2016: the year ahead

Kind readers,

2016 is here!

2015 was good, and this year will be good also. I’m easy to please.

So, what’s going on?

Earlier this week, I had another fun-filled chat with Sean McGuire, a.k.a. GodlessPoutine on Twitter. He’s begun a smooth, merry new podcast, Share a Slice with Sean.

Click on the image below to listen to the episode:

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I love chatting with Sean, and we’ll be doing this again in the near future.

Now then… 2016.

Due to exhaustion and the low Canadian dollar, I’ve decided that I won’t be going to Leviosa in Las Vegas this summer. I’ve thought a lot about the trip and everything it would involve these past few weeks, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just too much. Last year, I felt certain I could do this, but as the months went by and July 2016 crept closer, I started to realize that my growing ambivalence meant that hey, maybe I didn’t want to do this after all. And maybe this was okay.

I was torn, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and it’s never easy for me to ignore the inner voice that says I’m not doing enough, but the time had come to give my needs precedence. Although there were many good reasons to go to the convention, the reasons not to go were increasing for me.

I started thinking about what I really want… What I prefer… About what makes me happy. And healthy. Self-respect and self-acceptance are concepts I have truly begun to embrace—at last.

These large conventions and long journeys are no longer in the cards for me, I’d say. Each time I thought about the convention, my anxiety levels kept rising, so much so that I was having trouble sleeping at night. In the past, I would have pushed myself anyway, I would have spread myself thin (usually to the point of illness), but I’m no longer willing to do this.

I also won’t be going to the Non-Conference. The mere notion of driving on the 401 through Toronto again, the very idea of an even longer, more draining journey… I’m afraid not.

I do want to have my Quietus meetup this autumn, though; that will be possible. And I will be going to MISTI-Con 2017. I love going to New Hampshire—it’s a nice, tranquil drive, it’s not too far away—and MISTI is a smaller gathering that takes place in a now quite familiar, beloved location. That, I will most happily do.

The time has come for me to treat myself with a bit more consideration and tenderness. I was exhausted when I went to MISTI last year; I found it almost impossible to sleep during the convention, the weather was windy and cold, and I was more worn out than at any previous conventions I’d attended in New Hampshire. If I rest more this year, in 2017 I’ll have a much better convention.

So this year, I’ll be staying close to my home base. I’ll write. I’ll play my ukulele.

This year, I’ll be working on Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast, The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy (the first in a series of fun, silly, and uplifting diary style books), and Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human (essays written from a secular humanist perspective; a very personal book). And, with any luck, I might even be able to write the first draft of the second book in my Outlaw series before the year is over!

I feel good about all of my decisions, and about my projects. Last year at this time, I was going through my second bout of shingles in six years, so yeah… I’ve got to slow down and take better care of myself.

On the whole, I’ve been feeling much less stressed.

In other news, my dear friend Carl has released a terrific new issue of his high quality, innovative comic, Be Careful What You Wish For.

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Go here to get your own copy: Big Cartel

And I recently acquired a beautiful octopus necklace made by a talented friend of mine.

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Go here to take a look at all her gorgeous, finely-crafted jewelry: Laurel Moon

I’ve got new photos of my personal hideaway for you, too! Right here.

That’s it for now… Time to putter quietly. Winter arrived suddenly and brutally here in southern Quebec, and boy, that’s been tiring as heck. We’re supposed to have an early spring, though… I for one hope so!

I also hope you’ll all have a wonderful year. I wish you every good thing under the sun and thank you, as ever, for your affection, friendship, and support 🙂

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

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Flashback Weekend 2014 and other tidbits

Kind readers,

it doesn’t exactly feel like spring around here yet, but thankfully there are many things that are raising my spirits these days.

Apart from Ottawa Comic Con, and Montreal Comic Con, another thrilling event is now part of my 2014 schedule: Flashback Weekend.

This will be my first horror con, and I’m very excited. It’ll also be my first trip to Chicago. I love the whole concept of this particular con: regular convention by day, horror film fest by night. The films are screened at the gorgeous Mulvico Rosemont 18, which also has a full restaurant and bar, Bogart’s. There will be a Phantasm reunion. A Zombie Pinup Beauty Pageant.

Not to mention, this splendid man:

Meaning that I won’t be meeting him twice, but three times in 2014. My cup runneth over! And this convention sounds like it’ll be a complete blast in every respect.

I’ve already book my room at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare, and am waiting for the tickets to go on sale.

Here’s a few more cool things I’ll share with you…

The letter Fangoria sent me when I won Freddy’s sweater in 1987:

And the Fangoria issue that featured my winning entry…

I’ll be bringing it with me to Flashback (it goes without saying, eh?). And I’ll be bringing copies of Outlaw.

It’s good to be part of the horror fandom again! These past ten years or so, my attention was elsewhere, but my re-embracing horror feels like a celebration; I love the subversive zaniness of horror. It’s like when Ian Essko says “Do I suck or what?!” and laughs in Zombie Strippers: to me, there’s something wonderfully Taoistic or Zen about his words. It’s a joyful acceptance of absurdity. The absurdity of life isn’t meaningless by nature; that much, I’m glad to say, I’ve come to know.

The magnificent ink portrait I got last week at Planet Ink has been healing very well. I can hardly believe that Ottawa Comic Con is almost only a month away now. Eep!

In other news, I am now halfway through my second draft edit of Outlaw in the Land of Perfection. It will be finished on schedule, right at the start of April, at which point it’ll be entrusted to my skilled editor.

I’ve decided to write a horror novel this summer. The story has already begun percolating inside my brain.

I also want to start writing short stories in the same genre. To get back into the game, I ordered a giant anthology that will teach me much and refresh my memory, as it were:

So, despite the lingering cold and snow, I’m feeling good.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor