jeanmarieward: (shoe1)
Yeah, yeah, I owe you blogs and photos from three different conferences. But for Balticon I had help!







If you want to put it all together, check out Kelly Harmon's blog about her first day at Balticon. And if you can't get enough of meme, check out Gail Z. Martin's coverage of the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. Better yet, check out the video for the other wonderful writers, like Gail and Kelly, whose stories I highly recommend.

Cheers!
jeanmarieward: (Default)
I’m going back on con time this weekend. From Friday to Monday, May 22-25, you’ll find me at Balticon, Baltimore’s premier science fiction and fantasy con, held over the Memorial Day Weekend at the Hunt Valley Marriott. I hope you’ll check it out. And if you’re looking for me in particular, here’s where you’ll find me:

Friday, 6 p.m.
Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy - Panelists will help you see the humor you may have missed in the work of Charles Stross and others. They will also look at the history of humor in the genres from Feghoots to the present. Panelists: Tom Doyle, Grig Larson, James Daniel Ross and Jean Marie Ward.

Saturday, 3 p.m.
Television Science Fiction and Fantasy – Admit it, you love it. But it makes you feel so guilty in the morning. Panelists: Dale Arnold, Brenda Clough, Thomas Horman, Elaine Stiles and Jean Marie Ward.

Saturday, 7 p.m.
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading – Six of Balticon’s featured women writers bring you into their worlds with six-minute readings from their newest fiction. (I plan to read my latest, “Lord Bai’s Discovery of Bacon”. The editor who asked for it will be in the audience. Be afraid. Be very afraid.) Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Jean Marie Ward and Trisha J. Woolridge.

Sunday, 4 p.m.
Reading as Exploration - Tell us about books you have explored recently or those you remember from the past. Panelists: David Glenn Anderson, Robert R. Chase, Darrell Schweitzer, Jean Marie Ward and Martin Morse Wooster.
jeanmarieward: (Default)

Finally the link has been posted!  With Nine You Get Vanyr finaled in the sf/fantasy and humor categories of the 2008 Indie Awards.  And there were several other Samhellions to keep me company: D. Renee Bagby (Serenity, SF/Fantasy category), Traci Hall (Her Wiccan, Wiccan Ways, New Age category) and Ann Warner (Dreams for Stones, Romance category).
Still working on my Balticon photos.  The short version of my con report is I had a fabulous time.  The staff was too kind.  (They gave me a t-shirt!  Bouncy.  Bouncy.)  Connecting with friends--old, new and previously Internet-only--is always a blast.  And the programming and absinthe were lots of fun.  (Yes, thanks to Kelly and her husband, I've joined the decadent ranks of 19th century French poets and mad pre-Raphaelites.)
My only concern relates to the impression I may have left on one of the women who attended both my Feudalism and Mythology panels.  The subject of Joseph Campbell's monomyth came up in the latter, and unfortunately, it's one of the few subjects that make me bats*it insane--urm, rouses me to flights of rhetorical passion.  
I would've liked to talk to her about it later.  I seldom meet a woman who both understands and accepts Campbell's thesis.  Many think they do, but they haven't read enough of the misogynistic twerp--er, George Lucas's favorite scholar to understand what's actually happening in his so-called hero's journey.  (As someone who's spent most of her life in the company of military personnel, I also take violent exception to his thesis that legendary and historical heroism is necessarily the product of profound mental illness, but that's a whole 'nother rant.)  I would've liked to learn what attracts her to Campbell's ideas and perhaps get a better grasp on why his interpretation of classical mythology resonates so strongly with so many.  But she left the panel when her husband arrived, a few minutes before the end.  
I love participating in con programs.  I'm a natural-born ham, and nothing makes me happier than giving the audience a good show.  But performing in a setting where you and your audience are up close and personal requires a delicate balance between courtesy, respect, expertise and flamboyance.  Limited time means everything is delivered in broad brush strokes.  I never want to imply my view is the only valid one out there--especially on a subject as controversial as Campbell--but I am a redhead, with all the drama that entails.  I'm the living embodiment why symphony conductors used to warn their proteges, "Whatever you do, don't smile at the brass."  I can be as brassy as it gets.  
Since the woman left early, I don't know how well any of my intentions came across.  But I hope she enjoyed herself, and that she realizes the thanks and applause I gave our audience at the end of the Mythology panel were intended for her too.
Cheers,

jeanmarieward: (Default)
The final nail of official approval has been hammered into the coffin of my Balticon--wait, I'm not sure I like where this metaphor is going, especially since I'm rather fond of Balticon.  Let's just say, I have my Balticon schedule and it is good:

E-Publishing (Friday, 7 p.m., Derby) - After editing Crescent Blues for eight years, persuading other people to publish my articles and stories online, and working with Samhain as an author and final line editor, this was probably a no-brainer.  But I'll try to find some new stories to tell.

How Do You Write Them Shorter? (Friday, 11 p.m., Salon D) - This is a perfect example of chance working for you.  I hadn't marked this on my Wanna List, but I actually do have some good info to share--like how to cut 45K from 165K manuscript in 30 days or less and what to do when you get invited to participate in an anthology and you haven't written short fiction in over five years.  My only problem is I'm not sure how to promote this as a sex panel.  When it comes to late night panels, short is generally not considered a good thing.  ;-)

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading (Saturday, 11 a.m., Salon D) - I've got two passages earmarked for reading here: the opening of Highway from Hell and the opening of "Hero Material", the short story resulting from the panic attack alluded to in the last paragraph.  Guess it depends on what the other writers--Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Christy E. Tohara and Trish J. Woolridge--choose to read.  My natural inclination is to read whatever offers the greatest change of pace.  But I won't know what that will be until I get there.

