Conventional Matters

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Aug 6

The Dragon On My Horizon

In a few short weeks, I’ll be heading for the biggest party of my convention year. I’ve said before, and will say again, that I love DragonCon. There will come a time when I can’t handle it physically, when I’m no longer of interest or useful to the folks who make the calls on invitations, when the idea of the crowds and logistics prompt me to crawl back into bed instead of grabbing my suitcases. But 2017 is not that time, and I can’t wait.

I’ve received my tentative schedule and, while it comes with the caveat that there could be changes, additions, etc., it’s a winner.

Friday, September 1

1:00pm: Panel: Research: You Gotta Do It. Lee Martindale (M), Margaret S. McGraw, James Palmer, Elizabeth Moon, William Alan Webb. Write-up: “What are good sites for research? How much do you do before you write, or during?”

2:30pm: Reading

As I usually do, I’m planning to give those in attendance the choice of what they want to hear. But one of the choices may be the first chapter of Camino UnReal.

11:30pm: Panel: Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Sascha Illyvich, Lee Martindale (M). The write-up: “LGBTQIA is one of the hottest "trends" in fiction today and is still defining itself. How do you find your place in this great, emerging market?”

Yeah, I know. Way past this old gal’s usual bedtime. But there’s plenty of time for a nap after my reading, and it should be a spirited discussion.

Saturday, September 2

1:00pm: Panel: Significant Short Stories. Lee Martindale (M), Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, Amy J. Murphy, Lou Antonelli. The write-up: “Our panelists discuss short stories that made or are making a significant impact on the field.”

7:00pm: Dragon Con Guest of Honor Banquet.

A lovely evening recognizing the Guests of Honor and recipients of the Eugie Foster Award for Short Fiction, the Julie Award, and the Hank Reinhardt Fandom Award. I’m quite pleased to be going this year.

Sunday, September 3

1:00pm: Autograph Session

DragonCon autograph sessions are always fun, and a great opportunity to catch up with folks I wouldn’t otherwise see during the convention.

Monday, September 4

11:30am: Panel: Ask Us Anything. John D. Ringo, Jane Yolen, Lee Martindale (M), Jerry Pournelle, Mercedes Lackey. The write-up: “Writers and authors gather to answer any questions you have that might not have been answered during the rest of the convention.”

This one’s going to be fun!

The non-scheduled schedule – meals with friends, panels I want to see, etc., is already starting to populate. Thursday evening, I’m helping one of the tracks train volunteers by being the “stunt wheelie”. For the first time since I’ve been going to DragonCon, the BritTrack is in the Hilton, a hotel I can get to via the Habitrail system, and I’m hoping to catch some of the panels. And there’s likely other mischief I can get into.

Who am I kidding? Of *course*, there will be mischief. It’s DragonCon!

Jun 13

Break Out The Mead!

I'm very pleased to announce that I will be serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at AnachroCon 2018, to be held and the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria, February 16th-18th, 2018. The convention theme next year is The Viking Age. And, yes, I'm anticipating having a grand time.

May 16

Cancel The Search Party - The Bard Is Home

Short version: Happy to report that I arrived safely home last night, full of happy memories and travel tales.

Long version: Will, unfortunately, have to wait until I dig out. Patience, gentle readers. I've shoveling as fast as I can while one cat won't let me out of her sight and the other is, very pointedly, ignoring me.

Apr 26

And Speaking of WHOlanta!

I’m excited and pleased to, once again, be a author guest at this fun convention that celebrates Doctor Who, British media and culture, and Atlanta fandom. My programming assignments are in, and it looks like I’m going to have a bloomin’ ball.

Friday, May 5

I’m sorry that I’ll miss the Opening Ceremonies and VIP Reception, which are always fun at this convention. But panels go on opposite those two fine hours, and this year I got tapped for those on the Literary Track. And good assignments they are.

6:00pm - 7:00pm: Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing. ''Is one better than the other? Why or why not?” (Jana Oliver, James Palmer, Kaitlin Bevis, Lee Martindale)

7:00pm - 8:00pm: Women Writers: Does it Matter? “Does it really matter whether a writer is female or male if it’s a good story?” (Lee Martindale, Jana Oliver, Kathryn Sullivan, Nan Monroe)

Saturday, May 6

11:00am - noon: Beyond the War Doctor - The Life and Career of John Hurt. “Before John Hurt portrayed the War Doctor, he had already had a very successful acting career. We honor John Hurt, who sadly passed away earlier this year as we take a look back at his career and his many acting roles in film and television.” (Lee Martindale, Mark Maddox, Matt Sweatman, Tony Bowers)

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Research: You Gotta Do It. “Research has to happen no matter whether you’re trying to find out what was eaten at state dinners in the middle ages or what a particular myth is all about. We’ll discuss the best ways of doing things.” (Lee Martindale, Jana Oliver, Kathryn Sullivan, James Palmer)

Sunday, May 7

2:00pm - 3:00pm: Series Here, Series There: Where Are The Single Novels? “Everywhere you turn there are series. Is it really the stories that demand them or just a desire to make money?” (James Palmer, Lee Martindale, Kaitlin Bevis, Nan Monroe)

3:00pm - 4:00pm: British Legends and Myths: From Arthur to Robin Hood. “We take a look at the mythical heroes and history of Britain, in particular King Arthur and Robin Hood, and their many portrayals over the years in cinema and on television.” (Louis Robinson, Lee Martindale, Bernadette Ackley, Allison Lane, Rhetta Akamatsu)

4:00pm - 5:00pm: Sherlock Series Four - the Review. “We review the latest series of the BBC series Sherlock. Was it worth the wait?” (Louis Robinson, Lee Martindale, Allison Lane, Tony Bowers)

5:00pm - 6:00pm: TV Sci Fi. “We end the convention with a bang as we look at modern Sci Fi TV: What it holds and where it’s going.” (Jennifer Hartshorn, Lee Martindale, Darin Bush)

6:00pm Closing Ceremonies.

When not on panels, I’m hoping to catch some from the audience. There are many that have already caught my eye. You can see the complete schedule and other convention information at http://www.wholanta.com

And yes, I did notice that I’m doing four in a row on Sunday (five if you count Closing Ceremonies), but that’s okay. I’m lightly scheduled on Friday and Saturday, and I should be fine unless I end up getting kidnapped into a Cards Against Humanity until the wee small hours of Sunday morning. And, honestly, I wouldn’t know which of those four panels to give up. They’re all panels I really want to do. But I’m glad I don’t have to do my usual late-night packing Sunday night and being up before dawn to fly home on Monday. I plan on sleeping in.

Apr 24

Adventures in Convention Travel Planning

If you’ve taken a look at my convention schedule on the HarpHaven website, you’ll have noticed that the next two on the list are on back-to-back weekends. WHOlanta! (the convention formerly known as Timegate) is on the first weekend in May, and OutlantaCon (the very fine LBGTQA-centered sf&f convention) is on the following weekend. Both, as it happens, in the same hotel.

There was a time, not all that many years ago, when such a thing was listed in the “Tough But Do-able” column. It meant packing for both conventions at the same time, screaming in from the first one, kissing the cats, scritching the hubby, pulling various modules from the just-in bags, replenishing consumables, throwing them into the headed-out bags, and screaming out again with the latter in tow. Some of you may remember the year that schedule and circumstance resulted in a three-cons-in-three-weekends run, a bedroom that looked like a bell captain’s holding room, and a waist-high pile of laundry at the end.

But those days are well and truly over. Encroaching age and advancing infirmity now serve the function good sense never quite managed, and I looked at the scheduling for those two conventions and wondering which one of them I’d have to miss. And then “what if...” took over.

Numbers were crunched, the hotel and people from both conventions got involved, and offers of the on-the-ground logistical support needed to pull this started coming in. Himself not only didn’t mind, he actively encouraged the idea. It was cost-effective, it cut in half the opportunities for airline screw-ups and/or damage to the BattleChariot, and it saved significant wear and tear on me. He and the cats would be fine.

So it is that, instead of the frantic turnaround routine described above, I’ll be staying over between WHOlanta! and OutlantaCon. A mini-retreat of sorts, with plans for catching up on sleep and holing up to write interspersed with a some leisurely meals with friends.

I’ll let you know how it goes.