Oct. 22nd, 2012 10:26 am
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
I am sorry to say I am not going to OVFF this year.

There are multiple reasons including, the budget and starting a new job. (No, I won't be making to to Windycon this year either.)

Because I won't be there in person I have sent in my Online Pegasus Ballot If you consider yourself a Filker, and haven't voted yet Today is the last day to vote.
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
And this is a post about what I brought home from Chicon

Before the con I shipped a box of books to myself in Chicago to get them signed.
  • Robots: The Recent A.I. (a short story collection) I got signed by Rachel Swirsky, Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente
MRK's and Cat Valente's Hugo nominated novellas were both in this collection. I was shocked that neither of them won.
  • Ravens In The Library (a short story collection) I got signed by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente, personalized
  • Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, signed
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, signed
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, signed
  • Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire, signed
I also bought in the Dealers Room
  • Guardians of the Keep by Carol Berg, signed
  • Digger Vol. 1 by Ursula Vernon, signed
  • Digger Vol. 6 by Ursula Vernon, signed for a friend
Ursula did win a Hugo for Digger this year

Plus I picked up a number of free books while there
  • A Magic of Twilight by S. L. Farrell, DAW 2008
  • Hidden City by Michelle West, DAW 2007
  • God's War by Kameron Hurley, Night Shade Books 2011
  • The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schaffer, Night Shade Books 2011
  • The Emperor's Knife by Mazarkis Williams, Night Shade Books 2011
Plus a download card for
  • Barry's Tale a novella by Lawrence M. Schoen

There was a lot of new filk at this con, I bought 6 CDs
  • Queen of Spindles by Talis Kimberly
  • Hazardous Fiddle by Amy McNally & Friends, debut
  • Third Thyme's the Charm by Three Weird Sisters, debut
  • Ways of Wind and Water by Cheshire Moon, debut
  • Edges by Cathy McManamon
  • Bare Bones by Cathy McManamon, limited release
Many of you won't recognize the name Cathy McManamon. Let me tell you that this may be the first time you heard of her but it probably won't be the last. She has been writing and performing songs for a while, but only discovered filk in the past year. The other name people may not know is Cheshire Moon which is a new band including Lizzie Crowe, Susan Weiner, and Eric Coleman.

In case that wasn't enough shopping I also bought 2 pairs of hand knitted striped knee socks to wear with my kilt.
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
Chicon7 had the best opening ceremony I have ever seen of any convention. They decided to use the late-night talk show format. John Scalzi (Toastmaster for the con) was host, who after his monologue sat behind a desk. Toyboat was the house band. It worked brilliantly well. It was lively and informative. The pacing worked, in spite of the fact that he brought on about a dozen people. In addition to all the guests of the con they brought up: the con chair of the second worldcon, the con chair of Chicon7, and the designer this year's Hugo base.

I must remember in the future to bring tissues to the Hugo ceremony.
It started with the list of names of writers, artists, fans, and other luminaries that have passed on in the previous year. There were many names that I got choked up about, but when the name Alice "Badger" Washburn scrolled up the screen I lost it, it was sad and yet I think she would be pleased to be a part of the Hugo ceremony.
Then we have the Big Heart Award, before they announced the name, they started reading the accomplishments of recipient: Author, Fanzine Publisher, Filker (at which point I realized OMG they mean Juanita) and then they announced the name Juanita Coulson. I am glad that I had the privilege of being in the room when they honored Juanita. More tissues needed.
Scalzi did a great job hosting the ceremony. His opening speech about what the awards mean to him, about the "7 stages" of Hugo Nomination, and what it says about our community was quite touching. Then the acceptance speeches. By the time we got to Jo Walton at the end I doubt there was a dry eye in the house.

I also enjoyed the Masquerade, it was an excellent presentation with a remarkable lack of skimpy outfits. The number of intricate mechanical props does seem to keep going up.
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
Let me be clear. I enjoy conventions, filking makes me happy, I like gaming, but I love WorldCons.

