Cait Gordon

We attended Renaissance Press’s multi-author book launch recently, and brought the TARDIS for photo-ops with the authors and their brand new books.

What I *should* have done was ask the author which (if any) of their characters would run off with the Doctor. Hopefully they’ll answer in the comments!

Learn about Cait and buy her book here!

Éric’s Top 5 Convention Etiquette Pet Peeves

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Apparently I’ve never written this, although I swear I have.

Conventions are a hectic and exhausting event for those of us that sell. These are my pet peeves that clients do quite often. Most of it boils down to respect. Here they are:

5. Haggling

Conventions are a lot of work and most artists don’t do it to get rich. The money is used to go back into the art and to let us go to these events.

Most artists underprice their stuff by not including their time in the calculation of cost and profit. Be it art, hand crafts, food, etc; the artist has worked hard to figure out their price.

You can ask if they have deals, but this isn’t a flea market; don’t try to haggle down the price.

4. Blocking a table

I understand you want to chat and hang out. That’s great, but if you’re done buying or are just chatting then move to the side and let others look. You can still chat and hang out without blocking a table.

Same goes for those who want to hang out with friends, do it somewhere else. Be aware that if you’re blocking a table, others can’t get to it.

3. Selling to vendors

When someone is working on selling their own stuff there is nothing more rude or insulting than you going around trying to sell them something.

The obvious exception is food, I’m okay with that. But I don’t want your cheap ass flyers for life coaching, hotel rooms, or other bullshit. I’m there to sell coffee and crochet, not hear about how you can help me become a corporation.

2. Touching

If your hands are dirty or you’re holding food/drink, don’t touch. For the rest of the time when it comes to my coffee bags I don’t care. I have a set up the encourages you to touch and look.

For everyone else. ASK! If we had a dollar for every person who played with the crocheted items we’d pay for our table twice-over.

Not everyone has displays that are fixable or products that can handle touching. Be respectful and ask first.

1. Photos

Don’t. Just don’t take pictures unless you ask first. For those that make print art it’s the number one way to pirate their stuff. For those that make products, it’s a great way to steal designs or patterns.

If you must send someone the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, ask first. If you post it online ask first and give the artist credit.

This is the artist’s creation, don’t be a jerk. Most will be okay as long as you ask and are respectful.


In the end it just comes down to realizing that artists are there to sell and talk about their products. Respect them and their art.

Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Éric

Canadian publishing… WTF?

Hello My Imaginary friends,

Last Thursday I got an email from our wonderful publisher checking in to make sure everyone was okay after, “a tumultuous week for Canadian speculative fiction writers”.

I’m on parental leave and not as involved online as normal, also I’m kinda isolated from the larger writing community outside of events. I had no idea what was going on.

Holy Expletive did I wish I didn’t know after I read up on it. It made me sick and more than a little angry. Here’s a quick clean description from S. M. Carrière:

It began with accusations of non-payment and verbal attacks levelled against ChiZine Publishing by author Ed Kurtz.

Then things exploded.  Stories by others associated with the press, either having “worked” for (I put worked in quotation marks, because payment was not something they often did) or volunteered with them, and other authors expression concerns about behaviour and non-payment.  Some of it was truly sickening; verbal and emotional abuse that I found extraordinarily triggering. […]

Thoughts on a Bloody Mess – S. M. Carrière

If you really want to learn more you can check out this blog post by High Fever Books. It’s comprehensive and is still updating with information.

I’ve had very little dealings with ChiZine… Mostly the reading series that was run in Ottawa. The reading series in Ottawa was run by some fantastic people and I’m extremely happy that they don’t seem implicated in the terribleness.

When I first met the publishers, I thought they were the rockstars of publishing. They had edgy cool books, snarky attitudes, and a slight punk vibe. I pitched my first novel to them and was shocked that they liked the pitch.

Over the next two years, I periodically emailed about my submission, always getting emails about how busy they were. It was a stark contrast from Renaissance Press that actually published the novel. They apologized for taking too long (less then 3 months) and even walked me through what I should do to improve the novel.

I asked Sandra about the submission in person at the next years’ Can-Con and she replied curtly that, they’d get to it when they had a chance. From that moment on, she and Brett pretty much ignored me. I was on a panel at Limestone Expo and Sandra spent most of the time talking over me and interrupting the other panelists. I mostly tried to avoid them after that. I assumed it was me. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and can rub some the wrong way.

