Tag Archives: conventions

MileHiCon Is On the Horizon!

MileHiCon happens next weekend, and I am so looking forward to attending for the first time! Already the organizers have me feeling welcome to my new home-state convention. I’m so looking forward to sitting on a few panels, and sitting in on quite a few more.

Here’s my schedule thus far:

Friday, October 23

4:00 PM Inside Writing Workshops

I’ll be offering insights about Viable Paradise and Writers of the Future. Other panelists will discuss their experience with Clarion, Odyssey, and more. Come ask your questions about the different experience and emphasis of workshops available to writers looking to improve their craft and make connections with other professionals!

Saturday, October 24

9:30 AM SFWA Meeting

I am SO looking forward to meeting other SFWA members in person, and connecting with local writers. It’s a business meeting, so I’ll be sharing a bit of info on the self-publishing committee as well.

12:00 PM What Makes A Good Bad Guy?

Now, I’ll be honest here: I asked my 6-year-old nephew this question, and he said without hesitation, “His lightsaber moves!”

I suspect the panel will go into a wee bit more detail. Since I’m moderating, I’ll be asking questions about villainous viewpoints, whether sympathetic villains are preferred or expected or a passing fad, traits of villainy that are a cliché and traits that are unexpected, and all sorts of other stuff the dear folks on Twitter helped me come up with

8:00 PM Violence in Fantasy

A huge percentage of fantasy novels revolve around wars and battles, torture or at least torment. Is it necessary? How much is too much or is there a limit?

Gotta admit, I like the violence in my fantasy. (And in science fiction, thrillers, mysteries, and so forth.) I’m not certain where this panel will go, but I’ll be most interested to hear what the other panelists and audience members have to say.

Sunday, October 25

10:00AM Writing Good Fight Scenes

Reasonable/believable choreography and obeying the laws of physics and human physiology are good and necessary first steps. What other factors need to be considered when writing fight scenes?

I’m really looking forward to this one because I personally love writing fighters and fight scenes for people who understand fighting as well as for general readers. I’ve been told I’m good at it, so I hope I have some interesting things to pass along—particularly on the difference between most martial arts training and practical martial application. I’m the only woman on this panel, and am deeply hoping that’ll make little to no difference whatsoever to what we panelists are asked.

(Aside: Does anyone see a general theme in the craft-related panels I’ll be sitting on?  I think I have my own convention theme, truly. 🙂 )

There might be some last minute schedule changes, so be sure to check in at the convention’s website as the dates draw near.

In between my handful of panels, I’ll be sitting in on other panels, or hanging around waiting for the next thing. In the evenings, I’ll likely be in the bar for a bit in search of interesting conversations.

If you see me and want to talk, PLEASE COME BY AND SAY SO! I recently had a writerly friend tell me about a “pro” writer who told a bunch of aspiring writers that “pro” writers didn’t really want to be bothered at conventions. Ye gads, if you’re a reader or newer writer looking to connect, please don’t think that person’s attitude is mine. If I didn’t want to talk with other writers, I wouldn’t bother telling anyone where I’d be. I know, from personal experience, it can feel like cliff diving, walking up to someone you might know only from online interactions. In fact, I suck at it myself. Rest assured if you say hello, I’ll participate in a conversation.

So if you’ll be at MileHiCon, let me know! Let’s connect somewhere!

#SFWApro

Advertisements

Once More, GenCon

I wrote last year about the GenCon Writer’s Symposium — the enjoyment of reconnecting with a couple folks, the exasperation over the comments and panels on self-publishing. It looks as if the latter problem will be solved by reducing any direct mention of self-publishing to two single-presenter hours.

Here’s the schedule.

One presentation is called, “Self or Traditional: Pros and Cons of Each.” The other is, “Self-Publishing: Why It Works, Why It” (I’m assuming the cut-off word on the schedule is “Doesn’t).

Yes, in the year that SFWA — derided as so out-of-touch — at last opened its membership to income-earning self-published writers, the Writer’s Symposium believes the most pressing questions writers have about self-publishing is whether it’s good or bad.

There are no “Business of Self-Publishing” panels. Nothing on what tasks are involved in producing print and ebooks. Nothing on connecting with editing, art, and design professionals. Nothing at all on avoiding the numerous businesses out there intending to fleece writers. Yes, there are a couple general panels that could be of use to self-publishers. However, last year’s seemingly cross-applicable panels — such as the panel on seeking professional reviews — included direct “don’t bother if you’re self-published” references, so… yeah. Not hopeful about that.

My experience last year wasn’t unique. Deborah Jay talks here about the Loncon panel on indie-publishing that didn’t include a single person currently self-publishing.

I'm sure the reasons are out there somewhere...
I’m sure the reasons are out there somewhere…

I’ll still be going to GenCon for at least one full day. There are folks I want to meet — Cat Rambo! Lauren Roy! In person! — and people I want to see again. A few of the craft panels look interesting. And my son might give the cosplay competition a try again this year. But as someone who knows so many writers seeking information on self-publishing, I’m disappointed at the lost opportunity to include them.

So… Here’s the thing. If you’re planning to attend GenCon and want to talk about self-publishing rather than debate its worth, let me know. I’m no huge smashing figure of great renown, but I can share resources, talk about scams and pitfalls, and discuss the business side of things.

I don’t care if it’s one person or a group of people. We’ll have a roundtable discussion, an exchange of information and experience, and it will be a good thing.

