Jennifer Brozek | Wordslinger & Optimist!

Literal Deathbed and Other Phrases I Never Wanted to Understand

by Jennifer Brozek 16. August 2019 08:30

My father is ill. Very, very ill. He probably won’t last out the year. More likely, he’s already seen his last holiday season. I’ve been dealing with this on an intimate level for months. My writing and my mood have suffered. My sister and Mom have been dealing with it up close and personal for much longer than that. They’re suffering, too. But we’ve all been taught to “do what you have to do when you have to do it.”

My father has end stage idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis AKA his lungs don’t work and he’s not a candidate for a transplant. I visited him over Memorial Day weekend. Despite how he looked shocking me, it was a good visit and he was doing great for the time I was there. Once I left, though, he went downhill bit by painful bit until “worse” became the new normal. He was put on palliative hospice care.

Last week, Dad was moved to a hospital bed in the house. The last bed he will ever be in. His literal deathbed—and figuring out if that was one word or two really sucked. He can’t really walk anymore. His blood oxygen level fluctuates too wildly, too low. Even when he’s just sitting there. I saw him have coughing/panting fits. I thought they were bad. According to my family, no, they weren’t. At all. They say watching him in a “real” coughing fit is like watching him drown in slow motion (another phrase I never wanted to understand). It also sounds like dementia (it runs in my family on my father’s side) has kicked in.

I work to be there for my sister. She vents to me. We cry together. We support each other. I let her (and Mom) know they’re doing a good job. As much as it hurts to hear the latest update—he can’t work the TV remote anymore, he has a hard time following conversations, he gets angry and confused, he’s lashing out physically—I want to hear them. It helps me process the current and forthcoming pain. It’s giving me a thicker skin. (poetic words here about salt from tears building a scab…)

Yesterday, my sister let me know that we’ve gotten our last StoryWorth story from Dad. He needs to be medicated to such a degree that makes it impossible  for him to continue. If he’s awake and aware enough to answer questions, he gets upset because he doesn't understand what's happening. He doesn’t want to answer questions and he doesn’t form many coherent sentences. Still, we got 18 stories from him. 18 out of 52 is better than 0. I’m glad I discovered StoryWorth before it was too late. I have 18 stories and a bunch of pictures that will be put in a book. Memories for the future.

My grief comes in waves like the tide. My father, who has always been one of the strongest people I know, is failing. The man I grew up with is hidden within the shell of a little old man and only comes out to visit on rare occasions. I’m happy he still finds joy in small things…his Neil Diamond CDs, his Astérix & Obélix comics that we were introduced to when we lived in Belgium, my sister and mom bringing out his silly side. But I’m sad, knowing how near the end is.

I’m limiting my time online these days as much as I can. I only have so many emotional spoons to give and they are reserved for my family and my writing. So, that’s my life for the moment.

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Immortal Perfumes Sample Set Review

by Jennifer Brozek 14. August 2019 13:12

I bought the Immortals Perfume sampler set when it was on sale for $35.00. I thought it was a good buy for trying out series of perfumes from a local small business. I was right. All of the scents are high quality and well wearing (even if I didn’t like the scent). My sensitive skin had no reaction to the oil at all. Bonus!

Based on how perfume oils react with my skin and smell on me, I predicted that I would probably like about 20% of the perfumes I tested. I was right at 22%. That means I have 6 out of the 27 scents tested to consider for purchase. They are:
•    Dead Writers.
•    Death in the Afternoon: A Cologne Inspired by Hemingway.
•    Madame Moustache: A Perfume of the California Gold Rush.
•    Persephone: A Perfume of the Underworld.
•    Sylvia: A Perfume Inspired by The Bell Jar.
•    Untamed Lady: A Perfume Inspired by Gloria Swanson.

I want to buy 3 of the six. I think it’s going to be a hard choice to make. The number one scent—right now—is vacillating between Untamed Lady and Madame Moustache. Four of the six have a note of vanilla. Not surprising as it is a favorite scent. Three of them have a note of tobacco, which is surprising. Four of them have musk or Egyptian musk. I used to think musk was too much for me. Guess I was wrong or my tastes have changed.

Over all, if you’re looking for a new scent to try, I think the Immortal Perfumes sampler set is a good one to try. 

 

Name

Notes

Y/N

Dead Writers.

Notes: Heliotrope, Tobacco, Vetiver, Black Tea, Musk, Vanilla, Clove.

Me: This perfume is the whole reason I got the sampler set and I’m not disappointed. It’s sweet, warm, comfortable. Unisex. It’s a yes.

Y

Death in the Afternoon: A Cologne Inspired by Hemingway.

Notes: Bay Leaf, Tobacco, Fennel, Bergamot, Champagne, Sandalwood, Egyptian Musk, Clovebud.

Me: Quite nice. Androgynous and warm. I may have to keep this one for the Husband. (Tested on the Husband, too sweet.)

Y

Madame Moustache: A Perfume of the California Gold Rush

Notes: tobacco pipe, vegan Egyptian musk, fire, and vanilla.

Me: Alluring in the bottle. Fire comes on strong with a sweet undercurrent. Very nice. Fades nice.

Y

Persephone: A Perfume of the Underworld

Notes: Ylang ylang, sweetgrass, white musk, sandalwood, and pomegranate.

Me: Lovely out of the bottle. Sweet but not cloying. Fades to powder. We have a winner. Untamed Lady is still #1 thought.

Y

Sylvia: A Perfume Inspired by The Bell Jar

Notes: Cedarwood, Black Tea, Vanilla, Clove, Cassis, Fig.

Me: Me: Sweet with a dark undercurrent. I like this one a lot. A sweet woody scent as it fades.

Y

Untamed Lady: A Perfume Inspired by Gloria Swanson

Notes: Almond, Ylang-ylang, French Vanilla, Carnation, Peach.

Me: The peach and carnation is fresh, lovely. Older woman but not little old lady. Fades to vanilla. I like it.

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beatrix: A Perfume Inspired by Peter Rabbit

Notes: Spanish Moss, Chamomile, Dragon's Blood, Fire, Blue Spruce.

Me: Quite nice over all. More of a scent I’d like a sachet of for my sweater drawer though. Not for wearing on me.

N

Capulet: A Perfume Inspired by Juliet

Notes: Tonka bean, white patchouli, amber, pear, and magnolia.

Me: It’s nice. I like it. Tier 2. Not an everyday scent. More like a character scent.

N

Ka'iulani: A Perfume Inspired by the Last Hawaiian Princess

Notes: Hawaiian Sandalwood, Tuberose, Fern, Pink Jasmine, Coconut.

Me: Nice, but nothing special. Vague sense of being on vacation in Hawaii.

N

La Reine Antoinette: Marie Antoinette Inspired Perfume Oil

Notes: Moss, Rose, Bergamot, Jasmine.

Me: It’s quite nice. Sweet and warm. But not for me.

N

Lady Day: A Perfume Inspired by Billie Holiday

Notes: Tonka Bean, Opium, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lily of the Valley, White Peach, Gardenia

Me: Nice but nothing special on me.

N

Lenore: An Edgar Allan Poe Inspired Perfume

Notes: Dragon's Blood, Clove, Oak Moss, Moroccan Rose.

Me: Pleasant with a strong rose scent, but not my thing.

N

VIII: A Tudor Cologne Oil

Notes: ambergris, belladonna, clovebud, tobacco, bay leaf, fire, and Peru balsam. 

Me: Very strong out of the bottle. Fades to a woody smell. Nice but not for me.

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archibald: An Explorer's Cologne Oil

Notes: Egyptian Musk, Blood Orange, Oak Moss, Tobacco, Fir.

Me: Definitely a more masculine character scent. Not for me.

N

Aleister: A Cologne Inspired by The Wickedest Man in the World

Notes: Spice, Night Queen, Opium, Palo Santo, Egyptian Musk, Sandalwood, Cypress, Bark.

Me: Way too strong out of the bottle. Not for me.

N

Baby Vamp: A Perfume Inspired by Theda Bara

Notes: Tonka Bean, Dragon’s Blood, Smoke, Labdanum, Orchid.

Me: The smoke comes on strong. It’s rich. Almost too much. I’ll see how it fades. Night scent only. Fades weird.

N

Boylen: Queen Anne Boleyn Inspired Perfume

Notes: Vegan Civet, Champagne, Dragon's Blood, Violet

Me: I don’t like the way it smells on me.

N

Catherine: A Perfume Inspired by Wuthering Heights

Notes: White musk, amber, English Ivy, frangipani, rain, white patchouli, and heather.

Me: Nice. I especially like the scent of rain, but not one for my regular rotation.

N

Dharma Bum: A Kerouac Inspired Cologne

Notes: Sage, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Opium, Coffee, Clove, Bergamot.

Me: Wonderful scent from afar but way-way-way too strong on me.

N

Duchess Georgiana Cavendish Inspired Perfume Oil

Notes: Black Tea, Lavender, Jasmine, Amber, Bergamot

Me: Based on the notes, I should love this. I don’t. I think it’s the bergamot.

N

Fairbanks: A Cologne Inspired by Douglas Fairbanks

Sassafras, Cuban Tobacco, Opium, Teak, Vanilla, Sandalwood.

Me: It comes off as weirdly cloying on me. Had to remove it

N

Heathcliff: A Cologne Inspired by Wuthering Heights

Notes: Amber, leather, labdanum, white patchouli, cedar, myrhh, saffron, and chocolate.

Me: More masculine than androgynous. Nice but not on me. Too strong.

N

Hades: A Cologne of the Underworld

Notes: Belladonna, amber, oak moss, orris, opium, cypress, and narcissus.

Me: Interesting in the bottle. A bit too mossy on my skin.

N

Montague: A Cologne Inspired by Romeo

Notes: Myrhh, labdanum, dark amber, and Moroccan Rose.

Me: Strong rose scent. Don’t like the myrhh. Fades to something sharp and unpleasant. Not for me.

N

Pemberley: A Jane Austen Inspired Perfume

Notes: Rosewood, Coriander, Cedarwood, Honeysuckle, Hyacinth, Peony, Vetiver.

Me: Way, way, way too sharp for me.

N

Weird Sister: A Perfume Inspired by the Witches in Macbeth

Notes: Apricot, Yarrow, Belladonna*, Labdanum, Wormwood, Dragon's Blood, Dark Amber, Mimosa.

Me: Smells terrible in the bottle. However, the apricot and amber are strong on the skin. Sweet, dark under currents. Fades to something cloying I didn’t like.

N

Voodoo Queen: A Perfume Inspired by Marie Laveau

Notes: Black Cardamom, Palo Santo, Sage, Saffron, Jasmine, Rose, Cedar

Me: Strong and sharp. I don’t like it out of the bottle. It mellows to a mostly woody scent. Not for me

N

 

 

 

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Declutter Monday, Round 2, for 12 Aug 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 13. August 2019 08:27

Declutter Monday started over the weekend with decluttering the art in my bedroom, bathroom, and office. I have a LOT of art on the wall. When I go to conventions, I need to know where art is going in the house before I buy it. The Husband is very good at moving around artwork and hanging it. He gets out a level and a tape measure to do it. It makes everything look fab.

Thought 1: In the past, I’ve bought a lot of artwork on impulse. I don’t do that anymore. Not only do I not have space, my tastes have changed. I won’t say it’s become more refined, but I will say I’ve become more particular. I no longer keep artwork I don’t love.

Thought 2: I’ve bought a lot of artwork from friends to support them and help their conventions be better. Artwork I haven’t particularly liked. It’s okay to get rid of it now. My friends have the money. They won’t be heartbroken because I no longer have the print of that sketch they’ve sold hundreds of copies of. Don’t keep artwork that you don’t love.

Thought 3: It’s better to leave an area blank than fill it with crap. I love artwork. I find my wall-full of artwork inspires me and makes me smile. It helps my mood. But, a piece of art I don’t care for has the opposite effect. It’s taken me a long time to learn this lesson. I no longer keep artwork I don’t love (I have to keep telling myself this).

Thought 4: Random revisits will happen and you will change your mind. After 10+ years of having a Keurig, we have given ours away. The Husband doesn’t really drink coffee and I’ve been drinking my instant, imported coffee. Less mess, less waste, better taste. I was happy to give the machine to a neighbor whose Keurig was dying and they were considering a new one.

Thought 5: Some of the most unexpected things need to be decluttered. Our game table, ubiquitous and ever-present, I was blind to it until the Husband said something that made me think we needed to look at our dice collection and he suggested we clean out the game table. 

Thought 6: I have a lot of dice. A whole lot of dice. A lot of very pretty dice I’m not willing to part with. I did bag up a bunch of dice to share with my D&D group, though. So I feel virtuous. Plus I only kept sets of dice.

The more I get into the general living areas, the harder it is to be concise on where I’m decluttering. There’s also a lot more organizing and cleaning in Round 2 of decluttering than there is of actual decluttering. I am not a minimalist. I just want to be more intentional about what we have in the house and what we use.

Next week I’m going to tackle the family room and the cat products.

 

 

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Declutter Monday, Round 2, for 22 June 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 23. July 2019 08:56

Declutter Monday started over the weekend with the master bathroom, round 1 and ended on Monday with my office, round 2. That meant the bathroom was easy and the office was hard. It’s usually easier to declutter something for the first time. Especially when you have help. It’s always harder decluttering something for the second time because you don’t have the easy stuff to fall back on.

Thought 1: Pretty fades fast. The first thing we did was change out the shower curtain rod. The one we had was really pretty but it wasn’t stable. It kept falling on us. We switched it out for a simple tension rod with a holding bracket. Now it isn’t pretty but it doesn’t attack us. Pretty things need to be stable and functional.

Thought 2: Closets are a magnet for stuff. So much stuff that you don’t know what’s in there. Example: we found four Costco-sized bottles of the Husband’s shampoo. Mostly because he never knew what we had and couldn’t remember if we had shampoo. The answer is yes. Probably enough for the next two years.

Thought 3: Clean closets with enough space to store everything (while still being able to see it) lend themselves to more/better organization. The Husband surprised me and decided he wanted to clear 90% of the stuff on the sink and store it in the closet. Lucky for us, I already had the perfect organization solution for that. Now, he has only the stuff he uses on a daily/near daily basis out and the rest is at eye-level in the bathroom closet.

Thought 4: My office. What a rollercoaster. Declutter, round 2, of the office was hard. Some things were very easy to declutter like letters from 1991 from people I couldn’t remember, didn’t care to remember, or were no longer the same people they once were. It is always a pleasure to shred. On the other hand, I couldn’t get rid of my leather boots. I kept both pairs because they both looked good, felt good, and would last. Apocalypse Girl doesn’t care that I didn’t wear them at all this last winter. I might need them someday. Then again, I did get rid of three pairs of sandals I haven’t worn in ages.

Thought 5: While the closet, cubbies, and bookshelf were pretty decent to give another go over, I realized that I’d never dug into the boxes I had on my desk and cubbies. Why should I? They hid the mess. My desk boxes were fine. They still served their purposes. But the cubby box was just depressing. It was hard to force myself to go through the process of finding a home for everything that didn’t fit in the box.

Thought 6: The more you clean/declutter, the more you see what needs help. With this round 2 of my office, I’ve realized that I want to do a complete reorg of all my artwork. This time with intention. That, however, is a project for another time.

 

 

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Declutter Monday, Round 2, for 15 June 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 16. July 2019 09:33

This time on Declutter Monday, I tackled the hall closet, the cat room, and my jewelry box. We were supposed to do the Master Bathroom, but we didn’t because of reasons (life). I’ll try to get that done for next week.

Thought 1: Round 2 of any declutter seems to fall into one of two categories: really hard or really easy. Hard, because you’ve already done the easy decluttering. All that’s left is the hard stuff—high quality, sentimental, unique. Easy, because you’ve already done all the hard work. What’s left is a bit of organization—now that you have space and a new eye.

Thought 2: My jewelry box fell into the hard category. I had already gotten rid of the trash, the mis-matched, the tarnished, the stuff not worth saving. I was down to good stuff I had a hard time donating. Suddenly I understood some of that need to pass it (whatever it is) on to family and friends. However, one of my sisters-in-law whom I recently re-met has almost exactly the same taste as me and is more than happy to take my good jewelry off my hands. That made the task of sorting, keeping, purging, and packaging it up so much easier.

Thought 3: The hall closet fell into the easy category. It had already been worked to death. All it needed was a bit more organization. I got to move some stuff out of the cat room now the closet had space. A place for all things. That’s the nice bit about the closet. I know what is on each shelf.

Thought 4: When decluttering a place like the cat room where you don’t want to have to dig the cat(s) out of the closet, there are some steps you need to take. Step 1 is to close the room door before you get into the closet. Step 2 is to make sure there isn't a cat already in the cat room, hiding. Steps 3 and 4 is to close the closet door before the cat gets in and remove the cat. Then you can get down to the looking, staring, and organizing.

Thought 5: The cat room was easy. Mostly because I avoided the “office/convention” shelves. All of them have been cleaned up but not perfectly organized. Since I’m about to destroy it by going to Gen Con in a couple of weeks, I decided I would do the official clean and declutter of that one bit of the room in August after we got back.

Thought 6: In truth, I think the hardest thing to declutter was my jewelry box—made easier by knowing who those pretties were going to. Yesterday's  Declutter Monday focused on areas that have been cleaned and organized and not actively used in a general sense. They are not “lived in” areas. So, there wasn’t much to do. Mostly, after a bit of thought, clean and straighten.

Next week will be a different story. Sunday will be the Master Bathroom with help from the Husband (unless life) and Monday will be my office. I’m really not looking forward to my office. All that’s left is the hard stuff to think about. We’ve already bought me a new shredder in anticipation. My last one died a horrible death yesterday. Then again, it was twelve years old.

 

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Declutter Monday, Round 2, for 8 June 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 9. July 2019 11:56

This time on Declutter Monday, we tackled the Husband’s closet and drawers (Sunday) then my bathroom (Monday).

Thought 1: When encouraging your partner to declutter, be the change you want to see. It took about a year to convince the Husband to tackle his closet. (It’s open to the bedroom. I look at it every day. So does he.) Most of the convincing was me doing my decluttering and exclaiming how awesome it was, the relief of knowing what was in my closet and loving everything therein. My closet is not perfect but it is a 1000% better.

Thought 2: If your partner has a block, see if you can figure out what it is (use your words, make observations) and suggest a solution, then let it go. His block turned out to be the second shelf that the cats liked to climb on and hid in his shirts. It (and the shirts) was SO full of cat hair, it seemed like too big of a deal. I suggested we get rid of that shelf. After a week, he agreed.

Thought 3: Don’t do the decluttering for your partner unless they ask. Be there to support them. Fetch and carry, express an opinion, but let them do it themselves. This is stuff that belongs to them. They get to decide what they want to keep, what they love, what is too sentimental to let go, and what to get rid of.

Thought 4: Revel in the new found space and hidden gems (Gothic Hawaiian shirts). Celebrate with your partner. Understand when they want a sentimental t-shirt drawer. They have the space now. Listen when they ask for a specific type of help. Do that and nothing more.

Thought 5: Decluttering my bathroom, Round 2, wasn’t hard this time but it was a lot more thoughtful. It’s been six months. This time, I didn’t have anything expired, but I did have stuff that I hadn’t used and wasn't thinking of using in the near future...but...I grew up very poor and had a rough patch in my 20s. Some of these things are hard habits to break: Hotel shampoos. Hair/face products that came with what I actually bought. A birthday gift. In the end, I got rid of most of the excess stuff I just won’t use. I also rediscovered some stuff I use all the time in travel size and moved it up to where I would use it when not traveling. (I keep a separate packed toiletries bag now—it will get a declutter in Jan 2020.)

Next week’s decluttering will start on Sunday, too. The Husband decided he wanted to be part of the master bathroom clean out. I said I would do it without him. He didn’t want that. I didn’t touch this room last time, so this isn’t actually a round 2 on it. Since the Husband wants his two cents worth on it, he gets it. That bathroom closet needs help in a big way. After that, it’s the hall closet and another look at the cat room.

 

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Bubble & Squeek for 8 July 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 8. July 2019 13:12

Spending a lot of time with my head down and fingers on the keyboard. Turned in a couple of lingering projects including an Emberwind story and another Shadowrun novella.

Release: Shadowrun: Makeda Red has been released! I know this is old news, but I'm super happy with this book.

Podcast: ShadowBytes 04: Hey Jude. This one is called "Hey Jude" and you learn about this ork's background and one of her surprising hobbies.

Podcast: ShadowBytes 05: Hunger and the Hand that Feeds It. This is one of my favorite in the series. I think it really captures the fragility of life running the shadows.

Review: Skiffy and Fanty review: A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods. They liked it.

Review: Tor.com review of A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods – “Us and Ours” by Premee Mohamed. The snark is beautiful in this review.

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

And a cat picture. Just because.

 

 

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Tell Me - Gregory A. Wilson

by Jennifer Brozek 23. June 2019 18:03

Greg is a friend of mine from conventions and twitch. I was delighted by his first comic, Icarus. Now he’s doing a Kickstarter for the re-launch of the Icarus and Jellinek graphic novels. More over, he's writing what he wants to see in this world for his family and all of us.
--

I first sat down to write Icarus at a time when it felt like compassion and community was in short supply—and with my first child just about to arrive (my daughter was born about a week after I finished the manuscript), that sort of thing was really on my mind. The story, about a young man with wings who falls into the heart of the volcano and the creatures he finds there, was told from alternating perspectives, Icarus's (kind of the Queen's English, I guess) and Jellinek's (a four foot tall, red-skinned, gruff flamepetal prospector—kind of a Gabby Hayes, Old West type). The two characters seem as different from each other in demeanor, language, and outward appearance as one could imagine, but internally, they're much more similar than either of them realize. A lot of the story, which involves them running from the magisters who dominate the land of Vol and desire Icarus's powers for themselves, focuses on Icarus trying to regain his memory, with Jellinek trying to understand what the hell has just happened. But the heart of the story remains friendship and community: creatures coming together in common purpose, determined to stand with each other come what may.   

When the graphic novel finally had its first iteration in 2016, a lot of this came through in the visual images and the script done by Keith DeCandido. But for a variety of reasons, we were only able to tell part of the story. Much of the rest of it—the ways in which Icarus, Jellinek, and their two-tailed, lava resistant companion Rig (kind of a big, lava resistant dog) try to escape their pursuers and unlock more of Icarus's mystery—was still to be revealed. When Athila Fabbio, our new artist, came on board for the entire story in this new edition, it wasn't so much his attention to detail and masterful grasp of color and shading which grabbed me, although those were awesome things too! But it was his ability to capture the characters' emotions, their care for each other, their generosity of spirit, which was most stunning…and moving. For the first time, I could see Icarus's sense of loss, his sadness and concern for his friends, Jellinek's desire to help Icarus in spite of every bit of history telling him you can't trust "others." A picture might be worth a thousand words, but these ones are worth a couple of deeply powerful emotions too.

My daughter is now eleven, and once again we're in a difficult, contentious time. And now my son, only three years old, has also joined the world. I think a lot about them in my writing; I wonder if they'll understand what it means to pull together, even when some around them are trying to push them apart. Part of that is my job as a parent…but part of it is also my job as a writer, and it's one I'm trying to take seriously. So really, Icarus and Jellinek is a story of hope; along with Athila's art, I'm doing everything I can to help that hope come across.

--
Gregory A. Wilson is Professor of English at St. John's University in New York City, where he teaches creative writing, speculative fiction, and various other courses in literature. In addition to academic work, he is the author of the epic fantasy The Third Sign, the graphic novel Icarus, the dark fantasy Grayshade, and the D&D adventure/sourcebook Tales and Tomes from the Forbidden Library. He also has short stories in a number of anthologies, and has several projects forthcoming in 2019. He co-hosts the critically acclaimed Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans (speculatesf.com) podcast, is a member of the Gen Con Writers' Symposium and other author groups, and is regularly invited to conferences nationally and internationally. Finally, under the moniker Arvan Eleron, he is the host of a successful Twitch channel focused on story and narrative, with several sponsored TTRPG campaigns. He lives with his family in Riverdale, NY. His virtual home is gregoryawilson.com.

 

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Origins Game Fair Schedule 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 10. June 2019 07:53

I will be at Origins Game Fair this coming weekend, spending most of my time in the Origins Library and participating on panels in the Writing Seminar. The authors area will not be inside the exhibit hall. They decided to place us in the spotlight area across from the main entrance of Hall A. They have co-located the seminar room with the authors area so attendees will have one spot to go to listen to authors then buy their books.

   

Reminder: no shyness around me. Come say hello (unless I'm running to the restroom). Ask your questions. Get your books signed. There are some fabulous authors in the Origins Library this yere.

Thursday
1pm - 2pm | Career Expectations: What can you expect from a writing career?
How do you decide if you’re a success or a failure? | Mercedes Lackey, Jennifer Brozek, Michael R. Underwood (M), Robyn King

2pm - 3pm | Writing RPG Fiction: The nuts and bolts of RPG short story, novella, and novel writing. | Larry Dixon, Jennifer Brozek, Robyn King, Tracy Chowdhury, John Helfers (M)

5pm | Emberwind. Jennifer and the Embercrew will play Skies of Axia, streamed (hopefully).

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Friday
1pm - 2pm | Mercedes Lackey’s Fantasy Quarterly Magazine
: Even after many years and dozens of novels and short stories, Mercedes Lackey is still trying new avenues of publishing, including launching Mercedes Lackey’s Fantasy Quarterly, a brand-new fantasy digest magazine, in 2019. Join her and associated editors Jennifer Brozek and John Helfers and learn about this new venue for the best in original and classic short fantasy fiction. | Mercedes Lackey, Jennifer Brozek, John Helfers (M). 

3pm - 4pm | Networking: Who should you be talking to? And how? And when have you crossed the line? | Mercedes Lackey, Addie J. King, Jennifer Brozek, Gregory A. Wilson (M)

5pm - 5:30pm | Reading. Jennifer Brozek will read from BattleTech: Iron Dawn and Shadowrun: Makeda Red.

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Saturday
10am - 11am | Professional Writing Organizations
: What is SFWA and what does it offer? What about HWA? IAMTW? Which ones should you join—if any? | Cat Rambo, Jennifer Brozek, Aaron Rosenberg (M)

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Sunday
10am - 11am | Ask the editors anything
: Questions you were too afraid to ask when your story was on the line | Jennifer Brozek, Lucy Snyder, John Helfers (M)


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Cover Reveal and Early Release of Shadowrun: Makeda Red!

by Jennifer Brozek 8. June 2019 08:13

Shadowrun: Makeda Red is officially out at Origins Game Fair. This Shadowrun novel is part of the origin story for Rune Red of "Rune's Avatar Cafe" (my Casablanca homage) from the World of Shadows anthology. This cover was created by the marvelous Peter Tikos!

ON A COLLISION COURSE... It was supposed be a simple extraction from the Brussels2Rome party train. With an eclectic crowd, a willing target, and a lot of nuyen at stake, what could go wrong?

Everything—as Makeda Red discovers the hard way.

There’s more than one target on the train, and more than one shadowrunner team in play. When someone sabotages the tracks in the middle of the Swiss Alps, she’s forced to extract her client much earlier than planned.To complicate matters, other survivors are also fleeing the crash for their own reasons. One of them is trying to escape his corporate masters as well, and offers to pay Makeda to escort him to his safe haven.

A paying client is a paying client, and his corp won’t be looking for three people traveling together. Makeda knows it’s a risk, but one she’s willing to take. In the shadows, however, nothing and no one is what they seem. Before it’s over, this already complicated run may be Makeda’s last...

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Jennifer Brozek: Writerholic

Jennifer Brozek is a multi-talented, award-winning author, editor, and tie-in writer. She is the author of the Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has netted her a Hugo Award nomination as well as an Australian Shadows Award for Grants Pass. Jennifer’s short form work has appeared in Apex Publications, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, and Predator. Jennifer is also the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions, and was the managing editor of Evil Girlfriend Media and assistant editor for Apex Book Company.

Jennifer has been a freelance author, editor, tie-in writer for over ten years after leaving her high paying tech job, and she’s never been happier. She keeps a tight schedule on her writing and editing projects and somehow manages to find time to volunteer for several professional writing organizations such as SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She shares her husband, Jeff, with several cats and often uses him as a sounding board for her story ideas. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com.

"I see story ideas. All the time. They're everywhere. Just walking around like normal ideas. They don't know they're stories."