Tag Archive for visioncon

VisionCon: The Muay Thai Demo

Wrath James White put on a Muay Thai demonstration Saturday morning at the con, and as I mentioned previously, he recruited me to hold the pads for him. In a nutshell, my job was to get beaten on a little.

Not in the face! Not in the face!

Not in the face! Not in the face!

Ass-whoopin’ jokes aside, it was a great demo. Wrath spent a lot of time discussing the distances between arts like karate and Muay Thai, covered some of his training, and even showed us his Ram Muay, the dance fighters perform before their matches. I was familiar with some of what he had to say, but a lot of it was new to me, especially the particulars of Muay Thai’s rules and culture, and for anyone interested in the martial arts, it was interesting stuff.

Then Wrath got to demonstrating why Muay Thai is referred to as the art of eight limbs; he started throwing punches, elbows, knees, and kicks my way.

You dont want to eat one of these

You don't want to eat one of these

I’ve held pads for plenty of guys before, but this was the first I’ve done so for a professional fighter. Even at 70% power, I had no question I’d be hurtin’ if I hadn’t been holding up those pads. I trusted Wrath not to miss the pads and take out a rib, but at the same time I made damn sure to keep those pads out where he needed them so I didn’t set myself up for injury. One of those knees could easily have knocked out teeth or cracked a rib.

Like a frickin freight train!

Like a frickin' freight train!

The flying knees were the strongest technique he showed off. I’m not a little dude, and if I stepped into the ring with Wrath we’d both be fighting in the heavyweight division. I even set myself into a front stance to brace against the knee. Nevertheless, those flying knees knocked me back a couple of steps with each blow. I can’t imagine the damage I’d have taken if he kept me in a tight clinch or pinned me against a turnbuckle or Octagon fence.

You can see a few more pics from the demo on my VisionCon Flickr set, and Jerrod Balzer has posted a some pictures on his blog.

The crowd enjoyed the presentation, and I felt like I learned something as well. In fact, afterward I asked Wrath a few more questions about applying a proper Muay Thai clinch, and I hope to show some of my friends at my karate school the technique.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even get an opportunity to apply it in a sparring match…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

I Survived VisionCon

Or I could say Springfield, MO, survived VisionCon. The local HuHot staff almost got their heads kicked in by Brian Keene, Wrath James White and I, but that’s another story.

This year’s con was a bit bigger than last year’s, and as always the con staff and crowd was great to work with. I set up shop between Cullen Bunn and Russ Dickerson, and while we didn’t have a ton of shopping traffic, we moved some product and met a lot of people, and we generally had a blast.

I didn’t have an opportunity to take a lot of pictures this year, but Amanda from Geek Details shot me a link to her Flicker set of VisionCon photos. You’ll see many of the guests there (including my fat ass), as well as some shots of the nightlife. For example, you’ll see that old white guys like to stand and yap until you get a few drinks into them.

Saturday morning I volunteered to be a kicking dummy for Wrath’s Muay Thai demonstration. We’ve got a few pictures of that, which I’ll share separately.

The other big event on Saturday was the return of the infamous Gross-out Contest. Formerly a fixture of the World Horror Convention until it was killed a few years ago, the con staff graciously allowed to resurrect it given the attendance of former champions Cullen, Wrath, and Mark McLaughlin. Brian served as emcee and I sat in on the judges’ panel, and we had over 50 people sit in on the readings. More than a few of them almost lost their dinner as the champions and several first-time readers brought their worst to the mic, and in the end Cullen won his 5th title, Wrath came in 2nd, and S.D. Hintz took 3rd.

Unfortunately the bar couldn’t put together a decent boilermaker, but the beauty of a con like VisionCon is the people know how to put together a good room party. In addition to Cullen’s patented diet margaritas, we grabbed drinks with names like Mojo, Green Slime, Deception, and Rusty Bucket. They all go down easy, and if you’re not having fun at a con like this, you’re just not trying.

After two weekends in a row on the road, it’s good to be home. I’m still catching up on email and other writing business, but I’m feeling energized and eager to get some more writing done. Finding a new good review didn’t hurt, either. Thanks again to Dave and his staff for bringing me back this year, and thanks as well to all the folks who came to hang out with us (there are far too many of you to list!). I hope to be there again next year!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Pack Unleashed Tour 2010

The Pack Unleashed Tour 2010

The official tour dates for my book The Pack: Winter Kill from Evileye Books is as follows:

CARMEL, IN – Barnes & Noble – Friday, January 8th, 7pm
BURBANK, CADark Delicacies Bookstore – Saturday, January 16th, 2pm
SAN FRANCISCO, CABorderlands Books – Sunday, January 17th, 3pm
SPRINGFIELD, MOVisionCon, Clarion Hotel – January 22nd-24th

Books are confirmed, so we’re ready to roll! Mark your calendars, I hope to see a lot of you these trips.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Best. Con chair. EVER.

Best. Con chair. EVER.

Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

I could tell you what he just did for us, but then I’d have to kill you.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

These Aren't the Dorks You're Looking For

These Aren’t the Dorks You’re Looking For

Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

The entire 501st hits on Willie’s Wenches

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The VisionCon staff

The VisionCon staff

Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

The REAL rock stars, the folks who make this happen.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

VisionCon: And Away We Go

Later this afternoon I leave for VisionCon, where I’ll be hanging out with the likes of Brian Keene, Cullen Bunn, and Russ Dickerson. If you’re in the Springfield, Missouri area, drop by and check it out! Even the local paper thinks you should go.

My box of Restore from Backup copies arrived, so I’ll have that on hand, as well as New Dark Voices and all three issues of my comic Werewolves: Call of the Wild.

The VisionCon schedule has been posted, so here’s where you’ll be able to find me through the weekend:

Friday
6pm – How Writers Party at a Con – Panel Room 1
7pm – Writing for Comics – Panel Room 2

Saturday
12pm – Reading – Panel Room 2
2pm – The Writing Process – Panel Room 1
4pm – How to Get Published – Panel Room 2

There are no listings for Sunday, but I imagine they’ll have something in store for us. In between times you’ll probably be able to find me manning a table, and at night I’m sure we’ll be settled in at the bar or wandering the room parties.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

More VisionCon

I turned in a short story for the VisionCon program book, so you’ll get at least one bit of free fiction out of me if you’re going to be there. The story is “A Family Tree, Uprooted”, which was supposed to appear in an anthology called Family Plots but the publisher bit the dust some years back. I never got around to resubmitting it, so it’s first appearance will be in this program book. Hope you dig it.

Speaking of VisionCon, the schedule is starting to take shape. It looks like I’ve got a reading Saturday at noon, so I’ll probably go ahead and read “A Family Tree, Uprooted” because it’s nice and short. If there’s time after that I’ll just turn it into a Q&A for anyone who isn’t ready to bail for lunch.

I don’t see any Sunday listings yet, but I’ll be up in front of folks twice on Friday and four times on Saturday. I’m told guests get a table to hawk their wares, so I’ll be manning that, too. I do have copies of Call of the Wild #1 now, so I’ll be able to sell three-issue sets, and I’ve got copies of New Dark Voices ready to go. My copies of Restore from Backup haven’t arrived yet, but I’m hoping they’ll be here before I leave on Thursday.

If you’ll be there, I’ll see you in a couple days!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

VisionCon

So who else is coming to VisionCon in Springfield, MO, at the end of the month?

I’ve just finished most of the heavy lifting to prepare for the trip, which is a first for me. For most cons, I do the headless chicken dance the night before, only then realizing I’ve forgotten books or business cards. This time that’s all been taken care of, and Cullen Bunn and I should be rolling in Friday morning in time for the convention opening at noon.

I’ll have copies of New Dark Voices on hand, and you’ll be able to get them signed by Brian Keene and I. Brian wrote the introduction to the collection, which also features John Urbancik and Gene O’Neill. This book was just re-released in trade paperback.

I’ll also have copies of Restore from Backup available. This is a collaborative novella by JF Gonzalez and I, drawn in equal parts from our love of horror and our day jobs in IT. Jesus, of course, has since had the sense — or at least the balls — to go full time with his writing.

Finally, I’ll have copies of Werewolves: Call of the Wild on hand. I will at least have issues 2 and 3, and I’m hoping to score some copies of #1 as well.

I’d like to bring copies of Brimstone Turnpike, but I don’t think I’ll be lugging out a bunch of $40 hardcovers. If you have a copy or you can order one in time, however, I’ll be happy to sign it. Hell, bring along whatever you have with my name on it and I’ll deface it for you. I’m not hard to find at these things, and the VisionCon folks have even slapped my mug on their web site for your convenience. Here’s another hint: try the bar, especially since I’m told I can enjoy a cigar there.

I’d also like to hit Lambert’s Cafe and try these throwed rolls I keep seeing on cable food specials. I won’t forgive myself if I get that close to Kansas City and don’t sample some BBQ, but I guess it depends how loaded my schedule will be. I’m going on the convention’s dime, so I’m not about to go skipping out on them.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Snow Day!

I guess sometimes the universe really does balance itself: I missed the black belt ceremony last night, but got the snow day in return. I wish I could then say I was productive today, but no such luck. I’ve been running on tilt for a while and instead had a Didn’t Do Shit Day.

It felt goooooood.

First off, I burned through the rest of The Wheelman. Talk about a page-turner! It’s been a long time since I finished a book this fast. I think I’ll move straight on to Swierczynski’s The Blonde and forego Dance of Death for now. This is a perfect example of what I’m looking for when I said I wanted to shake up my reading.

Then I remembered I had yet to watch the Sons of Anarchy season finale. I rectified that over lunch, and while it wasn’t as eventful as I had hoped, it was a good cap to this season and set the tone for next season. It’s been one of the better new shows, in my opinion, and I’ll keep on watching.

I browsed everything else the DVR has been holding for me and remembered I still had to watch this season of The Closer. I had myself a marathon, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now I have to wait until the end of January to find out what’s going to happen to Detective Sanchez. Curse you TNT!

And I didn’t feel one bit of guilt about not writing.

Why not, you ask? Because yet another project has gone up in smoke. I had a deadline for a short story this month, but today I found out it may not happen after all. Story of my frickin’ career.

I’m sure I’ll get over it. I’ve got VisionCon coming up next month, and there’s still this comics project, but today I just don’t give a fuck.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.