LibertyCon: Find Your Tribe

LibertyCon has come and gone. I leave my tribe after a long weekend.

It’s a science fiction and fantasy convention that has the honor of producing more lifelong friends than any other event in my entire life. It’s my tribe– a thing you should find, and keep, and have and celebrate. It’s books and games and characters, and in the halls are people who I’ve admired for forty years– and then they’re in front of me, and I get to chat with them about the books that are, in some way, the soundtrack of my life.

This year was a bit different, and by that I mean even better. I’m writing for a truly excellent person, Chris Kennedy, in a genre that I’ve loved since I was a kid– Military SciFi. Being involved with Seventh Seal Press is sort of like joining a winning team on the first day. Chris takes care of the details, big and little, and it shows. I carry this coin proudly.

For three days, I was on panels, at parties, buying books, talking about books, science, films, and anything else associated with a fandom that has given me limitless joy since I was a kid. I was exhausted but invigorated, a curious blend of wanting to do more on less sleep, and finally convincing myself I could sleep on Tuesday, because there was too much good stuff to see and do.

After leaving friends for the trip home, my thoughts return to my family and how much I’ve missed them. It’s a good drive– mountains, sun, summer heat– and I look forward to that strange sensation of coming home to people you love more than anything, even after being among people you love. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and it never gets old.

On the way. I stopped to eat in a small town, Monteagle, Tennessee. There’s an iconic place– The Smokehouse– and I went in having not set foot there since 1977. Fond memories of being a kid with my family, seeing snow for the first time, a wooden toy my grandfather bought me, soon to be scattered across the cavernous back seat of our 1972 Cadillac. Joyous thoughts, then a conclusion as I realize that of seven people at that table, only two remain, and we’re not kids anymore.

Travel is like that for me. It gives and takes. It fills up my tank, and not all of it is pure, because I’m aware of the passage of time. I eat the food slowly, processing the past three days while thinking of the next ten.

I return home to teach, write, edit. Things that are all part of my third life, the one that has bloomed unexpectedly out of a childhood love of things that didn’t exist anywhere except the books I loved– dragons, distant galaxies, starships made of light. This is the best of my three lives, and LibertyCon is the fuel.

To repeat: find your tribe.

Terry

I’m on the YouTubes

I’m on YouTube now.

A lot.

I’m making two or three YouTube a week now, all part of “The 5 Minute Author Coach”. It’s a way to help other writers avoid mistakes I’ve made, save time, and save money.

Check it out here: Terry on the YouTubes

In addition, I go live on Facebook every Wednesday evening, where I chitchat about books and give things away. Stop by if you’d like to see my enormous head in motion.

Also, I’ve got three author events in the next month. They’re going to be amazing. Here they are– if you can drop by, there will be a ton of great writers, books, and swag.

Lexington, Kentucky– GREAT town, great people. Lexington Legendary Book Bash

Peoria, Illinois– On the river, and raising money for an amazing cause! Writers on the River

As for my life, well. . . this is week four of Keto and week five of Hot Yoga.

I LOVE Hot Yoga. It’s transformational. It’s hard, it’s a mental challenge, and it’s something I’ve been looking for. As for Keto. . .I miss carbs, but darn it, I feel better, look better, and my mind is more focused. The goal is to be 225 pounds of “not middle aged guy” by August. I like my chances. 🙂

I’d love to have you visit my channel, or me, or the events. See you on the road, and let’s have a great summer.

Cheers,

Terry

 

P.S. If I die from doing Keto and Hot Yoga, please send cookies. That is all.

 

 

 

Party Hard: 1993 Edition

I went to Iowa last week.

It’s my ancestral homeland (dad is from there). It’s filled with lovely people, open spaces, and the occasional blizzard.

Maybe more than just occasional, but still, well worth the trip. I was at the North Iowa Book Bash, and it was simply amazing. People, books, fun. It’s basically heaven (an Iowa thing for fans of Field of Dreams), and it was also the Super Official Release Date for my newest book, A Touch of Frost.

HOWEVER, I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the kicker, which is this: Clear Lake, Iowa has a BENNIGAN’S.

For anyone alive in the 1990s, Bennigan’s was the place to be across much of the country, featuring (but not limited to)

Beer.

Irish-y stuff.

Fried things.

The Monte Cristo Sandwich.

What’s a Monte Cristo? Allow me to describe it to you.

Take ham, cheese, turkey, cheese, and ham, place in bread.

Dunk bread in batter, like a funnel cake.

Fry.

Serve covered in powdered sugar with a side of raspberry jam.

Yes. It’s that good. It’s so blissfully America I felt the urge to sing patriotic songs and quote Top Gun; it’s a fat bomb of grease and flavor and sweetness that is simply sublime.

Since the Bennigan’s is located in the hotel, we were able to walk through on the way to our author event, thus seeing the Calm Before the Storm.

Little did the staff know they would be inundated with rowdy writers and readers in a short time, as well as shouts for MORE MONTE CRISTO from certain unnamed person(s).

Iowa is beautiful in that heartbreaking way, open tinged with a hint of loneliness when you get outside town. I love it.

There was yet another winter storm on the way when I left, but that’s the Midwest– it ain’t summer until the Fourth of July, and even then the nights are cool enough to remind everyone winter isn’t gone, just resting.

I can’t wait to go back. Every time I visit, I understand why my family returned after decades abroad, and as long as there’s a Bennigan’s, to quote General Douglas MacArthur, “I shall return.”

If you haven’t gotten the new book, here it is, just click the cover to grab one. Hope you love Gideon and Sammie. I know I do.

A Touch of Frost

Cheers!

Terry

 

2018: Travelin’ Man!

MY BODY IS READY.

And so is my luggage.*

*Cat not included.

I’m going to be all over the place this year, signing books and eating. Okay, mostly eating, but also signing books. Here’s a look at my schedule. If you have a book event near you that you think I should attend, let me know– I love to travel and meet bookfriends.

And eat.

Right, so on to the schedule:

April 8 Clear Lake, Iowa

Northern Iowa Book Bash

April 21 Corbin, KY

Southeastern Kentucky Author Event

May 12, Austin, TX

For the Love of Books and Austin

June 2, Dickson, TN

Dickson Author Signing

June 29- July 1  LibertyCon

http://libertycon.org/

July 14 Lexington, KY

Lexington Legendary Book Bash

July 21 Writers on the River, Peoria

Writers on the River

Sept 22 Madison, WI

Mayhem in the Midwest

Oct 13 Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Fall Into Books

As usual, this is subject to change based on availability of coffee, insurrection, or dinosaur sightings.

Tell me about your event, I’d love to visit!

Cheers,

Terry

 

Super Fancy Giftaway. See what I did there?

It’s a GIFT.

It’s a GIVEAWAY.

It’s a– well, technically, it’s a portmanteau, but in American parlance it’s where you smush words together to make something seem witty or memorable.

Regardless, here’s the deal: stop by my Facebook page and like or share the post (and the page, while you’re at it): Facepage! Like here!

And, since we’re all fancy for the holidays, this is what’s up for grabs– two angel wing necklaces. Take a snoop, stop by, and cheers!

 

Ho, ho, ho!

Terry

I lost a parent. I gained some family.

Dad died last month, and it’s been a lot of things. It was closure, and sad, and frustrating. That was in the first ten minutes, and then it settled into my bones and became real.

Grandpa and Grandma Maggert

I went to Iowa for the funeral. I connected with people who are my flesh and blood, but have never met. It was an uplifting, somber, joyous mess of a day sandwiched in between two twelve hour drives with my own thoughts.

I miss my dad, I ache for my mom, and still have flashes where I think both are alive. I don’t know if that will ever pass.

My cousin Richine– well, I saw her and knew we were kin, and it felt like a gift. She sent me a hundred or more pictures of my family that I’ve never seen, dating back to the 1930s. It’s a treasure. My cousin walked me across the old farm and pointed out the place my grandmother was killed in 1955. I miss her, even though we’ve never met, and wonder how life would have gone for all of us if she had lived.

It’s a time of possibilities and sadness, metered through a lens of my own family. We are unique, identifiable, and now that I’ve been back to Iowa, more connected.

I’ll be in Columbia, South Carolina on Nov. 11 for the Authors Invade Columbia Event. Stop by and see me if you’re around. Check out the page here: Sakarlina, Y’all! Come see me!

Wanna succeed in writing? Find an Amy.

Here we see Amy in the wild.

 

There’s only one Amy, but every writer should aspire to have a friend like her. Here’s why:

  1. She loves books.
  2. She knows the book community.
  3. She LOVES books.
  4. If you have further questions, see 1-3.

Amy is my friend and Publishing Assistant, and a visible sign of how four years of work can be good– but not enough. I’ve written constantly for four years just to get to the point where Amy can help me.

If you’re an author, you need people like Amy to do things you’ve never even thought of. Release day activities. Twitter lists. Meeting other writers. The list goes on, and all of these things– outside writing– are the building blocks for being a professional.

You can do a lot on your own. If you want to go to the next level, find a person like Amy.

But not Amy. She’s busy being amazing.’

Cheers,

Terry

*No Amys were harmed in the making of this blog post. 🙂

 

Birthday Month Goals: 5 Great Things

It’s my birth month, people, and while you’re in a tizzy searching for gifts and accolades, I urge you to take a moment and read this.

Yes, it’s my birthday month, but I regard it as a time to give, too. Without further ado, here’s the list of what I will do over the next thirty days:

  1. 3 acts of kindness that require time and work.
  2. 3 gifts given to friends.
  3. 3000 pushups. Not all at once, that would be crazy.
  4. 3 cakes eaten.
  5. 30,000 words written.

That’s it. Simple and sweet. I’ll report back along the way. One detail: I’m going to try for 490 pushups on my birthday (The 6th), ten for each year of my lucky life.

Cheers!

Terry