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Con Report: DetCon1 in Detroit, MI


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

Day 1: Thursday, July 17th, 2014

I was gd terrified when I got to DetCon1 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. I was tired. I was lost. The hotel! IT IS A LABYRINTH! Detroit is based on a circle structure, rather than a standard city grid…and apparently so was the damn hotel/convention center. There are these escalators, but only to certain floors and hi-rise elevators vs. low-rise elevators and I was like WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYTHING?

Eris wept. I got there late, anyways…about 7 p.m. after the time difference between Chicago and Detroit. All I wanted was to post some flyers for readings…and of course you have to use a very specific, wall-nice, blue tape to hang shit up and it was nowhere to be found.

…so I scammed tape off of other posters by taking a crappy centimeter’s worth of blue tape off of other people’s stuff…making sure their shit didn’t hang wonky, but ensuring that my shit would be able to hang at all.

I found the registration desk and posted my flyers and made my way to opening ceremonies.

It all got better from there. Less scare. More Squee.

8 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies with Toastmaster Jim C. Hines

Surprisingly, for having been going to cons for about 5 years now…I’d never been to an opening ceremonies before. Jim C. Hines is just as funny in-person as he is on the page.

Have you read Libriomancer or seen his blog? You should. Besides being a hella rad series writer, Hines has been mocking the ridiculous poses women are forced into on cover art since 2012.

 

Day 2: Friday, July 18th, 2014
10 a.m. – Going From Book to Movie: Adaptation with Al Bouchard, Elektra Hammond, Lisa Padol, and Steven Barnes

Outside of a brief intro at the opening ceremonies, this was my first experience of Steven Barnes. I can’t remember anything from this panel except that Steven Barnes was hella eloquent and  I wanted to go to more of his panels.

11 a.m. – Guest of Honor Reading: Steven Barnes

So I did! I went to Steven Barnes’ reading. It was one part lifecoaching, one part reading.

I’ve always wanted to read Lion’s Blood, Barnes’ alt history novel posing the questions “What if Africa developed more quickly and powerfully than Europe?” and “What if early America was filled with African slave owners and white slaves?” Now I’ve got to add The Kundalini Equation to the short list. Barnes read from its yet unpublished, near 30 years later, sequel.

Shit, man. He left the whole audience on a cliff-hanger. The excerpt he read was the PR announcement of a terrorist organization telling everyone, in no specific terms, that the entire world was going to die by the end of the year. It would start with high-profile people (celebrities, politicians, etc.) dying. 1 the first day, 2 the next day, 4 the day after that, 8 the next day, 16, 32, 64, and so on. The deaths would double every day until all but the Elite were wiped from the world.

WTF? And then he’s all YOU CAN’T GET THIS BOOK YET. Harsh.

12 noon – The League of Extraordinary Black People with Balogun Ojetade, DianA M. Pho, Emmy Jackson, Pablo M.A. Vasquez III, and Salathiel Palland

LOVED LOVED LOVED this panel. I looked for each person on other panels and readings the rest of the con.

Several years back, Balogun Ojetade wrote an article “The League of Extraordinary Black People: African and African-American Steampunk.” He is by no means the first person to introduce multiculturalism to steampunk, but it was a good article on a subject that needed/needs attention. POC exist in the world, why the ef shouldn’t they exist in fiction?

To put it bluntly and in my own crass manner: can we please wave a fuck-off-pass-hand on rich, white, Victorians and move to other stories? Please? K? Thanks. There are other folks in the world – people of color and of different socio-economic backgrounds – that supply engaging and important stories.

I am keenly aware of how hypocritical this sounds considering I just published a novel about a rich, white, Victorian woman best known for building a mystery mansion. BUT STILL!

Here’s what you have to do.

Go to Off the Beaten Path Books. It is owned by Salathiel Palland.

Read Balogun Ojetade.

Read Emmy Jackson.

Read Diana M. Pho.

Read Pablo M.A. Vasquez III.

Because, holy hellfire, they are all intensely talented folks whose brains are GORGEOUS.

1 p.m. – Writing Humor and Comedy in SFF with Cath Schaff-Stump, Elektra Hammond, Jim C. Hines, Oz Wilson, Jr. and Sam Morgan

Any panel with Jim C. Hines on it is going to be awesome. And it was. I look forward to checking out Oz Wilson, Jr. too.

2 p.m. – Dealing With Bad Apples with Diana M. Pho, Jesi Pershing, John Scalzi, Mark Oshiro, and Steven H. Silver

Mark Oshiro? Who is Mark Oshiro? I’ve never seen him at any of the cons I’ve been to. And yet, outside of Scalzi, he was the total standout of this panel. Dude’s got mega tattoos and made me laugh. Win.

3 p.m. – Current Voices: LGBT Authors and Artists with Claire Humphrey, Gregory Gadow, Jacqueline Carey, Mark Oshiro, and Traci Castleberry

And speaking of Oshiro, yep, he was on the LGBT panel, too. Which made me adore him more.

I’m so pissed that I could only stay for half of this panel. I had to leave early to scram to my car for set-up materials for….

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Author/Artist Alley in the Ontario Exhibit Hall

I HAD AN AUTHOR ALLEY TABLE! Yeah!

And it was only TEN BUCKS!

Which, thank god, because I only ended up selling 3 books and a coupla buttons…but still. I like the idea of this. I am a shy person…but put me behind a table and I feel OFFICIAL! And by feeling Official, I feel Important. And then I can sit up straight and happily holler at you from halfway down the hall to come over to my table for a book and chat.

Look! Here I am.

patty templeton at detcon1

And Here’s my table!

there is no lovely end merch

8 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Meet the Pros Mass Autographing and Reception

After four hours of pitching my book to the near no one in the Ontario Exhibit Hall, I went to the Mass Autograph Signing. I mean, I’m not a Jim C. Hines or a Jacqueline Carey, but I sold a coupla books and had some fun talking with friends and new folks. Check it out. Me:

patty templeton at detcon1

I call this my “Can’t You Just Look at Me Like a Normal Human Being Clifford Face”
Photo by Albert Edward Bogdan

10 p.m. – Slumber Party with Off the Beaten Path Books with Emmy Jackson moderating

I’m an ass and arrived late to the dance on this one, but I’m so glad I came. I got to hear Suzanne Church read. And Emmy Jackson read. And a few other folks. I even was able to give a small, impromptu reading.

Did I mention how awesome Off the Beaten Path Books was? I did. Well, it is. Go there. Buy stuff.

 

Day 3: Saturday, July 19th, 2014
11 a.m. – Econ 101 of Self-Publishing with Becca Price, Beverly Bambury, Christie Meierz, JF Garrard, and ME!

WHOA! Moderated by the fab publicist Beverly Bambury, this panel was a kick to be on. All the panelists mentioned tips – like the importance of editors, cover art you are proud of, good book trailer companies (like Rule2 Productions), and the importance of cataloging information on your copyright page.

12 noon – A Reading: Balogun Ojetade, Emmy Jackson, and Sarah Hans

Ojetade read an excerpt from Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman…where Tubman becomes not only a freedom fighter, but a soldier and spy in an alt-American, post-Civil War setting.

Jackson read from his Empty Cradle series – think of it as a post-apocalyptic world that would appeal to gearheads and lurking ghoul fans.

(Unfortunately, I missed Miss Hans’ section of the reading.)

1 p.m. – Lifewriting and Other Personal Development Tools with Steven Barnes

::brain explodes::

::gray bits smash into kitchen window::

Steven Barnes. Shit. That dude. Ok. He takes no excuses. He gets shit done. In his lifecoaching classes, he lays out a path that, if you train your brain to it, you can gain your version of success. Steps to the good life according to Steven Barnes? Here they are:

  • Outline clear goals for yourself

You want to find a girlfriend. Fine. That’s a goal. You want to make more money? That’s a goal. Want to lose five pounds? Finish a short story a month? Go back to school to become a physicist? All of these are goals. Pick your goal. Be clear in your mind how far that goal extends.

