Adjusting to Kansas once again.

June 25, 2012

So, I’ve been in Lawrence, Kansas for something like 18 hours now – arrived yesterday afternoon, in an airport shuttle with a very cool driver who’s a Science Fiction fan – we chatted about Doctor Who, Larry Niven, and Heinlein for the whole hour. :) And I’m starting to get acclimatized.

Our housing for this year is definitely not like Templin, third floor – which looked very much the part of an institutional dorm residence – the soft pastel walls, the cheap prefab furniture, the open lounge space in the elevator lobby. This year we have Krehbiel hall to ourselves – the workshoppers and our writer in retreat. And parts of Krehbiel look like a rambling manor home than a dormitory – not the bedrooms themselves, but the downstairs lounge where Short Fiction will be doing our critique circle, and the hallways and stairs, the billiard table room, and a few other places. It’s weird but fun.

I’ve been up to the Kansas Union, and walked downtown a few times, and there’s really more interesting stuff within easy walking distance than last year. I can hardly wait.


More Wizard World Toronto 2012 Memories

May 5, 2012

Previous memories.

Okay, so – the Vampire Diaries panel was a lot of fun. The panel was just Paul Wesley and Torrey DeVitto – and I think I didn’t realize for a few minutes that they were both married and castmates on the show, but it sounds like that’s a lot of fun for them. I hadn’t actually gotten to see any of Torrey’s episodes of the show at the time, because I was many months behind, though I’ve caught up to her first appearances by now, thanks to a small weekend marathon.

Jeri Ryan’s Q&A was scheduled in the same room next, and I’d heard enough to guess that Wizard World was going to enforce the ‘clear out of the room and let the people waiting in line have first choice of seats’ policy, so I actually took off five minutes early, when the volunteer mentioned that it was going to be last question, just to beat the rush – and that seemed to work pretty well, though I’m not sure if there was any chance of not getting back into the room.

Jeri was a lot of fun, telling stories about what it was like to be the new girl on Voyager and how she almost fell over on the bridge wearing a laser prosthetic piece over one of her eyes, because it took away her depth perception. She talked up her new show ‘Body of Proof’ a lot too, which makes sense because it’s still waiting on news for getting renewed. I asked her about if she felt she was typecast from having been on Voyager – “No, I feel like it gave me a lot of career opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise” – and asked about her favorite role since, which got her talking for several minutes about Leverage. I’ll have to check that series out.

My last event of the day on Saturday was a Doctor Who fan panel, which was a lot of fun. It was put on by a new fan group, the Doctor Who Society of Canada, which was apparently born at Fan Expo 2011, and they said that they’re looking for new members and had events regularly in the Toronto area.

After the panel, I hurried home so quickly I realized on the bus that I’d completely forgotten to collect the photo that I had taken with Amy.

Sunday morning, as I got off the bus at Union station, something unfortunate happened – I slipped on the slightly wet pavement and wrenched my knee. :( But I didn’t want to let it ruin my day, so I hurried off towards the convention center as quickly as I could manage, and soon I was in line to get back into the show. I’d inventoried my Buffy and Angel graphic novels Saturday evening, and managed to pick up several new titles, (getting a discount on a slightly worn copy of the last ‘Buffy Season Eight’) and I also remembered to get my Amy Acker photo.

Soon enough, I was headed back down to panel room B. First was the Quantum Leap Panel – Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell talking about the old days together, which was an awful lot of fun. I kept using the same trick of leaving the audience a few minutes early to get in line for the next one – hobbling actually, on my injured knee, but I managed well enough. Sean Maher’s Q&A session was next, and it was a lot of fun. He talked about some of his favorite bits of filming “The Playboy Club”, and being a part of Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado about Nothing.” I was able to ask him about his favorite moment of working with Jewel Staite – he said that moment in the Movie where Simon tells Kaylee that his one regret is not making time to be with her, and her reaction is ‘Hell with this – I’m gonna live!’ I also asked him if he had any notion of what happened next for Simon and Kaylee after the movie.

“Well, Jewel and I joked a bit about that. She said that if there was a Serenity 2, it should open with Kaylee like eight and a half months pregnant, really big. And she’s shaving Simon’s head, saying that he’s just too damn pretty.”

And the last Q&A panel of the entire con was Amy Acker. She was great, really funny and sweet, talked about Cabin in the Woods, and Much Ado about Nothing, and how she’s going to be guest starring on Person of Interest. That’s about all I can remember now – catch you later!


Fan Fiction Crossovers

December 24, 2011

One of my goals for 2011 was to finish all three of the fanfiction crossovers that were Works In Progress on January 1st. It’s looking like I might actually accomplish that goal! I’ve got one that’s still incomplete, but the plot is clearly winding up, (and leaving open the possibility of a sequel.)

