Polaris 26 begins

July 6, 2012

I’m so excited to be here!

My day started back in Lawrence Kansas, before 4am local time, and has taken me through three airports, and one Swiss Chalet restaurant.

Got to the Polaris venue around three this afternoon, got signed up for volunteering though there weren’t many volunteer spots left open for today. I’ve participated in the Star Trek geek-off, come in third but very much awed at the level of knowledge shown by the winners. And I was able to watch some of the Constellation awards.

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Workshop is drawing to a close…

July 4, 2012

How’d that happen? I feel like it was only yesterday that I showed up here at Krehbiel Scholarship Hall, dragging my suitcases behind me. It can’t have been a week and a half already!

I’ve learned a lot and had a blast, met some great new people, learned a lot about my craft and my stories, and I’ve started planning for the trip back to Canada – which is going to be a little bit crazy, since I need to get picked up by the airport shuttle at (gulp) 4:30 am on Friday.

And I’m both excited and daunted by the fact that I’ll be charging directly into the Polaris convention experience, instead of going home, once I return to Canada! 😉

Certainly getting my money’s worth on vacation days, at least.

How’s your summer going?


Six Sentence Sunday – Geek at Heart 2

April 15, 2012

Okay, I’m continuing with my first draft script from last week. This is an establishing scene that might not actually make the final cut – my characters are waiting to get into a big fan convention, and they’re all dressed in their best Star Wars costumes.


Fan Expo 2011 impressions – day one.

August 25, 2011

So I’ve been to Fan Expo for the afternoon, and the first thing that struck me was how much more orderly it was than last year – possibly just on account of it being Thursday, and nobody being around, but still, I was expecting to wait in line for a while with my wristband for a while before being let in at four o’clock. Instead, the people who’d got their armbands delivered were just about put on the greased skids until they got to the sales floor entryway, which suggests to me that the convention actually opened a little bit earlier than it was supposed to. Not that I’m complaining.

I had a lot of fun playing a D&D 4th edition low level adventure, (though the rules were kinda confusing me,) and got one email address in the speed dating – that I can’t entirely decipher. 😦 Oh well, quite possibly it was from one of the girls who I carefully left my cell phone number with, and maybe she’ll get in touch with me.

I also scouted out the sales floor and the signature line spots, and made my first purchases of the weekend – a little hardcover copy of “Doctor Who: The Glamour Chase” and a Doctor Who sound effects key fob.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the convention, and planning to be smart and careful when it comes to the potential for crowds and lines. I signed up for another gaming session, for the Serenity RPG tomorrow, and I’m interested in doing the introduction to LARPing on Sunday. That’ll leave all of Saturday free for signature lines, Q&A’s, and other panels.

 


Polaris versus Tim Hortons

July 20, 2011

Just one more short Polaris story, that I didn’t mention earlier.

The Adam Baldwin Q&A session on Saturday afternoon started late, because Adam still had people who’d waited in line for his autograph, and somebody decided not to disappoint them. So, to ‘stretch’ the time for those of us waiting in the Q&A room, the MC, Larry, told us a little story.

The convention was held in a complex with a convention center, a little enclosed mall, and two hotels. Right next door was a sort of strip mall and one of the biggest businesses there was a Tim Horton’s chain coffee and donuts shop. As you might imagine, it was pretty popular with the convention-goers. We Canadians love our Tim’s.

But the air conditioning in this particular Tim’s location was broken, and apparently the head office hadn’t done anything about it in over a week – because no customers had complained to them. Larry was quite upset about this, mostly on behalf of the employees there, and I rather saw his point. Customers aren’t terribly inconvenienced by the heat in the little time it takes them to line up and get their order, but it’s much harder on somebody working an eight-hour shift in a kitchen without air conditioning during a hot spell.

So, Larry not only got the number for head office and the details on what store number was having the problem – he shared them with all of us and invited us to complain as often as we liked, to entertain ourselves by using funny voices and impersonating our favorite TV stars, and so on.

I was intrigued by the idea, but didn’t actually get around to calling. The next day, before Jewel Staite’s Q&A, there was an update – a vice-president of something-or-other from Tim’s head office had been to the store on Sunday morning and was doing what she could to make sure that the AC would get fixed as soon as possible.

Even if I didn’t place a call, I’m pleased that I got to hear about that story. So that’s why I’m passing it on to you.


Final Polaris round-up.

July 18, 2011

Okay, my sleep schedule’s a little wonky at the moment, work stuff kept me up last night, but I’ll share some of my favorite moments from Sunday at Polaris 25, after I signed off from yesterday.

The writing workshop with Julie Czerneda was really cool – it was oriented for beginners, but I learned some cool stuff – working in groups to come up with science-based ideas, develop them, and then start to add in protagonists, settings, emotional reactions for the reader, and figure out how to explain the science to the reader. I also thought it was interesting that she didn’t see much value in writers critiquing other writers.

The meeting with the other writers from Ad Astra was nice – hi guys, if any of you are dropping by to catch up on my blog!

And then, there was the Jewel Staite stuff – she had a fun Q&A, didn’t want anybody recording video or sound so that she could ‘trash talk’ without fear of it coming out to haunt her. I actually asked four questions:

  • What were you thinking of when filming the strawberry scene? (She said that she had cheeseburgers on the brain when Joss told her to imagine it was the tastiest thing ever – and that he really loved the very first take she did.)
  • What was your favorite outfit of Kaylee’s? ‘Not the birthday cake dress!’
  • Favorite episode of firefly? ‘I really loved filming The Message, even though we’d found out we were cancelled by then, because we decided to have a great time and make as much fun for ourselves as we could.’
  • If Firefly came back, what would you like to have happen next in Kaylee’s life? ‘I’d love to see her and Simon have a baby together, I think Kaylee would be a really great mom.’

And I got a picture signed, and also had her sign the ‘Those Left Behind’ comic book, which is starting to accumulate nearly as many Big Damn Signatures as the Firefly Blueprints Book.

After going through the signature room again, in only 20 minutes or so, I hit a few panels, covering Starship captains and Smallville season ten, (which I haven’t finished watching, and got spoiled on a few details, but what the heck?) Then it was time for the Geek-off Championships, where I scored a single point, which meant I was in a four-way tie for fourth place or something like that.

Then my brother had arrived to drive me home, and I drove half-way myself, along Lakeshore road from Oakville through Burlington, and then across the Burlington lift bridge.


Polaris diary – day 3, morning

July 17, 2011

Okay, not that much has happened since my last update. Went to sleep, had a fire alarm in the middle of the night, overslept because I set my ipod alarm for the wrong day (stupid interface, grr,) and went to volunteer up at Ten Forward, where I mostly just looked for make-work because the guy in charge was oversleeping too.

A few thins from yesterday evening that I didn’t mention in the last update. The constellations awards ceremony was great – funny, and a touching moment when Jewel Staite presented Adam Baldwin with the award for best male actor in a tv show. It also ran long by about half an hour, which means that I didn’t get to see much of the costume masquerade before having to head down to the Geek-off.

Today, I’ve got scheduled:

  • A two-hour science fiction ‘writing workshop’ with Julie Czerneda.
  • Lunch, not at the buffet, (but possibly the same restaurant, just ordering off the menu.
  • Meeting with two other writers from the Ad Astra critique circle sign-up list – the first meeting that we’ve been able to organize!
  • Jewel Staite’s Q&A, and getting a new autograph from her.
  • A few more ‘potluck panels.’
  • And the Geek-off championships, where I don’t have high hopes, and will not be playing out of my own universe.
Then my brother should be picking me up for the ride back to Hamilton.
Before any of the things on that list, I’ll need to pack up and check out of the room, so I should post now and get packing! Talk to you again soon

Polaris update – Day 1

July 15, 2011

Let’s see. Woke up very early this morning, rushed around making sure that everything was packed before work. Work was rather dull.

My brother got me to the hotel around 3:30 this afternoon despite Toronto traffic, and then I spent some time waiting in line for the hotel check-in at the Best Western desk; there were more than a dozen people waiting when I got there, and it took nearly half an hour to clear the line. Then rushing around to get my badge for the convention and a few other things, grabbing a bit of food, and wandering past some of the kiosks and through the Dealer’s room, which was a lot of fun.

