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Elizabeth Kerner Author of the Kolmar series featuring Lanen Kaelar. Currently Kerner is working on the next of three more Kolmar novels.

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Old Feb 24 2009, 06:19 PM   #81
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Cheryl -

I tend to run screaming from the great big cons (also can't usually afford to get there, e.g. Dragon*Con, alas). The smaller cons are so much more fun, you get time to talk with more people and get past 'hello how are you' before something else distracts your attention.

That said, I did go to the last 2 Glasgow Worldcons and thoroughly enjoyed them. Met all sorts of folks, which was a blast. They tended to be professional contacts, though, not pals. It was such fun in Copenhagen! And glad you all enjoyed the reading. I did too! I don't get to read my work out loud, much, and I do love to do it. Heh heh - and Cheryl, I do have a slight advantage in pronouncing the dragon names. After all, I made them up! (Well, no, actually I didn't - but I heard them whispered in my head and have known them for years...)

Sorry. Not certifiably . Just a writer.

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Old Feb 24 2009, 06:51 PM   #82
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The former has cramps in the shoulders from too long in a straitjacket: the latter just has cramp in the writing hand! You know my methods Watson.
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Old Feb 24 2009, 08:51 PM   #83
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I'll give an honest answer to hubby's question - it's cos I found this place first so it got my preference over NKT, it's kind of interesting as it's more "item specific" in finding out about books as written by Anne McCaffrey (we still talk about everything else under the sun though), where as NKT discusses everything and anything and I MEAN literally lots more, pulls it to pieces etc as though we were dissecting a frog (poor frog). At least that's how I see it. Don't know whether people will agree or disagree with that but that's me.
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Old Feb 25 2009, 02:15 AM   #84
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I dip into NKT as and when, but I find a lot of it rather like a college Junior Common Room in its flavour.
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Old Feb 25 2009, 03:42 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanen View Post
And glad you all enjoyed the reading.
That's a definite understatement. No, really. You could hear a pin drop and I, for one, had goose bumps all over...

You probably never noticed because it was to your back as you were facing us but we were so quiet (as in contrast to other evenings) that even the desk clerk did her work as quietly as possible

That reading and seeing your eyes and your reaction when I finished reading the introduction of Song in the Silence "back to you" in Dutch are experiences I will not soon forget

I think the names you came up with are eminently suited for the "Dutch tongue" (as well as the Scottish)
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Old Mar 27 2009, 04:12 AM   #86
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I enjoyed the first book immensely. Kerner does some fabulous world-building, has some very original ideas for dragons---Brisingr totally ripped off the soulgem idea---and the religion/demon aspect added good flavor.

The only thing I can say I disliked was that the ending was very Dues Ex Machina. Solutions appear out of nowhere, everyone gets everything they want, and the only explanation is literally the Gods intervened. with such strong characters, I had really hoped that they would do it on their own instead of divine beings rescuing them.
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Old Mar 27 2009, 04:54 AM   #87
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Found that out in the 3rd book which I've just finished, the great goddess coming in and saving the day (so to speak). They do have 2 feet and a heartbeat, don't they? That particular group needs to use their brains more, instead of waiting on a goddess to help them out, all the time. Good triumphs over evil again. Or is that going to upset Lanen's temper ?

And yes, I did work out the dragon to human to ...... bit

Still I did ENJOY the books immensely over the last few weeks and I cannot wait until the next lot come out. So my thanks, Lanen, for an enjoyable read.
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Old Mar 27 2009, 06:38 PM   #88
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Hiya folks.

I do try not to get too upset about comments on my work, or I'd spend all my time being ticked off! That said, this post contains a rant. Do not read it if you are at all sensitive.

I confess, DragonDance, that had I been writing now instead of in 1995, I would have done things differently at the end of Song in the Silence. I'm a bit embarrassed by the Deus ex Machina aspect myself - I guess I should have left all the explanation/rationalization out, and just gone with what happened. I didn't feel that the Lady actually intervened - something else was happening with Akhor's transformation, which a later book will explain. It's not like the Goddess stepped in and waved a hand and said 'ok, Marik is gonna lose it and you'll get back safely'. Though I would try to do it more elegantly these days! Still, in all honestly, I have found that there are times in life when one appears to hear a voice, whatever source you finally decide to attribute it to, and you deny or ignore that voice at your soul's peril.

