James Palmer's Journal
Sunday, March 21, 2010
8:00PM - Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes
Well, it's been way too long since I've posted anything here, and other than checking out the news at the dragoncon LJ and checking in on old friends, I don't hang out here much. I've moved to warmer environs on Facebook and elsewhere.
So, in short, I'll be a guest at Dragon*Con once again this year. I'll also have stories published in two pulp anthologies, one this year and one next year.
And I've finally changed jobs. Not companies, unfortunately, just jobs. I'm still doing menial grunt work, but it's menial grunt work with a lot less stress, and the same money I was getting before. My Doctor Who/House vibe wasn't working with the Brazil/Hee Haw thing they've got going, and it was just time to move on.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
12:07PM - I'm a Guest at Dragon*Con
I'm once again Dragon*Con bound.
After a hiatus last year, I'll once again be returning and hobknobbing with old friends, writers, and various and sundry costumers.
Monday, January 5, 2009
3:11PM - Call of the Day
The day isn't over yet, but we've already got a winner for dumbass call of the day.
A woman called in complaining about a charge she didn't believe she had to pay and wanted the number she should call to complain. I told her she was calling it and asked for her info.
The charge she was calling about is one that everyone has to pay, and after I explained it to her and told her what it was she was OK with it, more or less. "Yes it's exorbitant, and yes you have to pay it. We're a member owned co-op. We have to treat everyone the same. Like crap."
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
With Dragon*Con less than a month away, I thought it time to list all the things I'm going to hate missing about this year's convention.
#1 Hanging out with new and old friends Van Allen Plexico, Joe Crowe, Larry Davis, Gary Mitchell, and all the gang over at the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Literature Track
#2 Talking Planet of the Apes, King Kong, and more with Joe Crowe at the Science Fiction Classics Track.
#4 Robert Englund
#5 Yancy Butler (I didn't watch Witchblade, but I enjoyed her performance in that short-lived cop show Mann & Machine. Yeah, it was trite and a bit cheesy, but so was Firefly.)
#5 Trace Beaulieu, Frank "TV's Frank" Conniff, and Joel Hodgson of MST3K fame.
#6 John Scalzi
#7 The live broadcast of the 100th episode of I Should Be Writing
And, what I won't miss . . .
#1 The crowds.
#2 The clouds of patchouli.
#3 The crowds.
#4 The feeling of wasted time when I leave a panel thinking, "Wait, did I really just spend an hour talking about Land of the Lost?"
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
1:16PM - No Dragon*Con This Year
Before you guys get all nuts, I mean no Dragon*Con for me.
The Powers That Be have apparently lumped me in with all the hobbyists and wannabes, and haven't approved my guest status as of yet, and as my wife will be 8 months pregnant by the time the con rolls around, we're bowing out this year to retool, refresh, and add to our familial unit.
I've had a blast running around down there, being on panels, and meeting wonderful guys and gals like Joe Crowe and Shane Ivey of RevolutionSF shame, Van Allen Plexico, Anya Martin and her hubby Phillip Nutman, eugie, hazelrah1, and others (please forgive me if I've left anyone out or forgotten your Livejournal handles), but it's time to work on other aspects of my life for now, namely getting my copywriting business off the ground, so I'll actually have time to work on a possible RPG project, and finally get that novel written, which should get me back in the good graces with D*C's guest committee, and I have no illusions of it doing anything other than maybe pay a few bills once in a while.
At least on the copywriting front, I'm showing some progress. Since March, I've worked on more projects than all of last year combined, and I hope to at least double what I'm making at the day job so I can cut it loose once and for all. Between fielding calls from people who ask, "What do ya'll provide? Power? Is that like the lights and stuff?" and a corporate culture that can only be described as a hybrid of Brazil and Hee-Haw with the promotion procedure of a Klingon bird of prey, not to mention that we are under the same economic and employment conditions that forced me to come here in the first place, I have no choice but to strike out on my own.
But I'll be back at D*C next year spreading the joy. Mark my words.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I just wanted to let everyone know that my charity anthology, Voices for the Cure available from White Rocket Books, can now be ordered through here, and Barnes & Noble here.
I'd like to thank Van Allen Plexico for setting this up.
Proceeds benefit The American Diabetes Association, so order early and often!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
3:42PM - New Stuff on the Horizon
It's been a busy weekend here at the Casa de Palmer. We used part of the money from a client check to get back with our cable company, and add wireless Internet as well. Ubiquitous Wi-Fi makes me happy. Now all I need to do is figure out how to configure file sharing so I can print remotely and access my laptop files on the desktop. If anyone out there in Internetland knows how to do that, please let me know.
In baby news, my lovely wife is six weeks along, and no worse for wear other than periodic boughts of "morning" sickness, which can occur at any time of the day or night. And she's eating pickles like there's going to be a cucumber blight.
We go for the first ultrasound in another month, and will be able to find out the sex of the baby in about another three months.
More news as I have it, and have time to report it.
Friday, February 29, 2008
7:49AM - I'm going to be a father
Well, it's official. I'm going to be a daddy. We expect our little one around October 31st. Halloween.
Now before everyone starts, let me tell you I've already heard it before. Everyone at work thinks that's right up my alley, as I had been saying, since we knew it would be due sometime in October, "Wouldn't it be great if . . .". And I've already been ending my announcements of this most holy of delivery dates with the phrase "in accordance with prophecy." This kid is going to have some seriously weird, wonderful birthday parties if I have anything to do with it. I've already told She Who Must Be Obeyed that we need one of those black carriages with the awning out of Rosemary's Baby to carry our newborn around in.
It's going to be an interesting nine months. Stay tuned.
Friday, December 14, 2007
9:29PM - I'm baaack...sort of
Wow, it's certainly been a while, but I thought I would pop in really quick to share news of my exploits with the one or two of you who actually give a crap.
First off, thanks to sclerotic_rings and a slow night at work, I was reintroduced to the wonder that is Steampunk Workshop. After all, everyone needs a keyboard that looks like it fell out of an H.G. Wells novel, don't they? Between that and looking at raygun porn (which was filtered at work because it was believed to be under the category "Weapons"), it's been an interesting couple of days.
In writing news, and since I can't bear the thought of spending another year in the land where otherwise promising careers go to die, I finally feel as if I'm making some progress on the copywriting front. Thanks to a coaching session from the masterful Steve Slaunwhite, I feel like I'm finally on track, especially since is the first time since I convinced myself I could do this that I've actually had more than one client at once. So it's no longer "Can I do it?" but "Do I have a choice?" and "Can I afford not to?" and "Yes I can!"
One of those projects has recently been completed, and those of you interested in social networking may check it out here.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
10:06AM - Vacation!
Well, tomorrow the vacation officially begins. I still don't know if I'll have Internet access, so this may be the only update for a while. I'll be too busy taking in the scenery in Savannah and Orlando anyway, as if a whole entire week away from the meat grinder that is the day job wasn't vacation enough.
I'm planning on hitting the ground running when I return next Monday, as I already have a copywriting client, as well as two more promising leads. I'm working on finishing up the ebook today, so hopefully I'll have another check upon my return, the bulk of which shall be used for some much-needed copywriting coaching. I've got to get a handle on this thing because a) I can't stay where I am without going categorically insane, b) I can't move up the corporate ladder because I don't know the correct way to pucker my lips when kissing ass--a hard thing to do anyway without common ground, and how can I find common ground with people who believe evolution is only a theory and George W. Bush can chew through metal? and c) the only way I'd be able to find anything decent full-time in this jobless recovery is if I moved to India to live like a king on six bucks an hour, or travel back in time to 1994 and beat my past self with a baseball bat until he changes his major. Wish me luck, folks. One way or the other, the latter half of the year of our Lord 2007 is going to be interesting.
In the meantime, play nice until I get back. I promise I'll have more tales of harebrained schemes and capering jackanaperie to regale you with upon my return.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Well, I've said all I can say about this year's Dragon*Con over at my other blog, so hop over there if you're so inclined.
On the anthology front, a lot has been happening. Thanks to D*Con, I am linking Voices for the Cure up with a small press consortium, for lack of a better term. Now it'll have its own ISBN and be available through bookstores and Amazon. Sweet! More on that, including relevant linkage, when I have it.
And the word is getting out about it. My buddy and contributor Ernest Hogan had this to say:
"I've read through VOICES, and it's a pretty good anthology. Folks who buy it will feel they're getting their money's worth."
AND he said about my contribution to the story...
"B.L.A.N.K.I.E." was a stand-out. I liked the way you used cutting-edge science, put it in an everyday setting, and the way the story went from amusing to chilling. I'll be watching for more fiction from you . . .
And if that wasn't enough, Greg Van Eekhout mentioned it on his blog:
I know nothing about Voices for the Cure, other than that it's a science fiction anthology with contributions from Cory Doctorow and Robert Sawyer and Mike Resnick and that proceeds go to benefit the American Diabetes Association, and as an insulin-dependent diabetic I'm just saying that everyone should buy bushels of these books, cuz there are worse things than diabetes, certainly, but that's not to say diabetes doesn't overall suck with the
killing and debilitating and maiming of lots of people. I'd have happily given them a story if they'd asked, and I'm certainly gonna buy bushels (or at least one electronic edition).
Available in paperback for $9.05 or download for
Bushels, I tell you!
Oh, I wish I had known this! I would have asked him for a story in a second, as he is a terrific writer. Oh well, there's always volume 2...
So, you heard the man. Go!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
8:57AM - Voices for the Cure
Here's the cover of Voices for the Cure, the charity anthology I edited to benefit the American Diabetes Association. You can order it here
Here's the table of contents:
The Hand You're Dealt by Robert J. Sawyer
The God Biz a Miracle Brigade Story by Mike Resnick
Craphound by Cory Doctorow
Human Sacrifice for Fun and Profit by Ernest Hogan
THE GREAT VÜDÜ LINUX TEEN ZOMBIE MASSACREE by Lucy A. Snyder
B.L.A.N.K.I.E. by James Palmer
Kite People by Gary A. Braunbeck
An Interesting Week for Emmy by Eugie Foster
Barry Kolman, Hero by Mur Lafferty
Mister Adventure and the Race Against Time by Davy Beauchamp
Check it out!
Monday, August 6, 2007
The anthology is ready. Voices for the Cure: A Speculative Fiction Anthology to Benefit the American Diabetes Association, features work by Robert J. Sawyer, Mike Resnick, Cory Doctorow, Ernest Hogan, Lucy A. Snyder, James Palmer, Gary A. Braunbeck, Eugie Foster, Mur Lafferty, and Davey Beauchamp. With cover art by my good friend celestialstudio. You can order it here in dead tree or electronic format.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I got the front cover pic today and couldn't wait to share. Check it out:
The interior layout continues apace, and I hope to have it completed next week. As soon as it is, I'll let everyone know.
10:15AM - Tales from the Day Job
Just a few snippets from the past week. Enjoy.
“Yes sir, I understand you’re upset that the crew who came out to replace our transformer pulled up your prized, $25 plant in order to reach said transformer, and didn’t leave a note, send advanced warning that we were coming out to service OUR OWN PROPERTY and didn’t attempt to replant said expensive flower in another location, but please understand that our crew people are not gardeners. It is not their job to relocate plants that you plunked down in violation of our polices, in a vain attempt to cover up a green metal box you find “unattractive”. Please also be aware that “unattractive” is a relative term, especially when applied to conspicuous metal boxes, as witnessed by the giant HumVee Penis Extension with the interior room of the TARDIS currently creating a rain shadow in your driveway.”
“Sir, while I am perfectly willing and able to assist you in disconnecting the service your wife apparently unwittingly requested, I am completely at a loss as to why she was told we could not connect said service, and sent her to another company. That simply isn’t our procedure. Are you sure she was calling the right company?”
“No sir, I am not calling your wife an idiot (not overtly), but given the many different utilities and other services that must be called and connected when moving to a new location, not to mention the shear number of our customers who call us to turn on their phone, who want us to come out and fix their TV when their favorite channel goes snowy during Jerry Springer, and who seem utterly incapable of performing simple tasks such as basic arithmetic, holding conversations, and converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, not to MENTION the fact that your account was set up for the new service without any problem, don’t you think it’s at least a little possible that your wife may have gotten the conversation she had with the other customer service rep just a tad askew?”
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
7:30AM - Noodling
I haven't been here in while because I'm trying to get my copywriting business going. But the other day I noticed something, chiefly how getting a writing business going can have so little to do with actually writing anything. I've finally realized that this isn't necessarily a good thing, because to be a good writer, you must write. There is no other way to get there from here. The musician's equivalent of five finger exercises, or noodling, as my old guitar teacher called it. Practicing oddball keys and chords without playing formal scales or practicing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for five hours a day.