I don’t know all the details, but there are a lot of people speaking out about WAY worse things that ChiZine has been involved. It’s seriously disturbing how bad some of the stuff being discussed is.

In case it’s not clear. I believe and support those speaking out.

In times like these, I truly appreciate my publisher. Renaissance isn’t the biggest, nor is it the fastest growing, but damn do they take care of their authors. They have a careful, people-oriented approach to publishing that I greatly appreciate.

I have nothing new to add to the conversation, but I do want to repeat two important messages:

  1. Don’t punish the writers for their publisher.
  2. Don’t assume that everyone involved with ChiZine knew what happened or were involved. There are some genuinely lovely people who were involved with the company that might not have been involved in the horrible behaviour.

Be kind, my friends,

Éric

Su J. Sukol

We attended Renaissance Press’s multi-author book launch recently, and brought the TARDIS for photo-ops with the authors and their brand new books.

What I *should* have done was ask the author which (if any) of their characters would run off with the Doctor. Hopefully they’ll answer in the comments!

Learn about Su and buy her book here!

Ottawa Comiccon Holiday Edition 2019

Hello Fans, Friends, Coffee Lovers, and Crochet Enthusiasts,

JenEric Designs, JenEric Coffee, The Travelling TARDIS, and Aspiring Something will all be at Ottawa Comiccon Holiday Edition 2019.

It’s this weekend November 9 from 11am to 6pm and November 10 from 11am to 5pm.

We’ll be at tables 108 and 110. (That’s on the right against the wall.)

We will have limited extra Advent Calendars for sale and coffee samples all weekend.

See you there!

Jen and Éric

Solo Car Trip with an Infant

We’re going to depart from the standard “fandom” article today because I’m tired and this is relevant to my life.

Last week, I drove with Pegasus to Kitchener from Ottawa. Granted, there was another adult (my dad) with me on the way to Toronto, but we were by ourselves for the entire return trip.

Recommendations for travelling with a four month old:

  • hope that the infant sleeps well for long periods of time in a moving vehicle
  • feed baby and change baby right before you leave (in our case, Pegasus usually has 2-3 giant poops right after waking up in the morning. I didn’t leave the house until after these were done)
  • wait until baby is drowsy before leaving
  • bring more diapers than you think you’ll need
  • wipes, too
  • ask in advance if you have access to a washer and dryer at the other end of your trip; if not, bring 2x as many clothes for both of you than you think you’ll need (I did have access, thankfully!)
  • bring a change mat that wipes clean, not a cloth one

Things that I did that worked when driving solo:

  • got gas when arriving at the onroutes – baby was still sleeping and didn’t get upset at the prolonged wait for food/change/removal from car seat (if he’d been awake, I would have gotten it afterwards)
  • changed baby immediately after arriving – and used the toilet myself because I knew I’d forget otherwise
  • got food for myself right after that – meant that I didn’t have to spread stuff out to feed him, pack it all up to get food for myself, and then spread it all out again
  • found a comfy chair (thank you Port Hope onroute for having comfy chairs!!) and spread my stuff out, fed baby right away
  • changed baby on my lap because packing up stuff seemed like way too much work
  • fed myself while baby played with a toy (chairs are big enough to squeeze baby beside myself!)
  • fed baby again
  • changed baby again
  • baby was getting drowsy so I left right away
  • plan for multiple stops every 2/2.5 hours and hope you don’t need stops in between (I had to make an extra stop at the Mallorytown onroute because Pegasus had a nightmare and woke up – thankfully it was before the onroute; there is nowhere to stop after that other than on the side of the road, and I didn’t want to do that in the dark)
  • do not stop for yourself unless you absolutely have to – taking the baby out of the car means that you have to feed and change them and let them play for a bit before getting back in the car – it extends any trip by at least an hour for every stop you make

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

JenEric Contest – Guess the Baby – Answer

Hello,

Last month we ran a contest and no one got the right answer. Some got 2 out of 4 but that’s the best result.

We’ll have to run another contest with with toddler pictures to let you redeem yourselves.

Contest

It’s easy: just look at the pictures and say who is whom. One picture is Jen, one is Éric, another is Keladry (AKA Baby Dragon), and the last is Adrien (AKA Baby Pegasus); all at roughly 3 months of age.

Answer

  1. Adrien
  2. Keladry
  3. Éric
  4. Jen

The person most identified was me so I guess that means I haven’t changed much. You now know what I’d look like without a beard.

Later Days,

Éric