Not Music Monday: “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)” By Concrete Blonde

It took me longer than it should’ve to encounter this song, moslty because I hated that “Joey” song which was everywhere, but man, this one holds up.

Let’s be vampires. Who’s with me?

There’s a crack in the mirror
And a bloodstain on the bed –
There’s a crack in the mirror
And a bloodstain on the bed –
O you were a vampire and baby
I’m walking dead

Write on.

Not Monday Music: “Bela Legosi’s Dead” By Bauhaus

Music Monday got away from me again! But beter late then never. Enjoy a throwback to the time when I could dance to the same song for nine minutes straight. By the time you’re done listening, we’ll be that much closer to Halloween!

White on white translucent black capes
Back on the rack
Bela Lugosi’s dead
The bats have left the bell tower
The victims have been bled
Red velvet lines the black box
Write on!

Music Monday: Everyday Is Halloween By Ministry

I love the fall months, and not just because of Halloween, but man do I love Halloween!

There will probably be more music posts than just Mondays this month. I thought I’d share a bit of my Halloween playlist. Anyway, have fun trick or treating groovy ghouls.

Well I live with snakes and lizards
And other things that go bump in the night
Cos to me everyday is Halloween
I have given up hiding and started to fight
I have started to fight

Write on!

October Goals

Well September was a month, that’s for sure. I’m sure I’ve said this in the past, but I really need to stop booking things and setting ambitous goals in what is my civilian life’s busiest month. It felt like I was fighting a low-level cold most of the last two weeks of September, which I mostly managed to avoid having flare up into full on mucus kaiju.

So, how’d I do with September’s goals?

  • Keep my short stories on submission
  • Send out more novel queries to agents
  • Edits on my new WiP: finish currrent draft and at least one more to boot
  • Finish revising a short story I’ve been noodling with and send it out
  • Attend Sask Expo and have fun (and sell some books, maybe?)

Not great, but I moved the yardsticks a bit on a few things. Something getting done is always better than nothing, and if I wasn’t writing these posts, there’s every chance I would’ve done nothing in September.

I didn’t send any short stories out in September. The way things shook down, the stories I had available didn’t have any markets remaining for them that were currently open to submissions. I do still have some stories still out on submission, and a couple that I’ve got rewrite requests for so hopefully those will work out.

More agent queries went out. Not much to say about that book yet. When there’s good news I’ll share more.

I finished the draft I’d been working on in August, and came close (ish) to finishing that next one. Have pretty much written all the scenes I’d identified as missing from my discovery draft and the manuscript is currently sitting around 66000 words. I’ve written the last chapter, and have three chapters near the end that are outlined as to the basic events but need to be written yet to go. Expecting an average of 3000 words per chapter, that should take me to 75K, and I want this book to land somewhere around 80-85K, so totally reachable with some worldbuilding fleshed out, and a few more character building scenes. I’ve been waiting on finishing these final chapters until everything else was done, and the plot was more or less sorted so I could draw on everything to make the emotional core work. This book has been written a bit more peacemeal than I’d like, but considerably less so than Too Far Gone was, and so far the revisions seem to be proceeding faster than my last WiP. (Knocks all the wood.)

Saskatoon Expo was good! I sold some books. Got to visit with my good friends Clare and Mike a whole bunch, and got to chat with friend and former coworker (and fellow Evil Dead fanatic) Ian, so that was a nice bit of business there. I also did a reading at the Celebrating Manitoba event for THIN AIR, which was a wonderful night. I read a bit from Too Far Gone, and got to say a tribute to Wayne Tefs, and read a bit from his work.

Looks like finishing the short story drew the short straw again. Novels are my focus, but I’ve got a lot of time and words tied up in those half finished stories, and I was really hoping more of them might’ve got out the door by this point in the year. I’m going to try and get the current story done for my next writing group meeting.

And the goals for October?

  • Keep my short stories on submission
  • Keep querying agents
  • Prep for C4
  • Finish revising a short story I’ve been noodling with and send it out
  • Get my WiP ready for first readers

I think that’s too much. But I’m still gonna go for it.

Write on!

Music Monday: “Walk This Way” By Run-DMC With Aerosmith

So I’ve been watching Luke Cage and the show and cast and music all kick ass. I’m not done yet, so no spoilers.

I don’t remember seeing any Run-DMC references yet, but they were almost certainly my first exposure to hip hop and rap (pretty sure they were also my first exposure to Aerosmith, but that’s neither here nor there).

I’m loving the literary and musical references that I’ve caught in the show, and I’m sure there are many more that are beyond my experience and are flying over my head. I can’t wait to finish the show so I can start digging into some of the things I’ve missed but also because it’s just that damned good. Right now, I’m enjoying it more than either Daredevil or Jessica Jones and I loved both of those shows.

See-saw swingin’ with the boys in the school
With your feet flyin’ up in the air
Singin’ hey diddle-diddle with the kitty in the middle
You be swingin’ like you just didn’t care

Write on!

A Shockingly Timely Sask Expo 2016 Roundup

This was my first year exhibiting at Sask Expo. I’ve heard great things about the show from Winnipeg comic creator, Andrew Lorenz of September17 Productions, and since Saskatoon is a reasonable drive for a weekend show (turns out it’s not as reasonable as I thought, more on that later), I thought it was worth giving a try. Andrew and a bunch of other Manitoba creators like GMB Chomichuk and Nyco Rudolph were going, so I knew I didn’t want to miss it.

Also, there’s lots of cool folks in ‘Toon town that I don’t get to see nearly often enough, so the show also had that going for it. Another bonus, it’s roughly the same distance for me to get there as it is for my pal Clare Marshall, so we tabled up side by side. (Clare writes amazing roundups of her convention experiences, so do check hers out too!)


It’s hard to get time off from the dayjob in September. It’s busy as hell, and I’m usually at low ebb energy wise, which was my only hesitation about heading west for the expo. And, in my brain I thought Saskatoon was 7 hours from Winnipeg. Turns out, it’s actually 9. I’ve driven the Yellowhead many times in the past, but never made just the Winnipeg to Saskatoon leg, I always stopped a little short of Saskatoon, or carried on to Edmonton. That, and forgetting about the damned time difference meant I had to beg, borrow, and steal a second day off work so I wouldn’t still be on the road at 3am after a busy con and needing to go into work almost as soon as I got home.

So…was the con worth it?


We shared a row with September17 and Justin Schauf who I know from C4 and other events. I really dug September17’s Canadian Corps, and Justin was the artist on that book.


He also did a great Doctor Fate sketch for me a while back.


Sask Expo announced they had over 15000 people attend over the weekend. I had it my head that there would be more. Maybe because Carrie Fisher was there, or perhaps I’d misheard last year’s attendance. The Expo did seem well organized. It was one of the easiest load ins I’ve ever had, and the volunteers were easy to spot, and ubiquitous, my problems finding a water fountain in the building aside (something nobody seemed able to direct me to, despite being certain there was one). On Sunday, volunteers came around to all the exhibitors to provide bottled water, which was very helpful.

Clare and I had our tables set up across from the Creator Guest aisle, which is cool, but unfortunately the spacing in the aisle was so broad, it was very hard to get any concentration of foot traffic. I heard other vendors had a different issue in cramped aisles nearer to the entrance but the same problem. Once you’re moving in a cramped aisle, it’s hard to stop to look at a table even if you’re interested as the press of people behind you keep you going. Once people hit our aisle it was being used as a superhighway to get from one end of the expo to the other, with brisk walkers not wanting to browse. Pretty much every vendor in our aisle was saying they had the same issue.

I met my minimum sales threshold to consider returning to Sask Expo. That doesn’t sound great, but the Saturday was really slow for me, and I wasn’t happy with my table build, so I tore it down Sunday morning and I think it came out stronger. Sales certainly were.

I kept seeing folks cosplaying vikings, but few were swinging by, so I bought a replica Mjolnir and thudded it down on the table.


I was talking to Clare about sales and the foot traffic patterns, and she said “what’s your brand?” well right now it’s Thunder Road, sure I tagged my banner “Mythic Fiction” because that is what I do. While I have other stuff on my table, it’s the Thunder Road trilogy that sells best, reminding me of the old bookselling adage: Sell more of what is selling.

