What has T.C. been up to?

Timothy Carter hasn’t done much writing lately. I’ve done plenty of writing, mind you; a couple of new short stories, a fanfic, and I’m well into a new novel. Trouble is, it hasn’t been Timothy Carter writing them.

The fanfic is a new Transformers story featuring the movie character Crosshairs. As with my other fanfics, I write under the name RodimusDoctor. It’s not a secret; I post links to those stories all the time. Here’s the link to this one: Crosshairs – Targetmaster Down.

The new novel, on the other hand, is a secret. So is the pseudonym I’m writing it under. The new short stories will likely go under that name as well.

So, while I’ve been writing plenty, Timothy Carter hasn’t been doing all that much. He needs to get back in the game, if he doesn’t want his readers to forget about him!

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Abootasaurus!

Or,

The Following Are Paid Political Messages

 

By: Timothy Carter

 

  1. By now, Canadians like yourselves have become aware of an unprecedented situation developing off the British Columbia coast. An enormous reptilian creature, just like Godzilla or Kaiju, has been spotted heading North-East toward Vancouver Island. This creature poses a threat to all of Canada, and decisive action must be taken.

Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaine and NDP Leader Elliot Mercer want to observe this creature, and wait until more information is available before sending in our armed forces. Perhaps they think it’s Dudley the Dragon! What is needed now is strong leadership, for the protection of all Canadians, not hand-wringing and mamby-pamby indecisiveness.

I’m Prime Minister Benson Hedge, and I vow to protect our country from this monster. Remember that when you go to the polls next Tuesday, and vote Conservative.

 

  1. If you saw a strange animal out in the wild, would your first instinct be to kill it? That’s what Prime Minister Benson Hedge wants to do with the newly-discovered aquatic creature off the British Columbia coast.

Hi, I’m Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaine, and I favour a rational, humanitarian approach. What is this creature? Where did it come from? These are questions that won’t be answered by launching a full-scale naval and air force attack!

Send a message to Conservative Leader Benson Hedge. Tell him Canadians want to recall our jets and submarines. And next Tuesday, remember to vote Liberal!

 

  1. The attack on the giant creature, instigated by Prime Minister Benson Hedge, has failed. Now, all of Canada is in danger.

Hi, I’m Elliot Mercer, leader of the NDP. I urged the Prime Minister to let science and reason prevail, and sent a team of marine biologists out to study this creature. Had they arrived before the military, they might have determined that this creature, dubbed Godzill-Eh, can shoot columns of fire from its nose, or that its skin is impervious to torpedo fire. One submarine and both jets were destroyed, halving our Naval fleet and decimating our air force. The remaining sub is returning to port with the creature in pursuit. Benson Hedge failed to protect us from Godzill-Eh, and may have put the entire country in jeopardy.

It’s time for change. Real change. Next Tuesday, vote NDP

 

  1. This is Prime Minister Benson Hedge, and I want to ask all Canadians one question: do you support the men and women who serve in our armed forces?

The Liberals and the NDP do not. They say Godzill-Eh is following the submarine straight back to Victoria, and that our troops, returning to their families after defending our nation from the monster, should try and lead the creature further out to sea. Our brave soldiers fight bravely every day, making the kind of sacrifices the Liberals and NDP clearly do not understand. All they want is to return from a job well done, and hold their children in their arms. Must they now sacrifice time with their loved ones, on the off-chance they can keep Godzill-Eh from coming inland?

I don’t think so. I choose to honour their sacrifice by bringing them home safely.

Next Tuesday, vote for our troops. Vote Conservative.

We’ll talk again tomorrow.

 

  1. The attack on Victoria by the marine creature, dubbed Godzill-Eh or Abootasaurus, was both horrific and unprecedented. Countless lives were lost, and the city lies in ruins.

Hi, I’m Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaine, and I want a Canada that is safe from giant monsters. The Prime Minister apparently does not. He ignored warnings and went ahead with an attack on a creature he did not understand, then allowed the navy to lure it right into the heart of a civilian population, where the polls indicated support for the Conservative government is at its weakest!

If elected, I vow to do three things: keep Abootasaurus contained on Vancouver Island; study the creature, that we might know what we are up against; and encourage Abootasaurus to return to the sea.

Prime Minister Hedge failed you. This coming election, vote for success. Vote for change. Vote Liberal.

 

  1. I was really excited about Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaine, but she really let me down when she promised to keep Abootasaurus contained to Vancouver Island. What about all the others on the island? Reports indicate the monster has devastated Nanaimo, and devoured two ferries on its way inland. The entire province of British Columbia is in danger. A fat lot of good Suzette’s promises did.

Suzette Charmaine – she just lost my vote. Next Tuesday, I’m voting NDP.

 

  1. There comes a time when you have to examine track records, and decide who’s looking out for your best interests. I’m Prime Minister Benson Hedge, and I knew Godzill-Eh was a threat to Canada’s sovereignty from the start. Suzette Charmaine and Elliot Mercer did not. And the Green Party wanted to protect the creature, claiming it is an endangered species. Now that Godzill-Eh has come inland, it looks like we’re the endangered species here. Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, how many more of our cities need to be destroyed before the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens admit they were wrong about the danger this monster posed?

I have a plan to stop Godzill-Eh, and bring peace back to Canadian families. This unGodly abomination will not make it past the Rockies.

If you want a government that will make the right call, vote Conservative.

We’ll talk again tomorrow.

 

  1. The environmental impact of Benson Hedge’s proposed attack on Godzill-Eh, or Abootasaurus, cannot be overstated. Setting wildfires to lure the creature into a rockfall trap will devastate the wildlife and destroy the delicate ecological balance found only in the Rocky Mountains.

My name is Sonya Fowler, and I’m the leader of the Green Party. Before you vote next Tuesday, I want you to think long and hard about the way the Conservative Government has chosen to deal with this crisis. And while you are thinking, why not enjoy a refreshing glass of Maple Cola? A delicious cola taste flavoured with 10% real maple syrup, it’s Canada’s cold comfort!

Paid for by your Maple Cola bottler.

 

  1. When I go to get my flu shot, I worry the cure might be worse than the disease. Like Benson Hedge’s plan to destroy Abootasaurus. Hi, I’m Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaine.

By now, the failure of the Conservative strategy in dealing with this crisis is evident to all. The wildfires devastated over 3000 acres of forest, and only served to enrage the monster. Instead of being driven into a planned rockfall, Abootasaurus went on a rampage from Whistler to Jasper, leaving thousands dead.

“The creature will not make it past the Rockies.”

Wrong! Abootasaurus is stampeding through Calgary as we speak.

“There comes a time when you have to examine track records…”

Exactly! And yours, Mr. Prime Minister, has been a disaster.

I have sent in a team of biologists to examine Abootasaurus. We are analyzing the data. And we will keep this monster from harming our nation further.

Next Tuesday, vote Liberal. Because there will still be a Canada to vote in.

 

  1. If Suzette Charmaine really cared about Canada, she’d make public the data her team of scientists have gathered on Abootasaurus. If she had, we might have known the creature was pregnant, and been prepared when she laid her eggs in the West Edmonton Mall.

Why did Abootasaurus surround the mall with vehicles she’d gathered from around the city? Why does every gas station along the route Abootasaurus took appear to have been scooped from the ground? Is there a connection? Is that why Abootasaurus appears to be heading toward Alberta’s oil sands?

What isn’t Suzette Charmaine telling us? How many more Canadian lives is she willing to sacrifice before she fills the rest of us in?

I’m NDP Leader Elliot Mercer, and I want answers. If you do too, vote NDP next Tuesday.

 

  1. Canada belongs to Canadians. We were born here, we raised our families here. But when others come into our country illegally and take our jobs, our way of life is threatened.

Abootasaurus came into our country and invaded the Oil Sands of Alberta, killing thousands and putting millions out of work. And that’s just not right.

As Prime Minister, I vow to remove Abootasaurus from the Oil Sands and give Canadians back their jobs. And I will tighten our immigration policy, so those jobs stay with true-born Canadians.

Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaine says the creature has entered a dormant phase, and should be left alone while scientists study it further. Sorry, Suzette, but getting Canadians back to work is not something I think we should wait for.

It’s time for you to go, Abootasaurus! And a vote for the Conservative Party will keep him gone.

I’m Prime Minister Benson Hedge. We’ll talk again tomorrow.

 

  1. When your doctor tells you to lay off the red meat, you listen. When your mechanic tells you your brakes are shot, you listen. Why? Because they are experts who know what they are talking about.

Like my team of biologists. When they tell me Abootasaurus has entered a dormant phase, I listen. When they tell me a full-scale military attack, like Benson Hedge is proposing, will awaken and enrage Abootasaurus, I listen. And he should listen, too.

Further study of this creature is necessary, and may provide valuable insight into Abootasaurus’ intentions, and more importantly its weaknesses. Study of the monster’s young might also provide valuable insight, but Benson Hedge has them quarantined at an undisclosed location. Any data gleaned from them will be kept secret. But in spite of what the NDP have said, I will make all my findings public.

This Tuesday, send the Prime Minister a message; call off the attack on the slumbering giant, and release the information gleaned from Abootasaurus’ babies. Send that message by voting Liberal.

I’m Suzette Charmaine, and I want to save this country.

 

  1. Canadians are tired of being stomped and eaten by a giant reptilian monster. Action needs to be taken to save those of us who remain.

Hello, I am Gilles DeLapin, leader of the Bloc Quebecois. I have a plan to keep all Quebecois safe, and create jobs to keep our economy strong. If elected, I will build a solid steel wall all around Quebec, strong enough to withstand Abootasaurus’ attack.

The Prime Minister has failed to protect Canada. But we can still save ourselves. Vivre la Quebec libre!

 

  1. Learning from our mistakes is important to strong leadership, but Prime Minister Benson Hedge hasn’t learned anything at all. He has attacked Abootasaurus three times, and all he’s done is make the problem worse. The assault on the Alberta Oil Sands resulted in a catastrophic loss of life, and caused an environmental disaster that future generations will be tasked with cleaning up.

Survivors of these events are well-advised to kick back and relax with an ice-cold bottle of Moosenberg, the fresh taste of the Canadian wilderness! Please drink responsibly.

And next Tuesday, do the responsible thing and vote Green. I’m Sonya Fowler.

Paid for by the Moosenberg Brewing Company.

 

  1. Suzette Charmaigne doesn’t understand families. She doesn’t understand the economy. And she doesn’t understand how to kill Abootasaurus. She wants to send a small team to inject a synthesized toxin into the creature’s bloodstream, and poison him “from the heart out.” But research into Abootasaurus’ offspring shows no evidence the monster can be defeated by the Care Bear Stare! Our studies indicate that, while its skin is heavily armoured, it isn’t indestructible. Abootasaurus will be defeated by an air force attack, not a flu shot.

Care-levels are dropping, Suzette! Put your little needle away, and leave protecting Canada to the big boys.

I’m Prime Minister Benson Hedge, leader of the Conservative Party. We’ll talk again tomorrow.

 

  1. The tragic loss of life caused by Abootasaurus, and Prime Minister Benson Hedge’s ill-advised strategies for dealing with the monster, has been nothing short of horrific. Just as horrific are the injuries suffered by the survivors. These people need medical attention, and with the Conservatives’ proposed legislation to privatize healthcare, many Canadians will not be able to afford the treatment they need. The Liberals’ health care reform strategy doesn’t take Abootasaurus injuries into account. My proposed bill does. I’m NDP Leader Elliot Mercer, and my healthcare reforms will ensure that all Canadians hurt by this disaster will receive treatment.

Don’t let the government profit from your injuries. On Tuesday, vote NDP.

 

  1. Abootasaurus is a threat that faces all Canadians, not just the top 1%. Yet in the past week, Prime Minister Benson Hedge has evacuated only the wealthiest people from the monster’s path.

Hi, I’m Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaine, and I want to save all of Canada from this threat. My team is working on a toxin, based on blood samples they took from Abootasaurus before the debacle that was the Hedge-ordered military strike on the oil sands. The army and the air force have failed to even slow it down. The military option isn’t working, Benson! My team needs access to the monster’s offspring, but the Prime Minister has refused. I guess he’s been busy sending his millionaire friends to the Abootabunkers.

If elected, I will concentrate on evacuating all Canadians from Abootasaurus’ path. She has already levelled Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, and was last seen swimming in Lake Superior. Any one of our Great Lakes cities could be the next target!

It’s time for a change. Real change.  When Tuesday comes, vote Liberal.

 

  1. In these dark, tragic times, it can be easy to lose sight of the issues that matter most. Hi, I’m Prime Minister Benson Hedge, and I want to protect Canada from all threats. Evacuations of the cities in Abootasaurus’ path create prime targets for terrorist organizations like Isis. As prime minister, I will see to it that anyone suspected of being a terrorist be barred access to evacuation services. I will also set up a toll-free emergency phone line for concerned citizens to report activities they may associate with terrorism. I urge Canadians to use this line if they feel under threat during any and all stages of the evacuation effort.

Similar policies are being devised for the relief effort.

I want to protect all Canadians. That can only happen if all Canadians do their part. Stay safe. Report suspicious activity. And on Tuesday, vote Conservative.

I’m Prime Minister Benson Hedge. We’ll talk again tomorrow.

 

  1. Public transit. Affordable housing. Education reform. These are the issues the Prime Minister has ignored long before Abootasaurus came ashore. And now, while this basic infrastructure is literally being trampled, Benson Hedge continues to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear.

Hi, I’m NDP Leader Elliot Mercer, and I want to fix what was already broken. We didn’t need a giant reptilian monster to show us our schools are crumbling, or that the trains are often delayed, or that homelessness has reached epidemic proportions. Now, these issues are as impossible to avoid as Abootasaurus herself.

Tomorrow, vote for infrastructure done right. The Liberals and Conservatives care only about killing Abootasaurus. I’m looking beyond the monster’s rampage, and you should too.

 

  1. Abootasaurus has devastated Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Mississauga. She is rampaging through Etobicoke as we speak. The military and air force continue to fire on the monster, but are only causing further damage to the surrounding neighbourhoods.

A change of strategy is sorely needed. And needed now.

Hi, I’m Liberal Leader Suzette Charmaigne, and I am going to save Canada. I have a plan in motion; my team of scientists gained entry to the government research laboratory where Abootasaurus’ young are being held and acquired the data they need to kill the creature. There was a reason Abootasaurus surrounded her young with gasoline-filled cars in Edmonton, a reason she took refuge in the Alberta Oil Sands, a reason she continues to devour gas stations and tanker trucks. This link between fossil fuels and Abootasaurus is critical; had this data been made available to my scientists earlier, many more lives might have been spared.

Hedge has failed. My scientists have a real chance at success. Should they win the day, and save us from Abootasaurus, go to the polls tomorrow and save Canada from our incumbent Prime Minister by voting Liberal.

 

  1. Hello, this is Prime Minister Benson Hedge, and I have good news for Canada. Abootasaurus, the monster that has terrorized our country for the last week, is dead. I promised Abootasaurus would be stopped, and I delivered.

But while this is a time of celebration for this unprecedented victory, the details of Abootasaurus’ defeat cannot be ignored. The data used to devise the toxin that was administered into the creature’s bloodstream was obtained using methods indistinguishable from terrorism.

A military institution outside Petawawa, Ontario, was broken into by a group of Liberal Party employees claiming to be biological scientists. Several guards were rendered unconscious, and vital research materials were stolen, including a live specimen of one of Abootasaurus’ young. They developed their toxin, no doubt subjecting the infant creature that some have dubbed Beavera to inhumane research practices.

Then, this group trespassed into a quarantined combat zone, putting themselves and other Canadians in harm’s way, in order to administer their biological weapon. They gained illegal entry to the CN Tower, created a makeshift catapult out of stolen property found on site, and launched their toxin into Abootasaurus’ mouth. Their formula allegedly ignited the fossil fuels in the creature’s bloodstream, causing an explosion that devastated the downtown core and destroyed a national landmark.

The methods of this team of scientists, while successful, were brazenly illegal, dangerous, and do not represent the identity and values of this country. Their trespass on the military incursion of Toronto jeopardized the mission, and the detonation of Abootasaurus cost the lives of hundreds of Canada’s brave soldiers. Had their toxin proved ineffective, many more lives would have been lost. Had they survived, this team of Liberal meddlers would have been punished to the full extent of the law. An investigation into the Liberal Party’s involvement is currently underway.