  • Have faith

…In whatever way you choose. Have faith in yourself that you have the capacity to achieve your goal(s). Have faith in a higher power that it will help you get where you want to go. Have faith in the people around you – that if they believe in you – that if they see the fire inside you, it is there – even if you sometimes can’t see it. The point being, that everyone eventually reaches a goal where it feels like they’ve fucked up. That there is no hope. The Dark Night of the Soul has encroached upon you. What do you do about it? Give up? No. Have faith that you can get through this shitty part of goal-accomplishing.

  • Constant action

You set a goal? You believe in yourself and community to help get you there? Ok. Good. Now what? Thinking about it isn’t enough. Talking about your goal is not enough. You have to be a person of constant action. You have to make a plan and attack your goal. Do not be the person who talks about writing a book for thirty years and never writes the first chapter. F that S.

  • Create an attitude of gratitude.

Be thankful for where you are, even if it isn’t necessarily yet to where you want to be. Be thankful your body works as much as it does. Be thankful for those around you that help you along the way. Keep your heart and mind open to others and yourself. Cultivate gratitude.

 

Steven Barnes. Geez. Love him. He has lifecoaching courses for free and for sale over at his non-writer website, The Diamond Hour. I mean, these aren’t necessarily mind-breaking tips, but they are excellent reminders to have outlined in the back of your head.

2 p.m. – RoboCop: Or There Will Be…Trouble with Alex von Thorn, Daniel O’riordan, Dr. Phil Edward Kaldon, Margaret Yang, and Pablo M.A. Vasquez III

Yes. I went to a RoboCop panel. It was awesome.

3 p.m. – A Reading: Elwin Cotman and ME!

ELWIN! COTMAN! He is phenomenal. Have you read his short story collection Hard Times Blues? You should.

I read, too.

4 p.m. – Afrofuturism and Literature with Balogun Ojetade, Elwin Cotman, Keith D. Young, Nnedi Okorafor, Salathiel Palland, and Steven Shaviro

Read. All. Of. These. Panelists.

And here is a starter list of other Afrofuturist authors.

(Some folks like the term Afrofuturism and others don’t. Labels don’t matter as much as actually reading outside of both your and the cultural majority norm.)

5 p.m. – Science Fiction and Heavy Metal with Michael Nixon, Scott H. Andrews, Suzanne Church, and ME!

Holy shit. This panel was fun. But there was SO MUCH we didn’t get to. Like, did you know that there is a band called Hoth that has a song called “TORN ASUNDER BY A WAMPA”? And we didn’t even really get to touch on the face that both SFF and heavy metal have RIDICULOUS NAMES WITH RIDICULOUS SPELLINGS. I say this out of love. I do. I love both SFF and heavy metal. But seriously now, what is with that umlaut? And your band name not only has an unusual spelling, but it is written in a font that makes it unrecognizable…Oh wait, what genre of fiction is known for intense spellings that make names hard to understand?

We did touch slightly on the fact that both heavy metal and SFF have fan bases that are openly mocked, labeled as deviants, and seen as interested in a juvenile subject matter. Both have movies based on them that fans watch to celebrate and others watch to mock. (Re: Trekkies, Heavy Metal Parking Lot)

Lots o stuff.

7 p.m. – Military SF with Christian Klaver, Doug Houseman, Joseph P. Martino, Marta Savage, and Richard F. Dutcher

I left early…as I was able to go eat food in the Con Suite before the awards.

8 p.m. – Extravaganza – Masquerade and Literary Awards

Which were fun.

80s Dance Party with DJ John Scalzi

But then HOLY SHIT! Dance pants time.

mark does stuff11 p.m. – Mark Does Stuff with Mark Oshiro

But there was a break from the dance party to go to the Mark Does Stuff panel….where he read fan fic (not his….fiction submitted to him) about Jesus Christ and Jay-Z motherfucking fighting Nazi’s.

No one puts panels on at 11 p.m. No con does this because people are too busy boozing at parties to go to 11 p.m. panels. Except Mark Does Stuff. Because, fuck yes, you will get a room full of folks to hear him spiel.

Side note: Last night I watched a portion of Mark Reads Twilight. And a Sherlock/Watson slash fan fic called – I shit you not – “Dickweenie”. I was crying. I was laughing so hard I was crying. My fella was trying to play Skyrim with his headphones on and I was watching Oshiro youtube vids that were making me snort and cry.

THE EPIC LOVE I FEEL FOR THIS MAN. Tis big.

 

More 80s Dance Party with DJ John Scalzi

JOHN SCALZI PLAYED NINE INCH NAILS FOR ME! I asked him for a something Wax Trax and he gave me NIN.

Thank you, John Scalzi.

 

Pirate Dance Party in the Hallway

Why yes, they did take my Violent Femmes song request. Though, I admit, the Danzig request didn’t really get people dancing.

 

Day 3: Sunday, July 20th, 2014
11 a.m. – A Reading: Leah Bobet and Rachael Acks

Leah Bobet made me cry. Damn it. She read a story about two brothers that’s upcoming. Rachael Acks, she made me cry, too. GEEZ, LADIES. Gut punches the whole way through both. Gorgeous, gorgeous gut punches. Both are in Women Destroy Science Fiction, and Acks read from “They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain.”

…Goddamn. I think it was the best reading I went to all weekend.

12 noon – Creators and Brand Identity with Beverly Bambury, John Scalzi, Martin L. Shoemaker, and Sean Mead

Lots of talk on how to brand yourself well, and not be an asshole, when trying to sell you and your books. Booyah.

2 p.m. – Closing Ceremonies with Toastmaster Jim C. Hines

Holy shit. Con over? Hmph.

 

ferris bueller gifWhat came next? Me and my pal Brandi and her pal Melissa went to a “Pig and Whiskey” wherein there was a whole lotta whiskey and a whole lotta BBQ for sale. And music.

We ended up getting Indian food.

 

Last words: after I stopped being freaked out of not having any friends at DetCon1, I was able to make New Friends. Huzzah.

A great con that GREATLY EXTENDED my reading list.

 

Tags:

Con Report: DetCon1 in Detroit, MI


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

Day 1: Thursday, July 17th, 2014

I was gd terrified when I got to DetCon1 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. I was tired. I was lost. The hotel! IT IS A LABYRINTH! Detroit is based on a circle structure, rather than a standard city grid…and apparently so was the damn hotel/convention center. There are these escalators, but only to certain floors and hi-rise elevators vs. low-rise elevators and I was like WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYTHING?

Eris wept. I got there late, anyways…about 7 p.m. after the time difference between Chicago and Detroit. All I wanted was to post some flyers for readings…and of course you have to use a very specific, wall-nice, blue tape to hang shit up and it was nowhere to be found.

…so I scammed tape off of other posters by taking a crappy centimeter’s worth of blue tape off of other people’s stuff…making sure their shit didn’t hang wonky, but ensuring that my shit would be able to hang at all.

I found the registration desk and posted my flyers and made my way to opening ceremonies.

It all got better from there. Less scare. More Squee.

8 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies with Toastmaster Jim C. Hines

Surprisingly, for having been going to cons for about 5 years now…I’d never been to an opening ceremonies before. Jim C. Hines is just as funny in-person as he is on the page.

Have you read Libriomancer or seen his blog? You should. Besides being a hella rad series writer, Hines has been mocking the ridiculous poses women are forced into on cover art since 2012.

 

Day 2: Friday, July 18th, 2014
10 a.m. – Going From Book to Movie: Adaptation with Al Bouchard, Elektra Hammond, Lisa Padol, and Steven Barnes

Outside of a brief intro at the opening ceremonies, this was my first experience of Steven Barnes. I can’t remember anything from this panel except that Steven Barnes was hella eloquent and  I wanted to go to more of his panels.

11 a.m. – Guest of Honor Reading: Steven Barnes

So I did! I went to Steven Barnes’ reading. It was one part lifecoaching, one part reading.

I’ve always wanted to read Lion’s Blood, Barnes’ alt history novel posing the questions “What if Africa developed more quickly and powerfully than Europe?” and “What if early America was filled with African slave owners and white slaves?” Now I’ve got to add The Kundalini Equation to the short list. Barnes read from its yet unpublished, near 30 years later, sequel.

