Friday, 25 February 2011

Week of Reviews

I received two great reviews this week on two of my favourite things.  The first was for Destiny's Blood, from The Future Fire.  The reviewer gives a very lovely review, capping it up with:

"[...]this story is well-crafted and often cinematic, at times reminding me of Firefly/Serenity or Star Wars: A New Hope. The story’s pace is fast, with many plot turns. This wouldn’t be the type of story I normally chose to read, as I prefer slower, Ursula K. Le Guin-type meditative narratives, however Bilodeau writes these numerous action scenes so well that I was more than happy to go along for the ride."

Read the full review. (And a quick reminder, if you're Canadian and so willing/able, please consider Destiny's Blood  for the Aurora Awards. Thanks!)

And I was also super happy to see the Kymeras were mentioned by the lovely Luna Allison in the first issue of the Canadian Review of Literature in Performance.

"The Kymeras performance troupe is a unique presence in the Ottawa scene. Made up of the fierce foursome of Kate Hunt, Sean Zio, Marie Bilodeau and Ruthanne Edward, the group puts on an event around the change of each season, weaving together poetry and storytelling that’s thematically-based on one of the classical elements: earth, water, air, fire. For example, a winter show might be entitled “Iceborn” and a summer show “Fireborn”. In the coming months, expect an appearance or two from these performers—who are skilled, crafty and just so damn charming."

We quite enjoy being referred to as fierce and charming.  Quite.

Thanks to both for taking the time to write these lovely reviews!  It's always great to hear positive news from the outside world, especially when deep in the creative space. It's good to remember the books and shows don't end with the creation. Once they leave the creator, it's really just the beginning.

Woa. Deep for first thing in the morning.

Obviously I need more coffee.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Ponies and Lovecraft!

This July, Roomy and I are heading to Rhode Island to the My Little Pony Fair!  To be clear, I'm the ride and booth keeper.  She's the pony collector.  But I'm totally an enabler.  I remember when eBay was still young and innocent, and so were we all, encouraging her to buy her first lot of vintage ponies, for old time's sakes.  And now, as penance, there are hundreds of ponies in our home.  Ah well.  At least they're colourful and smell of plastic.

This will be the second time we head to Rhode Island.  In 2009 we also went there and we loved it.  Last year the Fair was in Kentucky (pie!), and we also trekked to Tennessee one year.  Mostly because I have a car and I adore a road trip.

Our return to Rhode Island is a welcomed one.  Aside from the fact that the Fair is at the Hasbro headquarters this year, which rendered all the collectors a-flutter with excitement, we're also planning on spending an extra day sightseeing.  (Usually we're in and out like [insert bad pun here], simply because of time.  But Rhode Island is only a day's travel away, leaving us seasoned pony travellers guffawing.)  

Our day of sightseeing will consist of a H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe tour!  Poe was only there a couple of years courting a lady, but the gazebo where said courting occurred still stands, and we intend to bask in the, um, horrific courting?  There's also an Edgar Allan Poe-tato, and we're very excited to see it.  (I'll let you google that, or wait for my pics!)

Lovecraft has loads of stuff in store.  Cemeteries, the Harris house from The Shunned House (fear!) and a slew of other tidbits are still standing, and so we will have a creepy daytime tour.  We're not that brave (or that good at night-time navigation).  And then we'll end the day with a visit to the very missed Cheesecake Factory.  

A little bit of sweet to go with that horror, please!  Okay, a lot of sweets.  It's the Cheesecake Factory!

Our hotel is enthusiastically booked, Maude (my car) is ready to go and our Fair tickets and booth are purchased.  Now it's just a matter of waiting!  I love the Pony fair.  It makes for good conversation and strange blog posts.  

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Short Story Sale - Deserter

A few weeks before Christmas, I was chatting with Gabrielle Harbowy, Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Dragon Moon Press, and a published writer, to boot.  She mentioned that she had been invited to submit to Graveside Tales' The Beast Within 2, edited by the talented Jennifer Brozek.  It's an anthology of lycanthrope tales, which isn't usually my favourite type of character to explore.  But Gabrielle had such a neat concept and interesting premise that when she asked if I would be her co-author, I couldn't refuse.  It sounded too neat.  Beside, we had so much fun editing Destiny's Blood that I was looking forward to trying our hand at co-authoring.

Gabrielle agreed, and I quote (I love quoting people!): "We have a great editor-author rapport, and Marie has such a way with witty dialogue and creative ideas, that it was exciting to collaborate as co-authors. When I shared the seed of the idea, I could tell that she was really fond of the concept and running with it, and I knew the end result would be great." (I totally didn't pay her to say that.  Really...)

I ended up doing most of my part over the Christmas/New Year holidays while, of course, my friends from Windsor were down (the ones who were there for the last push of pretty much all of my writing projects.  Awesome twice-a-year timing!)  I loved discovering how another author works and finding our mutual footing in the story.  I knew Gabrielle as an editor, but now that I know how steady and focused she is as a writer, too, it makes me even more proud to see this story bearing both of our names.

I personally think Deserter is a fun story and I can't wait for you guys to read it! It's set to be published in the third quarter of 2011, so I'll keep you updated.

Thanks again to Gabrielle for inviting me to come play in her story world!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

After G-Anime and OMG Can This Girl Not Ramble For Two Words???

Spoiler! The answer is no. I cannot not ramble. I spoil with double negatives to throw you all off.

I was invited to this year's G-Anime by Fingers Delaurus, the esteemed Panel Guru. We had met at Can-Con, and he thought I would have fun at an anime con. He was completely and utterly right.

I had never been to an anime con and expected many colourful things to see. And boy did I see loads. Amazing costumes, many made by hand, were merrily worn by their creators. Not only did they wear the costumes, but many of them took on the attitude of the portrayed hero/villain. Beasts growled and swords were (scarily) swung. I walked in on swordfights, laser fights, umbrella fights, stuffed turnip fights and I think a crinoline fight. I didn't stick around to find out. It was, um, interesting.

But there was a lot more than just fights, though that certainly was a highlight. There were amazingly detailed models, a mascarade featuring amusing skits based on animes and video games. I'm a bit out of the anime loop, I fear. My main anime watching days were in university, more than a decade ago. For some strange reason surely not linked to procrastination, university was also my best video gaming time. All coincidences. Surely.  Still, I recognized the origins of about half the entries, so hey, nothing to scoff at (much).

The participants were super friendly and fun to chat with, and full of insight on how to make costumes and what type of character I could easily pull off. I'll have to check most of them as I've absolutely no clue who they were. Okay, I remember maybe one syllable per name, so I guess that's a no-go. Ah well.

In between panels I would sneak from anime to anime, either dubbed or subtitled, to try and figure out what was going on. Not much success there, but I did see a few animes I'd like to check out now. I didn't write those down either, but surely I'll remember when I look at the program schedule! Surely.

The highlight of the con was working with Jay Odjick for my three English panels: Something about Plot, Something about Characters, and Writer's Block (they had official titles, but I'm about 38,000 feet above, um, Manitoba (?) right now, so it's hard to fact check). (Wait, re-open parentheses. Speaking of being above Manitoba, there are these weird areas totally lit up on the ground below. They're not cities, definitely agricultural, but the one below me right now looks like the shape of a plane. It's neat. I need to bring my binoculars next time to spy on people below. Because that won't make me look unstable.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I had loads of fun. Jay and I shared many bad jokes. He came with an entourage, too! This videotaping crew followed him for possible tv footage. He was wired and everything, and knowing this, I still disclaimed my deepest, darkest secrets. Yes, I'm a sucker for a good sound bite, and apparently my idea of “good” is “slightly off balance.” Again, ah well. (Did I mention it's really late as I write this? I apologize for the rambling. Wait, no I don't. You're on my blog. You wouldn't know you were on the right blog unless I rambled.)

What was I saying? Oh ya, Jay. Fun. Funny. Sound clips. I was a bit disappointed that his entourage didn't follow us for the Writer's Block panel. We bore our hearts out in that one. Jay spoke of hunting, I spoke of hats. At least it's all in the memories of the participants, unless they've already erased it from their memory banks, which would be understandable.

I got to hang out with some old friends, too, and chat with a bunch of interesting people, so I call this con a win! I've been invited to attend Anime North. Wouldn't miss it. At twenty times the size, I don't even want to think about what type of battles I'll run into!

Oh look, definitely a city below now. Not sure of our flight path, so not sure exactly which one. It's flat though, so I'm guessing somewhere in Saskatchewan, at this point. (I know. I'm slow at writing this blog entry.  Cross-provincially slow. And I'm tired and distracted by all the shiny screens in the dark cabin. All except my own, apparently.)

Disclaimer: now I could fact check and clean this up before posting since I obviously can't do so from the plane, but where would the fun of that be? Nowhere. That's where it would be. And nowhere fun is no fun.

Note (different than a disclaimer, though still partly disclaimful): If you're wondering where I'm going, it's Calgary. It's a quick trip, filled with meetings. I won't get to see many of the people I'd love to see, but I'll be back in August for When Words Collide, and I'll get to see loads of you then. I still need to do a caffeine tour of Alberta!   

Friday, 4 February 2011


This year, I have the honour of being Guest Author at G-Anime in Gatineau!  It's my first anime con, too, so it's doubly fun!

This is where I'll officially be:

Saturday, February 5

Comment créer un personnage convainquant

How to develop plot in fiction

Making realistic characters

Sunday, February 6

1 pm
Writer's Block and how to deal with it

I'm sharing all of my English panels with writer and illustrator Jay Odjick.  You might even say I'm stalking him.  Poor Jay. 

Aside from that, I'll be around the con taking in the sights and sounds.  I'm knee-deep in writing, too, so I'll probably be sitting in random spots from time to time with my trusty MacBook Air, Utnois.  Fire me off an e-mail if you're planning on being around, or hunt me down at the con!  Um, without weapons, to be clear.  I'm still recovering from the shock of armed Klingons coming after me at Con*Cept.  A girl can only take so much excitement, thank you very much.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

When the Hero Comes Home

Dragon Moon Press has officially announced its latest anthology, When the Hero Comes Home, edited by Ed Greenwood (creator of Forgotten Realms and amazing writer) and Gabrielle Harbowy (Dragon Moon Press Associate Publisher and a wicked writer herself).  My sword and sorcery story, The Legend of Gluck, is included in it! Woo!

It was a fun theme to tackle.  What does happen once the dragons and demons are slain and the hero returns home?  Good things? Bad things? TERRIBLE THINGS???

... Awesome, eh?  And, little fan girl moment here - it has a story by Jim C. Hines!   His books are worth a read and his blog a follow.  His writings were one of my favourite discoveries last year.  

Here's the official press release (on the anthology, not on Jim's coolness):

WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME, an anthology of fantasy and science fiction tales—co-edited by Bestselling author Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy, Editor and Associate Publisher, Dragon Moon Press—will be released in August of 2011 by Dragon Moon Press.

When the epic battle, the mission, the quest are over, can a hero go home again? Is she too changed to resume where she left off...or is the life he left behind no longer waiting for him?

In WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME, these questions are addressed in nineteen powerful stories by some of today's top and up-and-coming fantasy and science fiction writers.

"We've been very pleased with the stories we've received. Strong storytelling featuring great characters, from both new voices and established writers. They’ve given us wildly different approaches to our theme—which is just what the title of the book says it is," says Greenwood.

"It's a thrill to be able to work with Ed and with so many other talented writers, and to have an opportunity to showcase some of Dragon Moon Press's up and coming authors. Each story gives the theme its own fresh, fascinating spin. Whether you're into swords and sorcery, science fiction, or urban fantasy, there are stories here that will grab you," says Harbowy.

The anthology features new fiction by Jay Lake, Todd McCaffrey, Julie Kagawa, and an all-new Jig the Goblin story by Jim C. Hines.

ISBN-13: 978-1-897492-25-3
Release Date: August, 2011
Publisher: Dragon Moon Press
Format: Trade Paperback, E-book
Distributor: Ingram

For preordering and promotional information contact:

End press release.   ... Yay!