Archive for the 'conventions' Category

Jun 14 2009

We won!!!

That’s right, folks, the anthology I sold my first story to that was published last year just won the Stoker award for superior achievement in an anthology! That would be Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet, available for purchase at the link, in case you’ve somehow missed reading it. I’m very excited, so glad to have been able to attend the conference (thanks again mom!), and I adore my editors (Vince Liaguno, Chad Helder)! They are wonderful, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting them and my fellow contributors, along with many wonderful people too numerous to list individually. I was very impressed by the con, it is by far the most professionally organized con I’ve yet had the pleasure to attend on this side of the ocean. (Tel Aviv’s Icon was the largest and most organized overall, that I’ve attended so far.)

Congratulations to my fellow contributors and editors, I am honored to have been a part of this wonderful project and am looking forward to many more!

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Jun 10 2009

story revisions done, packing for travel

Published by under conventions

I finished an editing and revision pass of “…Elmer the Cat” today, thanks to Nathan, Steve, Andrea, and Lynn for great beta reader feedback. I like the story much better now.

I have a couple of writing post ideas written down so I won’t forget them, but am already behind on packing for my flight leaving tomorrow morning so for now I’ll squee about my trip. My mom and I are going to the Stoker Weekend conference in Burbank, California; I’m excited about it, it’s my first horror writing convention, though I’ve been to several sff conventions. I signed up for the Marketing Workshop and there look to be some good discussion panels as well, so we’ll try to catch a couple of those. My publishers are hosting a signing on Thursday at the Dark Delicacies bookstore, and also the Saturday pre-banquet party. It sounds like it will be a busy and interesting weekend, I’m looking forward to observing some of the similarities and differences in the sff and horror conventions. I also expect to meet a bunch of cool and interesting people, which is always great! And hopefully learn a lot.

See you back here on the blog next week!

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Jun 05 2009

Upcoming travel

Next weekend I’ll be in Burbank, California for the Stoker Awards Weekend conference. The anthology I was published in last year, Unspeakable Horror, is nominated for an award. It will be cool to meet my editors and some of my fellow writers. I’ll even have a new story finished just in case. I’m going with my mom as her birthday present to me, thanks greatest mom in the world! I expect we’ll have lots of fun. Come up and say hello if you’ve been reading me and happen to be there!

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Oct 08 2008

the writer abroad

Published by under conventions,steve,travel

Tomorrow I leave for my first international and transatlantic plane flight (hopefully not the last!), an event both trepidatious and exciting. I’ll be at ICON, a convention with academic, sff, film, and role-playing aspects. It’s held over several days in Tel Aviv, Israel. You can see the link for the 2008 con here.

I’ll be giving a version of the presentation that Kit O’Connell and I gave in San Francisco a couple of weekends ago on Friday, October 17 at 3pm. Given my topic and that the theme of this year’s convention is “Revolutions” (and I’ll have all the days ahead of time to spread the world subtly), I’m expecting it to be a fairly lively panel. That part, I’m very excited about. Although when I stop to think (thankfully, not much time for that pre-trip), I feel a little like “geez, when I decided to jump in the deep end, no one mentioned it was Lake Baikal!”

Regardless, this convention sounds like exactly what our project needs at this time. What fun! (We’re also making arrangements to be translated into Portuguese; I’m hoping to make a similar connection for Hebrew while in Israel. Anyone with lingual fluency and the time to spare who wants to help with the international saturation elsewhere, contact any of us at the Dream Cafe.)

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Sep 29 2008

Day 1 of the conference (at least, what I remember)

Published by under conventions,Kit,travel

Kit and I missed the panels that happened before ours, but thanks to the wonders of sexy technology, we can go listen to them as posted mp3s at Arse Elektronika’s website. The conference was aural ecstasy: voices from all over the globe filling the air with delicious ideas and discourse, echoing in a space that appears as a blend of an industrial warehouse and a theater.

I took a few scattered notes on the two panels that came after ours. The first was a two-person presentation and talk about transparency, oversharing, and how you decide how much to share of yourself on the internet (and the consequences of those choices). I felt the speakers, Susan Mernit and Viviane, raised a couple of interesting questions that I will enjoy thinking over and discussing with other more local minds.

The second panel was an informal two-person discussion about sex in science fiction from the 50s through the 80s, between author Richard Kadrey and AE host Johannes Grenzfurthner. I found the talk interesting, but more immediately noticed that it is hard not to adore Johannes; he’s the perfect person to lead the conference, full of vibrant energy and thought-provoking ideas and questions, funny and personable. Not to mention the hot accent–add German to the list of languages I enjoy hearing spoken (on the level of “here, read from this menu, I’ll just listen moistly over here”).

We came back to the hotel to rest a bit and eat, intending on attending the AE readings going on nearby starting at 9pm. We chatted a bit about notes I’d taken on our presentation–parts we’d glossed over or skipped, physical notes about fidgeting, gestures, and the like, what to improve next time–then dozed off for “just a few minutes”…

Yeah, missed the readings. We were tired monkeys. It was a good rest and obviously needed, but I was pretty disappointed to miss the evening’s event. Our hotel room is strange; the hotel itself is historic and very nice, but our room was discounted, I assume because its room window is permanently boarded up (probably due to the humming machinery outside it) as well as plywood covering the broken bathroom window. And no towel rack or thermostat. Thankfully, the bathroom plywood was loose enough that we didn’t have too many problems with air circulation. Still, weird that they would rent it out at half-off rather than repair it and charge higher rates. The doors carry sound but the walls themselves are some of the thickest of any hotel in which I’ve stayed. The wood replacing the windows means that very little light gets into the room–waking up Saturday morning was fairly disorienting.

And that’s as good a lead-in to the next Day as any, so I’ll end the post here for now. Must check out of this historic hotel and go back to our little glorified motel near the airport for our final day’s stay in San Francisco.

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Sep 27 2008

travel update blip

Published by under conventions,Kit,Writing

Made it through our presentation, about as perfectly as it could go given our level of preparedness and non-rehearsal.  Other talks were good.  We’re running a bit behind this morning, as we needed to walk to a drugstore to get an ankle brace since Kit’s ankle is still bothering him.  Now we have snacks and just need to clean up, re-dress, and catch the bus to the conference.  This is Day 2, Technology, and all the talks promise to be quite interesting.

I hope to be working on a more detailed post about Day One, but no time right now as we need to be as little late as possible.  Everyone at the conference is cool and interesting and sexy and beautiful and quirky and the pigeons here are HUGE.

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Sep 25 2008

Alive in SF (better than the alternative…)

Published by under conventions,Life,travel,Writing

Well, our flight here certainly could have been MORE eventful, but I’m glad it wasn’t. Specifically the first leg out: we had last-minute deals on plane tickets, which meant we were doing a bit of airline hopping during our transfer, and also meant that for the first leg we were stuck with US Airways. Seriously, I have a strong inclination not to book another US Airways flight again, regardless of the bargain advertised. In addition to the plane’s layout contributing to us feeling like so many sardines in an overfull can (and the flight wasn’t even sold out), the seats were less comfortable than the airport seating. It felt like we were sitting right on those inflatable vests, rather than cushions.

But you know, when I think “plane travel”, the first thing I think to prioritize isn’t a flat, rock-hard, lumpy seat; nor even the inconvenience of legroom just about right for a toddler under age 5. The inability to keep the plane in the air definitely tops the list for me as far as flight no-nos go, and there were severe questions about that during this flight. Thankfully, we were too sleepy to do more than doze most of that leg, otherwise I’d be twice as physically stressed from worrying for two hours whether we’d just fall out of the sky at some point. (Keep in mind I normally love flying.)

We spent about 20 minutes at the gate, waiting for a guy to “fix some computer issues”.  This involved, at one point, shutting off all the lights and air circulation on the plane, one presumes to “reboot”.  The take-off was choppy, and I was jolted awake from my dozing every time we hit a pocket of turbulence that was poorly corrected for. But the landing I wasn’t sure we were going to walk away from; definitely the worst landing I’ve experienced without something actually going very wrong. We circled at least 5 times, during one approach actually doing a sudden pull away and upward climb like we were avoiding a collision with someone. We finally hit the runway like we were going to keep diving into it, and the braking process felt as if it were panicky, too little, and too late, surging and slowing like a rank beginner sat at the controls learning to drive with Mom or Dad. I just grabbed Kit’s arm and watched through the window, my hand on my phone. We made it! (The flight attendant giving the farewell talk as we taxied to the gate sounded very shaky, so I watched her, and when she put away the intercom handset she wiped her eyes as if she had been crying. Coincidence? Or barely-avoided fiery death?)

…to Phoenix. Now of course we didn’t learn our lesson from the Phoenix airport last time, but the message is this: never, never fly into Phoenix if you are on a time-crunch transfer. Double those nevers if you plan to transfer airlines. Triple them if your airline has delayed your flight in an attempt to kill their passengers. The short story is, with both Kit and I on gimpy feet, we landed with 27 minutes to get to our other flight–which was two terminals away and through security again. Amazingly, we reached it two minutes before they closed the plane door behind us.

United was a much better (and less eventful) experience, with seasoned professionals in the cockpit that took us up and set us down again with a feather-light touch. Plus they didn’t charge us $2 for three gulps of juice. And we arrived 17 minutes early, rather than half an hour late. I could keep delineating the differences, but you get the idea.

We grabbed pitas on our way out to wait for the hotel-airport shuttle, and had plenty of time to eat our snack before it arrived. Another revelation: don’t sit at the back of an airport-hotel shuttle if you can avoid it, especially if you are on bad streets with a maniacal driver, and triply so if you are large-breasted. But they did NOT bounce off, and we made it to the hotel by the charmingly quirky San Franciscan navigational technique of driving directly past it first thing, then looping back around making sure to service all other hotels on the route first.

Check-in was surprisingly fast and un-eventful. We are staying tonight and Monday night at a hotel near the airport, with these two nights gifted us complimentarily by Kit’s mom. Thanks, Siun! (We also figured not having a long way to travel between airport and hotel during arrival and departure days was a smart-monkey thing to do.)

We’re meeting with Kit’s sister this evening, and we haven’t seen her since she came to visit Kit a couple of years ago, so we may or may not manage to reach the conference in time to watch the fucking-machine contest. I’ll be disappointed if we miss it, but family takes precedence over things you can watch later on video. And we’re here in plenty of time to take in the rest of the conference.

Now to quit procrastinating and get back to talking about this presentation with Kit…hopefully we’ll see any of you Californian readers at the conference this weekend! Hmm, perhaps a snack…wait. $9 for buttermilk pancakes? SRSLY? You can, even here in SF, buy two entire boxes of pancake mix for $9. Methinks I will not dine upon hotel fare, here. (Kit’s favorite entry from the breakfast menu is “The Healthy Start”: one grapefruit half, one bran muffin, one low-fat yogurt, and one small box of Special K cereal with milk…for $11.50!)

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Sep 24 2008

Where in the world is Reesa?

…Well, it’s busy season up at work.

…We’re about to launch our 10th anniversary sale special which will hopefully make it even busier.

…Working like mad to put the finishing touches on the paper we’ll be taking to Arse Elektronika this year. There’s more detail over at the household blog, Words Words Words, here.

…Working like crazy (a really fun crazy) on the collaborative creative project, which you’ll start seeing signs of any day now.

…Having my brain torn apart by my novel I’m figuring out I’m going to have to redraft, and the question now is simply whether I’ll do that before or after I get through the last few chapters.

But more literally…this weekend I’ll be enjoying the hills and experiences of San Francisco with Kit, and in a couple of weeks I’ll be taking a version of talk and paper to Israel, traveling with Steve to ICON festival in Tel Aviv.

And then, hopefully, staying home and finishing about 6 projects before the end of the calendar year.

I’ve had very little online time lately, but I’m adjusting daily routines so I can spend more time on my computer. I love comments and blog interactions, so readers keep in touch!

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Jun 25 2008

What I have launched is now launching me

Published by under conventions,Life,Writing

On the drive back, something happened that was the perfect cap to the weekend. We stopped by my mom’s place for lunch and naps and delicious showers before finishing the journey. My mom knew what we were up to at the con and is also a co-conspirator in planning the collaborative project.

She showed us some things she had found in her studio one day when she went in to work on her own art pieces. We passed them around, oohing in awe over what we held in our hands and the serendipitous perfection of the finishing touches. I touched (and now own a piece of) imported artifacts from a world that doesn’t exist yet. Talk about time-travelling. How can we not succeed? The proof sits in front of me as I type.

I got a good couple rounds of goosebumps and a few happy tears over this. This is going to be So. Much. Fun.

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