Still waiting for Goal, Motivation, and Conflict

September 28, 2012

As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the Dragon*Con panel by Debra Dixon about ‘Goal, Motivation, and Conflict’ and it reinforced a belief that I already had that this was stuff I needed to understand more to take my writing to the next level. I didn’t rush right home and order Debra’s book, but I remembered to place my order over two weeks ago.

And I haven’t heard anything since, which is starting to make me feel jumpy. I sent back an email inquiry today, just wondering if they had any news on shipping or when I could expect delivery.

I want to have a while to read this book and let the big ideas sink in, then start using them to figure out what I’m writing this year for Nanowrimo. And time is starting to draw somewhat short – there are only a couple days left in September, after all.

Is anybody else feeling anxious about Nanowrimo already? I’m not usually jumpy about it, but between the GMC thing, which isn’t an approach that I’ve used before, (though I remember being exciting about snowflaking my Nano too,) and signing up as an ML, I’m both really excited and nervous about chomping more than I can chew this time.

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Dragon*Con 2012: Monday is calmer

September 6, 2012

I made a particular point of planning to stay in Atlanta through Labor Day so that I could enjoy all of the Monday programming – as well as getting there on Thursday so that I’d be ready to rock first thing Friday. Overall I’m pleased that I did, but Monday was definitely a quieter day on the programming schedule, and I was ready for it after three days of high-energy Con-ning. On my way out of the Westin, I spotted this well-dressed Steampunk couple:

I headed on down to the WeyrFest room first – their first panel was ‘Dreams of Dragons; who else did Anne inspire to write about dragons and dragonriders?’ It’s funny how one of the first names anybody mentioned was Christopher Paolini, but there were some other books discussed; several of them went onto my ‘to be read’ list.

There was also an interesting side note about Ursula LeGuin and Earthsea, although she was admittedly a peer of Anne; the lady in the row behind me admitted that she’d always thought of the speech of the making in ‘Earthsea’ to be telepathic and not verbal, just because that was how people and dragons talked on Pern.

I stayed for a second WeyrFest panel; ‘If I could only…’ about if we could visit one of Anne’s worlds, which I remember being discussed earlier in the weekend as well. This time slot actually turned into a mostly off-topic but hugely enjoyable ramble by Todd, discussing things like his mother’s horse stables and current deliberations of the estate regarding future writings in any of the worlds she created.

Next, I returned to the Writing track homeroom for a talk on ‘Goal, Motivation, and Conflict‘ by the woman who started it all, Debra Dixon. It was great stuff, I feel like I understand GMC and how to apply it to my writing better, and I have a great further reading list, including Debra’s own book, which I hadn’t quite realized existed.

She did an example GMC worksheet for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, (which she admitted was a basic example, but better to get through in a one-hour talk with questions from the audience,) and I took tons of notes on the Eclypse phone.

Note to self: I still need to find a better text editor or word processing app for that device. I was using Polaris Office, which isn’t too bad, but it scrolls left and right to an imaginary page width instead of wrapping to phone width, and every time I use the FN key to type in a symbol it moves the cursor to the beginning of the line. I was in a hurry, so kept typing periods or commas in place of the punctuation I wanted to use. I hope I’ll be able to read the notes okay.

By this point, most of the tracks were into wrap-up panels. WeyrFest wrap-up was in the same time slot as GMC, but I went to the Whedon Universe wrap-up first, “WU in review”, where people had lots of praise to give the track volunteers, some constructive feedback and some venting about things (like sound and video setup, guest booking) that were completely out of the track staff’s hands.

Then things got side-tracked into a discussion of costume contest standards – apparently there was a blonde Cordelia cosplayer who’d been given a Judge’s Favorite award in the Whedon Universe costume contest, even though the guy in charge of the track had strong feelings that in a costume contest, anybody who didn’t match the character they were coming as in an obvious detail of appearance should be penalized for it – but he couldn’t overrule the judges on that score.

The final wrap-up I went to was the BritTrack, which was much more informal. The staff were reading out feedback cards when I got in, and several of them were teasing and roasting the track director – a charming woman who’s apparently getting married next summer.

And that was it for the organized con. I picked up a soft serve cone, went back to my hotel room, watched some videos on the netbook, and got to bed early.


Dragon*Con 2012: memories of Saturday

September 4, 2012

Well, friends and followers, I’m back home safe from all the excitement of Dragon*Con, but since I only got up to Friday evening last post, there’s a lot more memories to tell you about.