To me, writing a crossover can be the ultimate fanfic high – not just playing with somebody else’s characters and telling your own story with them, but trying to find a way to make two different fandoms work together for more than twice the fun, and finding the common ground between them.

The first crossover I finished this year was ‘A Roswellian Alien in Metropolis’, and it was already nearly finished in December – 3 chapters out of four. This was a sequel to a Roswell/Smallville crossover that I wrote because of a challenge. The first story in the series, ‘Arrow through my soul’, involved Maria DeLuca going to Metropolis for a record deal and falling in love with Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.

By the time I finished that one, I’d already thought that there could be a sequel involving Michael going to Metropolis as well, and then I got the idea of Chloe trying to train Michael to become part of the Justice League. That gave me my opening scene, but it was actually when Chloe sent Lana Lang to keep tabs on Michael that the story really hit high gear. Somehow Michael and Lana have chemistry on the page. Who knew?

And that’s part of the fun of crossovers, of course, seeing how the different characters will relate to each other. Roswell and Smallville have very similar canons and mythologies, of course – both teen soaps originally from the WB network, featuring extraterrestrial teenagers hiding their abilities. It wasn’t hard to picture the two sets of characters, some in New Mexico and the others in Kansas, unaware of what was going on in the next state over.

Both of these stories have followed the pattern of a protagonist character from Roswell (in first person narration,) entering the world of Smallville and meeting many of that show’s characters, and facing a challenge from a Smallville antagonist. I’m still considering a third story in the series, which would play with that convention a little, and have Clark come to Roswell and meet with Max, Liz, Michael and some of the others.

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Sunday, my last real day at Dragon*Con

September 5, 2011

I’m feeling sad about having to leave Atlanta behind so early today – next year I’ll seriously have to plan to arrive on Thursday and leave on Monday, so that I really have four full days at the Con.

Here are just some of the highlights from yesterday:

  • The Red Dwarf Q&A with the voice of the toaster, which had hints about the new series to be filmed this winter.
  • Getting my picture taken with Autumn Reeser.
  • The Browncoats Redemption wrap panel. (I still have to watch that DVD.)
  • Trying to answer Anne McCaffrey trivia questions, (mostly NOT Pern trivia,) and eat a cheeseburger and fries in the same time slot.
  • The Anne McCaffrey art panel with Michael Whelan, who apparently put Pern onto the New York Times Best-seller list with the cover for “The White Dragon”, which I didn’t know.
  • A fan panel discussing Chuck and the upcoming new season, which reminded me of a lot of things that I love about that show.
  • The Doctor Who season six review panel, and asking a question about the missing pieces and unanswered questions of Melody Pond’s life.
  • The ‘Big Bang Theory’ discussion panel, which had a guy dressed up as Howard Wolowitz in the audience.

One thing that wasn’t particularly a highlight was not getting into the ‘Stars of Buffy’ Q&A, after leaving the Michael Whelan Q&A to wait most of an hour for it. Oh well.

I also thought it was interesting that most of the fans on the Doctor Who review panel had such hate for the little Amy Pond intro spiel on the North American broadcasts this season. (I think it originated with BBC America, but the Space channel in Canada airs it too.) They really seemed offended about how it introduced the Doctor as ‘The Imaginary Friend.’

Myself, I don’t really think that intro is necessary, but I rather like it anyway – mostly as a little recap of some of the basics of the current state of canon for anybody who’s checking out a new episode and needs those basics. “I ran away with him, and we’ve been running ever since.” Come on – what’s wrong with that?


Saturday at Dragon*Con

September 4, 2011

I had a very busy day.

Breakfast at the Holiday, then the shuttle over to the Hilton. Armed with my ‘Buffy Omnibus Seven’ and ‘Dollhouse one-shot’ comics, I got two signatures from Felicia Day and one from James Marsters. The extra Felicia signature was on a ‘Doctor Horrible’ glossy photo.

The ‘Is the Doctor a meddler’ panel was standing room only, and not much of that, so I wandered over to Kate Mulgrew’s Q&A for a while, and then pulled out at the half-hour mark to get into line for the big Smallville Q&A session.

I’m not sure if anybody else does that, though I suspect it’s more common than you might think. There’s a half hour break between panels and other items on the schedule, to let people go from place to place, but really popular panels get lines starting up more than hour early. So, if you leave one panel half-way through, you can get to the site of the next and have nearly an hour, which should be enough to get you a pretty good seat. Obviously, you wouldn’t bother unless the second panel is a lot better than the first.

So, Smallville Q&A, was a lot of fun, we heard from Laura Vandervoort about her superhero poses and got a lot of fun stories from the villain guys, and heard about what everybody’s up to now. I got into line with a question that was mostly for James and partly also for Sam Witwer, about how much they knew about their character’s dark sides when they first started, because we met Brainiac and Doomsday through their secret identities first. But when I was second in line to ask, James had to leave early, so I decided not to bother and went back to my seat.

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Blogosphere spotlight: Cerebral Lunchbox

August 30, 2011

Hi guys. I’m winding down from Fan Expo and gearing up for Dragon*Con at the same time, so I’ll toss out a somewhat overdue blog spotlight for you to take a look at.

Cerebral Lunchbox is a place that I found looking through the blogroll over at Elizabeth Twist’s. It hasn’t been updated that much since the A to Z challenge back in April, but even those older posts make for great reading, and there’s a great piece up today listing the four best reasons to watch the new Doctor Who episode. Plus rambles and snack-sized pieces of information. Come on, admit it – your brain needs a snack!


Fan Expo continues: Friday memories.

August 26, 2011

Well, the lines and the crowds are back to a certain extent, but still not unmanageable.

I arrived around 9:30, and lost a little time trying to come in directly off the street instead of the south entrance, but still, wasn’t too far back in the entry line. Once I got inside and down to the main floor, I headed immediately for the Hayden Panettiere autograph line – only a few guys ahead of me, and neither a star or a handler in the booth, so I figured I’d wait around, hold a place in line and see if she’d arrive in twenty minutes or so, which she did, and she was quite nice as she signed my picture.

After that, I was also interested in getting an autograph from Lexa Doig of Andromeda, who was supposed to be around on Friday, but there was no sign of any life at her booth and nobody else waiting, so I went browsing through the vendors and checking back every so often, depleted most of the contents of my wallet on Joss Whedon comic books and a Doctor Who companions guide.

It turned out that Lexa had a flight delay and won’t be in Toronto until tomorrow – I found that out about five minutes after her Q&A was about to start. But at noon I headed up to check out a few panels – combining different worlds in writing, writing young fantasy, (which I left early to grab a slice of pizza,) and a presentation for a web series about girls in gaming, Pretty in Geek.

I had a little time to kill wandering around the sales floor again, wishing I had brought more money from the hotel, and then it was time for the Serenity RPG session, which was a lot of fun, we had a good crowd of players, the same great GM that I played with last year, and a storyline with flying a passenger and crate to Sihnon, then trying to track down the passenger for his ‘boss’ when he goes missing. I was the captain.

And despite an initially missed connections, I managed to meet up with two local writers after the con, and we ended up talking about pushing each other towards our goals and critiques over the loud music in a sports bar.

This has really been a great day. And tomorrow I’ll be meeting Eliza Dushku! (Weather and airplanes permitting.)


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 2011 – Day Two!

July 16, 2011

Had a great day at the convention today, and it isn’t over – there’s still the Constellation awards this evening, and the costume masquerade, and the Whedonverse geek-off. Actually, the masquerade and the geek-off overlap, so I won’t be able to see the end of the masquerade, but that’s just the way it has to be.

But, let’s see, the highlights so far:

  • I volunteered setting up the autograph room, first thing in the morning. That was really pretty cool, and I’ve signed up for some morning set-up as a volunteer again for tomorrow at 8 am.
  • Great Q&A sessions with Armin Shimerman and Adam Baldwin.
  • Getting autographs from both of the above gentlemen, plus Melinda Clarke.
  • Got my picture taken with Adam, and still need to actually pick up the photo print.
I didn’t go to too many panels – and twice I got to one really late, found that it was way too full, standing room only, so I went to find an alternate panel and really had a good time. The first time, this morning, it was after volunteering, because I decided to stay later than I’d planned to make a full hour on my volunteer timesheet, and the Doctor Who panel was really full, so I went to the Chuck panel, which was lots of fun.
This afternoon, a similar thing happened, when I stayed in the Adam Baldwin Q&A after the hour, because he was late arriving on account of a long autograph line. This time, it was a panel on worldbuilding and writing that had no room – so I went to a Doctor who panel about picking where in space and time you’d like to travel.
I’m also a little sorry that I got the Sheraton convention meal plan, because it’s meant that I needed to eat three times from the restaurant buffet today. The breakfast buffet was pretty good – it had pancakes, maple syrup, bacon, and milk, which is all you really need to keep me happy in the morning – and granny smith apples too for bonus. But I was not really impressed with the buffet selection for lunch or dinner, though I managed to find some things to fill up on.
Wish you were all here! You’d have a blast, I rather suspect.
UPDATE: Yes, I am the undisputed Polaris Toronto ultimate Whedonverse geek, and proud of it, whoo-hoo! I’ll leave you with the final tie-breaker question: “Who took Inara to the shindig on Persephone?”

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!


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