Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SoonerCon Recap and CONvergence Schedule

Where am I?  What day is it?  Is it time to have more convention now?

Well, I'm here at the airport watching the sun rise through the departure gate window, so I reckon it must be!

So this marks the end of the road-trip portion of my Summer of Shenanigans, and the beginning of the jet-setting phase.  Last weekend I drove up to SoonerCon in Oklahoma City - and let me tell you, it is a hell of a production.

It's a real family-oriented con, for one thing -

You know what they say: the family that crushes the Rebellion together, stays together.

- and they let a horde of us authors absolutely tear up the ballroom for a mass koffeeklatch -

THEY EVEN SERVED COFFEE. And pastries! And fruit!
I'm pretty sure that has literally never happened before.
- which Mark Finn further enlivened by holding court with a box of moon-donuts, like a regal barbarian king distributing sweet yeasty plunder to his thanes -

Basically, my new life-goal is to become a Mark Finn sommelier.
"Elegant, yet unpretentious. Honest, yet gracious. Erudite, yet perfectly
comfortable bringing up 'the meat-sweats' in casual conversation."

- but for me, the real highlight was getting to stay with Jeannette Cheney for the duration.  For one thing, it's a real treat to stay in high nerdy style -

For the record, that's a framed copy of Tolkien's "The Road" poem,
a Dalek pillow, and a dog hair roller. I defy you to find this splendor at any hotel.
- and you absolutely can't beat the company -

These are my newest and most favorite host-dogs, Penny and Al!
- and honestly, the longer I do this, the less willing I am to pay for a hotel room, 80% of which I don't use.  For real. I don't need a coffee maker or a hair dryer or a TV. I don't need my bed made or towels changed. I don't even need reconstituted apple juice and stale freezer-pastries in the morning. I need a small, clean space with a bed, good wi-fi, and air conditioning. That's it. If somebody can figure out how to sell me that, I am unbelievably ready to buy it... on the unfortunate occasion I don't have a legendary life-mate with a guest room, of course.  (Thank you, J!)

Okay, rant over. But seriously: you know, there are times when nobody comes to your reading, when you and your fellow panelists outnumber the audience two-to-one, when you can't help but wonder whether any of this even matters.  But this friend-network of mine is growing and deepening month by month, year over year, and it is unbelievably life-sustaining. So much of this whole low-rent show-business thing we do is random and unpredictable, and it is absolutely vital to hang on to the one thing you can directly, reliably influence - which is to say, the people you meet and how you treat them.

And now, my friends, it is nearly time to go find some of my most favorite folks!  CONvergence is about to converge, and I could not be more jazzed.  My actual official events listing is a short one this time around:

Gaming With Authors! - Thursday, July 2nd at 7:00PM at The Source

My angelic agent Jennie set this up for me and a whole passel of fabulous folks, including Jamie Wyman, Carrie Patel, Anne Lyle, Craig Cormick, and Mike Underwood. There will be card-gaming and banter and every flavor of fun!  If you are a Minneapolite, come join us!

And at the con itself, I will be burning the midnight oil:

Friday the 3rd - 10:00PM - Atrium 2 - Speaking in Tongues: Constructed Languages in Fantasy and Reality

From Elvish, Klingon, and Dothraki to Esperanto and Lojban, the languages we invent serve multiple purposes in fantasy and in reality. Why do we invent them? What do they have in common? What purposes do they serve in communities and fictional universes?

Saturday the 4th - 11:30PM - Atrium 2 - Shapeshifters in Folklore, Fantasy, and Science Fiction

From selkies to Mystique, encantados to Odo, humans have been fascinated by tales of shapeshifters. What draws us to, and repels us from, the idea of a creature than can take on any form?

But even though this looks like a lighter listing, don't be mistaken: my schedule of extracurricular activities is already bursting at the seams with some of the most splendid humans I know. If you don't see me post next week with pictures of cooking adventures, magic bean-fish, comic-book heaven, and awesome-costume hell, pour me a libation, because I have inadvertently funned myself to death.

Anyway, it's just about go-time, so I better go.  Minnesota, here I come! Pleasantness or perdition! Death or glory!

1 comment:

  1. Dana Beth HarveyJuly 1, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    You must post and let us know how it's going - and how you are managing to stay AWAKE throughout! I'm a nite owl myself and your schedule is daunting even to meď