Shit, man. He left the whole audience on a cliff-hanger. The excerpt he read was the PR announcement of a terrorist organization telling everyone, in no specific terms how, that the entire world was going to die by the end of the year. It would start with high-profile people (celebrities, politicians, etc.) dying. 1 the first day, 2 the next day, 4 the day after that, 8 the next day, 16, 32, 64, and so on. The deaths would double every day until all but the Elite were wiped from the world.

WTF? And then he’s all YOU CAN’T GET THIS BOOK YET. Harsh.

12 noon – The League of Extraordinary Black People with Balogun Ojetade, Diane M. Pho, Emmy Jackson, Pablo M.A. Vasquez III, and Salathiel Palland

LOVED LOVED LOVED this panel. I looked for each person on it in other readings and panels the rest of the con.

Several years back, Balogun Ojetade wrote an article “The League of Extraordinary Black People: African and African-American Steampunk.” He is by no means the first person to introduce multiculturalism to steampunk, but it was a good article on a subject that needed/needs attention. POC exist in the world, why the ef shouldn’t they exist in fiction?

To put it bluntly and in my own crass manner: can we please wave a fuck-off-pass-hand on rich, white, Victorians and move on to other stories? Please? K? Thanks. There are other folks in the world – people of color and of different socio-economic backgrounds – that supply engaging and important stories.

I am keenly aware of how hypocritical this sounds considering I just published a novel about a rich, white, Victorian woman best known for building a mystery mansion. BUT STILL!

Here’s what you have to do.

Go to Off the Beaten Path Books. It is owned by Salathiel Palland.

Read Balogun Ojetade.

Read Emmy Jackson.

Read Diane M. Pho.

Read Pablo M.A. Vasquez III.

Because, holy hellfire, they are all intensely talented folks whose brains are GORGEOUS.

1 p.m. – Writing Humor and Comedy in SFF with Cath Schaff-Stump, Elektra Hammond, Jim C. Hines, Oz Wilson, Jr. and Sam Morgan

Any panel with Jim C. Hines on it is going to be awesome. And it was. I look forward to checking out Oz Wilson, Jr. too.

2 p.m. – Dealing With Bad Apples with Diana M. Pho, Jesi Pershing, John Scalzi, Mark Oshiro, and Steven H. Silver

Mark Oshiro? Who is Mark Oshiro? I’ve never seen him at any of the cons I’ve been to. And yet, outside of Scalzi, he was the total standout of this panel. Dude’s got mega tattoos and made me laugh. Win.

3 p.m. – Current Voices: LGBT Authors and Artists with Claire Humphrey, Gregory Gadow, Jacqueline Carey, Mark Oshiro, and Traci Castleberry

And speaking of Oshiro, yep, he was on the LGBT panel, too. Which made me adore him more.

I’m so pissed that I could only stay for half of this panel. I had to leave early to scram to my car for set-up materials for….

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Author/Artist Alley in the Ontario Exhibit Hall

I HAD AN AUTHOR ALLEY TABLE! Yeah!

And it was only TEN BUCKS!

Which, thank god, because I only ended up selling 3 books and a coupla buttons…but still. I like the idea of this. I am a shy person…but put me behind a table and I feel OFFICIAL! And by feeling Official, I feel Important. And then I can sit up straight and happily holler at you from halfway down the hall to come over to my table for a book and chat.

Look! Here I am.

patty templeton at detcon1

And Here’s my table!

there is no lovely end merch

8 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Meet the Pros Mass Autographing and Reception

After four hours of pitching my book to the near no one in the Ontario Exhibit Hall, I went to the Mass Autograph Signing. I mean, I’m not a Jim C. Hines or a Jacqueline Carey, but I sold a coupla books and had some fun talking with friends and new folks. Check it out. Me:

patty templeton at detcon1

I call this my “Can’t You Just Look at Me Like a Normal Human Being Clifford Face”
Photo by Albert Edward Bogdan

10 p.m. – Slumber Party with Off the Beaten Path Books with Emmy Jackson moderating

I’m an ass and arrived late to the dance on this one, but I’m so glad I came. I got to hear Suzanne Church read. And Emmy Jackson read. And a few other folks. I even was able to give a small, impromptu reading.

Did I mention how awesome Off the Beaten Path Books was? I did. Well, it is. Go there. Buy stuff.

 

Day 3: Saturday, July 19th, 2014
11 a.m. – Econ 101 of Self-Publishing with Becca Price, Beverly Bambury, Christie Meierz, JF Garrard, and ME!

WHOA! Moderated by the fab publicist Beverly Bambury, this panel was a kick to be on. All the panelists mentioned tips – like the importance of editors, cover art you are proud of, good book trailer companies (like Rule2 Productions), and the importance of cataloging information on your copyright page.

12 noon – A Reading: Balogun Ojetade, Emmy Jackson, and Sarah Hans

Ojetade read an excerpt from Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman…where Tubman becomes not only a freedom fighter, but a soldier and spy in an alt-American, post-Civil War setting.

Jackson read from his Empty Cradle series – think of it as a post-apocalyptic world that would appeal to gearheads and lurking ghoul fans.

(Unfortunately, I missed Miss Hans’ section of the reading.)

1 p.m. – Lifewriting and Other Personal Development Tools with Steven Barnes

::brain explodes::

::gray bits smash into kitchen window::

Steven Barnes. Shit. That dude. Ok. He takes no excuses. He gets shit done. In his lifecoaching classes, he lays out a path that if you train your brain to, you can gain your version of success, too. Steps to the good life according to Steven Barnes? Here they are:

  • Outline clear goals for yourself

You want to find a girlfriend. Fine. That’s a goal. You want to make more money? That’s a goal. Want to lose five pounds? Finish a short story a month? Go back to school to become a physicist? All of these are goals. Pick your goal. Be clear in your mind how far that goal extends.

  • Have faith

…In whatever way you choose. Have faith in yourself that you have the capacity to achieve your goal(s). Have faith in a higher power that it will help you get where you want to go. Have faith in the people around you – that if they believe in you – that if they see the fire inside you, it is there – even if you sometimes can’t see it. The point being, that everyone eventually reaches a goal where it feels like they’ve fucked up. That there is no hope. The Dark Night of the Soul has encroached upon you. What do you do about it? Give up? No. Have faith that you can get through this shitty part of goal-accomplishing.

  • Constant action

You set a goal? You believe in yourself and community to help get you there? Ok. Good. Now what? Thinking about it isn’t enough. Talking about your goal is not enough. You have to be a person of constant action. You have to make a plan and attack your goal. Do not be the person who talks about writing a book for thirty years and never writes the first chapter. F that S.

  • Create an attitude of gratitude.

Be thankful for where you are, even if it isn’t necessarily yet to where you want to be. Be thankful your body works as much as it does. Be thankful for those around you that help you along the way. Keep your heart and mind open to others and yourself. Cultivate gratitude.

 

Steven Barnes. Geez. Love him. He has lifecoaching courses for free and for sale over at his non-writer website, The Diamond Hour. I mean, these aren’t necessarily mind-breaking tips, but they are excellent reminders to have outlined in the back of your head.

2 p.m. – RoboCop: Or There Will Be…Trouble with Alex von Thorn, Daniel O’riordan, Dr. Phil Edward Kaldon, Margaret Yang, and Pablo M.A. Vasquez III

Yes. I went to a RoboCop panel. It was awesome.

3 p.m. – A Reading: Elwin Cotman and ME!

ELWIN! COTMAN! He is phenomenal. Have you read his short story collection Hard Times Blues? You should.

I read, too.

4 p.m. – Afrofuturism and Literature with Balogun Ojetade, Elwin Cotman, Keith D. Young, Nnedi Okorafor, Salathiel Palland, and Steven Shaviro

Read. All. Of. These. Panelists.

And here is a starter list of other Afrofuturist authors.

(Some folks like the term Afrofuturism and others don’t. Labels don’t matter as much as actually reading outside of both your and the cultural majority norm.)

5 p.m. – Science Fiction and Heavy Metal with Michael Nixon, Scott H. Andrews, Suzanne Church, and ME!

Holy shit. This panel was fun. But there was SO MUCH we didn’t get to. Like, did you know that there is a band called Hoth that has a song called “TORN ASUNDER BY A WAMPA”? And we didn’t even really get to touch on the face that both SFF and heavy metal have RIDICULOUS NAMES WITH RIDICULOUS SPELLINGS. I say this out of love. I do. I love both SFF and heavy metal. But seriously now, what is with that umlaut? And your band name not only has an unusual spelling, but it is written in a font that makes it unrecognizable…Oh wait, what genre of fiction is known for intense spellings that make names hard to understand?

We did touch slightly on the fact that both heavy metal and SFF have fan bases that are openly mocked, labeled as deviants, and seen as interested in a juvenile subject matter. Both have movies based on them that fans watch to celebrate and others watch to mock. (Re: Trekkies, Heavy Metal Parking Lot)

Lots o stuff.

7 p.m. – Military SF with Christian Klaver, Doug Houseman, Joseph P. Martino, Marta Savage, and Richard F. Dutcher

I left early…as I was able to go eat food in the Con Suite before the awards.

8 p.m. – Extravaganza – Masquerade and Literary Awards

Which were fun.

80s Dance Party with DJ John Scalzi

But then HOLY SHIT! Dance pants time.

mark does stuff11 p.m. – Mark Does Stuff with Mark Oshiro

But there was a break from the dance party to go to the Mark Does Stuff panel….where he read fan fic (not his….fiction submitted to him) about Jesus Christ and Jay-Z motherfucking fighting Nazi’s.

No one puts panels on at 11 p.m. No con does this because people are too busy boozing at parties to go to 11 p.m. panels. Except Mark Does Stuff. Because, fuck yes, you will get a room full of folks to hear him spiel.

Side note: Last night I watched a portion of Mark Reads Twilight. And a Sherlock/Watson slash fan fic called – I shit you not – “Dickweenie”. I was crying. I was laughing so hard I was crying. My fella was trying to play Skyrim with his headphones on and I was watching Oshiro youtube vids that were making me snort and cry.

THE EPIC LOVE I FEEL FOR THIS MAN. Tis big.

 

More 80s Dance Party with DJ John Scalzi

JOHN SCALZI PLAYED NINE INCH NAILS FOR ME! I asked him for a something Wax Trax and he gave me NIN.

Thank you, John Scalzi.

 

Pirate Dance Party in the Hallway

Why yes, they did take my Violent Femmes song request. Though, I admit, the Danzig request didn’t really get people dancing.

 

Day 3: Sunday, July 20th, 2014
11 a.m. – A Reading: Leah Bobet and Rachael Acks

Leah Bobet made me cry. Damn it. She read a story about two brothers that’s upcoming. Rachael Acks, she made me cry, too. GEEZ, LADIES. Just got punches the whole way through both. Gorgeous, gorgeous gut punches. Both are in Women Destroy Science Fiction, and Acks read from “They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain.”

…Goddamn. I think it was the best reading I went to all weekend.

12 noon – Creators and Brand Identity with Beverly Bambury, John Scalzi, Martin L. Shoemaker, and Sean Mead

Lots of talk on how to brand yourself well, and not be an asshole, when trying to sell you and your books. Booyah.

2 p.m. – Closing Ceremonies with Toastmaster Jim C. Hines

Holy shit. Con over? Hmph.

 

ferris bueller gifWhat came next? Me and my pal Brandi and her pal Melissa went to a “Pig and Whiskey” wherein there was a whole lotta whiskey and a whole lotta BBQ for sale. And music. We ended up getting Indian food.

 

Last words: after I stopped being freaked out of not having an immediate friend base at DetCon1, I was able to make New Friends. Huzzah. A great con that GREATLY EXTENDED my reading list.

 

Tags:

Tales of a Book Release Party


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

The best damn lesson that I’ve learned in the past year is to ask for what I want. Sometimes you get what you ask for.

It sounds like a simple thing…ask for what you want. Who wouldn’t do that? Well, me. It’s a matter of being shy. It’s a matter of wanting to do everything myself and pay for everything myself and not be an imposition on anyone.

But asking for help, asking for a deal, asking for little things, big things, expensive things, cheap things…it is worth learning to do. People will often surprise you with the lending hand that they are willing to give.

Example:

I knew that I would have a two day stopover in Chicago between going to ReaderCon the second weekend of July and going to DetCon1 the next weekend. A Tuesday and a Wednesday…that’s all I would have in Chicago. With only two weeks lead time, I decided to ask around the bars I worked at and frequented to see if any would give me a space (cheap to free) for my book release party on either that Tuesday or Wednesday.

tattooface miller painting

Tattooface Miller painting

And, hell yeah, I ended up getting a yes from Miss Liz, the owner of Lizard’s Liquid Lounge.

I’d only been to Lizard’s once before. It was for an art show of my friends Lisa (who makes urban-scened stained glass) and Tattooface Miller (who makes odd and macabre paintings). Armed only with the vague knowledge that the owner lady kinda supported local artists, I shot the bar a polite email and hoped for the best.

And the best returned back to me. Lizard’s absolutely had an opening on Wednesday and I could have it on the cheap to free range. They even put me in their email newsletter, on their calendar, and their Facebook page.

I had a venue…but what next?

patty templeton redeye chicagoI knew two different friends who worked (or had formerly worked) at Chicago newspapers. I asked both for casual mentions or profiles of the book release party. Boom. The Chicago Reader did a short interview on me and mentioned my book release party on their blog and the Chicago RedEye did a two sentence mention of me in their events the week of the release party.

…I mean, it ain’t much, but sure as hell ain’t nothing. And it didn’t hurt anyone to ask.

Additionally, I made a Facebook invite, put info on my blog, emailed folks, and mentioned the party on tumblr. I also lined up a friend to work the merch booth for me at the release party, that way I would be free to mingle.

What the hell do you do at a book release party? SHMOOZE! with people that love you and/or are interested in you. I ended up having about 40-50 folks in the room at any given time. It was phenomenal. I set up a merch booth with books, postcards, buttons, and random other. Check it:

there is no lovely end merch

Mind you, none of this would have been possible without my best friend Nida. I shit you not. I sent her this whining Facebook message saying…”Blah blah blah, don’t really feel like doing a book release party…blah whine blah…don’t really wanna do a reading between two cons.” She set my ass straight. She reminded me that it was a celebration. Not work. She reminded me that a lot of people helped get my book out with their support and love and why the hell shouldn’t I have a party for myself and them? And I’m glad I did. Because, geez, I sold some books and more so, I got a helluva lot of hugs and “I’m proud of you” statements. Which means a lot in a job where you spend most of yer time alone in a room, staring at a wall, wondering if anyone actually hears yer shouting into the void.

There was affordable booze for those that wanted it, snacks, a raffle, a reading, and a whole lotta talking. And some kind folks took pictures. Here’s a few:

there is no lovely end book release party

there is no lovely end book release party

patty templeton at there is no lovely end book release party

Me and Miss Ashley with my book

There’s more that went into making this night, but what indie authors need to know is this: it never hurts to ask for things cheap or free. The worst that can happen is that they say no. Be polite. Have a plan. Just ask.

Tags:

Tales of a Book Release Party


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

The best damn lesson that I’ve learned in the past year is to ask for what I want. Sometimes you get what you ask for.

It sounds like a simple thing…ask for what you want. Who wouldn’t do that? Well, me. It’s a matter of being shy. It’s a matter of wanting to do everything myself and pay for everything myself and not be an imposition on anyone.

But asking for help, asking for a deal, asking for little things, big things, expensive things, cheap things…it is worth learning to do. People will often surprise you with the lending hand that they are willing to give.

Example:

I knew that I would have a two day stopover in Chicago between going to ReaderCon the second weekend of July and going to DetCon1 the next weekend. A Tuesday and a Wednesday…that’s all I would have in Chicago. With only two weeks lead time, I decided to ask around the bars I worked at and frequented to see if any would give me a space (cheap to free) for my book release party on either that Tuesday or Wednesday.

tattooface miller painting

Tattooface Miller painting

And, hell yeah, I ended up getting a yes from Miss Liz, the owner of Lizard’s Liquid Lounge.

I’d only been to Lizard’s once before. It was for an art show of my friends Lisa (who makes urban-scened stained glass) and Tattooface Miller (who makes odd and macabre paintings). Armed only with the vague knowledge that the owner lady kinda supported local artists, I shot the bar a polite email and hoped for the best.

And the best returned back to me. Lizard’s absolutely had an opening on Wednesday and I could have it in the cheap to free range. They even put me in their email newsletter, on their calendar, and their Facebook page.

I had a venue…but what next?

patty templeton redeye chicagoI knew two different friends who worked (or had formerly worked) at Chicago newspapers. I asked both for casual mentions or profiles of the book release party. Boom. I the Chicago Reader did a short interview on me and mentioned my book release party on their blog and the Chicago RedEye did a two sentence mention of me in their events the week of the release party.

…I mean, it ain’t much, but sure as hell ain’t nothing. And it didn’t hurt anyone to ask.

Additionally, I made a Facebook invite, put info on my blog, emailed folks, and mentioned the party on tumblr. I also lined up a friend to work the merch booth for me at the release party, that way I would be free to mingle.

What the hell do you do at a book release party? SHMOOZE! with people that love you and/or are interested in you. I ended up having about 40-50 folks in the room at any given time. It was phenomenal. I set up a merch booth with books, postcards, buttons, and random other. Check it:

there is no lovely end merch

Mind you, none of this would have been possible without my best friend Nida. I shit you not. I sent her this whining Facebook message saying…”Blah blah blah, don’t really feel like doing a book release party…blah whine blah…don’t really wanna do a reading between two cons.” She set my ass straight. She reminded me that it was a celebration. Not work. She reminded me that a lot of people helped get my book out with their support and love and why the hell shouldn’t I have a party for myself and them? And I’m glad I did. Because, geez, I sold some books and more so, I got a helluva lot of hugs and “I’m proud of you” statements. Which means a lot in a job where you spend most of yer time alone in a room, staring at a wall, wondering if anyone actually hears yer shouting into the void.

There was affordable booze for those that wanted it, snacks, a raffle, a reading, and a whole lotta talking. And some kind folks took pictures. Here’s a few:

there is no lovely end book release party

there is no lovely end book release party

patty templeton at there is no lovely end book release party

Me and Miss Ashley with my book

There’s more that went into making this night, but what indie authors need to know is this: it never hurts to ask for things cheap or free. The worst that can happen is that they say no. Be polite. Have a plan. Just ask.

Tags:

Con Report: ReaderCon 25 in Burlington, MA


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

First off, something that has nothing to do with anything:

I FOUND AN INDUSTRIAL DANCE PARTY IN DES MOINES! And it is happening THIS WEEKEND!

Boo and yah.

Secondly, I’m HOME! In the past two weeks I went from Iowa to Massachusetts to Chicago to Detroit to Iowa.

Weirdest thing I saw on my way to ReaderCon 25 in Burlington, MA? This sign:

rabbits dead or alive

Recreation of Pennsylvania Sign

Best thing about my drive to ReaderCon 25? M-EFFin AUDIOBKS! I listened to John Waters’ Carsick, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, and Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin – all on the way to ReaderCon…because it is a damn long drive from Iowa to Massachusetts.

And and AND, holy crap, the Pope of Filth still has it, because Carsick made me laugh so hard I thought a clown was climbing out of my mouth. It’s John Waters’ account of hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco. Divided into three sections – a novella on the best that his trip could go, a novella on the suckhole worst it could go, and then the nonfiction account of what happened for reals…talk about interstitial. If you dig handjobs in derby cars, Connie Francis fantasies, and beautiful warped worldviews, this book is for you. It is vulgar, hilarious, and has everything from stick-and-poke tattoos to philanthropic weed moguls. You absolutely need to listen to it on audiobook – John Waters narrates it.

rosemary's baby gifThe Colorado Kid was pretty damn good. But…Rosemary’s Baby? WOW. I’d only ever seen snippets of the movie…and the book…the book is RAD. SO RAD. The story of a woman who doesn’t know she is carrying the son of Satan, this book could’ve gone cheeseball – but it wasn’t. Ever. It was on the level and the ending is legitimately unsettling. Ugh. Seriously. I feel gross thinking about the ending. I don’t know how I would feel about it in print, but via audiobook, the story was heightened by the narration of MIA FARROW. Yep, she who played the lead in the 1968 film adaptation. <3

BUT…none of that has to do with ReaderCon.

WHICH WAS AWESOME!

ReaderCon is a favorite con of mine. I know SO MANY PEOPLE! It’s getting together for a massive hugfest with a few dozen folks I don’t get to see, but once a year and then there’s PANELS! and READINGS! to boot.

Here’s the rundown of what I saw this year.

Day 1: Thursday, July 10th, 2014
8 p.m. – Erik Amundsen: A Reading

Do you know Erik Amundsen? You should. Check him out here and here and here!

9 p.m. – Theatre and the Interrupted Ritual with C.S.E. Cooney, Greer Gilman, Andrea Hairston, and Ken Schneyer

Dissecting the import/magic that can be created in both daily life and on the stage when routine becomes ritual…just frikkin wow. Loved this panel.

Day 2: Friday, July 11th, 2014
11:30 a.m. – C.S.E. Cooney: A Reading

Guess who was in another Year’s Best anthology? C.S.E. Cooney. You should READ HER!

PLUS! She has a new ebook out. DIG IT!

witch in the almond tree by cse cooney

A rad witch romance by C.S.E. Cooney

1 p.m. – Gwynne Garfinkle: A Reading

Anyone who writes Universal movie monster poems has me in her corner forever. LOVE YOU, GWYNNE!

1:30 p.m. – Caitlyn Paxson: A Reading

GAH! Caitlyn Paxson read an excerpt from her unpublished, YA novel about a group of friends trying to save one of their crew from an underworld. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

2 p.m. – The Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Hall with Tempest Bradford, Ellen Kushner, Sofia Samatar, and Delia Sherman

What the hell is interstitial art? Think of it this way, if a house party was raging and each of the rooms was taken up by a genre – sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, contemporary lit, etc. – the interstitial art is the raccoons partying in the walls between all of them.

Check out Interfictions – the leading (print and online) journal of fiction, nonfiction, and art that bleeds through genre lines.

4 p.m. – The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours

I LOVE MY FRIENDS!

The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours are a trio of writers and musicians including C.S.E. Cooney, Amal El-Mohtar, and Caitlyn Paxson. Their live performances are filled with storytelling, music, poetry, and theatrical readings. Currently, they are working on an album and book (tentatively) called Ballads From a Distant Star…to boil it down, it’s a collection of music and poetry based on the idea of what if old time folk music was created out of alien abduction tales?

I had the honor of being a guest reader in the performance, as did the fabulous Nicole Kornher-Stace. She read from her novel Archivist Wasp (upcoming from Small Beer Press) and I read from There Is No Lovely End.

*

After dinner at a Chinese joint and random shenanigans with friends, there was an Ellen Kushner-created Impromptu Song and Story Circle! Folk songs! Hella rad readings! I was able to hear the work of Carlos Hernandez – who frikkin slayed me with a story of a reanimated Fidel Castro. I heard Viking tunes, murder ballads, sorrowful songs…and, people, I did something I never do. Ever. I sang. Because I wanted to share something of myself with all these people who were sharing themselves, some of whom I knew, some I didn’t. I sang Cock Sparer’s “We’re Coming Back.” There was something completely fitting about singing a tune about holding on till the next time you get to see your friends with a room full of likeminded folks I get to see only once a year. And the room didn’t sink into a hellpit or explode, so I guess it went ok.

Day 3: Saturday, July 12th, 2014
12 p.m. – New Models of Masculinity with Erik Amundsen, John Benson, Kameron Hurley, Catt Kingsgrave, and Bart Leib

Good talk on creating male characters that don’t symbolize oppression in all its given forms. Badass.

1 p.m. – The Shiny, Candy-like Zombi with Dale Bailey, Scott Edelman, Catt Kingsgrave, John Langan, and Sarah Langan

Why the hell are we all still attracted to zombie stories? God only knows. Only got to see half of this panel and wished I had saw more.

1:30 p.m. – Sofia Samatar: A Reading

Have you read A Stranger in Olondria yet? You should. Hey look. Buy it here.

2 p.m. – Nicole Kornher-Stace: A Reading

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Read Nicole Kornher-Stace. Read Nicole Kornher-Stace. Read her. Look to Small Beer Press for further details.

3 p.m. – Dark Fantasy and Horror with Jeanne Cavelos, Ellen Datlow, Gemma Files, Jordan Hamessley, Jack Haringa, and Steve Rasnic Tem

Is there a difference between dark fantasy and horror? If so, what is it? The best distinction that I thought came out of this panel is that horror sets out to cause dread or terror. Dark fantasy sets out to use elements of horror as worldbuilding. Re: Near Dark is different in tone and purpose than say…Twilight. Near Dark seeks to cause unease through vampires that will dance to the Cramps and eat your face off. Twilight seeks to cause sexual tension (not scare tension) through a vampire/human relationship.

6 p.m. – Ken Schneyer: A Reading

Fucking eh. Love me some Ken Schneyer. He is gd hysterical. You. Must. Read. Him.

6:30 p.m. – The Works of Mary Shelley with F. Brett cox, Gwynne Garfinkle, Adrienne J. Odasso, and Diane Weinstein

I don’t know much about the life of Mary Shelley. This made me want to read a bit more about her.

7 p.m. – John Langan: A Reading

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I can’t wait to read everything that John Langan has ever written.

7:30 p.m. – Glen Hirshberg: A Reading

And damn, Glen Hirshberg read a helluva creepy vampire tale. I dig it.

Day 4: Sunday, July 13th, 2014

…I left early.

I know! I know! I missed Ellen Kushner, Gemma Files, and Sonya Taaffe readings! But  I had to get through at least 4 hours of my drive on Sunday. Nicole Kornher-Stace and I drove to her place.

And.

And.

My car did quite fine for the 4 hour drive from ReaderCon to her town. But then, of course, we get off the highway and my breaks are all like GROAN OF A THOUSAND MOANING GEAR GODS. It sounded like I ran over a metal stegosaurus and was dragging his fatass down the road. Not. Good. So we left my car at a Midas with a voicemail begging them not to tow it, that I would, indeed, be there in the morning to talk about what work it needed, and then phoned Nicole’s husband to pick us up.

Ugh. I spent the rest of the night praying to Eris that whatever was wrong was an easy fix, in-stock, and cheap.

Which it ended up being at least two out of three. My bank account is still whining from the exertion. BUT! It was only the breaks on one side. It got fixed and I was able to leave midday from New York for Chicago…about an 11 hour drive.

Which I did.

But I’ll save that for my next recap…TALES OF A BOOK LAUNCH!

Tags:


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

I did it.

It took gut-churning grit and determination, but I did it. I published my first novel, There Is No Lovely End. <—- See what I did there? I LINKED TO WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT! What? You can buy my book? SO WEIRD! I am used to seeing it in a stack of ratty, coffee-ringed papers on my desk. Now it’s all bound and beautiful.

Note: I should say…I didn’t publish this book. The curmudgeons over at Odd Rot did. Odd Rot is a small press “…located in the crumbling remains of a curio emporium next door to a gentleman’s club, across the street from a graveyard.” It is run by two bookworms who specialize in macabre and peculiar fictions. I have never met them. I do not even know their names. They refused to tell me what else they have published – if anything at all. The closest contact I ever made with the pair was traipsing knee-deep in debris (shattered pickled punk jars, rotting miniature books on embalming, bone frame fragments, etc.) and seeing a Nosferatu-esque shadow on the wall reading a book. It skittered away once I called over to it. The only reason I signed with their press was because I received a letter (written in an unidentifiable, brown, chunky liquid on large, yellow leaves) stating, and I quote,

If you do not publish your first novel with Odd Rot, your coffee will furthermore smell of manure, your personal library will fox and turn to ash, and your pen will be stalled – unless writing about modern baseball.”

They also flattered me immensely and sent a raccoon jawbone necklace in the post. So here we are.

Know what makes a pretty book prettier? When you put a BONE ON IT!

cover there is no lovely end

Photo Credit: Chris Cahill

In additional news!

Hear ye, hear ye, I HAVE A BOOK TRAILER! Done by the Fantastic! Patient! And Astounding! Rule2 Productions. With music by The Goddamn Gallows! What? You love the Gallows? ME TOO! Check it:

And if all that weren’t enough to give a gal a grand grin…I AM GOING ON TOUR!

OK, just a mini-tour…but, hey, if you are around Boston, Detroit, or Chicago come say hello. Here’s my schedule the next two weeks:

July 10 – 14, 2014
ReaderCon, Burlington, MA

Friday, July 11th, 4 p.m. – The “Inspire” room – I will be guest reading with the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours.

 

July 16, 2014
There Is No Lovely End Book Release Party

Lizard’s Liquid Lounge, 7 – 10 p.m.
Chicago, IL

 

July 17 – 20, 2014
DetCon1, Detroit

Friday, July 18th, 4 – 8 p.m. – Artists/Author Alley Table in the Ontario Exhibit Hall – I will be chatting and selling my book.

Saturday, July 19th, 11 a.m. – Nicolet A – Econ 101 of Self-Publishing Panel

Saturday, July 19th, 3 p.m. – Joliet A – Join Elwin Cotman and myself for a reading!

Saturday, July 19th, 5 p.m. – Nicolet A – Science Fiction and Heavy Metal Panel

…and then…somewhere around the 7/24 I have a private bookclub event. And then… THEN! I will rest on July 25th. It will be grand. I will READ A BOOK! Not my own. Someone else’s. Perhaps, I’ll finally get to read the Long Hidden anthology.

But now…now I EAT CHIPS!

OH! WAIT! One last thing.

I HAVE A ZAZZLE STORE! Click the pic below to get there.

TOPHAT-01

(I will also have limited merch [possibly even cheaper] on my mini-tour. Hit me up live!)

Tags:


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

As of the beginning of June…I AM IN IOWA!

…or that is not completely correct. The first week that I lived in Iowa, I was actually in Branson, Missouri.

Digression:

I went to Branson, Missouri with several amazing friends. Keywords: lakehouse, horror movies, fake meatloaf, boat rides, adorable puppies, badass friends, Mexican food, creepy Victorian shops, junk shops w/ epic, vintage postcards for 10 cents, ranch soda, wax museum. All of these things happened and more. Here was the trip to Branson in a peck of pictures:

pyro city gas station sign

rabbit statue at a junk shop  ranch and bacon soda. gross. dulcimer finger pointing sign patty templeton and frankenstein

MAIN STORY THREAD!:

Ok…back to reality. I AM IN IOWA! I’m staying in a cozy town about an hour outside of Des Moines. There’s an Irish pub called the Fiddle and Whistle that is phenomenal. There’s a pizza parlor called Zeno’s which has the best pizza…ever. Like EVER. They use provolone and I LOVE THEIR TACO PIZZA! Full disclosure: I would still believe these two businesses to be the best in town, even if my friends didn’t own them.

Speaking of these two friends, me and my professor are staying with his longtime friends for about three months. After that, well, we either stick around Iowa or shuffle on to another adventure town. For now, I’m hella digging Iowa. I still get my music fix with Des Moines (re: I saw the GD Gallows on Friday and the Calamity Cubes are coming up July 3rd). There is a gorgeous library. And…I am getting shit done.

Which leads me to…

MY BOOK IS ALMOST OUT! I think I will be able to go live with There Is No Lovely End by July 1st. Which is hella solid because there are two writing conventions in July (ReaderCon in Boston and DetCon1 in Detroit). I want to handsell the hell outta this thing. I have a guest-spot reading at ReaderCon with the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours and I’m all over programming at DetCon1.

See, look…here is a proof of the book:

patty templeton's book there is no lovely end

SO RAD!

conan excited gifAnd I’m working on merch! I have a limited supply of mugs, tote bags, a plentiful amount of buttons, stickers, and postcards that are going to be happening soon.

Everything is firming out and I’m epic excited.

Tags:

Con Report: WisCon 38 in Madison, WI


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

Recap Post 2…FIRE!

…Remember how, about a month ago, I freaked the hell out because I was on panels at WisCon? Well, I made it. I am still breathing, and shit went pretty well.

* * *

WisCon is the world’s leading feminist sci-fi and fantasy convention. It is a writers’ con, but you don’t have to be associated with the publishing world to attend. Every year, I meet plenty of librarians or booklovers who go because they like how it challenges their thinking and expands their to-read lists.

I’ve gone for the past five years. Each year my brain gets bigger because of it.

I’ve always read fiction at WisCon, but never spoke professionally on panels…until this year.

Holy shit.
It’s like I’m a real writer.
People actually paid attention to the things coming out of my mouth.
It was…terrifying…and invigorating.

I spoke on three panels and had one reading. Easiest way to get this done is to list out what I attended. So BOOM! That’s how it’s getting done.

Friday
2:30 – 3:45: The Once and Future Badass
Medieval People of Color, Kate Bachus, Victoria Janssen, Madeleine E. Robins, and ME!

This was my first panel. We talked about women who went to extremes to get shit done throughout history. The women I mentioned were:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: the godmother of rock and roll who inspired Chuck Berry
Ada and Minna Everleigh: who owned the most luxurious, employee-friendly brothel in Chicago history
Hazel Ying Lee: the first Chinese American woman to fly for the U.S. Air Force
Nellie Bly: investigative reporter who went around the world in 72 days in 1888

Totally loved my other panelists. It was a great conversation that taught me about awesome women like Khutulun (the Monogolian, wrestling princess) and Ching Shih (a pirate queen of the 19th century that bent an emperor to her will).

4:00 – 5:15: Damsels of Color
Michelle Kendall, Andrea D. Hairston, De Ana Jones, Mary Anne Mohanraj

This panel dealt with stereotypes women of color face in both print and visual media. Hella lively, damn funny, and it made me put Hairston and Mohanraj’s books higher on my to-read list.

9:00 – 10:15: Spindles and Spitfire: A Reading
Lisa Bradley, Gwynne Garfinkle, Shira Lipkin, and ME!

Oh man, oh man, Oh MAN! Shira Lipkin killed it. I read an early chapter from my novel, There Is No Lovely End. Lisa Bradley read from an unreleased novel that is an updated Mad Max tale with a female lead. Gwynne Garfinkle read poetry revolving around classic horror characters…and I can’t wait till it’s a collection. I will buy the shit out of that book. It was an AWESOME reading.

Saturday

8:30 – 9:45: The Role of POC in Urban Fantasy
Jackie Gross, Victoria Janssen, Mia Coleman, Daniel José Older

C.S.E. told me, “YOU MUST READ DANIEL JOSÉ OLDER!” And I was like, eh, I will get to him eventually. She glowed about his short story collection, Salsa Nocturna. I put it on my stack…but that stack is so big, right? And now I’m like POW! I must read Daniel José Older. Dude’s brilliant and he happened to be on about a thousand panels I wanted to see.

This panel asked “How urban can fantasy be when it centers on white/white-passing leads with POC who appear largely as plot devices or servants to white leads?” It talked about erasure of POC from settings that are supposed to be highly diverse. Badass.

10:00 – 11:15: Cultural Appropriation: Non-western Viewpoints
Kat Tanaka Okopnik, Jaymee Goh, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Daniel José Older, Diantha Sprouse

This was an excellent panel dissecting power and oppression. It was an intense, occasionally humorous global perspective of Western culture as a colonizing influence.

***Seriously, Mary Anne Mohanraj and Daniel José Older…they are both in my next 10 books pile. For reals.

Side note: If I had to narrow down my book pile into the 10 I really want to read NOW…It would be:

  1. Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older
  2. Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older
  3. The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj
  4. Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea D. Hairston
  5. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  6. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
  7. Black by Design: A 2-Tone Memoir by Pauline Black
  8. Graceland by Chris Abani
  9. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
  10. The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches From the Rust Belt by David Giffels

1:00 – 2:15: Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, the Panel
Lisa Bolekaja, S. Lynn, Sunny Moraine, Daniel José Older

…I feel as if there were more panelists than the official program book states. Apologies to those not listed.

Do you get the pattern yet? Anything to do with Daniel José Older is going to be rad. He and Rose Fox were the editors of Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. Those on the panel spoke about their pieces in Long Hidden and what it meant to dig up stories from untold points of view.

I need to buy this book. While at the panel I heard about everything from a menstruation brothel story to Medusa’s untold tale. I WANT THIS BOOK!

2:30 – 3:45: Cities-in-Progress: A Reading
David Edison, Ellen Kushner, Daniel Jose Older, Caroline Stevermer

All of these authors. I want to read more of ALL OF THESE AUTHORS.

4:00 – 5:15: Welcome to Night Vale: The Panel
Juliana, Megan, Ty Blauersouth, Joanna Lowenstein, and ME!

My second panel! And I survived. Everyone was fabulous. We talked about diversity in Night Vale, the intense fan community surrounding Night Vale, and the horror tropes used or subverted within the show. Booyah.

Sunday

8:30 – 9:45: Beyond Christianity: Rituals and Religions in Speculative Fiction
Jonna Gjevre, Alex Bledsoe, Holly McDowell, Corkey Sinks

There is not much that can get me out of bed for an 8:30 a.m. panel. I mean, it’s gotta be great folks…and Holly McDowell and Alex Bledsoe got me out of bed. If you haven’t read either of them, GET ON IT!

10:00 – 11:15: Outrageous Women of the 19th Century
Cynthia Gonsalves, Beverly Friend, James P. Roberts, Georgie L. Schnobrish, and ME!

This panel was more presentation than conversation. The other panelists had known each other for many years and had been working their way through badass women by centuries.

I spoke at length abt Nellie Bly, Ma Rainey (Born in 1886…so she lived the first 14 years of her life in the 19th century before becoming the mother of the blues), and Nana Asma’u (princess, poet, teacher, and political advisor in 19th century Africa).

1:00 – 2:15: Panel Part 1: Ghost Dances on the Silver Screens: Pumzi and Older Than America
Panel Part 2: A Magical Experiment:  adapting The Fifth Sacred Thing to film.
Andrea D. Hairston and Joan Haran

Each woman gave a presentation on an academic paper they’d been working on. Hairston covered ghosts as sacred/demonic tricksters providing alternate perspectives on the here and now and the future. Haran spoke about the ecotopian novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and the current attempt to adapt it as a major motion picture.

…I really, really need to read everything ever by Andrea Hairston.

2:30 – 3:45: A Manifesto for Feminist Science (Fiction) Studies
Joan Haran, Andrea Hairston, Rebecca Holden, Sherryl Vint, Lisa Yaszek

I am not as brilliant as I would like to be, but the best way to improve yourself is to surround yourself with those you admire. Holy f. This panel knew a lot of shit about stuff. Like how I put that? I am at like a fifth grade level compared to the cognitive abilities of this panel. They dissected the inspiration, import, and future effect of scholar Donna Haraway, with particular reference to her most famous essay, “The Cyborg Manifesto.”

Yep, Haraway is now on my to-read list, but I hear she can be dry as hell. We’ll see….

4:00 – 5:15: Darkness, Light, Music: A Reading
Will Alexander, Haddayr Copley-Woods, Mark Rich, Mary Rickert

YEAH! Super phenomenal. Will Alexander especially. That dude, he is about the nicest guy you are gonna find at the con. He wrote a story about a husband/wife scientist team and the doom of the world that got me a half breath from bursting the waterworks.

8:30 – 9:45 Guest of Honor Speeches & Tiptree Award Ceremony
Hiromi Goto
Epic speech. You can read it here.

N.K. Jemisin
INTENSE! AWESOME! MEGA MUST-READ, BADASS speech. You can read it here.

Winner of the James Tiptree Award: N.A. Sulway for Rupetta

bmo adventure time dance gifAnd then, I went to a few con parties. There was a dance off at a party called The Floomp!…and I WON! I have no idea how, but I did. My prize: a broken, light-up tiara.

