Posts Tagged ‘panels’

MileHiCon Recap and Sundry

Oof, sorry, squiders. This week has been crazy pants. Did I tell you we’re replacing our ancient, poorly constructed deck (they put the boards too close together so water just pooled and rotted the boards over time)? Well, we are, and it’s taking more bandwidth than I would have thought.

Also, I started this entry LAST Thursday. Oof. Oof oof oof.

MileHiCon (now two weekends ago) was…mostly good. I saw some people I haven’t seen in forever and got to reconnect, made new friends, and networked in general. That’s always the best part of the con for me, so I’m satisfied in that regard.

In other regards, attendance was way down and so the whole thing felt kind of empty, but I’m not sure that was a bad thing. The con has also moved to a new venue, so it took a bit of getting used to, but I got it figured out.

(Also the elevators are much faster. The elevators at the old con took FOREVER and so if you needed to go anywhere off the main two floors, or if you had heavy books or needed mobility aids, it could take 15 minutes just to catch the dang elevator. A greatly needed improvement.)

I didn’t get as much done as I typically did around panels, partially because of the re-connecting/networking (probably more important in the long run), but I did read about 100 pages of a writing book and do some starting work on my outlining for my novella/SkillShare class (I now have most of the outline done, and about an hour of the class filmed), so it’s not all bad.

Also, I bought an awesome hat.

My panels were okay. The realistic fantasy travel/horse one on Friday I interpreted as being, you know, focused on the “realistic travel” part of the idea, but everyone else focused on the “horse” part of the idea, so it ended up being about horses in fiction in general. I mean, okay, I actually have decent horse knowledge due to being a trick rider in my youth, but I don’t actually like them very much and now I have a bunch of info about horses and other types of travel that didn’t get used. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do a post over here.

Saturday I moderated a panel on self-editing where it felt like I, again, had interpreted the panel content different than everyone else. Self-editing being where you edit your own work, either before you send it out to agents or before you indie publish. All the questions I’d prepared were about the physical nitty-gritty of the process–what steps where, process, checklists, tools, etc.–but my panelists wanted to talk about other aspects. Hopefully it went okay.

I did take the larger, mobile one on Sunday for the Critter Crunch. The 2-lb category was as fun as ever (and larger, mobile one is planning out his critter for next year) but there were only two bots in the 20-lb category, and one was malfunctioning (it kept driving off the side and not stopping, so people had to dodge for their life). At one point they brought out a 20-lb box of rocks that they used for testing their bot against so that they could draw the event out a bit. I mean, they made the best of a bad situation, and we still had fun, but it was a bit disappointing.

I tried to upload a video here for you guys, but apparently video is now a premium feature? Anyway, I found the whole 2-lb battle on YouTube for you (also you can see my feet).

All in all, it was a good weekend, and I’m glad I went. And I’m looking forward to next year! If all goes well I’ll have a new book out, and maybe I’ll get some stuff done for the Art Show.

How have you been, squiders?

AHHHH

A sneak peek at my inner monologue right now, squiders.

You know, I suspect at one point in my life, I got a lot more done than I do regularly now.

Con starts tomorrow! How ready am I for it?

Eh, I’d say middling. The list from last week looks like this:

  • Sign up for author co-op table slot
  • File sales permits with the usual government agencies
  • Figure out what horse panel is supposed to be about (alas, no descriptions are available yet)
  • Research how far a horse can actually travel
  • Prepare moderator questions for editing panel
  • Costumes? (Probably too late, but ponder anyway)
  • Make Writers’ Motivation Series fliers to put out
  • Order fun masks?

Also, according to the schedule the con sent out very early this morning, I have autographs at 5 o’clock tomorrow? I don’t think I’ve ever had autographs before. I am unsure what this means, actually.

(The answer on the costumes was no, it was much too late to get on that. I could re-wear something but I’m not feeling anything.)

Panel information is out, so I just need to sit down and write things down (horse panel is about realistic travel in fantasy, which I generally know about, but it would be good to have some facts at hand about how long horses can generally go in a day, how fast a sailing ship can go, etc.) and think up some moderator questions for the editing panel (none provided this year, can probably steal/modify from my questions for last year’s panel).

Masks are unlikely to happen at this point. It moving weekends this year really did throw me off.

Actually, I didn’t really check book stock either. Uh. I hope I have enough with the added autograph session (whatever that is–I’m just going to ask when I get there).

Oh, no, I forgot about the laundry.

*kermit flails*

In non-con news, I started my new job outside the house this weekend, which is going fine. It’s weird, not going to lie, but it’s probably good for me, except I am definitely drinking too much coffee.

And I finally put together my revision plan for Book One! It only took me about 20-30 minutes. An example of one of those things that keeps getting put off that doesn’t actually take too long.

