Posts Tagged ‘SpoCon’

Actually, these are plans I’m still laying. Coming up in the fall, I’ve had hopes that the pandemic would subside enough that I could make personal appearances again. With new variants and recalcitrant neighbors, I think we all know how that’s going.

Still, I am attempting to lay plans. The first one is around SpoCon, the science fiction convention I help to organize. I’m in charge of programming, which means I gather ideas for panel discussions (and other activities), recruit speakers, and schedule it all. It’s a lot of work, but it keeps me in touch with the other writers and artists in my area. Our dates this year are October 29-31, ending with Hallowe’en. That makes it extra fun!

We on the convention committee are all holding our breath and organizing as best we can. I think we all have a dread that the state will put us back in lockdown before then. Our convention can get up to 500 people, although under the circumstances 200 is more reasonable. So if the Governor halts gatherings of 200+ people, we are done.

The other thing we’ve had to wrestle with is health measures. I’m hearing around the Internet that speakers want to know vaccine cards are being checked. I don’t thing we have enough volunteers to do that, but I brought it up at the most recent meeting. One of our organizers started talking about “yellow stars” and “vaccine Nazis” and the vaccine being questionable. The convention chair, an RN, stated brusquely that the vaccine is valid and safe, and that we will have no more talk of Nazis in regards to public health. I agree with her, but it was pretty sad to hear one of our own lay down the anti-science card.

Anyway, we are going to require masks to attend. If we don’t do that, I’m pretty sure some of our speakers will back out. The same person then wanted to wrangle about what defines a mask. Sigh… It’s close enough to our event that we need to be clear about this. If there are cancellations because of it, we might be better off without them.

The other thing coming up is Fall Folk Fest, which is a weekend of mostly folk music and dance, but other crafts as well. I usually read my short stories there. I’m not part of organizing this one, but I’ve put in to read again and if the event takes place, I’ll be there.

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I’m back from my family visit, which was equal parts stressful and boring. Between my elderly, demanding father and my mentally ill, demanding brother, I could definitely see why my sister jumped on the opportunity for a getaway with just her own family. I don’t begrudge her at all. My husband, however, wanted to have a “real” vacation and insisted that we take long drives to two different museums and two different beaches. After three straight days in the car, he finally was ready to stay put and get bored. Now we’re back home, and I want a “real” vacation!

But, duty calls. I’m in charge of the programming for SpoCon, a science fiction convention on Hallowe’en weekend. With the pandemic and all, we haven’t been certain if we can do an in-person convention, but as of now, it’s a go. So I’m wading into all the program ideas I’ve been offered and setting up a spreadsheet that will allow our speakers to choose what programs they want to be on. It’s a little stressful, but exciting, too.

On my vacation, I brought along the first rough draft of my short story, Hag. Being thrown out of my normal routines, I never really got to do more than glance at it. One idea I did have was to change the POV character from an older, experienced woman to someone younger and less confident. I’ve been working on a new draft, and it really isn’t jelling.

This is where I ask all of you wise friends which approach you think is better. 1) The older, experienced hag who is defending her daughter. She is powerful and confident, but maybe it’s all too easy for her. 2) The younger, less confident hag who is defending her mother. I feel like there could be more drama with the second option, but it also could be kind of a predictable trope where a young person has to step up.

I’d love to hear that you all think. Should I go with youth and strength, or old age and treachery?

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? I am happy to say that I got my greenhouse to stay up in the wind. We had snow last week, but I’m confident that my seeds can germinate in relative warmth. In addition, I’m experimenting with a slightly different form of online seminar, with a gardening webinar series called Cabin Fever. There are sessions on Monday and Wednesdays evenings, which unfortunately go across dinner and writing time. However, I only have to attend the ones I’m interested in, so it shouldn’t slow my writing too much.

What I’m Working On. As related in my previous post, I’ve reached 15,000 words on The Renegade Count and the complications are multiplying. Berisan has been busted as a mage, and is thinking he should get the heck out of Dodge. But that would mean abandoning Yamaya. I’m working through a gap until Yamaya gets her turn at being busted as a former bandit. Given her past, Yamaya’s turn is likely to get messy.

What’s Next? SpoCon, the local convention where I volunteer as programming director, is still hoping we can hold an in-person event next October. I’ve started the process of inviting speakers and getting ideas for what activities the convention will include. As a fund- and awareness-raiser, we’re hosting an online game in early April, which requires a few rehearsals. I’ve seen the face rigs they’ll be using, so if the players are talking to a dragon, the person they’re talking to will actually appear to be a dragon. It is going to be really cool.

Fun and Games. Right now, the only video game I’m playing is Animal Crossing. The one-year anniversary of my village is coming up, which is pretty incredible. The rest of my relaxation time has been split between reading (gotta keep up with my Goodreads goal) and building jigsaw puzzles.

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Well, I knew it would be hectic. It’s the week before SpoCon, and I have to tie up every loose end for programming. People who haven’t followed up with me in months are getting in touch about program ideas. I needed those suggestions in February! And, why didn’t I know they wanted to bring a guest? Maybe because they haven’t answered my e-mails. And by the way, their laptop went out and they hope I can come up with one for them to use.

But, I will be gracious to everyone in print, and they will never see me rolling my eyes in disgust. It will all be great!

In addition, there are those mass shootings, and the usual round of deflection that follows. “Thoughts and prayers.” Video games. Mental Illness. “Freedom from tyranny!” which can only be defined by owning a gun. It’s maddening.

The guns are the problem. Not video games. Not mental illness. Not the immigrants. It’s the guns.

And now, I return to packing for the convention, which is something that I can exercise some control over.

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A lot of things have stacked up for me in the past few weeks. I feel like I’m juggling time bombs!

The major one is that SpoCon, our local SF Convention, is just two months away and I’ve started laying out the programs. This is always a combination of great excitement, because of so many wonderful ideas for panels and presentations, with frustration because there are 150 ideas and only about 75 spots. Now is when I have to cut back, and it’s always a special agony.

I also have a group yard sale this weekend that I haven’t gotten my donations ready for. Time is short to get on with that.

Next thing is, the end of the school year. I’m madly trying to get the last bit of teaching that I can. Next year I’m assigned to a different school, so I’ll spend the remaining few days packing up my things and making sure the teachers who are left get all the right data from my students.

In two weeks, I’m at Sandemonium, a small one-day convention in Sandpoint, ID. I’m presenting on “Ugly Tropes and How to Destroy Them.” I haven’t really prepared for that one, either, although at least I have done the pre-thinking part. Actually writing the presentation should go pretty quickly.

The weekend after, there’s an event in Moscow, ID that commemorates the MosCon Science Fiction Convention. I’d love to go, even though I’m not on any panels, because I have such fond memories of MosCon. We’ll have to see how the money holds up for that.

And hopefully I’ll get a chance to write on my novella during all this!

Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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I spent the weekend at SpoCon, my local science fiction convention. It should be no surprise that I ran into a few dragons. This awesome fellow was helping out at the security table.


This dragon was hidden in the carpeting. She’s a mistress of disguise. Can you spot her?


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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