ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Big Game Hunting in Tucson

Spent this past Saturday Big Game Hunting in Tucson. Yvonne and I had been invited to RINCON 10, which is one of the largest gaming conventions in Arizona. It was held in the Tucson Convention Center along with a Home Show.

Shout out to Lee and Nadine Whiteside for taking care of us.

Besides Magic and other card games, LARPS, and online FPSs, there was a huge amount of tables where folks were playing board games. Besides the occasionally scantily-clad Conan babe sashaying by, there was the usual cool assortment of people dressed as Ghostbusters, space raiders, Jedis, Storm Troopers, with a liberal sprinkling of Steampunkers to bring it into the 2010 (sic). Then of course there were those walking around carrying yard sticks and brooms who appeared to be just your average Jack and Jill. At first I thought they were dressing up as Zombie Victims, you know, the glassy-eyed neighbors who can’t even tell if a comet is striking the Earth. Then I learned that they had actually taken a left turn at Albuquerque and were attending the Shriner’s Home Show. Then I was certain they were dressed up as zombie fodder.

I can hear them now.

“MMMMmmmm.  Home owners.”

"Taste like chicken."

"No. Tastes like Home Depot chicken."

The trip to Tucson for Yvonne and I was kind of stressful, though. We have a new blind Great Dane, which all the FOWs already know about. She’s had some bathroom troubles and can’t really be left alone for more than four hours. Well, we had planned to be gone for seven hours. It turned into ten. Thankfully, my father-in-law came over to take her out about three. Not thankfully he was unable to do it. Turns out that she didn't;t want to leave the house with a stranger (he’d only been there a few times). Good for her. Bad for us. He gave up and put her back in her crate.

But we were oblivious of this. We had a book signing. Thanks to the magnificent Maryelizabeth from Mysterious Galaxy, there were copies of Empire of Salt and Highborn. In fact, this was the first time Yvonne was able to lay hands on Highborn. It was pretty cool. Her book isn't even officially released yet, so if you want some follow the link and let them know.

But, with all the Zombie Fodder, I didn’t sell a single book. I can count on one finger the number of times that has happened. But I did get to talk to Liz Danforth and Jeff Marriotte. I also got to get a copy of Jeff’s Dark Sun AD&D novel.


(Insert Ex Gamer Geek Giggle here). On an interesting note, the cover of the book online is not the actual cover of the book. It's the one the publishers used as a placeholder. This my friends, is the cover of the book. I know, because I just scanned it. But please, order a copy. Dark Sun is very cool.

Then we had two panels. This was the first year there was non-gamer tracks at the convention. Let me just say that the idea is still growing. Let me also say that the four people on each panel were able to give individualized attention.  Ahem.

But it was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed listening to Marsheila Rockwell and Sam Sykes, whom I’d never before met, as well as Will Shetterly and Emma Bull, whom I’ve met and wish I could spend more time with. As you can see, I found a recent picture of them. We talked mainly about the writing process, and I never get tired of hearing about how other people do things. Emma is the GoH for LOSCon this year in L.A. Should be awesome fun.

After the convention, Yvonne and I walked outside and discovered that there was in International Food Festival. It was pretty awesome. I had some Jerk Chicken and some Somali rice. Excellent.

I also sat Gini Koch for all of ten minutes. But it was long enough to snap a picture and to have her yell to me across the room, "Winston!"  So cool.

But what about Ghoulie, You ask. What about the blind Great Dane? What kind of mess did she leave? Is that the only reason you read this far?

We got home about 7:30 P.M. Which means that she had not gone to the bathroom in more than nine hours. We pulled into the driveway. We kissed each other and promised not to get mad at the dog. Then we held our breath (There is nothing compared to the sheer amount of crap that can come out of a Great Dane, and then gets to ferment inside of a warm house.) We opened the door and waited for that tell-tale waft of Hell. And the air was clean.

Some how, some way, she was able to hold it. Ghoulie was the hero of the day and made sure that the day, ended well.

BTW, my shirt was a hit. I must have been stopped a dozen times by people wanting to take a picture of it. ZOMBIES - Eat Flesh.


  1. I used to clean a Great Dane's pen when I was a kid. You so lucked out. But also, what a good dog!

  2. No kidding, Will. We felt like we should run out and buy lotto tickets, only we'd already won.

    Good seeing you!


  3. It was awesome seeing you, Winston. (And the always lovely and enchanting Yvonne, too!) If I'd known you were going to race off to take care of your babies, I would have passed on going to lunch with one of Team Gini (even though it was tons of fun) and stuck around more. I guess we'll just have to do it again, and longer, at TusCon.

    And, yeah, your shirt was da bomb! Best shirt at the con!

    Oh, and my not-daughter Nicole was bummed she missed you (she came on Sunday). So, TusCon it is for all! LOL