Saturday morning is the Dragon*Con parade, a big tradition. I didn’t get to see it last year, and I didn’t end up seeing much of it this time around either, for a few reasons. One, you have to line up early to get a good spot to watch the parade. Two, I was up so late from the Buffy Horror Picture show that I overslept and got started on my morning routine late. Third, the big Jane Espenson Q&A was scheduled right after the parade, and that was a ‘must-get-in’ on my schedule. So I wandered out the hotel doors onto the crowded sidewalk around ten, checked out the very start of the parade, and then got back up to the eighth floor in time to be third in line for Jane.

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Dragon*Con 2012: Day 1

September 3, 2012

So, I finished my Friday post having finished Camp Nanowrimo and just about to rush off for my first day of Dragon*Con panels for this year, right? 🙂

First, a little Dragon*Con 101, to help you understand what I’m talking about, and maybe give you a feel for what going is like. Dragon*Con is organized into dozens of fan tracks like WeyrFest, Whedon Universe, BritTrack, and American Sci-Fi Media – those are the ones that I’ve been mostly following. Each track has a ‘home room’ in one of the hotels, where the smaller panels and events will be held, and will reserve a larger ballroom for bigger events, like when they have a celebrity guest Q&A. Often the larger room will be in the same hotel as the home room.

Whedon Universe and BritTrack are very ‘big’ tracks, with a lot of people attending at least a few of their events; bigger rooms, longer lines, and bigger stars, which often does mean bigger fun. Weyrfest is a lot smaller, and doesn’t often leave the Vinings room on the lowest conference level of the Hyatt hotel.

The second thing you need to understand is about the schedule. Each track sets its own schedule, and though there are exceptions, generally the schedules are synchronized on a pattern of one hour for an event, then half an hour for people to get to their next event. So you have panels from 10am to eleven, and then the next panels start at 11:30, and so on through the day until 8:30pm, and then 10pm. Each track generally runs one item in each time slot, though occasionally they’ll have a gap or two choices at the same time, and they each make their own decisions about how early they start or late they go on a particular day. There are often some late parties that run longer than an hour.

Finally, a map! I never found the maps they have in the DragonCon program to be too easy to understand, and sort of learned the layout by trial and error last year. Here’s my own map, not to scale, but it clearly shows everything important, and also gives a few street names:

 

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The Arrival

August 30, 2012

Well, I’m in Atlanta, I’ve checked into my hotel, I’ve gotten my Dragon*Con badge. 🙂

The Peachtree Westin Plaza is so fancy, it might be one of the nicest rooms I’ve ever been in. And pretty pricey too… but I’m going to try not to worry about that too much. I committed to this way back in September of last year, and I’m going to concentrate on having a great time – and maybe not go next year, so I can save up some money. *shrug*

I saw lots of other fan-type people in the hotel, on the streets, and in the food court when I picked up dinner, but there’s no real events on this morning and I don’t feel like heading out and making new friends. There’ll be lots to do tomorrow, so I should be resting up.


That Holiday feeling

August 29, 2012

I’m just a bit frantic at the moment trying to make sure that I’m ready to leave for Dragon*Con in the morning, but I wanted to share a few things.

I took the day off today, kinda relaxed in the morning and pretended that I was getting ready to pack without accomplishing too much in that direction. 😉 I also went for a walk, and realized it was getting warm, so on the way back I went to the parking lot to put the sunshade up in my car. Locked the car, got halfway to my building…

…and realized that I’d locked my keyring in the car. With my apartment key on it. I had a spare key to the car – inside the apartment. Along with my cell phone and presumably, a laminated CAA roadside assistance card that I’ve lost track of.

It turned out okay. I was able to call the roadside assistance people from the pay phone across the street, they were able to lookup my membership based on my phone number and other info, and a nice gentleman drove up in ten minutes or so, checked my driver’s license to be sure I was who I said I was, and open up my car. I’ve tracked down the little temporary roadside assistance card that I printed out for myself before they mailed me a laminated card, just so I’ve got my CAA number in my wallet, and I may try keeping the two car keys in different pockets for a while again, unless that drives me nuts.

And I had a great family reunion this afternoon, including some cousins from my mother’s side of the family that I hadn’t seen in ages. We chatted at my Mom’s condo, played in the building’s pool, and went out for dinner at Swiss Chalet. 🙂

What’s your favorite ‘day off’ memory?


Fan Expo is less than two days away…

August 21, 2012

Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂

I haven’t packed yet, but I’ve been working on my schedule plans, figuring out what Q&A sessions and other events I need to make it to, when I can fit in some role-play gaming, (They’ve got Harry Dresden RPG sessions!) and what I want to take to be signed by whom.