#SFWApro

Cons on the Calendar

I have a convention schedule this year!  Sure, it’s short and mostly local, but it exists.  It is a thing, and it pleases me today.

4th Street Fantasy, Minneapolis, MN  June 26-28

This is a different kind of con—one with a single track of programming and a membership cap of 175 attendees—intending to create a shared con experience and fluid conversation.  Folks have been telling me to go for years.  Once programming conversations get rolling, I’ll bring up making myself available for self-publishing discussions at the writing seminar.  Is that presumptuous of me? Perhaps. But any discussion of the writing business today ought to include a writer who chooses self-publishing as the primary career path rather than the consolation trail.  Besides, if there’s another indie writer they’d prefer to include, great!  The goal is inclusion of the experience and information, not the person.  (And I’d be more than happy to write up all the reasons this is true.)

InConJunction, Indianapolis, IN  July 3-5

This con is local to me, but I haven’t been in years because its scheduling conflicted with my son’s annual county dog show.  Since he isn’t showing this year, and is perfectly capable of getting himself to the site to volunteer (and we aren’t driving to JFK airport to get him on a flight to Italy, as we did last year), I get to go to the con!  My name appeared on the “Also Appearing” list, so I guess it’s official.  I have no idea what programming will look like, but I will be making my recommendations.

GenCon, Indianapolis, IN  July 30 – Aug 2

I’ve put my name in the hopper to help with any SFWA business while there.  When not doing that, I’ll likely be hanging around the Writer’s Symposium, hoping their self-publishing track is less dismissive, and spending time with my cosplaying son.  I’m even toying with the idea of pulling a cosplay myself.  I have a soft spot for Fiona.  For me, this con isn’t much a professional-writer activity, but is a fun few days instead.

MileHiCon, Denver, CO  October 23-25

Since I’ve decided I’m moving that direction, it only makes sense I’d jump into a convention, right?  More details on this one as time gets closer.

I already know some folks who will be at these events, but would love to meet up with others.  Let me know if you’ll be around!

#SFWApro

Does Convention Visibility Matter?

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen many successful writers make mention of the issue of visibility – the connecting of interested reader with published story.  These writers were not happy with their current visibility, and all commented about how difficult it was to know what would and wouldn’t work to increase success.  And these writers are trade-published, having the same conversation self-published writers have every day.

Gen Con’s Writer Symposium was quite educational in that regard.

A panel on how to get reviews was very specific in how writers were to approach reviewers, with all emphasis on demonstrating proper etiquette and expecting nothing in return.  The writer should submit a request.  The writer shouldn’t expect a response.  One panelist stated publishers didn’t do the reviewer-approaching for most writers anymore and the other panelists nodded agreement.  The consensus was that all but the most-publicized writers should expect to actively seek and collect their own reviews.  Whether the trade-published author was expected to send the reviewer an ARC and/or eARC at their own cost wasn’t clear to me.

As the panelists went into greater detail on the methods of gaining reviews and properly reacting to reviews, I was thinking to myself it was great information.  I’d love to approach other reviewers and–fingers crossed!–achieve a little positive visibility.  Here was the roadmap, right?

Nope.

Continue reading Does Convention Visibility Matter?

Wiscon Bound!

I registered today for Wiscon!  I even put in to be on a panel!  Yeah, the panel isn’t related to writing craft and such, but I still think there is a multitude of writers out there who know much more than I do about any and all of those panel topics.  I’d rather listen to them than myself.

Ya know what else is cool?  There are panels specific to self-publishing, and I didn’t see a single one with a title akin to, “Is it real?” or “Is it a good choice?” or “Will it ruin your career?”  It simply is.  Nice.

I mentioned on Twitter that I didn’t do much in the way of connecting with folks when I went to Wiscon years ago, and I mentioned that result was deliberate.  And then I realized why I like traveling alone.

I am an outgoing introvert.  Sounds like a contradiction, yes?  It is.  I can quite easily spend a few days on my own, with minimal small-talk conversation undertaken with strangers.  I can easily show up to teach an all-day seminar, and interact with the attendees for a few hours after.  The first is natural, the second was a learned ability, but I do enjoy both.

But that first part–spending days alone–is almost impossible to come by in real life.  I’m a mother.  I teach.  I have friends who deserve interaction.  I’ve community responsibilities.  If I want to spend a day hiding in my home, or if I don’t seem to be chatty, people start to worry, assume I’m depressed, or think I’m upset.

But when I go somewhere else, no one gives a damn if I don’t say a single word for days.  No one gets concerned.  No one wants a reason.  And if someone thinks I’m acting all strange, they’ll tell their own friends rather than ask me to explain.

Before Dev came along, I’d take myself camping somewhere in the California mountains or deserts.  There was nothing so wonderful as that aloneness.

Travelling by myself is my ultimate introvert indulgence.

But this time!  I’m meeting up with Viable Paradise folks (some of whom already experienced my “sometimes I’ll disappear at the end of the day” tendencies), and am looking forward to it more than you can imagine.

Even introvert-travel doesn’t sound so wonderful as that–likely because I’ve felt so creatively-lonely for so very long in this town.  (And there’s a topic I might write of someday: How Small Town Folks Tend To Think You’re Stupid If You Don’t Have A “Normal” Job.)

If you’re going to Wiscon, let me know!