Jun 6

Pride 2020

It’s happened quite a few times over the years. I post something in honor of Pride Month, or guest at a LGBTQA+ convention like Gaylaxicon or OutlantaCon, and one or more someones will ask me some variation of the “What’s a nice/old/heterosexual/married girl like you doing...” question. It happened again recently. As luck would have it, I’d just run across the following piece I wrote for Kage Allen’s “The Face of Gay” online column back in 2012 or 2013. I think it answers the question pretty well.

For me, being an ally isn’t just about what’s right, although that’s a big part of it. It’s also about the people – co-workers, colleagues, friends, and family-of-the-heart – who’ve made activism for gay rights personal. There have been many, but when Kage asked me to contribute a piece here, my thoughts immediately went back more than forty-five years, to the two men who began my journey as an ally.

David and Jeff were, literally, the All-American boys next door. They grew up on neighboring farms and were best friends from the first day of grade school. Good-looking, athletic, popular, solid grade point averages, dated the prettiest girls, on the football and basketball teams...you get the picture. And, as they told me later, they spent most of their lives trying to hide being gay from each other. They managed to sort things out during the summer before they started college and, by the time I met them in 1967, they’d been together as partners for a year.

I was a freshman that year, away from a very sheltered home life for the first time. To say I was naive is an industrial-strength understatement. My survival that first year of college can be laid squarely on the two of them, who took me under their collective wing and kept me from getting into the kind of trouble that it would have been so very easy to get into. They were the older brothers I never had and, as corny as it may sound, we were “family”.

Being included in their lives was a constant learning experience. They were my first exposure to two people of my generation in love and, apart from my grandparents, the only such relationship of any generation I’d seen. They were the first to suggest that my mother’s evaluation of my value as a human being was wrong, and the start of my journey toward healthy self-esteem. And, I suspect, David and Jeff are at least partially responsible for the fact I genuinely like men.

They exposed me to facets of society I didn’t even know existed. That, in that time, in that place, at least to my admittedly-inexperienced eyes, being a gay man was tough. There was no support, no networking as we think of it now, no inroads by a gay rights movement that was rising elsewhere, little in the way of “community” beyond the gay bars. For many it meant a life of lies – to themselves, their parents and siblings, the women they married, their children, to the lovers and casual partners they hooked up with on the sly. That the raids and harassment of patrons by police that, in the near future, would fuel the Stonewall Riots were common, as were the gangs of local thugs who hunted the alleys and parking lots near the bars around closing time. That, even in the face of all that, two men who loved each other as much as they did, could form what, in all respects save legality, was a marriage.

But they were a product of their time and, except in the safety of their apartment, intent on keeping their “secret”. It bothered them, but not enough to risk hurting the families they both loved or jeopardizing their future. When their parents showed increasing concern that neither talked about the girls they were dating and brought “someone special” home to meet them, they enlisted my aid. David, being an only child, was feeling more pressure from his folks than Jeff was from his, which is how I became, at least as far as the families were concerned, “David’s girl”.

The Viet Nam War was in full and bloody swing, and every eighteen-year-old man I knew sweated blood every time he went to the mailbox. With the coming of his nineteenth birthday, the pressure was supposed to be off. Why David suddenly got an induction notice no one ever figured out, just as no one ever found out why his student deferment was canceled or his lottery number went from high 3 digits to “you’re up, kid.”

There was only one other way out of it...David telling the draft board he was gay. Jeff was more than willing to back him up and testify to the fact from first-hand knowledge as his lover. As someone who practically lived with them, I was willing to testify, too. In the end, however, it was the effects on the families that made up David’s mind.

You know where this is going. Just before Christmas 1968, David’s parents were informed that he’d been killed on patrol. Jeff didn’t come back to school after the semester break and, after a few short letters from various places around the country, I never heard from him again. But I’ve thought about him, and about David, many times over the course of the last forty-five years, and about how different things might have been for them if the changes happening now had happened then.

Being an ally isn’t just about what’s right. It’s about the people in our lives who make it personal, the people we love. And I’ve been very fortunate in that regard.

Mar 12

Well, Drat

First off, kudos to the folks at OutlantaCon 2020 for being on top of things with a robust and practical plan for the convention during the current Covid-19 outbreak, for acknowledging that we each have to make the call for ourselves, and for graciously accepting the call when it’s made.

In my case, the call was not an easy one. I love this convention, the people who put it on, the guests and attendees. I love the mischief they get me into. It’s a convention I always want on my schedule. However, age and several chronic medical issues put me squarely in the segment of the population most seriously affected by the Covid-19 virus, with air travel and large groups of people being serious risks. The decision to cancel was not an easy one, but the right one under the circumstances.

That doesn’t mean I have to like it, or that I’m still not sorry I have to cancel.

Jan 30

On The Road Again

On the one hand, I’m happy to begin my 2020 convention schedule and looking forward to the fun that is AnachroCon. On the other hand, I’m sad that this will be the final year for that lovely convention. But it will be going out in style - 1920s style. Flappers and Speakeasies and Mobsters, Oh MY!

When not on a panel, I’ll be spending as much time as possible at my spot in the Dealer Room, selling the limited number of books I can when flying a trip, and enjoying visits and conversations with those who stop by.

Here are my assignments for Programming, and they look like fun. Unless otherwise noted, all panels are 50 minutes in length.

Friday, Feb. 14

5:00pm - How To Write Effective Villains: Villains can be fun to write, do wonders for plot advancement and character development, and turn into fan favorites. Panelists: Taylor S. Hoch, Lee Martindale (M), Matthew Quinn, Bill Ritch

6:00pm - Opening Ceremonies: Let’s get this party officially started!

7:00pm - That Took Me Out Of The Story! How to avoid losing your readers.: You can’t foresee what might disconnect a reader from your story, but there are some common trip points. Panelists: Lee Martindale, Cecilia Dominic (M), Jo Scott

Saturday, Feb. 15

3:00pm - How To Research Effectively. We discuss how to get the details right without wandering in the wastelands or becoming ensnared. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Matthew Quinn, Cecilia Dominic

Sunday, Feb. 16

11:00am - "How I Did It" Different Writers Do Different Stuff, Differently. We discuss and compare our methodology.

1:00pm - Give the Princess a sword! Writing Heroes That Aren't Dudes: It starts with writing a believable female first. Panelists: Mandy & GD Burkhead, Dennis Medbury, Lee Martindale (M)

3:00pm - Closing Ceremonies

Jan 1

Happy New Year!

Well, will you look at that. It's a bright, shiny New Year. And, by popular consensus if not mathematical fact, a bright, shiny New Decade.

Certainly, we've got challenges ahead. When have we ever *not*? And when have we ever just plain quit? It doesn't seem to be in our nature, and that's a good thing.

Happy New Year, all. Let's go to work.

Dec 6

There Comes A Day...

...when a decision you know is inevitable must be made. When going one way is impossible, and going the other breaks your heart. For me, that day came this week.

If you know me or have been reading here for any time at all, you know how much I love the convention known as Dragon Con. Except for two years when WorldCon, where I had to be while on the SFWA Board of Directors, fell on the same weekend, Dragon Con has been, professionally and personally, the highlight of every convention year since 2008.

But it goes beyond that. Dragon Con has been a family reunion and gathering of the clan. It’s been spending time in the company of people who had my back, made me laugh, facilitated experiences that I would never have dreamed I’d be part of, and been there with what I needed when I needed it to do what I do. Friends who fit the definition of “family of the heart”.

The decision I’d been putting off couldn’t be put off any longer. The upper body strength that, as a wheelchair-using paraplegic, I’ve been relying on has been degrading over the year or so. Strength and stamina have likewise decreased. Solo travel and the physical stresses of a weeklong, 80,000-attendee convention spread out over multiple hotels and venues has become more than my body can handle.

I’m still able to work smaller, shorter conventions, and will be doing so. But not Dragon Con. That day has passed.

For all the wonderful memories, to my DC family, friends, and fans - thank you for everything. It was one hell of a good ride.

Nov 27

And That’s A Wrap!

The final convention on my 2019 schedule is now a happy memory, in what was a very special travel year for me. It began in February with the 10th Anniversary AnachroCon, on the theme of “Time Travelers’ Ball” and in the company of many of my Atlanta con family. The first convention of the year is always a joy, and one that encourages me to pack a bit of costuming even better.

In May, I guested at the final gathering of Wholanta!, a convention that’s been near and dear to my heart since Atlanta fandom seduced me into the world of Doctor Who in 2007. Many happy memories of that convention over the years, and I’m going to miss it.

Also in May, it was out to Los Angeles for the Nebula Awards Weekend, where my volunteer work for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America was recognized with the 2019 Kevin J. O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award. To say this means the world to me is putting it mildly. I managed *not* to cry, but it was a very near thing.

The week around Labor Day Weekend saw me, once again, at Dragon Con, where I did two sold-out sessions of the “Killer Openings” workshop, a mentoring session, and a full schedule of excellent panels. I’ve loved this convention every year I’ve attended, and this year was no exception.

In October, I guested at the inaugural year of MultiVerseCon. Fun panels, good people, and great conversations in between my various scheduled events. This convention is off to a good start, and I look forward to returning. Plus the added fun of getting to introduce The Mighty Himself and the aforementioned Atlanta con family to each other.

And, finally, headed to Lombard, IL to serve as ToastMistress for WindyCon in Lombard, IL. And what a splendid time was had. These folks know how to throw a convention and spoil their GoHs, and every minute was a delight. Many thanks to Kerry Kuhn, Con Chairman, and a crack cadre of volunteers for all their many kindnesses to me and The Mighty Himself. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. November in the Chicago area is not for wimps, but I learned the joys of lap robes and multiple layers.

The traveling boots are drying by the fire, the suitcases have been put away for a few months, and I’m charging headfirst into the holidays with a very satisfied smile. It was a glorious year.

Nov 9

One More For The Road

The curtain is about to come down on my 2019 convention season, but not before one last, very special engagement. I’ll be serving as ToastMistress for WindyCon 2019, Nov 15 - 17 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, IL in the Chicago area. To say I am both honored and excited is putting it mildly.

Consider the most excellent company I’ll be in, including:

Author GoH: Elizabeth Moon Artist GoH: Mitchell Bentley Science GoH: Geoffrey Landis Musical GoHs: The Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly Kitt Fan GoH: Chris M. Barkley Special Guest: Eric Flint

And there’s what I’ll be getting into, according to the schedule:

On Friday at 7:00pm, Opening Ceremonies, wherein we get this party started.

On Saturday, I’ll be signing and visiting with folks from 11:00am to noon. Then I have about an hour to get into my fencing gear and warmed up for Fencing GoHs at 1:00pm with Geoffrey Landis, Mary A. Turzillo, and Elizabeth Moon. Yes, there will be pointy steel put to use in a variety of styles. Then at 6:00pm, in an hour called What Makes a Good Space Opera, I’ll have the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Moon.

My Sunday begins with a reading from 10:00am - 11:00am and concludes with Closing Ceremonies at 2:00pm.

I can’t think of a more perfect way to finish off the year’s schedule.

Oct 7

Gearing Up For MultiverseCon

With very few exceptions, I enjoy working first-time conventions. Certainly, I’ve seen my share of disasters, but I’ve also seen the first year turn into the second and on to a long tradition. And it’s a lot of fun to be part of that. Which is why I’m looking forward to MultiverseCon’s inaugural weekend. So far, the folks behind this one seem to be doing things right.

My schedule certainly looks like a lot of fun. Here’s what I’ll be up to:

Friday October 18

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm: Opening Ceremonies. Meet the ConComm! Meet the Guests of Honor! Hear about some of the fun in store for us! And we’re OFF!

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm: So You Want to Write. A good panel for new and aspiring writers to learn more about being a writer from veteran writers. Panelists: Darin Kennedy, Lee Martindale (M), Rena Mason, Seanan McGuire, Jarvis Sheffield

Saturday, October 19

11:30 am to 12:30 pm: Reading: Darin Kennedy and Lee Martindale. I’m leaning toward reading “Combat Shopping”, but that could change.

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm: Place As Character. The write-up: “Urban fantasy often delights its audience by setting stories in places they know like New Orleans, Atlanta, and New York. How important is Place to the authors of Urban Fantasy and how important is it that those places be from the real world or is approximation enough? Panelists: Stuart Jaffe, Kyoko M (M), Lee Martindale, L.L. McKinney

5:30 pm to 6:30 pm: Accessibility in Futuristic Societies. The write-up: “Accessibility is not just about bigger bathrooms or assistive devices. Creating welcoming environments for people with differing abilities and challenges is vital to a well-functioning society. From dampening loud noises for people with autism or PTSD, to strengthening floors for people wearing exoskeletons, panelists will discuss ways future societies can apply advancements to ensure everyone has what they need to thrive. Panelists: Meg Elison, Tiara Janté, Lee Martindale (M), Josh Roseman, Alex White

Sunday, October 20

10:00 am to 11:00 am: Beyond The Sword. The write-up: “The sword has a central place in fantasy. Panelists will discuss the swords they love and the swords they hate and what weapons from other cultures might fill the place the sword currently holds in fantasy. Panelists: Paige L. Christie, Milton Davis (M), Lee Martindale, Balogun Ojetade

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm: The Outsiders. The write-up: “Inclusion has become a large and important area of focus in fantasy. How do you write characters from outside your own experience? How do you avoid the pitfalls of stale, stereotypical characterizations that depend on old tropes that have become unviable in storytelling and bring something fresh and new to the genre? The panel will discuss writing characters from outside your culture, gender, and orientation. Panelists: Darin Kennedy, Kyoko M, Lee Martindale (M), Errick Nunnally

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm: Closing Ceremonies.

Aug 27

Workshop News

Preregistration for my "Writing Killer Openings" workshops at Dragon Con 2019 has closed, and the news is making me smile. Thursday afternoon's session is completely SOLD OUT!

There are, as of this posting, 10 slots open for the Friday morning session that will be available for sale at the door. If last year's response is any indication, these won't last long.

A grand way to start my Dragon Con.

Aug 21

And Another Thing.....

My final schedule for DragonCon arrived and included an addition to my schedule. And it’s a goodie!

Sunday, Sept 1: Dealin' with the Devil. Getting published really doesn’t involve Faustian bargains. Editors and agents discuss what they look for from new writers. Panelists: Lucienne Diver, Anne Sowards, Steve Saffel, Claire M. Eddy, Jonathan Maberry, Chris A Jackson, Lee Martindale(M)

What a grand way to finish out my DragonCon 2019!

Aug 6

Hearing The Rustle of Dragon Wings

It’s that time of year again. Lists are being made. The BattleChariot is getting a good checking out. Electronics are being paired with their chargers are being tested. I’m banking a little extra sleep against upcoming nights of not nearly enough. And my tentative programming schedule has arrived. DragonCon is less than a month away!

Here’s what currently on my schedule:

Thursday, Aug 29

1:00pm - 3:30pm: Writing Killer Openings Workshop. No better way to kick off my DragonCon than by warping young writer minds and, hopefully, improving slush piles near and far. Live exercises, on-the-spot critiques by yours truly, and fun will be had by all. At last report, there were still spots available. Check it out at https://www.dragoncon.org/things-to-do/programming/workshops/#killer

The evening will be spent with friends from the Costuming Track.

Friday, Aug 30

10:00am - 12:30pm: Writing Killer Openings Workshop. No, you’re not seeing double. Last year, there were so many on the waiting list that, this year, it was decided to add a second session. Same as above, including there being spots still available and where to check it out.

2:30pm - 3:30pm: Why We Read. So many reasons, so little time to talk about why we pick up a book.

Saturday, Aug 31

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Edit, Edit, Edit--& Edit Some More. The “heavy lifting” begins after you type The End on the first draft. Seasoned pros talk about their approach to the revision process. Panelists: R.R. Virdi, Lee Martindale (M), Trisha J. Wooldridge, Patricia Briggs, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Clay and Susan Griffith

5:30pm - 6:30pm: Writing for Today's Savvy Audiences. How do you catch the attention of today’s more sophisticated readers and keep them coming back for more? Panelists: Jonathan Maberry, Cinda Williams Chima, John G. Hartness, Lee Martindale

7:00pm - 8:00pm: Reading. They’re turning me loose for an hour with an audience and my stories. Which story I’ll read hasn’t been decided yet.

Sunday, Sept 1

11:30am - 12:30pm: Who Needs Research? One writer’s casual toss-off of a minor detail can be the reason a reader stops reading if it’s wrong. There’s isn’t a genre out there where it doesn’t happen. We’ll discuss how to research and when to stop and start writing. Panelists: Lee Martindale, D.J. Butler, Marc Alan Edelheit, Declan Finn, John L. Flynn (M), K.N. Lee (M)

1:00pm - 2:00pm: 15-Minute Mentor Session: A chance for budding authors to talk one-on-one with a successful industry professional about business, promotion, the writing process, & career advice. Sign up in the Writer's Track. (Embassy C-D)

4:00pm - 5:00pm: Author Signing: Come by and say hello!

As I said above, this is going to be fun. And having all of Monday free (so far!) may give me a chance to catch a panel or two or catch up with friends. I definitely want to catch one of Tom Smith’s concerts some time during the weekend. And who knows what other mischief I might get into. It’s DragonCon, after all!

Jun 25

A Gentle Reminder

Are you a writer? Are you going to DragonCon? Would you like to sharpen your skills in grabbing the reader’s attention right off the bat? Thanks to the success of last year’s sold-out-and-then-some “Writing Killer Openings” workshop, I’ll be teaching two sessions during DragonCon 2019. We’ll use live exercises and individual critiques to help students get out of the slush pile and into shopping carts.

Students signing up can chose either the Thursday, Aug. 29th session at 1:00pm or the Friday, Aug. 30th session at 10:00am. There’s a hard limit of 20 students per session. If last year’s response is any indication, advanced registration is highly recommended.

For further information, see http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=Acting_Workshop

Jun 22

How The Hell Did THIS Happen?

I wasn’t supposed to live this long, according to five doctors (the first when I was 8 years old) and one unidentified staff member in the office of a sixth who predicted I’d “be dead in five years” if I didn’t do what they told me to do and take whatever prescription drugs they wanted me to take. I’ve managed to outlive all five doctors, and that unidentified staff member in the office of the sixth isn’t looking too good.

This weekend I'm turning 70, and I'm still here.

Jun 13

Look What Followed Me Home!

This thing of beauty is the Kevin J. O’Donnell Service to SFWA Award, given by the President and Board of Directors of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Award in recognition of exemplary service by a member to the organization and fellow members. I was very proud to be honored as its recipient at the 2019 Nebula Conference in Los Angeles.

Service to SFWA Award.jpg

I was firmly convinced that I blithered during my acceptance remarks, but you can judge for yourself. The presentation begins at around the 30:42 mark.


Jun 11

Going Out In Style

I knew, going in, that the last Wholanta was going to be emotional. It has been one of the highlights of my convention year for over a decade. I’ve collected a bushel of one-of-a-kind memories over the years that will always make me smile. Selfish as it may be, I simply did not want it to end.

But if it had to, Wholanta’s final bow was a good one. Excellent programming across multiple tracks, delightful conversations all over the place (including many with Jon Davey, the actor beneath a bunch of my favorite Doctor Who monsters and aliens), and a happy mix of old friends and new. In short, everything that’s made it a grand gathering year after year.

Intellectually, I know that conrunners get tired and need a break. I know that it’s entirely possible that, as they’ve said, Wholanta is ending “for now” and could rise again in a few years. I hope so. Because, if a mad individual steps out of a blue police box and beckons me to come aboard, I’ll say yes. In a heartbeat.

Apr 24

One More Time

I’m prepping and packing for Wholanta and, throughout the process, a song has been running through my head. It’s from the musical Serafina!, although I first encountered it in a 1989 movie called Sing. In both shows, the song serves the plotline of diaspora, celebrating what has been before moving on to what might be.

The folks behind Wholanta have announced that this convention’s fourteenth year will be its last “for a while”. What that means, we don’t know. What we do know if that this one is shaping up to go out in grand style. And I have a tasty programming schedule as Exhibit A.

Friday, May 3

6:00pm - Opening Ceremonies - Wherein we get this party started!

7:00pm - “Why We Read.” Why do we, as fans, read? Panelists: Lee Martindale, Sue Phillips, Dawn Benton

8:00pm - Author Readings. Kathleen Sullivan/Lee Martindale. According to the schedule, I’ve got the second half of the hour.

10:00pm - “Kill Her! Kill Her A Lot!: The Legacy of Buffy”. The write-up: “The show that wrote the book for the teenage-angst-interrupted-by-monsters genre was riding high twenty years ago.” Join our panel of Buffy fans & experts as we walk the dark alleys of Sunnydale. Panelists: Lee Martindale, Ken Spivey, Georges Jeanty, Aaron Dunne.

What? You didn’t know I was a Buffy fan?

Saturday, May 4

noon - “Starting To Write”. The write-up: “You want to write a book. How do you get started and how do you continue? What might you need to know?” Panelists: Lee Martindale, Debbie Vigue, Robin Burks.

2:00pm - “Goodbye, Doctor: Companion Farewells” - Over the years, companion departures have been almost as traumatic as Doctor regenerations. I suspect we all have our favorites. Panelists: Lee Martindale, Courtland Lewis, Kelly Yates.

7:00pm - “Hard SF or Soft?” - The write-up: “What is Hard SF? What qualifies as soft sf? How do we tell the difference?” Panelists: Lee Martindale, Sue Phillips

10:00pm - “FanFiction As A Writing Exercise” - The write-up: “Over the years a number of very good pro writers have written fanfic. We discuss how this may help or hinder their craft.” Panelists: Lee Martindale, Sue Phillips

Sunday, May 5

1:00pm - “Why We Write” - The write-up: “Why do we write? What drives us to create with words?” Panelists: Lee Martindale, Robin Burks

3:00pm - “Literary Track Closing Ceremonies” - The write-up: “We say goodbye to the Lit Track for the last time.”

5:00pm - “Closing Ceremonies” - One More Time.

Note to self: pack a box of tissues.

Mar 24

The Return of "Killer Openings"

Last year, I had the pleasure of teaching a sold-out-and-then-some workshop at DragonCon called “Writing Killer Openings”. Students focused on writing opening lines and paragraphs that grab reader attention right out of the gate through the use of live exercises and individual critiques. It was, apparently, quite successful and definitely a lot of fun.

I’m pleased to report that I’ll be doing it again, times two, at DragonCon 2019. Students signing up can chose either the Thursday, Aug. 29th session at 1:00pm or the Friday, Aug. 30th session at 10:00am. There’s a limit of 20 students per session.

For further information, see http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=Acting_Workshop

Feb 22

AnachroCon Rocked It

One of the marks of a good convention is how much of the return flight I sleep through. In the case of my recent return from AnachroCon, I nodded off as we were pushing back from the gate and returned to consciousness about a half-an-hour before we started our descent into DFW. AnachroCon was a *very* good convention.

With it being the con’s 10th Anniversary and with the theme of “Time-Travelers’ Ball”, the field was wide open for a full range of solid costuming that is an AnachroCon trademark. The many fine programming tracks, killer vendor room, special events, and concerts made excellent use of the convention space in their first year at the Hilton Atlanta Airport.

My programming schedule was concentrated on the Writer Track and except for being scheduled opposite Opening Ceremonies and the Costume Contest, could not have been better. Good topics, good discussions, and the fun of working with writers I’d not had a chance to work with before. Built into it was plenty of time to visit with friends, chat with fans and fellow writers, and spend time at my vendor table.

Many thanks to the concomm and volunteers for their many kindnesses and for doing what they do so very well.

As for the case of con crud that announced its feverish and congested presence three days after getting home, I earned it.

Feb 9

And Away We Go!

The traveling boots have been dug out of the closet, suitcases are being filled, and an eye is being kept on 10-day weather forecasts in two cities. And, because I haven’t done this in a few months, I’m double-checking packing lists. Experience has taught me that if I’m going to forget to pack something vital, it will be on the first convention trip of the year.

First up in 2019 is AnachroCon, Feb. 15 - 18 in Atlanta. This year’s theme is “Time Travelers’ Ball” and, based on my schedule so far, it’s going to be grand fun.

Friday, Feb 15:

6:00pm: Writing Kick-Butt Female Characters: What it takes to write effective female characters. Panelists: Mandy and G.D., Stephanie Osborn, Taylor Hoch, Lee Martindale (M).

Saturday, Feb 16:

2:00pm: Researching Effectively. Tips for doing effective research and getting the facts right. Panelists: Stephanie Osborn, Kyle Hannah (M), Lee Martindale, Cecilia Dominic.

5:00pm: Time Travel Stories and Why We Love Them. What is it about time travel stories that catch our imaginations and make them so popular. Panelists: Stephanie Osborn, Lee Martindale (M), Dan Hollifield, Cecilia Dominic.

6:00pm Writing Effective Villains. Without villains, heroes have nothing to do! Panelists: Mandy and G.D., Taylor Hoch (M), Kate Shaw, Kyle Hannah, Lee Martindale.

Sunday, Feb. 17:

1:00pm: Fish Out of Water Tropes. Tropes are tropes for a reason. What makes them work and why do we love this one. Panelists: Mandy Burkhead (M), G.D Burkhead, Stephanie Osborn, Kyle Hannah, Kate Shaw, Lee Martindale.

2:00pm: The Business of Writing. Stuff writers need to know, even if they think they don't. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Stephanie Osborn, Kyle Hannah, Dana Fraedrich, Cecilia Dominic.

3:00pm: Closing Ceremonies.

And that’s just the Literature Track! Panels, including those on other tracks, could be added any time between now and the end of the convention. I’ll also have table space in the AnachroMall Vendor Room where I’ll be selling books, signing autographs, chatting with folks, and trying to resist the temptations available from all the Purveyors of Fine Temptations therein.

As I said, grand fun anticipated. Especially if I manage *not* to forget to pack something vital.

Jan 13

It's A Good Week When....

...one is told she's been approved as a Guest for Dragon Con 2019.

Unladylike noises of joy and anticipation may have scared the cat and been heard in a multi-block radius.

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