Clare knows this stuff. it’s her job. Con sales are a sideline for me, a bit of supplemental income to direct towards travel or shiny projects, but it’s a big part of her business plan. So I listen when she suggests something. It’s also cool getting to watch her work, and how she engages her customers, both returning and potential.

How’d that advice turn out?

If you rebuild it they will come.

I made the books way more prominent, and that hammer paid for itself within the hour. I sold two complete trilogies to folks who recognized it, and their wondering why it was on my table gave me the opportunity to pitch the books to them.

I handed out lots of postcards and business cards over the weekend, so that’s good. Hopefully that will lead to some future sales, or requests from the library. Hard to say what the results will be. I know that there’s a lot of folks who seem to buy the second or third time you do a show, because they keep seeing you around, and I guess they no longer assume you’re a fly-by-night operation. I also noticed a significant uptick in web traffic, and lots of those views came via Sask Expo’s exhibtor page, before, during and after the show.

I was also surprised by the number of folks who stopped by to say they’d read and enjoyed the series, as I’ve not made much inroads into Saskatchewan sales wise, and my last event there was almost three years ago.


One young woman who’d read the first book and told me she’d enjoyed it came back later to get it signed and returned again on Sunday to purchase the rest of the trilogy.


Thunder Road is also currently on adoption for Professor Michael Cichon’s “Beowulf and Tales of the Northern Heroes” course at U of S, and some of the students popped by to get their books signed. Pretty cool when they’re forced to buy it, and they still want it inscribed. It’s moments like that which really push you through the dead times in Artist’s Alley.


Not related to the writing side of my trip, but I also found a bunch of the issues I need to recreate my run of the 90s version of New Warriors! Woo!


Mike was also kind enough to host me and Clare while we were in Saskatoon, and we had a great time, so I’m very grateful for the hospitality, fine food and drink, and excellent conversation.

I don’t know a ton of people from Saskatchewan, but many of them stopped by for a visit, so it was great to see Arthur Slade, Kurtis Wiebe, , Ed Willett, and Ian Goodwillie again.

Okay! On to the real reason folks come by my comic convention roundups: COSPLAY.

I’d probably have more (and better) photos to share, but Wendy was able to make the trip with me to track down shots of folks I couldn’t catch at the table. Sorry, folks!


When I asked for his picture, this Lemongrab screamed “ACCEPTABLE.”

I didn’t see many Lokis and no Thors this time around, but this young lady was great, and very excited to hear that Loki was a character in my books.


Jeff Burton, creator of Auroraman, dressed up as his character.

The Saskatchewan Ghostbusters were out in force.

Can’t wait to see what the Manitoba Ghostbusters cook up for C4!

An awesome Betty and Violet from Rat Queens.


This Hawkwoman was bloody amazing.

Okay, that was Sask Expo 2016!

Write on!

An Embarrassingly Late Prairie Comics Festival Roundup

Prairie Comics Festival was a blast! Sorry it took me so long to write about it.

I’m so glad to hear that it’ll be happening again in 2017. The library really got behind the festival, which certainly helped.


(My photo doesn’t do it justice, but the display person turned this poster into a 3D cutout. So cool!)

I didn’t take in any of the programming, so I can’t speak to that, but the exhibition room was fantastic. There was a great energy in the room and even in times of slower foot traffic there always seemed to be patrons perusing the tables. I appreciated that there was a break between panels which not every convention or festival thinks to do. Hope Nicholson’s commitment to keeping admission and exhibition free is also admirable. It really takes the pressure off when you’re not worried about covering your table, and I think that relaxed atmosphere lead to more substantial interactions between exhibitors and patrons.


I did manage to sell some books, but I was mostly there to raise the profile of Mythfits. Me and Sam had some ashcan pages available for folks to peruse, and some cover prints, and the patrons I talked to seemed pretty excited about the comic. Can’t wait to unveil that first issue!


It was amazing to see so many people come out on the strength of predominantly local talent. Even if I’m not asked to be an exhibitor next year, I’ll be back as a fan for sure!

Write on!