Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Author

C2011

Guest Post: Dragon*Con Day 4

Yeah. Yeah. I know. This is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past late. It’s ancient, but I told everyone I would post it. Just as a head’s up, there is currently nothing for Monday. I have to bug Flash for it. Enjoy this installment regardless.

As with the other times, my comments interspersed throughout in red. 😀

Tales of Dragon*Con… Day 4
Sunday

Dragon Con Tales! Dragon Con Takes! Let’s all have some DRAGON CON TALLLLLEEEEESSSSS!!!! Tale as in story, not tail as in getting a piece…though I could have closed my eyes and pointed to win the GUESS WHO’S GETTING LAID TONIGHT game. Honestly! LOL

Have you ever been so tired you put on two different shoes and never noticed?

Oh yeah. I was that tired. I was so tired that I almost rolled over and kissed Renee on the forehead to wake her up and remind her that she had a ride planned.

Thank God the dreads stopped me. Den and Andy probably would have been screaming in their skin… ’cause of a lack of video camera to see the confusion and mayhem that would have caused. I mean, kissing one of your best friends on the forehead in the morning just ain’t right.  And poor TACKA Liz… she probably would have laughed at my tired ass the whole day. Sigh.

(Yet again, my hair saves me. Wait… my hair has never saved me before. Suffice to say, this post was the first I heard of this. :P)

Dragon con. People made the joke before, but they are right. By day three, your ass is dragging and not really in a good way.

So I reminded myself that I was not in Baltimore, that the last convo I had with Den went something like this…

“I don’t know where your iPod cord is. Use mine. It’s on the dresser. My dresser will not bite you. It’s the same friggn cord, Den! Stop whining! Stop yelling! Stop acting like a little bitch! You are not a bitch? You are an asshole! Well excuse me! Well you are a whining little bitchy asshole! Satisfied? ARGH! Men! Yeah, I love you too. Miss you much. Be home soon. Yeah, I’ll be safe. I’ll tell Renee and Liz hi.”

Yeah, we have an odd relationship but it works for us. LOL

(The conversation had Liz and me laughing at her the rest of the morning.)

But back to the exhaustion….

I stumbled into the bathroom and did the morning toiletries route. Liz and Renee got up and we all did our best to not look like the walking wounded. So that meant, make up. Not a lot, mind you. Just enough to cover the designer bags under my eyes that were giving me an interesting raccoon look. Renee did the same as did Liz and soon we were ready to embark out of the Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn. Sigh.

Todays costume, a mild mannered serial killer. They look like everyone else! LOL I was in jeans and a halter top. That was it. I was too exhausted to try for cute. I tossed on some jewelry, pointed out that yes my butt has gotten bigger all of a sudden, like my boobs, and strapped on my dragoncon badge.

Of course I had to pack my carrying bag of fun, as opposed to the rolling bag of fun. Too many people. And I had a panel at 5:30. Down and Dirty Marketing. It was then that I realized I left the bulk of my business cards home. Sweet Mother of…. grrrr! Tea! I needed hot tea!

So I grabbed what was left of my promo, the promo from others that was sent out to me for placement, and we were ready.

Liz had gone on earlier, cause TACKA Liz ain’t right and wanted to grab a early panel. Panel in the AM? Like I said, crazy! LOL

Apparently there were a lot of slow draggers, cause we found a table pretty easily after the hill of death to get to the Dragon Hotels. Renee glared her way into getting us a table, I went and got some batteries for photos, and then it was food time!!!

Yup, by the pound buffet! Why mess with a good thing?

Our intentions were to wait for TACKA Liz, but we were hungry. We were still scarfing down food when Liz returned. She just shook her head at us and went to get her own food.

We conversed and stared at the consumes that were fresh as hell yesterday but were starting to look a little care worn. I think some people sleep in them and hop up ready to go without the benefits of soap and bath water. WHIMPER!!! That’s just not right.

But soon TACKA Liz was off and Renee and I were off to meet the Brothers and hit the dealers room! Oh yeah baby!

We walked in and found…shoes! OH heavens, shoes! Corset stripper heels in my size! Custom made really weird wonder woman boots that I would so rock, and thigh high leather boots that actually fit my skinny ass legs!  I tried them on and ran to the next booth to see the mirror and ran into folks I know! Yeah! They run the belly dancing outfit booth and I love them like mad! They liked both the eight inch heels that made me lord-queen-goddess tall and the leather thigh highs that made me feel odd.

Renee and the booth people said that they looked great on my legs. Two dudes stopped to take a photo and told me that the boots looked hot. Okay, they said that they would take a picture of me anyway, see my ass did get a lil bigger, but I think it was a non-working pick up line. I decided to wait and see, though everyone said they looked great. I felt uncomfortable in them, like they were wearing me, so I passed. If you don’t feel good in your clothing then don’t get them is my motto. But I have their card and I will think about getting them online…maybe.

So we found movies and videos and Renee’s brothers. Big Brothers in the house! LOL

Then we ran through the artist alley again and talked to a bunch of nice artists. TACKA Liz caught up with us and that made the rounds fun. Oh how we played at being art critiques… really we did. There was a lot of stuff that looked like the stuff next to it! I couldn’t find any skinny Black women!

HELLO FANTASY ARTISTS! THERE ARE SKINNY BLACK WOMEN OUT THERE! THERE ARE WOMEN WHO DO NOT LOOK CELTIC WITH BLONDE OR RED OR ANY COMBO OF THE TWO FOR HAIR COLORING!!!! Just wanted to put that out there. You find more Asian women, but they were all thick and muscular too! Us poor skinny women are either aliens or… non existent! Sniffle!

But I got some small artwork and Renee found her dragons, and her Brothers found Steam Punk Storm and some others, and we talked to artists (about the skinny problem too), and we just had a blast!

After touring the dealer’s rooms again, we said goodbye to the twins and made our way to the food court. We munched again and then made our way to the Hyatt for the panel.

Packed is not the word for this. I lost Renee… more like she had sense and found some other place to be. LOL really, there were people sitting on the floor! The panel was recorded, as I discovered all the panels were, and then the fun began.

(Stayed in the lobby and people watched. The costumes were great. I caught sight of one of the better Silver Surfer’s with his girlfriend Nova. Very nice costumes. I also talked to two very lovely gentlemen about costume ideas for future Dragon*Cons that aren’t overdone. I had some killer ideas that I can’t share here since I gave them to the lovely gentlemen and I hope they use them, though I won’t be getting to a Dragon*Con in the next few years to see if they did.)

