Frolicon 2009 Schedule

ceciliatan just sent me my Frolicon schedule. Both my panels are on Friday. Hope to see you there!

• Friday 4/11 11AM: “How to Write Sex In SF/Fantasy” with Mike D’Ambrosio and Lauren P. Burka. Frankfurt Room.
• Friday 4/11 4:15PM: “Erotica and Science Fiction/Fantasy: A Perfect Match?” with Mike D’Ambrosio and Kate Vassar. Jamaica Room

Pondering what to say about writing sex in SF. Beware of paper cuts in delicate places?

1st Dragon*Con 2009 Staff Meeting: Looking for 1 Reporter/Editor

The first Dragon*Con 2009 all-staff meeting was last weekend. I’m always sort of wide-eyed and sensory-overloaded at these meetings that happen during session. I’m very much an introvert, and I need to marshal energy in order to be sociable around a lot of people. And during session, all my reserves of energy are pretty much tapped out.

I do really enjoy hanging with Dragon*Con folks, but putting myself in the midst of a horde of people—composed of friends, acquaintances, and strangers—isn’t something that comes naturally for me, unlike fosteronfilm, who thrives in crowds and gets energized among throngs of people. So I hope I didn’t seem too weird.

Anyhoo, learned that I’m down one Daily Dragon staffer this year, so I have an opening for a reporter/editor. If anyone’s looking to volunteer at the convention who’s a solid writer and/or an adept copyeditor, drop me a line.

In addition to the other volunteer benefits, my staff get hours worked credit for attending (and reporting on) panels/events, opportunities to get up close and personal in one-on-one interviews with the celebs, and other perks, including press ribbons and all-access backstage passes.

Dragon*Con 2008

Dragon*Con happened. My voice is stripped (again), I seem to have left a passel of brain cells at the Hyatt, I’m still in a sleep deprived fugue state, and I’m trying not to think too hard about everything on my “to do” list. But it was good.

Things that stick out of the blur:

• My talk for Ann: I’ve done better; I’ve done worse. I think I went too fast, but I don’t remember seeing too many glazed-over/bored faces. And I sold out of the books I’d brought with me afterwards, yay!

• My Sunday panel wasn’t what I expected. The panel was publisher-heavy, which tended to veer the discussion more towards marketing, post-publication, and less towards selling to markets (pre-publication). As such, I had less meaningful to say on the topic but found it interesting to listen to the discussion of my fellow panelists.

• I got to meet and powwow with Stephen Segal (Weird Tales‘s Editorial/creative director) over lunch—which he also very graciously treated me to—meet Edmund R. Schubert, at long last—my IGMS editor—and catch up with Josepha Sherman, who I haven’t seen since Launch Pad last year.

• My Daily Dragon staff was fabulous. I decided this year to recruit some editorial assistance. In past years, I’ve focused on getting reporters and therefore looked for folks with writing skills. This year, I actively sought some editorial experience, too (which included recruiting my co-editor at the OLC, full_fathom5), so I could delegate more of my editing responsibilities. That worked out GREAT. I should have done it years ago.

Also, we got a new copier which didn’t jam and which cranked out the print copy in half the time the old one used to, so I could let my graveyard shift leave early, and every morning by the time I came down to the DD room, the print edition was already on delivery rounds. Very nice.

• Got to hang out and spend large chunks of time with several of my DC2K writers group—especially canadiansuzanne, reddherring1955, and Debbie—who were on my staff.

I think I’ll need another week to recover and get caught up (possibly a couple weeks), but all-in-all, I’m pretty pleased with this year’s D*C. Much better than last year’s which was too chaotic and stressful.


Writing Stuff

Newly published:
“The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile” (audio reprint) in Clonepod.

Dragon*Con 2007 part 1

Dragon*Con is over, and I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck while hung over, a particularly sad state of affairs because nary a drop of alcohol passed my lips for the whole convention. I also forgot to take my Imuran three times and once walked the sixteen flights of stairs up to the (17th floor) Green Room–after waiting fifteen+ minutes for the elevator–on top of the regular stress/no sleep/poor eating habits of the convention. So I ache and I’ve got a low grade fever. Blah.

I’m still processing the weekend, and have lots to catch up on work-wise, so this will be briefish.

There was much that sucked about this year’s con, most of which were things that I had no control over and could do nothing about–such as the Marriott doing renovations and knocking out half a hotel’s convention space for D*C07, the rent-a-crap printers and copiers that made my job that much harder, and the Internet situation in 219 which necessitated that my computer not be networked with any of the others, leading to beaucoup version headaches and having to transfer all DD files using USB thumb drives. But I also dropped the ball on Friday, not getting the DD hardcopy printing before I left to do my guest talk for Ann Crispin’s workshop, making it come out very late. My fault, and I can only plead brain spasm, as I forgot that I needed to get it running in the AM and only realized after I got back that Friday’s edition isn’t on the same timeframe as the rest of the issues.

There was also much that was great about the con, mostly to do with members of my staff. arkhamrefugee and dude_the did their usual awesome job, and also canadiansuzanne, reddherring1955, and Debbie were fabulous. Buckets of huzzah go to sfeley and cunningmix for putting out the DD podcast. And what possibly saved me from totally padded cell/strait jacket losing it, first-time staffer, noelleleithe‘s efficiency and skill, as well as her good humor and great attitude. I’ve had . . . problems with layout people on my staff before. So much so that I’ve sworn never to use one again. But when I heard noelleleithe‘s credentials, I knew I had to give it one more go. And gawd am I glad I did. She rawks and rawks hard. Not only could she do the layout professionally and quickly, but she’s also a sharp editor, even at 3AM.

I also particularly enjoyed doing my talk for Ann this year. I think, after several years now, I might have it down now. And I also enjoyed my Saturday reading. Both surprising as they involved me doing solo talking.

But yah, Mack truck, feeling pained and feverish, and much work to do and catch up on. So that’s installment 1 of my D*C ’07 experience.

And also, the rumors of me reducing an ex-gunnery sergeant staff person (not my staff) to tears are vastly overstated. I did no such thing, although I was insistent and undoubtedly somewhat terse with him.

I did, however, forcibly evict several people off an elevator to make room for a guy in a wheelchair (edited to add: unrelated to the above ex-gunnery sergeant rumor). I probably could’ve handled that better–with greater politeness and poise–although I have no regrets on the end result. So yes, my fuse was short, and I might’ve gotten more ranty and rude than is my norm. But I didn’t make anyone cry, much less a gunnery sergeant . . . I don’t think.


Writing Stuff

– The audio reprint of “The Snow Woman’s Daughter” is now up at Escape Pod. Read by the lovely and talented cunningminx.
– Anthology Heroes In Training, edited by jimhines, with my story, “Honor is a Game Mortals Play” is now out. And you can read more about the authors (including me) at Jim’s Blog.
– This month’s Writing for Young Readers column: Juggling Hamsters: Tips for the Busy Writer.

Dragon*Con OMG

dude_the is here, hurray! He flew in this morning. (Flappity.) fosteronfilm immediately put him to work on Film Track stuff, and I swiped some of his time to help me with Daily Dragon tasks.

Got the Pocket Program PDF this morning and posted it to the Daily Dragon website. Also had a chance to look over my complete Dragon*Con 2007 guest schedule.


– Noon “Marketing Short Fiction” guest lecture for Ann Crispin’s Beginner Writers workshop.
– 2:30PM “In the Beginning” (Writ) with Lawrence Barker, Aaron Allston, & Eric Griffin.
– 4:00PM “Villains and Bad Boys of YA” (YA Lit) with Davey Beauchamp, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, & Kathleen David

– Noon (tentative) Volunteer Vixens calendar signing.
– 2:30PM Dragon*Reading

– 11:30AM “Oh, the Horror of It” (Writ) with Keith R.A. DeCandido, Bill Fogarty, Lloyd Kaufman, & Jack Ketchum.
– Noon (tentative) Volunteer Vixens calendar signing.
– 4:00PM Aberrant Dreams: The Awakening Dragon*Reading with Lawrence Barker, Chesya Burke, Jack McDevitt, Jana Oliver, & John C. Snider (I have no idea how six people are all going to give readings in a one-hour slot).
– 8:30PM “Now, that’s Funny!” (Writ) with Robert Asprin, Bruce Gehweiler, Michael N. Langford, Brad Strickland, Michelle Roper, & Berta Platas.

– 11:30AM Dragon*Autograph signing.

There’s no way. Absolutely no way I can do all of these, run the Daily Dragon, and manage to stay out of a padded cell and straight jacket.

I already know I’m bowing out of the Monday signing. I mean, I can’t imagine anyone’s really going to queue up to get my autograph, and if they really want my scribble, they can come to my panels or, heck, find me in the Daily Dragon room. I’m also not making the second Volunteer Vixen calendar signing. It conflicts with my 11:30 panel, and, again, I’m pretty easy to find if someone really wants my siggy.

But after those, I’m going to have to do some pondering to figure out what next to drop–and I’m going to have to cancel several of these in order to have a marginally sane schedule.


Stress. Much, much stress.


Writing Stuff

New Words:
– About 500 words on next month’s Writing for Young Reader’s column. The topic is “Finding Time to Write,” which I thought was a sweet little irony for this month’s column. Of course, I’m so slammed right now, I’m scrounging through couch cushions and under the bed for the time to finish the thing. Mmmf.
– Got to “the end” for the story for mroctober on Friday, but it needs polishing and first/beta readering. It ended up clocking in at 6.2K words. Probably will cut it a bit in my rewrite passes.

– Got a note from mroctober. So Fey is now out, huzzah! We’re doing a signing for it in Atlanta in October. Stay tuned for details!

Mobicon part II

Mobicon rawked! I see now why jackzodiac always raves about it. These folks put on a first rate event. I’m low on sleep, and the neurons are verily sluggish, so this will be a cursory convention-in-review. Apologies to all the wonderful folks I will undoubtedly forget to mention.

I was a judge for the costume contest with the lovely, talented, and charming Chase Masterson; her sweetie and director, James Kerwin; and, of course, jackzodiac.

After the contest, before the winners were announced, they had a “7-Minute Costume Contest” whereupon contestants get a bag with a length of material, a roll of duct tape, aluminum foil, and scissors and have to create a costume in seven minutes. They asked if Chase, Davey, and I would like to join the fray. Who in their right mind would refuse the prospect of such silliness? So we had seven minutes to do Davey up as a “Klingon Robin Hood.”

Chase (who is, of course, the Klingon expert) decided that he needed breasts. . . and lipstick. Isn’t Davey pretty?

I was a wee bit trepidatious about the Slave Auction, although I was assured that my participation was optional. The auctioneer, Joe-Bob (Joe-Bill?), was a riot–bawdy and lighthearted–perfect for the event. And he knew how to show off his wares to their best effect. There was topless dancing . . . from the men, including a pair of marines (a matched set!), who demonstrated their physical fitness to the cheering crowd by dropping and doing 20 push-ups, and an enthusiastic young man who exhibited his lap dancing prowess with a lovely volunteer–all to benefit the Bay Area Food Bank. Chase and James also stepped up to the auction block and, after some heated bidding, went for a jaw-dropping $600. And, when Wayne asked me pretty-please to offer myself up for bidding, how could I refuse? A big “thank you!” to Bill, the very generous “master” who “purchased” me for $400(!).

After the auction was the Boobie Brigade’s Dead Debutante Ball. Dancing, drinking, and making merry in the name of charity! Got to chat and catch up a bit with yakdog (of Fantasm/Frolicon) and other convention peeps. I was formally inaugurated into the illustrious Boobie Brigade ranks by the end of the dance.

