If you’re in central Ohio on October 21, come check out the Great GeekFest at the Delaware Ohio Library.
The Great GeekFest is a celebration of all the things people geek out over! Here’s a link to the website with info about panels, cosplay and other info.
I’ll be there with my books and anthologies for signing.
“The Summer of Growing Up” has been reprinted in this quarter’s edition of Mirror Dance Fantasy, a wonderful online fantasy magazine!
The story was originally published in the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s anthology, “For the Road”.
Mirror Dance has several other stories on its beautiful website. Check out the Autumn 2017 issue!
I’m looking forward to being one of many author guests at this year’s Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Imaginarium is devoted to creators, with more than 140 panels and workshops focusing on books, movies, and games. There are guests from all writing genres.
The Guest of Honor is writer Michael Knost. There are many other guests, including authors, screenwriters, bloggers and more.
My schedule for Imaginarium weekend (October 6-8 in Louisville, Kentucky):
Saturday 10:00 Caffeine and Creativity
Saturday 11:00 Book Signing
Saturday 05:00 Keeping Fantasy Fresh
Sunday 11:00 Researching for Your Story
I’ve seen Ten Meter Tower twice, most recently as part of the Sundance Shorts event at the Wexner Center in Columbus. I liked it even more the second time.
Ten Meter Tower (2016) is a short study of people who are trying to decide whether to jump off the high dive for the first time. It’s a simple, universal concept — I think everyone has experienced the kind of conflicting pressures this film portrays.
The directors paid people who had never been up on the high dive before to climb up and walk to the edge of the platform. From there, we watch them decide whether to jump or climb back down. There’s pressure from the fact that the camera is watching; sometimes there’s another person present, and there’s pressure from them. There’s obviously fear involved in the decision as well — the platform is very high.
It’s interesting to see who jumps and who doesn’t. (I know which category I would fall into.) The film is elegantly done, with humor and respect for the participants. It’s a charming film that evokes personal reactions from the audience — there was occasional laughter and applause on both occasions when I saw it.
Here are a couple of links to more information about the film, including a New York Times interview with the directors and a short article from Colossal including the film itself.
There’s a new independent bookstore in Columbus — always something to be happy about! Gramercy Books has apparently been open since December, but I didn’t know until this week.
And Gramercy Books, a pleasant store with an attached cafe in Bexley, also now has signed copies of my two fantasy novels available.
There are a few other independent bookstores here, including the local treasure The Book Loft, but this is the first one to open in a long time. Here’s a link to an article from the Columbus Dispatch about a resurgence in sales at independent bookstores.
The Dingle Peninsula is in County Kerry. It’s the farthest west you can go in Ireland. It’s a place of steep cliffs dropping into the sea, sandy beaches, and green pastures dotted with a lot of sheep. There are archaeological ruins, including ogham stones and Dunbeg Fort, an Iron Age promontory fort built right above the sea. We were blessed with warm weather and sun our first day, then rain and a blast of wind the following morning.
The Slea Head Drive is a circular route around the edge — in some places the very edge — of the peninsula. It’s traveled in a one-way manner in a clockwise direction, because the roads in some places are narrow enough they won’t fit two cars. If you do encounter someone going the opposite way, one of the vehicles must back up until there’s a wide spot. This happened twice while we were there, once while we were a few feet away from a low stone wall on the edge of the cliff. That was unnerving. I’m glad I wasn’t the driver!
There were a few bicyclists as well, on what must be an extremely demanding ride.
Dingle Town itself (An Daingean) — permanent population about 2,000 — is crowded with tourists in the summer. It’s got a harbor with a permanent dolphin resident named Fungie. We didn’t take a boat trip to see Fungie, but his statue is in the town center, so we feel we know what he looks like. Fungie was first seen in the harbor in 1983, and is known for being friendly to humans. Is it still the original Fungie? Here’s a link to a story in the Independent on that subject.
Dingle Town itself is the base for tourists wanting to explore the region. In spite of being a Gaeltacht, a place where Irish is the official language, English is commonly spoken in town. The Gaeltacht was created to preserve the Irish language. I’m told schoolchildren from around Ireland spend time here in the summers, learning their native tongue. It seems the use of Irish is declining, though. Here’s a link to a 2008 article discussing the challenges of trying to preserve the language.
In July, Dingle was full of flowers. Fuchsia, in particular, bloomed everywhere.
And below, a last look at the green hills of Ireland. The sheep had mostly been shorn when we were in Dingle. Many were marked with blazes of color — bright reds, blues, greens — so the owners could distinguish their own sheep when it was time to retrieve them again from common fields on the mountainsides.
I’m not feeling well, so I won’t be able to make the local authors’ book signing in Poland, Ohio today.
The event still runs from 9 am to 1 pm. If you’re in the area, stop by and support your local authors.
Happy Fourth of July weekend!
Update 07-01-2017: Sorry I won’t be able to make this book-signing, since I’m not feeling well. Looking forward to another time, I hope.
I’ll be part of a local author book signing and sale at the Poland Library on Saturday, July 1. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. It runs from 9 am to 1 pm that day.
This event is in conjunction with the Celebrate Poland weekend. The event will be held at the Poland branch of the library, 311 S Main St, Poland, Ohio.
If you’re in the area, stop in and say hi! I’ll have both of my fantasy novels available, and the Locothology and For the Road anthologies as well.
This should be a post about writing, but it’s not! Instead it’s about my visit to the Stephen F Udvar-Hazy Center, which is part of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. This is a separate facility from the one on the National Mall, located near Dulles Airport. And it’s full of amazing things, even for someone like me who doesn’t know much about aeronautics or space flight.
There are two huge hangars for display of hundreds of spacecraft and planes, as well as windows looking into the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar. The Concorde is there, as well as a variety of vintage passenger and military aircraft, a U-2, and space-related items like a Sojourner Mars rover.
The space shuttle Discovery is here as well:
Here’s a link to a Washington Post video of Discovery arriving at the Udvar-Hazy Center in 2012.
There are plenty of historical exhibits relating to space flight, including early capsules, a SpaceLab module and Mars rovers.
The Enola Gay is also at Udvar-Hazy. The Enola Gay is the aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. It’s one of the many military aircraft that are at the museum, a reminder that the history of aviation and space flight is about exploration and science, but is also inextricably linked to war.