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Archive for November, 2012

Road Warrior

One of the infrequent aspects of my day job is travel.  This week will be my second trip this year.  I’m lucky.  I haven’t travelled at all in the last few years, which I’m thankful for.  Years prior to that I travelled a fair bit.  Be advised, I’m not one of those road warrior types.  I’m not a big fan of flying, I hate eating out every night, and sleeping in most hotels is a futile exercise.  It usually takes me three days to get acclimated to the sounds, smells, etc. of a new place.  May also be the point that after three nights of lousy sleep, I’m so exhausted I finally pass out.

This aspect makes conventions somewhat problematic as well.  But that’s a different conversation. :)

The thing about travelling for work is the total wreckage of my routines.  I’m a routine guy.  I really prefer to know when/what is going to happen in a given day.  I’m flexible, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just a homebody by nature.

Also, when you travel for work, there’s almost always a social obligation to go out to dinner with the others who are travelling and this eats the evening.  Half the time I don’t want to go to the restaurants the majority have chosen.  I’m not into karaoke, drinking or going to bars.  Basically I’m a boring guy who would rather spend time working on my novel than being out with people I’ve just spent eight to ten hours with at work.  These events just consume all of my energy, leaving me burnt.  After an exhausting day at work, I just want to go cave somewhere with a nice book, or some good music and not be around people any more than I have to.

See, when I’m travelling on business these days it’s for these all day, intensive workshops where we are trying to define solutions to difficult questions.  It’s very important and I have learned over the years that I’m an enterprise expert on this and several other related subjects.  Not a bad thing.  But it is mentally exhausting to debate, argue, compromise and document in a huge group hug like this.

Thankfully, I’ve done very few of these workshops on this current project.  There are others on my team that are executive platinum on their favorite airlines and hotel chains because they’ve spent so many nights on the road.

I’m not complaining.  I’m blessed with meaningful work with talented individuals and a mission that is important to the enterprise as a whole.  All good stuff.

But really, I’d rather be home every night with my family, my creature comforts and my own bed.  I’m one of those introverts that needs both downtime and focused time to recharge.  The harder the burn, the longer I take to recover.  Last trip I ended up working several hours after the working sessions catching up on my other responsibilities.  This got me back to my hotel about the time I’d normally be going to bed.

The biggest downer for me is that it’s tough to write when I’m this wiped out.  On one hand, I’m away from home, I have no real social or familial obligations (if I can get out of dinner with the gang) so it would seem to be a great opportunity to get a substantial amount of writing done.  So far, the trend is negative, but we’ll see what I can arrange this week.

I go in hopeful with a full-plate of writing projects to tackle.  If I can get any writing in, I’ll feel successful.  Frankly, if I can get through the week without a total collapse that will be good enough.  But I like to set the bar a little higher.

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SF Signal: Mind Meld

Put my opinion out into the public again over at SF Signal: Mind Meld.  Several authors discuss the intersection between Gothic Horror and Urban Fantasy.  I really enjoyed the thought I had to put into this.  Good to think outside the box and jump out of one’s comfort zone.

Hope you find it interesting.

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Orycon schedule

I’m in Portland at the awesome Science Fiction and Fantasy convention Orycon.  Hope to see some of you there this weekend.

Here’s my schedule for the con.

Moderator indicated by (*)
Evolution of a Writing Career: A Workshop with Ken Scholes and J.A. Pitts
Roosevelt Fri Nov 2 3:00pm-5:00pm
Hands on writing workshop with Ken Scholes and John Pitts. Bring pen and
paper.
J. A. Pitts, Ken Scholes

Writing the Other: Races and Cultures
Morrison Fri Nov 2 5:00pm-6:00pm
Speculative fiction often takes steps toward being more egalitarian, but
there are still huge challenges ahead. Issues of appropriation, respect,
stereotypes, and taking chances. How to get educated and still write
naturally and from the heart.
J. A. Pitts, Stoney Compton, Alma Alexander, (*)Gr� Linnaea, Craig
Laurance Gidney

Chicks in Chainmail
Morrison Sat Nov 3 1:00pm-2:00pm
Kick-ass women and the Ones who love them
J. A. Pitts, Aaron Duran, (*)Karen Azinger

Gender and Writing
Lincoln Sat Nov 3 4:00pm-5:00pm
Gender free? Gender neutral? Stereotyping? How gender affects our writing.
What writers do to write effectively in the opposite gender’s point of
view, and whether they really do get away with it.
J. A. Pitts, (*)Deborah J. Ross, Amber D. Sistla, Andy Mangels

John Pitts’ Readings
Grant Sat Nov 3 5:30pm-6:00pm

J. A. Pitts

Writing Formidable Women
Jefferson/Adams Sat Nov 3 6:00pm-7:00pm
How to write strong female characters … and how to make sure they’re
actually female rather than men who happen to look hot in an evening
dress.
J. A. Pitts, Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Adrian Phoenix, Alma Alexander

Getting your first professional sale
Hamilton Sun Nov 4 12:00pm-1:00pm
An author can struggle for months or years before achieving their first
success, but even after writing their opus, they can be tripped up by a
process which is both entirely new to them and yet critical to their
success. This panel describes what an author may experience as they
revel in their first success.
Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Edward Morris, (*)J. A. Pitts

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Uruz

The wild ox; strength and power.

Ansuz

Creativity; words, music, and art.

Othala

The troll cross; wealth and prosperity.

Sowilo

The sun; energy, honor, guidance.

Fehu

Personally earned or lucky wealth and prosperity.

Jera

The harvest; patience and promise.

Raidho

The chariot; journey and travel.

Note: This is not the real book cover.