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Archive for the 'conventions' Category

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
recapping the weekend

There’s too much that happened to actually mention it all, so I shall attempt to sum up.

I went up to Seattle last Weds and spent the night with friends and then the next morning, we loaded up the party bus (a Dodge Caravan) and drove away. Much levity followed, including the repeated learning about half dozen being six in number. (when we picked up the van, we did have to explain that). We eventually arrived in Missoula, and then a blur followed.

I met tons of people and got to hang out with many friends, both new and old. I met Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Williams from DAW books, admired Mark Teppo’s penchant for cufflinks, watched a Ken Scholes concert, bought too much from the dealer’s room, sat in on a bunch of great panels, and ate a lot of food (both good and bad). Steven Erickson is incredibly nice and funny and I thoroughly enjoyed being on panels with him. I sold a few books and signed some, which is always fun.  Miscon is like coming home, and most everyone who goes agrees. It’s super well run, and I can’t wait to get back next year. I’ve already book my room.

Wow, that’s a really short recap. Everything seems like a blur now. A tremendously fun blur. Even the last panel–and by that I mean the very last panel of the con, which was the John Pitts and Di Pharaoh Francis show–was well attended. It was a big room and about 3/4 full. When does that ever happen? Oh, I also go to learn how to breach a room military style. I was number one in the stack.

Saturday, May 24th, 2014
Miscon thus far

Miscon so far has been a huge delight. Not that I’m surprised, but I love this con more and more. I left Weds. to travel to  Seattle to Andrea Howe’s place where several of us spent the night after eating at the AFK Tavern (for nerds and geeks and so fun), and then we jumped in our party bus (van) after a hearty breakfast, and headed for Missoula.

Since then I’ve had a couple of panels which were well-attended and fun, I have talked to so many old and new friends alike, I’ve toured the art room and the dealer’s room and will be heading back for purchasing, and I’ve had my dragon drawn. Rob Carlos, fabulous artist, drew my dragon last night. It’s amazing. AMAZING. I’m sharing it here for you because, it’s AMAZING!!!

Okay, the dragon isn’t showing up for you, even though it does on this post, so click here for the Facebook post, which will hopefully be visible.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Updatery on a Tuesday

Wow, I thought it was Monday. We have a potential diagnosis on my son. I’m not convinced it’s the problem because I’ve had raised hopes before and I had them totally dashed. So I’m trying to not let that happen. He started his very expensive medication today for bacterial overgrowth in the lower gi. Basically he has the wrong bacteria in the wrong place. The antibiotic for it is serious. I’m hoping it won’t whack the hell out of his stomach. I put him back on a probiotic with the ingredients that the doc says are proven to help the condition, so let’s hope it will work. He’s been so very sick this last week it’s been breaking my heart.

I’ve been getting some work done. I’m pleased about that. The new veggie beds we installed this weekend are complete but need to be planted. I got in some starts, but I’ll have to put the seeds in when I get back from Miscon. I didn’t want to put them in because the dogs have been tromping through the beds. Darn pushy snotty corgis.

Haven’t been sleeping well. I’d like to get over that. Wouldn’t it be ironic if I did better at the con. Sigh.

Oh, and I got a wonderful fabulous and amazing blurb from Faith Hunter on Trace of Magic. More on that later, but she said she loved the book!!!! Squeee!


Thursday, May 15th, 2014
My Miscon schedule
  • Fri 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Writing Strong, Believable Women, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Fri 7:00 – 7:50 PM, Getting Into Character, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Sat 1:00 – 1:50 PM, Anti-Hero, Hero, or Villain?, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sat 7:00 – 7:50 PM, Art of Swearing, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sun 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Author Book Signing, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sun 1:00 – 1:50 PM, Writing What You Don’t Know, Upstairs 3 (Upstairs Programming 3)
  • Sun 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Zombies Everywhere!, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Sun 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Reading: Diana Pharaoh Francis, Upstairs 3 (Upstairs Programming 3)
  • Mon 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Monday Morning Coffee Klatch (Hour 1), The Tent (2)
  • Mon Noon – 12:50 PM, Morality In The End Times, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Mon 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Transitioning Through Time: Scene vs Summary, Containment Room (Upstairs)


Monday, April 21st, 2014
Norwescon report

Norwescon is a terrific con. It’s got great costuming, a lovely art show, a nice dealer room, and tons of variety in activities. I made no parties. They get too loud for me. I got in on Thursday and immediately ran into friends while standing in line to check in to the hotel. I dumped my stuff in my room and then off to get checked in to the con, where I ran into more friends. (This was only my second Norwescon, but so many people I know attend and I made lots of new friends. Plus a lot of recent friends from the Rainforest Writers Retreat were there.

The first panel was at five and was packed. In fact all the panels all weekend were packed, and even though my reading was at 12:30 on Sunday as everybody was running away home, I still had a pretty good audience.  Mostly my panels went really well. There were a couple that had some bumps, like straying from topic, or worse, having children in the panel on creative insults. That really tied our hands, or rather, tongues, if you will. But we endeavored to keep things decently clean and had a good discussion.

I went to the Tony and Vixy and the Seanan McGuire concerts on Friday night. Loved them. It was my first time seeing either perform, and they were wonderful. Here are Tony and Vixy performing Red Right Hand.

I got to meet people I never met before, including Nisi Shawl and Stina Leight, Chrysoula Tzavaelas, and the fabulous Krista Wallace. I ate chocolate fudge brownie sundaes and drank lots of tea, and talked about a lot of writing and other things. The hotel food was horrendously expensive and not particularly tasty, so we walked to Dave’s Diner with some frequency.

The only real problem at Norwescon, and one I hope they address soon, is that they didn’t have a new book seller anywhere. So there was nowhere to buy almost any of the books by any of the authors at the con, except for some self-pubbed authors who set up tables. Barely anyone came into the signings because they couldn’t get books at the con. It really sucked. I would really love to see the con make a point of making sure that all their author panelists had books available for sale. Authors give a lot of time to the con and are hoping to expand readership and fans. Having books available would be good for everyone.







Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
The day is long

Got up at early dark thirty and took the boy for his test in Portland. He got me up twice last night to let me know that he’d been sick, poor kid.  The traffic was more obnoxious than I hoped for, but not as bad as I feared. We got checked in and boy ate his radioactive food, then started getting x-rays. We sat for hours with intermittent x-rays. In one two hour slot, we went to the gift shop where I bought a dragon and earrings. Then we went for a walk (fairly slow) and came back to wait awhile longer and then get the next x-ray. Eventually we got food and drove home. I managed grab a twenty minute nap before picking up girlie, then we went to see Captain America. I enjoyed it. I have questions yet, but I guess I’ll have to find someone who saw it too and knows more of the Marvel mythology.

Tomorrow I have to get organized and packed for Norwescon, and then I have to go run errands. Thursday I head to Seattle for Norwescon. I am seriously hoping I get some sleep tonight.

Monday, February 17th, 2014
Norwescon Schedule

I’ve got my Norwescon Schedule! The only problem is with the autograph session because I’m going to want to go around and talk to everyone else.

Intricate Worlds
Thu 5:00pm-6:00pm Cascade 10
How do you build (and maintain) an intricate fantasy world that holds up to intensive fan interrogation?
Diana Pharaoh Francis (M), Brenda Carre, Andrea Howe, David Nasset, Sr., Dean Wells

Lies My Writing Teacher Told Me
Fri 5:00pm-6:00pm Cascade 2
Much of what we think we know about publishing is wrong–or rather, it’s not true anymore. This panel aims to dispel common myths and radically update everyone’s understanding of etiquette, norms, and plausible paths to success in this fast-changing industry.
Dean Wells (M), Susan DeFreitas, Spencer Ellsworth, Diana Pharaoh Francis

Creative Insults
Fri 6:00pm-7:00pm Cascade 10
Fantasy stories often use insults from today’s culture instead of dreaming up new and inventive ways to cast scorn upon others. Our panelists will discuss a variety of new insults for general use in fantasy societies. Audience participation is definitely invited. Anyone who doesn’t show up is a _______ full of ________! (You fill in the blanks…)
Sean Hagle (M), Diana Pharaoh Francis, M. Todd Gallowglas, Frances Pauli, David J. Peterson

The Heroine’s Journey
Sat 8:00pm-9:00pm Cascade 9
Is the Heroine’s Journey different from the Hero’s? How does gender affect plot and character development? Join us as we talk about how and why a strong female protagonist is not the same as a guy who looks good in a dress.
Nisi Shawl (M), Susan DeFreitas, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Karen Kincy, Stina Leicht, Cassandra Clarke

Autograph Session 2
Sat 3:00pm-4:00pm Grand 2
Our Attending Professionals are available to sign autographs. PLEASE NOTE: So that as many fans as possible can participate, we will be enforcing a three-items-at-a-time (or single-sketch) autograph limit.
S. A. Bolich, Clinton J. Boomer, Jason V Brock, Paul Byers, Rob Carlos, Anne Charnock, Myke Cole, Bruce R Cordell, Heather Dale, Lynn Flewelling, Diana Pharaoh Francis, M. Todd Gallowglas, Lex Lingo, Kay Kenyon, Jay Lake, Diana Copland, Stina Leicht, Morgue Anne, Amy Raby, Mark Rahner, Kat Richardson, Ken Scholes, Jack Skillingstead, GregRobin Smith, Jeff Sturgeon, Patrick Swenson, Dennis R. Upkins

How to Write Vivid Scenes
Sun 11:00am-Noon Cascade 7&8
What makes writing vivid? What does vivid writing do for the reader? How can you edit existing writing to make it more vivid? How to use all five senses.
Carol Berg (M), S. A. Bolich, Lynn Flewelling, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Nancy Kress

Reading: Diana Pharaoh Francis
Sun 12:30pm-1:00pm Cascade 1
Something new. Rated PG
Diana Pharaoh Francis

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Orycon schedule and Powells book signing

This weekend is Orycon! Here’s my schedule:

Moderator indicated by (*)
Diana Pharaoh Francis Reading
Grant                Fri Nov 8 5:00pm-5:30pm
Diana Pharaoh Francis reads from own works
Diana Pharaoh Francis

Autograph session 3
Art Show             Sat Nov 9 3:00pm-4:00pm
Get your books (or whatever) signed by your favorite authors!
Claude Lalumi�re, Alma Alexander, Lizzy Shannon, Daniel H. Wilson, Diana
Pharaoh Francis, Patricia Briggs, Nancy Kress, Jack Skillingstead

Minor Characters
Lincoln              Sat Nov 9 4:00pm-5:00pm
Do your minor characters take over the scene?  Or do you have the opposite
problem where they all seem the same or are faceless automatons?  Learn
the tricks of the trade that help writers populate  their fiction with
believable, interesting characters that don`t overwhelm the scene.
(*)Diana Pharaoh Francis, SD Perry, Karen Azinger, Bill Johnson, Leslie

Write what you don’t know
Roosevelt            Sun Nov 10 11:00am-12:00pm
How do you write about talking dragons, vampire detectives, alternate
history, and space travel? Research and common sense can give your just
enough background to really write what you don’t know.
Ann Gimpel, Adrian Phoenix, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Wendy N. Wagner,
(*)Jason Andrew


At 4:30-6 Sunday, 30 authors including me will be signing at Powells Beaverton. It’s a great time to get some Christmas gifts and stock up some great books. Follow the link for a list of authors.

If anyone can make it, I’d love to see you. Feel free to track me down at the con and hang out.