Anticipation Schedule

July 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm (Appearances, Cons)

I’ve got a much fuller schedule than I expected for Anticipation, so I fully expect to be curled up in a corner, muttering to myself about buttered toast, by Saturday night at the very latest. But here’s where I’ll be for the con — at least when I’m not in my toast corner.

Transgression as Progress
Thursday, 12:30, P-511CF
Participants: jan howard finder, Lee Harris, Margaret Ronald, Shira Daemon, Kate Bachus
Does this year’s model always have to be bigger, faster, harder, darker? Are there ways to break taboos which keep the taboos shocking? Indeed, what shocks us now?

Bending Reality: The Films of Satoshi Kon
Thursday, 19:00, P-524B
Participants: Jessica Langer, L. Jagi Lamplighter, MargaretRonald, René Walling
The creator of “Millennium Actress,” “Tokyo Godfathers” and “Paprika” has carved out his own niche in anime. A look at Kon’’s off-kilter world and what makes it unique.

Writing Workshop
Friday, 11:00
Participants: Laura Anne Gilman, Margaret Ronald
Critique session for previously submitted manuscripts

You Like to Write, Now What?
Saturday, 13:00, P-510D
Participants: Amy Sisson, Jeanne Cavelos, Margaret Ronald, Peter Atwood, Merrie Haskell
What does it take for a young writer to get started? Where can you go to learn more? Some folks talk about Writing Programs they’’ve attended. What’’s the next step? What does it take to get noticed?

Saturday, 15:30
I sign books! At least that’s the theory.

Love Bites
Saturday, 21:00, P-518A
Participants: Alaya Dawn Johnson, Inanna Arthen, Margaret Ronald
More than just your normal love-bite: how did paranormal romance enter the mainstream?

Author Reading
Sunday, 12:30, P-512AE
Participants: Laura Anne Gilman, Margaret Ronald, Seanan McGuire, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime

Legitimizing the Woo
Sunday, 21:00, P-524B
Participants: Margaret Ronald, Eoin Colfer, Peter Watts
It is an ongoing tradition of science fiction to rehabilitate overtly fantasy tropes (vampires, zombies, fairies, god) by soaking them in SFnal rationales. What are the rules for hijacking a trope from one genre and reprogramming it for another? And why bother?

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Wednesday Magic District: Using advice

July 29, 2009 at 7:59 am (Magic District)

Today’s Magic District follows on the heels of last week’s: instead of how to get through a crit session, it’s now what to do afterwards.  It’s pretty subjective — about all I could do was present my own experience and extrapolate from that — but there are some good principles about addressing critiques.

I’ll try to have my Worldcon schedule up tomorrow or Friday (yes, I’m lax on the teapots).  It looks…pretty busy, actually.  I’m feeling outclassed and nervous already, but that’s nothing new.

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Wednesday Magic District, plus a review

July 22, 2009 at 7:59 am (Magic District, Spiral Hunt)

Today’s Wednesday Magic District talks a little about workshops and how to get through them without tearing your notebook in half, flinging it at the critiquers, and gibbering in a corner for the next hour.  It’s also got a couple of important links to the Worldcon Writers’ Workshop, which I’ll have the honor of assisting this year.  Take a look, and tell me if you think I’ve gone off the deep end from one too many crits.

Also, there’s a review of Spiral Hunt up in Strange Horizons today:  “Fans of kick-ass heroines and well written characters rejoice!” Wheeee!

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Wednesday-masquerading-as-Thursday Magic District

July 16, 2009 at 7:36 am (Magic District)

Okay, so writing my Magic District post late at night is not the best idea, since it turns out I then forget to link to it from here.  (Not that much traffic goes from here, but what the hell why not.)  But the post itself turned out all right, concerning Gentlemen of the Road, swashbuckling, genre loyalty, and stubbornness.  Go take a look!

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Wednesday Magic District and Readercon schedule

July 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm (Uncategorized)

For today’s Magic District, I’m obsessing over trivia.  While that’s nothing unusual, this time I have the insecurity of My Professional Image! to worry about.  (Bah.  I don’t have much of an image to begin with; it’s hard to see how I could dent what’s not there.)

Also, I’ll be attending Readercon this weekend.  My schedule’s a little different from the one posted — my reading time shifted slightly.  Or at least I think it has.  Anyway, I’ll be there in time to work things out.

Friday 7:00 PM, VT: Reading (30 min.)
I’ll be reading an unpublished short story concerning, among other things, dirigibles, brains in tanks, intrigue, flying serpents, derring-do, and a nice hot cup of tea.

Sunday 1:00 PM, VT: Group Reading
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Group Reading (60 min.) Scott H. Andrews (host) with Saladin Ahmed, S. C. Butler, Michael DeLuca, C. C. Finlay.
Readings from the semimonthly online zine of literary adventure fantasy edited by Andrews.  (I’ll be reading from “Dragon’s-Eyes.”)

Hope to see you there!

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Five things

July 2, 2009 at 7:11 am (Uncategorized)

Ages and ages ago, I got tagged with the “five things people don’t know about you” meme by the Velveteen Rabbi, and now that I have my brain back, it’s time to make an attempt. However, there’s a slight difficulty in that I’m writing this blog for two different audiences: a few people who know me very well (hi, Auntie Lou!), and readers of the internet at large, who don’t know me at all. So I’ve decided to make this a two-tiered set of answers — the first is something basic about me that my close friends already know, the second fleshes that out a little.

1. I’m an identical twin. My sister’s an academic, working towards her doctoral degree, and we’re close enough that we can see each other often. (My younger sister, also an academic, lives farther away, but we try to stay in touch, partly because she’s much cooler than either of us.)
1a. I can’t stand most portrayals of twins in fiction. Either they’re polarized, good/evil, jock/nerd, etc., or they’re treated as essentially the same person. And let’s not even get into the whole weird sexual issues around them; that just gives me the creeps. Any recommendations for books that have non-polarized, non-interchangeable twins who are not screwing each other would be welcome.

2. I’ve been writing since second grade. (A copy of my first work, The Cases of Detective Snoopy, got brought out at my wedding reception. All I can say is that I’ve gotten better since then.)
2a. For all of seventh through ninth grade, I carried around a couple of notebooks in which I wrote two separate novels. One was a clunky fairy-tale pastiche with big battle scenes that didn’t quite grasp the underlying concept of warfare; the other was a sprawling epic fantasy in three volumes. I started typing up a revised draft of the latter, but didn’t get very far. The notebooks served their purpose, though: they were a shield against the junior high and high school worlds. I might not have lived in the real world for much of that time, but I liked the world where I did live.

3. I love to bake, even though I don’t have much time for it. Specifically, I love to bake muffins. They’re easy quickbreads, and done well they’re a lot of payoff for very little work.
3a. I’d really like to take a few weeks to experiment with muffin recipes to see if there are some that can be made more easily and quickly, say for large gatherings. I can make batter ahead and freeze it (depending on the recipe), but what I’d really like to do is run a few test batches. Of course, this would require not only time that I don’t have, but also a team of willing testers. And jam. We’d need jam.

4. I love hiking, even though I’m slow and out of shape. (Knees! Why do you torment me so!)
4a. I’ve made some bad decisions while hiking — taking a certain path up Monadnock on a damp day was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done, and I think it was just luck that we came back down the mountain unscathed — and so am a little skittish of some trails or of hiking without preparation. However, I always seem to bring the wrong thing: extra water that never gets drunk, extra layers that never get used, etc. And I always forget the sunscreen.

5. I’ve never pierced my ears, but I do have a tattoo.
5a. The reason I’ve never pierced my ears is solely due to the remnants of a childish desire to distinguish myself from my twin, who got hers pierced in her teens. However, this backfired, because I ended up jealous of her for being able to wear more of the fun jewelry.  This is why I often wear ear cuffs instead, which can be twinkly without needing any holes punched in anything.

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Wednesday Magic District: At the end of it all

July 1, 2009 at 9:54 am (Magic District)

I return!  With a post!  And plans for more posts!

Today’s Magic District is all about endings — specifically, endings that don’t work.  I’m not entirely sure what it is that makes an ending work in the context of the story, and all of the criteria that come to mind are reader-specific; that is, things I notice as a reader instead of things I can work on as a writer.  It’s a little like the difference between saying “there’s a weird clunking noise in the engine” and “aha, the rear infundibulator reticulation is out of alignment.”

Hm.  Maybe there’s a post to be made about the difference in perceiving problems while writing and reading. I’ll see if I can come up with one for Monday.

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