We did some wandering to room parties afterward, but my feet were hurting so much, the one with the couch seemed the most alluring. Crashed back in our room at around 3AM and set two alarms as fosteronfilm and I both had 10AM panels on Sunday. Oog. But I felt surprisingly well rested by the next morning. Not so much today, though . . .

Major snaps and kudos to Cathy Chandler, the Entertainment Chairperson of Mobicon, for her prowess in herding cats and for making sure all our needs were catered to; Don Schermerhorn and Wayne Hergenroder, for being darlings and inviting us to play at their convention, and the rest of the Directors, Governors, and staff of Mobicon for working so hard to make sure folks had a great time.

More pix: Continue reading

Mobicon Part I

I’m at Mobicon! There’s free wifi throughout the hotel. Much happiness.

The drive was pretty easy, thanks in large part to Escape Pod and Pseudopod. Their podcast storytelling goodness is the the best for long car trips.

The convention folks are absolute darlings. I feel feted and catered to. They gave me spiced rum punch. Hooked up with jackzodiac, got my guest schedule (woo, they’re really working me; in addition to my panels, I’m also slated to be a judge at the costume contest, do the Vanna White thing to jackzodiac‘s Pat Sajak for the charity auction, and, erm, the slave auction–not sure at this point if I’m supposed to help conduct it or offer up my person for bidding . . . um), and went out to dinner at the Macaroni Grill with the convention organizers and some guests. And, I’ve already got into a disagreement with Sharon Green on the merits of keeping track of daily word counts in the writing process. Hee!

Busy day ahead of me. Must pour vast quantities of caffeine into my system. Charge!


Writing Stuff

I’m bummed that Bash Down the Door and Slice Open the Badguy didn’t make it in time for me to pimp at the convention. I have a guest table and everything to hawk stuff from. Pook.

– Email from Strange Horizons with edits to approve and a question change query for the interview lynnejamneck conducted with me. I got it while I was a bit tipsy last night so decided to hold off on looking over their questions until my brain was clearer. But they assure me that the interview will go up soon. Yippee skippy!

New Words:
– 500 on the Fox Princess novel. I’m not expecting to get much (any) writing done while I’m at Mobicon.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9,689 / 40,000

Club 100 for Writers: 7

Dragon*Con 2006

Dragon*con happened. Feet hurt. Voice stripped. Brain sloggy. But I had a great time! At least, I’m pretty sure I did . . .

dire_epiphany and astralfire, in their infinite wisdom, ordered me a backup copier for the Daily Dragon, something I could definitely have used last year. And lo, Copier One died an ignominious and dismal death on Saturday during the wee hours of the morning in the middle of the print run. The Copier is dead. Long live the Copier. lord_darkseid got dude_the up; they tinkered with Copier One, declared it moribund, and dude_the made an executive decision to activate Copier Two without further pokings at its defunct predecessor. They moved C2 into place and resumed the run, all without waking me from my comatose slumber. My staff rocks!

In addition to dude_the, who did his usual amazing job as my assistant director, and lord_darkseid who seems to have, once again, lived in Daily Dragon headquarters this year, a huge THANK YOU goes to sfeley for doing the DD podcast, and my sterling reporters: yukinooruoni, canadiansuzanne, reddherring1955, arkhamrefugee, and those folks who don’t have an LJ: Claire, Charlie, and Matt.

On the Eugie-guest front, my short story marketing lecture for Ann Crispin went fabu. I got chuckles in the right places, and her students seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say, as well as glad to have me there to say it. I did, however, totally drop the ball (or hamster as the case may be) on the handout front. I normally email Ann the handout that accompanies my talk, but this time I’d emailed it to her after she’d already left for the con, and therefore she didn’t have it. When I discovered this, I promised her students that I’d print out and bring them copies of it after lunch. But then, after lunch, a few minor crises occurred, and I promptly forget.


So, uh, if any of y’all were paying attention to that section on “networking” I was talking about, and actually come visit this LJ, drop me a comment and I’ll email you the handout. Also, Ann said she’d email it.

