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19 April 2014 @ 12:18 pm
Longtime visitors will recall that May tends to be a bit of a zoo around here in terms of convention travel.  Last year, it involved four conventions in five weekends.  This year, I get a break: four conventions in *six* weekends.  While it may not seem like much, that spare weekend between #3 and #4 is worth its weight in good dark chocolate.

Even as I begin packing and labeling the suitcases for their various, far-flung destinations, the good folks from the combined OutlantaCon/Gaylaxicon gathering have forwarded my programming schedule for this year’s celebration.  And it’s a winner!

Friday, May 2:

6pm – 7pm: Opening Ceremonies: Things will have actually started the night before and been going for a goodly part of the day, but this is the “official kick-off of the festivities.

Saturday, May 3

11am – 12pm: Writer's Story Telling Improv: Described as being “like Who's Line Is It Anyway but for story telling.” Audience supplies the situations, and my fellow panelists and I run with ‘em.  I have a hunch this one is going to be fun.

12pm – 1pm: Spotlight on... Lee Martindale: I have absolutely no idea what they have in mind for this, but when did *that* ever get in the way of a good time?

3pm – 4pm: The Face of Gay, with Kage Alan, Vandy Beth Glenn, Lee Martindale & Kiernan Kelly: Kage hosts a wonderful, thought-provoking blog called “The Face of Gay”, and at one or another, each of us on thepanel has contributed a piece for it. I expect the discussion to be wide-ranging and just as thought-provoking.

4pm – 5pm: Beyond Comfort in Your Own Skin, with Lee Martindale & Debbie Shannon. Debbie is a longtime self-acceptance and size acceptance activist, and I’ve been a size rights activist for over thirty-five years.  We’ll be discussing size activism and why self-imposed body judgment is a social booby trap from which we deserve to escape.  Should be a very lively hour.

5pm – 6pm: Allies: the Who, Why and How of Straight Supporters: As near as I can recall, this is the first time there’s been a panel with this as a focus.  I look forward to spirited, informative, and good discussion.

8pm - 9pm: The Match Game, with host Darren Nowell: It’s Baa-aack! The perennial OutlantaCon favorite styled on the 70s television game show where the panel matches answers with players filling in the blanks of questions with a definite LGBTIQ bent and a frequently deep-blue approach.  (Blush circuits? *What* blush circuits?) Once again, I am honored to be sitting the Fannie Flagg Memorial Chair and knocking the pins out from under the stereotypes about old ladies in wheelchairs. Ahem.

Sunday, May 4

noon - 1pm: Cylon Dreams, with Lee Martindale, Warren Rochelle, & Ally Blue.  Yep, you guessed it. We love Battlestar Galactica.

2pm – 3pm: Refusing Service, with Lee Martindale, Denny Upkins & Em Elliott. With attempts to legalize discrimination on the basis of business owners’ religious beliefs getting support from state governments, we’ll talk about what’s being done to stop them.

4pm – 5pm: Closing Ceremonies.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
11 March 2014 @ 10:21 am
I have the honor of being ToastMistress for MidSouthCon 32, March 21 - 23 at the Hilton Memphis.  This is something like my 11th or 12th MidSouthCon, and the second time I’ve served as ToastMistress.  To say I’m looking forward to it is quite the understatement.

One of the many things I love about MidSouthCon is the programming, which is always plentiful and with a huge variety of topics.  This year is no exception, as the tentative schedule of what I’m getting into indicates.  Note use of the word “tentative”, since changes are still possible.

Friday, March 21

7:00 - 8:00pm: Opening Ceremony.  Officially kicking off the festivities, welcoming attendees and guests, and introducing the Guests of Honors.

8:00 - 9:00pm: Scene Craft. Structuring fight and action scenes, the art of description, vivid without adjectives - creating effective fight/action/suspense scenes.

9:00 - 10:00pm: Meet The Guests.  A chance to meet and chat with guests and attendees.

Saturday, March 22

2:00 - 3:00pm: Southern Fandom.  A conversation about the history of southern conventions with Fan Guest of Honor "Uncle Timmy" Bolgeo, ConChair Emeritus of LibertyCon and one of the South’s most knowledgeable fans.  Southern conventions are different from cons anywhere else in the country.  We’ll talk about how and why.

4:00 - 5:00pm: A Day in the Life of a Writer.  Ask five successful writers about what it takes to be successful, and you’ll get at least ten answers.  Panelists discuss the process, the routine, and the many ways none of it is chiseled in stone.

5:00 - 8:00pm: Banquet and The Darrell Awards.  Each year, the Darrell Awards Jury in association with Memphis Science and Fiction Conventions, Inc, recognizes the best published local science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  I’ll have the pleasure of serving as MC.

10:00 - ????: Masquerade.  MidSouthCon’s annual costume contest, and one of the biggest and best events of the convention.  Serving as MC for this is one of my favorite parts of being ToastMistress.

Sunday, March 23

10:00 - 11:00am: Kaffee Klatsche.  Coffee and conversation with a small group of folks.

11:00am - noon: Who is your Narrator/POV    How perspective powers your story.  Point of View and how to successfully choose who your narrator should be.  It can make or break a story.

Noon - 1:00pm:  No Means No - Harassment at Conventions.   A discussion on harassment at conventions, ways to handle it if it happens to you and the right (and wrong!) way for a convention to handle harassment reports. (Trigger Warning: please be advised this will be a frank discussion of the issue and we may cover potentially triggering words/phrases/ideas).  "The idea of this panel is to educate, not berate or publicly accuse/call out someone else . This will be a frank discussion of what is/isn't harassment, how to report it, best practices for a convention should a report be made. While we can discuss specific incidents, please leave out names/places where at all possible. There will be absolutely NO victim-shaming/blaming (although the discussion of what that is is OK).”

It says something about the faith the conchair has in my moderator’s chops that he’s asked me to take the reins on this one.

1:00 - 2:00pm: Intellectual Property, Copyrights and Patents. How-to, what's protected, what's not protected by the copyright and patent.  This one’s going to be lively.

3:00 - 4:00pm: Dark and Stormy.  The description sounds so very innocent.  “Professional guests must improvise a story from con goers suggestions.”  The reality is so very much more fun.  All weekend, attendees have been writing down lines from movies, books, and TV shows on slips of paper and putting them into collection boxes.  The tale kicks off “It was a dark and stormy night..”, and then, in turn, each panelist adds to the story, ending with the line written on the piece of paper they’ve drawn.  Check your sanity at the door and bring oxygen.

4:00 - 5:00pm: Closing Ceremony. The ToastMistress’s final duty, with whatever’s left of me.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: excitedexcited
06 March 2014 @ 10:03 am
And had grand fun doing it.  The podcast is up for your listening or downloading pleasure at:
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
04 March 2014 @ 10:23 am
Join me Wed, March 5, at 9:00pm EST/8:00pm CST, as I fall into the clutches of the hosts of The Star Chamber podcast.  It promises to be a unfettered hour of crazy as we talk about books, writing, publishing, conventions – including the first-ever Imaginarium – and heaven only knows what else.  Listen live or download later at:
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: excitedexcited
04 March 2014 @ 10:20 am
Last week’s GeeKon, a joint effort between Denton Public Library North Branch and A-Kon, turned out to be a delightful evening.  The library folk were lovely hosts, and the set-up they provided worked well, indeed.  Praise, as well, for David Doub’s very nice job of coordinating.

The evening was enlivened by a steady stream of young folk (the library is near Texas Women’s University) circulating between the tables each writer had set up with our books, asking questions, talking about their own work, and seeking advice on the nuts-and-bolts of publishing.  A full spectrum of writers were there to query, in terms of what we write and how we’re published.

All in all, it was a fine use of an evening, and something I wouldn’t mind doing again.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: happyhappy
24 February 2014 @ 11:05 am
For those in and around Denton, TX, or folks in the DFW area looking for something interesting to do on a Tuesday night, I will be taking part in GeeKon, an Authors’ Faire being jointly sponsored by the Denton Public Library and A-Kon.

Time:         6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:    Denton Public Library North Branch
                  3020 N. Locust St.
                  Denton TX, 76209
                  (940) 349-8752

Nine local authors talking writing and the business of writing, visiting with friends and fans, and selling books. Drop by and say hello!

For more info, see:

There’s also an FB Events page at:
Current Mood: excitedexcited
21 February 2014 @ 10:40 am
I’d forgotten how much fun live radio can be.

Last night’s “Week in Geek” on New Orleans’ WGSO-AM was a blast and went, I think, quite well.  Hosts Brian and David are a lot of fun to work with, and we covered a lot in a short time.

The podcast is up and available for your listening pleasure.  I come in at around 35:50, but the conversation about the recent filming of “Heroes of CosPlay” at Wizards World New Orleans will be of interest to costumers and cosplay folk. Listen or download it at
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: geeky
19 February 2014 @ 10:30 am
On Tuesday, Feb. 25th, I’ll be joining eight local authors for the GeeKon Author Faire at the Denton Library North Branch, 3020 N. Locust in Denton, TX. Between 6:00pm - 9:00pm, we’ll be talking writing, publishing and the business, visiting with readers, and selling books. I’m looking forward to a fine evening presented by the Denton Library System and A-Kon.

For further information, see


the FB Event Page at
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
19 February 2014 @ 10:28 am
On Thursday, Feb. 20th, I will be a featured guest on “The Week in Geek”, hosted by David Ducorbier and Brian Held on WGSO-AM.  The show runs from 5:00pm - 6:00pm, and I’ll be coming in at the bottom of the hour.  Having met these gentlemen at ContraFlow, I’m looking forward to a lively time.

Folks in the New Orleans area can tune to 990AM to catch the madness. There’s also live streaming at

A podcast of the show will be posted a day or two after at the link above.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
19 February 2014 @ 10:25 am
This year's AnachroCon, at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center, was a thoroughly fine convention. All the usual elements that make a convention fun for me: good programming, good conversation, the chance to visit with friends old and new, and the chance to enjoy first-rate costuming.

Tasty beverages and food, from both the hotel facilities and a superbly-run Green Room.  A pleasing schedule of excellent panels. The company of some of my favorite folk from several other conventions in the immediate area and neighboring states. A comfy wheelchair-accessible room that included attentive housekeeping. And smooth travel to and from, with no bobbles or mishaps.  A grand experience all the way through.

Thank you, AnachroCon, for a most delightful weekend.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful