So if you attended my talk at Eastercon I probably answered this for a lot of you, but for those of you who were unable to make it, I wanted to answer a question I get asked a lot. How do I become a storm chaser?
On one hand it’s a pretty simple answer, but delving a bit deeper requires a more detailed explanation.
Let’s start with the basics first: It’s a bit like writing: there’s no exams, no secret initiation. If you want to be a storm chaser, then all you need to do is chase storms. Yeah, you can go and do the NWS Storm Spotter training, even if you aren’t based in the US, but it’s not required.
The more detailed answer is about safety.
Eastercon is usually a time for me to get enthused for the months ahead. It’s the start of the convention season and usually a time when I’m working toward completing things. Two years ago, when I was last here, I was promoting The Four Realms with a massive hole in my leg. Last year, I missed Eastercon to go on my big storm chasing adventure, telling everyone that I was in Scotland with the day job.
This year, I came prepared.
As promised to those who attended my storm chasing talk at Eastercon Weekend, I said I would post a list of resources for those interested in finding out more.
First though, thank you to everyone who attended. It was great to have a full house. Everyone seemed to be suitably entertained and informed. Special thanks to Cameron and Ruth for taking some pictures for me!
I’m shattered from a hectic weekend at Eastercon so I’ll save my weekend for later in the week, but in the meantime, here’s a list of those resources!
A quarter of the way through the year and things are going pretty well. My aim was to get half a million words written this year and I’m already about half-way there.
My YTD target for March was 225,000 with an outlier goal of quarter of a million. Sadly I missed the quarter of a million word goal but I did exceed the other one. YTD total as of 1st April 2015 stands at a mighty 243,000. So close, and yet so far!
It’s actually hard to be disappointed with March’s results as it was an incredibly trying time for me. My father got rushed into hospital seriously ill, and even if I couldn’t always get up to the hospital to be with him, organising other things occupied my time and thinking about him occupied my mind. But a good foundation of organisation meant that something as major as this didn’t derail me. Yeah, take that universe!
There was a time when I’d spend weeks coming up with great April Fool’s articles but unfortunately I’ve been so busy this year I’ve not had time to do any. Instead, I’ve got a serious article I did for GPSTracklog on the benefits of Premium Membership of Geocaching.com. If you’ve wondered what benefits you get from Premium membership and whether you should buy it, be sure to check out this article.
**Warning: Image some people might find a bit gruesome below**
Two years ago this week, my leg exploded. I was sitting at my desk working on the computer when I felt a sudden wetness on my shin, as if someone had tipped a glass of water down it. This was followed a second later by a stench so foul it stung my nose.
Something obviously wasn’t right.
I don’t remember when the pain hit. I think I was too much in shock to begin with. I went into the bathroom and rolled up my trouser leg. My shin… was gone. I mean, it looked like something out of a SFX movie. You know the bit where they’ve shot the alien and there’s just a corpse with a massive hole where its chest once was – that was like my leg.
My shin had a hole the size of a tea plate. There was just nothing. I looked in panic, saw blood and gristle. I saw my shin bone, but I couldn’t see how deep the hole went. What had exploded out of it was bright neon orange, and it stank like death.
Yes, I will be at Eastercon this year, and not only will I be doing a panel, I will be doing a solo panel
It Was A Dark And Stormy Night:
In 2014, fantasy author Adrian Faulkner, trained in secret to become a storm chaser. He flew out to Oklahoma and found himself in the middle of one of the worst tornado outbreaks of 2014. In this panel Adrian will talk about tornadoes, the difference between the media perception and the reality, the science and why so little is known, what it means to be a storm chaser, and the experience of being inside a mile-wide tornado.
So keep Easter Sunday, 12:30pm free and come to Endeavour for tornadoes, Tornadoes!, TORNADOES!
(Note: Times and locations could change, please refer to official programme for up to date information)
If there’s one writing project that’s fallen behind schedule this year, then it has to be the mysteriously named Project Tornado.
My plan was that this would go live in early February, and what are we now? Mid-March? Six weeks later.
In many ways there’s good reason for this. This has been me dipping my toe into uncharted waters and seeing how deep that water is. The answer: a lot deeper than I thought. As a result, this project has grown a lot in scale in those additional six weeks.
So what is Project Tornado, I hear you ask? Well it’s my folly – my very own digital imprint – Tornado Press.
Sir Terry Pratchett Obituary
This has been an incredibly difficult week. First my father gets rushed into hospital terribly ill and then one of my favourite authors dies. It’s fair to say there’s been quite a bit of emotion this week.
However, I’ve been determined not to let it derail my writing (even if I’ve slowed down a bit) and thought it only right that I contribute to Fantasy-Faction’s Sir Terry Pratchett obituary. You can read my words, along with those of other Fantasy-Faction staffers over at http://fantasy-faction.com/2015/sir-terry-pratchett-1948-2015
We don’t like to think of writing in terms of a business. It’s art, and art and business don’t mix! But the thing I’m continually learning is that in order to be a ‘professional’ writer (and by that I mean someone who makes money from it) you have to walk that tightrope.
I’ve had a few people comment that with everything I’m doing right now, I don’t seem to be too focused on the business side of things. I seem to be jumping from one project to another, as if I’m chopping and changing rather than focussing on one thing. And when I tell them some of the things I’m working on in the background, it just further cements that view.