Wednesday Video: Best Movie Trailer For an Imaginary Movie, Ever

WednesdayVideoMy baby goes back to school tomorrow and I have end of summer sadness – luckily this trailer is providing me with a last minute does of full-on, blockbuster popcorn happiness.  The folks at behindtheepic.com made this amazing mash-up trailer – thanks, guys!

John Scalzi: Making Conventions Safe For All

In the last couple of years, convention attendees, both male and female, have been working to confront sexual (and other) harassment at conventions.  John Scalzi is the past president of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SWFA) and the author of books like Redshirts and Old Man’s War.  Recently, Scalzi announced on his blog that he will not attend conventions unless they have a sexual harassment policy in place.  You can read his initial entry here.

Since Scalzi just can’t stop being more and more awesome every day, he wrote another, longer piece explaining why he took this action here.  It is some kick-ass writing (and funny, too).  I urge you to read it.  You can also co-sign his pledge should you care to.

As a woman and the mother of a daughter, I’m deeply appreciative not only for women who fight for my rights but for men who ally with me.  To those who view women at conventions as playthings, sex toys, or objects of derision, I have a news flash for you:

1.  We are here.

2.  We are people.

3.  We are not leaving.

And oh, yeah, in case only an appeal to baser instincts will convince you to treat me with respect, here’s one more thing:

4.  We have money and we represent a considerable portion of your audience and your clientele.

I’ve always been treated well at cons and I hope for all people to have as delightful of experiences as I’ve had.  I’m hoping to hear glorious fan tales of a busy, safe, and fun convention summer this year!

That’s the News from Westercon, Where all the Costumes Are Above Average

A milestone in the geek girl family – I took my daughter, who shall herefore be referred to as Princess Leia for costuming reasons, to her first science fiction convention, and here’s what happened:

girl and toy yoda wearing Victorian hats

Yoda goes Victorian

Westercon was a small-scale, relaxed con.  It didn’t feel as commercial as a lot of cons do – in fact, people were almost compulsively giving my friend’s daughter free stuff and saying things to me like, “Oh, it’s fine, we trust you, just mail us a check”.  This convention had a focus on writers and fiction.  It was a really laid-back, happy gathering of some serious geeks.  I loved it, and Princess Leia is now, as they say in The Big Bang Theory, “Queen of the Nerds”.

It wouldn’t be a Con without Cosplay.  My thanks to the many cosplayers who gave me permission to take and post pictures.  I apologize for the fact that my camera is crap and my photography skills are nill.  These photos aren’t very polished, but I hope they’ll give you a feel for how colorful the Con was!

cosplay (TARDIS maid outfit)

The TARDIS – original, fun, and check out the stockings!

You have to have some steampunk in your life, right?  This trio was immaculately outfitted right down to their shoes:

three people in steampunk cosplay

Ready for their airship departure!

Jesus Brienne, you look terrible.  What did you do, get in a fight with a bear or something?  On a happier note, Daenerys and her dragon were trailed all afternoon by adoring children.  I guess they haven’t found out what the dragons eat yet.

cosplayers (Brienne and Daenerys

Brienne and Daenerys

Beautiful sparkly things from Jewels By Olivia.  See the green tiara on the top left?  I MUST HAVE IT.  I will earn a zillion dollars and achieve world domination and make the nations cower before me, and when they cry out to me for mercy, saying, “What do you wish for?”  I shall say, “BRING ME THAT TIARA.”

tiaras from Westercon Sealer's Room

Jewels by Olivia, Westercon Dealer’s Room

I didn’t go to many panels due to the presence of children (mine and my friend’s, not other people’s).  But I did go to one on Finding Your Muse, where I got some great advice from M. Todd Gallowglass:

“There’s no such thing as writer’s block.  No matter how difficult a passage is, you can always write just one more sentence.  and then just one more sentence after that.  and then just one more after that”.

Wise words, indeed.  Thanks for a great day, Westercon!

The Hand to Hand Project: Advice from Writers of Speculative Fiction

The first (official) draft of my first book is due on July 31st.  Will I make it?  For inspiration, I have the following link to a project called Hand in Hand. In this project, writers of speculative fiction wrote writing advice on their hands and sent a photo to aspiring writers at Wofford College.

Here’s a couple of samples.  There are many more at the link and they are awesome.  Let’s start with the one that is most pertinent to me at this precise moment:

Hand to Hand

Patrick Rothfuss

Here’s one that is pretty and practical:

Jody Lynn Nye

Jody Lynn Nye

And alas, my regular readers know all to well that this one should be tattooed onto me:

hand to hand project

Angela Slatter

Check out the link for more.  I have to go sit my ass down and write!  More about the book later…stay tuned.