Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday, WisCon 33

Friday May. 22nd, 2009

I thought I'd have plenty of time to blog in the evening, but last night I got busy sorting out things I'd need for today's events and today I've spent the time getting ready for this evening's events :-)

For lunch I wandered down State St and got a Gyro from Parthenon Gyros, It was excellent, but HUGE! Now I'm ready for a nap ;-) BUT, nap I can't because I've got plenty to do to prepare for tonight's opening ceremonies (I'm participating in a skit) and the Broad Universe reading at 10:30 pm. After that, I'll be ready to crash, I'm sure.

After lunch, attended the first event of the convention, The Gathering. I'm sure I'm not going to do it much justice in my description, but it's such a fun thing that I've got to try.

Basically the convention takes over two ballrooms of the hotel and throughout this large "room" they have stations where different events are happening. For example, at one station someone was doing face painting, at another someone was doing tarot card readings, at another there was a book sale to benefit the convention. People were sitting around a table making necklaces for their namebadges, someone was giving an intro to shapenote singing, and members of the Interstitial Arts Foundation were serving up delicious cookies, coffee, and tea. There was much, much more, but those are the ones I saw and remember off the top of my head.

The big draw is the the clothing giveaway. Con-goers drop off cool clothing they no longer want and other con-goers rummage through them. It's like a rummage sale without exchanging money! I brought five pieces of clothing that I thought would appeal to the WisCon crowd: two shirts made by Deva Lifewear, a nice summer dress that never looked right on me, a denim vest, and a wonderfully funky tee-shirt someone gave me as a joke that says "Queen of the F****** Universe. Any questions?" Needless to say, the shirt got snapped up right away.

Last year was the first year that I attended WisCon and I didn't really get into the spirit of the Gathering. I wandered on the periphery, thinking, "This is nice," but not really being affected by it. ThAis year, feeling more a part of WisCon because I know what to expect, I enjoyed it more. Of course it helps that I now know and recognize more people, but I think it just helps that I've acclimated to the con.

I managed to drop in on the Mod Squad panel for just bit. If they offer it again next year and you're considering being on a panel, go. It's part of their continuing education of panel moderators, an effort I appreciated. I've been to very few really bad panels, but there were a few that could have used better moderating, and this panel gave a lot of insight on how to do just that.

At 4:30 I had to meet other members of Broad Universe for a rehearsal. We were doing the opening skit and I played the part of The Bee. (Yeah, those who know my phobias can stop laughing now. The cosmos *does* have a sick sense of humor!) I think I overplayed my part and I was so nervous I forgot to look at the audience, but everyone had a good time nonetheless.

Unfortunately, I missed "Norovirus and You: Responses to WisCholera 2008," which sounded really interesting. It was to be a debriefing session that also described what steps they were taking to prevent more of the same. They worked really hard on food safety and general health precautions over the weekend, but as people have stated repeatedly, any time you have nearly 1,000 people from all over the country (and a few from outside) converging in one spot and closely interacting, you're bound to have contagion. As I type this, I'm dabbing my nose from a serious head cold, but I'm not complaining. It could have been norovirus again or swine flu. I think they did an excellent job of education and containment.

Broad Universe always does what they call a "Rapid-fire Reading" at WisCon. It's not that we read so fast, but that each reader has a very short period of time to read a brief selection from her work. This time, for example, I think it was just under 5 minutes. I read a short selection from my first book, DARKSOME THIRST, one in which the vampire Frederick has an ill-begotten rendezvous with his latest squeeze, Susie. It was well-received, and I think I did well, but once again, *I was too nervous to look at the audience!* I don't know why. Yes, I'm naturally shy, but usually once I'm onstage I'm a ham. I had rehearsed, but maybe not enough. Maybe it's because it was so far away from home? Who knows. Something to work on.

I went to bed not long after the reading broke up at 11:45. It had been a long day, and the fact that my home time zone was one hour later must have contributed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Arrived at Wiscon 33

Thursday May. 21st, 2009 at 10:13 PM

Arrived in Madison around 3 today. It had been hot on the plane and the airport, and the street outside was no different. What happened to the 70-73 temps I thought I saw on the weather forecast? I do *not* consider 79+ low 70s! I was sweating in my jeans and black long-sleeved shirt.

Heard someone call my name as I exited the airport. It was [info]jenwrites, who had also just arrived. Nice to see a familiar face.

Checked in at the Inn at the Park and then walked to the Concourse, where WisCon is actually being held. Had dinner with fellow Motherboard members of [info]broaduniverse and then hit the registration table when it opened at 7. I've registered and have my badge. I'm now official ;-)

I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow morning, so I'm off to bed now (10 pm).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Interview with Tate Hallaway

I should be packing for WisCon, but I wanted to get my podcasts out before I go. I just posted another episode of my Vampires, Witches, and Geeks podcast. It's a reading that author Tate Hallaway did as a companion piece to the interview I did with her earlier.

Here is the information for both the interview and the reading.

VWnG015 Interview with Author Tate Hallaway
• May 5th, 2009

A Scorpio with a Leo Rising, Tate Hallaway is an amateur astrologer and practicing Witch. Dead if I Do, her new book in her romantic vampire series, is being released May 5, 2009.

Listen to this episode to find out how to win the first book in Tate’s series, Tall, Dark, & Dead. (Due to the cost of postage, offer valid in the United States only. Sorry!)

Tate Hallaway Reads from Dead if I Do
• May 17th, 2009

Author Tate Hallaway reads from her latest novel, Dead if I Do, which came out in May 2009. You think you had problems when your parents met your fiance? Think again as you enjoy this reading from Tate’s latest novel.

Visit her web site at For her science fiction alter ego, visit

Interview with Gail Z Martin

Sometime earlier this year I got this great idea to interview a group of female authors who wrote vampire fiction. I didn't really think through how much work it would be to edit and publish all these podcasts, but I'm glad I didn't because I probably wouldn't have!

Seriously, though, it's usually *me* that needs the editing. I ramble on, trying to say something intelligent or trying to make the author feel at ease and then when I listen to it later, I realize it doesn't really contribute anything to the episode, so I have to edit it out. I try to keep my episodes around 30 minutes or less so that people can listen to them during short breaks.

In April, I interviewed author Gail Z Martin, who also did a short reading from her book in the next episode.

VWnG014 Interview with Author Gail Z. Martin
• April 19th, 2009

Gail Z. Martin is the author of The Summoner, The Blood King, and Dark Haven in The Chronicles of The Necromancer series. Book Four, Dark Lady’s Chosen, makes its international debut in early 2010.

Gail discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wrote—at age five—was about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14, she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites.

For book updates, tour information and contact details, visit Gail is also the host of the Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast, and you can find her on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

Gail Z Martin Reads from Dark Haven
• May 2nd, 2009

Author Gail Z Martin reads from her latest novel, Dark Haven, which came out in February 2009.

Monday, May 04, 2009

WisCon 33

WisCon 33Going to WisCon this year?

I'll be participating in the Broad Universe rapid-fire reading, where eleven members read from their work, an assortment of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. I'll also be leading a panel called "Tech Tools for Writers" (see description below).

If you're at the convention, stop in. Here are the details, including room info.

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Fri 10:30 - 11:59PM Assembly
Nancy Moore, J. Kathleen Cheney, Tina Connolly, Lori Devoti, Moondancer Drake, Gwynne Garfinkle, Kimberley Long-Ewing, Larissa N. Niec, Kathryn Sullivan, Katherine Mankiller, Morven Westfield, Phoebe Wray

Tech Tools for Writers (moderator)
Mon 8:30 - 9:59AM Senate A
Morven Westfield, Kelly Jones, S. N. Arly, Caroline Stevermer, Alex Wilson

Are you still writing out your manuscripts long–hand, or are you one of those fearless warriors who's using the latest and greatest mind–mapping tool? For some of us, only index cards will do for the outlining phase, whereas others swear by spreadsheets. In this panel, writers will discuss some of the tools they use to maximize the time they have for writing.

The SignOut
Mon 11:30AM - 1:00PM Capitol/Wisconsin
Authors sit around at tables and sign books and chat with readers. Lots of fun because there are so many of us.
Great chance to say goodbye before we all hop on planes or jump in cars and go home.