Feudalism (Sunday, 6 p.m., Derby) - You'd never know my minor was British History in the Medieval/Early Modern Period from the way my brain froze when I read that.  Time to relearn "usufruct".  LOL

Reinventing The Myth (Monday, 2 p.m., Salon D) - This is the one I asked for special, and the Programming Crew was kind enough to sign me up.  This so very much relates to Highway and my work-in-progress.  Looking forward to hearing what my fellow panelists are up to, as well.

Looking forward to connecting with everyone who can make it.  Now it's time to get back to researching that WIP--more You Tube videos of Who Wants To Be A Superhero auditions.  Who says I don't suffer for my art?
Cheers and grins,
jeanmarieward: (Default)
 The good kind--conventions where you get to attend panels and hang out with your friends and (if you're on the program) hopefully entertain other people doing the same.  So far, my 2008 schedule looks like this:

April 25-27, RavenCon, Richmond, VA
I expect to go a little wild at this one.  I'm rooming with [profile] jer_bear711and [profile] cymreiges, both of whom have fabulous new books coming out this year and want to celebrate the arrival of same.  They're actually contemplating letting me loose in a room party.  Heh heh.  And, oh yeah, there will be great programming too.  ;-)

May 17-18, Philadelphia Book Festival, Philadelphia, PA
This one's a little unusual for me.  It's a book fair sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia. Samhain Publishing has reserved a booth, and I volunteered to help out with sales, etc.  I've never worked a sales table before, but with everything that's going on at the fair, it's got to be a win/win/win situation.  I get to promote a good product, maybe even sign a book or two (yes, Virginia, turns out my mother-in-law's square apple pie recipe really is in The Write Ingredients--go us!), and after it's over I can visit family and friends in the area.

May 23-26, Balticon, Baltimore, MD
No roomie for this one yet.  (I think I'm on probation after getting a little too enthusiastic about the whole room party idea.)  But lots of wonderful programming and fabulous guests--besides me, that is.  One of the things I especially like about Balticon is you always catch folks with fabulous new books you never would've known about otherwise.  It doesn't hurt that the conventon celebrates new authors, either.  (Go Compton Crook Awards!)

August 28-September 1, DragonCon, Atlanta, GA
Oh yeah.  My favorite summer camp for wayward adults.  [profile] cymreigeswill be there.  [profile] hundakleptisiswill be there.  Carole Nelson Douglas...  DragonCon qualifies as a highlight of any year.  It's pure madness, but how can you not love a con with a parade, concerts and the Ms. Klingon Universe pageant?

October 31-November 2, World Fantasy Con, Alberta, Canada
I don't think I'll be playing on any panels for this one, but I'm definitely going.  This will be my first time attending a WFC where I haven't been running ragged trying to nail down interviews for Crescent Blues.  I get to be a fan.  And what a line-up!

Capclave, the local DC sf/fantasy convention is always on my to-do list.  But after the last couple of Octobers, I'm not making any plans just yet.  Of course, this means I may have to attend it as a fan too.  Oh, twist my arm!  :-)
Now to get back to what I should've been doing this afternoon--working on a short story involving a hapless interstellar transport gate repair person and a dragon who resembles my mother to an alarming degree.  It's ironic, I spent years trying to keep her from overwhelming me, now I'm trying to channel her for dialogue and it's hard.
I also need to get this info on Wardsmith.com.  I've let the site slide for far too long.  Oh well, now that the dh has put the finishing touches on the new and improved Hail Dubyus, our new webmaster will definitely have more time.  Once he's recovered, that is...  Mwahahahaha!
Cheers,
Jean Marie
 
jeanmarieward: (Default)

Got back to Balticon to discover With Nine You Get Vanyr had been Giggled.  I'm alternating between squees of delight and "Ouchouchouchouchouch!"  Mrs. G's darts are sharp!  LOL  But her aim is true.  She's also the first and only reviewer so far to catch the book's many Highlander homages.  Not to mention her stellar pull quote about Deryk. 
You can read the full text of the article here.  Seriously, I'm thrilled and very grateful Mrs. Giggles took the time to review Vanyr.  It's great exposure for the book.  If you've got any doubts about the value of a review by Mrs. G, I humbly submit my Amazon numbers.  Last week the book's ranking bounced between 400,000-600,000, dipping to a low of 700,000 over the holiday weekend.  May 28, the day after her review appeared, we shot up to 104,392--not bad at all for a small press book three months past release.
'Course, it could've been my stellar performance at Balticon. .. Nah, not a chance.  I was too busy having fun.  I've got the pictures to prove it, too.  I plan to post the better ones later this week.  Until then, I'm open to bribes--er, gratuities and considerations.
Cheers!

jeanmarieward: (Default)
I'll be heading off to Balticon tomorrow morn--er, around noon.  I'm on the guest list, but I was added too late to make the posted program.  Don't even know my panels yet, but hey, it's all about the adventure.  :-)  If you're in the area, hope you'll check it out.
If you're not, you might want to check out the June issue of Romance Writers Report.  My article, "Do-It-Yourself (Book) Surgery", made the cover.  Squeee!  Of course, the article deals with RWA's newest recognized publisher (Samhain) just as the organization is revving up for another round of Published Author Network madness.  But hey, the writer's life is all about irony.
Happy Memorial Day, everybody!

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