October is my favorite month, it brings the few weeks of true fall weather that we get on the high plains desert. It also seems to be inclined to be busy. The year is far from over, but a great many finales are in sight and it seems a good moment to reflect on all that has happened and get excited about the things on the way.

3-Gun

For bettor or worse, 3-Gun is now a huge part of my existence. This month officially marks the end of my second year of involvement in this high-octane sport. In 2013, I shot one match. In 2014, I shot a few more, and came in as one of the top lady shooters in the 3-Gun Nation Regional Series, and came by the title of top amateur lady in tac irons division. I got to be in a shootoff against the top three women in the sport, on TV, no less, and despite not beating them, I got a cash prize and some definite attention. By the end of the year, I had won some sweet prizes, earned two invites to the 3-Gun Nation Lady Pro Series Qualifier, and lost most of my anonymity in the sport.

2015 began with that Qualifier and finishes next week with the inaugural 3 Gun Nation Nationals match which serves as the Qualifier for next year.

In between, I made it onto television a few times. GunTalk TV & 3-Gun Nation I traveled as far west as Las Vegas and all the way to Alabama the other direction. I’ve flown with my guns and gear, driven a new Dodge Charger, and met people at matches who know me from the TV. It’s been a fun year and a wild ride and quad loads are now operational.

 

Taekwondo

 

My first physical/mental high-octane obsession took a back seat to 3-Gun for the year, but it’s about to heat up. Not only is Worlds coming up next year, but a date has been set for my 5th degree black belt test. Thus, that strange feeling of both “yikes” and “yippee” has taken up residence for the next few months.

School…!

Just to keep me on my toes and up even later at night, I made it into the OMSCS (Online Master’s of Computer Science) Program at Georgia Tech. In the spring, I tried to remember what I was doing, learned how to do some tricky things with photos and video, and played around with some handy middleware. This Summer, I created an an artificial intelligence agent (his name is Bruce, BTW) to visually solve Raven’s Progressive Matrices IQ Test Questions. At the moment, I’m TAing an experimental EdTech class and learning to program robotic cars. More Artificial Intelligence classes are in my future.

Writing

This is the site of the author, A.L. Brown (and all her alter-egos), and she has some exciting things going on. As Audra Brown, this month also brings about the first anniversary of the weekly, ongoing (getting paid for!) newspaper column known to the public as “Down on the Farm” and known to the author as “Adventures in Agriculture.”

A related announcement is that a collection of these informative, reality-based, and entertaining anecdotes about life on the farm is being compiled and edited with an expected release date in time for Christmas!

Also in the pipeline is the hard-hitting thriller writer, Lee Brown’s, debut novel, Tough Target. 

If that wasn’t enough, a collection of short stories is also being edited, the novella adventures of Josey Jackson are coming, and there is hear-tell of some ornery siblings having some more, bigger and better, Z-Day Incidents.

Look for cover art and release dates coming soon!

I made it back. The drive from Santa Fe to home was dark and uneventful until I was about a mile and a half from home. There was a cessation of forward momentum and a lack of rpms. A chain and my Dad got me the rest of the way. As nice as the Hotel Santa Fe is, I was glad to sleep in my own bed where it was dark and quite—at least until later in the morning…

Then, of course, the wind decided to start screaming. I had hoped that the sandstorm would not be back, but I was disappointed. It was bad enough that the USPSA shoot was even canceled. Considering how much flak and ridicule the range owner received the last time he canceled because of wind, one might get an inkling of the severity of the wind.

As pleased as I am to return to my fortress of solitude, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and the Hillerman Writers Conference.

The attendees and the faculty were all pleasant to be around. There was a nice lack of separation between the newer writers and the veterans of the craft. The common bond of writing was of utmost importance rather than the details of our publishing history.

Another great feature was the pervasive optimism that dominated the tone of conference. unlike some of my experiences with writers and conferences, there was a great deal of encouragement from the faculty and the established writers for those of us who are still trying to sneak past the great gatekeepers.

I find myself more inspired and encouraged to continue writing than I have felt in some time. I cannot recommend the Hillerman Conference enough. The intimate setting, friendliness of everyone, and the relevance and quality of the presentations makes it a most enjoyable and, I think, useful writing conference. I am already looking forward to next year.
That is all for now. I must write.

The theme this year was “Mayan Punk.”

Here was our entry for the costume contest.”Do you feel Mayan, punk? Do ya?”

We didn’t win anything, but i think we would’ve swept the “Most Likely To Actually Survive The Apocolypse” category. Ah well, now I can say, “been there, done that, still cool.”
Here is a pic of the winners.

Good News!  The Josey Jackson short story, “Fire For Hire” has been sold to Tales of the Talisman magazine! Published! Yeehaw!

Meanwhile, I have been getting a little bit done on a novel or two, but seeing as how I just qualified for the US Taekwon-Do Team…again…my spare time for the next four months pretty much just disappeared.

I’m looking forward to the 2012 Jack Williamson Lectureship next week and Bubonicon 44 this fall.

Well, back to it!