We had to school people in not responding to criticism on the lists, about vanity press, how not to start a flame war, and what Facebook and Twitter are good for. Remember that writer who shall remain nameless who went off on a reviewer and ruined her career? Yeah, we talked about that too! LOL This one was less hectic, no shouting matches, and I got to plug a lot of my friends. I even ran into a lady who has been following me for over 10 years! I was so amazed, I almost cried. I gave her a book. And a hug. And all the promo I had. And a fan. And another hug! LOL I think I scared the poor woman a little, but I was so happy to find someone who has followed me since before Ellora’s Cave. I felt warm and fuzzy inside.

Afterwards, I found Renee and she told me about some awesome costumes that wandered by. Sniffle. And then we made our way to the artist alley.

(The best of which was the giant banana being chase by the buy in a gorilla costume. :P)

And guess who we found?! SQUEEE ANGELA F HALLOWAY!!! Angela was there with her friend and her cousin! Forgive me ladies, I can’t remember their names! STUPID MEMORY! Renee will correct me! But guess what they gave us? Oh yeah!

(I said I would post this correction when I put up this post. From the words of Angela, here is the correction: The one that had the video is Audrey M. Hooks. The one that headed out the CHOCOLATE COCKS is Angela F. Holloway sis to Audrey and the other one is our friend aka sister from another mother Jennell.)

CHOCOLATE COCKS!!!!

Oh man, that is some good chocolate! How do I know? I cracked mine open and sucked it down! Literally. There are photos. LOL But it was good chocolate and I was hungry!

We sat in a circle outside the closed artist alley and gossiped and talked and made everyone around us howl with laughter! My chocolate cock split in half, so mighty is the power of my suction, I can’t believe I typed that, but I ate half and left half and the nuts for later. Yes, it had testicles, solid big ones, but the edible nuts in the chocolate were concentrated at the base. I saved them for later! LOL

It was right around then that I discovered I was wearing two different flip-flops. OYE! I paused in deep throating my treat, yes I can do that pretty well. It’s a self defense mechanism. Have you tasted… man seed? ISH! If you suck the dick up to the hick up, then you don’t have to worry about taste. Belch back might be a killer, but…. ROTFLMAO Yes, we talked about that too! ROTFLMAO

(We were the extremely raunchy corner of Dragon*Con that night.)

But I took some time away from gobbling my chocolate, I WAS HUNGRY!!! To marvel at my shoes. I am an idiot sometimes! LOL And I never noticed it either. That, ladies and gentlemen, is exhaustion. Probably explains why I kept gnawing at the chocolate cock too. That and it was really, really good chocolate.

(Her hubby liked it too. He threatened her with bodily harm if she took a picture of him eating it though. I still wish she had taken a candid photo. That would have been priceless.)

Then we ran into the guy who runs the Con Suite at Dragon Con. He flirted and with the power of five women hyped up on chocolate and kilt lifting, (we missed it but Angela had video), the power of our reply knocked him sober! ROTLFAMO We got tested too, to see if we could help out in the con suite next year. He asked some questions and we answered with flying colors. Who knew he was testing us? I was just answering catering questions. LOL But he was dressed like Commander Cisco from Deep Space Nine and was a hoot to tease. He left us after about fifteen minuets, needed a major drink of his own, and we went after food! *G8*

Food glorious food!

And on the way we told stores about the con, got separated, TACKA Liz joined us and we explained some Black humor to her, which was a blast, and I got hugged by Dr. Frankfurter! Woot! We time warped until his drunk ass stumbled. But there are photos too! LOL

We got us a table right quick, went for food, and spent a few hours eating and talking.

It was like minds sharing ideas, exploring, telling tales and exchanging info. Isn’t that what going to these cons is all about anyway? Running into friends, putting faces to names, making new friends, and having fun while you do it all? It is in my mind and we fulfilled that purpose with a vengeance.

Then we separated, the ladies to make ready to go home the next morning. Renee, TACKA Liz and I went to look at costumes and then make our way back to our room.

We showered and made ready to watch True Blood, and talked right through it! LOL We gabbed and talked until I kind of passed out on the computer. Didn’t get a compelte chaper written that night, but I was content with what I had done. I snuggled back in the hard as hell bed and still wondered about those damn shoes before I fell asleep.

(Actually, I started True Blood — the room had HBO — but it was already like five minutes in so I turned it back off again. A lot can happen in five minutes. Anyone who saw the last five minutes of the season finale knows what I mean. So I decided to wait until I got home to see that episode.)

One more morning and then it was time to make our way home. *g* One more day and then we would be dragging our asses back to Baltimore.  One more day….

Flash

Have You Been Flashed?
Stephanie Burke
TheFlashcat.Net
Flamekeeper@yahoogroups.com

Guest Post: Dragon*Con Day 3

Another Dragon*Con installment from Stephanie Burke. Sorry for the delay. I got caught up in edits. My comments are interspersed throughout in red.

Tales of Dragon*Con… Day 3
Saturday

Dragon Con Tales, Dragon Con Tales! Lets all hear some dragon Con tales el el el ellllllllssss! Trilling that time! LOL

Sorry for the delay. Real life and all its issues! Now where was I?

Oh! Ever get stepped on my a 300 pound man? Well I have. But later for that!

Dawn cracked and it couldn’t do it quietly. It woke me up at an enchanting 5AM this time. Grumble. So I commented on Facebook, answered a few emails, and did my best to remain quiet and not wake TACKA Liz and Renee.

But when five thirty came round, I quietly crept out of bed and made my way to the bathroom, makeup box in tow.

Yes, it was Saturday, Avatar day, and this time I was going it alone.

Well, going in costume alone. TACKA Liz was like “HELL NO!” and Renee was “I’ll put on ears” and wear black, black, or black? She went cleverly disguised as D. Renee Bagby! LOL

But my first choice of costume never came to fruition, I was going as the Borg Queen but didn’t have enough time to make my costume. Dragon*Con was our 3rd con in less than 4 weeks and I was surprised I was still sane let alone ready to go in full body paint.

That’s right people, full body paint.

But first I had to dress in what costume there was. There was the bucket bra… Hmm, this thing was fitting a bit odd.

One thing about being one of James Cameron’s Na’Vi is that they are incredibly tall, skinny, and flat chested, kind of like me if you leave out the incredibly tall. But suddenly the flat-chested aspects were giving me issues. Somehow, I had more cleavage than when the last time I put on the blasted thing.

