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Archive for July 2, 2018

Shore Leave 40 — my schedule

The Shore Leave 40 schedule is now up at the main site:

https://www.shore-leave.com/programming/schedule.htm

Here are my panels, with descriptions quoted from the convention booklet:

FRIDAY 7/6:

Anthologies – Share The Love — 7 PM, Salon E
What attracts readers to short story collections? Do you prefer themed collections, single author collections, or a Whitman’s Sampler of stories? What draws authors to write for anthologies?
Greg Cox (M), Phil Giunta, Jenifer Rosenberg, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Christopher L. Bennett, Joshua Palmatier, Richard C. White
Meet the Pros — Hunt/Valley Corridor, 10 PM – midnight
The usual mass signing event for all the authors, where Among the Wild Cybers will make its formal debut. I also plan to have copies of older books to sell and sign, including Only Superhuman and some Star Trek back titles.
SATURDAY 7/7:
Science Fact — 9 AM, Derby Room
What really cool recent technologies and scientific breakthroughs or discoveries will shape our near future reality, as well as the way we tell genre stories?
Kelli Fitzpatrick (M), Phil Giunta, Christopher L. Bennett, Glenn Hauman, Mary Louise Davie
Star Trek Adventures RPG — 12 PM, Salon E
Starfleet needs a new crew! Come hear about how you can boldly explore strange new worlds at the game table with friends.
Stephen Kozeniewski (M), Jim Johnson, Christopher L. Bennett
SUNDAY 7/8:
Christopher L. Bennett Q&A — 1 PM, Derby Room
In connection with the Shore Leave premiere of Among the Wild Cybers, the author talks about his 20-year career writing original and tie-in fiction.
So pretty much just Salon E and Derby for me, both relatively small meeting rooms. I wasn’t expecting a huge crowd for my solo panel anyway, not on a Sunday afternoon. But it’s a chance to talk about AtWC and its stories, including the new Only Superhuman prequel story “Aspiring to Be Angels.” Aside from the panels, I’ll probably do a stint or two at the book vendors’ table.

Almost there

The good news I’ve been awaiting for months is finally here — almost. I can’t say what it is yet, but paperwork has been signed, and I can say with confidence that I will soon be able to start climbing out of my current deep financial hole, probably within the next 2-3 weeks, which is just in the nick of time. The worst should be almost over.

Unfortunately, I can’t feel that much relief at the moment, since my trip to the Shore Leave Convention in Baltimore is just a couple of days away now. In fact, I’m going by a roundabout route, since I’ve agreed to run an errand for a family member who recently moved to the DC area while I’m heading that way, so the outbound part of the trip is going to be significantly longer than usual. If all goes according to plan, though, the trip won’t cost me more than the price of gas and food, and maybe a night in a motel along the way, depending on my endurance. If my book sales at the convention are good enough, I may even come out a bit ahead. But it’s cutting it really, really close, and I don’t like having to go on a trip when I have so little money to spare for emergencies (although at least my auto insurance is paid up).

Also, there were things I was hoping I’d be able to afford to buy before my trip, like new glasses and new clothes. Nothing I can’t do without, but some things that would’ve been good to have ahead of time. This is going to be my big book premiere for Among the Wild Cybers, so I can’t miss it, but I wish it were happening a few weeks later, or that my good news had come a few weeks earlier, so that I’d be in a position to relax and enjoy the trip more.

Well, I guess it’s good that what I’m worried about now is optional stuff I can’t afford rather than essential stuff I can’t afford. And I’m better off than I was a week ago, when I was on the verge of panic over whether I’d even be able to pay August’s rent if my good news were delayed any further. It’s a relief, intellectually, to have my longer-term concerns eased somewhat, but it’s hard to shake off my worries after they’ve been with me for so long. Hopefully getting to see my family, friends, and fans during this trip will help me feel better.

It’s also starting to sink in that my good news will only be a moderate improvement on my financial situation. It’s a start, and it should make me more comfortable for the rest of this year at least, but it’s a stopgap until I find other sources of income. Hopefully the royalties from Among the Wild Cybers will be significant, and there are other works I’m hoping to sell that could help too. And while the job-hunting efforts I made over the past few months never quite came to fruition, I could always try again later on.

Sometimes I look at my priorities in life and I hate it that my level of contentment and satisfaction has become so closely linked with how much money I have. I never wanted my priorities in life to be centered around money as a requirement for happiness. But the way our society is structured, it’s kind of hard not to end up thinking that way, because you can’t have much in the way of quality of life if you can’t afford to. Although, ironically, the people who have more money than they’ll ever need are somehow the ones who are most desperate to get more. And it’s because of them that the rest of us have so little.

Anyway, thanks for listening/reading, guys. Your support has kept me going through this rough time in more ways than one.