anthimeria: Barbara Gordon, in wheelchair, hand fisted, with the word "Not half beaten yet" (Oracle: Not Beaten)
12 hours of travel, meeting with folks I haven't seen since last year, swimming, and last-minute workshop and panel prep.

Getting up at 8 for the 9am workshop, 3 intense hours of discussion, and then AFTERNOON PANELS ON FRIDAY WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?

Then napping, then dinner and evening panels (LOTS of stuff for my How to Ally panel gleaned from the Reconciliation panel and the No More Missing Stairs panel).

Currently exhausted.  Fic reading and then bed.

Workshop was lovely!
anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)

Brickspace job stuff has been busy, which is both nice and distracting.  I'm slowly getting back into editing Trial, and working on putting together the pieces for whatever the next novel will be.  Must decide if I want to focus on MG or YA . . .

Also been doing some desultory prep for WisCon--I'm on two panels, both Saturday, on romance in spec-fic (specifically YA), and one on being an ally.  They both had good titles that I can't remember right now, *sigh*.

I also submitted the first ~two chapters of The Novel for the writing workshop, so fingers crossed that goes well.

If you're going to WisCon I look forward to seeing you, and if not, hopefully I will have the spoons to make a few con reports whilst I'm there!
anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)
My final panel at which I was a panelist (I've been a panelist now!  EEE!) was this morning, on gender in spec-fic, and was . . . not the most interesting or productive panel I was on?  It wasn't bad, it was just--okay, the panel was on gender in spec-fic, and whether we've gone beyond the binary or otherwise messed with gender, what works did so, and how?  And the answer was sort of . . . spec-fic has fallen down on this.  There are many gender possibilities just in the real world, meatspace and digital, and spec-fic is still kind of trapped in the binary.  We ended up talking about the very few works with trans* characters, and a few where women's gender performance was non-normative and yet celebrated (or normative and celebrated as still strong), but we came to the conclusion that as a genre, spec-fic has been resting on the laurels of Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness for like thirty years.

So.  Writers, readers, editors, publishers--this is one of those cases where reality is stranger than our fiction, which is supposed to be strange.  Step up.

On a much more hilarious note, went to Cousin of Sibling of Revenge of Not Another *-ing Race Panel, which was completely, side-splittingly funny.

In non-panel-related news, I have made new friends!  Hi new friends, should you find this blog!

I have been a crazy social butterfly this con (for me, anyway) and am finding that I accumulate more groups and people to hang out with the more years I go to WisCon and/or FogCon.  This is completely awesome and makes me look forward to WisCon next year even more.

anthimeria: Barbara Gordon, in wheelchair, hand fisted, with the word "Not half beaten yet" (Oracle: Not Beaten)
For anyone who wandered over here after the completely kickass Women Who Love Comics panel, and are looking for recs, I shall attempt a list, including a few from audience members and fellow panelists!  And I shall also attempt to ask around and add more comics as the con progresses.

For now, because it's late and I need sleep, my recs for superhero titles to read if you like character relationships done well along with your monster-fighting and reality-hopping:

-Claremont's run on Uncanny X-Men from the early '80s
-Ultimate Spider-Man
-Blue Beetle (v3, with Jaime Reyes)
-Birds of Prey (Gail Simone!!)
-Justice League International

If you have no idea where to get them, check out Hater Free Wednesdays on tumblr for good local comics shops where you can go in with a list and ask the employees for help without fear of comic shop creepers.

PS: All DC titles I recommend are always pre-Reboot.
anthimeria: Woman drawing a sword, the words "Sword and Sorceress XXV" (SS XXV)
Yesterday was AWESOME and the writing workshop was useful as always and I met new people and met back up with people I knew from years before and have accumulated, katamari-style, an extended group to hang out with and chat about panels and writing with.

Also, FIRST PANEL EVER yesterday, the Stop Killing Minority Characters panel, which I think went well (and I have asked for criticism and so far people seem to be saying we did well, but would they really tell one of the panelists if there were issues?  I hope so, this being WisCon, but who knows).  It was fun, anyway, and I got to practice good panelist behavior (face the audience, don't cover your mouth, be succinct and let other people talk) with other panelists who were also awesome.

Plus: on a panel with Nisi Shawl!!  EEE!

The discussion was interesting and the audience was awesome and basically it was a blast.

Then dinner, in which we accumulated our group katamari-style (I'm stealing this phrase, it is awesome) and then more panels and parties and lastly a midnight-to-one panel and then crashing.

This morning I ended up accidentally sleeping through the Spontaneous Writing Contest, which I had signed up for, but at least it was a situation where me not showing up meant someone else could participate in my place.  A morning panel about the whole Author is Dead school of critique and how it works (or doesn't) and how it works with social media, and interesting chatting with part of the katamari-group from last night and the panelists afterward, and also I want to do a follow-up panel next year called "So the Author is a Zombie: Now What?" about fanfic and other fanworks as critique and/or commentary on source material and how fandom and living, available authors interact and influence each other especially in longer-running, serial, and multi-author works like comics, movies and television.  Anyone interested in doing that panel at WisCon next year let me know!

So I breaked for lunch, skipping the journeyman writer's meeting because I am meeting and talking with other writers in the hallway, and now I'm scarfing lunch and writing this basically to keep myself from imploding or exploding.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend, see y'all later!
anthimeria: A scary angular outline of a face, the words "Still Watching" (Oracle: Still Watching)
I am SO BEHIND.  I meant to be good and spend the month between Nova Albion and WisCon doing research and re-reading things and checking out any new material that might be interesting and . . . and then there was work, and sending out more Skywatch queries, and working on what might be the next bunch of novels (trying my hand at YA again, even though I haven't finished a YA since The Novel), and basically it didn't happen.

So the next three days are going to be devoted to cramming for panels!  Not the best way, but I'm thankful to have the time.  (And I hope work won't interfere, but since I'm skipping town for a week, they get to have me at their beck and call before and after.)  Then Thursday will be travel, and Friday the Writer's Workshop to kick the con off with a bang (or maybe a whimper, depending!).

Wish me luck.  Once I'm back from WisCon, I'm diving back into Trial for edits (assuming work doesn't eat my life).

If you're coming to the con, I'm doing one panel each day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I'll be around Thursday evening (barring travel issues) and Monday through early afternoon.  Find me and say hi!
anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
Final day of Nova Albion=as awesome or awesomer than the first two days!  (It's been a long day, okay?  Critique my grammar when I'm getting paid for it.)

The last day of a convention is always my BUY SHINY THINGS day, both because I will have had adequate time to peruse the vendor tables and because I'll have a good guess of what the con is costing me (there are always last-minute costs--or sometimes, surprising savings) and thus whether the money I have set aside is too much or, rarely, if I have more than budgeted.  I probably circuited the vendor halls two or three times before making any purchases; a few vendors to whom I returned several times obviously recognized me and my very fine hat.  Generally I try to buy from those vendors whom I've returned to again and again--both because hey, I've been ogling their wears and not purchasing!, and also because it's usually a good indication that I really do want whatever I've been eying, and will not regret the price tag.

So, morning vendor hall circuit and first purchase of the day, then three panels, including a fun writing-and-publishing-steampunk panel that nicely got down the business brass tacks and in which Gail Carriger (in her, I believe, third steampunk outfit of the weekend) kinda-accidently took over mod duties.  Notes and other fun-for-writer-me things resulted!

Then the panels I was interested in ended, and I was faced with decision time: last round through the vendor halls.  I made a pass through one and rejected two things I thought I wanted and ended up with another I didn't know I wanted.  At the last vendor hall, I got to chatting with a vendor from whom I bought new decorations for my hat (it is not finished yet; there is not enough stuff on it) and a fellow congoer at her booth.

Said fellow congoer was enthusiastic about my hat and my outfit.  We were chatting and discussing maker stuff and buying things at cons and I mentioned that I longed for a particular unique costume piece, but needed to save up because I work retail and costuming is not cheap.  He sympathized, having just made a large costuming purchase himself, and then proceeded to whisk me off to the proper booth and finance my purchase, including customization, of said costume piece.


I was stuttery and flabbergasted and probably red the whole time.  Said piece was not terribly expensive, as costuming goes, but well beyond my budget.  He was blithe and kind and very much a people person; upon hearing I was at the con alone, grabbed the next passing person he knew and introduced us, with a remarkable lack of awkwardness.  They in turn convinced me to go to Maker Faire, which is in ~two weeks, and which I've never attended.  We exchanged e-mail addresses, he asked after my DSF story, and with, again, a remarkable lack of awkwardness of any kind, finished the transaction and left to join his friends.

. . . I'm still in shock, a bit.

It's definintely proof than humans can't be taken in generalizations; we exist in all parts of whatever spectrum you can come up with, and probably off it, also.  For no reason at all beyond a passing acquaintance, he gave me a wonderful gift.

Not just the costume piece (though OMG), but a great story and a reminder to always pay forward that which we can't pay back.  I can't repay the experience.  One day, I trust, the universe will drop a similar situation in my lap, and I'll get to pay it forward.

Cons, for all their potential faults, have as many or more potential rewards.  They are remarkable in that they create an instant community, with incredibly strong bonds given the incredibly limited time, and at the best cons, people in that community take care of each other.

For every time I've gotten side-eyed as a girl/feminist/queer, for every guy who makes suggestive comments about women's costumes, for every panel that gets derailed, there are fellow activists, there are men who shoot those comments down, there are panels that do meaningful work and reach new conclusions and new people.

And apparently there are fairy godpeople out there, too, for the fan who dares to voice a wish.

Glasses raised to Maker Faire, WisCon, and the hope of a Nova Albion 2014.

PS: If you see this (you know who you are), thank you.

anthimeria: Stars in space (Starscape)
Back from Day Two!  Had a quick swing around the vendor halls, with ALL THE SHINY.

Since the Actual Costume I want to make eventually (as opposed to stuff I already own compiled in a steampunky way) is a Skywatch Warden's costume, most of which I will have to make myself to get it to look right, there is a limited amount I can buy.  But accessories are one of those things, and if I can find The Perfect goggles and/or pocket watch, then THEY WILL BE MINE.  But because of the character-costume aspect, they have to be perfect--heck, even if it weren't, I'm making a costume in a maker's genre, I want it to be right.  So if I can find those things, YAY!  If not, I attended a panel that was basically a list of all the places in the area to get good cheap stuff with which to make steampunky things.

Hmm.  While I can probably make goggles, a pocket watch may be beyond me.  I shall have to consider that . . .

On to sleep and Sunday.

(PS, if anyone wants me to post the List of Places to Find Stuff, let me know!)
anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
On this, the first day of Nova Albion, I have learned that I can only recognize Gail Carriger when she's in full steampunk getup.

I might've been working Reg when she came to get her minions' badges and didn't recognize her AT ALL, but when I saw her at the ball later, I was like, "Wait, that's . . . OH."  Fortunately I was laminating things and did not make a fool of myself.

Costume tomorrow!  I only have two steampunk-y costumes, so today I wore my Wicked Girls shirt and usual geeky earrings.

Also haven't been to the vendor halls yet (yes, halls, plural--steampunk is a maker's genre, people!) because I was either at Reg or getting food, so I am looking forward to that.  I have heard many good things.

Now for sleep.
anthimeria: Stars in space (Starscape)
Home and exhausted!  I drove today because with the MPG I get on my car it's actually cheaper than BART, sadly.  Plus cuts the commute time in half.  Tomorrow, though, I am planning on FOGCon in the morning/afternoon and then Seanan McGuire's Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show in the evening, because I have missed the last TWO and they are pretty much the most fun you can have if you're an enormous spec-fic book geek who also likes geeky music.

Panels today included a FASCINATING look at interrogation techniques, and what works (listening, talking) and what doesn't (torture), a prison-system panel I only caught the last half of, and a really neat working-class heroes panel.  Like a lot of class-related panels, we got somewhat bogged down by the fact that there's no good language or even minimally-agreed-upon definitions for class, but we persevered, and I got some book recs.  Been rec'd Remnant Population again, and will track it down one of these days.  Got to rec due South, because its working class nature is one of my favorite things about it. 

Also volunteered at the consuite, whoo, first time volunteering at a con!  Since I've been going to cons for 10 years, I figured it was time to start giving back.  I WANT to be on panels, but with all the stuff that happened in December and January I missed the sign-up window.  But I'm going to try to get on a few panels for WisCon this year.

Okay, sleep now, since I'm getting up at an ungodly hour to get on BART to make the 9 am panel.

(Yes, I'm the crazy person who gets up to attend morning panels.  Well, if you're going to have a cool panel at 9 am I am going!  I make no promises to STAY awake, but I will be there.)

anthimeria: A laptop keyboard and the Latin "Quot libros quam breve tempus" (Quot libros)
The story behind my entry in the WisCon writer's workshop is that, due to RL being insane, I didn't register for WisCon before the deadline passed.  Then someone I knew who was going to the workshop mentioned that the pieces hadn't been sent out yet, maybe I could sneak in?  So basically, I am crazy lucky, and submitted my story for the workshop literally the day the pieces were sent out.  Whoo!

Thing is: I hadn't initially planned to be in Madison at 9 am on Friday.  I'd booked a red-eye that arrived in Milwaukee at 6 am.  It's an hour and a half drive between the two cities.

What does this come down to?  Not enough sleep and NO WIGGLE ROOM in my schedule.

But again, fortune smiled (I need to rap on wood or something) and I made it to Madison with enough time to track down a can of coke and a banana (breakfast of champions for the been-up-too-long).  The workshop was, as expected, awesome, and I went out to lunch with people afterward, and then checked into my room and zoned and planned panels for the rest of the weekend.  Hit the Gathering, which was fun (but less fun than last time since I'm by myself this year, and thus depending on randomly meeting up with people I recognize from the workshop, WisCon two years ago, and occasionally FogCon).

A panel on the anti-hero later and then we breaked for dinner--I met up with a local friend, headed back for opening ceremonies (Andrea Hairston is the first-ever GoH of WisCon to also be a Tiptree winner in the same year!  Go her!), where there was tiara-giving and singing.

Break again for my mental health and to consume more caffeine, and then onto the parties!  Hit the Outer Alliance party first, wherein I won a free book!  Kind of incredibly randomly!  But free lesbian steampunk book FTW!

I'm not always great at mingling, especially in a context where I don't know too many people and/or only know them casually, and they're already engaged in conversation, so I wallflowered for a while before running into a few people I knew from the workshop and one from FogCon, so that worked.

Also, got a million compliments on my kickass Black Canary t-shirt.  Love it!

Tomorrow I am hitting the very first panel of the day (8:30-9:45) and then heading out to a wedding elsewhere, sadly meaning I'm missing Saturday of the Con.  But!  Wedding!  Excited!

So I will report back Sunday night.  (Maybe.  If I don't die of exhaustion dancing at Genderfloomp II.)
anthimeria: Woman drawing a sword, the words "Sword and Sorceress XXV" (SS XXV)
Just got home after an hour-and-a-half commute. 

Plan to make it in reverse in time to make the first panel at 9 tomorrow morning. 

Going to sleep now.

Will report tomorrow.

(So far: awesome.)
anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (The Novel)
I went to the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition last weekend!

It was a fantastic time that I have a whole neat post written about, which will appear as soon as I can be bothered to copy it out of my notebook (Things I Do While Waiting For Panels To Start 101).  I will say that I felt terribly underdressed, and hope that Skywatch will have been picked up by a publisher by the time the con comes around next year so that I have an excuse to spend the money to create a fanastic costume.

The "and also" refers to the fact that I volunteered to donate blood tomorrow, and might be freaking out about it.  I hate needles, I have tiny veins, and also I'm not usually qualified b/c they prefer you to not have been ill within the last mumbledy weeks, which NEVER HAPPENED while I was in college (stress causes illness, with me).  But it's one of those things I always felt guilty about not doing.  So I am taking my fear by the throat.  (Possibly it has grabbed me by the throat in return . . .)

Wish me luck?
anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)
The story of Sunday at WisCon is below, but basically, I did not get to the place where my laptop was until four in the morning, and needed to get up for a 10 o'clock panel today, so I did not post last night!  Instead, you get the super-concentrated awesomeness of my last two days at WisCon in ONE POST!

Sunday and Monday Panels (and a little more) )

At the end of the day, I can talk about the panels as much as a I want, and it's going to sound dry.  Really, the thing that sets WisCon apart from every other con I've ever been to is the atmosphere.  You're among friends.  Fellow feminists, fellow activists, fellow spec-fic fans, fellow geeks and outsiders.  These people speak our language and feel our pain, even when they screw up and cause pain themselves, as inevitably happens.  They have read (or written!) the books we love.  They share our understanding that media matters, that character matters, that what speculative fiction says matters.

They're also fun!  I have never been to a con as serious or as silly as WisCon.  The formally-dressed audience at the Tiptree Award ceremony last night broke into a song about the winners to the tune of row-row-row your boat!  Panelists decided whether they wanted a fast-zombie apocalypse or a slow-zombie apocalypse!  Earrings were exchanged for haiku, people with pink hair were rampant, and I never felt afraid to go up to someone and talk to them!  Nervous, maybe, but not afraid.  Even when were were talking about privilege and gender and the exhaustion of constant activism, we were teasing each other and digressing and talking about Star Trek characters.

I made friends.  That's never happened before at a con.

I've gotten maybe 17 hours of sleep in the last 92 and I spent most of the time deliriously happy.  People should get to be deliriously happy more often.  It's healing.

anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)
Day two was just as awesome as day one (and I am just as tired at the end of it)!

Too many wonderful panels at the same time--this morning I wanted to go to Race Basics, Craft of Writing YA, and The Politics of Steampunk, which were all at ten o'clock.  I ended up doing a lot of panel-hopping, starting in one panel and going to another because I couldn't bear to miss it.

This day at WisCon )

Tomorrow I am hauling myself out of bed quite early to attend an 8:30 panel, so I'm going to sleep.  WisCon continues to be one of my favorite cons ever!

ETA: [personal profile] starlady has posted notes on the Politics of Steampunk panel!

anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)

There's panels about interesting, complicated topics with great discussion and audience participation!  You can walk up to anyone in a badge and start a conversation!  Everyone's friendly and enthusiastic!  We're leaning really, really far to the left and talking about it!  There are panels on everything from Intersectionality in Fandom to Chicks Dig Doctor Who to the Craft of YA Writing to so much more!

And I feel safe at this con.  I've been to a lot of comic cons where my friends and I will be digging through the back issues, and every time some guy--sometimes the guy running the booth!--will comment on the fact that we're girls.  Ooh, girls at a comic con, what will they do?  (I think WisCon's attitude toward oppression in sf/f is rubbing off.  I am okay with this!)  That doesn't happen here.

In equally exciting news, I am meeting lots of fellow spec-fic writers of all stripes!  The workshop went really well this morning, and I met and mingled not just with my group but my friend's, and also the friends of the people in both groups, so as of now I know seven new spec-fic writers well enough to go out for food with them.  And tomorrow at lunch is the Journeyman Writer's meeting, for people with at least one SFWA-qualifying sale, and thanks to S&S, I can go to that!  So I will get to know more aspiring writers!

Friday programming that I did! )

Tomorrow I get to sleep in till 8am!  Then I will lather/rinse/repeat today, hopefully with meeting even more cool people, fellow writers, and awesome audiences.  I need sleep, so I am going to quit rambling and go do that!

anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
Can't stop working on Skywatch because I'm getting published.

Okay, so I did take a day off to tell everyone who might care and maybe also to dance a lot.

Steampunk novel stuff! )

I'm also eyeing my calender and calculating how much time I have to finish Skywatch's rd if I want it finished by WisCon.  I submitted the first couple of chapters to the writing workshop, and I'd like to have the draft finished so I can take the big picture into account with everyone's critiques.  I also have to budget time for critiquing my group's work, and since we're all novelists, it has to be a serious chunk of time per person.

Somewhere in there I also have to fit looking over the programming and calling the person I'm staying with to arrange travel.  And the occasional flash of getting-published glee.

It keeps hitting me at random moments.  I'll pause for a second and grin irrepressibly, 'cause y'all, I'm getting published in Sword and Sorceress! 

anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
I've been whining a lot about Skywatch lately, so I figured I should share my happiness!

For all the trials and tribulations this books is putting me through, it's still a ton of fun to write.  I just had a good writing day.  Sanya usurped a big section, but she let me play with Eshe's reaction to her, which let me do some interesting things with Eshe's character (Eshe's the POV character; Sanya and a boy named Julien are her best friends).

Short and specific, for once! )

In other awesome news, I am going to attend WisCon this year!  WisCon, for those who don't know, is a feminist science fiction/fantasy literature convention in Madison, Wisconsin.  I've never been, but everything I've heard is fantastic.

WisCon also has a Writer's Workshop, which sped my little workshopper's heart.  I haven't participated in a proper workshop since I graduated, so I'm looking forward to it--and all my fellow group members are spec fic novelists, which is something I never had at Knox.

Exciting things afoot!

(PS: had to return Leviathan to the library, so a thorough rec will have to wait till I can check it out again.  But I did enjoy it!)

anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
Today my first panel was called "Don't Lick the Wallpaper"--an inspired name if e'er I heard one.  Did you know there was an incredibly high arsenic content in Victorian wallpaper?  Or that many clothing dyes (and food dyes!) contained lead or arsenic?  I didn't until this morning!  Not to mention the effect of gas fumes from lamps, pollution so thick you had to change collars and cuffs at least once a day, and daily doses of arsenic to remain pale and beautiful (that would kill you if you lost too much weight too fast, since arsenic is stored in fat).

I also won eleven pieces of chocolate in a trivia game! Because I am a nerd, and proud of it. )

I'd call it a fun and productive weekend.  I love going to cons, especially cons like this, where I can have a ton of fun and do necessary research for my writing.  At some point I'll list the recommendations I got that proved to be the most useful.

Part of me can't wait to start working on Skywatch, though the rest of me is going, "Hold it, girl, you're not finished with The Novel yet!"  I think once I get draft III nailed down, I'll be ready to send it to someone else to look over, and while I'm waiting for them to work on it, I'll hit Skywatch hard.

In conclusion: Steampunk is the wave (or at least a wave) of the future.  Hop onboard the airship, our captain's not too crazy and the wind is fair!

anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
Anyone who's ever paid attention at a con before knows that the busiest day is always Saturday--and WindyCon is no exception.  Not only did I go to 10+ hours of programming (including the Masquerade), but I missed a lot of neat things because I was doing other neat things!  Alas, thus is the curse of the good con.  Everything awesome happens at the same time.

Today I required a time machine. )

In more disquieting news, the mall across the street from the con, where I went for dinner, did not have a bookstore.  No bookstore.  The entire mall was bookstore-less.  I found this disturbing, not the least because the only reason I go to my mall is because it has a bookstore.