Now, I thought I was being clever. Being time-wise. Using business savvy. I thought it was foolish to try to write anything that you won't--or likely won't--be paid for. So I stuck with spending most of my time just trying to get writing assignments. It's great a great feeling to write something and be paid for it, even if it isn't very much, though it's the amount of payment that I'm trying to increase by getting into copywriting.
But there's a middle ground, somewhere between writing for the sake of writing, noodling, that I'm trying to stick to here. For I believe that writing and never having anything published is sort of a waste, though there are people out there who don't feel this way, who get other things out of it. Emily Dickenson was a recluse, sliding finished poems under her bedroom door, after which they were stored in a trunk until after her death. Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft fancied himself the last scion of a decaying line of aristocrats, and believed that writing for money was somehow beneath him. In fact, the thousands of letters he wrote to correspondents all over the country make up more wordage than all of his fiction combined.
Consider the fanfic authors who unleash their Harry/Draco fanfiction upon an unsuspecting Internet. Do they think they're learning how to write? Sadly, some of them do, and they have shelf upon shelf of Star Trek and Star Wars novels at their local Borders to reinforce their belief. But for the most part, I think they just like playing in someone else's universe and violating numerous copyrights. They have their reward from writing, even if it isn't monetary.
But I gotta tell ya, the money's not overrated either. And there's ways to make it work, just not by writing science fiction. Or fiction period, for that matter.
Enough of this. It's time to get back to work. In other news, I just got the cover art for the anthology from celestialstudio, so it's going out the door and on its way to the person doing the cover layout later today. I'll keep everyone posted and when it's ready, you'll all be the first to know.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I felt it was time for a quick post, just in case there's one or two people out there who are actually curious about what I've been up to.
I've been extremely busy workiing on (hopefully) money-making activities that will (hopefully) get me out of the horrendous, soul-sucking hell that is my day job. After being passed over for another crappy job within the same company that I didn't even want--but would have gotten me out of trying to explain to dimwits complaining about high electric bills while their teeth are chattering that they need to stop converting their living rooms into a deep freeze--by someone on the custodial staff, I've decided it's high time I get my butt in gear and try to make the move to freelance copywriting. Because finding another job is going to be damn near impossible in this "jobless recovery" economy, and inventing time travel so I can go back to 1993 and beat the crap out of myself with a ball peen hammer is only possible theoretically, I'm staving off any activity that doesn't at least moderately impact my bottom line and move me closer to that goal.
That being said, it may be a while before you hear from me kids. Play nicely amongst yourselves while I'm away.
Friday, June 15, 2007
11:02PM - I'm a Headliner!
Well, it appears I'll be expanding my itinerary involving this year's Dragon*Con. And they've put me up on their main page under the Authors section. So it appears I'm a headliner! And in another first, my better half and I will be staying down there Saturday night in one of the overflow hotels.
I've got other fish to fry just now though. Not only the charity anthology I'm putting together, but dealing with the day job and people who are utterly incapable of thinking about their utility bills until they're out driving or ordering organ meat swill from a drive through. But I've got big plans for my future, and they don't involve telephone customer service. Hang on tight. It's going to be an interesting six months.
Friday, June 8, 2007
The updates have slowed down due to my desktop exploding, quite literally. It's just the power supply though, and as soon as I have some extra funds I'll be back in action. In the meantime, I went out and bought a nifty Gateway laptop running Windows Vista, which has been interesting to say the least, but I like it so far.
In the charity anthology news, I've gotten most of my promised stories, and my friend celestialstudio is working on the cover art. sclerotic_rings: you'll be pleased to know that the Ernest Hogan story is a doozie to say the least. It's Kilgore Trout on enough illicit pharmaceuticals to scare the crap out of Hunter S. Thompson, and I would become independently wealthy just to go broke publishing Ernest's work in exclusive hardcover editions. This one story alone is well worth the price of admission, in my not-so-humble opinion.
Tomorrow, I'm off to Sci-Fi Summer, then a nice long weekend. I'll be writing up tomorrow's adventures for The Internet Review of Science Fiction, so stay tuned.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
12:57PM - Anthology News
I thought I'd post news about the anthology I'm editing. Voices for the Cure is a speculative fiction anthology to benefit the American Diabetes Association. So far, the contributors include:
Robert J. Sawyer
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