skogkatt: Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Nerd Girl)
Dear My Person,

Thank you for offering to write in one of these obscure fandoms! I will certainly be thrilled with whatever you come up with, but in case you want extra brainstorming nudges, this letter is for you!

Sabrina the Teenage Witch (tv)

Here's what I said on the official thing:

I love this show, especially for the interactions between all the residents of the Spellman household. Anything in this world would be awesome, but if you need ideas, how about deleted scenes from season 1? Or some of the backstory about Salem's failed rise to power? Or a Halloween story? I mean everything goes haywire at Halloween over there! Or a Christmas story? Or perhaps something to explain how exactly Sabrina ended up having two junior years? Did it have something to do with the time ball or Hilda's magic clock?

Additional info:

I ask for this every year just in case someone out there really wants to write me a wonderful Sabrina story. I love this universe, and will honestly be thrilled with any story. I know I asked for four specific characters. I love them, and would love to see them having some snappy banter, but I'm also way open to other things.

Use your favorite characters, make up new characters, cross it over with other shows or books or movies, or give me explanations for some of the weird series plotholes (Whatever happened to Jenny?). I will love any of it. Season 1 is my favorite for the geekiness of the writing, but I'd be happy to read about characters from other seasons, too. If you want to include chromatic characters, you might consider writing about Albert (the Quizmaster) or Dashiell (what happens to him after he and Sabrina stop seeing each other?) or Aunt Vesta (we really only see her once!), or Dreama, but again, I'll be happy with whatever you choose.


Here's what I wrote on my official request form:

This was just a lot of fun, wasn't it? I love Miss Charming, and I'd love to see more of these characters whether before, during, or after their stay at the manor. Do they perhaps become lifelong friends? Do they go back for another visit? Does Miss Charming ever find a willing British bloke?

Additional details:

Basically I think Jennifer Coolidge is hilarious, and I love that the two women are friendly and supportive of each other. I like kind people and witty banter and extreme silliness, so I would love to see good natured ridiculousness, or snappy romantic banter, or what have you. There are so many fun possibilities! Do Jane and Nobley perhaps discuss the Austen novels together? And if yes, does Miss Charming try to add her input? Because that sounds like a recipe for hilarity.

H2O: Just Add Water

Here's the official request:

Okay, I have to say Rikki is my hero. I love her. She's totally cool and she knows what she wants and goes after it, and she doesn't take any BS from anyone. I'd love to see more of her. That said, I also love Cleo and Emma, and I'd love to see more of them too. One of the strengths of this show is the friendship between the three main characters. Also, I love how Cleo is a big old nerd who knows all about fish and dresses up as a jellyfish for the beauty pageant. I would be happy to see anything in this world, but if you need ideas, how about something about what actually happened to Emma. She left pretty abruptly. Does she ever come back? Is she still a mermaid? What happens to all of them after the end of the show? Do Cleo and Lewis ever get together for real? What happens to Rikki (please let it be something awesome!)?

Additional details:

I will be happy with anything in this fandom, but I also want to throw this one wide open. There seems like SO MUCH crossover potential here. Mermaids + Sabrina? Harry Potter? Twilight? I just have no idea. I know that the Mermaid actors went on to do The Vampire Diaries, but I am unfamiliar with that universe, so if you decide to use it, you'll have to make sure everything from it is understandable to someone who's never seen it. That said, I basically imagine the crack potential here is SUPER high, and I welcome that! OMG, I just thought of something: Mermaids + Outlander! How would that even work? Is the mermaid pool also a time portal? Seriously anything goes. Just please make it fun and fluffy, because I am really hoping for a non-angsty Yuletide if at all possible.

General likes and dislikes

I love: Silly things, weirdness, geekiness, fluff, kind people, strong friendships, happy endings, witty banter, diversity, feminism

I dislike: Excessive violence and gore (some is okay if is serves the story, but I squick easily), excessive angst (again, if it serves the story, great, but I don't tend to seek out sad stuff for catharsis/comfort the way some people do), any kind of sex that isn't explicitly consensual (really really, please no), racist/sexist/homophobic stuff (again, really, just no).
skogkatt: (Default)
Because, why not?

If you feel open today, why not take this opportunity to tell me a little something about yourself? Any old thing at all. Just so the next time I see your name I can say: "Ah, there's Parker ... ze likes money and cereal." Then, if you feel like it, post this in your own journal. In return, ask me anything you'd like to know about me and I'll give you an answer.*

*Providing it's answerable/suitable for public posting.

(Here's what I said when I saw this meme elsewhere: I know I should wear gloves when I dye my hair, but I hate wearing gloves so much that at least half the time I don't do it, even though I know I am incredibly messy with everything, including hair dye. And that is why my hands are purple right now. Also part of my face.)
skogkatt: (Default)
Because Readercon is very soon now, my friend Claire asked for advice on moderating panels at conventions. It turns out I've done enough research and had enough experience that I actually had a lot to say on the subject. After our e-mail exchange Claire asked if I'd post my notes publicly, so here they are:

1) Remember first and foremost that your job on any panel is to keep the audience entertained and engaged. If things go off topic, but people are interested in that tangent, it's okay to follow the tangent for a bit. If things are going exactly according to plan, but people seem unengaged, it's time to change things up somehow. Never stay for too too long on one subject (or one tiny aspect of a larger subject, anyway).

2) People have most likely come to this panel for one of two reasons. The first is that they know and like one or more of the panelists, and would like to hear them speak. The second is that they like the look of the panel description as it appears in the program. Knowing these two things, consider it your task to make sure that all the panelists get chances to speak more than a tiny amount, and to address the subject matter described in the panel in at least three different ways--there is nothing quite so disappointing as arriving at a panel where the description sounds very exciting, only to have the moderator undercut it ("I know the description says this is about contemporary fantasy fairy tale retellings, but everyone's totally sick of those. Let's focus on aliens in space opera fairy tales instead.").

3) To make things go smoothly, it helps if you have done some prep-work. If you've been provided a list of e-mail addresses for your fellow panelists, you might want to send a message in advance with a brief explanation of your game plan. Something along the lines of:

"I'm going to introduce the panel by name and tell the audience that we will have a discussion for x minutes before we open up to audience questions for the last y minutes of the panel. Then I'll read the official description and ask each of you to introduce yourselves in a brief way. I will spend the remainder of the first x minutes asking you all some questions, and making sure everyone has a chance to speak. If there's anything you particularly hope to talk about in this discussion, please let me know."

Of course, you would also want to add salutations and pleasantries. You might also end the message by asking if that plan sounds all right, and welcoming their suggestions for changes to the overall plan. In practice, I have never had anyone ask me to change my plan, but people seem to like the idea that they do have input. I have sometimes gotten good suggestions for things to talk about, too.

If you have not been provided a list a of e-mails you can either skip this step, or you can try asking the event organizers for contact info if you feel like doing that.

4) On the day of the panel, be very clear from the start that you'll be taking questions at whichever time you intend to take them, and that you are the leader of the discussion. People will accept your authority if you lay it out up front. If you haven't explicitly stated it, and people start to overtake the conversation (panelists or audience members), it can be very difficult to wrestle the conversation into a meaningful shape. At 5 minutes before the panel is supposed to end, stop taking questions, tell everyone it's time to wrap up, and ask your panelists for any final remarks. End the panel on time (several minutes before the next panel is scheduled to begin) so that the next group can come in and get started promptly. This all sounds very authoritarian, but if you say it with clarity and good-naturedness, most likely no one will mind.

5) Have some specific questions in mind (and bonus points if you have one question specifically related to each panelist's work), but don't think of them as a list to get through. Use them as a guide to start the conversation, and then to bring it back on track if it starts to stall or wander too far. Be open and flexible about following the natural conversational path as long as that path is interesting and the audience is engaged. If you believe that every panelist has something interesting to say, and that your job is to help them have a chance to say it, you'll usually be right, and everyone will be pleased with the end result.

6) If one person is dominating the conversation, it's okay to stop them, even mid-sentence. Just make it seem like a natural segue, and bring the conversation specifically to a panelist who hasn't spoken as much. ("You've brought up an interesting point, Jane. Bob, since you also write science fantasy, I'm wondering what you think about Jane's observation. Do you agree that all fairy tales should feature aliens from now on?").

7) Have fun. If you have fun, chances are everyone else will too.

Bonus tip: If you've got microphones available, use them. Even if you don't think you need them, other people might benefit from the amplification. Some audience members might feel unable or unwilling to complain when they can't hear you, so it's better to err on the louder and clearer side.

This is not an exhaustive list of tips, but it's good basic guide. If you have more suggestions, feel free to mention them in the comments!

P.S. If you're coming to Readercon, I hope to see you there! I'll be reading in the Mythic Poetry group reading at 11am on Friday, and then leading the Codex Writers group reading at noon on Friday. The Outer Alliance is also having a meetup Friday at 9pm in the lobby. Do say hello!
skogkatt: (Default)
If I saw you there, I really loved seeing you there. If I didn't see you there, I missed you.

We're taking this week to travel home at a relaxed pace, so I'm pretty scarce. I've been really not posting to DW in the past year, and I can't guarantee I'll post more this year, but I just wanted to say that whether or not I end up updating my journal more, I do very much value the chance to interact with all of you in comments.

OMG Squee!

Jan. 28th, 2012 12:34 pm
skogkatt: (Default)
I'm on the Galactic Suburbia Honours List for activism and/or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction in 2011!

Other people on this list include L. Timmel Duchamp of Aqueduct Press, and Helen Merrick, who wrote The Secret Feminist Cabal!

I posted more coherently and in depth about this on the OA blog, but I wanted to have a moment of flaily squee here, just because OMG YAY!
skogkatt: (Yuletide Lantern)
As per usual, I've come at this year's Yuletide collection in an extremely scattered fashion. I've not remotely read most of the stories I'd like to, but I've dipped into things here and there, and I figured I should do a recommendations post now, else I might not get around to doing one ever. This is not comprehensive. It's just a few of the gems I've enjoyed.

Attack the Block

First, the story someone wrote for me:

Give Me Courage Not to Fear No One is a lovely look into the inner life and backstory for Moses. We watched this movie in November with my mother, and I was totally taken with the awesome dialogue and characterization, and I left it wanting to see more of those people, so this was wonderful. This story is like the movie in that it's at times funny, at times moving, and at times bitter and hard. I know that whoever took this on did it at the last minute, so I'm especially grateful that they took care to make something that so clearly took my likes and dislikes into consideration. It's really wonderful.

There were also two other stories in this fandom, and I want to rec them both because they're all really fantastic.

More recs in Attack the Block, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Jem, Love Actually, Misfits, My Drunk Kitchen, Connie Willis's Oxford Time Travel Universe, and Amanda Quick's Arcane Society books )

That's all I've got for now, but I'm enjoying quite a lot of the stories in this year's Yuletide collection, and also having a lot of fun with some of the things I've learned about through the [community profile] eastasianfandomgiftbag community, which is accepting wishlists wish fulfillments through the end of January. I've been stalking the wishes (and so far have even filled one!), and have learned about some awesome new to me things to check out, so I may be back in a while with more recs for either Yuletide or East Asian Fandom Gift Bag stuff. I love seeing people giving things to each other and sharing squeeful times. ♥
skogkatt: (Yuletide Lantern)
Dear My Person,

Thank you for offering to write in one of these obscure fandoms! I will most certainly be thrilled with whatever you come up with, but in case you want extra brainstorming nudges, this letter is for you!

Sabrina the Teenage Witch (tv)

Here's what I said on the official thing:

I ask for this every year just in case someone out there really wants to write me a wonderful Sabrina story. I love this universe, and will honestly be thrilled with any story. I know I asked for four specific characters. I love them, and would love to see them having some snappy banter, but I'm also way open to other things.

Use your favorite characters, make up new characters, cross it over with other shows or books or movies, or give me explanations for some of the weird series plotholes (Why does Sabrina have two Junior years? Whatever happened to Jenny?). I will love any of it. Season 1 is my favorite for the geekiness of the writing, but I'd be happy to read about characters from other seasons, too. If you want to include chromatic characters for the Dark Agenda collection, you might consider writing about Albert (the Quizmaster) or Dashiell (what happens to him after he and Sabrina stop seeing each other?) or Aunt Vesta (we really only see her once!), or Dreama, but again, I'll be happy with whatever you choose.

Additional details: I love the ensemble cast, the silliness, and the nerdiness of this show. Although season 1 is my favorite, I have beloved episodes in the other seasons, too, and will seriously be happy with any season you want to write about. Sabrina fans are rare, and I will be delighted to know you're out there at all, honestly.

Big Business (1988)

Here's what I wrote on my official request form:

I love this movie so hard. Two Bette Midlers and two Lily Tomlins! OMG! I don't think any fic of it exists at all, and I would be overcome with glee at any story! I requested the sisters because they are the main characters, but if you would rather not make them the main focus, that's okay, too. I'd love to see anyone else you care to write about. For instance, if you really want to write about a chromatic character, I would be very happy to receive a story about Harlan. I have often wondered why the hell he stuck it out with such difficult bosses for all those years, and what his outside of the job life looks like.

Additional details: I would love anything at all based on this movie, seriously. I have made my family watch it with me so many times that we all know most of the lines. I love silliness and fluff, so you really can't go wrong with that. If you're stuck, and you want a jumping off point (other than the previously mentioned Harlan idea), I'd love a glimpse into the sisters' heads at any point in time. What does Rose Shelton make of Jupiter Hollow (and how does Jupiter Hollow react to the news)? What do they all think of each other? Go with whatever moves you. I will be utterly thrilled.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)

Here's the official request:

This was one of my father's very favorite movies, so I grew up seeing it... but after I was 9 or so, I think our VHS copy vanished. It sort of became a legend in my mind. That kind of thing you remember really vividly in some ways (for instance, my family has a tendency to call superglue Galaxy Glue), but not really very well in others. Now it's available on Netflix, though! So I watched it recently with my partner, and whoa! What a bizarre movie! It's much more feminist than I realized, and I get a lot of the jokes that I definitely didn't back in the 80s. I'm really curious about what happens after the movie ends. We see her growing, but... how does that affect her life and family? And she just brings home a gorilla! And says the family can keep him! How does that work out? Also, Concepcion. Wow, her storyline seems fascinating. I really wonder what on earth she's thinking about everything, and also what her life is like when she's not in the Kramer household. Vance is so caught up in the advertising world, and the movie is so much about consumerism. I'd love to see more weird product pitches and descriptions like the Mike's Macho Meal cereal box that Judith reads in the supermarket scene. Really, anything you want to do with this would be awesome.

Additional details: Um, I think that covers it, really. I will be amazed to read anything in this fandom.

Attack the Block (2011)

Here's the official request:

I would love to know more about Moses. Whether you want to fill in back story, or give interior thoughts during the events of the movie, or follow up on what he does after the movie ends, I'd be super pleased to see it. I would also be happy to see any other characters you feel like writing about. What I loved about this movie was the humor, snappy dialogue, and character development. I squick pretty easily, and I know this one might involve some gore (and that's fine if it's necessary for the story), but I would be most appreciative if you didn't write a giant splatterpunk gorefest just for the sake of reveling in the blood and guts.

Additional details: Okay, so when I say I squick easily? What I mean is that I had to look away and cover my ears whenever the aliens did their attacky bits in this movie. It doesn't stop me from watching and enjoying things with some violence in them, but generally I enjoy them in spite of the gore and not because of it. I also like to watch Criminal Minds, but for the FBI agents, not for the serial killers (I spend a fair amount of time closing my eyes and covering my ears during that, too). Now, if you really want to examine how being in the midst of the alien attack mess and seeing friends die affects the characters, go for it. I'm totally there. But, on the other hand, if you want to focus on other stuff--quiet moments, or aftermath, or just fun banter--I'm all for that.

General likes and dislikes

I love: Silly things, weirdness, geekiness, fluff, kind people, happy endings, witty banter, diversity, feminism

I dislike: Excessive violence and gore (some is okay if is serves the story, but I squick easily), excessive angst (again, if it serves the story, great, but I don't tend to seek out sad stuff for catharsis/comfort the way some people do), any kind of sex that isn't explicitly consensual (really really, please no), racist/sexist/homophobic stuff (again, really, just no).
skogkatt: (Default)
This is the one with C.S.E. Cooney and Gwynne Garfinkle and Mary Robinette Kowal (in effigy), which we recorded at Readercon, and which is entirely silly and wonderful. Gwynne reads a zombie poem! Claire demonstrates her repertoire of hilariously terrible fake accents! Mary is a hand with a voice! Mary's Real Person even makes a brief cameo at the end to approve this tomfoolery.

Go listen!
skogkatt: Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Nerd Girl)
First, thank you to everyone who came to the Interstitial Arts Exchange Party. It was really packed and an awesome event, and that's in no small part thanks to all of you! You rock!

We had Passports, Leaving Dakota, The Cabinet of Curiosities Contest, and a collaborative collage going. For the passports, the attendees went all out. maverick_weirdo drew lovely little escutcheons in all the ones he received (I think he was actually at it all night without a break, poor thing) and emilytheslayer brought wool to spin into yarn before our very eyes, and put little bits of fluff into the passports she received. I will have to do a page by page picture entry for my passport soon, but I haven't had time to document it yet. Eventually! And then you will see how jaw-droppingly amazing these things are.

In addition to all that, several people brought fantastic items for exchange. Chris Howard brought Saltwater Witch artwork, asakiyume brought paper flowers, and teenybuffalo brought amazing little clay sculptures. And that's just three examples, not even close to the whole of the creative offerings for exchange.

For the Leaving Dakota contest, we had attendees come up with a caption, or a description of a missing photo. Competition was fierce! I haven't got them transcribed yet, but soon I will post all the entries for your reading pleasure.

For the curiosities, we provided a box of random craftish supplies and had people build their own curiosities and describe them. This was a giant hit! I think everyone at the party was really looking forward to reading the book by the end of the evening. I made a posterboard display of the promotional tour poster (supplied by Jaym Gates), the title pages (with art by the amazingly talented John Coulthart), and a description taken from Jeff VanderMeer's blog with instructions to create and describe a curiosity. To seed the contest, I made a sample curiosity called "What the Phoenix Left Behind". At this point, I feel I ought to say that I really did find all those objects within a few feet of each other in my town. I thought of firebirds and Sharyn November and then I knew I had to make them into a thing. At the end of the evening I let some of the runners up from various contests take curiosities home as prizes, which was another cool way to spread the creativity around. Yay!

The rest of the weekend passed in a flurry of readings, conversations, and amazing trips to the airport and train station. What? I hear you thinking it. But srsly, I dropped off two groups of people, and each one was a wonderful chance to get to know my passengers. In one case, I even found out that Brit Mandelo's friend was a Sabrina the Teenage Witch fan! You might have no idea how exciting this was, but Sabrina fans are few and far between, and I have never met anyone besides Moss who will happily dissect gender presentation in Sabrina with me. Until this weekend. And I'm sort of sorry for the two people in the backseat who had to listen to us geek out about Sabrina for twenty minutes on the way to South Station, but honestly, that was one of the absolute coolest things in a weekend of super amazing cool things. In case you were wondering if I was a big old geek... um, you weren't, were you? Yeah.

Anyway! I read a poem in the Rhysling Slan, which was nervewracking, because I realized halfway through that I had brilliantly chosen a deeply personal poem and might start to cry at any moment, so the last half of my reading passed in a blur of shaky nausea. I didn't cry, though! Yay! And I hear people liked it all right, so that's good. I hear there was applause, but I don't remember that, only a great buzzing in my head as I stumbled to my seat and hoped against hope that I wouldn't throw up or pass out on the way. I didn't! Double yay! The really awesome thing about the Rhysling hour, though, was getting to listen to so many of my excellent friends reading, and then! Then we we got to swarm C.S.E. Cooney with congratulations at the end because she won! She won the long form award for her most excellent "The Sea King's Second Bride" (which you can read and listen to in the Spring 2010 issue of Goblin Fruit). And she was even wearing the spectacular Sea King capturing skirt that Anita Allen made for her and everything! It was utterly perfect.

I love being read to, so I went to readings whenever I could (which wasn't as much as I wished). I got to hear Leah Bobet read from her debut novel, which won't be out forever and a half (but then she did spoil the entire plot for me later in a late night epic discussion of awesomeness, so I guess that's all good?). I took a short break from arts party prep to check out the Crossed Genres party, and heard a great short reading by Camille Alexa. cucumberseed rocked his quite well-attended reading with pirates and swearing. A lot of swearing. It was fantastic. Mary Robinette Kowal read from her novel in progress, which was really interesting because I got to see other people hearing it and reacting to it for the first time. I've been reading the raw draft as she goes, so I knew what to expect, but hearing her her read it was neat, and watching others was fascinating. And then later we had a conversation about that, too, which was great and made me think a lot. Also, I was supposed to interview Mary along with C.S.E. Cooney and gwynnega, but Mary didn't actually make it to the interview, so, um, we pretended she was there anyway. All I can say is that this month's Broadly Speaking podcast is going to be Very Silly. And by very, I mean extremely. I'll link you when it's up.

I also attended a couple of panels (including the one about children's books that asakiyume was on, and a really interesting talk by Gemma Files, which made me feel even worse about not yet having read her Hexslinger books. People have been recommending them to me for ages), shared some meals with awesome people, caught up a tiny bit with some Viable Paradise kids, and generally had a wonderful time.

So much happened over the weekend that I can't possibly do it all justice. If I saw you and talked to you, I really loved getting the chance to do that. In many cases, I'm very sorry that I didn't have more time to spend with you. Wirewalking says she wants to have an everybody come and spend more than three days with her right now con, and boy do I understand that. I wish we could.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the weekend, to remember it by, or perhaps to better pretend you were there.

skogkatt: (Default)
Aside from the Interstitial Arts Exchange (which is shaping up to be really cool! More details to come!), I've been doing a bunch of other things.

Stone Telling's fourth issue just came out a few days ago, and I got to do another Roundtable interview. Yay! This time the poets I talked to were Amal El-Mohtar, C.W. Johnson, Jeannelle Ferreira, and Valentina Cano. This issue was guest edited by J.C. Runolfson and Shweta Narayan, and they did a fantastic job. So many amazing poems in there! Jeannelle's "Bacab Skerry" has infiltrated my dreams the last couple of nights, which is is really neat, and also really meta.

My awesome friend KJ Kabza just put out a short story collection (he's also got a novelette in the July/August issue of F&SF--woot!), and as a bonus feature for that collection, I did an author interview with him. You can read an excerpt of that interview over here if you like!

And of course, I've been doing plenty of Outer Alliance stuff. The latest podcast episode went up a little over a week ago, and features interviews with [personal profile] neo_prodigy and David Levine. I also got to announce one of my really exciting sekrit projekts in that episode: Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond of  The Writer and the Critic will be guests on the OA Podcast in August! Hurray! I love their podcast, so I'm very much looking forward to having them on mine. This week's Spotlight is about other podcasts, like the new all-star SF Squeecast [personal profile] rarelylynne moderates.

And of course, I've been hanging around with my cats, as per usual. Remember how a few Fridays ago, I mentioned that Ophelia loves it when I sing, and jumps in my lap? Well, this morning, I was singing along with Erasure (who have a new album coming out in October! Eee! And I am seeing them in September! Double eee!), and the silly mitten was jumping in my lap constantly. It was so adorable that I ended up documenting it with the laptop's built in camera.

What have you been up to?
skogkatt: (Default)

First of all, you're invited! Yes, you! Are you reading this? Then you're invited!