Today, when you go to the remaining polling stations, vote with your conscience. Vote for the government that defeated Abootasaurus. Be a true Canadian hero in this time of crisis, and vote for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Finished ZJD, New Merc vs Metal

It’s been a good week for me as a writer! A bad week for me as a human. Nothing serious, mind you – I’ve got a cold that’s pretty nasty, and not much fun. First cold in a very long time. Lucky me.

But enough about that! This week I am proud to say I finished the first draft of my new novel, Zombie Jesus Day (or ZJD)! I’ve been working on this one for at least two years, on again and off again, and I’m glad the story is finally down. Editing and revising will be another huge milestone to reach, but for now I’m just glad to bask in this current accomplishment.

I’ve also posted a new fanfic story on Archive of Our Own. Continuing with my Merc vs Metal series, in which I pit the Marvel Comics character Deadpool against the Transformers live action movie universe. This time, the Merc with a Mouth tangles with some Decepticons in the Mexican theme park of Xel-Ha. I’ve already received a Kudo for it, and a wonderful comment! It is so very rewarding, receiving comments. It’s called Merc vs Metal: Skullcruncher gets Skullf#&ed. Ooh, what naughty language! I should be ashamed. I’m going to keep writing in this series – I’m building toward something big – but I can’t say for sure when I’ll start the next chapter. I’ll keep you all posted.

Correction/Update: I have now received 2 comments! Joy.

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone!

2017 – A Year To Get Busy

It’s 2017, and high time I blogged again. I’d all but abandoned this medium – life got in the way. A lot of loss. Maybe I’ll write about that on my other blog. Suffice it to say, I’m back in blogging spirits again. Sort of. Kind of. Well, a bit.

Professionally speaking, 2016 started well but ended badly. There was the anticipation of the release of The Five Demons You Meet In Hell, and then there was the launch at Ad Astra. Things were great. I announced a sequel. Then, late in November, Pop Seagull closed its doors, and 5 Demons was orphaned.

It was a good year for fanfic production. I wrote three stories set in the Transformers cinematic universe, two of them featuring the Marvel character Deadpool. Those two got a decent number of views and even a few comments! That was nice, but not enough to significantly increase my brand awareness. If you are interested, you can read them here and here.

Oh, and Apoca-Lynn got one more sale. That brings its total to 9. Still can’t break double-digits. I’ve basically given up on that book. A shame, since I spent a considerable part of last year writing a sequel. And plotting the next several books. Sigh.

I wrote a considerable chunk of Zombie Jesus Day, too. More than 2 thirds. It won’t be much longer now before I write The End on the first draft.

I’m also typing up the third installment of my Merc vs. Metal fanfic. I have big ideas for further installments, too. No doubt that will keep me busy after I put ZJD to bed.

I’ve asked a bunch of friends to beta read an older manuscript of mine, titled Young Nostradamus. I’m thinking of taking the self-publishing route with it, depending on the feedback I get.

I’m also developing a pseudonym. I’m giving a lot of thought to branding, and there’s some stuff I want to write that doesn’t quite fit my squeaky-clean, goodie-two-shoes Timothy Carter name.

That’s all I have to say about that. For now, I’m keeping Timothy Carter and the new name separate. Soon, ‘he’ will be blogging and promoting himself, and I hope the right audience finds him.

2017 looks promising. A year for hard work, certainly. For creating product to put on shelves in 2018 and 2019. A year to rebuild my career as an author.

A year to get busy once again.

I Didn’t Go To GenreCon 2017

Last weekend, GenreCon returned to Guelph after a two-year hiatus. And I wasn’t there.

I went to GenreCon twice before, and had a wonderful experience both times. And, both times, the programming team asked me to come! For an author still trying to find an audience, it doesn’t get much better than that.

I was greatly saddened when the con went on hiatus. When I learned it was coming back, I was overjoyed.

But I didn’t go. There are a few reasons why. I wasn’t asked, for one thing. That meant I would not get a complimentary membership like I had in the past. My request for programming information went unanswered, so I didn’t get a jump on panel selection.

I also have very little to promote this year. Yes, I released The Five Demons You Meet In Hell less than a year ago, but without Pop Seagull to back me up, I’d have to do all the work myself. Normally I’d be happy to do it – I’ve done it many times before – but I’m not prepared to this time. Not for a book that no longer has a home.

In the end, though, it all comes down to money. It would have cost around $500 to attend, with hotel, transport, food and membership. More, if I’d wanted to rent a table to sell books from. There’s just no way I could do it this year.

Hopefully next year my fortunes will have changed, and I’ll have something new to promote. Until then…

Musical Accompaniment

Writing today, I was stuck for over half an hour trying to choose a song for my characters to listen to as they drive off to fight a town full of zombies. I kept choosing and rejecting, writing down possibilities and then crossing them out and trying again.

I have the same problem when trying to come up with a new character’s name.  It all depends on what I want the mood of the scene to be, or what I want to convey. Do I want the song (or name) to fit the mood of the scene (or personality of the character), or be ironically funny for its inappropriateness? In either case, I can’t carry on with the story until I work it out!

In the end I settled for Jump, by Van Halen. And while I was able to carry on with the story after making my choice, I’m still not completely happy with that selection. Other possibilities include Eat It by Weird Al, Enter Night by Metallica, Baby One More Time by Brittany Spears, and the theme song from Sesame Street.

It’s a fluid situation.

 

Character Conundrum

There comes a moment in every writer’s life where they put down their pen (or keyboard) and say, “What the fudge am I doing?” A similar question is, “where the hell is this scene/twist/plot point going?” Most times, the answer you’ll get is, “that’s why you should’ve written an outline, crap-for-brains,” which is a hard thing to hear. Especially if you did write an outline. But I never do. Just not the way I roll.

Anyway, I’m having trouble with a scene in my latest project, ZJD. I have introduced a new minor character, who has conflict with one of my main guys. He has a story reason to be there – he serves a function – but I can’t quite get a handle on how the scene ought to go. And if that weren’t enough, this minor character is insisting on more page time. He wants to go with my main characters into the novel’s climax, and the narrative is bending to his will.

I may have to kill him off.

Why can’t characters just do as they’re told?

Don’t You Remember Creating Me?

Sometimes, we authors mess up big time and forget things we did earlier in our stories. I just realized I completely forgot about a character I’d introduced in ZJD – a character who’s now been absent from the narrative for at least 50 pages!

 

Man, do I feel like a dum-dum. Especially since this isn’t the first character in ZJD I’ve forgotten about!

 

I think I know why. I’ve taken too many breaks from writing this novel. I stop and I start, I write fanfic and then I get back to it. It’s all part of my creative process, but I think my process needs to change a bit.

 

It’s not a good idea for an author to neglect their characters.

More Fanfic!

I’ve written a couple more fanfic stories, posted on Archive of Our Own. As before, I’m using the pseudonym RodimusDoctor.

 

Both stories take place in the Transformers movie universe (or Bayverse), prior to the events of Age of Extinction. One of them features Deadpool. The other features a Dinobot. And both tie in to my Merc vs. Metal series.

 

Merc vs Metal: Masters of Head is a direct sequel to Sideswipe Gets ‘Pooled. I introduce the Headmaster concept into the Bayverse, courtesy of Weasel (Deadpool’s ‘pal’). Weasel has worked with robotics in Marvel Comics, so it didn’t seem too much of a stretch to suggest he might experiment with Cybertronian robotics and their application.

 

The story also gave me the opportunity to detail the fate of the Twins, Skids and Mudflap. Both were absent from the movie Dark of the Moon, even though they both appeared (and died at the hands of Sentinel Prime) in the novel and comic adaptations. Since the movies are canon, I decided the Twins’ fates were still up in the air and therefore fair game for fanfic!

 

The second story is I, Snarl. There are always a lot of characters introduced in the toylines that don’t make it into the films, and AoE was no exception. We see four Dinobots (or Legendary Warriors) in the film – Grimlock, Scorn, Strafe and Slug – and the toyline gave us three more. Two of those (Slog and Slash) I used in the first Merc vs. Metal (and I added Skullcruncher to the mix, because I figured they could use a crocodile). I could have thrown the third non-film Dinobot – Snarl – in there, too, but I saw bigger and better things for him. What if one of the Knights had done something terrible, and went into exile? And what if the bounty hunter Lockdown found him? I, Snarl is the result.

 

What’s next? Well, I actually want to get back to some of my own stuff. I’m into the last third of Zombie Jesus Day, and I’d like to have the first draft written by Christmas. Then, I’d like to start a third Boston Lefebvre novel.

 

There are more fanfic stories on the horizon, however. Merc vs. Metal: Deadpool Gets Primed is coming, and I want to do a story featuring Crosshairs, Hound, and some of the Decepticons who survived the events of Dark of the Moon. Plus, I want to write more Doctor Who. He’s too much fun!

 

Of course, my Muse will dictate which project comes next (though she can, on occasion, be bargained with). We shall see.

Can-Con 2016 – An Overview

Another of my favourite conventions has been, come and gone. Here are the highlights.

The venue was new: the Novotel beside the Rideau Centre and the Byward Market. It’s a nice hotel, if a little cramped. The hallways were difficult to navigate between panels, the right staircases were not obvious, and there were two towers and therefore two different 3rd floors. A bit confusing, but hardly enough to stop the fun.

A new feature this year were the name cards/character sheets. Designed like Dungeons & Dragons character sheets, the id badges provided a game element to the con. Points could be gained by attending panels and readings, getting signed copies of books, meeting new people, and other fun con activities. I myself did not take full advantage of this new element – I kept meaning to update my card and have boss battles with the con organizers, but I just never got to it. Very creative idea, though.

My panels went well. Friday night I had my reading, followed immediately by the Batman vs. Superman panel. There were roughly ten people at my reading, including fellow readers Ada Hoffmann and Timothy(!) Gwyn. I got some laughs, and we were all well-received.

The BvS: Cataloguing The Badness panel was surprisingly civilized. We debated the pluses and minuses of the film, and agreed on quite a few things. Attendance was low for a Friday night panel on a divisive movie, though.

Saturday gave me mixed feelings. I attended a couple of afternoon panels and hung out with friends, then made my way to my Can The Exorcist Work In The Modern World panel at 5. This one didn’t go the way I’d expected – I’d thought the discussion would be about religious-themed stories like The Exorcist and whether they can resonate with secular audiences today. Instead there was very little of that, and most of the time was devoted to the Exorcist novel and movie and what everyone thought of them. And, the moderator warned everyone to be respectful of religious beliefs, which troubled me a bit. It’s not that I wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I did want to speak freely about why I felt Exorcist-type stories could still invoke fear. For me, the realization that the nuttiest of religious extremists were right all along is a concept too terrifying to accept. I managed to make that point anyway, but felt unable to really contribute to a conversation that centred around a movie I saw once (and a novel I hadn’t read) rather than jumping off from it. A shame – I was really looking forward to that one.

The Spam panel would have been a lot more fun if we’d had more participants. As it was there were two of us, and a moderator acting as referee. I’m pretty pleased with the spam story I pieced together, but this event wasn’t as enjoyable as it should have been.

The highlight of Saturday was, of course, the Paper Airplane Contest! Marie Bilodieu was once again running the event with an iron fist of fear, even though her voice was half-gone. I feared her, but I also wanted to give her a ginger ale or something. My plane did a spectacular belly-flop into loserville, but my rendition of Monty Python’sAlways Look On The Bright Side Of Life” was a smash hit (Marie insists participants sing for their paper, or tell a joke or something).

I ended the day with a couple of book trades (those count as sales, right?) and generally good spirits.

I had no programming on Sunday, so I went to hang out and go to the readings of S.M. Carriere, Erik Buchanan and Nicole Lavine. Made a couple of (heavily discounted) sales, too! Less stuff to carry back.

And then it ended. Sadness. But good memories. Not as successful promotion-wise as Ad Astra or last year’s Can Con had been – really hard to sell books without a dealer’s room table.

And that’s it, con-wise, for this year. No SFContario to look forward to, unfortunately. I shall miss my fandom friends. They are a good bunch, and really help to make life worth living!