Category Archives: Conventions

It Happened One Night at Fandom Fest…

So it would appear that I’m totally wrong, which amuses me greatly. Fandom Fest last weekend was kind of a joke in its own right, but I nevertheless walked away with a few good stories. This one is my particular favorite:

I was standing at my table, minding my own business and trying to ignore the insanity of the weekend (all of that has been covered my many, many others so we won’t get into it here) when I had some random stranger walk up to the table.

He picked up a copy of Loki’s Game, then turned it over and began to read the blurb. The conversation that followed went something like this:

HIM: “Wait… wait a minute. What the… Can I ask you just one question?”

ME:  ” Sure. What is it?”

HIM: “So I’m sort of a mythology nut, and I read all sorts of mythology.”

ME: “Okay, I do too.”

HIM: “So most people don’t know that Loki isn’t a bad guy and that he’s actually the god of Night and Fire as well.”

At this point I’m starting to wonder if I missed the question.

ME: “I know he’s not evil. He’s a trickster. In D&D terms, he’s Chaotic Neutral. And I did know he lords over other aspects of nature as well.”

He’s still talking over me at this point like I don’t even exist. He’s also getting red-faced and angry. I don’t think he hears me.

HIM: “…and I’m assuming that Rowan is the descendent of a god, right?”

Finally…a question!

ME: “Technically no. [This is the point when he stopped listening.] He’s the descendent of the dragon Fafnir.”

HIM”: “THEN THERE IS NO WAY THIS GUY COULD EVER OUTRUN LOKI BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE THE SPEED AND POWERS OF A GOD AND…”

I tune out and let him rant. It goes on for a couple minutes while both my husband and Kayelle McClive watch in shock, awe, and amusement.

ME: “He’s a shapeshifter and the descendent of a magical creature…”

HIM: “I DON’T CARE! I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE ABUSE MYTHOLOGY AND…”

Again, I stop listening. I also physically bite my tongue to keep from laughing.

HIM: “I’m sorry. I just can’t believe this.”

And he puts the book down and walks away. I have to try very hard not to fall into a hysterical giggling fit at this point because he’s still within earshot. I then launch into my  very own tirade about how all of the mechanics are covered in the book and I know what I’m doing and I’ve read dozens of books on mythology and don’t take changing the stories lightly and…

Well, you get the idea.

Now it’s really funny. At least it is to me. And it’s one of those moments that made the atrociously horrible weekend that was Fandom Fest bearable.

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Convention Goodness!

Here in my head we’re gearing up for Convention Season… and it’s going to be a busy one.

In a week and a half I’ll be putting in an appearance at ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC.  I’ve been attending for years, but this will be my first time as a guest.  Pretty amazing feeling, if you ask me. I’ll have a table in the Authors’ Alley, too.  Despite the fact that I’ve only got four panels right now I’m looking forward to it.

Here’s a bit more info on the location and my panel schedule:

June 1 – 3, 2012
Charlotte Hilton University Place
Charlotte, NC

PANEL SCHEDULE

Friday, June 1
When Fairy Tales Were Scary Tales
Writing the Horrific

Saturday, June 2
Kidnapping Your Muse – Part Two

Sunday, June 3
e-Books

I guess this means I have to start pulling together my swag, huh?  Might be useful.  I’m already working on the excerpt flyers and I have SOME business cards left.  Time to get creative with the gobs of yarn in my living room.  In between finishing up all the baby afghans.

Sue me…I like making stuff for people and will let myself go in favor of making other people happy.

~+~+~+~

Hey, everybody…don’t forget that any comments this week enter you for a chance to win a copy of the Birthday Book, Marked!

Con Wrap-Up & Other Nonsense

Hello, my lovelies.

It is so good to be home again!  You never realize how much you miss your home until you’re away from it for days at a time.  The furry little beasts still haven’t quite forgiven me for deserting them, but I’m sure that once I pull out the catnip treats, all will be well in their worlds.

Sort of.

So.

I think I promised daily updates from FandomFest, but sadly this weekend has been one of complete and utter chaos.  Unfortunately for us literary types, the majority of the internet connections in the hotel were rerouted to serve the gamers and the media people, so I was left without a reliable connection.  Don’t think you’ve been ignored, or that I’ve been too busy and too important to remember my peoples… Oh, no.   I have stories to tell… I just haven’t been able to tell them.

Where to start… how about at the beginning?

THURSDAY

Thursday afternoon, Rooster and I pulled out of Chester and embarked on the longest car trip of the century.  Not really, but after eight hours in the car, in the mountains, in the blazing heat, it certainly felt that way.  No sooner had we gotten past Spartanburg than we ended up slamming on brakes.  The cooler, which I had stupidly placed on the seat so it was easily accessible yet not well-secured, turned over and every bit of water that had once been ice went gushing out.

Right into my swag box.

My beautiful postcards and bookmarks got soaked.  The bookmarks dried and were for the most part okay.  The postcards?  Not so much.  They were all wrinkly and warped and I was so upset that Rooster threatened to put me out of the car.  (IN MY DEFENSE…this was my first con, so I was a basketcase anyway.)  The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, except for the hilarity of getting on I-64 at Lexington and having Rooster discover that we were still about 60 miles out.  He was not a happy Rooster at that point.

Once we actually managed to get out of the car, we had a lovely dinner at Texas Roadhouse in Louisville with a fantastic group of friends.  It was my first time meeting some of my online friends (and fellow Warcrack addicts), Dale, Mary, and Anthony.  Our friends Chad and Kim were there too, having surprised Mary earlier with their sudden appearance.

Let me pause here and tell everyone that Dale and Mary are the most wonderful people in the world.  I love them both absolutely to death, and I owe them cookies every day for the rest of the year for opening their home to a set of virtual strangers.  I stepped out of the car into a bear hug and the brightest smile I’d seen in weeks.  More hugs came inside, and we were welcomed like family.  It was a great comfort after such a long drive.  Rooster and I cannot speak highly enough of these two beautiful people, and I miss them so much already.

FRIDAY

Ahem.

Let me preface the rest of this post by stating that I am in absolute awe of Stephen Zimmer and his endless patience and graciousness.  Never have I seen a man so harried, yet still continue to smile.  He’s amazing, and I think everyone needs to know that.

Moving on.

Friday morning was fun, because we had the whole crew with us.  After early lunch at Golden Corral and the fun of watching a robbery take place in Best Buy, Rooster and I descended on the hotel to find absolute chaos.

Check-in was smooth and our room was nice, and registration for the con itself went smoothly… then we were told that there was a problem with getting schedules.

Hmmm.

So I said okay… and we went up to the room.  I laid down to take a nap (because being pregnant makes you do that), and when Tally and Lexxx got there, we discovered that their room was not as it had been reserved.  Not fun.

Then we find out that there will be no comprehensive schedule.

Then we find out that the air conditioning isn’t all the best.

Then we find out that nobody has a clue what’s going on.

Then we get over it and go to Lexxx’s first panel.  And have an absolute ball.  Despite the ungodly heat, the lack of communication and organization, and the general headache of being stuffy and uncomfortable, we managed to have a great time.

Lexxx’s panels were fun, and then we switched sides of the table.  For the first half of my first panel, I didn’t say much… mostly because I couldn’t get a word in.  And then they let me talk, and I ran away with it.  We had an absolute blast talking about sex, toys, and everything in between.

The midnight readings were a bust, but I was okay with that.

Oh yeah, Rooster bought me books.

[Intermission – otherwise entitled “The Pregnant Lady Pees Again”]

SATURDAY

Started promptly at 9am for me with the Point of View panel.  It was wonderful to find people who don’t have a problem with First Person POV.  Personally, I love to write in it (as should be obvious by the rabid way in which I blog).  In addition to talking A LOT, I also learned a lot, including some interesting pointers on Third Person Omniscient.

Seminar to follow.

The majority of the day was spent running around Louisville with the WOW gang, Lexxx, and Tally.  We toured the Louisville Slugger factory, which was cool has hell (BASEBALL NERD MECCA!!!!), and had a fantabulous dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Oh, how we all wish Charlotte still had one.

We were going to go through the military history museum (they had a Da Vinci exhibit… *sigh*), but it was expensive.  Instead, we went into the gift shop, and Rooster bought me a coffee mug, picked out by Dale and Mary, covered in Shakespearean insults.  It’s so going on my desk at work.

They let me look at the Ohio River too, so that made me smile.

This led us to Lexxx’s book signing, meeting the voice of Pizzazz from Jem (oh, the geekery!!!), and calling it quits early to go to the bar with Bethany Halle and her husband.  I think we had more fun in that hour sitting in the bar than we did the entire weekend.  Bethany is an absolute hoot, and every single time I talk to her, I learn SO MUCH.

Note to self:  Definitely look into Rebel Ink Press.  They sound awesome.

Then it was on to a night of panels for Lexxx, in which we had a ball.    (Did I mention that it was hot as Hell in Louisville this weekend?  Did I also mention that the air wasn’t working properly in the hotel?  Did I mention that there were hundreds of confused people milling around without a clue as to where they were going or what they were doing?  Okay…just checking.)  We had a whole cast of interesting author-characters parading through these panels, and it was an absolute riot.

Tally’s ghost stories got nixed in favor of him having an opportunity to fanboy all over the place about Harlan Ellison.  We got to go to bed early, and he got to talk.  All was well.

SUNDAY

It was a bit bittersweet.  Breakfast with the WOW contingent, then a 10AM panel on Fan Fiction with Lexxx.

Big fun.  We shared the table with a group of ladies (and a gentleman) that actually got it.   They understood the fanfic thing.  They all started out writing it. That made me feel so much better about myself, and even gave me some ideas on how to redo some of my old fanfic into original stuff.

Now, don’t forget… it’s still hot. There’s still no air.

And I spent too much money.  After all this time I FINALLY got my Bookwyrm t-shirt, and picked up a book of short stories by William Levy at the same time.  He was so much fun to talk to, and even signed the book for me.  If you don’t know him, look him up.  He’s a fantastic artist, and loves to tell stories.

After the last round in the literary dealer room, we went back across to the media side.

And I got to fangirl my silly little heart out.

Y’all, I’m still kinda giddy, even two days later.  Before all this started, I’d told Rooster that I only had one item on my wish list – one of Henry Winkler’s books, autographed.

I GOT IT!!!

All I can say is… WOW.  Henry Winkler… The Fonz.  DUDE.

He’s a genuinely nice guy.  Wonderful, wonderful man.  He takes the time to actually talk to people.  He picked a book for me, and even rubbed my stomach when I told him that it would be a keepsake for my little one.  Then he shook my hand again, and kissed my cheek.

Talk about a fangirl moment.  I know I walked around the dealer room, grinning like a moron.  I still grin like a moron when I think about it.  I can’t help it… that… that was probably one of the best experiences of my life.  It was the icing on this weekend’s cake.  And it more than made up for all of the heat and discomfort and general blahs of the rest of the weekend.  I have new respect for him, and of course, his sweetness melted me a little.  It was such a small thing, but it made me so happy.

So, to recap:

It was hot.  It was a bit confusing.  HOWEVER.  I met some amazing people – finally got to really talk to Crymsyn Hart in person, caught up with Bethany Halle, and met so, so many more wonderful, wonderful men and women… I can’t even begin to name all of them, but as Lexxx would say, I have added them to my menagerie of friends.

Dale, Mary, and Anthony are awesome.  Must send more cookies.  Though, I have to say I’m a little sad at having to leave them.  I do miss them already.

Overall, a fun weekend, filled with interesting conversation and even more interesting props.  Let’s see if we can’t keep the motivation from the weekend going.

So Much to Do…

Fandom Fest * July 22-24 * Louisville, KY

12 hours and counting until Rooster and I descend on Louisville.  This time tonight, we should be rolling up in Dale & Mary’s yard, ready to terrorize Kentucky with our geekery.  It will be awesome.

Though I really am sort of bummed that Bella Morte was forced to cancel.  I was looking forward to seeing them perform (since they’ve NEVER come to our area that I know of).  I guess I need to stalk their Facebook and convince them to come to Charlotte.  Besides, I think it would trip them out to know how much of their music Lexxx and I use for writing.  Wait, maybe they shouldn’t come here.

*grin*

Moving on.

Rooster will be home at noon. That gives me 3 hours and 35 minutes to accomplish a whole list of things.  Of course, while I should be doing that, I’m sitting here telling all of you what I should be doing. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Clean the kitchen (as in a few dishes, and wiping down counters, and sweeping the floor)
Fold & put away laundry
Vacuum the living room and hallway
(I should clean the bathroom, but I’ll save that for later)
Have a shower and pack my toiletries
Overhaul the iPod
Make cookies
Hit the office and pick up cupcakes (thank you, Nicky!!!)
Go get cat litter (since the teenager so graciously FORGOT to tell us we were out. Again. Remind me to poke her for that.)
– KEEP BREATHING
Pack the car
Staple directions to Rooster’s forehead
– Go over my piece for tomorrow night’s reading again

The cooler is already done, my bags are packed, and I think all the clothes washed.  Even if I don’t get the laundry put away, I can at least get it folded and leave it on the table for Monday evening.  The cats will be barricaded out of the living room this weekend, and they won’t like me very much for it.  They have two choices:  get over it or… well, get over it.

The little one will begin plotting my demise as soon as I’m out the door, but after I turn the bathroom sink on for her Monday night, all will be forgiven.

All of that having been said, I’m off to work on the list.  Let’s see how far I get, shall we?

____

UPDATE:  It is now 12:30.  Rooster is finishing his shower.   The car is packed.  See y’all in Louisville.

I Swear I’m Over it… Sort of.

FandomFest * July 22-24 * Louisville, KY

Morning, my lovelies.

It is now 54 hours, 8 minutes, and a few seconds to the official beginning of FandomFest.  The first panel will be the meet and greet, and I intend to be there.  I’m still extremely jittery and doing the OMGWHATHAVEIDONE dance, but that should pass.  I think my biggest problem is going to be locating the perfect passage to read Friday night.

I have to read in front of people.

EEK.

S0, about last night…

I stumbled upon that “review” completely by accident.  I’ve had a few people ask me where to find it, so I’m going to do my best to re-locate it, but it was on a personal blog somewhere, and I don’t even really remember how I got to it.  I’ll find it, though.  I am the Google-guru around this office.

Aaaaanyway, yeah.  I have very thick skin when it comes to criticism, but it really upset me to find that.  Not because I have a problem with someone not liking my work… it isn’t that all all.  My problem is with the intentionally cruel way in which said opinion was presented for the rest of the world to read.

I whole-heartedly believe in every single person’s right to have an opinion.  But I also believe that those who wish to share their opinions should seriously consider the way they do so BEFORE hitting the “publish” button.  Heaven knows I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth enough by accident to learn that lesson.

If you don’t like me, that’s fine.  Feel free to tell the world that.  I don’t care.  Just don’t do it in such a way that not only demeans me, but makes you look like a fool as well.

<Insert 10-minute Intermission Here>

So I went back through my history on my computer and looked at all the things I went through last night – and let me tell you, I was like 20-pages deep in the Google search results… and I have found nothing.  I followed the link to the page in my browsing history.  I get “Page Cannot Be Displayed,” so either the site is down, or the author deleted the post.  Maybe she even went so far as to see my comments about the rude way in which she ripped my story apart.

No matter… I’m past it.

In fact, I’ve not really written much romance at all in the past few weeks.  I guess I burned out on it, like I do on everything else.  Maybe it’s the chemical imbalance in my brain, but I’ve moved more into writing horror.  I enjoy having complete control over someone’s fate, and I can be a lot more creative when I’m doing evil things to people.

Plus, it makes me feel better.  Horror writing is fantastic stress relief, because I can do absolutely anything I want to the people that irritate me.

One of my favorite books to this day is Stephen King’s The Dark Half.  I understand the schizophrenia that comes through in that story.  And even though he doesn’t truly exist even in the story, George Stark is one of the most compelling characters I’ve ever read.  That was the first “adult” book I ever read, and 19 years later, it still stands out in the forefront of my mind.  It’s the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse, the ultimate fear, because the fear is of your own creation. Of yourself.

I like that.

On another totally random note, I’ve spent the last 10 minutes arguing with Lexxx over which of us is a better writer… as in each of us telling the other one she’s better.  I’m waiting for Lucy to reach out and slap the hell out of both of us.

Yes, I’m all over the place today.  I’m going to blame nerves, because I can’t very well blame myself, now can I?

FandomFest: The Schedule

Nervous energy… check.
Complete confusion over what to say… check.
Lack of decent clothing… check.
The beginnings of looking like I’m pregnant… check.

So what does all of that add up to?  THE FACT THAT I AM A COMPLETE BASKETCASE.  Being my first con as a published author, I feel like I’m in a bit over my head.  First of all, this thing is going to be freaking huge, and that puts my teeth on edge.  Second, I’m fairly certain that when I get into these rooms, I’m going to clam up and be completely unable to focus, much less speak.  Third… well, I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing anyway.

Rather than bore you with all of my ridiculous insecurities, I’m going to post my schedule, and hope that everyone finds it as…entertaining… as I do. Granted, I am not on all of these panels, but I plan to be in the room.  Just look for the huge, red hair.

(I warn you now, the descriptions have been snatched directly from the FF website.  I’m not taking credit, because I’m just not this witty.)

______

Friday:

3:00 PM — Literary Track Meet and Greet:  This will be the first panel at Fandom Fest.  Come and meet the Literary Track Staff, get acquainted with some of the panelists and participants in the track, and get yourself ready for a great adventure in writing and publishing over the wekeend!

6:00 PM — Meet the Publishers Session II – Not on this one, but I’m curious to get some information from one of the publishers represented here.

8:00 PM — Keeping Genre Writing Fresh:  Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies – It’s Lexxx’s first panel of the con, so I’m going to be there to make faces at her and put her at ease. 

10:00 PM — Trends in Erotic Fiction:  What’s heating up the genre at the moment?  What lies ahead?  We can’t go into too many details here, as the conversation in this panel is probably going to be a little risque.  Our panelists will talk about the topics heating up erotic fiction at the moment, elements of which might be very usable in any genre!  Like a couple of other topics, this one will be part of our later evening programming, for our adult audience.

11:oo PM — Edibles and Accessories in the Erotic Scene:  Sometimes bringing in some outside elements can make an erotic scene sizzle, in any genre.  This panel will explore various accessories, along with some “show and tell”, and a discussion of the usage of edible items, to help you find the ingredients to make your scene scintillating.  This special, extended panel will be part of the later evening programming, for our adult audience!

12:00 AM – Reading  (Oh, Dear God… they don’t know what they’ve done, putting Lexxx and me in here together.  The world is going to end.)

Saturday:

9:00 AM — Point of View:  This panel will explore effective ways for writers to use point of view.  Some writers change points of view between large sections, while others have been known to change it in consecutive paragraphs.  What works?  What can be confusing?  Visit this panel and find out!

10:00 PM — Erotic WritingI’m not on this panel, but I will certainly be in the room since Lexxx is.  She and Bethany Halle are guaranteed to be a good time!

12:00 AM — Ghost Stories with Tally Johnson – Mah Pudden’ is tellin’ stories.  I’ll definitely be on-hand to set the boy straight when he runs off-course.

Sunday:

10:00 AM — Writing Fan Fiction:  Lots of writers create stories set within the worlds of major franchises that they are fans of, like Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Middle Earth.  This panel explores the realm of fan fiction, why writers spend the time to create it (when it can’t be sold).  (They’ve put Lexxx and me on a panel together… this should be interesting.)

_____

So… that’s the schedule, such as it is for now.  It is always subject to change, and if anything else comes up, I’ll be sure to pop over and update.  See you guys Friday!

The Countdown Begins!

Fandom Fest begins Friday!

Anyone looking for a fantastic time, come see me! You’ll also get to play with Alexandra Christian, Tally Johnson, Stephen Zimmer, Crymsyn Hart, and loads of other fantastic author-people!  And if you’re into movies, you’ll even find yourself in the presence of John Carpenter, Henry Winkler, Margot Kidder, Linda Blair, and many, many others.

It’s going to be a great time for everyone involved, so head to Louisville this weekend!

Four days to go.

Four days of scrambling to finish swag, convince myself that I’m not going to make a complete fool out of myself, and convince Lexxx to keep me locked up somewhere so I don’t cause too much trouble.  I’m already convinced that she and I are going to end up in some kind of mess before the weekend is over, and it will very likely involve the two of us fangirling over a fellow panelist (who shall remain nameless for the time being).

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m so excited that I can hardly sit still.  For the last few months, this has seemed like some far-off dream, and the anticipation has been building and building and building…

And now, all of a sudden it’s here and I’m having a hard time believing it.

Thursday morning, Rooster and I will be Kentucky-bound, ready to crash in on our lovely friends, the Gardners.  Oh, these poor souls have no idea what’s about to hit them.

But I will be bringing cookies with me… so hopefully that’ll smooth over any craziness.

Also, toward the end of the week, expect my travel playlist.  What can I say?  I like to share. 🙂