What: Interstitial Arts Exchange Party!
Where: Readercon 22, Burlington, MA
When: 8:00PM, Friday, 15th July, 2011

Q. But what is it? 
A. This is a party where people will get together to share art and other creative endeavors, both made in advance and on the spot. Bonus points if the art relates to the literary theme of Readercon in some way, or engages with the tropes and themes of fantasy, science fiction, and myth.

Q. Whose idea was this, and why?
A. I kind of accidentally made it up after I mistakenly thought some friends were having a mix CD exchange. One of them told me that she was no good at making mixes and couldn't participate. I jokingly said that she could make other creative stuff, and we could have an interstitial arts exchange, which would be very appropriate, since Readercon tends to attract the interstitial arts crowd. Then, because I am foolhardy, and because a few others thought it seemed like a fun idea, I ran with it.

Q. Do I have to give something away?

A. You don't have to do anything! But! If you bring art, big or small, to give away or trade, that could be fun! It's also fine to bring stuff just for display, though. And we will have some things on hand to make and do, so even if you come empty-handed, you might leave having given and received things anyway.

Q. What do you mean by art? And what is interstitial art?
A. The Interstitial Arts Foundation defines interstitial art as, "art made in the interstices between genres and categories. It is art that flourishes in the borderlands between different disciplines, mediums, and cultures. It is art that crosses borders, made by artists who refuse to be constrained by category labels."

In practice, this might mean mixing genres (science fiction and fairy tales, literary mainstream and fantasy, etc.), crossing media divides (It's a poem and a scarf at the same time!), or just being tricky to categorize (Is this song country or metal? I just don't know...).

For the purposes of this party, art means anything creative that you feel inspired to make. Poems, songs, mixes, cards, games, jewelry, pictures, sculptures, stories, or any combination of any of those things! And of course, I haven't listed all the possible things by any stretch. In my previous entry about this party (before we had a firm date and time), I showed an example of art inspiring other art and mutating in exciting ways. That's the kind of spark I hope leads to a creative bonfire at this party.

Q. I'm not an artist. Can I just come to hang out?
A. Yes! Of course! And if you find that you want to participate in some spur of the moment creativity when you arrive, we're certainly not going to stop you. *g*

Q. Can I sell stuff at this party?
A. No, this is a free event for sharing free stuff and/or showing off stuff you don't want to give away. No soliciting! But, if you want to promote your art by showing it or giving samples away, that's totally fine. And of course, if you have business cards, definitely feel free to give those out to anyone who might be interested in buying things from you later.

Q. Is this an official Interstitial Arts Foundation event?
A. Nope! I just made it up 'cause I felt like it. It's not officially associated with any organization. But! A lot of IAF types will be attending, and Readercon is hosting an official IAF Town Meeting on Sunday, so if you want to get involved with that organization, you'll have plenty of opportunity to do so over the course of the weekend.

Q. I have a reading at nine, so I can't get there until at least ten. Should I still come?

A. Absolutely! This party is officially going from 8pm to 11:30pm, but unofficially, we'll let the creativity run its course until we all feel satisfied with the results. If you can only come for a bit at the beginning, or at the end, that's totally fine. Please do stop by when you can!

Q. Who are you, anyway?
A. I'm Julia Rios. I write, and interview people, and I like to dabble in crafty things, though I'm no master artist by any stretch. I'm a regular contributor to the Outer Alliance blog, and host of the Outer Alliance Podcast (promoting LGBTQIA content in speculative fiction), and I'm really interested in celebrating diversity in all kinds of ways, especially if it means getting people to do awesome things together.

Q. How accessible will this event be for disabled people?
A. We'll do our best, but I don't know. It's going to be in a hotel room, so there won't be a ton of space. I think it'll be on the 6th floor, but the hotel does have elevators, so at least there's that.

Q. I have still more questions! What are you going to do about that?

A. Ask them in the comments, and I will do my best to answer them to your satisfaction.
skogkatt: (Default)
From [personal profile] littlebutfierce. Leave a comment if you would like me to ask you five questions, and then you may spread this like a deadly virus in your journal, too! It's a fun way to get to know people, I think.

1. Who's the author that was the most fun to interview for the OA podcast?

Oh, this is hard! I love interviewing people because there's always a fun moment, or a thing I never expected to find out in every single interview. One of most fun interviews I can think of off the top of my head was the one with JoSelle Vanderhooft, Amal El-Mohtar, and Mike Allen, though, because they all knew each other beforehand and they had a really comfortable conversational chemistry with each other. Also, it was super adorable when Amal cursed and then sheepishly asked if it was okay to curse on the OA podcast. Hee!

2. What was the most surprising thing to you about WisCon?

Honestly, I have to say I really didn't expect to have so many people recommend the new My Little Pony show to me. That was far and away the most surprising thing about WisCon. I still haven't watched it, but I do intend to!

3. What advice do you think your 50-year-old self will wish she could give you right now?

If I knew that, I'd probably be better at doing whatever it is that I'm doing right now. I have this feeling I may just be kind of stumbling through life forever. Sometimes I try to think about what I would tell my 16-year-old self, but I'm no good at that, either. I mean on the one hand, I want to say, "Hey, it's okay to like girls! Don't worry about it!", but on the other hand, I think I wouldn't have believed me at the time anyway. And it wasn't okay to admit it at school. I mean even not admitting, I still got beaten up for it. Admitting it would not have made the beatings stop. On the other other hand, acknowledging privately that it was okay would maybe have been a good thing. Hmm. I don't know. None of this helps me with the theoretical advice from 50-year-old me to present day me, either. I guess my best advice is to keep trying?

4. What's the best book you've read this year so far?

Oh man, another hard one! I think I have to go with Liar by Justine Larbalestier, if only because I read it while on a family vacation in April, and it was one of those books that everyone with me ended up wanting to read and talk about. I can't tell you anything about it, though, because Justine has been very clear about not wanting people to spoil it, and talking about it does rather spoil it. But talking about it with people who have read it is pretty neat! Everyone has different ideas about it!

5. When left to your own devices on a Saturday w/no obligations, what do you like to do?

Take a nice walk past my local pond (which is gorgeous in every season, really!) into the town center, write a bit at my local coffee shop with a cup of herbal tea (and maybe some lentil soup, mmmm), walk some more, come home and have a nice dinner and maybe make some art, or read, or play Rock Band (I only sing, though; Moss drums, which makes it a nice joint gaming activity. I am very not good with video game controllers as a general rule).
skogkatt: (Default)
I woke up on my birthday to a call from my mother. Aww, thanks, Madre! Then Sumana and I went down to the green room to prep for the Imaginary Book Club panel. I wasn't on it, but Sumana said Benjamin Rosenbaum had a video camera and they could use someone to run it. Since Sumana and I had conceived of this panel and brainstormed a lot of the stuff for her proposed book together, I was a natural cameraperson choice. This was probably my favorite panel of the con (and I say this with the knowledge that I was on three other strong panels) because it had a great panelist lineup, wonderful creativity both beforehand and improvised on the spot, excellent moderation (yay moderator!Sumana), and a really great audience. Basically, everyone had fun with this one, and I was super impressed with Ellen Klages and Richard Chwedyk for creating cover art and excerpts for their books. I was also amused when [personal profile] aedifica tuckerized me into her imaginary book as a sparkly purple dragon! Hee! I am hoping the video of this will have turned out all right and be up online eventually so I can see it again and direct you there. If not, I may do more detailed panel notes later, but for now, let us move on!

Lunch, awesome things about WisCon's structure, panels, dinners, things to think about improving, and more )

After second dinner it was back to the hotel for a quiet group conversation with Jed and Mary Anne and some others. It was lovely, but by the end of it, most of us were starting to fall asleep. I said I would go to bed, but Sumana told me I really needed to stop by the Haiku Earring Party first. I didn't know what that was, but I said all right as long as I could only go for a few minutes. Ha!

The Haiku Earring Party turns out to be a WisCon tradition wherein [ profile] elisem makes earrings and gives you a title, you write a haiku, and then with Elise's approval, you keep the earrings in exchange for the words. How cool is that? My earrings had red flowers, clear roundish faceted beads, and red rectangular beads. Elise asked if I had a genre preference, and I said no, and then she sized me up, and, as if she knew my inner soul, asked, "You don't mind if I take this in a very silly direction?" Of course I didn't, which is how I ended up writing this:

The Vampire's Babysitter

Her favorite things
are geraniums and blood
and summer evenings.

I thought the roundish beads looked like stars, you see. And in summer, I bet the babysitter has more time to linger before her shift starts.

Of course as soon as I was done with my earrings, I got caught up in conversation again and then eventually ended up at Cat Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making launch party. This party was one of the most hopping things on Saturday night, and it was full of amazing performers. S. J. Tucker reprised her earlier concert, and then it sort of turned into an open mic, such that I got to finish my birthday by listening to Liz Argall singing songs she wrote, and Amal singing "Stairs in Her Hair" and then dueting with Claire on a Mister Fox ballad. All while sitting with a lovely group of people including [ profile] pattytempleton, and getting birthday wishes from all directions. I couldn't really regret staying up past my intended bedtime for that.

Next up: Sunday, which was my big panel day, and which will certainly require its own entry.
skogkatt: (Default)
I have just returned from my first ever WisCon. For those of you who are unfamiliar with WisCon, it's a feminist science fiction convention, which takes place every Memorial Day weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. The astute reader may recall that this is usually my birthday weekend. Historically, this means I usually spend my birthday weekend watching with some wistfulness as scads of my friends post all about how much fun they're having far away from me. This year, I decided to change that.

Okay, so first I went to New York to stay over at Sumana's place so we could travel to Wisconsin together. I was pretty sure this would be an excellent trip when the woman next to me saw me working on the OA Podcast on my laptop and told her new friend about how her 70-year-old aunt makes, "BAAAAAD tapes with GarageBand. I mean it was the baddest tape. You know some tapes, you wanna skip a song or go to the next one? No! This one, you wanted to hear everything! It was the baddest tape I ever had. I mean, it was a CD, but it was a tape." I am now going to measure every mix I ever receive by whether or not it's a tape. Seriously. Apparently this one was so BAAAAAAD, that the woman's mechanic stole it when he fixed her car. That totally bites! But the conversation didn't bite at all. It segued into a discussion of Tina Turner's legs (also BAAAAAAD), and how she's proof that 70 is the new 60. Meanwhile, I quietly worked on my podcast editing, and grinned with glee.

Then the trip got its second brilliant start the next morning as we were getting ready to walk out the door. Sumana said, "You know what they say, as long as you have your ID, your boarding pass, and your debit card, you'll be fine... Wait a second. Where's my driver's license?" This then led her to realize she'd left it at a wine shop, and to tell our taxi driver, "Okay, so, before we got to the airport, I have to make a very important stop. Yeah, just pull up right here. No, not after the light, right here. At the Wine and Spirits Shop." It was 10am, and the shop wasn't quite open yet, so Sumana then had to bang on the door until someone let her in. Heaven knows what the cab driver made of that. "Before I leave town, it's imperative that I beat down the door to get into the liquor store. I MUST!" Hee!

The trip got its third great start at the airport, where we ran into three awesome WisCon people (and then several more, including [personal profile] shadesong once we arrived in Milwaukee for our layover).

By the time we got to Madison, I was pretty worn out, so I'm afraid that first night I wasn't very good at socializing. We went to the reading at A Room of One's Own, where Candra Gill read Joanna Russ's "When it Changed", and then Nisi Shawl read part of "Pataki". Both of them were wonderful. I really loved the way Candra read the Russ story. Even though I'd read it not long before (maybe a week?), her reading was full of warmth and humor and expression, which totally engaged me. And Nisi? Well, Nisi was WisCon's Guest of Honor this year, and if anyone doubted she was awesome before she read, they wouldn't have doubted it after. When the reading was over, I went for birthday sushi with [personal profile] ckd and [personal profile] aedifica, which was lovely, too.

Friday, I had a major migraine and a podcast to finish, so I sequestered myself in the hotel room and worked all day. I managed to completely miss The Gathering, which I am told is one of the big WisCon Things. I did manage to get Sumana to take some of my clothes down to the clothing swap, though, so at least there's that. I did get the OA podcast up, too. That night I dined with [personal profile] gwynnega and [personal profile] nwhepcat in the hotel restaurant before making my way over to the super exciting karaoke night.

Okay, so: karaoke! I heard about it from [personal profile] cathschaffstump, who totally rocked with "These Boots Are Made for Walking" (among other songs). I sang "I Love Rock and Roll", which was fine, except I did not remember to plan my breathing for the end of the song, which requires a hell of a lot of breath control. Still, I think it got people dancing. Getting people to dance is a good thing. Other highlights included The Christopher Barzak Players performing "The Love Shack We Share Without Knowing", an amazing singer who called herself Buffy and sang "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse (and one other thing, which I forget, save that her voice was really incredibly good), Mary Anne Mohanraj and Ben Rosenbaum singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart", Liz Argall's spectacular version of "I Touch Myself", Margaret Ronald's dance party inducing "Bad Romance", and finally, the smash hit incredible song of the night: Amal El-Mohtar, David Moles, and Ben Rosebaum performing "Roll a D6" (the original parody video is here). The awesomeness that was this performance cannot be overstated. All three of them have amazing charisma, and Amal is totally a wizard. Fighting dragons in her mind!

After that I went up to the 6th floor, which is the party floor, where I met some OA people, like Sunny Moraine and Keffy Kehrli, and proceeded to have great thinky conversations about gender until way too late o'clock. This is one of the things I loved about WisCon: it went from extreme silliness to extreme thoughtfulness over and over again, and everyone seemed totally down with enjoying both modes.

Okay, I think that's probably all I can manage to relate for now. More to come soon! If you met me at WisCon and you want to add me, please do. Let me know who you are, and I will totally add you back.
skogkatt: (Amidala)
Hello! I am just back from WisCon and determined that very soon now I will a) write a bit about my very first WisCon experience, and b) start cross-posting all my LJ entries at long last. I've been such a slacker about that. If I've just followed you, it's because we met and I thought you were cool. If you know of other people I should be following, please tell me! If you can't quite place me, maybe it will help to envision me with purple hair.
skogkatt: (Default)
If you know me, I probably want to read your stuff, and will grant you access to mine (though I don't anticipate a lot of locked stuff).
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