In the dealer’s room, I considered buying many things, including doctor who sonic screwdrivers, t-shirts, and promotional photos of some of my fave actors, but only ended up making one purchase – a collection of Doctor Horrible comics, which I positively couldn’t pass up. Then I went to the opening ceremonies, which were rather good as an orientation session, and watched the screening of the Doctor Horrible fan-made prequel, “Horrible Turn.”

There was sing-along karaoke after the screening finished, and I stayed for two of my favorite songs from the Horrible sound-track, and then it was time to go to the Geek-off room.

I played in two Geek-offs tonight. The first was Battlestar Galactica/Caprica, which I’m not a complete ignoramus in, but I couldn’t catch a good question and ended in last place with zero points, but what the heck, I had fun anyway. Then came the Whoniverse geekoff (Doctor Who/Torchwood,) where I did better, just managing to survive the elimination round and ending up with a respectable but not incredible four points.

I’m really looking forward to defending my title in the Whedonverse geek-off tomorrow night. Last year, I was weak on Dollhouse, so I’ve been cramming for a few weeks, but I’ve still only really managed to get up to the end of season one.

Wish me lots of luck, not just in the Geek-off, but in making the most of everything that’ll be going on this weekend!


The Lost Ad Astra Notes: part 1

May 20, 2011

So, it’s been nearly a month since I went to the Ad Astra science fiction convention in Toronto, but I didn’t post that much about it because that was in the middle of the A-Z challenge, and the good letters like A for Ad Astra and C for Convention had already passed. And I didn’t pull my notes out as soon as May started. So here are my somewhat scattered thoughts.

My overall impression of Ad Astra was that it was ‘more Polaris than Polaris.’ Polaris 24 was my first hotel-based convention, and in some ways it was crazier than the conventions with bigger celebrity guests at fancier venues, like Wizard World or Fan Expo, because there were so many really cool panels going on, always something interesting happening, the action starting relatively early and ending really late, scrambling to find some time to grab a bit of food in between panels that I really wanted to get to. Those are all the ways that Ad Astra was moreso than Polaris.

And it was at least as much crazy fun.

So, my Mom picked me up at work this time to drive me into the city, on the condition that I at least try to buy any of a long list of Mercedes Lackey books for her. The drive went reasonably well, except that we got somewhat lost actually looking for the driveway into the hotel, though we spotted the building quickly enough. Then there was a bit of a wait for my room to be ready when I was checking in.

I registered, started going over my program and the schedule to see what panels I thought I’d be able to make, and a friend from the Firefly fan group, Colleen, spotted me sitting in the lobby and asked if I could keep watch over her suitcase for a few minutes, and I agreed. Then she got dragged outside by her grandkids and I had to hang around for a while until she got back.

My first panel was with Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, who were a lot of fun; that one was about continuity in an ongoing series. Then a panel on how to find good beta readers, which had lots of interesting tips. I was making notes like crazy on whatever came easily to hand – the iphone for one panel, a palmpilot for the next, and so on. I’ll put together as many of the notes as I can and share them with you all.

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Wizard World Toronto Comic Con flashback

March 17, 2011

I’ve mostly finished packing for Wizard World, starting tomorrow, and so I’d like to spend a little time down on memory lane with my memories of Wizard World last year, since I wasn’t blogging then to tell you all about it.

Wizard World Toronto Comic Con 2010 was the first fandom convention I ever went to, really. I won the weekend pass at one of the Toronto fan clubs – I can’t even remember if it was Buffy or Firefly, and I loved the whole trip.

Possibly the highlight of the entire weekend was meeting Magda Apanowicz, who I’d never really heard of before I got there. I attended the Galactica/Caprica panel on Friday night because it sounded like fun, though at that point I had only:

  1. Seen the miniseries and a few episodes of S1 of Battlestar Galactica (still true, though it’s a few more by now.)
  2. Not even started watching Caprica
  3. Forgotten to set my DVR to record Caprica half the time, because I wasn’t used to actually going up to the Space channel when looking to see “Hey, it’s Friday night, is anything good on?”
  4. Particularly forgotten to set the DVR to record Caprica before I left for work Friday morning the day that Wizard World started.

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