That said, Jube, I must confess that I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm What did the Winds or the Lady do in Redeeming the Lost? How did the Goddess in any way change the outcome of anything in that book? As far as I recall, that was all the doing of the characters themselves. True, some of them went and prayed, but that's entirely human. Are you familiar with the saying "There are no atheists in the trenches"? That's where the characters were, on the edge of despair and scared to bits.

Can't blame the Winds or the Lady for Akhor's transformation back to human, that just happened. I'm quite willing to take reasoned criticism, fair enough, but I simply can't relate what you have said to any specific parts of the book as it stands. Clarify, please?


*Rant warning*

Do not read if you are easily annoyed. And I'm really pretty ticked. Don't read this, Jube, honestly, if you are likely to be insulted at my response to your comments.

The one comment that has really upset me is your 'good triumphs over evil again'. Did you read the classification of the book? It's Fantasy.

Let me tell you now, if "the good guys win" bothers you, I can save you a bit of cash, or indeed a trip to the library. You never need to read anything I write ever again, and in fact you can give most of fantasy fiction a miss. The good guys will always win in the end, in my books, even if there are casualties or tragedies along the way. That's why it's called 'fantasy'. Life is tough enough without filling people's souls with more darkness. I don't read dystopic fiction and I don't write it, though there are plenty who do.

What, should Frodo have pushed Gollum into the fires of Mount Doom and gone on to be the shortest Dark Lord in the history of Middle Earth? Or should Frodo have died in torment while Sauron went on to overthrow the Lords of the West, those poor souls but great hearts who had knowingly risked all their lives to offer themselves as a diversion, to aid Frodo's quest? To paraphrase Tolkien himself - Minas Tirith, turned into a mirror of Minas Morgul, grinning across the broken ruins of Osgiliath at each other. I guess it would make an interesting world for some to read about, one ruled by evil intent, by hate and selfish greed. However, I would have thrown the entirety of Lord of the Rings across the room, or burned it, if it had ended thus.

The great Quest is about hope, about growth, about self-sacrifice and loyalty and being good and honest and true, when being so is not the easiest of options. Otherwise there is no merit in it. If you come out of the darkness of the quest with only darkness to report, you have failed in your quest and you might just as well have stayed underground. If you bring darkness out with you and it infects others, then you are not only a failure, you are a disease that must be fought.

Now heaven knows I don't rank myself with Tolkien, or anywhere near. However, rare is the fairy tale in which the princess dies rather than saving her beloved, or the prince is eaten by the giant while trying to save his father/ beloved/ brothers. That's not the message of this kind of story.

If the good guys can't even win in a fantasy novel, what hope is there for any of the rest of us in all of life?

And in this, I am truly

Lanen Kaelar
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Old Mar 27 2009, 08:45 PM   #89
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Lanen, I agree with you. It's one of the reasons I get so "ticked" by the many similar complaint's against Anne's works I've encountered on some forums. I'm old enough to be very familiar with how the real world works and fortunate enough to have actually encountered a few (mostly unsung) heroes. I know the good guy doesn't always win and that heroes sometimes get killed. I like to read fantasy and SciFi because I want to step away from reality for a while and I most definitely want good to triumph over evil and the good guys and gals to win. It makes me feel better. So, at least from me, Thank you!
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Old Mar 27 2009, 09:50 PM   #90
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I'm with Sandi!! If your books had sad endings, the first would have been the last I read. Instead, I'm excited just knowing you are writing your 4th book in spite of the time it will be! I, too, read fantasy because I like happy endings. Yes, it is an escape from real life. That is what it is supposed to be!
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Old Mar 28 2009, 04:36 AM   #91
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Sandi, never looked at some of the 'complaints' that way, it makes much sense, thank you. Like the others I'm firmly with Lanen here and come to think of it maybe that's (more or less subconsciously) the reason I read fantasy so much more than science-fiction.

