Mandy’s End Of Year Recap: 2012
I’m a little late with this post, but I figured better late than never. Besides, with a memory like mine, it’s not that easy to figure out what I’ve done and when. I suppose I could just scroll through my blog to see what’s happened, but I figured I’d try to reminice on my own.
This past year has been a whirlwind of events I never thought possible. (Most of it thanks to the story, She Makes Me Smile. On that note, I’ve reread SMMS recently, and I have already noticed my growth as a writer. It’s not that I don’t like SMMS, I still really do, but there is a lot more editing I’d throw in there, if I have a chance to “redo” it one day.) Anyways, aside from me using the words “just” and “that” way less when I write, 2012 has also been a monumental year for many other reasons.
First of all, in 2012 I’ve added tons of new friends into my life. Not just friends, but a support group of peers who understand what being a writer is like. My Facebook friends list has expanded exponentially (which could be seen as a problem as well, since FB is my main way to procrastinate from writing. I talk WAY too much for my own good.)
I won’t even attempt to mention the people I’ve met, since I’ve added nearly 700 people onto my FB page, but you know who you are.
To all those I’ve met this year, or knew before, thanks for coming into my life. I appreciate your friendship for sure. *Hugs*
On top of adding to my friends list on FB, I’ve had the chance to attend my first conventions as an author. I was lucky enough to attend Horrorfind 14, KillerCon 5 and Anthocon 2. Conventions are awesome, they allow me to put a face to a name for those who I may have only known online before. I think attending conventions could possible rank up there as one of my most favourite things in the world. And not only cause I can drink my face off and I’m not the only one who is doing it. (Although it does help a lot.)
*Insert random anthem here* I pledge allegiance to the Bucket Of Vodka Gummies!
Between readings and panels, conventions have solidified my love for being in front of a crowd. Not that I really needed the reassurance, but I’m glad I had the chance to do this and look forward to many more in 2013.
I sold my first book at a con this year, actually on that note, I sold my first everything this year and that make’s me smile. (Sorry, haha, I had to put that in somewhere… :P)
The one thing I didn’t get done in 2012 was to complete a novel. I suppose I can’t have everything the first year, but it would’ve been nice. *Shrug* I suppose this gives me something to strive for in 2013. I do have a few on the go (don’t we all). I’ve been working on a zombie novel, a collection of erotiporn stories, a slew of novellas and a crapload of short stories. (I’m all over the freaking map, but I like it that way.)
One of my goals this year is to not be so procrastinatey when it comes to writing, but then again it did take me 12 days into the new year to get this blog posted…
In 2012, I was a horror writer, but this might change in 2013. I’ve noticed my some of my stories have been taking on a bizarro-esque theme, much more than horror these days. My editor calls these stories bizarro-light. Between horror and bizarro, I also write smut or erotiporn. Well that’s what I call it, if my bizarro is “bizarro-light” then my smut is “erotica-hard”. I’ve blended the sex with horror, which gave me the genre I coined “horrotica”. Yes I like to make up my own words and genres. I think for 2013 I’m just going to keep writing what my head wants to write, it seems to have worked for 2012.
In conclusion, 2012 was
good great amazing! I want to thank all the people who’ve been there for me all along like my friends and family. You’ve all put up with my insanity and I wouldn’t be the person I am now if it wasn’t for the people I have around me. It’s been a crazy ride in life, but I’m so happy to have you all as passengers. I love you guys.
Now I’m just getting sappy, so this is where I’ll end it.
Best wishes to everyone in 2013.
Hope to meet you if we haven’t crossed paths yet and to those I have met, let’s meet again.
I’ll bring the gummy worms. 😉
Once Upon An Anthocon.
It’s been a week and a day since Dickie, Daley and I made our way across the border to the land of all that was to be Anthocon. Having the three of us in the car at the same time was an unnerving experience once we got to the border, but luckily we made it across with no cavity searches. I’m sure someone in the car was upset about the lack of invasiveness at the border, but I’m not naming names. We continued our way through tiny little states, crossing through more snow than we have in Canada. Leave it to us to find snow 6 hours south of Ontario.
Daley made me excessively happy by bringing his Darth Vader GPS with him. Hearing Darth say “roundabout”—or anything else for that matter—lead the three of us into incessant fits of laughter.
We stopped along the way to pick up Michele and then made our way to the Holiday Inn in Portsmouth, NH.
SO EXCITED, when we noticed there was a giant booze store across from the hotel. We checked in, dumped our bags and the four of us made our way across the street to alcohol heaven.
SO SAD, as we walked through the giant liquor store and realized booze and beer weren’t sold in the same places in NH. Back across the street, empty handed and to the car, as Dickie, Daley and DeGeit decided there must be beer.
SO ELATED, as we stepped into the grocery store, also known as beer heaven to us Canadians. The prices of beer here in NH are enough to send my liver into an ecstatic seizure. Thirty beer for 14$? Yup, I think I’m moving here…
We loaded up a cart—like really loaded up a cart—I think between the four of us we clocked in at 96 cans of beer. (Cause that’s how Canadians roll) and made our way back to the hotel.
Thursday night, Danny gathered the forces and took us to this fantastic little pub called The Coat Of Arms. They had deals on pints, great food and gave us free beer/shwag. You can’t go wrong with free beer/shwag.
Back at the hotel, there was more beer, hanging with the early peeps and there were also worms.
Friday morning rolls around and I already have a beer in my hand. (Big surprise.) I figured it was a good time to ingest some of this crazy cheap beer, and ingest I did.
By Friday night, the vodka soaked gummy worms were out to play.
“…and she carried with her a bucket of liquid diabetes and liver disease.”
We were all in the bar/lounge and I was passing those worms out quicker than a whore passes out STDs. From table to table, I made everyone ingest all that was bad in my bucket.
There was a moment when I thought I might lose the worms. The older lady from the bar came up to me to inquire if there was booze in my bucket. I replied with a shit-eating grin on my face, “No booze. Phsst, just worms floating in water.” I must have a trustworthy face, because she bought it.
Now something to understand about the worms, I’ve been making these for a long, long time. The rule is, the drunkest person in the room gets the worm shmoo, cause they are most likely the ones to drink the grossly gelatinous, sugar saturated, liquor leftover from the bucket.
One guess on who drank the shmoo? 😀
Fast-forward through clamslaps, neener neeners and me just being my hilariously drunk self and I finally made it to bed, unsure of the time.
I was smart and set four alarms, as I was to be on the Pitfalls of New Authors panel in the morning.
I was dumb and turned them all off, only to wake up five minutes before my panel. I was a hurting unit as I ran into the room where they were all waiting for me. But at least I made it.
“Mandy, what’s one piece of advice you want to tell new authors?”
“NEVER. EVER. Drink the worm shmoo.”
It was a great panel, as I pushed away the constant pounding in my head and nursed the beer I grabbed as I was getting ready.
(What the hell is wrong with me? Oh I’m Canadian.)
The rest of Saturday was a blur for two reasons, one I was hungover from the previous night, two, because I kept drinking.
Come on liver, deliver.
Sunday morning, I was a little more “right of mind” and took the opportunity to head to a few panels. I was audience to the Art in Fiction panel and the Publishing panel which were both followed by more drinking.
Sadly, Sunday also meant people had to leave. There were a lot of hugs and goodbyes and plans were made for the Dead Dog party, which I was definitely hanging around for.
Thirteen of the stragglers (diehard drinkers) made their way to the Portsmouth Brewery for dinner. We took over a giant table, fed our faces and drank some expensive beer before heading back to the hotel to put a hurt on the rest of the leftover booze.
The final party was the most epic, but that could be because it’s one of the only ones where I remember pretty much all of it.
However, there were parts I would love to have brain bleach for…
There was a singing dinosaur, a lot of laughs, and the poop song. (The song stemmed from a conversation between Dickie, Daley and I on the way down. I won’t go into details, but yeah… There was a poop song.)
We drew things on wood, took terrible pictures and drank as much as we possibly could, before retiring one by one, or some by some to our rooms.
Monday, I left. It made me sad, but I knew that I would return next year.
Next time I bring a video camera.
Impressions I make #1 – “A force of nature in a tank top.”
Sometimes I worry about how I come across to other people. I can be loud, or possibly bordering on annoying. I try to make people laugh, but I might just come off as being an asshat. I love meeting new people and HOPEFULLY, they love meeting me… But you never really know.
UNLESS, someone posts a blog post like this one. 😀
Thanks to Guy Anthony De Marco for the awesome write up.
It quells my fears a little.
THEY LIKE ME, THEY REALLY LIKE ME!!!
(Well, at least one person does, hehe.) 🙂
Killercon 4 – Las Vegas – The Convention of Champions
Whoa. It’s four days after the awesomeness that was Killercon 4 (I’ve included the link for Killercon 5 here), two days since I’m home and I’m still not recuperated properly. (Between the lack of sleep / jetjag and the hurt I put on my liver, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be okay…) It was surely the most epic convention I’ve attended and having it in Las Vegas helped a lot.
Here’s a recap of the second convention I’ve attended this year. Well, as best a recap I can do, based on the amount of alcohol I ingested. (Everything is just a big blur of amazingness!)
I got to the hotel on Thursday evening, around 8pm, just in time for the first party of the night which was sponsored by Samhain Books. It was really nice to finally put faces to names after knowing so many people online. I met up with my roommate (and fellow Canadian) James Roy Daley somewhere in there and we drank. My room was upgraded when I arrived, but I’m not sure what the upgrade was… Here’s a view from my window. Lol!
Friday morning, Daley and I started drinking at 10am, cause that’s what Canadians do. 🙂 I’m pretty sure we killed at least 30 beer on Saturday.
He was concerned about not making it to his panel (which was at 7pm), but he did and it was great. The panel consisted of James Roy Daley, William F. Nolan, Jack Ketchum, John Skipp, Brian Keene and L.L. Soares.
I’m not going to lie, I drank a lot that day. I’m like a sailor but hotter. I tried to attend as much as I could, sitting in for readings and Q&A sessions which were all amazing. I attended Mignon Fogerty’s workshop for Quick and Dirty Tips for Horror Writers, which was excellent and well needed for myself, being a new writer and all. I did miss a few panels and readings unfortunately, but I heard amazing things about them from others who were in attendance. Friday night was the Erotic Horror Contest, which I didn’t enter it this year but I will next year for sure. Shane McKenzie‘s story about pixie sex was definitely a highlight of the competition. After the contest, we made our way to the party room again for the Shock Totem Press Party and once again, we drank.
Saturday I woke up, found more beer and staggered out for more readings. Between the Q&A session with Jack Ketchum, RJ Cavender‘s Self-Editing workshop and watching Mike McCarty show us how zombie make up and movie effects are done, it was a pretty full day. The mass signing rolled around and I had the chance to get the rest of my books signed. *(I went on a tear and spent 300$ on books the day before, I had to have Daley help me lug them back up to the room.) In the evening, there was the Creative Fiction Contest and Gross Out Contest, which again I didn’t enter, but should have. The room was packed for the Gross Out Competition and the emcee and everyone’s stories were amazing. After the prizing was handed out, we all made our way back to the party room for the Cutting Block Press / Deadite Press Party and more drinking. (There was also a LOT of photobombing happening. James Roy Daley, F. Paul Wilson and I were the photobomb team, resulting in some amazing shots.)
Sunday morning, there were STILL four Canadians and two Americans in the party room at 730am. I saw the sun come up and it dawned on me, I had a reading in four hours. I staggered off to bed, got three hours sleep, showered and found a slushy booze drink. My reading went really well, for my second reading ever that is. (I read Fatty and Summer Break as my selections, if you missed my reading, don’t worry… A lot of people did, it was early. Lol! You can however find a half hour podcast with the two stories here (plus one more), read by Nelson Pyles.)
Sunday was the sad day, because it’s the day you have to say good-bye to the awesome people you’ve met. For troopers like me, there was a Dead Dog party where we killed off the rest of the booze and watched an impromptu showing of Jack Ketchum’s – The Woman. I didn’t make it to the movie, only because I didn’t think I could keep quiet through a whole movie… I was after all drinking again.
Monday was fun, Daley, Monica O’Rourke, Kelly Laymon and I had moved down to The Excalibur and perused the strip. We watched Monica gamble, found 1$ jello shots, nearly got kicked out of a couple restaurants and finally had to say goodbye to Monica. We weren’t sure if she would make her flight or not, but she did. Daley, Kelly and I walked the strip ’til 330am and then headed back to catch some MUCH needed sleep. My flight was at 1130am the next morning.
Okay, so remember the 35 books I bought? Great idea!!! EXCEPT when you have to lug them through two GIANT airports as carry-ons. Didn’t think of that problem now did I…? I dealt with it though, I picked up a duffle bag, 28 fit in there and the other 7 made their way into my computer bag. Did I have anything to declare? Yes Sir, I have a book addiction. 😀
I want to thank everyone I met for putting up with, well, me. It was amazing to have met you all and I know I’ll be back next year for sure. Sorry I didn’t talk about everything and everyone, there was just so much going on with so many people. I didn’t forget you guys, see you all on Facebook!
Thanks to Wrath James White for putting this amazing convention together. I highly recommend this convention to everyone.
Just remember… What happens in Vegas, makes your liver stay in Vegas. 😉
My Second Convention/First Reading – Horrorfind 14
So it’s the day after I got home from the long trek back from the United States. It was the second convention I’ve attended and nowhere near my last. We rolled into the hotel late on Friday but still in time to catch up with a lot of our friends. I wanted to get to the readings, but I ended up just being the social butterfly the entire night and meeting as many people as I can. We ended up outside on the curb, drinks in hand and people watching. (I love that part.) I ended up crawling into bed WAY too late, or is that early in the morning… but not without setting a few alarms on my cell phone.
The alarms go off WAY too early, but that’s why I set more than one. I know me and I’m bound to turn off the first one and then miss whatever I’m supposed to be waking up for. I sit up in bed, trying to clear the beer fog out of my head, or maybe I’m still drunk… I’m not sure, but I know I have to wake up for something. Oh yeah, I finally work past the temporary memory loss and remember I wanted to attend Tom Monteleone’s reading, which was at 10am.
*(We chatted later about him getting stuck with a horrible time slot… People do like to drink at these things.)
I had my first reading this weekend, and Kelli Owen told me I had to see Tom read. She was right. He really keeps the audience interested, he walks around the room, and even uses voices for different characters. I was really impressed. (Not that I would be walking around during my reading, it was my first and I’m pretty kultzy. I opted to stand at the podium for the entirety of my reading.) My time slot wasn’t til 4pm so I went back to the room to find the rest of my crew and regroup.
I made sure to make it to Kelli Owen‘s reading at 200pm. She read an awesome excerpt from her new novel “White Picket Prisons“. (I’ve read it and I highly recommend it.) The girl next to me nearly lost her shit when Kelli got to the part with the eyeball. Speaking of eyeballs Kelli had some awesome shwag to give away as well, everything was eyeballs. 🙂 Nicole Vlachos read from her new novel, “In The Absence of Sun” for the second half of the hour. It was her first reading as well, but she did a great job.
330pm I’m in my hotel room, checking the clock every two minutes. I’ve practiced my reading twice now. I have avoided beer for the entire afternoon (I was drinking vodka and flavored water though, I didn’t need to be sober, just not burp-y.) I was ready for my reading time. We decided to go down early as I wanted to set out some LampLight Magazine shwag on the seats before people showed up. (Yay, free bookmarks!)
*(Also,the first issue of Lamplight is free to download and my story “Summer Break” is in it, along with other great stories. Click this link!)
400pm The room was pretty full, I was a little nervous but not as bad as I thought I was going to be. My friend Dickie had my IPhone and was ready to record the reading and I was ready to read. People were still coming in, so I didn’t start just right on time… Plus the other author who was supposed to be reading with me, wasn’t there yet. All in all, she didn’t show up so I got the hour reading slot. 😀
I didn’t use the whole hour since I chose to read my flash stories, “Fatty” and “Summer Break”. I stuck with my decision to read those. I don’t think I went too fast, I was loud enough and I got through the reading.
*(After watching the video, I know I was a little fast, more so during the Q&A, but it was my first reading so I can only improve. My volume wasn’t too bad, it was a just a little room… and that would explain the heat issue.
I was sweaty and getting attacked by that freaking fly, but I did it. People enjoyed it, one of the girls in the audience even reacted to the ending of “Fatty”, and that is exactly why I write. 🙂
We had some time left so we were lucky enough to get a surprise reading by Michele Mixell, 2nd place winner of Yorkfest with her story “It Roars”. We still got out early, which was nice, since it was crazy hot in the little reading room.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the reading.
I have video which will is posted on Youtube. (The audio isn’t great, but it’s not bad.)
The rest of the con was what cons are known for, lots of drinks, lots of new people and lots of laughs. I had a great weekend and came away with some new connections. If you haven’t had the chance to attend a convention yet, you should add that to your bucket list. There are tons of them around, I should know, I keep adding more to my roster.
Part One of Live Reading at Horrorfind 14 – “Fatty”
Part Two of Live Reading at Horrorfind 14 – “Summer Break”