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Table Layout

Modern writers need some sort of convention presence.  I’ve seen enough of my favorite writers set up shop in such a way, though others keep themselves busy with appearances, if they’re lucky.  Some writers set up a table and stack up books.  Some go for different layouts, working with other writers to set up an area that looks more like a showroom than a simple table display.

Everyone has different ways to go about it, but the important thing is to make a good show, spread the word, and sell some cool stuff.

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Quiet Condemnation, Public Praise

When I visited Jonesboro, AR for my nephew’s recent birthday, I stopped briefly in their Barnes & Noble, hoping to find a copy of a book I had not been able to track down locally. Looking around their store, I noticed a good number of people throughout the area, looking through books, sitting in the cafe, and relaxing in the seating area.

These are the sorts of things one would expect to see in a bookstore, especially a Barnes & Noble. I haven’t seen such a sight in the better part of five years.

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Caught In A Vise

Last week, I had to work six days straight. My day job usually comes in 12-hour shifts, so that’s a lot of time at work. This week, I’m doing five days in a row.

Between going to and from work, sleep, eating, there’s not much time for writing. I have to steal every ounce I can get.

Is it enough?

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Just Chill

There are times when it all looks like too much.  In those moments, we have to just chill.

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Planning Conventions

At a few of the conventions I have attended, regardless of size, there have been writers on hand, selling their works.  This hasn’t just been small-press or wholly independent authors, but seasoned veterans as well.

Every table has a different approach, from aesthetic to display.

Seeing a variety of these displays has made me realize I need to keep my own potential table setup in mind, if only for planning purposes.

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Who’s The Villain?

A hero is only as good as their villain.  That’s a line I use when I look at a story that leans on an action hero, especially in science fiction and fantasy.  Dune has the Harkonnens, distinct greedy psychopaths all looking for to satisfy their personal desires.  Star Wars has Darth Vader, with all his heavy breathing and cold menace.

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, I found another villain who embraces the unrepentant nature of the true villain.  Ronan the Accuser.

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Can Feminism Be Tested?

In the past few years, calls for feminism in media has brought a lot of attention to The Bechdel Test.  It’s a nice idea having at least two named female characters in a story who talk to each other about something other than a man.

As an X-Men fan, I’m fine with this idea.  I just don’t know if it’s a representative as it could be.  About a year ago, I found an alternative that works just as well, the Mako Mori Test.

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It Would Be Easy To Give Up

I’ve had a world of crushing stress fall on me over the years, it’s what makes the writing good.

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Can You Fall In Love Again?

When I worked at the bookstore, I ran into a coworker in the break room.  Megan was always reading something interesting, so, when I saw her with a new book, I asked, “What are you reading?”

She looked slightly away from me as she held up the hardcover in her hands.  It was one of those vampire books that a lot of people read and everyone makes fun of now.  “I got on the bandwagon.”

Valuing her opinion, I asked, “Is it any good?”

Megan’s answer: “No.”

A few weeks later, I caught her again with a hardcover.  “Still reading it?”

“No,” she said, lifting the book.  “I moved on to the next one.”

“So it got better?”

“No.  It’s awful.”

I can’t make this stuff up.

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In the movie Galaxy Quest, Tim Allen’s character has a line he delivers at the end of every mission.  “Never give up, never surrender.”  Sure it can be a bit hokey, but there’s a truth to that line.

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