marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (nymph)

The Chewy Bits

  • I'm not using any reasonable standard for last/first/abbreviated names, just going with what works for me. Apologies if anyone doesn't like being called whatever I'm using. 
  • "Audience" means someone in the audience whose name I don't know.
  • "Someone" means I don't know or didn't manage to note who was speaking, but generally this is a panelist, not an audience member.  If it's you or you know who it is, please let me know and I'll fix the attribution.
  • Text not in quotes is me paraphrasing; text in quotes is exactly as I heard it.
  • Text in brackets is me.

Panelists:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden - mod [

[profile] tnh]
Steven Brust [[profile] skzb]
Emma Bull [[profile] coffeeem]
Pamela Dean [[personal profile] pameladean]

Jim Frenkel [no LJ or current blog! Shocking! Here's a link to an interview: http://www.abc.net.au/news/arts/articulate/200605/s1651668.htm]
[Kevin Maroney was listed as a panelist but IIRC was not there...]

 

Favorite Quotes:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden:  Gene Wolfe writes books where the basic unit of construction is the trap door.
Harriet Culver: Tolkien is the ultimate sourdough bread starter of chewy bits for fantasy.

Works & Authors Referenced:

Spenser books 2 thru 6, Robert B. Parker
Aubrey/Maturin books, Patrick O'Brian
J.R.R. Tolkien
John M. Ford
Bone Dance, Emma Bull
Stardance, Spider Robinson
Gene Wolfe
Joss Whedon
Jim Macdonald
Alfred Bester
Moby Dick
The Time Machine

Ellis Peters (Cadfael mysteries)
P.D. James (Dalgliesh, Cordelia Grey).
The Infinity Link, Jeff Carver
Catspaw, Joan Vinge
Keith Giffen (Comics creator)

Terms:

Loam of Myth
Chewy Bits
Narrative Lust
Twee
Sturgeon's Law

 

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Smiley)
Ok, at long last I'm going to try to get my con experience written up. The detailed notes from the sessions are in progress and will be linked in as I complete them. 

Note to online friends to whom I vaguely refer in these notes:  I much appreciate you spending so much time with me and being so welcoming.  You know who you are.

Day 1 - Friday:

I got on the road from Chicagoland about 6 am, and had mostly a good drive with no road closures, despite the floods. Mercifully, the drive past the Wisconsin Dells didn't bring me within viewing range of the corpse of Lake Delton, because I didn't feel like being horribly sad, and I would have been.

I've never been to Minneapolis before, and the drive to the hotel was a little bit complicated by my tiredness and by the neat trick they have up there of naming streets and highways with the same numbers, so the exit for highway 35, for example, is cozily close to the unrelated exit for 35th street. Even so I made it there in time for the opening ceremonies.

The opening ceremonies weren't very ceremonial--Steven Brust([profile] skzbrust   ) introduced Lydia Nickerson,([personal profile] lydy   ) the convention chair who made 4th street happen (yay, Lydia!), and then Elise Mattheson([personal profile] elisem   ) got up to say somethingorother about somethingorother. I was pretty tired at this point, so not much really registered, besides a pleasant euphoria at sitting in a roomful of extremely cool people after 9 hours on the road.

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
The Dreaded Second Draft

  • I'm not using any reasonable standard for last/first/abbreviated names, just going with what works for me. Apologies if anyone doesn't like being called whatever I'm using.
  • I also am not sure who said what for a lot of this panel, because I was in the back and could only see Elizabeth Bear, Emma Bull, and Caroline Stevermer, plus snippets of Pam Dean and Catherine Lundoff if I leaned over and annoyed my neighbors.  Eleanor was totally invisible to me no matter what I tried. So rather than guess and be wrong I've attributed several things to "Someone."  I'm really sorry about this and will fix it if someone can help me to attribute things properly!  For all my other notes I made a point of sitting where I could see people.  Also for later notes I was able to identify a few more audience members.  But for this particular note set I was still figuring out logistics so it's suckier than the ones that will follow it.
  • "Audience" means someone in the audience whose name I don't know.
  • Text not in quotes is me paraphrasing; text in quotes is exactly as I heard it.
  • Text in brackets is me.

Panelists:

Elizabeth Bear - mod [[info]matociquala]

Eleanor Arnason [http://eleanorarnason.blogspot.com/]
Emma Bull [[profile] coffeeem]
Pamela Dean [[personal profile] pameladean]

Catherine Lundoff [[personal profile] catherineldf]
Caroline Stevermer [[personal profile] 1crowdedhour]

 

Favorite Quotes:

Elizabeth Bear:  "I tried to write a book straight through, and got 60 thousand words in and flamed out like a test pilot over the Mojave desert."

Steven Brust channeling Will Shetterly: “Yeah, this isn’t a bad draft, Steve, but rewrite it in third person, and move it to a different planet, and delete two of the three characters. Other than that, it’s great.”