And now, alas, September is over. Or, yay, September is over? September always feels like a weird transition month to me, with no substance of its own. Part of me is sad, because my creative work took a back seat to other things I needed to do. The rest of me is like YAY OCTOBER, which is counterproductive, really.

I am excited for the con this weekend, even though I’m not as prepared as normal for it. It’s always nice to just get out of the house and hang out, and I normally get a lot of work done between panels and feel productive.

Well, wish me luck, squiders! I’ll see you next week for the wrap-up.

MileHiCon Loometh

SQUIDERS! MileHiCon is NEXT WEEKEND omg.

They’ve moved it to the first weekend of October rather than the fourth, and I am apparently unprepared for this change. But at least now it’s not going to interfere with Halloween activities some years.

Anyway, I’m behind on preparation. I mean, it’s not a lot–most stuff I just carry around from year to year with little variation. And it’s my own fault panel-wise, I’ve had the schedule for, like, almost a month. I’m moderating another editing panel this year (whee, must have done a good job last year or something) and am also on a panel about how far horses can travel, which I think is about realistic travel in fantasy, but I’m not 100% sure.

It’s in person this year too! I’ll admit that makes me a little nervous, but they are requiring masks and you get a special Vaccinated! ribbon to hang off your name tag if you’re vaccinated.

(I do love my con ribbons.)

Anyway, hopefully this isn’t a horrible mistake. The Critter Crunch is on again this year, and the larger, mobile one has expressed interest in going (also building his own robot, but that ain’t happening before the con), but I think I’m going to wait and see how safe I feel the con is before I commit to taking him. He’s not old enough to be vaccinated and with how dumb some people are about everything, I want to be safe.

Emotions suck. I’m excited for the con, yet scared. Luckily it’s not that big of convention, in the great scheme of things, so it could certainly be worse.

In other news, my favorite coffee shop is open for inside dining again, provided you show proof of vaccination, which is fine for me. As an added bonus, the vaccination requirement has a bunch of people up in arms, so I don’t have to worry about those people being in said coffee shop.

Anyway, here’s my normal to-do list for the con, for my own use so I can find it again later:

  • Sign up for author co-op table slot
  • File sales permits with the usual government agencies
  • Figure out what horse panel is supposed to be about (alas, no descriptions are available yet)
  • Research how far a horse can actually travel
  • Prepare moderator questions for editing panel
  • Costumes? (Probably too late, but ponder anyway)
  • Make Writers’ Motivation Series fliers to put out
  • Order fun masks?

I feel like I’m forgetting something. Hold on, checking previous years’ lists.

Oh, yeah, business cards. I never remember my damn business cards. Oh! Credit card reader! Good job, past!Kit. Very on top of things.

Has anyone been to a con recently? Tips you would recommend?

Going to a Virtual Convention

So, MileHiCon, which you’ll remember if you’ve been with me for a while, is a scifi/fantasy literature convention I hit every year. Except, of course, this year sucks.

So MileHiCon has gone virtual.

There are pros and cons to this, like with anything, The biggest con, of course, is not being able to physically be there. I’ll miss my writing friends and acquaintances that I don’t always get to see elsewhere. I’ll miss the con atmosphere. I’ll miss the Critter Crunch. I’ll miss the networking and random discussions.

The pro is that my other Turtleduck Press people can come this year, which they usually can’t. So that’s exciting. I think.

We signed up for the virtual author’s row, which in theory gives us a space to advertise (and also gives us a chatroom–be interesting to see if anyone comes in. Other than ourselves). I haven’t heard a lot on that front (which is bad since the con starts on Friday) but I know they’ll pull it together. The con has a great team, and I’m actually a little impressed at the virtual space they’ve put together for the con itself.

(I watched the panelist info video yesterday, which was well done and also hilarious. It was so good.)

Speaking of panels, I basically told them not to feel like they had to put me on any panels this year. Without being physically at the con, I can’t guarantee that I won’t have the small, mobile ones or other family members bothering me.

I did get one assigned–a panel on editing. As the moderator.

I’ve never moderated a panel in my life. The closest was two or three years ago when I and another author led a roundtable about Doctor Who. (Which does not add to my confidence, because basically the other author talked the whole time and shot down anyone who didn’t agree with him.)

So that’s fun! Nothing like trying to lead a discussion while hoping the bigger, mobile one doesn’t need help on his social studies (it’s on Friday during the day)!

It’ll probably be fine. I just need to do some work before hand to make sure I’m prepared. Fingers crossed and all that jazz.

It is too cold to type out here. Hold on.

Anyway! I shall be interested to see how the con goes this year. A lot less prep than usual on my side, but I wonder if I will get as much out of it as normal. Things to talk about next week, when the con’s over.

(If you’d like to come, please do so! It’s $15 for a full weekend membership, and there’s decently big names as the guests of honor: Cory Doctorow, Rebecca Roanhorse–what? Barbara Hambly is coming? ::makes notes::–Connie Willis, etc.)

(Also, I appreciate MileHiCon always treating me like I’m someone worth coming to see.)

Have you guys gone to or participated in a virtual con this year? How did it go? Any tips you have? Any moderating insights?

MileHiCon Prep and Nerves

My sister gave me chocolate for my birthday, which is both a blessing and a curse.

We’re about a week out from MileHiCon, squiders, which is a scifi/fantasy literary convention that I like to make the rounds at each year. You’ve probably heard me talk about it before. For a few years I had a table in the author’s row for Turtleduck Press, which ended up not being much fun (stuck at table, terrible habit of comparing sales to other presses/authors, etc.) so last year I struck out on my own, which is the plan again this year.

But I still feel a little weird about. I mean, I had a MUCH better time last year and I don’t regret abandoning the author’s row. But I haven’t really done much since last year. I’ve had some short stories published in zines, anthologies, and websites, but nothing too major, and nothing I’ve had any sort of ownership over. Sure, next year is looking better–a Fractured World anthology and the sequel to City of Hope and Ruin, as well as some other potential projects–but this year is pretty sparse.

So it feels weird to be doing something that is essentially marketing while having nothing to market. I mean, there’s still reasons to go–networking, to see people I like, to have fun, books, etc. (To stare longingly at the things in the art show I can’t afford. To buy awesome book-themed tea.) But I feel less relevant than normal.

(Also, reminder to self, file permits with state/city so I can sell books.)

Still, though–I’m on two panels, both editing related, and have a time at the authors’ signing table. And they offered me a comped pass for the weekend, which has never happened before. So that feels lovely. And my mom found me a proper book display so that will also be helpful for signing/selling. All in all, if I can get over the weirdness, it should be a good weekend.

(Things to do, because I honestly just realized we were a week away:

-File permits
-Organize stock/credit card reader/mailing list sign-up/business cards
-If, when panel details come out, I need to prep, prep)

Any thoughts on conventioning when there’s nothing to market, squiders? As a reader, what draws you to panelists/authors at conventions you attend?

MileHiCon, Next Nonfiction Topic, Et al.

Can you believe October is almost over, Squiders? I’m not ready! It seems like it just started, all full of promise and hope, but now the leaves have fallen off the trees and the gloom of winter is descending.

It’s MileHiCon this weekend. I’ve talked about it before, but for those of you who are new, it’s a literary-minded scifi/fantasy convention in Denver, Colorado. This will be my third year attending in an authorial capacity. In previous years I’ve run a table in the Authors’ Alley, which is where indie authors and small presses can set up shop for the weekend, sell books, talk to readers, etc.

In theory, the Authors’ Alley is a wonderful idea. In actuality, it varies based on where you are in the alley and how tired potential readers are by the time they get to you. My first year (2014) was pretty decent. Last year was miserable. And it didn’t help that I had to man my table by myself (I was running one for Turtleduck Press and the other authors couldn’t make it either time) and was essentially stuck there all weekend. TRAPPED.

(On the other hand, sometimes it can be somewhat beneficial. I’ve edited chapters, written short stories, drawn landsquid pictures for the blog, etc., all while trapped at my Authors’ Alley table.)

So this year, I’ve got a 2-hour slot at what they call the Authors’ Co-op table. Same thing as Authors’ Alley, where you can set up shop, sell books, do autographs, etc., but 1) it’s free and 2) it’s for a limited time period and then you’re freeeeeeeee, free, thank the Lord.

In addition to this, I have finally figured out how to get on panels. Last year, I think, oh, two weeks out from the convention, I emailed the panel coordinator and told her that if she still needed people, I was ready and available, and she very gently told me that I was several months too late and helped me so I didn’t mess up again this year.

I’m hoping the panel + limited table stuckage will result in a more enjoyable convention, and one that’s more beneficial to me as an author in both a networking and a marketing manner. I’ll let you know next week.

So, according to the poll, it looks like people want to do common writing problems as our next nonfiction topic. I hope to outline the book tomorrow but it may take me a few days to get everything in order since I need to figure out what the most common writing problems are (with a focus on fiction, since that is my specialty). If I get everything ready by Thursday we’ll start this week, but with the con looming I make no guarantees.

(If you have a problem you’d like to seen covered, let me know!)

My drawing class is going well, though it’s not quite what I wanted. I finished my project yet we still have one more week, so not sure what I’m going to do. Draw landsquid and alpaca, I suppose.

How are you, Squiders? Advice on being on a Doctor Who panel when I haven’t seen most of the last season and seemingly have no way to do so before the convention starts (I have been on the hold list for the library copy forever)?