VCON 41 Countdown…

I’ll be attending VCON41 in Surrey, BC again this year Sept 30 to Oct 2, 2016.  So far I’m scheduled in as:

Friday 

  • Panel on  “Upcoming television SF Television” 19:00 – 19:50

Saturday 

  • Panel “What is it about Dragons and Other Fabulous Beasts?” 22:30-23:20 

Sunday 

  • reading from one of my stories Sunday 10 – 10:25
  • Panel on Building Monsters 12 – 12:50

VCON is always a blast as well as having great resources for writers and other SF/F creators!

This year’s themes are puppetry in SF/F and the small presses. The great thing about general Cons like this is the variety – of things to do, people to meet and so forth! 

GOH is Robert Sawyer.

I’ll be working on a costume for J too, based on the latest Star Wars movie! My non-writer friends can always find panels on science or art.  It’s a great all-around good time.  

Find info at http://www.vcon.ca

Polar Borealis Magazine Get My Story Free

POLAR BOREALIS Magazine #2 is finally published and available for free download to anyone who wants to read it. It contains the following goodies:

  • Stories by Stan G. Hyde, Ron Friedman, Steve Fahnestalk, Michael John Bertrand, Holly Schofield, David Perlmutter, R. Graeme Cameron, Catherine Girczyc, Dave Duncan, Nina Munteanu, Matthew Hughes, and Spider Robinson.
  • Cover art by Eric Chu.
  • Poems by Colleen Anderson, Rissa Johnson, Mary Choo, Eileen Kernaghan, Rhea Rose, and J.Y.T. Kennedy.

Just go to http://polarborealis.ca and click on “Current/Back Issues” in the header, then scroll a short distance down to the link.

Cover art by Eric Chu

title page

 

Why I’m not rich = 2893 – West 41 Avenue

I have, for several years, avoided writing on the subject of how I lost my money. I did okay in tv and film.  It wasn’t that.  Frankly, I was a single widowed mum who could afford good child care, lessons for the child and buy a condo / townhouse worth $432,000 in 2007. DSC00015

Then the truth came out about that townhouse, none of which was in the Minutes I reviewed or were flagged by the ‘Inspector’ I hired.

But recently, there’s a great article on the Vancouver Sun site which explains how it happens that a strata has way more upcoming maintenance than it can afford.  Ours had a strata council that, at best, was getting senile and, at worst may have been outright lying about the condition and whitewashing minutes.

This article also predicts that I & the 3 other families caught by 2893’s problems won’t be the last ones!

In a nutshell, the lack of available funds to fix my townhome caused great financial damage as this article predicts will become more common here in Vancouver.

Although 2893 West 41 Avenue (my townhome) had to have multiple floods before a building engineering report was done. Oh, and the old strata council’s minutes included praise for the management and president so that at least 4 of us bought in in 2007 when they should have been fixing it. Instead, we bought in, letting some of the old guard out. So we took the financial hit. But when a 19 unit place needs close to $4 million of fixes, it causes forced sales (mine and others).

So financial troubles came to me, not from writing – it wasn’t a big film on my credit card as it has been with some of my film friends – it was a Vancouver real estate buy! Shocking in a town where they say you can’t go wrong.  Admittedly, due to the uprising market, it was mitigated a little by the time I sold, but I’ll carry debt due to this until I die.

There was no legal recourse.  Legal fees for just being able to hang onto the condo until I sold it were $12,000 from my lawyer.  It was close to criminal, but not – as in, the strata’s lying would have to be proved in court –  but I and the other ‘new’ owners didn’t have another 50k$ to go there.  One of my co-victims tried to get lawyers on pro bono, but they refused.  All the case law is apparently in favour of the building and it did need to be fixed.  New roof, exteriors, windows, doors, garbage area, front entrance, and it is now rainscreened (but it’s not perfect yet – the garage awaits).

It’s a terrible situation all around for those who experienced it and it looks like there will be lots more of this heartache to come!

So why is this on my writing blog?  To warn you that the pundits are often wrong.  You can go wrong with platinum level real estate in a city where the prices do nothing but go up! (And admittedly, I lost less due to this factor). But you can lose the forever home you thought you were raising your child in! And, I probably could have made a movie of the week for the money I lost (okay, very low budget)…. but it’s a thought….

 

 

 

December 2015

My beautiful picture
Bill Pochylko, Stettler, AB 1950s.

Recently received another SF award! The story Steamer Plane, is a Writers of the Future, Honourable Mention 4th Quarter, 2015.

It’s always great to get this in an email:

Your story has been judged and is an Honorable Mention for the 4th quarter. (entry between 1 July through 30 September 2015).

OTOH: Strange Horizons had one of my stories for nearly 6 months and sent me an ‘oops, it must have gotten lost in the email’ response complete with copy of email, carefully undated.

Sometimes you’re winning, with a hot car in a daring color, driving down Main Street – thanks WOTF – and sometimes you’re not…(the other guys).

This is my 2nd WOTF win this year: Absinthe Kind won

Honorable Mention for the 3rd quarter of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. (entry between 1 April and 30 June 2015).

I always wonder if I qualify, but then I decide that I do because all of my short story sales have been to non-pro markets.  And that pesky novel isn’t even done yet, let alone sold!

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The 1950s picture is from Dad’s collection Bill Pochylko, Stettler, Alberta. He’s  driving past Thirsk’s 5 to Dollar Store.

 

 

 

September 2015 VCON cometh

As usual, I’ve been busy.  Going to appear at VCON 2015 on some writing related panels. VCON is always a good time. This year’s writer Guest of Honour is Joe Haldeman, famous for The Forever War among other books.  

To find out about the con go to http://www.vcon.ca

For more on Joe Haldeman, see http://www.joehaldeman.com

Con prep, around our house consists of rereading Haldeman, making costume for J. and reading Aurora Awards nominees. 

For info on the Aurora Awards, see http://www.prixaurorawards.ca

 

May 20, 2015 Post Dance Competitions!

Woot! Three weeks of dance competitions and Jessica did terrifically! Here she is doing an aerial!  I thoroughly enjoy my time watching her and being a laid-back and not fussy dance mum.

It’s time for me to find that new agent.  I’ve got a spec script that I want sold!  Plus, I feel like I can do the other scripts in my head now.  So watch this space for more on that!

Aerial!
Aerial!

April 25, 2015 Burnaby Creative Ink Festival

Sandra Wickham’s invited me to do a Blue Pencil Café at her new writing convention, the  Creative Ink Festival in Burnaby, BC.

Modeled on the usual SF/F con, the day is all about writing.  I’m hoping it’s a success for Sandra. It’s a good place to meet other authors and learn about publishing and writing.

I’ll be blue-penciling script scenes at 11 am there. So, signup if you want some help on tv or film scenes! I might read from my novel in progress later in the day.

http://www.sandrawickham.com/creativeinkfestival/

The venue is the EXECUTIVE SUITES HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTRE BURNABY.

Upcoming Appearance – VCON 39

It’s that time of year again! VCON the local annual science fiction and fantasy convention is coming.  I usually attend and meet old friends.  Also, act as costume assistant for Jessica.  She constructs some great costumes – the cyborg tree for example!

This year I’m a panelist again!  It’s fun to be on panels and interact with other authors. It’s a great way to meet new writers and editors.  VCON is fairly small so I doubt that there will be agents there, but I’ve met book agents at cons.  Some small publishers such as Five Rivers and Edges SF will be in attendance, too. They offer  ‘pitches’ session for novels. As a prose writer, you can learn a lot at a good convention. This one is also the Canadian national awards host for this year: Canvention 34.  This is a very prestigious set of awards, called the Auroras- given for outstanding performance in several arenas of SF/F art.  It includes writing, art and media. (Full Disclosure: I have 2.)

If any of y0u would like to join us, see:   Information on VCON.

I’m doing 3 panels: Everyone’s a Critic, Finding Inspiration and Best Writing Advice Ever.

IMG_0173I’m also pleased to announce I’m moderator on a panel with the top writer guest there: David Weber.  He’s a well known and respected military SF writer.  Maybe best known for his Honor Harrington series, he has an interesting new Safehold series out.  I read Off Armageddon Reef recently.  See information about David Weber.

January and clear skies above

In the new year, the writer must make some goals.
For me, the goals for my creative side are all about my novel. I’m 33,000 words in now. This novel started with the Clarion West workshop fund-raiser. I’ve been working on it via my IPad since.
I had a bad period when ancient IPad died – it just wouldn’t take a charge anymore. After consulting my Mac guru and the Apple store, realized it wasn’t fixable.
Christmas was very good to me. My dear friends gave me a new IPad mini. Now the novel is sailing along again! Thanks to those who believe in my talent!
So, I delivered chapter 4 to my first reader last week. My new goal is chapter 5 delivered this week. I do rough versions of between 500 and 1000 words per writing night. Since the child dances 5 days per week, I can get 1 or 2 good writing nights in each week. Doesn’t sound like a lot but it has delivered 33 thousand words so far – all done after I do my busy corporate day job.

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