Today I'm here to present the first of the promised Wiscon updates, namely the one for Friday, May 27th. I admit I was uncertain whether we ere going to make it Friday morning in time for my writers workshop at all, with two kids in tow and a third adult to pick up on the way (my sis xakara ), but I managed to get there okay. And hence, where the ongoing fun begins…
(note: you will notice a lack of names and lj links, because after an evening of working into the weehours on my Nativepunk (as in Steampunk) outfit I can't remember who I wanted to mention who has an lj/dw, just toooooo many faces from Friday floating in my brain all at one. Feel free to poke me lj/dw Wiscon friends and I will add when more coherent ;) Same if you see typos I need to fix :P )
9 AM - Awesome writers workshop with Pro Margaret Ronald, and two other amazing authors, both of which had work that forced me to dig deeper to give them useful crits, at least ones that I hope were useful, because it was so awesome. I got some great suggestions for revisions needed for Bloodstained Innocence, including changing some of the chapter switches back but apparently weren’t working and slowed the pacing. Our Pro even bought us lunch at Michelangelo’s after, how cool is that? I’ll have to see how far I can get in the revisions before next year, and how far I get the revisions to Path of the Huntress to see which one of those will be going to the workshop with me next year. I did get a bit of ego stroke secondhand when I found out people that were looking for me during the writers workshop were being told that I “Must be one the pros and they don’t know why she wasn’t on the list” by some the folks at registration which gave me a bit of a grin. Nope, sorry, this writer has a lot more to learn before I consider myself ready to actually be in that position.
1 PM - Even after running my mouth at the café for a very long time, I was able to make it to the Gathering. It was like coming home. There was hugging, and animated conversations, awesome hand-me-downs, and lots of other fun stuff that very quickly reminded me why I miss Wiscon so much throughout the year. I was very happy to see the kids clothes I brought go pretty quickly, including the stuff I hand dyed and hand-painted. I even found a few things myself, some of which will be possible additions to my Steampunk gear. I had thought about listing all the amazing folks I saw just at the Gathering but one, that would take all day, and two I feel horrible if I forgot someone. Y’all know how I am, if I was happy to see you again there was no doubt, you knew it!
4 PM - Right about now I hit the Broad Universe Rapidfire Reading, which even though there seem to be some cyber info confusion so I wasn’t listed, Trisha J. Woodridge was nice enough to let me join in any way. We has some amazing readers there like Catherine Mankiller, F. J. Bergmann, Julie Andrews, and Gwynne Garfinkel, among many others. I decided for the fun of it to read a couple flash fiction stories from Chilling Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, the LGBT flash fiction anthology I was part of a few years back. I think everybody had a lot of fun, authors and audience alike.
5:30 PM - One of my favorite Wiscon traditions is the Friday night POC dinner, and this year certainly was no disappointment. I find myself wishing I had time to note all the wonderful people that evening while the dinner was still fresh in my mind, but with at last count 55 POC attendees, I’m not sure that would’ve helped. The dinner gets bigger every year, and more wonderful, not just because this year we got catered, but because the amazing conversations and constantly strengthening sense of community, of family. The people there at this dinner are one of the main reasons the time between Wiscons seems so unbearably long.
One the coolest things, and there were a lot of cool things at the center, besides the fact that Nisi Shawls family are the pinnacle of cool, was some new friendships I made there this year. One example of that is when my friend Jaymee Goh (writer of the uber cool Silver Goggles blog) introduced me to Al-leen the Peacemaker (y’all know her from Beyond Victoriana…if not you must run there and read her blog…NOW) and her fiancé Ashley Lauren Rogers (best known for “The Wandering Legion” as Lucretia Dearfour, who is a utterly fabulous person inside and out). You can now officially blame the three of them for my heightened obsession with completing my native punk cosplay gear and diving into the research of my steam punk story set in a community based on the Giddy Multitude.
Between 7 PM and 9 PM - At some point during this time I was able made it to the Carl Brandon Society party. My memory is fuzzy, so I might not have made down until after my 9 PM panel. In any case much fun was to be had, lunch hugs given, and my daughter even showed up dressed up and ready to dance with some of the folks there. We had several really cool conversations, one of which involve discussion around Carl Brandon Society sponsored author readings featuring authors of color, and positive stories featuring characters of color. I hope to see that happen next year at Wiscon at the very least, if not at many other conventions along the way.
9 PM - Where Are Your Gods? - A great panel I was fortunate enough to be part of with an amazingly diverse cast of panelists including pagan(s), atheists, a Muslim woman, and a rather active amount of audience participation. I can’t say any world changing conversations were had, but the fact that such a diverse group can have civil aid and pleasant conversations around religion while still being open about their personal beliefs is a huge step forward. There were many authors on the panel, and we all had our different opinions about how much we let our own beliefs affect the worlds we create, but no one ever seemed to try to make anyone else feel that their way was the only way.
??? The rest of the evening is kind of a blur between chasing kids, trying to catch up with everybody I could, and allowing myself to get swept up in countless conversations. I’m sure there’s important stuff I’m forgetting, but I had so much fun and I was so tired when I got back to my hotel room the writing about any of it was just not happening. Time for me to go, talk to you later for an update on Saturday’s events.