Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gen Con 2012 Schedule

Gen Con is about three months away and I'm trying to get things ready. Unfortunately I'm not part of the Writer's Symposium panels this year, but I'm sure I'll find plenty to keep me busy. As in past years, I'm giving a two hour talk on Thursday evening.

Gen Con Indy 2012 - August 16-19

SEM1229781 - Medieval Travelling Food: The Theory and Practice of Hard Rations
Learn about what medieval soldiers and travelers ate when they were in the wilds, and see what you can do as a game master or writer to make things just that much more believable.
08/16/2012, 8:00 PM, ICC : Rm 243

Additionally, I've scheduled two events for Blackspoon Press.

SEM1229782 - How to Cook Like a Dwarf
How do you write a cookbook for a culture that never existed but everyone knows? The authors of The Dwarven Cookbook talk about the origins of the recipes in their cookbooks.
08/18/2012, 3:00 PM, Crowne Plaza : Victoria Stn A/B
SEM1229783 - Build Your Own Language
This workshop will guide you in creating your own language. With minimal materials and two hours of time, you will have the core a language suitable for adding color to a game or novel background.
08/17/2012, 8:00 PM, ICC : Rm 243

This last one is the most challenging for me to prepare. I want the participants to walk away with something usable and unique, but I don't want to delve too deeply into linguistics (after all, this isn't a college course). What's more, it's a free seminar (as are the others) so any handouts I provide will be paid for out of my own pocket. We'll see how many sign up during early registration.

On the whole, I expect this year to be a lot of fun.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Origins Game Fair

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be at Origins Game Fair this year as part of their new program for writers, The Library.

May 30-June 3, 2012
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, Ohio, 43215, USA

I'll be taking part on a number of panels, and will have a table with the other authors where I can sell copies of the books. In the remaining time I'll be gaming, schmoozing, and stalking Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day.

I expect the whole thing to be a total blast.

Here's the schedule for the seminars I'm participating in:


Speak Up! (1:00 p.m.)
Sheeeoot! How ya gonna git yer folks ta talk so’s readers kin understand ‘em ‘n cobble onto jest wut they’s sposed ta sound like? Dialogs, dialects, slang, and more add color and round-out your characters, settings, and stories. Learn how to use them to best effect without making your readers scratch their heads or toss your book across the room in frustration.

What’s in Your Basement? (2:00 p.m.)
From creepy caverns to haunted subways, the underground is a terrific playground for your fiction. What makes the belly of the world ripe for fantasy and horror tales? Why is Hell always below? What monsters lurk in your basement? Panelists discuss their favorite underground settings and how to use caves, tunnels, and more to best effect.


What’s in Your Literary Kitchen? (Noon)
Origins is proud to host author and medieval chef Daniel Myers. He’ll teach you how to properly feed your characters . . . which in turn will fatten your manuscript into something rich and believable. Characters have to eat, don’t they? What you feed them tells a lot about your fictional society. James Bond liked his martinis shaken, not stirred. Kojak had his lollipops. Tolkien’s hobbits had . . . well anything they could stuff in their mouths. You get the idea.

The Art of the Short Story (1:00 p.m.)
There’s a big difference between writing a short story and a novel . . . and we’re not talking word count. It’s in the approach, the pacing, and character development—or lack thereof. A good short story is a work of art. Our panelists discuss the elements of short fiction and the markets.


Setting Your Stage (Noon)
The landscape for your fiction has a personality. It’s a compelling stage for your characters to dance on. It doesn’t matter whether you pepper it with ruins, castles, caves, or soaring cities, you have to choose what details to put in and what to leave out. Our panelists, expert world-builders all, discuss the elements of crafting vibrant settings.

Well-Read Undead (1:00 p.m.)
Vampires are still hot, zombies, too. What is the fascination with corpses-as-characters? How can you pull off a good “dead” tale that isn’t a retread of what’s already out there? Our panelists discuss how to handle undead heroes and villains and where to market your “dead end” fiction.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

La Maison Rustique - April

From: L'agriculture et maison rustique, Charles Estienne (Rouen, 1658).

The works that the laborer should do for each month of the year.

(Chapter 10)



In April around St. George's day, put out to air the lemons and oranges like all other trees that have been shut up since St. Martins day, in which you will stirr up the earth at the bottom, remove the superficial roots there, and the superfluous branches, and don't allow a single branch to pass another, either in width or height.

Plant, if you did not already plant them, olive trees, pomegranate trees, lemons, and myrtles, and thoroughly clean them.

Enter the fig tree, chestnut, cherry and orange, cut the new vines: for in those days she endures cutting slightly more.

Be careful to give food to the pigeons, because by that time there is little in the fields.

Mate horses, asses, sheep, with their females: clean the hives of honey bees, and kill the butterflies, which abound on the mallow blooms.