Archive for the 'conventions' Category
Friday, July 8th, 2016
I went to Westercon last weekend and it was a lot of fun. Had some great panels with some terrific people and the audiences were attentive and smart and asked great questions. Pretty much a perfect storm of panels. And people came to my reading, which was on the first day and I wasn’t sure anybody would.
I got back on the fourth and zoomed out again on the fifth at 6 in the morning. Drove with my folks to CA for my mom to see a doctor. Amazingly, it’s been much cooler than normal–which is to say, I haven’t whined that much and I’ve been able to get out walking. The oaks here are amazing and the scents of the summertime dried grasses, certain weeds, dirt, and oaks just bring me back to childhood. I’ve so been enjoying that. I got to see an enormous vulture in a tree very close up. I didn’t impress him. Or her.
The only downer has been I seem to have had a bout with some food poisoning. Last night on the way home from dinner, I started getting an awful headache and nauseous, and then I got home and upchucked everything. It wasn’t long after that that I started feeling better. I’ve been able to see some people–my father-in-law, my brother and niece, and tonight I’ll get to see another niece and a nephew.
Saturday we drive back. My poor mom’s face is terribly swollen–she had a bit of skin cancer removed–and it’s given her a black eye and half her mouth is swollen. Poor thing.
I’ve been reading some. One book by a popular romantic suspense author that I think must have been written in the eighties because the male lead is an alpha asshole and the woman is sort of a door mat. I read the whole thing, but I didn’t enjoy it the way I wanted to. Now I’m reading one by Iris and Roy Johansen. It’s not really romantic, but the lead character is a lot of fun and I am enjoying that. I’ll report back on it later.
Also, Lois Bujold has a new Penric novella out. If you haven’t read the first, do. I’ve not read the second, but I plan to.
Thursday, June 30th, 2016
I’m going to be at Westercon 69 this weekend. If anybody out there plans to be there, here’s where I’ll be:
Diana Pharaoh Francis Reading
Fri Jul 1 4:00:pm – 4:30:pm
Fri Jul 1 5:00:pm – 6:00:pm
Get your goodies signed!
Cat Rambo, Diana Pharaoh Francis, James Glass
Saturday 10am Kaffeeklatsch
Sat Jul 2 10:00:am – 11:00:am
Small group discussions with authors, artists, and other interesting personalities (referred to as “hosts”). Sessions are limited to the host and a small group of attendees.
Anthony Pryor, Carol Berg, Curtis Chen, David D. Levine, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Morris Allen, Sonia Lyris
Sat Jul 2 3:00:pm – 4:00:pm
Is this science fiction, fantasy, or horror? Whatever it is, fans love it! Learn what makes paranormal romance unique from other genres and the inspiration for writing them.
Diana Pharaoh Francis, Gwen Callahan, Janet Borkowski, S. A. Bolich
Physical Intuition and the Suspension of Disbelief
Sat Jul 2 4:00:pm – 5:00:pm
Readers want to suspend their disbelief in our improbable scenarios, but one violation of their physical intuition is all it takes to lose their trust forever. How do we keep it feeling real, even when the impossible is happening?
Blythe Ayne, Devon Monk, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Lindsay Schopfer
Sat Jul 2 8:00:pm – 9:00:pm
Small group discussions with authors, artists, and other interesting personalities (referred to as “hosts”). Sessions are limited to the host and a small group of attendees.
Diana Pharaoh Francis
Fantasy In the City
Sun Jul 3 10:00:am – 11:00:am
With the rise of popularity in urban-based fantasies, so increases the complexity of storytelling. Sure, you know what’s happening in a modern world. But does including a fantastical element have its own challenges? Discuss the challenges of writing fantasy in a modern setting, and how the different choices made by authors influenced their stories.
Diana Pharaoh Francis, Jennifer Willis, Mike Kabongo, Rhiannon Held
One Man’s Villian Is Another Man’s Hero
Sun Jul 3 1:00:pm – 2:00:pm
Swirling mustaches and obvious evil plans are a thing of the past. Today’s villains and heroes are as complicated as the world we live in. Discuss with our panelists what makes the difference between villain vs hero, and how thin that line can be.
Carol Berg, Devon Monk, Diana Pharaoh Francis
Sex Scenes in Writing
Sun Jul 3 5:00:pm – 6:00:pm
Sex is a part of life, and an aspect we can use to learn many things about a character. Are they chatty in bed, or kinky, or do they prefer the lights off? All are insights that help a reader relate to the characters. But does sex ‘need’ to be in your writing? Let’s discuss what sex in writing means and whether it needs to be in your novel.
Diana Pharaoh Francis, Mike Moscoe, Rhiannon Held, Sienna Saint-Cyr
Publishing Coops: The BookView Cafe
Mon Jul 4 11:00:am – 12:00:pm
The BookView Cafe has grown from midlist writers wanting to increase their web presence to a publisher of new and back list fiction and non-fiction. With over 50 members like Ursula K. LeGuin and Vonda N. McIntrye, no one shoulders more work than they can handle.
Diana Pharaoh Francis, Sara Stamey, Shannon Page
Thursday, June 16th, 2016
Did you think I fell off the face of the earth? Almost. I received proofs for all the Path books and have to read and proof in a little over a week. I’m done with Fate and Honor, and partly into Blood. Then the kids had their last couple weeks of school and we’ve been having some family issues that I won’t talk about here, but suffice it to say, the focus has been on those.
Then the Orlando massacre happened and I was lost at sea for a bit. What I know is this: hate is wrong. We need to care about each other. We need to be generous, charitable, and tolerant. We need to accept that no everyone will agree with us, but that doesn’t mean those who do deserve violence and death. We are a country built around tolerance and the urge to escape persecution. Let us live by our values. Let us talk to one another, accept each other, help each other, protect each other.
I’ll be at Westercon 69 in Portland over fourth of July weekend. Here’s my schedule. I’d love to have a chance to meet with you.
Other than that, things are going along well. And because you may have not noticed, up there on the Books Tab, you’ll see a Free Reads menu item. Go there for some short stories you might enjoy.
I’ve also got a post up today on Magical Words if you’re interested.
Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
Just got back from Montana. Specifically, went to Miscon, the absolutely best con in the world. Well run, and fun people. Love it. I had to miss last year and was so sad about that. Justin Barba–the Con chair–runs a hell of a show.
But let’s begin with the black eye. Because that’s where the con begins. I’m a clutz. Clodzilla is my nickname. So we arrive in Missoula, Montana, after a pleasant drive wherein which we saw deer, elk, and bald eagles. We get checked in and into the hotel room, and we head to the lobby to get our badges. On the way back, the man and kids and dogs were horseplaying and I decided to fast-walk and then run a bit to get to the room before they did. Only just before I got there, my Birkenstock stubbed on the carpet and I went down. Hard. My face bounced off the floor, which seemed to be concrete covered in a thin layer of very thin carpet.
I iced, then we went to the emergency room where it was determined that I did not have any breaks or a concussion, and my wrists were not broken. But they hurt a whole lot. Still do. I posted a progression of pictures on FB. Here are two so you can see. What was cool was that all the swelling and color started on the top side of the eyelid and then slid down below it and low onto the cheek.
And then my friend from Montana thought it was so funny that she made me a hat to go with it. Here it is:
Isn’t it awesome? I’ve got good friends. And she whipped it up in about eight hours. I wore it all the time. Oh, and another thing about Miscon–everybody wanted to help me. Jim Butcher didn’t mind me blaming it on him. Justin Barba brought me arnica gel.
Anyhow, my panels at Miscon went really well. I got to hang out with wonderful friends and fans, meet new ones, and I passed out a lot of buttons for promo. Actually, I passed out a handful and the man and children passed out a ton of them. They were awesome. And this time they hung out at the con more and that was uber fun.
I attended a few panels, particularly those by Clay Cooper, who was doing panels on losing a tail and tracking and guns. I also ate a lot of good food with some fabulous people. The only bad thing was that I didn’t get to spend time with everyone I wanted to. Oh, and I had to skip out on a panel on Monday that was going to be too fun for words. I had to, though, because I couldn’t help drive and so we wanted to leave earlier to allow all the driving during the day and while the man was more awake. The Boy of Size did a bit of the driving, which helped.
Anyhow, I had a great time and tomorrow I have to drive and I’m hoping my wrists can handle it. Been slathering on arnica to help with the bruising. I think it’s helping quite a bit. Though let’s face it, it’s a pretty ugly eye. Oh! And at my reading, I read from the next Job book and even though it was drafty, it was a hit. Yay!
So how are all you doing?
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
I’m digging in to my recap, but I have no idea how far I’ll get. So here I go.
We left on Weds. Devon Monk and I and our friend Dejsha went to the Amtrak station to catch a bus to Portland. All was good. It was about 98 outside, but the bus trip was only an hour or so and then we’d be on the train to Spokane. But then the AC on the bus wasn’t working. So we sat in a sauna. A bathroom smelling sauna. It was a relief to get off. Actually it felt cool. So that was an amusing to the journey.
We loaded up on the train pretty quick and got underway. The seats had lots of room. We didn’t board til about 4 in the evening, and we were getting in about 12:15 a.m. It was a fun ride. When we arrived, the fabulous Char and Randy MacKay came and picked us up and hauled us to the hotel.
Okay, the hotel. It was new. Like only open a month. Everything was WHITE and futuristic looking. Dejsha named the regal elevator voice Duchess. Which she was. We reach our room, and it’s lovely. The shower is an entire room by itself. It’s full of mirrors (eek!) and the beds are super comfy. There was also a red wingback recliner type chair with a footstool. It was a Dr. Evil chair.
We got to sleep about 1:30 a.m. then jumped out of bed around 8. We got down to breakfast around 9. By this time I’d realized I’d forgotten my fitbit charge cable, and the heroic Tracy Erickson lent me one, bringing it to breakfast, where we discovered we both like the same chai, prepared the same way, but I like mine extra hot. Anyhow, thanks to him, I was able to charge my fitbit. Whoohoo! After breakfast, we went to get registered, and then wandered a little bit before I had my signing.
My signing was lovely. People came! I signed books and lots of other stuff, and even though my books weren’t in the book room at all (I think my name was left off the list that went to the dealers), I still had stuff to sign. I met up with Minerva Zimmerman and we wandered the dealer room. I admired much, but did not buy. That came later.
I also met up with Chrysoula Tsavaelas and Rachel who’s last name is simply vanishing from my brain. At this point, I’m failing to recall the rest for that night. In fact, I’m terrible with many things. Skipping ahead . . .
I know I ate lunch and dinner, and I know I saw many friends. I hung out in the bar for a bit in possibly the most uncomfortable chairs ever, and then sacked out.
Friday was my super long day. I had my reading, the writer’s workshop, and a writers round robin. I had great attendance on the reading. I read from Grasping Rainbows, the story I wrote for the Weird Wild West anthology. It was quite well received, which made me very happy. I love this story. The workshop was fun and though one participant wasn’t there, we managed to cover a lot of ground and I hope we were helpful to the writers. We were David Levine and Madeline Robins. Our moderator, Jim Doherty, was absolutely awesome. The only terrible thing was that smoke from the wild fires moved in about halfway through. A huge gust of wind blew open the glass doors of the room and a choking cloud of smoke moved in.
The smoke was seriously bad that day. I can’t begin to tell you. It filled the convention center halls and ballrooms with a thick haze. I’m lucky in that I don’t have asthma or allergies, but some were really struggling. The round robin was a lot of fun and though I wasn’t sure how it was going to work, it really was a fun and hopefully useful event.
Went to the Book View Cafe party that night. It was the only party I attended. I’m not a big fan of crushes and the parties tend to be so crowded. Oh, had dinner with Joyce Reynolds-Ward, Devon, and Dejsha. The food was awesome. At the party, I got to meet a lot of people in person I hadn’t met before, including Nancy Jane Moore, Chaz Brenchley, and Cynthia Felice. Plus I got to hang out with other friends, like Laura Anne Gilman, and admire the cover of her upcoming book, Silver on the Road.
I came back to the room and crashed. No, that’s not true, we hung out and talked and giggled and then crashed.
Saturday was the noir panel with John Pitts, Katherine Addison (aka Sarah Monette) and Richard Kadry. It went really well. After I spent a couple hours with Leah Cutter learning InDesign. Well, starting to learn it, anyhow. Also got to spend some time with her new husband, Blaze Ward, who is funny and charming.
I didn’t plan to do the Hugos, but ended up watching it on livestream. I was surprised about a couple of things, but thought the show was fun and campy. Sunday, I was on a future sex panel with Brenda Carre, Rob Carlos, S. A. Bolich, and Kaja and Phil Foglio, with Char MacKay moderating. I can’t tell you want we talked about. What happens at Spocon stays in Spocon. But I will offer this: Tantric Telepathic Tribble Dishwasher sex.
Later that night, our train was delayed and we didn’t get out until 4 a.m. And home Weds.
Okay, some highlights. Getting to have lunch with John Pitts and his wife Kathy and daughter Emily. Huge fun. I fangirled all over P.C. Hodgell. She is awesome, and I was a dork. I met Elizabeth Bear, who is lovely and fun. I was happy to get a chance to see so many friends: Carol Berg, Juliana Hinckley, Justin Barba and his father who is awesomely talented, Laurey Patten (so not enough time and I missed your jewelry), Jean Carlos (more time next time), Debbie Lentz, The Miscon Crew, Clay Cooper, meeting Brenda Clough, Kate Elliot, Michelle Sagara, and Aliette Bodard in person. I also grabbed a few minutes with Patty and Mike Briggs. I managed to catch up with some other people, but I’m doing a lot of name dropping. Mostly the key is that I managed to have a fabulous time because I got to see my tribe. And a special shout out to Theresa and Jordan. It was so fabulous to see you.
Another highlight–getting to meet some dedicated fans. You are awesome. You made my weekend.
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
Yep, I’m off to Worldcon in a couple of hours. This is my schedule, should you want to find me. Please do! I’m looking forward to it, though I’ve been pretty much in panic mode for the past couple of days. Still am. I way overpacked because I don’t have a clue what I want to wear. We’re taking a train. I may get some writing or reading time on board.
I found a facebook group all about rockhounding. I can’t tell you how time-sucking that can be. Next weekend we’re going to go to Glass Butte to hunt obsidian. That’s going to be fun. Apparently it’s quite plentiful.
I am hoping to actually take some pictures this time at Worldcon. I am so bad about doing that. I always forget.
This is sad because it’s true. It‘s funny, but oh, so painful.
And this is the corpse flower that is currently blooming in Denver. You can watch the live cam and I have been. It’s pretty cool to watch.
And this amuses me. How does one describe the damage to the insurance company?
Thursday, July 16th, 2015
My Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention schedule:
Autographing – Diana Pharaoh Francis, Nichole Giles, Nancy Kress, James Van Pelt
Thursday 12:00 – 12:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)
Diana Pharaoh Francis, Nichole Giles, Nancy Kress, James Van Pelt,
Reading – Diana Pharaoh Francis
Friday 11:30 – 12:00, 301 (CC)
Diana Pharaoh Francis
Writers Workshop section 05
Friday 13:00 – 16:00, 201A (CC)
David D. Levine, Madeleine Robins, Diana Pharaoh Francis
Fantasy and Supernatural Noir
Saturday 12:00 – 12:45, Bays 111C (CC)
Dark speculative and (frequently) dark detective works are best-sellers these days. Our panel talks about earlly supernatural noir and where it’s headed now.
Diana Pharaoh Francis, Richard Kadrey, Katherine Addison, John Pitts
Sunday, June 7th, 2015
I finally am loading up pictures from RT. Here goes:
<—-This is me with Rachel Caine at the Random Penguin Party. There’s a number of pictures from the party.
This is Melanie Fletcher from said party. —>
<—-This is the least blurry picture of Patty Briggs and I. We took several but apparently we’re always moving.
<—-This is the lovely Charlaine Harris. She is amazing, everyone. Kind, nice, sweet, generous, and just a little bit snarky. Very cool woman.
These are Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne Stein, who write lovely things apart and together are SJ Harper. —–>
<———–That’s Chloe Neil, Me, and J. Kathleen Cheney at the party before the crowd hits.
These two hooligans are Ilona and Gordon Andrews. We were eating breakfast and got a table in the quiet back room. Until of course it filled up with people. It pays to be slightly early for breakfast at a con.
This is Me, Patricia Burroughs, Severus Snape, and Carole Nelson Douglas after a panel. No, we aren’t troublemakers, why do you ask? ——–>
<——–Then we have the Mad Hatter Tea Party and sorry, I took some blurry pictures. Some really great writers in there, and unfortunately, I can’t remember all their names. Obviously my roomie J. Kathleen Cheney is down there second to the last on the right.
<———This is me and Nicole Peeler at the mass signing. All those people behind us? writers. There were at least 400 writers there. Amazing. And Nicole had the best dress of all.
Speaking of the signing, here are two pictures to give you a sense of scope:
Now I have to get to the river of pee. You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you? So all the floors in the hotel had this particular carpet pattern. Now you tell me–river of pee? Or something else?
RT was nothing but fun. I had a great time and I suck at recapping, so I’ll just say that this was truly a comicon for readers. I love it.
Sunday, May 17th, 2015
I’m going to have to do a more thinky post and right now I’m dead tired. My roomie woke me up 20 minutes early before my alarm because she had a dream that I had changed my flight time. So the weird part came when we checked my flight time online and holy crap! It HAD changed to almost 2 hours earlier. Now that could have happened anytime between when I bought the ticket and today. I didn’t get a notification that I’m aware of. I should have checked online earlier, clearly. And then also in the middle of the night we got a flash flood warning alert on the phone. So sleeping was . . . limited. But I’m still amazed that Jeannette got me up early based on a dream and was right.
The flights was easy and I got home fine and snuggled and hugged and turned over a bunch of my collected swag to the kidlets, then we had food, and then I slept. Now I’m wrapping my head around RT and all that happened. I have so many pictures. Well, some anyhow. I have to size them down so I can post them.
I wonder if I should do a Tumblir or something. But I know nothing about it. Is that a good picturey posting place? Instagram? I have no clue.
RT was amazing on a whole lot of levels. I will hopefully do a post on that soon.
Friday, May 15th, 2015
I want to report on all the things, but my memory is slippery and fuzzy. So some highlights. I had breakfast with Jeannette Cheney, Ilona and Gordon Andrews this morning. That was a lot of fun. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Ilona and Gordon and so it was nice to get caught up. Yesterday I had breakfast with Jill Smith, the woman who reviews my books for RT. She was awesome. So neat to get to meet her in person and actually get acquainted. I had a late lunch with Patty and Mike Briggs today, again, it was so nice to catch up. I’ve missed seeing them and they are as wonderful as ever. All of the above–good people.
Had a fabulous panel today. Met Nicole Peeler, who was captain, and then Chloe Neill was moderator. Other panelists were Jeanne Stein, Samantha Sommersby, Patty Briggs, Richelle Mead, and Diana Rowland. We had a good time. After, I got to talk to some fans and then I had the best moment ever. A gentleman approached Patty and he was so overcome, he got teary. He was such a fan. So I took a picture of them together and tried not to get all weepy myself.
I’ve talked to a lot of different writers, here, and it’s so fascinating to see how romance writers approach cons, and publishing, and promotion. It’s so very different from my experiences in a lot of ways. Jeannette did another post on swag, with more pictures. Let me tell you, there’s an amazing amount. And odd stuff. You could come home with a suitcase or more of just free stuff. I’m boggled. I haven’t done as many of the fan events as I’d have liked, but I did help set up the Mad Hatter tea party, and then I stayed to play and watch. It was a lot of fun and I really was wowed. I wonder if I could get a few authors to want to do something like it at an sf con.
One thing I want to mention is the pattern on the rugs in the hallways on the room levels. It’s a gray carpet, with, what appears to be, a river of pee running through the whole thing. I’ve been meaning to take pictures. I will attempt to remember this. But it is now and forever going to be, the river of pee.
I had a fun panel yesterday with Jenna Black, Carol Nelson Douglas, Patricia (Pooks) Burroughs, and a lifesize cutout of Severus Snape. And I got to meet my Samhain editor, Latoya Smith, who is totally amazing. I also cheated on my dogs with another corgi. I needed some puppy love and it was a corgi. What could I do?
I’ve spent some time in the bar drinking fuzzy navels (don’t judge!) and screwdrivers. I tried a beer that was way too hoppy for me. And bitter.
Tomorrow is the big signing. I’m told this will be a huge event. I can’t wait to see what it will be like really. I hope that I’ll see a few fans.
I haven’t taken nearly enough pictures. I always forget to do that.
I’m sure I have more to report, but my head is stuffed so full of experiences I can hardly sort it out. Oh! But I walked by the JFK memorial and took some pictures. I saw the grassy knoll and the Texas Book Depository building. It seems so close together.
That’s about all I’ve got for now. Having a good time. Hope you all are, too.