Proof I’m not ALL work and no play…

The summer is almost over and I’m really looking forward to spending Labour Day at FanExpo.

My schedule will remain on the Appearances Page until after the convention.

Lenny Kravitz sound check in Toronto. Photo by Mathiew BittonLenny Kravitz sound check in Toronto. Photo by Mathiew Bitton

Last night, I saw Lenny Kravitz at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. What an awesome, inspiring, musical extravaganza!

He only played 11 songs, but that’s because “Always on the Run” and “Let Love Rule” were extended by several amazing solos – guitar, sax, drum, keyboard, and even a stroll through the crowd during “Let Love Rule”

Here’s the playlist:

“Frankenstein” – the only song he played from his new album Strut  and probably my favourite from that album. I’ve only owned Strut  for a few weeks, and I’m still processing the awesome goodness contained within.

“American Woman” – best cover EVER, and a nice nod to us Canadians. This cover of the hit Guess Who  tune was originally released on the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me  soundtrack (a piece of trivia I didn’t know until today) and was added to the re-issue of the album 5  in 1999.

“It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” – from the album Mama Said

“Dancin’ ‘Til Dawn” – from my favourite Lenny Kravitz album It Is Time for a Love Revolution. If you don’t own this album and you like Lenny Kravitz, go out and buy it. Right now. Seriously.

“Sister” – one of the 3 songs he played from the album Are You Gonna Go My Way

“Believe” – a crowd favourite from Are You Gonna Go My Way

“Always on the Run” – from Mama Said. This is song is such a classic Lenny Kravitz tune (in my opionion) and the solos were spectacular. I didn’t record them all, but the ones I did catch with my phone were by guitarist Craig Ross, trumpet player Ludovic Louis, and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana

“I Belong To You” – a truly soulful rendition, another song from the album 5

“Let Love Rule” – Another of my personal favourites of his, from the album Let Love Rule. If my knee wasn’t so messed up, I would’ve stood on my chair to watch him walk around the crowd for this one.

“Fly Away” – a great way to end the show (before the encore) the third song he played from 5

For the encore, the moment he strapped on the Gibson Flying V guitar I knew he was about to rock my socks off with “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and I was NOT disappointed! There’s a great Gibson interview of Lenny Kravitz here

From the playlist, if you’re looking to get to know Lenny Kravitz’s musical style, I’d recommend purchasing the albums Are You Gonna Go My Way and 5. Of course you can also pick up Lenny Kravitz: Greatest Hits which includes 8 of the songs from last night’s show.

The only song I was crushed he didn’t play is “Stand By My Woman Now” from the album Mama Said. Probably my number one LK song.

Kudos to the fabulous backing vocal trio. I did a couple of hours of research and was only able to dig up the names of two of the three talented singers: Jessie Wagner and YahZarah.

Fathers’ Day or Not-So-Much?

I thought about this topic all day yesterday. Slept on it, and decided that I needed to be honest. That I needed to share with the world my feelings about Fathers’ Day in an actual, very-un-Canadian rant.

Why rant?

It’s not like me to rant at all. I’m no ranter. I value politeness, sensibility, and courtesy whenever possible. Heck, the word “Canadian” is practically tattooed on each strand of my DNA.

Why today?

Because ranting yesterday would’ve ruined Fathers’ Day for the majority of people.

Brace yourself, because this is about to get ugly and personal. Don’t follow the link if you’re faint of heart.

You have been warned…

Read my rant about Fathers’ Day on my LiveJournal blog

Suzanne’s Schedule for PenguiCon 2015

PenguiCon is April 24th to 26th.
Elements-5.5x8.5-100dpi-c8 Suzanne will be promoting her current book ELEMENTS: A Collection of Speculative Fiction

Her schedule for the con:

Saturday, April 25th

3:00-4:00 PM Rad Women in Music; Patty Templeton, Suzanne Church (Board of Governors)

6:00-7:00PM Plotting Vs Pantsing – An Author’s Dilemma; Rachael Acks, Matt Betts, Suzanne Church, Michael Elliott, Jen Haeger, Jim Leach, Clarence Young (Hamlin)

7:00-8:00PM Story Structure: What is it, and Can it Make Your Writing Zoom?; Charlie Jane Anders, Suzanne Church, Ericka Kahler, Paul Kemner, Clarence Young (Charlevoix B)

Why not drop by and say hello!

Knee News Update

Today (April 14th) the surgeon cleared me for surgery to repair the tear in the meniscus of my right knee. Wohoo!

The surgery is scheduled for April 27th – which just happens to fall AFTER PenguiCon and with enough rehab time (6-10 weeks) that I’ll be able to attend GenCon! The timing couldn’t be better, IMHO. (thank you to whoever cancelled to create that time slot).

The surgeon is hopeful that the arthritis in my knee won’t be too worsened by the surgery (it was a big risk that might have prevented me from having the surgery at all). My knee won’t ever be “fine” but without the pain from the meniscal tear, I’m hopeful that I’ll be walking more normally and the arthritis pain will lessen. I might even be able to eventually ditch the cane!

I can’t begin to explain how relieved I am. Finally, I have a date to move forward.

The Ugly Hugo Ballot of 2015

I might regret this post later…

The Hugo Nominations are out and the ballot is largely spoiled in my opinion.

In case you haven’t heard about the Hugo fiasco of 2015, Black Gate (who deserve to be on the ballot, IMHO) does a great job of explaining some of the controversy and why they accepted the nomination here.

In my early writing career I attended the Hugo Ceremony in Toronto in 2003 and learned that Speculative Fiction had this wonderful event where they celebrated the works of their creative talents.

“Wow,” I thought. “Maybe one day I’ll be on that ballot.”

This was the same feeling I used to get as a kid, watching the Juno Awards and hoping against hope that one day I would be on that ballot. As my life unfolded, I learned many lessons about the music business and my own temperament that ruined the Juno Awards dream forever. And so began my less enthusiastic position on the sidelines of the music industry instead of in the spotlight.

Years later I learned about the back room politics and endless promotion that is required to earn your way onto any award ballot. The company that my then-husband was then-employed with worked tirelessly to be recognized by the television and movie industries. Which led me to this conclusion:

Getting recognized is largely based on a drive to be recognized rather than talent and merit alone.

Notice I used the word “alone” because talent and merit are often part of the equation. That will always be true.

As much as the audience members watching and clapping want to believe that awards are based on merit alone, however, that’s rarely the manner in which it all unfolds.

I’m sure that sometimes awards are based on merit. I’m sure that volunteers work with faith behind the scenes to make awards as honest, forthright, and genuine as possible.

I’ve been on the Prix Aurora Award ballot 4 times and won once and I’m very proud of that accomplishment.

I dont suck miniOn the other hand, I’m not naive enough to believe that my Aurora nominations or wins were based solely on my merit, especially since I’ve read fiction by Canadians that really deserved recognition but was’t nominated/didn’t win, and I’ve also read fiction that was nominated/did win that I felt was undeserving.

I’m also not naive enough to believe that my work is so freaking awesome that it is that deserving of much of anything. Believe me, I fluctuate between pride in my work and fear that I massively suck and should stop this whole delusion that I’m a writer at all. Which is why I tweeted this photo in January to remind myself that I don’t suck…flowers sent with love from my boyfriend, and the Aurora Award that I won in 2012.

Today the Hugo Awards became another Juno Awards for me. Something that I used to hope for, because if I was on this year’s ballot I’m not sure how I’d feel about it.

I no longer have a starry-eyed and enthusiastic belief in the “big one” of the Speculative Fiction awards. And that is really sad.

Suzanne’s Schedule for Ad Astra 2015

Ad Astra Convention is April 10th to 12th.
Elements-5.5x8.5-100dpi-c8 Suzanne will be reading from ELEMENTS: A Collection of Speculative Fiction

Her schedule for the con:

Saturday, April 11th

11:00AM-12:00 PM After Acceptance: The Fun Begins Kelley Armstrong, Suzanne Church, Charles de Lint, Arlene F. Marks, Monica Pacheco (Richmond A)

2:00-4:00PM Signing Sessions Various authors (Richmond A + B)

6:00-7:00PM Writing in the ‘Loo Reading Suzanne Church, Marcy Italiano, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Sarah Tolmie (Markham B)

7:00-8:00PM The Tip of the Tongue, The Teeth, The Lips: How To Read Your Writing To An Audience Anne Bishop, Suzanne Church, Lesley Donaldson-Reid, Catherine Fitzsimmons (Markham A)

8:00-9:00PM Believable Characters and Dialogue Kelley Armstrong, Suzanne Church, Nina Munteanu, Douglas Smith (Markham B)

Why not drop by and say hello!

The Epic Reveal…

And now, the reveal you’ve all been waiting for…

new-eg-shield-smallI’ve been using the code-name 3XN  as a placeholder to discuss my new novel project.

Recently I revealed that 3XN had been upgraded to (3X+Y)N. So what does all of that math gibberish mean?

I can now finally explain!

“N” stands for Novel. That’s the easy piece.

“3” stands for the number three. Duh. Yep, I’m talking about a trilogy.

“X” refers to the Hellmaw realm created by Ed Greenwood.

I’m writing a three-book series about the serial killer daemon Videx.

“Y” refers to the new fantasy world code-named: Pony Island created by Ed Greenwood.

I’m writing one novel set in this new fantasy realm.

Please click through the links above to learn more about the EdVerse, and all of the other creatives involved in this venture.