jeanmarieward: (Default)
My 2009 conference season starts off with a bang this Friday at Richmond’s RavenCon. If you’re in the neighborhood of the Crowne Plaza West, drop by and say hello--and hang around for the festivities. Mary Shelley’s going to be making a return engagement, and this time I think I can get the hair right. As for the rest, I think they’re going to get their money’s worth...

Friday

5 p.m.: Twice-Told Tales
Some of the most popular adult and young adult fantasy in today’s market are retellings of classic fairy tales and myths. What’s the allure? How do writers find something new to say about the stories we all know?
Panelists: Marcia Collette, Edmund Schubert (moderator), Jean Marie Ward, John C. Wright

7 p.m.: Writing 411: (Not Necessarily) The Usual Suspects (90-minute literary workshop)
Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Jack Bauer, Reno—chances are the thing you like best and remember longest about your favorite stories are the characters. This session will discuss the importance of characters in the creation of plot.
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Marie Ward, Allen Wold (moderator), John C. Wright

10 p.m.: Urban Fantasy 101
Werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters—these used to be classic “horror” elements. What defines Urban Fantasy and how does it differ from classic horror?
Panelists: Danny Birt, Marcia Colette, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Hildy Silverman, Jean Marie Ward (moderator)

Saturday

3 p.m.: Dead Authors Society
Four authors channel the spirits of their favorite dead authors for the duration. Talk to William Morris, David Gemmel, Louie L’Amour and Mary Shelley live…sort of.Panelists: Lyn Gardner, Laurel Anne Hill, Peter Prellwitz, Tony Ruggiero (moderator), Jean Marie Ward

6 p.m.: Books on TV
Several new series are popping up on TV based on popular novels--TrueBlood and Legend of the Seeker, for example. How closely do these TV shows follow their inspiration and will book fans follow them to television?
Panelists: James Fulbright, Jean Marie Ward

10 p.m.: Love at First Bite
What is it about vampires? From TrueBlood to Twilight, vampires seem to be taking over. What makes them fun to read and watch? Oh… and do they deserve “human rights” or are they “monsters”?
Panelists: Paul Bibeau, Marcia Collette, Tony Ruggiero (moderator), Jean Marie Ward

Sunday

Noon: Does Blood Smell?
A panel about some of the more “icky” aspects of writing and research.
Panelists: Laurel Anne Hill, Gail Martin, Tony Ruggiero (moderator), Maggie Stiefvater, Jean Marie Ward

jeanmarieward: (Default)
As in jazzing up the program.  And I need help.
One of my major failings as a writer is the direct result of working for the Fed too long.  I think like a bureaucrat.  Yes, it's true.  A nightcrawling fan girl bureaucrat, but a bureaucrat just the same.  Which means my descriptions for entries in to program books can be a bit pedantic.  Ordinarily, I just deal, but this time I'm a little stumped.  So I was hoping the brighter sparks on this list could help.
Every year, Allen Wold leads a hand-picked group of RavenCon's writing guests in a first rate writing seminar composed of four parts:

- Character Building: what makes them real, distinctions between heroes and villains, depth and development versus action.
- The Hook: the all-important first paragraph of the story.
- Plotting: the basics and what to do when you get stuck.
- Editing: either a hands-on review of a pre-selected work or a critique of something the participants bring in.

They've been calling it "Fundamentals of Writing", but Programming Director Tera Fulbright thinks that's a little blah.  New guests and participants change the seminar mix every year.  Why shouldn't the description change too? 
Since RavenCon is E.A. Poe, mystery and horror friendly, I was thinking of going with a break-out on the order of:

- Unusual Suspects
- The Hook
- The Twist
- The Final Cut

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Any ideas to jazz up "Fundamentals of Writing" would be welcome too.  Thanks!
jeanmarieward: (Duzell3)
It took me a long time, but thanks to the lovely and talented Carolan Ivey, I finally posted my 2008 RavenCon photos at Beyond the Veil.  Thanks again, Carolan!
Now, all that's left to do is email the blackmail photos...er, share some of my image files with my esteemed colleagues before settling back down to writing.  I do love cons.
Cheers and evil grins,
Jean Marie
jeanmarieward: (Default)

Thought you might like to see firsthand what REALLY goes on behind the scenes at RavenCon.