Hell yeah for rad, weirdo, hotel dance offs that make you not feel so bad about that first round tap out at the park district dance in 3rd grade.

* * *

And that’s it folks. That was WisCon. I didn’t get so nervous I threw up on other panelists and had a bang-up good time.

You should go next year and say hi to me.

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Show Review: Muddy Roots Spring Weekender


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

PROLOGUE

I’m busier than a one-eyed cat watchin’ three rat holes. I apologize, dear friends, for not hollering around this blog often. Believe you me, once I press publish on the book (which should be about…July 1st [only 2 months longer than I thought it would take]) I am going to be ALL OVER YOU. I miss the swagger and fuss that is this blog. Tumblr is nice and all, but here’s a place where a gal can spread herself out.

As I haven’t been around, there are a few mega blogs that have slipped by my fingers. So I’m gonna do a few recap posts this week.

RECAP 1, GO!

Show Review: Muddy Roots Spring Weekender in Nashville, IN

The end of May is supposed to be warm, right? Nope. Not this time around. The Muddy Roots Spring Weekender was held in Nashville, IN on May 16 – 17. It was drizzling and cold. BUT! That did not stop the fest from kicking ass. Held at Explore Brown County, Valley Branch Retreat, the MRSW brought together abt 500 folks who love roots music. What was the main draw? Dr. Ralph Stanley. But I get ahead of myself.

Or maybe I don’t. Being as I waited about a damn month to write this blog…all I have are tidbits. So here’s what I’m gonna do. Give you a Top Five.

The Dread Templeton’s Top Five Music Moments of the Muddy Roots Spring Weekender!

::whistles and whizbangs go off in the distance::
::glittery flower petals drop from the sky::

5. Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band Closing Friday Night

Jayke Orvis is going to be a taking a slight hiatus from touring…and I got to see him one last time before that happened. Hell yeah.

If you don’t know Orvis, he started as the mandolin player in the .357 String Band, went on to play in the Goddamn Gallows, and then started the Broken Band. Dude plays mandolin faster than a meth cheetah runs.

Plus, Jared McGovern (upright bass) proposed to Liz Sloan (fiddle) at the end of the set….and, yes, I teared up. (Side note: Jared and Liz have a killer side project: The Urban Pioneers)

4. Dr. Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys Closing Saturday Night

Before arthritis caught up with him, Dr. Ralph Stanley was known for his distinctive clawhammer banjo playin’ and his keening, Appalachian voice in the legendary Stanley Brothers duo. Most folks these days known him because of the dirge “O Death,” which was featured in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou.

It was full-on night when Dr. Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys took the stage. It was witnessing history.

Though, if I’m being honest, it was a hard show to watch. Stanley is getting on in years. He doesn’t want to slow down, but he has. He is featured as a guest performer in the set. Seeing someone who’s 87 sing a song like “O Death”…it’s a beautiful, but dark moment.

3. “Lord Must Fix My Soul” by the Dad Horse Experience

Dad Horse plays basement gospel. He brings a dapper suit, usually with a cravat, and a foot organ to the show. He is a one man band who will lighten your heart with a mix of old mountain tunes and his own odd brand of positive energy. He can make songs about dead dogs and exploding buildings poetic.

Halfway through his set, Dad Horse said anyone who wanted to sit on stage with him could. SO I TOTALLY DID! Along with about ten others. When he sang “Lord Must Fix My Soul” we became his defector dancing choir. I had arms full of friends and sang loud. I do not sing. Or I do, but only in my car and in front of the microwave while waiting for tea water…meaning I sing places where I won’t be heard because…trust me, you’d rather have bees with machetes in yer ears. BUT for Dad Horse, I sang.

2. Seeing Megan Jean and the KFB

HOLY F, people. Megan Jean and the KFB (Klay Family Band). I just. I.

::pauses to catch breath::

I didn’t get to see all of Megan Jean, but what I did, I LOVED. It’s Megan Jean on washboard, vocals, and snare drum. Byrne Klay (her fella) is on banjo.

Weird and awesome shit about Megan Jean and the KFB:

  • Bet you didn’t know that banjo can sometimes sound like it has Latin American influences. Megan Jean and the KFB be like avant-garde roots world music. WTF? WIN!
  • Uh, you can absolutely play snare drum, washboard, and sing at the same time. Or, at least, Megan Jean can. Rad! And when she isn’t banging on the snare, the drumstick is between her boobs. It’s frikkin awesome. Reminds me of bartenders I worked with who put pens in their racks so there was always one handy.
  •  “THESE BONES”…no. I am not going to say anything. Just watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQp3u-dWhMg&feature=kp

THAT VOICE! Postcards from the afterlife? Hell yeah. This band totally makes me want to write stories. Lots and lots of stories. Like a story about sending or receiving postcards from the afterlife. LOVE.

After they played, I went over to their merch suitcase. Megan Jean is just about damn near the nicest woman ever. Not only is she a musician, but she’s a writer. She’s working on a musical involving Mata Hari. And she likes carnie fiction. So, yes, I love her.

She inspired the hell outta me.

….
AND! My top musical moment of the MRSW was…
….

1. James Hunnicutt Playing Cocksparer’s “We’re Coming Back

Here’s the thing, I don’t care what anyone else says. My blog equals my say, and I say that the best goddamn song at Muddy Roots Spring Weekender was James Hunnicutt covering Cocksparer’s “We’re Coming Back.”

It warmed the damn cockles of my heart.
I had my arm around my fella and was singing along.

The song sums up every gd Muddy Roots ever…knowing that somewhere out there there are people like you, who love what you love, who are directing positive, creative energy into the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voxswLwzLe0

photo(9)Post Script - Holy shit, seeing The Tillers was phenomenal. Dancing to “Old Westside“…yeah, heart-expanding moment. The Calamity Cubes killed it, like usual. The Pine Hill Haints…SO GOOD. I got crazy bat shirt.

…Ok, I’m gonna stop…because the whole damn weekend was great. You can trust Jason Galaz to create badass music fests. Dudes got a love for the music and the people he’s working with, and it shows.

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WisCon 38 Schedule


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

People!

It has been an atomic age since I’ve written about anything other than music. Mainly because I’m am BEHIND ON EVERYTHING! Like all of life. Even the music writing. I went to the Muddy Roots Spring Weekender and haven’t written shit about that. (And I saw Dr. Ralph Stanley, The Tillers, about a billion other bands, and was on stage for the Dad Horse Experience). I barely make it to the bathroom to piss on time, let alone blog on a consistent schedule.

For not having a “real job”…I am running ragged.

Remember that whole self-publishing thing?

WAY BEHIND!

Um. I now realize why people have degrees and get paid the big bucks for book design. Because it’s fucking hard. Everything takes about three times longer than I thought it would. But it’s all good. It’s getting done. The book will be out ’round late June.

But I can’t think about any of that right now…because…OH MY GEEZ…

I am in prep mode.

Tomorrow, I head off to the world’s leading feminist, sci-fi convention, WisCon. It’s in Madison, Wisconsin and I’ve been going for the past five years. OK, OK. If I’ve been going for five years, why am I so nervous about this year?

This is the first year I’M ON PANELING!

Booyah. Somebody put on The Grown-up Writer Pants.

::spotlight shines on me sitting on the ground typing at a coffee table::

If you’re going to be there, hit up one of my panels. Here’s my schedule:

Friday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45, Senate A:

The Once and Future Badass: Historical Women Who Inspire, Challenge, and Unsettle Us

Friday, 9:00 p.m. – 10:15, Conference 1:

Spindles and Spitfire: A Reading (with Lisa Bradley, Gwynne Garfinkle, Shira Lipkin, and Me!)

Saturday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:15, Senate B:

Welcome to Night Vale: The Panel

Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 11:15, Wisconsin Room:

Outrageous Women of the 19th Century!

running titan gif

…on my way to panels

…yup. Three panels and a reading. It’s exciting and TERRIFYING. Please just let me make it to my panels on time and not stare blankly at the crowd. But this is what we have notes for, right? Bullets points to bully the brain.

See you on the other side, folks.

 

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