This weekend will be my second MARCon. I had a ball last year, and am totally looking forward to seeing what kind of craziness goes on this year.

The first panels start at 4 pm on Friday, and run through Sunday afternoon. For the cost, you can’t get a better deal for an entire weekend of coolness and geekery. The only drawback is that it’s also Easter weekend, which means, of course, that there are also family gatherings and traditions to consider, but this conference is in Columbus, Ohio, which is practically in my own backyard, so I can pull off both. YAY!!

My conference schedule is as follows…


4 pm                      Union C                                                Twilight’s Relationships: Tender or Toxic?

7 pm                      Union B                                                Once Upon a Time: Evil Isn’t Born, It’s Made

11:30 pm              Union C                                                (moderating) Violence in Urban Fantasy



10 am                    Taft A-B                                                Reading from “The Grimm Legacy”

2:30 pm                Regency Ballroom                         Autograph Session

5:30 pm                Union B                                                The Grimmest Kind of Love

7 pm                      Union C                                                (moderating) Superheroes: Prose only, Please


I will not be at the conference on Sunday due to Easter and family gatherings.

This is also a conference where I’m not staying at the hotel. I’m driving back and forth to the conference, because 1) it’s cheaper. One tank of gas to get back and forth for two days is cheaper than getting a hotel room, 2) I miss my guys when I’m gone (i.e., BF and The Boy) and 3) it’s also easier to make sure we’ve got everything ready for Easter when I do it this way.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to getting the biggest bang for my buck. I’ve blogged before about going to conferences without needing to file bankruptcy, and here I go again. The conference has already said it is serving breakfast in the consuite for con goers. The hotel is offering food and beverage discounts to con goers who show their badges. It pays to pay attention at conferences…you just never know what kinds of things might be available to you. I’m not saying not to have fun…I’m saying that you just never know what you might be able to get yourself into…if you don’t go with some kind of plan.

If you’re in Columbus this weekend, stop on by, get your geek on, and say hello!




Life is what happens when you’re looking the wrong way…or something like that.

Well, last week was INSANE.

I was obsessing over the last details of THE ANDERSEN ANCESTRY last week (yup, hit my deadline. Yay me!), when everything else seemed to be exploding at the same time.

Last Wednesday, the day before the book was due, I thought I was doing pretty darn good. I’d gotten up that morning and everyone in my household was getting things together and out the door early. That doesn’t always happen. The one snag was getting after The Boy for putting his shoes up on the couch as I was reaching for my own shoes…

Only to find, when I got to the office, that I was wearing two different shoes. Both black, both platform heels of the same height…but one was a Mary Jane style shoe and one was a penny loafer style shoe. What still amazes me is that I’d grabbed a right shoe and a left shoe and put them on, walked to the car, drove to the office, and then got halfway to the office door before I realized I’d done it. Oops.

Thursday morning, BF said he wasn’t feeling well. I’d mentioned that I had a hearing that morning, and was running around like mad (and of course, checking my shoes) to make sure I had time to go to the office first. As we all ran out the door, we found that I had a flat tire. And I’m not talking about a low tire…I’m talking flat-as-a-pancake. Turned out I’d somehow picked up a roofing nail in my tire, without realizing it. BF had me hop in his car, and he dropped me at the office after he dropped The Boy at school. He asked for my key, and I gave it to him.

What I didn’t think about was that my door handle was not working correctly, so the key wouldn’t work. I hadn’t given him the keyfob thingy, so he couldn’t get in the car. Instead, he couldn’t even get inside the car to drive it to the tire place with the spare on because he couldn’t get inside the car. Before I knew it, he’d dropped the key at my office…but I had no idea where my car was. He headed on to work, and ended up busy, so I couldn’t get an answer about where to find my car…I was even calling the tire place asking if they knew where my car was. (It was still at home, since he couldn’t move the car itself he took the tire off, took it to the store, had them patch it, came back, and put it back on the car.)

Friday, I realized about halfway through the day that I’d left my wallet at home. Of course that was the day that I’d planned to do the after work grocery run.

And then, just Tuesday morning, we got skunked.

I’m not kidding.

A skunk sprayed the side of the house right behind the kitchen windows, near the sunroom (which BF corrects me, and he’s right…it’s now really the Man Cave). We don’t know why. We don’t know what for. We do know, however, that it must have been REALLY upset. I have a theory that one of the neighborhood cats might have ticked it off right beside our house, but I don’t know that for sure (I just know that I’m constantly chasing cats out my backyard).

Two days later, I’ve got bowls of white vinegar all over the house. I’ve got a couple of small plates of coffee grounds sitting out as well to soak up odors. We have a trap set beside the house to catch the skunk, and I’m planning to scrub the house from top to bottom when it’s caught and gone. We’ve changed the furnace filters, and we’ve Febreeze-d the house within an inch of its life. Elizabeth the fuzzy minion has been CLINGY beyond belief, because, of course, she’s stuck here all day smelling it while we get out and go to work.

I’m so paranoid about smelling like skunk that I’m Lysol-ing and Febreeze-ing myself on a regular basis. I think its just stuck in my nose and I can’t get it out.

So…if you were to walk by my desk at work and smell lavender, it’s the air freshener and odor neutralizer I’m keeping on my desk, and I’m using enough of it to neutralize just about the worst smells you could imagine.

On the other hand…it is getting somewhat better.

So who’s got a good de-skunking idea? Remember…I don’t want to use tomato juice because it stains, and because the skunk didn’t actually spray the inside of the house. It’s just the odor to get rid of inside the house.

Any suggestions?