There is so much happening and I get to take part in it with about 5000 other fen. It is for me social saturation, or extreme socializing. I made new friends, I shared new songs, I talked with authors and podcasters, I got books signed, I looked at the moon through a telescope, I spent too much in the Dealer's Room, I picked up some freebies, I played games, I walked quite a bit, I dressed up, I colored with crayons and blew soap-bubbles. I went to panels, readings, concerts, Opening Ceremony, Masquerade, Hugo Ceremony (note: next time remember tissues), and Closing Ceremony.

I'll be talking more about how amazing everything was in more detail later, it was a great Worldcon
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
Or maybe even Home from a successful 7Pi-Con

I am rather pleased with how things went.
maverick_weirdo: (Default)

Be there or be non-circular


Jul. 16th, 2012 09:50 am
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
I am a creative person. I draw, I paint, I write, I sing, I game, I organize. I am finding that lately I am committing to projects that spend my creative energy on things which aren't "My art". This is not a whine or a complaint it is an observation.

A major example this year has been "critical reading". I have read for entertainment/fun for most of my life, and still do. In the past couple of years I started Beta-Reading for writers. It lets me read stories, for free, before the rest of the world, and I get to contribute my opinion. That being said, being a beta-reader is not the same as reading for fun. I can't just fall into the immersive nature of the story, I have to pay attention in different ways.

I have also been reviewing Advanced Reading Copies on LibraryThing (dot com). Again Free Books. Again not the same as reading for fun. The big change this year is Hugo Award reading. This includes the "recently published binge" I did to come up with nominees, and reading the "Hugo Packet". At this point I have read (or listened to) about 70% of the nominated materials. It is all quality, but not necessarily stories I would normally read.

Another place my creative energy is going is Smoffing (Convention work). I loved helping to make ConCertino 2012 happen, but I am also glad it is over. 7Pi-Con is going to be amazing this year and you should all be there.

So now you know why I only posted once in the month of June.

My current project list:
Finish reading Hugo Novellas & Novelettes
Send in Hugo Ballot (next week)
Send in Pegasus Ballot (next week)
Write a review for "Tales From Super-Science Fiction"
7Pi-Con work
Post ConCertino Con Report
The "Sekrit Projikt"
Plan my trip to WorldCon

And after all that I can (I hope) get back to some painting.
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
I had a marvelous time at ConCertino 2012 this year. I managed a good balance of “Enjoying the Con” and “Working at the Con”

Friday Morning I went grocery shopping for the Consuite with [livejournal.com profile] fiddledragon, then transported the groceries & [livejournal.com profile] orawnzva to the Hotel. From there the hugfest began.

I decided to start the weekend with a couple of traditions. When I first met Mich & Marilisa in 2007, it was early Friday afternoon, before FKO reg had opened, so to pass the time a group of us went out for dessert. I thought sweets before the con is worth being a tradition. The second tradition was the visit to the Burnside Fountain (a.k.a. the Turtle Boy Statue). Seanan enjoyed visiting it in 2006; Brooke went to see it in 2009; so I decided to continue the tradition.

As we were about to leave, the fire alarm went off. This delayed our trip as we tried to decide if we had everything we needed without heading back to the rooms. I took Mich, Marilisa, David, & Socrates in my rental car. Randy & Kira followed in Kira’s Volt. The group seemed sufficiently in awe of the Turtle Boy Statue, and the cupcakes at Sweets in Worcester were a big hit.

Back to the Hotel around 3:30, which gave me time to print up program grids, bring some merch to the Dealer’s room, bring in the soda for consuite and hug lots of people before the start of the con.

Then came the first real hurtle of the con. The hotel was also holding a wedding Friday night (this we knew). What we didn’t know was that with a wedding in the courtyard, the only way to get from the lobby to the con rooms was to walk half way around the hotel. There was a half hour from 6 pm to 6:30 pm (when many of our con attendees were arriving) where I stationed myself in the lobby to direct people around the wedding. After that the wedding ceremony shifted over to a reception, and they let us walk around the edge of the courtyard.

The Con birthday (20 years since the first ConCertino) was well attended (maybe a bit too well attended). While the consuite was a good size for a suite, it was not big enough to handle events being held in there.

The concerts on Friday were great, although I spent a lot the time bouncing from one place to another, so I didn’t see any complete concerts Friday. I often do that at cons, it is my attempt to be everywhere at once so I don’t miss anything. No, it doesn’t work, but I can’t seem to stop myself. I was also acting as gofer to consuite & dealer’s room.

I did go to the Memorial Circle, and I sang “307 Ale” for Alice Washburn. I don’t remember what I sang if anything in Open Filk on Friday night.
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
We held a con it was awesome,
my heart is full, my brain is tired
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
I have been derelict in my duties.

One of the things I have been doing with my time is being the publicity person for ConCertino 2012, the Northeast Filk Music Convention. Yet with all the "publicity" work I have done I haven't talked much about it in my own journal.

Some of you may be wondering "What is a Filk Convention?" I'm so glad you asked (please, just pretend you asked). It is a whole weekend of fannish music.

We will have workshops, we will have a dealer's room,
we will have concerts, (and we are importing talented people for the concerts).
We are bringing in people from England to perform!
We are bringing in people from Canada to perform!
We are bringing in people from Pittsburgh to perform!

ConCertino 2012 is June 29th to July 1st pre-reg is open till June 1st
more info at http://www.concertino.net/
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
Well maybe not the worst, but in some ways it was not an easy con this year.
The physical absence of Badger was quite noticeable at times. I missed Badger far more than I thought I would. I definitely got hugs and socializing which I needed last weekend.

Just so this post doesn't sound like a complete downer, let's talk about the Awesome. The concerts by Stranger Ways and Sassafrass were just incredible. How incredible you might ask? Take a look

The Changelings

The events I did make it too were quite good, Red Shift manages to keep being new and entertaining every year (which can be a challenge for that type of satire). The readings I went to were good. Filking went remarkably well. I saw many new faces in the filk room which makes me happy.

I was sorry to miss a couple of things, such as the SF/F poetry reading. Also I never found time to go looking for Christiana Ellis (no relation) to get my copy of Nina Kimberly The Merciless signed.

In spite of the fact that I was not in any way staff of Arisia, I felt like I was still working at the con this year. My jobs:
  • Concertino 2012 Publicity: Bring flyers and manage the fan table on Saturday, and in general talk up Concertino.
  • 7Pi-Con Filk Programming: Talk to certain people about performing at Pi-Con, touch base with Con Chair, and in general talk up Pi-Con.
  • President of MASSFILC: Run the monthly business meeting on Sunday, be a positive role model of filking, and in general talk up MASSFILC.
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
Thursday I'm going to "The Sovereign Nation of Gojirawitziev" (which is surrounded by Watertown) to enjoy a house concert by Adam Fromm

Friday I'm going to Alice Washburn's memorial service.

After that is Arisia, I'm occupying the Concertino 2012 fantable for a couple of hours saturday, but other than that I have no specific commitments.

I'll be crashing at the Whitehaus in JP and commuting to various events by public transit.
maverick_weirdo: (Book Love)
For the first time I have a Worldcon membership early enough to make Hugo nominations. However I only read 6 books actually published in 2011.

So my friends what did you read, published in 2011 that you recommend I try? I have until the end of March to make my nomination.

For those of you who are looking for suggestions of works to consider, I recommend Silently And Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente; Novella. It is available in both text and audio format at Clarkesworld Magazine

* I know that many of my friends are published authors. I would ask that you only recommend books you didn't write in reply to this post
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
There is video of a certain author/filker competing in "Just a Minute" during the Masquerade intermission.


(The "Just a Minute" gameshow only takes up the first 50 minutes of the video, after that it shows the Masquerade award ceremony)

They are also planning on broadcasting the Hugo Awards tonight on ustream
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
  • Monday: I went to Somerville to work on the schedule for 6Pi-con. I can tell you it looks like a great con.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday: Was spent getting the new house ready, swimming to avoid the heat, and worrying about [livejournal.com profile] orawnzva.
  • Thursday: I visited orawnzva in the hospital. Next I went to my first Readercon, met [livejournal.com profile] maryrobinette in person and got my copy of Shades of Milk and Honey signed. I crashed at my brother’s place, where I got to see him perform some poetry.
  • Friday: Back at Readercon, went to author readings, checked out the dealers room, went to a Interstitial Arts Party hosted by [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt. As I was leaving met up with [livejournal.com profile] hms42.
  • Saturday: I went to visit [livejournal.com profile] fiddledragon in the morning. In the afternoon and evening I was at the MassFlic meeting in Nashua, N.H. [livejournal.com profile] madfilkentist performed a new song that you have to hear to believe. While there I performed: Rich Fantasy Lives, Witnesses Waltz, Like Their Feet Have Wings, and One Small Hit
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
  • I took part in a musical (thanks Ben)

  • I wrote a Filk

  • I hugged people

  • I met new people

  • I sang in circle

  • I got to hear people who don’t sing often

  • I handed out Pi-Con bookmarks

  • I played Pirate Fluxx

  • I went to some author readings

  • I got some free books

  • I got some free bread

maverick_weirdo: (Default)
It was the best of times )
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
More details later
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
Strowlercon was a great event. I was able to watch Friday night’s concerts on a live feed, which prepared me for the awesome.

Saturday morning I arrived and signed in. It was a nice mix of people I knew, those I had met once before, and new people. I checked out the dealers/makers room. I hugged people.

I went to 3 “juggling” tutorials over the weekend: One on poi-spinning, one on Contact Juggling (which happened on International Contact Juggling Day), and one on basic 3 ball juggling. I also checked out a copper/jewelry demo by PurpleShiney Creations, and a leather/mask making demo by The Uncommon Façade.

On Saturday night a few of us decided that we were not in the mood for burlesque so we took over one of the open rooms and had an unscheduled filk circle. We had about 7 or 8 people participate in that.

Of course the big events of the weekend were the concerts I especially enjoyed Kellianna, Heather Dale, Ben Duchamps, Betsy Tinney, and S.J. Tucker. There was a lovely game of “musical” musicians going on where Ben played with Tricky Pixie, and Betsy played with Heather. I didn’t know that Ben played fiddle. Betsy did an amazing job backing up Heather, a couple of times “pulling out the whales” for nautical songs.

I also enjoyed the talk S.J. Tucker and Catherynne M. Valente gave on collaborating and inspiring each other.

The closing was an open mike where people who had been the audience all weekend turned the tables and entertained the performers. There was alot of takent in that room. It was an all-together amazing event. Thank you to S.J. & K' for making it happen.

There is a Live feed of Strowler Nights at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/strowlerfest
maverick_weirdo: (Default)
I still owe a post on Strowlercon, but I have to share the exciting news from O.V.F.F. A lost tribe of Filkers wandered out of the wilderness to return to the fold.

The Utah Filk Organization (U.F.O.) started about five years ago when a group of filk fans in the Salt Lake City area decided that filking once a year at CONduit in Salt Lake City was not enough. They started meeting for twice a month housefilks. Within a year the CONduit ConCom approached them and said something along the lines of “We want there to be filking at the con, but we don’t have anyone making it happen right now. Do you think you could arrange a couple of filk panels and maybe a concert?” Of course over the years they have hit issues familiar to filk smofs: 1. Getting the word out to the filk fans at large that they are there. 2. Getting the concom to fund filk guests.

To meet these challenges they decided to produce a CD of their local talent to sell to raise money (UFO First Contact, 16 tracks, all original songs or original parodies). They then sent a core group of seven members to O.V.F.F. to promote their con, sell their CD’s and connect with the larger filk community.

They performed a clever song during the One-shots, entered the song contests, and (politely) fit in some songs in the open circles. From what I hear there are another dozen members of UFO who couldn’t make the trip. CONduit XXI: Caped CONduit will be held May 27-29, 2011 (memorial day weekend) at the Radisson Downtown in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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