I should be packing right now…

June 23, 2012

I’ll get back to work on it in just a few minutes, but I wanted to drop you guys a little note. So – packing has been one big focus of my attention since yesterday evening – ever since I did the math backwards from my flight time tomorrow and figured out that I should be leaving at seven AM. (Three hours at the airport for an international flight? Sigh… at least I’ll have videos to watch and can do writing or critiques on the netbook.)

I’ve written a little more for story #7 today – and I actually crossed the 16k line that was my minimum word count goal, but that doesn’t count for as much as getting eight stories finished. And we’ll see about getting the critiques done in advance too – I’m working on number sixteen out of twenty-four, which will be two rounds of stories out of three for each other author in the workshop. I’m already good for Monday to Thursday’s stories, for the first week, so that’s pretty good.

And I went to the Can’t Stop the Serenity screening in Toronto and had a great time, though I had a bit of a headache, (stress?) But I’m glad I came out to share in the fun – there was video of a really cool dramatic reading that Joss wrote, with three girls each telling one story of a troubled girl from a different part of the world, that Equality Now has helped personally and wants to be able to do more to prevent other girls from being badly treated in the same ways.

I left a few lots into the charity auction, after biding one up to the $45 cash I had with me, and being seriously outbid with a winning bid over $100 Canadian. I hope that everybody has a great time at the shindig, but the stuff I have to do here is more important today.

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Can’t stop the Serenity 2011

June 17, 2011

The Toronto CSTS screening event is tomorrow afternoon. I’m so excited that it’s almost here!

Background: Can’t stop the Serenity is a charity fundraiser put on by fans of the ‘Firefly’ franchise, benefiting Equality Now, an organization that fights for the human rights of women around the world. (It’s a favorite charity of Joss Whedon, the creator of Firefly.) They run events in many US cities and other countries around the world, though I’ve only ever been to the Torotno screenings. Check http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/ to see if there’s one near you!

The 2005 feature film ‘Serenity’ is screened, some of the attendees dress up in character, there’s an auction of some cool geeky souvenirs, (some of which have been signed by celebrities,) and then some of the fans move to a local restaurant for the ‘shindig’ party.

This will be my third screening. I actually found out about the first one, in 2008, more or less by accident, from another member of the Hamilton Nanowrimo writer’s group, who was saying that she wouldn’t be available to meet at a coffee hous that Saturday. I decided it was too cool not to go into Toronto for it. That was really the start of my participation in the Toronto fandom scene, though it took me a little while to actually go back in for another Shindig.

I didn’t actually make it to the screening in 2009, though I prepaid my ticket and my t-shirt, so I still contributed to the fundraising that year. (And I love the shirt.) I had some health issues that summer, and if I recall correctly I was out of the hospital by that weekend, but not feeling up to much more than sitting around the apartment and going out for my clinic appointments. I did have a little Firefly DVD marathon to console myself for what I was missing.

And last year, I went in costume for the first time, having put together a thrift-store outfit that looked recognizably like one of Simon Tam’s suits. Picked up a great needlepoint at the auction that I still have sitting on my desk – and that’s the day that I had a bit of unexpected excitement getting home on account of the G20 riots.

This year, I’ve got my eye on a Serenity mousepad as well as some other goodies at the auction. And I’d like to actually put myself out there socially and talk to more new people than I have before.


Lost notes from long-ago conventions.

May 26, 2011

Well, I went through the memo pad files on my Palm tungsten handhelds this evening, looking for more material on Ad Astra, but when I realized that I had some notes from even longer ago, I thought that I had to share them first. I’ll try to edit for a bit of clarity when I can, but these will generally be very rough, just what I managed to type down at the time. Please reply with questions in the comments about anything that intrigues you, and I’ll answer in more detail if I can, or speculate otherwise.

This first memo I don’t honestly know where it’s from, but it could be from Polaris 2010:

How to write
worldbuilding – know how things work and where things are
map of dystopian ontario – civilization around hydro plants, cancer pollution zones
writing a story in 24 hours – with prompts from strangers and libraries
outlining a story before starting the first sentence
have to be willing to kill characters off, even if you like them and they don’t want to die
two characters running around a building in opposite directions but not meeting
to master the art of outlining… Or not?
character driven writing – know their skilllsets, and then make them go beyond
appendectomy with a spoon and first aid training
wars and the aging of characters – retconning your history
computer tools – custom dictionary spell check, massive internet research, excel file for character bible, search and replace, macros for italicizing ship names
chinese font issues – pdf submissions
preparation details that don’t get into the book – lots of them
helps you live in that world
the grist mill – after being in one when it was working, the feel was wrong, needed to rewrite
tinker’s plague, triangular trade deficits, drove some of the plot
writing programs – ms word with all auto functions turned off, simple good manuscript format
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