My panels went great, although I managed to be late to ALL of them. I think my favorite might have been the horror one on Friday, “Shriek! Finding the Horror in Horrible,” that I had with Sherilyn Kenyon, Holly Black (blackholly), and Cherie Priest (wicked_wish). I actually had the foresight to bring my copy of Tithe for Holly to sign. Fangirl squeeing! And oliver_dale popped up afterward to introduce himself and say the nicest things. The fine folks of Aberrant Dreams also came up to say “hi,” as did Jason Sizemore of Apex Digest. And Jason gave me an Apex mug! It is the coolest mug evah! I recommend that everyone get one. I am taking it to work so that I may have my cup of world domination every day.

My “The Power of the Old Stories: Mythology and Folklore in YA” panel was also jam packed with luminaries. Josepha Sherman was there in addition to blackholly again (I think Holly and I were in three panels together). I was on panels with Jo last year, and I absolutely lubs her. Unfortunately, I was very late to that one (I think there’s some sort of time sink between the Marriott and the Hyatt), and scampered in after they’d finished doing intros and were already discussing topics. Urg. I remain mortified. My two YA panels—one for bevlovesbooks YA track, “So You Want to Write a Kid’s Book?”, and one for Nancy Knights Writer’s Track, “YA and Children’s Literature”—went fantastically too. I got to be on a panel with Brad Strickland! Although I always feel sort of inadequate on the “Write a Kid’s Book” one since I don’t actually have a kid’s book, just short story sales. Meep.

My reading, which I stressed and fretted over, went absolutely great. palmerwriter was there for moral support—and I’m rather bummed that I missed his reading–as were j_hotlanta, rigel_kent, and britzkrieg. And ericjamesstone was there, and he brought three things for me to sign: a copy of Hitting the Skids in Pixeltown, an issue of Realms of Fantasy with one of my stories in it, and my Inspirations End/Still My Beating Heart chapbook. *smooches* Eric. That totally made my day.

Other people sightings include Jetse DeVries, who came by Daily Dragon headquarters to say “hi” and drop off some Interzone and TTA Press swag, Keith DeCandido, who I got to help schedule a reading and signing for, and reudaly at her booth in the Marriott selling pretties. While in the exhibitors area, I also got to meet Frank Fradella (newbabel) who totally amazed and flattered me by calling me over to his booth by name! We had a lively chat and shared our Harlan Ellison experiences (his was, by far, more interesting than mine). And he signed and gave me a copy of Valley of Shadows!

On the see-panels front, I wanted to see the Firefly/Serenity folks, but the stars did not align. I also wanted to catch the Junior Mythbusters, and again, it was not fated to be—especially since they had major mechanical difficulties with their plane and arrived to the convention much later than their original ETA. But I did get to try out the Rocket Simulator . . . which I crashed. Whee.

And on the see-people front, I got to hang out with sara1221 and wave at sruna and pleroma as they flitted by between working shifts for fosteronfilm’s Inde Film Track. I also got to take pictures of all the gorgeous costumes of glenn5 and see elemess out of the office environment (he also walked me from the Capitol to the Hyatt on Thursday, after we discovered the MARTA was broken—which was a good thing too as I wouldn’t have any idea how to get to the Hyatt otherwise). And jackzodiac swung by to say “hi,” early on, and invited me to party with him in the Green Room, but I was too busy to party (wah!) and didn’t see him for the rest of the con. Sigh. D*C is so much my working con. But at least I’ll get to party with him at Mobicon. No working there, all play. *nods*

Dragon*Con happened. I sleep now.


Frolicon. Whee! *flop*

In recovery mode now. Think it’s going to be a slow, easy couple of days.

My first panel was the Writers for Relief one with jackzodiac and tstauffer. Many copies sold and good-natured jibbing and accolades at Davey for his incredible job at putting the whole project together.