I’m leaving work Thursday around noon, taking the train to Toronto, and checking into a little boutique hotel near the Wellesley subway station that was cheaper than any of the official convention hotels closer to downtown. Then it’s down to the convention center to see how early I can get in – Julie Benz’s Q&A session is on the first night, and hopefully I can fit the gaming in afterward.

I’m really excited about meeting Alan Tudyk, but John Barrowman and Juliet Landau should be fun too, also seeing Julie Benz and James Marsters again.

I’ll probably be very tired when I get back to the office on Sunday evening to drive back home, but as long as I don’t get into an accident it’ll all be worth it.

And then a few days later I fly down to Atlanta for Dragon*Con.


#600 – Looking to the future.

August 15, 2012

Well, this is my 600th post for the Kelworth Files. Wow. That’s quite a number.

I’ve done some retrospectives on big occasions, so this time, I wanted to talk about what I was excited about in the future of this blog.

I’m hoping that there’ll be something really cool for the fall Platform Building Campaign, because that’s always a great opportunity to meet other writers and have some fun.

I’m going to keep doing Six Sentence Sunday every week, it’s a nice challenge to get some of the magic of my own writing down into little bite-sized chunks, and I’ve had a great time doing the SixSunday rounds lately with other writers.

I’ll be traveling later this month and attending some fan conventions – Fan Expo in Toronto, Dragon*Con down in Atlanta, so I’ll be sharing as much news as I can type into the netbook with you all.

And I have one question, about internet goodies. A few times I offered with my recent string of Six Sentence Sunday posts that everybody who commented would get cookies. Now, it wasn’t like I was shipping out real cookies in the mail – I really just went to Google Image Search and found fun pictures or recipes to link to when I posted thank-you comments, but I had some fun with it. Is it as fun on the other side? What else should I offer as link ‘giveaways’ here on the blog?

And is there anything you’re looking forward to me posting about?

Thanks for everything, friends and followers. Hope you’re still hanging around when I make it to 1000 posts and beyond.


Finished with Block Revision – for now…

July 31, 2012

Well, it’s the last day of July, and I’ll be working on a new story for Camp Nanowrimo starting tomorrow. 🙂 Which means that I’m going to put the Holly Lisle ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course, and my Block Revision, aside until September, even though I’ve only finished 35 scenes out of fifty-seven.

Even though I’m still a little disappointed with my progress, I’m really pleased with the revision so far when I look at what I’ve accomplished in the past few weeks. I’ve rewritten the majority of those scenes in their entirety, because I could see what I wanted, but not find enough of the right words in my first draft. (sigh.) I’ve learned how to edit in pen on paper where the scene was ‘green’ enough to do that, with my own little markup notion of insert scenes from the Alphasmart Dana where needed.

I think that the break will do me good, and I’m looking forward to getting back to Holly Lisle in September… around the 4th or so, because for the first few days of September I’ll be much too busy at Dragon*Con to do any revising! 😉

I still haven’t packed up all the revision stuff on my living room table, (some of which I haven’t really used – the blank typing paper, the scotch tape and pens, most of the post-its, three colors of pens, and the jerky.) It’ll probably get packed up somewhere safe over the next few days.

So – how are your summer projects going. Is anybody else looking forward to Camp?


Dragon*Con Friday – Once more, with Rocky Horror

September 3, 2011

So – Dragon*Con! I made it here, and all that!

Left yesterday morning at 7am to go to the airport. Flew through Washington briefly, got to Atlanta, took a shared shuttle to the Holiday Inn, checked in and immediately got set to go register at the Convention. By 4 in the afternoon I had my badge – there was almost no line-up for pre-registers by then.

Then I spent several hours running around, getting a good sense of the five host hotels and where they were in relation to each other – at least, I hope it’s a fairly good sense. Dragon*Con is a bit new to me, in that though it’s a bigger con than Fan Expo is, it doesn’t feel exactly like the commercial ‘floor cons’, such as Fan Expo or Wizard World. Instead, it’s a giant version of a fan ‘hotel con’ like Polaris or Ad Astra – hence, why it needs five host hotels, I guess.

I dropped by the Whedonverse fan track room in the middle of a panel about absolute power corrupting in Joss Whedon shows, got bored and went on more exploring, and got four autographed pictures:

  • Laura Vandervoort
  • Tahmoh Penikett
  • Autumn Reeser
  • Michael Rosenbaum

I could have gotten autographs from James Marsters and Felicia Day too – but I had left the comics that I want them to sign back at the Holiday Inn! Oh well, try today I guess.
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