And... what's more, I actually thought that the Kolmar books have a relative high percentage of bad luck for the good guys. When Lanen is in the highest danger and great need I actually had to think of Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion, who was tortured and raped and ended up in such dire straits that I thoght "how will the author ever get her out of this?"
Those scenes and passages are difficult moments for a Lanen Kaelar (or Paksenarrion) fan, but despite not being a fan of dark fantasy, those passages do lend depth to the book and put it firmly out of the happy-go-lucky-fantasy category.
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Old Mar 28 2009, 07:41 AM   #92
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Thanks for the support, folks. As you can tell, this is something I feel passionately about. I too have known heroes in the real world, and sometimes they fight and fall, through no fault of their own, and we who are left are devastated. Fantasy is called escapist fiction, and some condemn it as such - but the writer who kick-started most of modern fantasy, Tolkien himself, says in his essay "On Fairy Story":

"I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. ... Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or, if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? ... In using Escape in this way, the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter."

Darn, he was terrific. That's it in a nutshell. By the way, do look out that essay, it is a fascinating and very intelligent look at fairy story and its place in the modern world. It can be found in The Tolkien Reader, bundled together with Leaf by Niggle (a disarmingly simple tale with a very powerful point) and other works. Well worth the dough.

Anyway - thanks for the support. I appreciate it.
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Old Mar 28 2009, 09:32 AM   #93
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I think the occasional "Deus ex Machina" moment, if well handled and not used as an anticlimax, can enrich a story and add depth. Sometimes even in real life something utterly bizarre and unexpected happens which makes you redefine the way you think about the world. (One example is the experiment in which a single electron was seen to pass through two slits at the same time. It lead to the theory of quantum mechanics.) Sometimes an apparent "Deus ex Machina" reveals something about the underlying laws of the world that you didn't previously realise.

That's my scientific point of view.
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Old Mar 28 2009, 09:52 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanen View Post
That said, Jube, I must confess that I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm What did the Winds or the Lady do in Redeeming the Lost? How did the Goddess in any way change the outcome of anything in that book? As far as I recall, that was all the doing of the characters themselves. True, some of them went and prayed, but that's entirely human. Are you familiar with the saying "There are no atheists in the trenches"? That's where the characters were, on the edge of despair and scared to bits.
It was something to do the talismans, they used, that made me think of it! Where there was a sudden bright light and all was better for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanen View Post
The one comment that has really upset me is your 'good triumphs over evil again'. Did you read the classification of the book? It's Fantasy.

Let me tell you now, if "the good guys win" bothers you, I can save you a bit of cash, or indeed a trip to the library. You never need to read anything I write ever again, and in fact you can give most of fantasy fiction a miss. The good guys will always win in the end, in my books, even if there are casualties or tragedies along the way. That's why it's called 'fantasy'. Life is tough enough without filling people's souls with more darkness. I don't read dystopic fiction and I don't write it, though there are plenty who do.
Well excuse me! I would like to point out that I happen to like the good guys winning as well as you do. What I don't appreciate, is someone like yourself putting me down as a result of saying "good triumphs over evil again". You know what, I'll still go out and buy or borrow books because it is my "choice to do so" and you can't stop me from doing so. WHY? Because as an author, you are out to inspire, take us of the hum-drums of real life, build our imaginations and have us soaring above the clouds or beneath the ground in caves or tunnels, put a smile on our faces (uplift us where it needs to be done), make us cry because of a particular character or situation, make us think beyond "beyond", regardless of what happens. If you can't accept me as I am, then I'll stop right here.

In real life, the good guys can win over the baddies, think Schindler's List where one man tried to save as many Jews etc as possible from Hitler's concentration camps.

But then again, I think I wrote more positive things over the course of this thread then I did bad so obviously I still can't seem to win you over....
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Old Mar 28 2009, 01:50 PM   #95
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Pax. Let's try again.

Jube, I did not in any way mean to put you down. All I was saying is that the good guys will always win in my books. I'm still confused, because we seem to both be arguing the same side of the point!

That's the problem with written communication with someone you don't know well, it's hard to hear the 'tone of voice' . I see good triumphing over evil as a good thing, and apparently you do too! So in fact we agree.

And - um - I don't remember any talismans in Redeeming the Lost. The only sudden bright light I remember - and I did write it several years ago and might have forgotten! - was when Vilkas, the healer, summoned all of his power for only the second time in his life, and started killing demons. (yuck) Is that the bit you mean?
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Old Mar 28 2009, 01:57 PM   #96
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Could she mean the red soulgem that Aral used to aid her healing powers?
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Old Mar 28 2009, 09:20 PM   #97
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Lanen, firstly I'll appologise: I think our wavelengths were on the same par but it didn't come out that way at either end of the spectrum. I'll agree that when you don't know someone well enough, it comes out the wrong way or appears that way.

Okay the 3 things that have arisen out of it that I do remember reading (1) Vilkas using his power to destroy the demons (2) Aral using Loriakeris' soulgem and (3) Maran Vena (Lanen's mum) making a star-type medallion (honestly I'm trying to find the page here that I read it on) which several people used to pray to/bring forth the goddess to help with the situation at the time - it's kind of frustrating as I've only just finished it and that's why I made the comment in post 87 because it was like "why can't you lot stand on your two feet and expect someone else to do it?" when I read it. In the book, it was when they went to Maran's place, I think but I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong (which I've said in other threads before).

P.S. I still think that the series was a good read, regardless of the small points that I've brought up. After all, it was recommended to read something new and different to what I've read before. As a result, comparsions, differences etc were made at the time of reading "said books" so one needs to expect this to happen.
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Old Mar 29 2009, 01:50 AM   #98
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I need to go reread them again, because I don't remember enough from them!

By the way, Lanen, did you notice how up there Hans compared your character to Paksenarrion? I hope you realize what a compliment that was... and if you didn't, there's a book you need to read...
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Old Mar 29 2009, 08:00 AM   #99
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Brenda - yes, I did note with a lovely smug glow that Hans had compared Lanen to Paksenarrion (!) - I read Elizabeth Moon's work with sheer delight when it came out. In some ways, it shaped Lanen's character, in that I knew Elizabeth Moon had a military background and so could write with authority about warrior women. I had visions of Lanen as a warrior, at first, but realised when I read Pak's tales that there was no way I knew enough, or could know enough, about real warfare to come close to Moon's work, and it was obviously pointless to try. At that point, I realised that Lanen had a warrior spirit but very little eye-hand coordination! She's still lousy with a sword, though better than she used to be - I discovered that she had to express that spirit in another way.

Jube - thanks for letting me know what you were referring to. Without boring the pants off you (I could bore for my country on this subject! ), just let me say that I don't think any of those instances really show the characters waiting for some outside influence to help them. They were using the tools they had to solve their problems. Vilkas was born a wildly powerful healer with a damaged psyche, Aral was finding a new use for something her family had had for generations. As for Maran's Ladystar, I'll have to look that bit up myself - though as far as I'm concerned, wearing a Ladystar is rather like wearing a cross. It's a declaration of dedication to the Lady, not a magic object. Though it might work against vampires...
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Old Mar 29 2009, 12:25 PM   #100
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I'm glad others have also picked up on the Lanen/Paksenarrion link.

I wondered during reading 'Redeeming the Lost' whether the Silent Service would turn out to be an Order for The Lady, like the Order of Gird, but a secret one.
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Old Mar 29 2009, 06:02 PM   #101
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Oh god help me on that regard. There's enough vampire books on Spacedog's shelves, without you adding to the collection
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Old Mar 31 2009, 10:41 AM   #102
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Actually, P'ter, the Silent Service was in my head long before I read that bit of Elizabeth Moon's work. They're an independant intelligence service, selling what they know to the highest bidder. Being a researcher is fun but really, really dangerous...
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Old Mar 31 2009, 10:59 AM   #103
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Good, that means you can't be done for plaguing isms. But their sneaky function COULD just be a cover .....




I can DREAM can't I?
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Old Mar 31 2009, 11:12 AM   #104
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You go right ahead, me old china!
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Old Mar 31 2009, 12:12 PM   #105
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old porcelain please.

Or even poor Celline

Or better yet, Port Salut!
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Old Mar 31 2009, 03:31 PM   #106
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How about just Port?
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Old Mar 31 2009, 04:02 PM   #107
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Just? Fonseca '63 or Warre's '55 please.

I once had the chance of sampling some Cockburn '36 George V funeral year vintage, bottled '37 George VI coronation year. The details were printed on the cork.

