Geek Market and other things

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a wild three weeks with Baby Dragon. Here’s a short update to let you know what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

Geek Market

Geek Market logo

This weekend is Geek Market, I’ll be there selling my book with Renaissance Press and selling coffee with JenEric-Coffee. So come by and I’ll chat your ear off about my two favourite things.

Baby Dragon

Keladry is absolutely adorable and sleeping better than most little babies. I’m still really tired but that’s okay since I’m home from work.

Books

Parasomnia

Early this year I received a contract for A Study in Aether, my debut novel. Less then a month later I got another contract for Parasomnia.

It’s a story of five people who are in an institute for dream related disorders, and the fantasy dreamworld they share.

I’ve received comments from some amazing and decorated editors and passed them to my publisher. I’m now working on the edits. I’m hoping to get them done by end of the month.

The Sign of Faust

This is the second novel in the Elizabeth Investigates / Baker City Mystery series. I’m mid way through editing it and I’m hoping to have it ready to send at the end of the year.

Everdome

Another novel that I’ll be editing and hopefully have ready for beta readers by January.

NaNoWriMo

I’ve decided to write my next novel as a NaNoWriMo novel.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. A month that people from all over the planet decide to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’m going to be trying to write a classic monster movie style book. I’m calling it The Copper Tarnish. It’ll be the first book that I’ve written that doesn’t connect with the Baker City universe.

Wish me luck. If you’d like to follow my progress or add me as a NaNoWriMo buddy check out my profile.

Not final artwork
Not final artwork

That’s it for now. Later Days!

Éric

Ten Days of Fatherhood

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Just a short break between episodes of Gladiators in SPACE!

I have officially been a father for ten days. So much and so little has happened since she was born. In an attempt to avoid rambling too much I’ll separate this into parts.

keladry-ghostwriter

Birth

A theme this past ten days has been, “I thought I understood what was going to happen, but I didn’t.”

The birth and labour was much longer than I expected and very different. I won’t go into details but despite all our preparation we had no clue.

When I saw the little wriggling baby for the first time I didn’t experience what a lot of people had described. I didn’t instantly fall in love, I didn’t just know, etc. I just saw an adorable baby that vaguely looked like her mother. I instinctively wanted to protect her, but I get that with all babies. There was nothing spiritual or magical.

All the love and the urge to make everything better for her came slowly over time. It started when we first learned she existed and continued to grow. It’s still growing now.

I think even if she weren’t my child, I’d find her adorable. She makes these little snuffling noises, squeaks, and mini-roars that sound just like what I’d imagine a little Dragon would sound like.

Imposter Syndrome

In case you don’t know what Impostor Syndrome is, it’s “an inability to internalize […] accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”

It’s most common in artistic people from what I’ve seen. I sometimes wonder how long it’ll take people to realize that it was mistake to publish me. By the way, check out A Study in Aether and leave reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. Ahem…

I’ve found the same sort of feeling with Keladry. One moment I’ll be changing her diapers and the next I’ll wonder when her real parents are coming to take her home. It’s like my brain is unable to fully comprehend that we’ve created a human and are now responsible for her. It’s terrifying.

There’s a disconnect between understanding the principles of making and having children and truly internalizing the information.

I’m told that the Parental Impostor Syndrome goes away eventually. Hopefully the other one will as well, but it’ll probably take longer.

Sleep and Doing stuff

Everyone warned me that once the baby would be around, there would be no time for sleep or anything else. So far we’ve been lucky; she’s sleeping 2-4 hours in a row between feedings. I can’t imagine doing this and going to my full time job, but I’ve been able to do a few little things here and there on projects.

The first few days I felt utterly lost and a little panicked but we’ve been introducing elements of routine into our days and that’s making me feel better.

As she grows older, we’ll try to instill a nice routine into her life as well and we can hope that will prevent us all from going crazier than we already are.

Friends and Family

I’m a shameless optimist when it comes to the human race and the innate goodness in each of us. That being said, I’m extremely insecure and have as a default assumption that everyone dislikes me. (It’s unfounded and silly but my brain is a jerk.)

Our friends and family have been absolutely amazing. Any and all support we need is there and we greatly appreciate it. You are all amazing!

Godparents

We thought long and hard about who and what we wanted for our little Dragon’s Godparents.

We narrowed down the criteria to someone who:

  • was spiritual or had a good academic knowledge of world religions;
  • could teach her things she won’t learn in school;
  • was a good person and role model;
  • who would take the job seriously; and
  • who could be friend and confidant that wouldn’t have an issue telling us if we were being unfair.

In the end we chose her Aunt Lindsay, who’s one of the most good and genuine people I know, and S.M. Carrière, who’s a wonderful person with a lot to share with Dragon. I know both will be there for her and make sure she grows up to be an awesome person.

Read S.M. Carrière’s post about it that made both Jen and I cry.

 

There’s a lot more I could write but I’ll stop there.

Later Days,

Éric

Facebook Quiz Thing – My Better Half & Me

Hello Imaginary Friends,

Still no Dragon sightings. I’m starting to think she’s going to wait to be induced.

I’m doing my best to relax and hang out with Jen as much as possible while we wait.

Tuesday no matter what you’ll get a great new story but today you get a sappy facebook quiz thing.

Later Days,

Éric

images

My Better Half & Me

1. What are your nicknames?

I call her Pumpkin and she calls me Teddy Bear. (We also use sweetie, baby, and hey you)

2. How long have you been together?

11 years in December

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?

We met on our first date and started going steady after a few weeks

4. Who asked who out?

I clicked “Woo” on her profile thinking it was the equivalent to “Like” on facebook but instead it sent her a message. She replied with something along the lines of, “You’ll need more than a woo if you want to chat.”

I think I’m the first one to suggest a date.

5. Whose siblings do you see the most?

We see Lindsay the most. Dan is really busy; and Derek and Jessica are far away.

6. Do you have any children together?

Not yet… any moment now.

7. What about pets?

Nope. I’m allergic.

8. Did you go to the same school?

Only for University and even then she was in different faculties.

9. Who is the most sensitive?

We’re both pretty sensitive. I’m not sure.

10. Where do you eat out most as a couple?

Does our in-laws house count?

If not it’s definitely Asian Stars. Such good food.

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

Florida. Unless you count our yearly trips to Middle Earth.

12. Who has the craziest exes?

No comment. (It’s probably me.)

13. Who has the worst temper?

We both have pretty intense tempers. Thankfully we both burn off our anger quickly.

14. Who does the cooking?

Me. I love to cook and Jen loves to let me.

15. Who is more social?

I think she’s more social. I’m sort of standoffish. I’m always in awe of her in a group, she can make friends anywhere.

16. Who is the most stubborn?

Jen’s a little more stubborn but not by much.

17. Who hogs the bed?

We have a king sized bed so that neither of us try to hog it.

18. Who wakes up earlier?

Pre-pregnancy it was always me. Work on weekdays and reading on weekends.

19. Where was your first date?

We met at the Rideau Centre and went to Chapters where she ignored me for a while. Followed by the Highlander pub and ending at Oh So Good desserts.

I walked her home that night.

20. Do you get flowers often?

No. They die too quickly.

21. How long did it take to get serious?

A few weeks.

22. Who eats more?

Me.

23. Who sings better?

Jen has a beautiful voice.

24. Who does the laundry?

We alternate, depending on when we run out of underwear.

25. Who’s better with the computer?

If we’re talking tech, it’s me. If we’re talking typing and social media, it’s Jen.

26. Who drives when you are together?

Jen. I don’t have my licence.

27. Who picks where you eat?

Normally I give Jen 3 options and she picks one.

28. Who wears the pants?

We both do.

29. Who has the better sense of humor?

Jen laughs at my jokes so neither…

30. Who eats more sweets?

We both love our baked goods and sweets.

Can-Con (No Dragon Sightings)

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Dragon is taking her time so I’m back at work this week (until I get the call, text, etc.) That means the super awesome story I have planned for you will have to wait for Thursday. It will hopefully not be postponed again.

This past weekend, despite being Dragon’s due date, we decided to get a table at Can-Con. It’s our favourite convention and is totally awesome.

Can-Con

One of the highlights of my weekend was selling coffee to authors I respect. It makes me feel all fan-boyish. The other was seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Can-Con people rock.

Not wanting to be too far away from Dragon, or the table, I only got to see one panel and give my first reading.

The panel I went to was about antagonists, it was incredibly interesting. The panelists were great (as usual).

Next year I plan on being on more panels. (I was asked but didn’t want to risk the chance of a Dragon hatching pulling me away).

THANK YOU!

To all the organizers, panelists, volunteers, vendors, and visitors to Can-Con; thank you so much for making it another great convention. I look forward to doing it again next year!

We’d both like to thank everyone who made sure Jen was ok and checked in on her throughout the weekend. You made her and I feel extremely loved and cared for!

My Reading

Taken by Madona Skaff
Taken by Madona Skaff

The reading was a lot of fun. Cait Gordon is a spectacular performer, Madona Skaff was fantastic, and Caroline Fréchette gave an impressive reading despite having bronchitis.

I learnt an important lesson about reading. Double check the passage before you read it. I just chose a random one and went for it, but didn’t account for how much extra set-up I needed. Seriously, I think I chose the part with the most characters in the entire book. I was sweaty, mumbling, and awkward, but people said I did okay. Next time I’ll prepare a little more.

Speaking of next time…

Mega-Multi-Author Launch!

This October 29th, Jen, I, and 6 other fantastic authors will be launching books and a game. It’ll be amazing. There are prizes, readings, food, and costumes!

There will probably be a baby Dragon there, in an adorable costume. (She’ll hatch by then right?)

This is the best place to get my book and some of my favourite reads from the past few years.

That’s it for now.

 

I’ll either be writing a new post on Thursday or you’ll get a story as I cuddle a Dragon.

Later Days!

Éric

 

Dear Dragon – The World Today

Hello Dragon,

I hope you’re afraid of monsters under your bed, boogeymen, or (like your grandmother) of Freddy Kruger. It’s not that I want you to be afraid but that I want you to only have fictional things to scare you.

I hope you never feel the fear of going out to a public place, or going to school.

I hope you never fear for your life walking down the street or traveling to other countries.

The world right now is on the cusp of something. I’m not sure what it is yet. Optimistically it’s the movement towards a united and peaceful world. Pessimistically it’s the movement towards another great terrible war or series of wars.

Weekly in the news, we hear about bombings. Sometimes more than one a week. In the UK they just voted to leave the European Union. Some for economic reasons but mostly for racist reasons; and hate crimes have risen to historic highs. In the US, the argument of politics seems to be more about skin colour and genitals than actual policies.

All over the world people are afraid. Afraid for their lives, afraid of others, afraid for our world.

The earth isn’t dying. People will tell you we’re destroying it. They’re wrong, we’re making it uninhabitable for ourselves. Just another thing to fear. Some people deal with that fear by trying to change things, others by ignoring it.

“I would never bring a child into this world, why would you?”

Someone asked me how I could think of bringing children into such a broken world. My answer to them was simply, “Hope.”

You, Baby Dragon, represent hope to me; a hope that you will have a wonderful life that you will see a world free from hate and fear, that you’ll help make that world.

And the truth is it’s not all doom and gloom. The Ozone Layer has started to heal, infant mortality is at its lowest in history, life spans are longer, more people can read, food production is more efficient than ever. Every day we as a species invent, discover, and create something amazing.

 

The world we’re bringing you into isn’t perfect, far from it, but it has hope and that’s worth a lot.

I love you, Baby Dragon!

Your Loving Papa

Allergies and Updates

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Call me ridiculous, but I hate this time of year. June is one of the worst times for my allergies and the tail end of convention season. Put it all together and it leaves me feeling drained and lethargic.

I’ve had a supremely good 2016 so far and I’m not complaining, but if you see me and I look a little haggard or gruff it’s not you.

allergies

I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s going on in both my and Jen’s lives right now. So it’s update time.

Blush

Last I heard, the boxes had arrived and they were working on the extra questions for the game. I’m really proud of my wife and I can’t wait to see this game in person.

Writing

A Study in Aether

The final set of edits are done and we’re waiting on the lazy-no-good-layout-artist (me) to finish the layout before it gets double checked.

The big release party will be in October.

Parasomnia

The book has been accepted by the publisher but needs a lot of work. We probably won’t start work on it until fall.

Everdome

I’m midway through finishing the epilogue for Everdome. Then I’ll put it away for a while before trying to edit it.

Coffee

I’m currently struggling with a way to expand our production and reach. I have developed a new flavour, but more on that on Thursday.

FADDS

My role playing system has been playtested a lot in the past year. I’ve had a group of very patient and awesome gamers. The current playtest ends this month. I’ll then need to do a large edit of the document before getting it ready for submission.

Baby Dragon

Everything seems great with Baby Dragon. She’s growing and kicking (a lot). We’re sorting through all the amazing stuff people have given us. (Seriously our friends and family are the best!)

We’ll start truly planning her room in July.

I’m both excited to meet her and nervous at the same time.

 

We’ll that’s about it for now.

Later days!

Éric

Recommendation Thursday – Fowl Language

Hello Imaginary Friends,

With Dragon coming in just over 3 months. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! … Sorry about that. As I was saying, with Dragon coming in just under four months (that’s better) I’ve been really enjoying Fowl Language.

It’s a comic about life and parenting. It’s colourful and really funny.

Even if you’re not a parent, you’ll love it.

tornados-vs-tantrums

Don’t forget to read the bonus panels that go with every comic.
tornados-vs-tantrums-bonus

 

Go Read and Enjoy!

Éric

Dear Dragon – Some advice on advice

image

Hello Dragon,

Throughout your life people will give you advice on everything; whether you like it or not. Most people mean well and are genuinely trying to help. You’ll get it from your family, your friends, that extremely nosy person in line at the grocery store…. Everyone! (You’re not even born yet and I’m already giving you life advice.)

It’s important to remember that advice is just a suggestion. Take it all in, think about it, do research, and then make up your own mind. In the end it’s not me, or your best friend that has to live with the consequences, it’s you.

The difference between good advice and bad advice can be really hard to spot. Just because someone is genuinely trying to help, doesn’t mean their advice is good. This holds for people in authority too (Yes, even your parents) they make mistakes and they can repeat bad advice.

A lot of advice gets filtered through multiple people. If it’s important advice, find the original source or one you trust. Then decide if the advice is worthy of following.

Your grandmother told me when I was young, “Believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear.” It’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Unpacked of meaning, it simply reminds you to think about what’s going on around you, what you’re seeing, and what you’re being told. If you think critically, you can avoid a lot of trouble.

A lot of bad advice involves certainties. Everyone believes this, or It’s always that. The moment people are completely certain about something, it’s your responsibility to wonder if their advice is bad.

Remember, you’re not alone, your Mum and I will always be there to help you work through things. Even if you just need us as a sounding board. We love you and we’re here to help.

 

I love you, Baby Dragon,

Your loving Father

Blush: Sex versus Gender

Dragon19-weeks02

On Monday of this week, we found out the sex of our baby Dragon. When it cam time to write the poll question for yesterday’s post, we briefly puzzled over whether to write “sex” or “gender”, because those terms are so often used interchangeably when discussing a baby. After some research, we found our answer.

Question

What’s the difference between “sex” and “gender”?

Answer

Sex refers to whether the sex organs identify a person as male or female at birth. Factors which determine sex, such as chromosomes, gametes, internal organs, and hormones, don’t usually factor into determination at birth, which is why a ton of intersex conditions go unnoticed at first. When discussing a baby, unless you opt for the intensive DNA profiling, you determine the sex by the external sex organs…does the baby have a penis or vulva?

Gender refers to the roles that society places on a person based on their sex. Male, female, genderqueer, agender, and gender fluid would be words used to define gender. Gender identity can only be given by the person in question. This is definitely not something that an ultrasound can tell.


References

http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/47830.html

http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2015/02/24/sex-biology-redefined-genes-dont-indicate-binary-sexes/