Hello Gentle Reader, I have returned safely from Omaha. OSFest was a lovely convention. It’s in a rather original hotel (that, according to reports, organically grew out of either two or three other hotels in the tumor kind of way). It has a central grotto area around which all the party rooms are grouped, a very nice arrangement I haven’t seen since Boston WorldCon. There was also a water park in the basement. Because, frankly, who doesn’t want a water park in their basement?
|Self & The Grotto|
With a bit of time before the convention started, said water park had to be investigated. I made rather a fool of myself bouncing around on inner-tubes in my retro swimsuit and flowered swim cap. I went down the slide eight times, and bobbed about the slow river contemplating how much fun it must be to engineer such a thing as a water park.
Feminism & Publishing
Lauren Jankowski, Betsy Dornbusch and I had a lively discussion that ranged over many aspects of being a female author in the modern publishing world including Self Publishing. We touched a little on some of the recent scandals in the industry and how we might be proactive in preventing them in the future including making conventions safe for the next generation of female geeks. Some of the things I mentioned were John Scalzi’s Convention Harassment Policy, the skepchicks boycott of TAM, and this YouTube video on How Do You Deal With Drunk Women Passed Out On The Couch? We discussed our responsibility to create a safe space for young geeky women now, but also to raise the next generation of young geeky men to be gentlemen. We talked with the crowd about steps that we could take as authors, convention attendees, and parents. There were also some awesome young ladies there at the panel who had some smart things to say.
To my delight I also discovered that Betsy and I are both with NLA. And she will be at WorldCon this year, very exciting.
|via Gena Fisher on Facebook|
Steampunk Costuming for Ladies
Rather than cliff note you here, since I was a little scattered first thing in the morning, I’ll direct you to a recently updated page on my website which includes a full list of my fashion in steampunk and victoriana posts. Specifically covered on this panel and of interest to those in the audience: Thrifting for Victorian Garb, Womenswear; Proper Foundation Garments, Corsets!; and DIY ~ Your Own Steampunk Pocket Belt.
Tom Ashwell, Keith DeCandiodo and I discussed how we complete a manuscript. Mostly it amounted to the Ass In Chair policy. I mentioned shameless bribery and carrot dangling as well as other things covered on my website under Writing: The Craft.
Tough Women: Heroines and Villains
Ryvenna Lewis joined Lauren Jankowski and I to discuss our favorite tough women in genre fiction. We also got on to the hero’s journey and the heroines journey, goddesses, fairy tales and other topics.
I spoke of my love of any book in which a girl cross dresses and kicks as including:
Doyle & MacDonald’s Price of the Stars series and Pierce’s Lioness series.
Some others I mentioned in particular, or wished I could remember on the spot were:
Feist & Wurts Servant of the Empire series; Tanya Huff’s Valor series; Jones’ Howel’s Moving Castle; Kaye’s The Ordinary Princess; Klause’s Blood & Chocolate; Lackey’s By the Sword; Barnes’ The Fire Sword; McCaffery’s Freedom series; McKinley’s The Blue Sword; Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons; and Yolen’s Sister Light, Sister Dark.
Spent a lovely evening socializing mostly at Travis Heermann‘s Sword of the Ronin room party. Travis and I met back in 09 at Word Fantasy in San Jose he came to Soulless’s book launch party. We have seen each other a few times since, but this was my first chance to return the favor. I had a lovely time. His new book is set in an alternate 13th-Century Japan, “a land of ancient spirits, shapeshifting animals, and demons, Ken’ishi is a warrior without a master. Orphaned in infancy, he has only one link to his past – Silver Crane, his father’s sword.”
|From the Tea. Snicker.|
Tea & Social
After a late night I was a little tardy to this gathering, but I sampled the mysteries of bacon meets Madeline muffin. Drank far too much tea and then poodled of to my…
As usual I hope I entertained and answered everyone’s questions. I read a bit from the ARC of Curtsies & Conspiracies and at least managed to keep people awake, which is all you can really ask for Sunday of a con. I also received gifts of chocolate and a pretty little steampunk box, so thoughtful!
I also sat in for Keith on the Writer’s Block panel which may have been one of my favorites. Betsy Dornbusch, Travis Heermann and I talked about tricks to make ourselves write and whole host of other suggestions. We got rather off topic and I told scary stories of losing my mind over Prudence among others. I mentioned the podcasts I Should Be Writing (Mur) and Writing Excuses.
All in all a most enjoyable convention. I recommend it, intimate and interesting, and there’s a water park!
|Pork belly fries with a fried egg.|
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
|1900-1905 The Metropolitan Museum of Artjpg|
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
|Mini Dr. Who with tiny Dalek and Tardis mom|
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
|CJ = the man with the mustache head|
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
How to Format Remembered Dialog
PROJECT ROUND UP
Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: In from my editor. This weeks’ work.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date Nov. 5, 2013.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ trade paperback will be available in the US October 13, 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.
Books Glorious Books says of Changeless, “What really stands out in these books, this one especially, is the characters and the writing. Alexia and Conall in particular, they really had me laughing a lot of times throughout the read. They also really made me feel for them whenever they were anxious or upset.”
Quote of the Day: