Ohio River Festival of Books 2016

The Ohio River Festival of Books is a this week-long of free events around Cabell County promoting literacy and learning for all ages.

On Wednesday September 28th the MadCap Puppets will be presenting Aesop’s Fables at the Don Morris Room at the Marshall Student Center at 9:30am.

On Thursday September 29th W. Joseph Wyatt will talk about his carer working as a clinical psychologist and helping law enforcement with cases at the Putnam County Library 5:30pm.  Also Sam Wilson will talk about World War I pilot William C. Lambert of Ironton, Ohio at the West Huntington Public Library at 7pm.

Friday September 30th at the Pullman Plaza Hotel they will have the Friends of the Library book sale, the opening reception, signing authors and vendors.

Saturday October 1st will have various sessions throughout the day at the Pullman Plaza Hotel in Huntington.   Some of those include Bright Star Theatre bringing the characters of Alice in Wonderland to life; Cat Winters talking about what inspired her award-winning YA fiction; creator of the TV series Extant and writer of The Strain Mickey Fisher will speak about writing for TV, film, and theater; a writer’s workshop by Michael Knost with several session throughout the day; and more of the book sale.  The closing program will be at 7:30pm at Marshall University: School of Art and Design Visual Arts Center, where Chip Kidd the award-winning graphic designer of book covers, author, comic creator will speak.

Other authors who will be around for signings including J.D. Byrne author of his new epic fantasy trilogy, Dr. William L. Grimes author of his haunted dentist office, Eugen Johnson writer and editor of many genres, and Laberta Salamacha Lucas author of Ouija about a psychic girl who solves mysteries.

Fans of books and reading should check all this and if you are not really into reading maybe you could find something to pick up and learn to enjoy.


WV Reads 150 Celebration THIS SATURDAY

Last year the Kanawha County Library system ran a program called WV Reads 150 Challenge.  The idea was for groups or individuals to read at least 150 books over the year. The number comes the fact last year was West Virginia’s 150th anniversary.

Tomorrow at the West Virginia Center for the Book is holding a reception in honor of everyone’s reading accomplishments.

The event goes from 1-3PM at the West Virginia Library Commission J. D. Waggoner Reading Room at the Culture Center in Charleston.

You can get a tour of the West Virginia State Museum while at the center.  Several West Virginia authors will be in the Great Hall of the Cultural Center as well.  Attending authors include: Sarah Title (romance author), Marc Harshman (WV Poet Laureate), Patricia Harman (The Blue Cotton Gown:  A Midwife’s Memoir,), Marie Manilla (Still Life with Plums: Short Stories), Betty Rivard (New Deal Photographs of West Virginia), Daniel Boyd (Chillers and Death Falcon Zero vs. The Zombie Slug Lords), Bill Bitner (M is for Monster, T is for Thing, and Gone Where The Goblins Go), Mack Samples (The Devil’s Tea Tables: West Virginia Ghost Stories and Other Tales), and more.  There will also be books and other local handcrafts available for purchase at the Gift Shop.  Prize drawings will be held throughout the event.

I will be at the event since apparently I read the most books last year, 450.  Granted they were almost all volumes of manga though, so there is that.

If you wish to take part in this year reading challenge you can solo or with a group.  This year the challenge ins West Virginia Reads 150+.  My goal is 600 volumes this year.

Dark Trails: An Anthology of Weird Western Stories

Michael Knost, a Bram Stoker Award-winning editor from Chapmanville, is trying to put together an anthology of western tales with supernatural, fantasy, horror, sci-fi and other unbounded creative ideas.  He tried to get a publishing house to take the idea, but they just wanted a traditional western anthology, so he has taken to Kickstarter for funds.  He is looking for $16,000 and as of this writing only has $2,591.   The money is to go to paying the authors, editors, and cover artist all a professional rate plus all the fees to get it printed.

When done Dead Cactus Press will be publishing it by Dead Cactus Press and have cover art from Cortney Skinner.  Writers who have already signed up to add to this are: Bentley Little, Joe R. Lansdale, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jonathan Maberry, Tom Piccirilli, Gary A. Braunbeck, Elizabeth Bear, Laird Barron, Tim Waggoner, Elizabeth Massie, Ronald Kelly, Lucy A. Snyder, and Joe McKinney.

He is also taking open submissions for this project as well.  The more money raised will allow for more stories to be published in it.

There are some good low levels for pledges: $10 will get you an eBook version, $25 for a trade paperback version, $30 for both,
$75 for limited hardcover version, and more.  At some of the higher levels you can get an online writing course, written critique of a short story, get your name used in a story or a story dedicated to you, or even the whole book dedicated to you.

The Kickstarter is open till February 17th.  Even if you do not pledge try to help spread the word, since it would be cool to have such a book from the state out there.

Submission guidelines are as follows, but the Kickstarter has to succeed first.

Submissions do not open until March 1, 2014. Please do not submit before March 1, 2014.

Submissions deadline is March 1, 2015.

Publication date is October 2015.

No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

Make submission a MS WORD document file attachment only.

Submissions will be sent via e-mail address, which will be given when project is fully funded.


CharCon 2013

CharCon returns to the Charleston Civic Center on October 18th-20th.  This year’s theme is fantasy.


An array of different games will be played through out the con, board games, miniatures, card games, RPGs, and live action games.  Scheduled games include several sessions of both Pathfinder Society and Sparks Force (Star Wars), Magic and Kaijudo tournaments, a Settler’s of Catan World Championship qualifier, con favorite “Orc and Pie,” Sergeants!, Warhammer 40000, Sailpower, LARPing with NERO, and more.  There is also open gaming areas for you to bring your own stuff or join someone else. The con will have a board game library that lets you check out new and old favorites to play.

The CharCon Premier Game Tournament is a chance to play recent released board games from different companies and earn points in the tournament.  For an entry fee of $5 you get to play in the tournament as much as you want and a free new game or two.

Several vendors and artists will be there.  CharCon always does a large raffle of many interesting items.  There are two costume contests, the adult one Saturday evening and the children’s on Sunday.  Lost Legion Games will host a “paint and take” table and a painting contest.  Also the 3rd Annual Board/Card Game Design Contest, where you get to play someone’s home-built game.  On Saturday night is the CharCon After Dark party at the Holiday Inn next door.

Guest at the con are artist Lindsay Archer, who has worked on a several RPGs and fantasy art, and cosplay guest Toni Darling.

A weekend pass is $40, Friday and Sunday is $20, and Saturday is $25.  Children 12 and younger passes are half of an adult.  A visitor’s badge, which lets you into the convention but not play any games, is only $5 if you want to check out things or just come to hang out.

If you like table top gaming or want to learn more about it, this con is for you.  Even if you do not play it will still be a great chance to meet others with similar interests.

The Kanawha County Public Library Book Sale will be on Saturday at the Civic Center from 8am to 5pm as well.  Something else to tempt you.

Mothman Festival 2013

The Mothman Festival is the annual celebration of the sightings of the Mothman.  It is held on the third weekend of every September in Downtown Point Pleasant, West Virginia, this year that is September 21-22.  The festival features a variety of vendors and merchants, local music, food, and family friendly atmosphere.  Festival hours will go from 7am to 10:30pm on Saturday and 7am to 1pm on Sunday.  This will be the 12th annual event.

Festival events include ghosts of Pt. Pleasant walking tours (tickets at the Coffee Grinder), live music from local bands through out both days, rock climbing wall from the WV National Guard, performances from the Riverside Cloggers in front of the Post Office on Saturday, and airplane flyovers over the TNT area, call the Mason County Airport to schedule a ride.  The 1st Annual Mothman Ball, from 10pm till when ever feature DJ Kos’s horror themed music show.  For all ages and do not forget to bring your best costume.  On Thursday and Friday before the festival
the Miss Mothman Festival Pageant will be held at the Trinity Christian Community in Pt. Pleasant. And much more to see and do.

Gust speakers at during the weekend are Patrecia Gray (author The Thing: Mothman, Devil or Spirit), Chad Lambert (comic book creator), Fred Aluga (college teacher in UFOs and cryptozoology), Stan Gordon (UFO lecturer), Rosemary Guiley (WV’s most haunted places), Susan Sheppard (paranormal expert), Lyle Blackburn (Beast of Boggy Creek), Sharon Shull (grew up during the Mothman sightings), Robin Bellamy (paranormal researcher), Jeff Waldridge (paranormal chronicler), Tom Ury (costume maker), and Matt Pellowski (Eyes of the Mothman director).

If you are not going to Shockacon this weekend or are a really big fan of Mothman you are going to want to check this out.  I really see the festival as something everyone should check out at least once.

Lewisburg Literary Festival

Lewisburg Literary Festival is two days of visiting authors, art, panel discussions, writing workshops, musical entertainment, and performance art all inspired by literature.  It is this Friday and Saturday, August 2nd and 3rd in various parts of Lewisburg.  Most of them at the Convention and Visitors Bureau building.

Fans of horror literature you will find Daniel Boyd author of Chillers, Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Slug Lords and filmmaker who will be doing a presentation on Friday.  HP Lovecraft Reimagined reading at the Old Stone Cemetery also on Friday.  Bram Stoker Award winner for Writers Workshop of Horror, co-edited Redneck Zombies from Outer Space, has worked in many genres Michael Knost will running a writing workshop on writing and getting published on Saturday.  Belinda Anderson author of the middle school novel Jackson vs. Witchy Wanda: Making Kid Soup, she will be doing a Children’s Book Breakfast with fellow children’s book author and WV Poet Laureate Marc Harshman on Saturday morning at the Greenbrier County Library.

The event has several guests who are WV natives or current residents including Jeanette Walls (Glass Castle), Noah Adams (Far Appalachia), Glenn Taylor (The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart), author John Van Kirk, WV Public Radio essayist Cat Pleska, national award-winning poet Joe Limer, Crystal Good of the Afrilacian Poets, and mixologist and author of “Handcrafted Cocktails” Molly Wellmann.  

Events include author readings, signings, three writing workshops, Literary Laundry Room )where you write a poem or flash fiction based on submitted photographs), film premiere by filmmaker Russell William, a Literary Art Walk with art accompanied poetry and prose, poetry jam, and interactive installations.

The events are mostly free, just a few dollars for some events, and some of the big events are already sold out.  Book lovers of all kinds should give this a shot, especially since the WV Book Festival in Charleston was cancelled this year.  Check out the site for more information and the schedule.


More on WV Cons

Ok, so I have slacked off on this so I am posting write ups of the last few cons of October in WV in one big post.



The ninth year of Tsubasacon was much like the previous.  Several guests, various panels, dealers and artists, cosplayers, and a lot of people in the hallways.


Guest were all right, just a little underwhelming to me.  They went from four voice actors last year to two this year, two artist guest to one, though this year they at least had a band that showed up and played different shows.  The vendor room was a little less this year too.  Same number of vendors just less tables sold; they did have one vendor cancel at the last moment but did get a replacement who bought less space.  Panel and events line up is a mixed bag depending on your preferences.  Game shows were big again with Greggo hosting again, Random Battle Group, the Brony and Pokemon meet ups, several cosplay panels, and various panels on different concepts.


The convention center is really gotten too small for the event.  This has caused moving through the small hallways even tougher than past years.  More people moved to hanging outside which helped some of the problems, but not much.  The con did set out some smaller tables and chairs in one of the few gathering spots in the center with room which was nice.  There just needs to be more of it.  But unless they get a lot of money to take over the arena next door. I do not see that happening.


Tsubasacon is for people who want to go to a con full of friendly people to hang out and share the love cartoons, comics, Doctor Who, video games, cosplaying and other such things together.  Unfortunately I go to anime conventions for anime.  I feel that if they just declared themselves more a multimedia con or used the phrase “otaku entertainment” con instead I would be happier.

WV Book Festival
I only attended on Sunday, so I missed the what I assumed to be the bigger part of the event on Saturday.  Still I was able to pick up a few books from different sci-fi/fantasy authors, see a film about the Flatwoods Monster, and take in a panel by Nobelman about his books on the creators of Superman and Batman.

Good event for literary fans of all sorts.  It is free, bunches of authors and publishers, activities (mainly for kids though), and the used book sell with great deals.


Charcon’s seventh year and back in the Charleston Civic Center.  They had a hall filled with miniature gaming of all kinds, board game galore, vendors, some artist, and their famed raffle.  They had video gaming in the lounge of the center and RPGs up in the 2nd floor hallway.  Plenty of room up there for them.


Charcon is great if you are heavily into table top gaming.  Wide selection of games to play, demo, learn about, and talk about.  I just do not see much beyond that though.  They had some guest, but did not really do anything with them.  Some of the artists spent the whole time at their tables and Andy Hopp was never at his table hanging out and playing games.  So two different extremes.  The con also had the most useless con program guide I have ever seen and I have seen many.  Mostly full of ads, a nice coupon here and there, and a list of some events and areas they had.  It listed a flea market event on Sunday that never came about.  I got the cheaper daily pass so I could experience the con and mingle, but not play any games.IMG_5661

I did win a special Magic: The Gathering promotional folding chair in the raffle which is cool.  It means I have won one thing the raffle ever year of the con.  My younger brother won Best Theme in the costume contest with his homemade Famine of the Horsemen armor.

IMG_5681Rising Star

This was the 21st Rising Star and I believe the sixth at Bluefied State College.  Rising Star is very much a relaxacon; meaning it is more about just hanging out with fellow fans and guests than the actual programming itself.  By that I mean most of the  con was just wondering around the main room and talking with everyone.  Not to say they did not have programming or that is was not good.


My favorite part of the con was being a guest for this blog and my nerdy music one.  My name even indeed up on one of their poster, which I made sure to swipe one for myself.  I ran two panels: WV Fandom and Nerdy Music.  WV Fandom was mainly just me talking about the different events and groups that I know about through out WV with a few people till we got off topic.  Nerdy Music was me explaining my take on “geek music” to a newbie.

One of the most well attended event at the con was the Brony meetup.  I have no comment that I can publish for this.  There was also a “Meet the Fan Groups” event for all the different groups at the con to introduce themselves to everyone; there were more people int the groups than who attended.  There was also the college’s robot department showing off some of their work; one sprayed fire and another shot a paint ball gun, I do not fear zombies I fear a robot uprising.  Saturday morning they played cartoons from the 60’s and served cereal   It was awesome.


Most of the crowd cleared out at about 6pm.  During and right after the costume contest; leaving just really the locals and hardcore people.  Which is a shame cause the concert from White Plectrum and the Charity Auction were after that.  I feel there was also too much of a lull leading into the contest, and not enough attempts to let everyone know it was starting on time, and a judging period that took longer than it took for all the contested to get up killed the some of the excitement.

Nice show a fans of all kinds of genres to connect, very cheap, and friendly environment.  And so ended my six weeks on cons (I was at Cincinnati Comic Expo the weekend before Shockacon).


So what do you all think?