Then I found out (!) that I had a reading that evening in the con suite. As anyone who reads my blog on any sort of a regular basis knows, public speaking freaks the ever-living bejeebers out of me. The idea of doing a reading, cold, was enough to turn me into a whimpering, twitching mess.

I was debating between having fosteronfilm read something for me, and simply hiding out until my time slot was over, when Matthew came up with the inspired idea of playing the Escape Pod podcast of “My Friend is a Lesbian Zombie”–it was even an appropriately-themed story for the convention. Problem: we didn’t have a sound system or a CD of the podcast. Fortunately, bamapair had swung by for my panel and very generously offered the use of their laptop to download it; the hotel had free WiFi even. And Joe had brought his kicking boom box for the con suite. Serendipity.

“Lesbian Zombie” went over well, with giggles and snarfs in the proper places, so I then put on “The Life and Times of Penguin” to more giggles. So much better than if I’d tried to muddle through a reading. Thank you Escape Pod!
Continue reading

GABPC overview

The GABPC was interesting. I attended a panel on the Legal Aspects of Production, A Production Assistant Overview, and a pair of seminars on film editing. Networking was pushed a huge amount, which resulted in me handing out several of my cards, and of course fosteronfilm giving out a slew of his. I also got asked what I did quite frequently, and when I said I was a writer, it was assumed I meant a screenplay writer. I found myself having to explain that no, I was a literary writer. Odd to call myself that, but in the context, it was the best way I had to differentiate. Amusingly, one aspiring film student asked me, after I told her “yes, I’d sold my work” whether I’d gotten “distribution.” Huh. Distribution. Not “where have you been published?” but if I’d gotten distribution. The film world.

As an interesting addendum, I brought my spanky new Cthulu backpack to the conference (acquired in a fit of madness at D*C). It got an amused reception by the GABPC folks, but the majority of the people there who commented upon it didn’t know it was 1. Cthulu and 2. Who this “Cthulu” was. “I haven’t seen that show” or “What movie was that from?” was the usual response. And even after I explained that Cthulu was an elder god type from H.P. Lovecraft’s stories, I still got blank looks. These folks don’t know who Lovecraft is. Guh?

Also attended the Writers Workshop, which was much more up my alley. It was, of course, focused on writing screenplays, but it was very informative. Writing for film is not actually all that similar to non-film writing. On a rudimentary level, they’re similar, but there’s a lot that’s different too. It seems like so much more of a group effort.

We didn’t stick around for the film festival or the closing ceremonies. Waking up early enough to get to the panels was exhausting for both of us. We’re such slackers, I know.

Amusing insight of the weekend: the indie film mantra sounds suspiciously like the small press one. “My films are fresh and new, not a formulaic sell-out that the big houses churn out. What’s that? Hollywood wants me? Where do I sign?” vs “What I write is too risky, unlike the uninspired pap the big presses pump out. What’s that? Harper-Collins wants to publish me? Where do I sign?”

Also, every biz has their own confounding jargon. In the first editing workshop, at the beginning I was verily perplexed as I had no idea what every other word the presenter spoke meant. After a while, the context sunk in and I was able to go with it–a bit like watching Shakespeare on the stage–something clicked after a while and it made sense on a sub-brain level. Hey, I’ve picked up the rudiments of a new, fancy lexicon. I did figure out that while film editing is very different from magazine or fiction editing, it’s still all about the cutting and tightening.


Writing Stuff

Got the contract for “The Bunny of Vengeance and the Bear of Death” for Fantasy Magazine. And FM is now available from Clarkesworld, both single issues and subscriptions. Woo.

New words: 500
After the Writers Workshop at the GABPC, I realized that the reason I was so stymied with my A Harmony of Foxes novel was because I hadn’t worked through some of the basics of my plot. So I went into my outline, did a major overhaul, and am much happier with it. My muse is engaged with it once more. I’m going to have to hack out large chunks which I wrote earlier that don’t work in the new incarnation, but hey, I’m back to work on the novel!

Club 100 For Writers