Special Session 2011 Convenes…Two Weeks Before Dragon*Con. Also, My Panel Schedule.

So the Georgia Legislature, in its infinite wisdom and grace, has called a special session, convening today—two weeks before Dragon*Con. Yes, I am stressed. Yes, I am snowed under. And yes, I am already sleep deficient.

Hurray.

In related news, I got my guest schedule. Herein the panels I’m slated to be on:

  • “Happy Genre Fiction” with Anya Martin and Jean Rabe. Fri 2:30PM, Fairlie (Hyatt).
  • “Characters that Come to Life” with Lynn Abbey, Carole Nelson Douglas, Tracy Hickman, Nancy L. Holder, and John D. Ringo. Sat 11:30AM, Manilla/Singapore/Hong Kong (Hyatt).
  • “Writing Short Fiction” with Davey Beauchamp, David B. Coe, Mary Robinette Kowal, Lee Martindale, and Ann VanderMeer. Sat 7PM, Manilla/Singapore/Hong Kong (Hyatt).

Calmblueocean.

Outlantacon, Sale to Women Writing the Weird anthology, and Aurora Ballot

Outlantacon was, as always, a  fabulous time. Met Amber Benson, who is a complete sweetheart, and managed to not dissolve into utter fangirl incoherence. Got to meet in actual person—not just pixels—JoSelle Vanderhooft; finally got to hang with the lovely and talented Shae Connor, who helps keep me sane at Dragon*Con with her invaluable assistance on the Daily Dragon but who I never get to see elsewhere; and even managed to exchange sallies with Steve Berman, who I haven’t talked to in years. Also caught up with Lee Martindale and Davey Beauchamp, as well as all the many other convention-family-types who, despite my best intentions otherwise, I only seem to encounter at these sorts of events.

An excellent reminder that there’s much to commend in having a low-key, laid-back convention schedule.

Other good weekendness:
• Sold a reprint of one of my favorite stories, “The Bunny of Vengeance and the Bear of Death,” to Deb Hoag’s Women Writing the Weird anthology.
• The 2011 Prix Aurora Awards final ballot has been announced, with two major squeeworthy nominees:

The Aurora is presented by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, nominated and voted on by attendees of the annual Canvention convention. *squee squee squee*

OutlantaCon/Gaylaxicon 2011 Schedule

I’ll be a guest again this year at OutlantaCon, which is this weekend. (Gah! How did it get to be mid-May already?) Got my schedule this morning from the convention folks, and I’m only doing one panel:

  • “Marketing and Publicity” – A look at how to make the public aware of your work and create an audience. With Keith Hartman. Sun (5/15) 11AM-Noon, Centennial III.

The programming director originally had me doing a solo panel/Q&A, but I bowed out of it. I hate those. Public speaking trepidation and anxiety notwithstanding, I never know what to say or do when it’s just me up there. Plus I can’t imagine why anyone would come specifically to see me mumble and fidget for an hour. So this will be a nice, low-key convention for me. Looking forward to some good ole-fashioned hanging out.

Hope to see folks there!

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Balloon Animal Protagonist: The Life and Times of Penguin

A couple folks have asked me about an off-the-cuff remark I made at JordanCon at one of my panels. The question had to do with the gender of the protagonists I write, and I replied that I’ve written all manner of protagonists in my stories, including a balloon animal.

Nope, I wasn’t exaggerating. I have indeed written a balloon animal story, “The Life and Times of Penguin,” originally published in issue #18 of the Aussie ‘zine Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and reprinted in Farrago’s Wainscot, Escape Pod, and the anthology Triangulation: Taking Flight. It was actually my homage to Voltaire’s Candide.

Curious? You can read it for free at Farrago’s Wainscot or listen to the Escape Pod podcast.

Frolicon 2011 Schedule

I’ll be a guest at Frolicon this weekend (yep, back-to-back conventions right after session; scheduling is so not my forte) and saw that the 2011 panel schedule was now up on their website. I’m scheduled for these Think Track panels:

  • “Ask a Writer” – What do you want to know about how writers do what they do? With Trinity, Stacia Kane, Shakir Rahsaan, and Nikita. Fri (4/22) 11AM-12:30PM, Boardroom.
  • “The Next Big Thing: Trends and Trendiness” – What trends and fads are in genre-land. With Shakir Rahsaan, Cherie Priest, and Stacia Kane. Fri (4/22) 4:15-5:45PM, Boardroom.
  • “YA: Not just for kids anymore” – Anyone who thinks books for “young adults” are tame and boring, doesn’t know anything about the genre. With Trinity, Lord Cailleach, and Cecilia Tan. Sat (4/23) 4:15-5:45PM, Frankfurt

Hope to see folks there!

JordanCon, Roof Repairs, and Post-Session Peace

JordanCon was fabulous! It was extremely well run, with an amazingly on-the-ball and dedicated staff. It was, hands down, one of the best organized and conducted small conventions I’ve been to, and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Robert Jordan’s work or SF/F literature in general.

Although I wish I’d been in better shape for it. I was all but dead on my feet, particularly on Friday, but also throughout the weekend in general, thanks to the rigors of last week’s session. Thankfully, Jana Oliver and David B. Coe were there to cover for me. In addition to being brilliant writers, they were both incredibly nice and forbearing, and also prepared, insightful, and articulate for our panels—all the things I wasn’t.

But now the legislative session is done, and the atmosphere in my office is totally different: quiet and peaceful and soothing. Ahhh. Going to try to catch up on all the back-burnered to-do items that have been piling up in my intray.

Unfortunately, topping that list by necessity is house repairs. The weekend storms seem to have done some damage to our roof. We had a leak on Friday night. It was only a bit of dripping—not a waterfall of destruction or anything dire like that—but it’s something that we need to take care of before it gets worse. I’m a bit anxious at how much that’s going to end up costing us. Ugh.

JordonCon Schedule & Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest Now Out in Hungarian in April’s Galaktika

The director of JordanCon sent out the 2011 schedule grid. I’ll be doing:

  • “Writing for the Younger Crowd” Fri (4/15) 4PM, Azalea Rm (with Jana Oliver).
  • “The [Writing] Industry” Fri (4/15) 5:30PM, Azalea Rm (with Jana Oliver and David Coe)
  • Book Signing, Sat (4/16) 1PM, Camellia Rm
  • “Crafting the Perfect Villain” Sun (4/17) 10AM, Azalea Rm (with David Coe)

Hope to see folks there!

And the Hungarian reprint of “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” is now out in the April issue (#253) of Galaktika:

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My French is Beyond Redemption, but I’m Fluent in Tech-ese

My contrib. copies of Ténèbres 2010 arrived. And, upon eagerly opening the lovely volume to my story, I discovered that my French is so far gone as to be pushing up the daisies. Sigh. Well, it’s not like it was all that healthy to begin with.

In a totally unrelated segue, I’ve discovered the virtues of Twitter! Yeah, I’ve had a Twitter account for ages, but it always seemed a cumbersome, clunky networking tool until this year when I started heavily incorporating the Daily Dragon‘s Twitter feed into this year’s Dragon*Con update notification schedule, discovering in the process why I’d always found it clunky. Twitter is really not optimized for a web browser interface; it’s optimized, ideal even, for a mobile, i.e., smartphone, interface.

And this year, I have a Droid.

Total geeky efficiency is being able to dash through the bowels of the Hyatt and pimp the charity auction while getting direct messages from my staff. I have become a convert to the 140-characters-or-fewer mode of information dissemination.

Although, granted, there were a few technical issues that almost sent me twitching into a corner:

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Dragon*Con Postmortem and Resurrection: In a Nutshell and Out

Back at ye olde day job this week, which means I’m officially resurrected from Dragon*Con. Eying my to-do list—which really ought to have decreased after the convention and instead seems to have gotten bigger—and dwelling upon the virtues of being corpsified.

In a nutshell, Dragon*Con ran me down with a semi, backed up and rolled over me again, and then got out and stepped on me. And yet I had fun, due almost totally to the fabulous folks I got to hang with. My Daily Dragon staff and my DC2K writers group, of which there was significant overlap, did a fabulous job keeping me sane, giggling, and on a sugar high. I got to gab briefly with cmpriest and daveybeauchamp, touch base with stephenhsegal, and finally, finally spend some face time with mouseferatu.

Y’know, I do wonder about folks who have only ever interacted with me at Dragon*Con, whether they think I’m just a hyper, scatterbrained spaz all the time. daveybeauchamp and I have had several conversations now about how different our personalities are at conventions versus how we our in our everyday lives. I’m quiet, shy, and coherent usually. Honest!

Less nutshelly:

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