On another occasion, in the year of Warre's tercentenary, an aquaintance of mine opened a bottle of Warre's bicentenary left him by his grandfather.
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Old Mar 31 2009, 05:30 PM   #108
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Was it any good?

For a quick dessert, if you've got TimTams, bite a corner at opposing corners and drink your port through the timtam. Sounds disgusting but it's quite tasty. Weird but true!
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Old Mar 31 2009, 05:58 PM   #109
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The Cockburn '36 was really good. Nicely balanced between dry and sweet: somewhat lighter than most modern vintages.

The Bicentenary was a ghost and should have been left in peace.
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Old Apr 1 2009, 12:00 AM   #110
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I think when we read stories like those you have written, we are there with your character...side by side...suffering through what they do. Sweating,fighting and loving with them. You put us on the edge of our minds...hoping with all that we have in us, that Lanen and her troupe of travelers will find some way to get out of the peril they are in...to get to a place they all want to be in...together.

In your books I have laughed until I cried...and cried a whole box of tissues, screaming wildly at you that you L E T *Him* die. I can still see the tears glissening in your eyes when you told me that you cried buckets too when you wrote it. Thats when I knew how much of your own heart and soul you put into your stories...no one could get that much depth into a story unless they took it from themselves. With stories like those of Kolmar, we all get to fight and win...and in the real world, that just doesn't happen often enough...for anyone.

Thank you dear friend... for the laughter and the glorious tears...and above all the wonderful happy endings...I jumped for joy when the evil was crushed and the good stood tired, bloody but proud.

P.S. I have two boxes of tissues all ready to go for the new book...you just never know whats going to happen in Kolmar, so it's best to be prepared.
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Old Apr 1 2009, 05:08 AM   #111
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Hands a virtual box of tissues to Lady Maelin for just in case....

Seriously though, I can't wait either!
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Old Apr 5 2009, 03:35 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanen View Post
Cheryl -

I tend to run screaming from the great big cons (also can't usually afford to get there, e.g. Dragon*Con, alas). The smaller cons are so much more fun, you get time to talk with more people and get past 'hello how are you' before something else distracts your attention.

That said, I did go to the last 2 Glasgow Worldcons and thoroughly enjoyed them. Met all sorts of folks, which was a blast. They tended to be professional contacts, though, not pals. It was such fun in Copenhagen! And glad you all enjoyed the reading. I did too! I don't get to read my work out loud, much, and I do love to do it. Heh heh - and Cheryl, I do have a slight advantage in pronouncing the dragon names. After all, I made them up! (Well, no, actually I didn't - but I heard them whispered in my head and have known them for years...)

Sorry. Not certifiably . Just a writer.

Next game? Spot the difference...
Does this mean if they invote you to Albacon, you're more likely to come??? PLEASES>>>>>>
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Old Apr 12 2009, 06:04 PM   #113
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AnnMarie - if you mean the Scottish one, yes, far more likely! Next one is Sept 2010 I gather. Possible!
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Old Apr 14 2009, 08:15 AM   #114
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Actually, I meant New York's Albacon... in Albany....as much as I'd love to go to Scotland, I don't see it happening soon....altough Nick's been sounding me out about going back to the UK...this time to North Wales.
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Old Apr 14 2009, 11:01 AM   #115
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I'd love to go to Albany Albacon, but alas, dough being what it is (largely absent) I don't expect to make it this year.
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Old Apr 15 2009, 08:31 AM   #116
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Now I'm wishing I could go .... for some reason, I keep missing all the good ones I will just have to save up myself and get there eventually.
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Old Sep 10 2009, 05:56 PM   #117
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Kibbie and I have was at a local SPCA store looking at the books and guess what we found and have been fighting over first read rights since than? SONG IN THE SILENCE! We both love what we have read of it so far.
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Old Sep 14 2009, 11:24 AM   #118
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Dear Mawra and Kibbie - thank you! I'm delighted that you are enjoying Song in the Silence. What a lovely message. Thank you for letting me know. I'm feeling a bit low just now, so such good news is most welcome. Bless you.
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Old Sep 14 2009, 01:57 PM   #119
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I got to read it first. I enjoyed it very much. It was strange getting all the different view points. I can't wait to find the others and for the next one to come out.
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Old Sep 15 2009, 12:45 PM   #120
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Thanks Mawra!
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