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Nov 2007:
29th Book Signing
29th Fire Season
27th Fantasy Hotlist
26th Bird Watching
25th Island Life
21st Message Board
21st Thanksgiving
19th Sounds of Saturn
18th Post Wildfires
16th Conventions
13th Lake Placid
8th   World Fantasy II
6th   World Fantasy
Book Signing
Posted by JVJ @ 0:05 am
Nov 29th : 2007

If you're close to San Diego, stop by and see me next Friday, Dec 7th at 7pm. I'll be signing books at Mysterious Galaxy.
Fire Season
Posted by JVJ @ 0:02 am
Nov 29th : 2007

Fire season continues in San Diego. The conditions for wildfires are just about perfect: low humidity, bush thatís as dry as hay, no significant rain in 9 months and desert winds. Iíve lived in San Diego for nearly twenty years and this is the worst fire season Iíve experienced. When I was on Catalina I could smell the Malibu fire and see the haze of smoke in the distance.
The day the fires threatened my neighborhood last month, the TV weathermen reported a phenomena Iíd never heard of before: minus humidity. Still not sure what this means. The airís extremely dry at the moment, not minus but in the single digits. Iím hoping for rain at the weekend.
In Depth Interview
Posted by JVJ @ 7:31 pm
Nov 27th : 2007

Pat over at Fantasy Hotlist has posted an interview about the Sword of Shadows series. This is the first time Iíve talked in depth about the books so hop over there and take a look.
Bird Watching
Posted by JVJ @ 4:18 pm
Nov 26th : 2007

As promised here is the photo of the tiny green bird I spotted while on Catalina Island. I believe this is the erroneously named orange-crested warbler. Why erroneously? you ask. Because the bird is green, not orange, I reply. Take a gander yourself. Is the blurry bird on the left a match for the ďofficialĒ photo on the right?
Island Life
Posted by JVJ @ 9:06 pm
Nov 25th : 2007

For Thanksgiving I went to Catalina Island. Itís an hour-and-a-half ferry ride across the Pacific.
The island is about twenty miles long and seven wide. Most of the land is undeveloped and owned by the Catalina Island Nature Conservancy. Bison, brought over by a movie producer in the 1920s, thrive and now roam wild across the interior. I didn't see any, but I did spot seals and (what I believe to be) the rare orange-crowned warbler. Stay tuned for the next update; it may feature the blurry photo.
Message Board
Posted by JVJ @ 5:42 pm
Nov 21st : 2007

Readers have been emailing me requesting a place to leave feedback, ask questions, rant, praise, and discuss the books. So, with the help of my brother Paul, I'm finally dipping my toe in the water. The message board is now up and running. It's a trial so we'll see how it goes.
Feel free to start your own topics, and discuss whatever interests you. Anything to do with books, writing and favorite authors is more than welcome. I'll stop by and answer questions and chuck in my two cents from time to time. Go forth and discuss!
Happy Thanksgiving
Posted by JVJ @ 11:45 am
Nov 21st : 2007

I live for stuffing--not turkey, just the stuffing. Thereís a brand of stuffing in England called Paxo. Comes from a box, the ďflavorĒ is sage and onion. Itís similar to US boxed stuffing only on a nano level. The breadcrumbs are tiny. You need an electron microscope to see them. As Iím writing this Iím realizing that Paxo doesnít sound that good, but itís really kind of tasty. Believe me.
This Thanksgiving I wonít be able to eat too much though, as Iíll be snorkeling off the coast of Catalina and I donít want to sink. Catalina is an island in the Pacific, 22m east of Los Angeles. Iíve never been there before so Iím pretty excited. One of my favorite writers, Michael Connelly, set a couple of books there, one of which was made into the movie Blood Work starring Clint Eastwood.
Sounds of Saturn
Posted by JVJ @ 11:54 am
Nov 19th : 2007

The universe is infinitely big and strange, but donít take my word for it. Itís ready to speak for itself. Nasa has uploaded radio emissions from Saturn. They sound exactly like they should: otherworldly.
Post Wildfires
Posted by JVJ @ 3:58 pm
Nov 18th : 2007

When I returned to San Diego I discovered the house was covered with a fine film of black ash. Inside, the skylights had acted like chimneys, drawing the smoke. Perfect squares of ash lay beneath each of them. In the yard, odd pieces of charred matter lay on the grass. Someoneís seared rubber roof tile had landed on my rose bush. The winds were so high that day I can only guess how far away it came from. More Santa Anas are predicted this coming week. Theyíll be cool, the weathermen say. Cool but wickedly dry.
The news isnít all glum, though. This beauty is blooming outside my window, luring hummingbirds who hover just a few feet away from me on the other side of the glass.
Posted by JVJ @ 1:17 pm
Nov 16th : 2007

Last week I attended the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga. 1,200 writers, publishers, booksellers and editors in one place over four days. Conventions provide great opportunities to make connections. If youíre an aspiring writer where else can you go to meet professional editors? At conventions, especially SF ones, theyíre there and theyíre pretty accessible. Itís a chance to put a face to your name.
If you introduce yourself politely and have a pleasant conversation, you have a good chance that an editor will take a look at your manuscript at a later date (donít try and hand it over to him then and there). A brief cover letter mentioning your meeting should be enough to prompt his memory. Heíll think, ďOh, yes. I remember So-and-So. Iíll take a quick look at what sheís got.Ē It sets your manuscript apart from anonymous submissions. And thatís a worthwhile thing.

Gardner Dozois gave a wonderful, informative lecture at the Odyssey Writers Workshop on the subject of submissions. The podcast is online and can be downloaded here.
Lake Placid
Posted by JVJ @ 2:11 pm
Nov 13th : 2007

While I was in Upstate NY I took a short trip to Lake Placid. Lake Placid is surrounded by the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Itís located on two lakes, Placid and the infinitely well-named Mirror Lake. The temperature was barely above freezing and the sun had just slid behind the clouds when this photo was taken.
World Fantasy II
Posted by JVJ @ 11:20 am
Nov 8th : 2007

Saratoga Springs is famous for thoroughbred racing, and sculptures of horses line Broadway, its main street. The city has lots of restaurants and bars, and is known for its mineral springs which have been used by Native Americans since the fourteenth century.
Jim Frenkel, my editor at Tor Books, attended World Fantasy and I was lucky enough to meet several writers he works with. David B. Coe and Daniel Abraham are both edited by Jim, and Jimís former assistant, the wonderful John Klima, was also in attendance. John was nominated for two World Fantasy awards for Electric Velocipede, the magazine he edits and publishes.
World Fantasy
Posted by JVJ @ 6:32 pm
Nov 6th : 2007

The World Fantasy Convention was held in Saratoga Springs this year. 1,200 writers, booksellers, agents, editors and publishers attended, making it the biggest Fantasy Con ever. I used to live in the Capital Region and it was good to be back. I met old friends and made new ones. The lovely Maryelizabeth Hart from Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego was there, with her husband Jeff Mariotte, who was one of the judges this year for the World Fantasy Awards. The wonderful, newly-minted NY Times Bestselling writer L.E. Modesitt Jr. also attended. Leland and I met in London eight years ago when we did a book signing together. It was my first outing as a writer and Leland kindly showed me the ropes.
Iím still in Upstate New York, enjoying the last of the Fall foliage and planning the next fiendish appearance of Ghost Deer. I have a Pilgrim hat...I may use it.
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Link List:
David B. Coe
Daniel Abraham
Electric Velocipede
Mysterious Galaxy
L.E. Modesitt Jr