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Darkcargo’s wonderful experiment in conducting a con in unexpected places continues this afternoon with a discussion with Mercury Retrograde author Danielle L. Parker. Danielle and Darkcargo editor Elizabeth Campbell discuss Galen the Deathless, slated for release next year, and the writing life. We all have our own approaches; Danielle’s is very introspective and intense. And Elizabeth brings her interview subject to life with her unique perspective and insightful questions. Stop in to @HomeCon (really, that outfit is fine. You should see what some of us are wearing) and join the fun.

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Today at @HomeCon(TM) on Darkcargo, editor Elizabeth Campbell interviews Mercury Retrograde’s own Barbara Friend Ish about Mercury Retrograde Press, Slow Publishing, and the mysteries of editing books. @HomeCon has been running all weekend, and will finish up in a blaze of glory today, but we’re not sure what plans have been made for a Dead Dog Party. Eliz says:

One lucky commenter will get a choice of books from the stacks at Mercury Retrograde Press (or ebook sent to them if they should happen to be in a foreign country right now…). There are other prizes for participating in Darkcargo’s @homeCon all weekend, such as this one, this one, this one and this one. And this one. (Pop over to the post to see what prizes are still in play.)

As per Darkcargo tradition, Eliz asks truly penetrating questions. If you’re interested in the stuff that goes on behind the curtain at a small press, this is the interview for you. And if you have yet to dip into the wonderful insanity of @HomeCon, this is a good place to start.

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Couldn’t get to Balticon? Yeah, me either. Neither, as it turns out, could Elizabeth Campbell, the lead editor of the Darkcargo blog. So to soothe her disappointment, and the shared disappointment of geeks missing Balticon everywhere, she organized At-Home-Con:

We were going to head to Baltimore this weekend to join in the festivities at Balticon, listen to Jonah Knight and Bill and Brenda Sutton.

Alas, the evil demon Financiogaroth kicked in the door, as we have just moved and there are still a lot of expenses associated with that.

So, we are hosting an At-Home-Con this weekend. Place: yours! Time: Whenever!

They are doing a lot of fun stuff. So far there’s been a costuming workshop, some “panels” (well, interviews), a consuite (they’re serving pizza later) and a couple of contests. Later this weekend, Mercury Retrograde author Danielle L. Parker and I (Barbara Friend Ish) will be sitting in with Elizabeth and doing interviews too. And eating the eclairs in the consuite. Stop by Darkcargo and join the fun. Yes, you really can wear that.

Or you can put on that costume. Hey, it’s a con.

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Over on The Writer’s Handbook Blog, Leona Wisoker has written a very thoughtful guest post on what went into the success of her book launch for Secrets of the Sands–and some thoughts on career building in general. It’s full of tips you can use when planning your own event. Check it out.

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SF Signal is hosting another terrific edition of MIND MELD, in which the editors poll a variety of SFF luminaries with a question each week. This week”s question is

What are some of your favorite genre crossovers?

Among those participating is our own Barbara Friend Ish, who had so much fun with the question that her response overflowed to her personal blog. Think you can read all the responses on SF Signal and not find something new and exciting? We doubt it; our to-read and to-watch lists got longer today. Have a favorite genre crossover that no one has mentioned so far? Add your own thoughts to the mix. That’s what this feature is supposed to be about.

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Alas, this feels like talking about oneself in the third person–but it occurs to me that this post on outlining and the surprising value I’ve found in it, from my personal blog, would likely be of interest to the writers among you.

I am not an outliner by nature; I still expect to use it primarily for rewrites. But for rewrites and drafts beyond first, I have discovered outlining a surprisingly powerful tool. Read on…

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Goddess of Slush Angela Still has a piece up on Celebrities in Disgrace this week in which she reflects on Evan Lysacek, Evgeni Plushenko, and the magic that occurs when a public figure conducts himself with class.

Writers aren’t  the same kind of public figures, of course: no one pays to watch us frown and pound on the keyboard, and most of us will never get the sort of attention that Olympic participants do. But we do have public careers which are judged by not only our performance at the thing for which people pay (the writing) but also our conduct in the trade journals, the cons, the blogs, the twitter. I see lessons for writers in this, too. But then I see lessons for writers in everything.

Thanks for some truly worthwhile thoughts, Angela!

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