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lee_martindale
13 September 2014 @ 12:42 pm
Next up for me is Imaginarium, a new convention in Louisville KY that will combine the best parts of a really good writers’ conference with the fun of a really good convention.  The folks behind this one are the folks that made the Writers’ Track at FandomFest work when nothing else did, and I have the honor of being their first ToastMistress.

So far, my schedule looks like this:

Friday

2:30 PM New Panelist 101

The write-up: “A crash course in convention etiquette and panel performance for new guests. A team of seasoned professionals will answer questions and help guide you through the ins and outs of the con experience from the other side of the table.” This is one I suggested for last year’s FandomFest, and it proved to be highly successful.  And, yes, I’m moderating.


 4:00 PM Paths of Publishing

The write-up: “A look at various publishing avenues – major press, indie press, and self-publishing – and what it means to be a part of each. Come listen to our panelists, ask questions, and decide which path is right for you.”  This one should be fun and wonderfully informative.

 8:00 PM Opening Ceremony

Wherein Ye Olde ToastMistress presides over the official kick-off of the festivities.


Saturday

11:00 AM Congratulations! It's an Anthology

The write-up: “Anthologies are a good way for readers to find new authors without a large investment. Come learn how anthologies work, why they’re popular, and what Anthology editors expect from their submissions.”  Another moderating assignment on a subject I know pretty darn well. A lovely group of fellow editors have been assembled for the panel.

 2:00 PM What Editors Expect of a Professional Author

The write-up: “They aren’t the enemy, and here’s why. Editors sit down with the audience and candidly discuss their requirements for working with authors and how authors should behave when working with their editors.” Yep, another moderating gig, on a session that should prove both informative and lively.

3:30 PM Author on Author Interviews

The write-up: “Moderated by Lee Martindale – Authors break into teams and interview each other.” We did this one last year at FandomFest and it was great fun. Three authors per team (so far) will take turns asking a question that is answered by each member of the other team. A great chance to hear from six authors.

4:30 PM ToastMistress Q&A

My turn in the hotseat, with grillmaster Stephen Zimmer and (hopefully) an audience of inquisitive folk.


Sunday

10:00 AM Exploding Out of the Gate:

The write-up: “A 2-hour workshop on getting that piece started with a bang. A modified version of Allan Wold’s workshop, hosted with his permission by Toastmistress Lee Martindale, this session help authors master the art of a strong opening. Limited to 15 participants, no non-participating observers, please.”

12:30 PM Here There Be Scumbags

The write-up: “Scams built on separating new and aspiring writers from their hard-earned cash are everywhere. Learn to spot a legitimate opportunity and identify a scam.” Another moderator’s assignment, on a subject near and dear to my heart.

3:00 PM What Writer's Organizations Can Do For You

The write-up: “From promotion to awards, this panel hosts a frank discussion of literary organizations, membership guidelines, and proper etiquette when joining and participating.” Moderating, and talking about SFWA. Not sure what organizations will be “represented” by the other panelists, but it should be a good hour.

5:00 PM Awards Banquet/Convention Close

Putting on my MC’s hat one last time for the convention.

Somewhere in there, there’s still a signing and a reading to be scheduled.  It’s going to be a busy, and enjoyable weekend, I think.
 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
lee_martindale
10 September 2014 @ 09:32 pm

I wondered how long it would take Texas Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Abbott to play the "noble crip" card. Yes, he's a paraplegic, the result of an accident. His latest TV spot shows him wheeling up a completely deserted parking structure while his voiceover talks about perserverance and "just one more".

Upper body strength is a good thing for a paraplegic. (I know this first-hand. I'm a paraplegic myself.) But being a paraplegic doesn't wipe out the harm he's done during a judicial and political career that has gutted the rights and well-being of women, children, the poor, the elderly, and -- ohyeah -- the disabled. It doesn't excuse rulings that consistently backed big business and special interests. It doesn't wipe out actions as Attorney General that put his own personal religion ahead of the state and federal constitutions.

Texas doesn't need "just one more" Republican governor bound at the wallet to the Koch Brothers and right-wingnuts intent on rolling back civil and human rights to 1950s levels. It doesn't need "just one more" governor following in the footsteps of Bush and Perry.

What Texas needs is Wendy Davis elected Governor of Texas in November.

 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: angryangry
 
 
lee_martindale
06 September 2014 @ 05:51 pm
Like everyone else, I get junk phone calls.  On average, 3 robocalls a day (the use of recorded phone messages to sell the recipient something is illegal unless one has specifically given written or electronic permission for them), and 1 actual live person a week. All of the above is in direct violation of my number being on the National and State Do Not Call list – not that they care, since all of them are obvious scams to begin with – so I file a complaint at donotcall.gov and let it go at that.

The majority of the calls break down into the “lower your credit card interest” invitations, the “your insurance carrier has authorized you to receive a free investigational pain cream” calls – complete with scary statistics about senior citizens misusing and abusing pain pills – and the ones that start out with scare-the-old-people statistics about how many seniors fall and how many of them die as a result of those falls, followed by the news that I’m to be sent a free medical-alert device.

There are the calls from actual people (with almost unintelligible Indian or Pakistani accents) from the “support desks” of either “Windows” or “Microsoft” urgently telling me that my computer is being reported as having a virus or is spreading malware and that they need to have remote access to computer to fix it. Oddly enough, these people get confused when I ask them *which* computer is being reported or ask them to verify my IP address. They tend to hang up, apparently cursing me in their native language, after the fourth time of asking for their remote-access password.

A couple of new ones cropped up recently. One was a live person, against with an almost unintelligible Indian or Pakistani accent, telling me I had been awarded a government grant. I asked whose government. The United States government, she replied. What department? The United States government department, she replied. I invited her to send me notification in the mail. She hung up.

But the oddest one was the robocall from someone purporting to be Agent Julie Smith of the IRS in Washington, DC. I had, the recording informed me, serious charges pending against me and was instructed to call 206-495-9309 (her direct line) within seconds of the end of this call or risk being arrested within two hours. I did not call back, of course. Even if the area code (that area code is in Washington state, not DC), the absymal quality of the recording, or the fact she ended the recording with “Take care” hadn’t tipped me, the fact that this was a robocall and not a formal letter in the mail would have been a dead giveaway.

I did, however, research the number and found that, had I called it, it would have been answered by a gruff male with an almost unintelligible Indian or Pakistani accent who would threaten my work license (my “job” doesn’t need a license), my credit rating, and arrest within minutes (“The police are on their way!” I’d be tempted to say “oh, good, that saves me going to the station to turn over the recording of this conversation). This one got reported to the “Imposter - Government” page of the FTC; apparently they’re accumulating quite a roster of complaints about this one.

I’ve been accused of liking to play with my food. Unfortuntely, I don’t always have time to indulge.
 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: predatory
 
 
lee_martindale
03 September 2014 @ 10:12 am

Yes, I have safely returned from Dragon Con. Glowing like a lightbulb, exhausted beyond telling, and started the dig-through on a record-setting pile of pile-up. (I was gone a full week, with a end-of-month/first-of-month rolling in my absence. Whimper). And I wouldn't have missed a single second of it.

Many good memories and much fun acquired. Friends seen and good company enjoyed. Good panels. Many laughs. Books sold. Duties acquitted. After two years unavoidably missed due to commitments elsewhere, it definitely felt like coming home, and I am grateful to those who made it possible.

A trip report will have to wait while I prep for the next convention. Speaking of which, here's a short interview tied to my gig as ToastMistress for the first-ever Imaginarium.

https://bookinthebag.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/writer-wednesday-lee-martindale/

 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
lee_martindale
My final Dragon Con schedule arrived over the weekend, with the promised reading, autographing included, as well as the day, time, and location of the SFWA meeting. I’ve also added locations to what I had before.

Friday

2:30pm - 3:30pm: Hyatt - Edgewood: SFWA “Regional” Meeting: I’m chairing a meeting of SFWA members for an hour of information about organizational business, programs, events, and matters of interest. All current members of SFWA are welcome.

5:30pm - 6:30pm: Hyatt - Vinings: Reading - Lee Martindale: With an hour, things are wide open in terms of what I’ll read. I’m leaning toward the title story for Bard’s Road, since only a handful of people have heard that one yet.

Saturday

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Hyatt - Embassy A-B: The Big Stuff: with Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Robert J. Sawyer, Lee Martindale (M), and Sam Ortega. The write-up: “Hard SF is known for the Really Big Stuff it throws at us, from space stations to Dyson Spheres and beyond. What is your favorite Big SF Thing?”

5:30pm - 6:30pm: Hyatt - Regency V: Politics in SF: with Michael Z. Williamson, Lee Martindale (M), S. M. Stirling, John D. Ringo, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, and Elizabeth Moon. The write-up: “How do politics of today inform the writers of science fiction?” Something tells me this one is going to fit squarely under the category of “spirited”.

7:00pm - 9:30pm: Hyatt - Regency VI-VII: Dragon Con Guest of Honor Awards Banquet

11:30pm - 12:30am: Hyatt - Embassy D-F: Writing for the GLBT Market: with Lee Martindale (M). The write-up: Who's buying what? Developing great storylines that will catch the editor's and readers' attention.” I’ll either be moderating with panelists assigned at a later date, or doing a roundtable with the audience.  Either way, it should be fun. And, yes, that last one starts waaay past my bedtime. But what the heck, it’s Dragon Con. And the Programming Powers were kind enough *not* to start the next day’s paneling before noon.  At least so far.

Sunday

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Hyatt - Embassy D-F: Worldbuilding 101: with Lee Martindale (M), Michael Bunker, Lynn Abbey, C. L. Wilson, Jim Butcher, and Jonathan Maberry. The write-up: “Where does a writer start? What's important to the reader? Who needs to know what and when do they need to know it? Build a better fictional world.”

2:30pm - 3:30pm: Marriott - International Hall South: Autographing - Lee Martindale. Other folks signing at the same time will be Beth Revis, Larry Niven, Debbie Viguié, Dr. Scott Viguié, and David Weber. The people-watching opportunities will be prime.

5:30pm - 6:30pm: Hyatt - Embassy D-F: Anthologies for Fun and Profit?: With Stephen L. Antczak, Lynn Abbey, Lee Martindale, Mike Resnick, and S. M. Stirling. The write-up: “Getting asked to participate in an anthology is great, right? What's involved? How does a writer get invited?” A great list of panelists for what is likely to be a very popular panel. What’s not to love?

Monday
11:30am - 12:30pm: Hyatt - Centennial I: Ask Me Anything!: With  Lee Martindale (M), Allen M. Steele, Mark L. Van Name, Peter David, and Kevin J. Anderson. The write-up: Now is the time to ask the authors anything you may have not asked earlier in the con.”

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Hyatt - Embassy D-F: Werewolves, Vampires, Demons, Dragons-Oh My! With Lee Martindale (M), Gail Z. Martin, Cherie Priest, and Samantha Sommersby. The write-up: Learn to develop "classic characters" that stand out. What makes one better than another? What are the "rules" and how can they be broken?”

There’s not a panel on the schedule that doesn’t look likes it’s going to be a lot of fun. You’ll note that my moderator chops are being fully utilized, having been assigned moderator on all but one of the panels on my schedule. I’m good with that. One can do far worse than having that kind of reputation with programming folk. And the roster of folks I get to work with pleases me no end.  Add to that the downright humane spread of the panels, with ample time for things like sleep and food, and I am one very happy gal.

This year’s Dragon Con is going to be blast!
 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
 
 
lee_martindale
17 August 2014 @ 12:33 pm
Next up for me is Dragon Con. It’s been two years since I’ve been to Dragon Con, thanks to the last two WorldCons being scheduled for the same weekend as Dragon Con and my duties as a member of the SFWA Board of Directors requiring my presence at WorldCon.  And I have sorely missed it.  Happily, there is no such conflict this year, and I’m making preparations.

My tentative schedule has arrived, and it promises to be a whole lot of fun.  Here’s what I have so far.

Friday

SFWA “Regional” Meeting: I’m chairing a meeting of SFWA members for an hour of information about organizational business, programs, events, and matters of interest. I haven’t gotten my final schedule yet, but it’s been reported that it will be at 1:00pm somewhere in the Hyatt. I should be getting my final schedule soon, and will update.

Saturday

1:00pm - 2:00pm: The Big Stuff with Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Robert J. Sawyer, Lee Martindale (M), and Sam Ortega. The write-up: “Hard SF is known for the Really Big Stuff it throws at us, from space stations to Dyson Spheres and beyond. What is your favorite Big SF Thing?”

5:30pm - 6:30pm:  Politics in SF with Michael Z. Williamson, Lee Martindale (M), S. M. Stirling, John D. Ringo, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, and Elizabeth Moon. The write-up: “How do politics of today inform the writers of science fiction?” (I have a hunch this one is going to fit squarely under the category of “spirited”.

7:00pm - 9:30pm: Title: Dragon Con Guest of Honor Awards Banquet

11:30pm - 12:30am: Writing for the GLBT Market with Lee Martindale (M). The write-up: Who's buying what? Developing great storylines that will catch the editor's and readers' attention.”

I think it’s fair to say that Saturday is going to be a very long day.

Sunday

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Worldbuilding 101 with Lee Martindale (M), Michael Bunker, Lynn Abbey, C. L. Wilson, Jim Butcher, and Jonathan Maberry. The write-up: “Where does a writer start? What's important to the reader? Who needs to know what and when do they need to know it? Build a better fictional world.”

5:30pm - 6:30pm: Anthologies for Fun and Profit? With Stephen L. Antczak, Lynn Abbey, Lee Martindale, Mike Resnick, and S. M. Stirling. The write-up: “Getting asked to participate in an anthology is great, right? What's involved? How does a writer get invited?”

Monday
11:30am - 12:30pm: Ask Me Anything! With  Lee Martindale (M), Allen M. Steele, Mark L. Van Name, Peter David, and Kevin J. Anderson. The write-up: Now is the time to ask the authors anything you may have not asked earlier in the con.”

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Werewolves, Vampires, Demons, Dragons-Oh My! With Lee Martindale (M), Gail Z. Martin, Cherie Priest, and Samantha Sommersby. The write-up: Learn to develop "classic characters" that stand out. What makes one better than another? What are the "rules" and how can they be broken?”

I’ve been told I’ll also have a reading and an autographing session, the days and times of which I’ll pass along as soon as I get that aforementioned final schedule.

There’s not a panel on the schedule that doesn’t look likes it’s going to be a lot of fun. You’ll note that my moderator chops are being fully utilized, having been assigned moderator on all but one of the panels on my schedule. I’m good with that. One can do far worse than being considered “functional as well as decorative” by programming folk. And the roster of folks I get to work with pleases me no end.  Add to that the downright humane spread of the panels, with ample time for things like sleep and food, (okay, I’ll be up waaay past my bedtime on Saturday night), and I could not be happier.

This year’s Dragon Con is going to be blast!
 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
lee_martindale
17 August 2014 @ 12:27 pm

Cheers and congratulations to KC!  Third time really was the charm!

WorldCon comes to Middle America.  MidAmeriCon II, August 17 - 21, 2016 in Kansas City!  Check it out:

http://www.midamericon2.org

Himself and I secured our memberships this morning.

 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: jubilantjubilant
 
 
 
lee_martindale
The HarpHaven website has been updated.  Come see what I've been up to at:

http://www.HarpHaven.net
Tags:
 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: accomplished
 
 
lee_martindale
24 July 2014 @ 06:28 pm
While I was at DetCon1 (NASFiC), Keith West posted a review of my new collection, Bard's Road, at Amazing Stories.  I am very pleased.

http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2014/07/book-review-bards-road-collected-stories-lee-martindale/
 
 
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful