct 26, 2014!

Final Version of Mario’s Steampunk Chic, MileHiCon46, Oct 26, 2014!

Some final observations:

Writers: yes, you can sell your books, but it’s all on you. You can carry your books around with you (like I did) like some homeless troll—preferably in a roller suitcase, but I recommend the low roller “totes,” not the typical carry-on ones. Regular suitcases are tall, and when you remove books from them for a signing, etc., and lift the bag, the books remaining inside will fall and could damage each other. If you use the low roller tote that is less likely to happen. And, yes, you can carry those all over the Con with you. And will repeatedly get asked: a) Just checked in? or b) Checking out?

You can sign up for booksignings. Ask and look for the list. You can also (pre-MileHiCon) sign up for an Author’s Row table where you have to sit at the whole Con, for a fee. I believe this was a first-time experiment, so we’ll see if that carries over into next year. I personally would not want to be so tied to one place. Sitting down for three days, cool snow-beast-thing-or-no-snow-beast-thing.

For Autograph Alley, the program said “Purchase food tickets…for $5.” Well, if you’re an author sitting in the Autograph Alley (and maybe kissing up to Aaron Michael Ritchey) you need not buy one! That wasn’t made clear so I spent $5 for nothing. It’s for attendees…well, you could use it if you want, but then you could miss potential customers/fans….

I was surprised at how much writing was at MileHiCon! It is quite writer friendly! It’s not all about writing and publishing, there is so much more to this gig, but it is quite writer and publishing friendly…as well as Indie (Self-) Publishing friendly!

Overall the staff and volunteers were extremely helpful and friendly! I had a blast at MileHiCon46 and am grateful for Rose Beetem, program chair, for not only having me, but having me on so many panels and Autograph Alley my first time! I highly recommend MileHiCon!

And I got to hang with Aaron Michael Ritchey.

New Fan

As I wrote this post, it seems I gained yet another new fan. No doubt because I talked so much about Aaron Michael Ritchey. Welcome to the fold, Ungainly Praying Mantis Creature!

New Fan.

New Fan.

Fine Print: No Aaron Michael Ritcheys were harmed in the filming, creation, editing, nor publishing of this post. No Aaron Michael Ritcheys were bribed to use their name in the post. Aaron Michael Ritchey was contacted before I wrote all this up and he graciously rolled with the punches when I explained what I was doing with his name and that I now have an Aaron Michael Ritchey fan site and creepy shrine set up in a dark, damp place only he could warm up….

Twitter

By GageSkidmore at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

By GageSkidmore at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Okay…I admit it, it’s a guilty pleasure!

Twitter seems quite suited to my personality.

Short quips. One liners. Observations. It’s a short-and-[not always] sweet way of social interaction across the planet. And you get to meet and interact with some interesting people—some of them famous—that you’d never otherwise have a chance in Hades of meeting, you know, if that’s your thing. But it’s not so much about Hero Worship as gratefulness. You can thank these actors and writers and producers for their great work that you’ve watched and followed, and that is kinda cool. Sometimes you can even interact with them.

A couple of weekends ago, I joined in on an Intruders tweet-a-thon, and I had to admit, it was fun! All you do is tweet while watching the show. See what your fellow folk are tweetin’.

Now, it’s not something I want to do all the time…when I watch TV, I want to relax, but if it’s a special event, I could get into it once in a while. Had some good interaction and played along with some funny comments from the handful of us tweeting the show.

BTW, if you haven’t heard of the  Intruders, I highly recommend it! The first episode had me a little baffled, but I like baffled, so just hang in there if you feel the same way after watching the first installment (where to watch episodes, since the season ended and they’re no longer broadcasting on their website). It’s a really cool show involving the paranormal. It’s my new X-Files replacement, and I’ve been looking! The show is based on the Michael Marshall Smith novel, The Intruders.

But, all that said and done, I think the biggest thing I’ve gotten out of Twitter is just meeting people!

There are a handful of tweeters I call “my Twitter friends,” because we’ve been tweeting since pretty close to when I started Twitter, in 2009. Yes, you can be hoodwinked, but I think, for the most part, you can get to know people over Twitter—or blogging or whatever else it is you do with social media. Even when you get to know people through actual, physical contact, how much of “you” do you show to the public, right? It’s no different. Sure, it’s easier to hide over social media, spoofing and conspiracy theories and all that, people can’t read your body language, et cetera, but I do feel that you can get a good gauge of most. Just like with anything “public,” you have to be careful and err on the conservative side. And sometimes, yeah, you may piss each other off…but it’s also interesting to see how your new friends handle these situations. The really good ones will—in some way—reach out and try to correct an intentional or unintentional wrongdoing.

And that can speak volumes to the type of people they are.

Again, spoofing and conspiracy theories notwithstanding. Just be careful out there.

Just remember we are all people out on these things, we’re not just avatars and bylines. We have real feelings and good and bad days. Deserve to be treated with respect. Consider the words you are about to send out into cyberspace before hitting the Enter key…and if you screw up, be quick to apologize and make it right…leave room open for others to do the same.

In short: cut people some slack.

None of us are perfect.

But, do have fun exploring the world through your chosen mode of social media!

Feel free to contact me at my Twitter handle of @fpdorchak

 

 

 

Taking Chances

Take The Leap. By Wing-Chi Poon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Take The Leap. By Wing-Chi Poon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

We all love our comfort zones.

Love the knowable.

Claim we’re open to change, to taking chances.

Sure, there are some chances we can take, taking a different route home, ordering something wild and spicy from our usual menu.

But what about taking a chance on something that can really affect your life? Or what you think can change your life? Are you really willing to strike out on that road less traveled? On that bumpier, unexplored passageway? And one person’s “chance” is another’s breakfast cereal. But, if it’s scary to you…that’s what matters.

Are you willing to look into the void?

Insanity has been described as doing the same thing yet expecting a different outcome.

If we expect to break out of our comfort zones, we can’t keep doing the same old thing. But, we all have our parameters, don’t we? And that’s okay. It’s not usually a good thing to totally upend one’s life. But we can initiate change in other ways…the way we think, the way we behave. What we “put out” into the world.

Take a chance. In whatever way that works for you. That’s good for you.

That’s scary for you.

 

 

Tattered Cover Book Store, MileHiCon, and Bookmarks!

Paranormal Fiction Bookmarks (© F. P. Dorchak and Kirschner Caroff, 2014)

Paranormal Fiction Bookmarks (© F. P. Dorchak and Kirschner Caroff, 2014)

Yesterday, I’d received an e-mail from the Tattered Cover Book Store informing me that they want to take on consignment of my novels Psychic, ERO, and The Uninvited! There’s a one-time consignment fee per book, and it’s a 90-day contract. They’ll go in the Local Author section. Let’s see, 90 days…what‘s within the next 90 days…

Oh, yeah, Christmas!

So, hope this works out in a stellar way (happy dance!), cause Tattered Cover is a legen-(wait for it…) dary book store. Thanks, Tattered Cover!

I’ve also been informed I will be attending several panels at the upcoming Denver MileHiCon this month (October 24-26th)! I’ll be sitting on the following panels (barring any last-minute changes):

  1. Friday, 6 p.m., Self-Pub Part 1
  2. Friday, 7 p.m., Self-Pub Part 2
  3. Friday, 8 p.m., Autograph Alley
  4. Saturday, 3 p.m., Threat From Above
  5. Sunday, 11 a.m., What If: Alternate Worlds/Readings

Aaand…I’m having some really cool bookmarks done up by Lon Kirschner, of Kirschner Caroff! Lon did my ERO cover. I’ll have them with me at MileHiCon. Do look me up and say “Hi!” Hope to see you there!

That is all.

Bookmark Front (© F. P. Dorchak and Kirschner Caroff, 2014)

Bookmark Front (© F. P. Dorchak and Kirschner Caroff, 2014)

Bookmark Back (© F. P. Dorchak and Kirschner Caroff, 2014)

Bookmark Back (© F. P. Dorchak and Kirschner Caroff, 2014)

 

 

Psychic Review—Black Sheep, Issue #121

© Psychic (F. P. Dorchak and Duvall Design, coming mid-2014)

© Psychic (F. P. Dorchak and Duvall Design, coming mid-2014)

I just received my October-November issue of The Black Sheep in the mail yesterday, Number 121. In it, Madelon Rose Logue, aka “MRL,” included a review of Psychic:

“This gritty, new (Sethian) remote-viewer-spy thriller (the fourth novel by Frank Dorchak and his best to date) is set in a future probable reality in which both John F. Kennedy and his brother became Presidents of the USA and are not assassinated.

“It is packed full of unanswered questions (until later, that is) intrigue, and an assortment of dreams, OOBEs, fragment and whole personalities. There are giddy time and place shifts that sweep you hither and yon in most fiendish, devilish, Halloweenish ways that won’t let you stop to put it down for even a really good glass of iced tea.

“As I was caught up in this fantastic story I was surprised to find out what JFK had done that reminded me of a talk I went to hear that was sponsored by The Monroe Institute  back in 1977 (the “cold war” years). We were told how the American and Russian government-trained-remote-viewer spies would meet out-of-body and decide which ‘secrets’ to let their respective government have!

“Frank’s three other novels are” Sleepwalkers (2001), The Uninvited (2013), and ERO (2013).”

Here is a shot of the actual review. MRL’s fanzine is only hardcopy:

Psychic Review, The Black Sheep, #121, October-November, 2014.

Psychic Review, The Black Sheep, #121, October-November, 2014.

And you know the most interesting thing about the whole review? This line: “We were told how the American and Russian government-trained-remote-viewer spies would meet out-of-body and decide which ‘secrets’ to let their respective government have!

Wow. The amazing world we live in!

Thank you, MRL! Madelon is quite the nice lady, we met years ago at a Seth Conference that had actually gone on in my town. I’ve never been able to attend one for scheduling reasons (you know, that “day job/shift work” thing), so jumped at the chance to meet her. Ever since, we’ve been corresponding and keeping in contact, and I occasionally submit to her fanzine.

Related articles

Colorado Leaf Peeping

Colorado Highway 67 to Cripple Creek/Victor, Sept 26, 2014

Colorado Highway 67 to Cripple Creek/Victor, Sept 26, 2014

Yesterday I took the day off to do some Colorado Leaf Peeping with my wife and mom-in-law. It was a beautiful day!

We drove Highway 24 west, to Divide, Colorado, hanging a left on Highway 67, to Cripple Creek/Victor. On Highway 67 we headed to Victor, Colorado, a still-active mining town, on Highway 64-cum-81, then took 67 into Cripple Creek. After Cripple Creek, we hooked off to the left, and took Teller County Road 1 to 11, met up with Highway 9 to 50, and went through Canon City and Penrose on our way home. From Teller Country Road 1 through Penrose, there isn’t any leaf peeping—none—but it is a gorgeous drive in its own right up to Highway 50. But don’t drive it if you’re looking for golden aspen leaves.

However, do take the drive from Highway 24 through Victor and Cripple Creek!

Edges of Fire! Zoom in real close on this tree! Leaves just starting to turn!

Edges of Fire! Zoom in real close on this tree! Leaves just starting to turn!

This drive is Colorado gorgeous! It may last another week, or just days, I don’t know when it started, but I’m thinking it’s already been about a week, because last week Highway 24 was packed, and that highway isn’t normally that packed this time of year, except for when everyone’s heading out of town for some sort of vacation, and the only thing going on now is leaf peeping. A friend asked me to use my “superpowers” to keep the changing leaves bright and awesome so she and her boyfriend could catch them on their Harley trip, but I don’t know if I can. I can hold off rain when I’m mowing my lawn, but…I’m doing my best, Mandy!

Here’s a link for the rest of Colorado.

Enjoy the turning leaves wherever you reside!

Happy Fall!

Colorado Highway 67, Sept 26, 2014

Colorado Highway 67, Sept 26, 2014

 


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