Caroline Stevermer: Dear friends will tell you how to revise something and you’ll think, “You’re a moron!”

Works & Authors Referenced:

Athyra, Steven Brust
Blood and Iron, Elizabeth Bear
Damiano, R.A. Macavoy
Shadow Unit
Cory Doctorow
Kim Stanley Robinson

 

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)

Grinding Buttons and Pushing Axes for Fun and Profit
(Messages in Literature)

  • This is a partial, I had to leave the panel about 30 minutes into it.
  • I'm not using any reasonable standard for last/first/abbreviated names, just going with what works for me. Apologies if anyone doesn't like being called whatever I'm using.
  • "Audience" means someone in the audience whose name I don't know.
  • Text not in quotes is me paraphrasing; text in quotes is exactly as I heard it.
  • Text in brackets is me.

Panelists:
Elizabeth Bear - mod [personal profile] matociquala

Marissa Lingen [personal profile] mrissa

Alec Austin [personal profile] alecaustin

Sarah Monette [personal profile] truepenny

Emma Bull [profile] coffeeem

Favorite Quotes:
"The Last Battle, where Jesus ate his brain" - Marissa Lingen
"Great Expectations is Black Beauty with a pony" - Elizabeth Bear

Works & Authors Referenced:
Ayn Rand
1984
The Pilgrim's Progress
Narnia books, particularly The Last Battle
Black Beauty
Great Expectations

 

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
My 4th Street photos are here. Not zillions but a couple of nice ones. Possibly I'll have videos added to the set if my upload ever finishes--I'll check in the morning. This is my first time trying flickr video and, gol dang. Makes YouTube look positively zippy.

If you're my flickr friend there's an additional photo in the batch, nothing scandalous but someone in it doesn't want to be known far and wide, so I've friend/family-locked it. If you're on flickr just let me know if you'd like me to friend you.

Here are a few favorites from the set:



Will Shetterly makes an Asterisk






Showing Teresa how to spin

Sardines

Jun. 23rd, 2008 11:27 pm
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
here's my "Sardines" post in the 4th street fantasy community.

There are several more 4th street-related posts coming, but I think I'll put subsequent ones up over here and put the link posts in the community, so my posts don't get away from me. It's hard to track everywhere you post in LJ, or I haven't bothered to learn yet, anyway.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
This weekend feels like a life-altering experience for me - I've been struggling to find balance in my life between my career and my various creative pursuits. I love my career. But I didn't realize how little I loved my various creative pursuits--drawing, 3d graphics, craftsy stuff--until this weekend, when I've fallen so deeply in love with my own writing process again. Fiction writing is the thing that's been missing, and I think it can balance out my internal see-saw if I set it in the place that's been occupied by those weaker pursuits, opposite my career.

The Engine Driver - The Decemberists
Say Goodbye - Dave Matthews
Everything Had Changed - BNL
New Soul - Yael Naim
Bouncing Around the Room - Phish
Sleeps With Butterflies - Tori Amos
Long Line of Cars - Cake
Seek Up - Dave Matthews
Not the Same - Ben Folds
Goodbye Stranger - Supertramp
Road Trippin' - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Hey Pretty (Drive-By) - Poe
Goin Down the Road Feelin Bad - the Dead
I Want to Break Free - Queen
Until You Came Along - Golden Smog
Learn to Live with What You Are - Ben Folds
Better Version of Me - Fiona Apple
Slow Burn - David Bowie
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I simply cannot wind down this day! I have to sleep so I'm awake for sessions tomorrow but...my brain is on fire with STUFF. Everybody here is a writer! There is no such thing as running out of conversation. You can pick a person pretty much at random and talk for FIVE HOURS with no difficulty, and learn all kinds of stuff about writing, life, jobs, relationships, writing, music, writing. And that's between the singing and the other stuff - I left the music party at 2 am, and then stopped into the con suite to get something to drink, and hey, there were people there! People talking about writing! I tore myself away at 4 am but if there wasn't a session in the morning I would have stayed all night.

Now I must sleep, if I can.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Well, three that are on the front burner - all the other stuff I'm in the middle of has been shoved to the back for this week.

In paper - Steven Brust, To Reign in Hell
On the kindle - Elizabeth Bear, Dust
On the Ipod (listening while driving to and from work), Emma Bull, Territory.

I expect to finish them all by the time I arrive in Minneapolis Friday afternoon/evening. Shadow Unit, not so much - it's very long, and there are only three reading nights left. And I'm working late tomorrow, depriving me of precious reading time. Whine, whine. So I'll nibble away at that but I'm focused on the other stuff first.

Once I get back I'll pick up the various other things I was reading before this burst of fantasy fiction started, but based on what I've read this week I'll be diving into more Brust and Bear quite soon, and I'll eventually circle back around to the other folks I've read this week, too--everything's been good.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
God willing and the creek don't rise (further), I'll be going to 4th street fantasy con next weekend. I'm trying to read as many participating authors as I can before then. I'm not a fast reader, and my job is of the many-hours variety, but I've been cranking along pretty well, thanks to my Kindle, which doesn't tire my eyes. I also ordered a stack of paper books from Amazon which were shelved in the bathroom immediately upon arrival...yeah, I'm one of those. My parents shelved the World Book encyclopedia right outside the family bathroom (it didn't rate being kept in the dining room, in their estimation; the Britannica had that honor) and I credit that with getting me through any number of trivial pursuit games, plus many college classes.

Anyway, I'm mainly an SF reader, and my fantasy reading is pretty limited (Gaiman, De Lint, Clarke, some others--I'm not a complete heathen). It's been fun to take a crash course in contemporary fantasy fiction, which is SO much more to my tastes than the stuff that was popular when I was in HS & College. I instinctively avoid titles containing swords, thrones, crowns, or apprentices. Also book covers depicting horses or wolves. Not that these are bad; I just have a low tolerance for them. On the other hand, I have an excessive tolerance for elves, fairies, ghosts, inheritable curses, secret societies, otherworlds, dreamtime, artists with gifts both worldly and otherworldly, and retellings of ballads & myths. I generally expect stories to have endings, which apparently isn't required nowadays, and anything which involves a lot of undirected wandering and introspection is right out, so I'm not an ideal fantasy reader. But I'm very pleased with what I've read in the past couple of weeks.

So, here's my 4th street reading/getting-signed list, and where I am with the various elements.

Steven Brust. I started off with his Firefly novel, "My Own Kind of Freedom," and it's absurdly good - nice complex structure, character development, great dialogue, etc. Which I expected, given his reputation, but it's still a strange feeling to read such a masterful media tie-in, because the majority are more workmanlike than that. Having finished that, I've just started "To Reign in Hell," which I might manage to knock off today, if I stop blogging and go read. Also bought "The Book of Jhereg" and "Freedom & Necessity" (co-written with Emma Bull) which I'll attempt to get signed at the con, but won't manage to read before then.

Pamela Dean. I read "Tam Lin" years ago, it's one of my favorite books. I wish I had a less-beat-up edition to get signed at the con, but I love the Thomas Canty cover on my MMP and I'm not wild about the new cover.

Ellen Klages. I got her story collection, "Portable Childhoods," and read the award-winning "Basement Magic" which is wonderful in every particular. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the collection.

Sarah Monette. "Melusine" looked interesting but short stories are faster! Plus I've become a pretty avid short story reader lately as I work on writing my own. So I got "The Bone Key," and read the first story "Bringing Helena Back," which was totally awesome. I was a little doubtful after reading the intro, because she lays out what she's attempting to do from a literary perspective, and it's quite a tall order. Then she proceeds to do exactly what she describes, and quite brilliantly. I'll probably read a few more of these stories before I get to the con, because they're interconnected and the first one left me eager for more.

Emma Bull. I bought "War for the Oaks" as well as "Freedom & Necessity," and I'll start reading "Oaks" as soon as I finish the Brust book I'm reading. I see that her newest one, "Tombstone," is available on audible.com, so I might opt for that instead, since I can listen to it during my commute this week, and finish up during my drive to Minneapolis. It has a horse on the cover, but since it's of the western and not medieval variety, and since the book looks fantastic, I think I can overlook that.

Elizabeth Bear. Sadly the only book I have available to get signed is "Hammered" - I generally don't get MMP's signed because they're small and unhandsome--but I suspect Dreamhaven books will have something I can buy at the con to get signed. I've got "Hammered" and "Dust" on my kindle and am reading them both, but to finish one this week I'll have to flip a coin and concentrate on just one.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden. I can't get a copy of any of the Starlight anthologies on Amazon--with luck Dreamhaven will have one--but I've got his recent "For Teens" anthology in hand. Haven't had time to read any of the stories yet, but it looks like an interesting mix.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden. I read the wonderful "Making Book" a couple of years ago, and so should everybody else.

There are some other authors there, notably Will Shetterly, whose work I'd like to be acquainted with, but I only read a tiny amount of YA fiction, so nothing has jumped out at me.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I have formatted the entirety of Shadow Unit for my Kindle and am doing my darndest to read the whole thing before Friday, lest I be the lone person at the con who's out of the loop.

Am I missing anything wonderful?
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Unless a social worker hands me an adoptable infant before the end of June (which is unlikely), I will be attending the 4th Street Fantasy Convention. Yay! It's my first real con (I've been to comicons in Chicago & South Bend, but those aren't particularly like SF/F fan cons).

Anyone in the Chicago area planning on going?

April 2013

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