Why yes, I have been into the port.  Need you ask?  ;-)
Cheers!

jeanmarieward: (Default)
 Roomie Jana Oliver and I arrived safe and sound, and ate at a fabulous seafood joint, Croaker's Spot, in one of Richmond's more historic neighborhoods.  I never realized how much Richmond architecture resembles New Orleans'.  Hope to do some touring tomorrow in the Shockoe Bottom district to see if it's a general trend.  Meanwhile, I thought I'd post my RavenCon schedule in case anyone can make it.

Friday, April 25

6 p.m.  Reinventing Paranormal: Making Love to an Alien, Fairy or Werewolf.  For my sins, I'm moderating this one.  There are only three--count 'em three--listed victims...er, participants, and I happen to know one of my co-panelists, [profile] jer_bear711, is taking a train that isn't scheduled to arrive in Richmond until 4:45 p.m.  It's gonna be close, folks.  Plus, the panel's supposed to be about injecting new life into the tropes of paranormal romance.  This one should be really interesting.  Hmm, wonder if it's too early to bring rum.

8 p.m.  Opening Ceremonies.  Not much for me to do there except stand around looking harmless.  Another challenge.  Guess I have to forego the rum.  Dang!


Saturday, April 26

9 a.m.  The Best Little Series You Never Saw.  Yes, you read that right--A.M.  Needless to say, I've written up copious notes on all the TV shows I loved which never made it past their first or second season, and brought toothpicks to prop my eyelids open so I could read them.

Noon.  Blogging for the Modern Day Writer.  It's a craft panel discussing the utility of blogs for new and established writers.  I'm moderating this one too, but a host of people are on the guest list, so there should be a lot of opinions to choose from.

7-10 p.m.  Book Launch/Pre-Publication Party.  With dessert!  And liquid-type stuff (for which we may need to card)!  In honor of Jeri's Wicked Game (first in a new series, pub. May 13) and Jana's Madman's Dance (third in her Time Rovers series, pub. September), we'll be opening the suite to friends, relatives and anyone who will consent to take home a bookmark and promise faithfully to buy...er, express interest in the books, including With Nine You Get Vanyr.  (Hey, I'm sharing the room too!)

9 p.m.  Le Bad Anime.  I'm gonna miss part of my own party!  Wah!  But at least I'll be able to dis my least favorite anime in the fashion they deserve.


Sunday, April 27

9 a.m.  Urban Fantasy.  Yes, another day for the toothpicks.  I think the programming director hates me.  And she doesn't even know me!  *sob*  The description of this panel poses the musical question: "Why are there werewolves, vampires and ghosts in a world that should be primarily fey?"  That buzzing you hear is my next attack of Devil's Advocate coming on strong.

2 p.m.  The Popularity of Parnormal in Both Nonfiction and Fiction.  The juxtaposition of both should give this panel a nice twist.


Hope to see you there!
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)

Three cons and two book signings in two weeks.  Yes, I’m crazy.  You had to ask?

Not only that, I'm crazy enough to post about all three.  With pics!  (At last, you say.)

 

Technically, RavenCon, Richmond VA’s very new science fiction/fantasy con, ran from April 20-22.  But unlike a lot of local sf/fantasy/horror organizations who sit around wringing their hands about where the next generation of fans are coming from, the organizers have mounted a real outreach program.  One that goes out into the local school system and…



Now it’s on to the next challenges.  First there’s the final polish on my ghost cat article, then it’s the beta read of a friend’s first novel.  Part of me is thrilled.  It’s always exciting when someone takes their first writing plunge, but I never know what to say.  It’s all about the sensation of fraud I mentioned earlier.  How can I pretend to be an expert when I know so little? 

 

Fake it.  As usual.  LOL

 

jeanmarieward: (Default)

RavenCon was a wonderful, wonderful con.  Big thanks to Jana Oliver and Tee Morris for letting me play in their sandbox.  Ditto for the con organizers who did such a superb job.  RavenCon is turning into the little con that could, growing from 450 to over 700 attendees in just two years.  Can't wait to see what they do next year.
It was such a great con I came home with the dreaded Con Crud, so a detailed report--complete with the infamous Strawberry Pic from the equally infamous "Shaken, Not Stirred--Sex in SF & Fantasy Films" panel will have to wait.  But there's a teaser to be found on the Samhain Blog (it's my turn today), and as always there are some great articles on the Fantasy & Enchantment Blog.  With regards to the F&E blog, though, start with the second one from the top.  The April 25 writer is just showing off.  ;)

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