Let me explain. A bucket bra is a bra of my own creation. Instead of metal to make the cups, I cut pieces of a rounded bucket to shape and then smoothed the ends with heat. Straps are added, in this case blue ribbon for the neck strap and connection between cups, and jack chain for the back. They can be coated, colored, or in this case, painted to resemble anything. I painted over the cups and would paint them several shades of blue again to match the body paint, giving the illusion of nudity. Only this time the nudity had a bit more pop going for it.

I marveled at this, I lost my D cups when I got preggers and nursed the kids, something about not being able to hold onto body fat, but I have been stuck between a B and C cup since. And this was full on C.

And then I somehow lost my original leggings. WAAA! I swear I packed them first! But they were not to be found. So a true artist or costumer doesn’t complain, they improvise. So my black tub top became a nifty skirt! LOL

Around that time Renee poked her head up, squinted at me, and said, “You are not blue.” Then went back to sleep. Not enough excitement with me mumbling curses and hissing my anger at missing costume props.

(Funny I don’t think I remember saying that. Or maybe I do and it’s a bit hazy. Eh well. I probably did. That sounds like the random thing I would say when I’m half sleep.)

So I puttered back to the bathroom and began blue-ifacation.

Face was easy. Using a French technique called tromp-r’oiel, latterly fool the eye, I painted my face giving it the distinctive cat like nose and wide forehead. Took about three different shades of blue, white, and silver. And then I went from there adding, shading, layering, thickness and depth, and stippling, and structure until I had the face I wanted. Not to mention I started with my yellow cat’s eye contacts. So I was not looking like myself at all when I started the body work. Loss of leggings meant that I would be using more paint that I thought.

I was going over my chest and body with basic blue when Renee popped up. She blinked and I thrust a paintbrush at her. She didn’t bat an eyelash. I think she is used to me by now! LOL She grabbed the wide brush the paint pallet and went to work.

True friendship is when you have a friend who is willing to paint your ass blue without complaint! LOL She saw the differences in the body paint that I used, really pro stuff, when I got total tattoo coverage on one pass. So we quietly joked and painted until TACKA Liz woke up and reminded us of the time. I had some work to go, some striping on the body too. So…we thrust a brush upon TACKA Liz. Hey, she is an artist! So all three of us were painting me and apparently the bathroom, blue. Then there was Renee Revenge as she sprayed me with fixer. It was cold as hell and made up for all the times I sprayed her with cold glitter and laughed. Revenge indeed is best served cold. Stupid Fixer! LOL

Then I grabbed the ears I made for Dev and not my own! ARGH. Worked on that, added tail, costume accessories, wig, jewelry and soon at least I thought, I resembled something from the James Cameron’s masterpiece.

But we were soon parade ready and TACKA Liz was going to shower and meet us at the parade after a stop at Starbucks. I love that woman!!!

So we made our way to the parade, got good standing position, and shocked the hell out of a lot of mundanes who were standing by and wanted photos. It was also where the stupidity and shoving began. I mean if there is a two inch gap why are you going to try and force your 40 inch body through it?! I had words with one or two people, glad that the fixer worked. Otherwise there would have been a lot of plye stained people shoving by.

Then the parade stared, heralded by the tiniest elderly woman blowing the hell out of a huge bag pipe! Kudo’s to that woman! She carried the tone of the whole parade.

I won’t get into it all here, you can look it up on youtube, but the steampunk X-men were awesome, as were the he men from 300, and the Netherworld people, and the parade of Ghost Busters (Including the Decetpicon ones) and the Klingon Storm Trouper, and…. I could go on and on. Renee says it was not as grand as last years, but we learned about a cut off and not everyone knowing about parade sign up and a lot of stuff. Too bad because this was their 25th anniversary. But it was a hoot and TACKA Liz caught up with us. I got a couple sips of tea before the photos started, and then it was not as bad as I thought.

We made our way inside and then it was stare in awe at the people! The steampunk Professor X in his steampunk wheelchair was outstanding!

(Seems he’s there every year. If you’ve got a great costume, why change it, right? The guy who plays He-Man does the same thing.)

But we found seats, found food, much to the amusement of the staff of Café Momo, the by-the-pound place, and consumed massive amounts with people sneaking pictures. A few rude ones asked if they could get pictures while I was eating, and because there were kids involved I said yes, until Renee became my handler and shooed people away.

We lost Liz to the panels and Renee and I hunted down her brothers at the Hero Movie panel. It was sweet! I dated myself by bringing up one of my favorite feel good cheese fest of a hero movie, Flash Gordon! LOL

And then someone pulled the fire alarm. Great. And there was the announcements that the fire alarm had been pulled.  And then the stand by message because the fire alarm had been pulled. And then another fire alarm. And then another message about it being pulled. And the apology because it had been pulled but we were not going to burn or anything cause it was a false alarm. And then the apology about interrupting us because it was a false alarm. Sheesh!  And I am not exaggerating!

(She’s not. It was so bad, the panelists started joking the interruption apology for interrupting to announce that the fire alarm was a false alarm and they were sorry about that.)

I got both the twins this time! WOOT! I got the twin effect and realized that they both looked like their daddy!  But they were big brothering it up until Marcus had to take his two adorable boys home. He would be back. So we got muscular Mike as a bodyguard and we were off.

Oh wait! I forgot the 300 pound man! This asshole stepped on my foot, my flip flop shod foot, and pressed down harder as if he wanted to crush what was underfoot, my foot! And I was squealing and screaming, and pushing at him, and he was getting an attitude and grousing and stepping harder. I swear it happened so fast that I fell backwards! Renee caught me and prevented me from fully falling and breaking my foot, but I had to shove the dude off. And then he was all, “Why you pushing me?” And in harmony Renee and I and some woman behind us screamed, “You are standing on my (her) foot!”

Then he was like, “you didn’t have to push me!”

So Renee was winching, I was limping and trying to keep my eyes from watering down my paint job when some woman wondered over and said, “That looked so painful. Can I take a picture?”

Yeah, such concern! LOL So I pulled it together for her to take a photo, I suspect she was the second voice screaming at the idiot, and then we found the Hero’s panels and my new adopted brothers.

But trust me no one pulled that with Mike around! LOL He is built like a pit bull, all arms and upper body! Yeah Military! LOL He big-brothered us as we roamed the dealers room, the art rooms, the weapons’ armory, and outside the art auction where we ran into a huge bunch of Sky people! Okay, they were the space Marines from Alien, but close enough. One of the guys was dressed like the mad sergeant for Avatar the previous day, still in the red hat, but not with the facial scars. He still looked like the dude! And of course that meant a James Cameron creation photo shoot! LOL

We wandered further and Renee found some Aliens just as people asked for a photo. I heard Renee shout something but I was hugging some dude when he moved back and the crowd of people grew. That was odd. It was only me…until I felt the cold press of a body behind mine. I turned around and HOLY SHIT! LOL THERE WAS THE ALIEN! ROTFLMAO Renee called in the Aliens from the movie, Alien on me! LOL He was looming over me and it was a photo fest! Soon we were joined by another Alien and then it was photo ops with James Cameron’s aliens. LOL They were movie quality! Then people wanted in the photos with us and hundreds of pictures got taken before the Alien’s handlers came for them. They told us to stick around for the show.

I am so glad we did. We got face hugger action which became chest burster action, and a full scale surprise Alien attack that took out many of the Marines! It was awesome! And it was the only show of the day. I guess gushing blood and viscera was a bit too much to clean up twice in one day!

So we headed back to the dealers room and then roamed a bit until it was time for my panel, How to Choose a Publisher.

Mariane LaCroix and Sascha Illyvich, and Karen were all in attendance, along with some man I had never heard of before but will be referred to for the moment as The Asshole.

The Asshole wanted to talk over everyone else and say how great self-publishing was. Self Publishing…for a group of people who didn’t know what the job of an editor was, let alone anything about book covers and promotions.

And he went on and on, overriding anything that the rest of us Small Press and New York authors had to say. Again and again he was calling publishing houses evil and the like…

Until I finally snapped. I will not lie. I should not have done it, but the evil imbued unto me by my many publishing houses made me! Cackle! It was a no holds verbal brawl! I did everything but call him an ignorant ass who was no greater than Publish America!

Self-publishing is great, if you understand what you are getting into and can find the editors, book covers, line editors and the like that you need. He was just pushing his own company. I stopped him dead! And then when he shut up for the moment, “How dare that blue painted woman say anything against me,” the other panelists got their points in too. The poor moderator! LOL But then he changed his tune and said that maybe you should try small press to begin with to get an understanding of the business. Yeah right, Asshole. He just got showed up. And he had the nerve to shake my hand afterwards, saying something condescending like he enjoyed my passion. I wanted to passion his ass and not in the good way!

I apologized to the other panelists and they thought it was amusing.

And Renee, yeah. She was giving me the NO NO NO NO!!!! Headshakes from the audience! LOL She was also giving me the look of calm the fuck down. And finally when he opened his moth one too many times, the go for it, look! LOL It was almost like the panel she was on in Balticon with the Assholes counterpart. Shudder. I thought she was going to smack him! LOL She understood.

Then it was off for food, to calm the nerves, and more people watching. Oh I loved the people watching! Even the crew from NCIS showed up! LOL

After a few hours of this and missing everyone we were supposed to be hooking up with, we made our way back to the hotel to remove the blue and get some jacuzzi time.

But… Our key would not let us in the room. “Where you going? To the Holiday Inn!” remember that song? Ha! It’s full of crap! We got our key recharged, and Renee discovered that the remote was corroded. Yeah. I showered the blue off, the pro stuff comes off really easy with water even with a fixer on, and then it was spa time!!!

Of course they fixed it. The spa the first day was a bit cool. Today it was like making soup. It was too hot for me and that was saying something!

We talked until some people joined us and Renee and I stopped some kid from leaping into the spa and removing his chance of ever having kids of his own.

It kind of irked me cause the mother was letting this little boy run wild! First into the too cold swimming pool and then splashing everyone like mad, and then running around the deck and almost breaking his fool neck. He got the tinniest of admonishments that didn’t do anything.

And then TACKA Liz showed up! Yeah! She ran to the room and her key didn’t work. She had to get her key recharged and then she joined us pool side

Soon the people left, taking their spawn with then, Liz had to correct the brat too, and it was only us. And then it was time to go.

But as we were leaving, some huge dude bumbled over and was slobbering all over TACKA Liz! He was all but shoving us out the door and drooling over our resident artist. Cackle! “I don’t mean to dis your friends,” he said after giving us the cut direct. Yes you did, man! LOL So Renee and I made an obvious exit stage right, and went back to the room…to discover our key’s didn’t work.

Back downstairs again, three new keys, clam up, a wine cooler, and then sleep. Sounded like a plan only we missed the beginning of True Blood! WAAA! TACKA Liz came back and told us that she got invited to a party… and oh yeah, her ugly friends could come too! ROTFLMAO

(I went to that front desk like four times in less than an hour. First the keys didn’t work, and then I had to call down about the remote not working, and then the pool had no towels, and then the keys didn’t work again. Totally did NOT enjoy my stay in that hotel and will never, ever stay there again.)

We talked and yapped until It was sleepy time.

Tomorrow was day four, my last panel day, and time for more fun at the con and we answer intriguing questions like,

Does Renee’s brother know what Hentai is? Will he like it?

How many people can you squeeze into a con room and still maintain oxygen levels that you depend on for life?

What the hell is that and why is it hanging on the art show auction wall?

Are there versions of My Little Pony that I can stomach?

Will Renee and Flash ever get to go to a party with TACKA Liz and the cool kids?

Turn up for the next installment and find out!


Have You Been Flashed?

Stephanie Burke
TheFlashcat.Net
Flamekeeper@yahoogroups.com

Guest Post: Dragon*Con Day 2

Here’s another Dragon*Con installment from Stephanie Burke. This time I interjected some comments in red where she and I diverged. 😛

Tales of Dragon*Con… Day 2
Friday

Dragon Tales, Dragon Tales! Lets all have some Draaagon Talllllesssssss!!!

Whew! It takes practice holding a note that long! LOL

The rising sun was gently illuminating the tall curtained windows, the sound of the air-conditioning was buzzing gently, the perfect white noise. And I—I…

My ass had been awake for hours! OUCH! I mean with the money we were shelling out for this room, the beds could have been more comfortable! WAAAA!!!!

(The beds could have been bigger too. Flash doesn’t take up that much room, but standard-sized beds suck.)

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn! If your girl starts acting up, then you take your friend…if you really want to piss both of them off and never get laid by either of them again! ROTFLMAO

Either way, I had been up since 4 in the AM, giving me roughly four hours of sleep. And I had a 10 in the AM panel. Sniffle.

So I crept out of bed, my bedmate (Renee is not as cuddly as Den) not even stirring, and The Artist Currently Known as Liz, snoring happily on the other bed. With one last look at their serene sleeping faces… and resisting the urge to smack the crap out of both of them, (Well Rested Hooches) I began to make myself ready for the day.

(Well rested my ass. I was friggin’ exhausted and missing all of my pillows. Flash is not cuddly in the least. I kept worrying that I would knock her off the bed or something. Stupid standard-sized beds. *grumble grumble*)

Hot shower, check. Several minuets scrubbing my teeth, tongue, and upper palate, check. Belly dancing bra and Turkish pants…. Yes! I pulled out my old belly dancing outfit from when I could Move my Body like a snake, mama! LOL

Ha! Those were the days! LOL I could slither with the best of them. In fact, I got Den’s attention by rolling a quarter up and down my stomach at a party. But that is a different tale. That was 1001 nights, this is Dragon Tales.

But despite that fact that I need WD-40 to do a proper chest drop again, I went and put the set anyway. I like the way the bra jingles! LOL Oh yes! Cleavage! It’s an awesome thing! I remember it well.

So I step out and see that everyone was awake, not exactly wide eyes and bushy tailed, but something about a step above Zombie. So much for trying to be quiet. So we do what any enterprising writer and artist near zombie combo’s do to start a new day at a con that had never been experienced yet. We talked food and sex and Weird Al! Yeah, Food and Al! Glorious food. Funny Al! Life was good.

So I check my schedule again, In between choruses of Your Pitiful and discovered that my 10 AM panel is actually 10 PM. DAMN DYSLEXIA! ARGH!!!

But then Chris Stuppi called me. Oh yeah, Chris. Weapons dealer extraordinaire. Chris, Kilted Wonder! Chris, hang out and drinking buddy… Chris…who knew his way around Atlanta! Oh yeah! Breakkie with Chris. Our Kilted Savior!!!

So we pull together panel stuff, I was not humping up that hill and back again to this Holiday Inn, Swag, give always, aspirin, porn list (Don’t ask) and phone cord. We were ready… Well, I was ready. The Zombie Twins had to get ready and damn if they didn’t actually use the air conditioner! Really! I mean, 80 degrees is a nice temp for a room. Really.

(80 degrees. REALLY!?? Is she trying to kill me? It was too hot at 69 degrees. I kept waking up dehydrated, which contributed to me not being able to sleep. I think that thermostat was lying. I put my home thermostat at 74 degrees when I go to bed and nearly freeze to death. It was hot as hell in that room.)

So they pulled themselves together, I climbed form under the comforter and we were off!

First challenge, The Hill of Death! I mean really! Who wants to hump a San Fransisco-esque hill to get breakfast? Well, we did! LOL Food was at the top of that hill. It had been some hours since I had eaten. Thus, the hill was the enemy and must be defeated!

So in the nice hot weather, we humped and stove, and sallied forth until we made it to the top! And what greeted us? Gold’s Gym. Fate was laughing at us! LOL

So we dove between some of the Green Lantern Corps, a few Steampunk X-Men, a crap load of anime characters, a flock of angry birds, and women in high heels (Boy were they going to regret that), and made our way to the meeting spot.

And there was Chris, yeah Chris in all his kilted glory! Introductions were given and then we ran for the food! All you can eat Breakfast? No Breakfast by the pound! Fine with us! We loaded up and set out. Of course our sheer determination and intimidation factor allowed us to get a table fast! Okay, so we lucked out, but we got the table and breakfast so NAH! LOL

We talked and ate until it was time for TACKA Liz to make a panel.

Renee and I hunted down her brother, survived a few people who wanted photos of the bald blonde chick in the belly dancing outfit, and staring at a few awesome costumes.

We met up with TACKA Liz at the Horror Icons Panel and squeed to see Tony Todd (Candyman), Robert Englund (Freddy), and Lance Henriksen (Bishop from Alien). Oh It was so Great! Some people asked some dumb questions.. and one chick even propositioned the happily married Robert Englund! Really? She said that Freddy was a sexual being and asked him for a drink. The silence that fell was very amusing! Tony Todd is directing now, there was the prerequisite “Will you marry me?” by some dude to his girl, and general laughter. It was a great panel.

Then we were off! TACKA Liz to some art panels and Renee and I to roam with her brother.

Yes, Renee as Twin Brothers! We met Marcus first, tall and lanky military dude (he’s not military. That’s my other brother, Marcellus. Sometimes known as Mike or Cellas. Marcus wanted to go do some other panels so we split off from him so Flash and I could find some place to rest). So we sat outside of the Venture Bother’s panel killing time for him to arrive and guess who we ran into? Stella Price! And she was on her second outfit change of the day! LOL We yapped for a few moments and talked about the panel that we both would be on later that night. I should have known a panel called Talk Sex would not be in the AM. Sigh.

So when the panel line moved on, we sat and watched a well hung… he was carrying a mallet, Kratos! Awesome body pain and what a body for the canvas! LOL

So we eventually moved on and ran into MARCUS!! (He had just come from the Lego Universe panel. He had to go so he could make a full report to his sons when he got home.)

He was cool and sweet and the all around big brother. We hit the dealer’s room and looked around yapping and probably scaring him with our conversations. Renee’s brother has an innocence about him, an innocence that Renee tries to corrupt as much as possible, like a good little sister.

We sat in the balcony of the Pulse Bar and people watched. It was great! I wish I had a camera! Especially when Mardoc and Godzilla started fighting. LOL We played identify the costume and the hero for a bit and Marcus is a font of super hero knowledge. And then he ran away, probably didn’t want the little sisters, Yes I forced an adoption. So he ran away and Renee were waiting for Sascha and Liz to show up.

Sascha Illyvich was moderating the Talk Sex panel and was playing run around with all the things they wanted him to do. He could not go and eat with us, but we shooed him away with hugs all around and hit the food court.

Let me explain the food court. Food from Japanese Soba Noodles to Eastern Falafel all offered at reasonable prices! HEAVEN!

Using stealth and skill, okay we lucked out again, we found a table and were soon grubbing back. OMG, was I getting filled! (Be amazed. She actually ate food and lots of it every time we went to eat.) This food was cheap and good and… I like to eat! LOL And you can get full on the free samples alone!

We ate again and then people watched more. People watching is more than half of the fun.

Then we hit the artist room, Oh Holy FUCK! DAVID MACK autographed a book for me and gave it over for free. He was at Comic con in Baltimore a few years ago and I couldn’t claw my way thought he crowded to get him to autograph my stuff. I explained that I missed him before he handed over the goods and one for Renee as well. Quiet Fan Girl moment. Ah yes! Kabuki was my first cosplay. The man is an art god!

Ah! It was so much fun. Then we ran around to the art auction and found Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo. I gushed again and told them how much I appreciated what they had done for women in Sci-fi, for making us as strong as the men and able to defend ourselves! They bring out the beauty in strength. And they thanked me!!! Heat pounds! It was a moment I will never forget!

Soon after Renee and TACKA Liz broke off from me and I made my way to my panel. People were sitting on the floor! I had some great panelists too! Marianne LaCroix, Stella Price, Suzanne Sizemore…. There were so many great writers there! WOOT!

(I went to the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. This is when several authors — known as broads — from the Broad Universe online community — a group celebrating women in the sci-fi/fantasy genre — all read excerpts from their works. It was a fun time. Everyone seemed to like my excerpt from ERIS. They laughed at the funny part so I was happy. After chit-chatting with some of the broads, I headed back to the hotel room convinced I would be the last one coming back since it was near midnight.)

So we talked and we joked, and we embarrassed the hell out of Sascha! LOL People were really interested in wring erotica and it was no holds barred! Some of the things those freaky people came up with! And I was talking about the panelists! LOL Of course we ran over time and was showed out of the room, But it was great fun and a test to see if we could out each other with sex, stories, and jokes. And I promo spammed all of my friends and their works as well as my publishing houses! LOL

After the panel I hugged a lot of people, met with fans, and gave away swag and got my head pumped up before real life popped it with a pin. Sigh. Stupid reality! LOL

Then I made my way back to the room…by walking out the wring door and having to walk around the Marriott. GROAN! Oh that was fun, especially when the strange men in cars began to follow me.

I was saved by a marching techno Rave which just happened to be dancing by. I joined and then ditched the odd males and made my way back to the Holiday Inn.

Along the way I ran into TACKA Liz and her friends and we spoke for a bit before making our way back to the hotel.

Sigh. Renee beat us both there! LOL So much for being a party hound! I changed and climbed into bed and in a few moments was dead to the world. It was sad, but I guess this is what lack of sleep would get me.

But I had to be rested. Tomorrow was not only the parade, but it was Avatar day! Time to pain myself in blue paint and ‘See’ people! LOL Friday was an easy calm day, something perfect for my old bones. I couldn’t wait for the next day though. I wanted to see what the rest of the con would bring.


Have You Been Flashed?

Stephanie Burke
TheFlashcat.Net
Flamekeeper@yahoogroups.com

Guest Post: Dragon*Con Day 1

This is a guest post by Stephanie Burke describing the first day of Dragon*Con. I was going to do it, but she already did, so why re-invent the wheel.

Tales of Dragon Con… Day 1!
Thursday

Dragon con Tales, Dragon Con Tales! Lets all have some Dragon Con talllleeeessss!!!!! *g*

Thursday Morning… the beginning

It was a dark and chilly night. The kids were all nestled in their beds… threatening to give beating and withhold food works really well on the High school Teenager. Who would have thunk it? LOL

But I was getting ready… ready for Dragon Con

It had been a particularly difficult week, Truck needed an alignment and tires and I needed sleep and cash. Trust me, you don’t make a lot working for tips in a strip club unless you are taking your clothing off.

I refuse to do that. I am a Bathroom attendant and make-up artist. Along with my Partner in crime, D Renee Bagby, we ensure that the dancers are sanitized and beautiful. Lets face it, when the customer makes it rain on them, they make it rain on us.

But unfortunately the problem is rain. That stupid hurricane to be exact. She made it rain and the guys decided on internet porn, I guess. They were not coming out like the horny little bastards they generally are. So our tips were low. So that meant I had shuffle bills to make ends meet, and they barely did.

And some of them are cheap bastards too! Remind me to tell you of the guy who invented Voice Mail and how that meeting went. I am suitably unimpressed, believe you-me! And what they did with that poor dog! OYE! LOL

So we worked nights almost up until it was time to leave, and then the rest day was given over to bleaching my hair again (I’m a platinum blonde once more thanks to the wonders of peroxide and bleach) and the Truck Shuffle. I was supposed to be driving.

Though a series of very much related events, new tires were procured for the White Beast of Road Travel (I love my Explorer), but Renee decided to use her car instead.

Which brings us to 4 in the am. The moon flowers were in full bloom, the sky was a velvety purple, my connect between sleep and awake had long since disappeared (three days 6 hours of sleep…it was not pretty. It was giggly.), And Renee showed up to play Tetris.

Ah, Tetris. It’s how you fit everything into her Yaris! LOL But I placed my thermos of Hot Tea in the cop holder and played with Renee for a few moments. Not like that you perves! Sigh! WE packed the car and then it was on to Dragoncon…by way of VA to pick up The Artist Currently Known as Liz.

We talked as be drove through the bruise colored night… well, we sang parodies, yapped, gossiped in the most kind way possible, and generally had the only kind of fun that two people who understand each other can have. I mean, I don’t care that her characters try to invade her bed at night and play with her cats, mess around with her I Pod and her hard drive, and make crank calls to Istanbul not Constantinople — and she don’t care that mine take over my brain for long periods of time so they can do the Macarena with my Medulla Oblongata while speaking in tongues and giving me the oddest plot lines. That’s how friendship works.

And it was still working when we pulled through (I shit you not) Powhite, VA to get to The Artist Currently Known as Liz in her own small burg. Yes people, Po White! Apparently the town lobbied to get the name officially recognized as Pow- Hite, said it was some Indian Word that had the local Powhatan Indians (Yes, from the Pocahontas stories) laughing their collective asses off at the idiots and probably looking at them like they were three year olds making up words.

You should see the imagery in my head. It’s…something else. Pardon me while I choke on my laughter!

Po-White aside, snicker, we arrived when it was still dark to pick up The Zombie temporarily Known as the Artist Currently Known as Liz.

And I thought I was not a morning person! LOL Liz  BRAINNNNNSSSSS-ed it out to the car with her luggage, a bottle of juice that she had to run back for, and a Daddy who was really nice and not put out at all by the bunch of lunatics taking his precious daughter away. In face, he gave us advice on the best way to get out of town… Hey Liz? Did your Daddy have a adult party with drinking, food, and dancing while we were gone? Damn! He probably had people waiting around to corner for the taillights to disappear. It would have been a perfect time to throw a We Survived the Hurricane and my Daughter is Gone combo celebration!  I bet we missed out on a great one, dag nab it!

Anywho… away we went, Renee, The Artist Currently Known as Liz, and I, off for merry adventure and costuming hijinx.

And that Joy lasted all of twenty minuets when Renee’s car started making a thumping sound like she had run over Swamp Thing and he was attached to her rear axle pounding for help or slowly being rolled into so much algae.

WE pulled in for a look-see at Cracker Barrel, (When you are on the road, CB is a necessity!!!) and decided to take it into a shop before we continued…after breakfast. IT is the most important meal of the day! And the stop would allow us time to watch Rush Hour pass us by.

Breakfast was perfect and we had fun joking the cleaning posters on the wall in the section we were sitting (I mean really! If a lighthouse is going to take the trouble to walk all the way to my house and lean inside my house to point out where the dirt is hiding and hand me a bucket o’ cleanser and sponge, then it can damn well help me clean!) and just having Renee, The Dragon Con Veteran of one year tell us all about it. And of course there was the sex, candy, food, and penis I would run screaming from conversations as well.

After a good and filling breekie, we made our way back to the car and Swamp Smoothie was still there. SO we limped the car into a Good Year. Good thing too, because we soon discovered what was wrong. And that was after scaring the locals with our book covers and tales of conventions past. Giggle.

The problem… the care that Renee just has serviced had one major problem. The service had not tightened the lugs that held the tire in place.  Yeah, we were driving on the highway on borrowed tire time.

Good thing we go that checked!

But after a round of good bye’s, those people in that shop loved us, we were on our way.

And we were driving, and driving, and driving, stop for Starbucks, and driving some more.

Then almost magically, we entered Atlanta… Okay, our butts were sore and there really was a dead skunk on the side of the raod somewhere.. but we were there.

And then The Artist Currently Known as Liz gave us GPS directions. Renee wanted to try them and not the paper ones I was holding and navigating with. So we proved that GPS is an evil monster that must have really wanted to fuck with T.A.C.K.A. Liz. We wound up in the Ghetto! And I mean The Ghetto! There were arrests,  pot holes, and, crack heads, and the Holiday Inn was a empty lot. But TACKA Liz was not about to be defeated by mere machinery… plus we all had to go potty. She forced the GPS into compliance and navigated using a combo of satellite technology and printed-paper to get us where we needed to be! Success!

WE pulled in, Checked in, and took turns unburdening our bladders. I for one don’t want another surgery any time soon in that area, shudder, so we took our time and everyone had a turn.

But first, we were misdirected to the wrong room, someone was already in there, then directed to a room where the keys worked but the door stuck, and we were on the smoking floor. Was supposed to be a couples thing, Renee and her baby boy, me with mine, but Real life. And Renee booked thinking that Den still smoked. He has been off his ciggies for almost 2 years, but Renee forgot. So we had a slightly fragrant room! LOL

But who cares! This is Dragon Con! Rooms are for collapsing after you went beyond all endurance!!!! WHOOO HAAAAA!!!!

So we collected our cash and walked past everyone in the pre registration line! LOL The extra 30 bucks in a convince fee! We didn’t have to stand in line for a few hours. Fifteen minuets and most of that was walking along the empty corded area to reach the lonely people taking cash! LOL

Then it was back to the hotel for Jacuzzi and a drink before the first day of the most funnest con in Georgia began!  YEAH!


Have You Been Flashed?

Stephanie Burke
TheFlashcat.Net
Flamekeeper@yahoogroups.com

Ready or Not…

I’ve packed my clothes and promo for Authors After Dark in Philly. Stephanie Burke and I leave tomorrow morning. It’s about an hour drive.

I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. If you’re attending AAD, I’ll see you there.

One Day at Nationals (NYC Trip Recap)

Okay before anything else distracts me, I need to get this written.

RWA (Romance Writers of America) held their annual conference, called Nationals, in NYC this past 28 June – 01 July 2011 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

Since I am still a “starving artist,” I couldn’t afford to do the conference. I still wanted to see all of my friends, so I decided to go up for one day and hang out in the hotel. I chose 29 June to head up. That was the day the Oklahoma Romance Writers planned the National Readers’ Choice Award Ceremony, as well Samhain Publishing was having a meet-and-greet breakfast for their authors… at the same time. 😛

I got my butt up in the early AM, which wasn’t hard since I couldn’t sleep, and hopped the train up to NYC. This was my very first trip to NY, let alone NYC. I had never been, and after this, I have no inclination to go back. Nothing bad happened. It’s just not on my list of places to visit.

From the train station, I caught a cab to the hotel, which is the biggest flippin’ hotel I have ever seen in my life and I’ve been in a lot of hotels. Just to give you a hint of the size of this hotel, the lobby (front desk, concierge, et al) is on the 8th floor. That was a little confusing in and of itself. Luckily the awards ceremony was also on the 8th floor. I parked myself outside the room where the award ceremony was to be held and didn’t move for one hour.

While waiting for the ceremony to start, I gave Kate Douglas a call to let her know I had arrived. She was still groggy from the night before. I had told her ahead of time that I would be crashing Nationals and we made tentative plans to hang out. We got to talk a little bit but she had to go meet with her editor and then got busy the rest of the day.

The NRCA award ceremony was so much fun. More so because I bumped into Joy of Joyfully Reviewed and Limecello. I knew they would be at Nationals but I hadn’t known they would be at the awards ceremony.

The Oklahoma RWA is a fun bunch. I got a certificate for myself and my editor proclaiming my finalist status. After seeing the whole thing, I am determined to actually win a tombstone one year. “Tombstone” is what the OKRWA calls the award they give to the winners because it looks like a tombstone.

After the award ceremony, I hurried up to the 16th floor to catch the tail end of the Samhain breakfast and hang out with the authors there. It was good to catch up with my Samhain family since I missed hanging out with them at Lori Fosters Get Together in early June.

Free time (for me) commenced at the end of the breakfast. I ran into a few people and chatted a bit, but ultimately ended up wandering around trying to find a place to sit. The 8th floor lounge/bar area filled up quickly and stayed full.

I did locate the B&N-hosted bookstore and bought some books from there. I figured, if nothing else, I could find a quiet spot and read. Except that I didn’t. Since I had no pressing business, I decided to brave the streets of NYC. I had originally wanted to visit Kinokuniya (a Japanese bookstore), since NYC is the location of one of its branch stores. I bypassed taking a taxi in the middle of rush hour and walked. On the way, I found Mid-Town Comics, a HUGE comic store with a very impressive manga section. Of course, I bought stuff. 😛

I found Kinokuniya without getting too turned around and wandered in there for a while. I ate lunch there as well. They have a Japanese cafe on the upper levels with some great food at even greater prices. I grabbed stuff for lunch then and dinner later.

I returned to the hotel and recommenced my search for a place to sit and had the same amount of luck as before. I ran into Joy and Limecello multiple times in the day and hung out with them and the group of authors around them. I spent the majority of the time simply sitting around (when I could find a place to sit) and watching for the pink RTC button so I could add more cards to my collection. I managed to get cards from Susanna Kearsley, Mima, Thea Harrison, Kimberly Lang, Cassandra Carr (who recently appeared on my First Chapters blog), Emma Lang, Miranda Baker, Elaine Golden, and Roz Lee.

While I would have liked to have headed home after all the exciting stuff ended, I had planned my train trip back at 3AM the following morning (just in case, so I didn’t miss anything fun trying to rush off to meet the train). I ended up hanging out in the train station for nearly three hours. The train ride back was uneventful. The hubby was waiting for me when I arrived with bloodshot eyes and sluggish with fatigue.

That was my NYC trip. My plan for 2012 Nationals is to attend as a legitimate registrant. We’ll see how the coming months treat me and my new titles.

Visiting NYC

On this day, 29 June 2011, I am visiting NYC for 24hrs so I can ghost the RWA Nationals in the Marriott Marquis. I will be attending the NRCA award ceremony as well as peeking in on the Samhain breakfast. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

I’m more inclined to stay in one spot and hope I don’t get lost just doing that. This is the BIGGEST flippin’ hotel I have ever seen in my entire life. No hotel should be this convoluted and confusing. I’m just glad that everything is labeled.

Please note, unlike most of the people of the world, I have never had any inclination to visit NY, let alone NYC. This the farthest north, on the east coast, that I have ever been and will probably ever go. And I’m only doing this once for the special occasion of Nationals and the NRCA award ceremony.

For those wondering what I mean by “ghost” Nationals, I mean that I’m not registered. I’m just hanging around the hotel and mingling before I go home. I did the same thing in DC last year. I hope to actually attend Nationals in CA like a normal registrant, but we shall see how Hawaii is treating me when that time rolls around.

LF Get Together 7 Recap

Now it’s time for the recap of the 7th Annual Lori Foster’s Reader-Author Get Together.

As usual, this convention was a lot of fun. This year I supplied the badge holders. Each badge holder had a packet of business cards I collected from various authors. Some of said business cards were highlighted by Circle of Seven Productions on YouTube:


Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRPSVjvCyvw

I got favorite business card. I’m all happy about that. 😀

I’ll also be supplying the badge holders for next year (got confirmation this morning).

Flash, Joy (of Joyfully Reviewed) and I headed out in my car early Thursday morning headed for Akron. No the convention is not in Akron. Camille Anthony is. She attended LF Con as well, but needed Flash to drive her minivan since she had recently gotten out of the hospital and couldn’t do much long-distance driving.

Joy and I used the time at Camille’s house to finish preparing our promo. I was stuffing the badge holders with my packets of business cards while Joy stuffed little bunny bags full of Romance Trading Cards. I got to snag one of each for my personal collection. Teehee.

Friday morning, we were out of the house by 8:30am and on the road to West Chester, which is roughly 3hrs driving from Akron. The plan was to be at the hotel in time for the registration bag stuffing at 1pm. Unfortunately, bag stuffing got started early due to all of the promo that was received. This year LF Con hit a record high of 400 attendees. That was the cap for the con, since that’s what the hotel could accommodate.

Registration started promptly at 4pm. I stood at the doors to the convention hall and handed out the badge holders. That allowed me to greet everyone personally. Yes, I planned it that way and I’ll do it again next year. 😛

After registration was the pizza party. I got swamped by people asking for my autograph for the Author Island contest. This is nothing new. I was expecting it. Plus, I had told everyone to find me after registration closed since I couldn’t sign papers and hand out badges at the same time.

Friday ended with me in the room with Flash as we poured through the swag we had received. Some nice stuff. Of course, I was target-locked on the Romance Trading cards more than anything else.

Saturday morning, Flash and I did our traditional pajama walk. This is where we head to breakfast dressed in our pjs. Everyone was jealous. We may start a trend next year. We were telling everyone, since this is such a laid back convention, Flash and I usually do Saturday morning in our pjs — roll out of bed, brush our teeth, wash our faces, and go to get some grub. After we ate, we went back to the room and changed.

I had a speed chat session at 10am. My co-speed chatter was Nalini Singh. While the spirit of the chat was for us to talk one-on-one with a reader for fifteen minutes before switching to the next person (like speed dating), it turned into a large discussion. It was very fun and enlightening.

The book signing started at 2pm. Flash took up her spot, which took us forever to find. If we had walked right first instead of left, we would have found it immediately. Ain’t it always the way? 😛

I wandered and got autographs from Kate Douglas, Monica Burns, Donna Grant, Nalini Singh, Dakota Cassidy, Missy Martine, and Dana Marie Bell. I didn’t have anything in the bookstore (hosted by B&N), so I didn’t set up to sign. One attendee brought her copy of Serenity for me to sign, so that was a happy. 😀

That night was the Author Island Sock Hop, which was very well attended. Tons of prizes were given out — Flash won three things so she can’t say she never wins anymore. I got a copy of Jade Lee’s Dragonbound, which I had her sign.

DeNita, owner of Author Island, put on a great party that entertained everyone. I look forward to what she thinks up next year.

The majority of the convention was spent catching up with writing friends and readers as well as educating aspiring authors. It was very fun. As I tell everyone, this is a staple convention for me. I will even fly in from Hawaii to attend. That’s saying a lot since I hate to fly. There will have to be some dire circumstances going on to make me miss this convention.

I’m looking forward to 2012 already.

Balticon 45 Recap

This is waaaaay late, but I finally have time to gather my thoughts and do a quick recap of my adventures while at Balticon 45 in Hunt Valley, MD 27-30 May.

You can check out my panels schedule in an earlier post. You can also check out the pocket program on Balticon’s site.

So here goes:

DAY ONE – FRIDAY

Flash and I rolled out around 1pm, I want to say. Can’t really remember. Traffic on 695 was backed up for miles so we got off the highway and decided to take York Rd to the convention hotel. BIG MISTAKE.

We got stuck about a mile away from the hotel by a state trooper funeral procession. It went on for about an hour, possibly an hour and a half. I have never seen so many cop cars at once in my life. Marked, unmarked, big, small — you name it, they were there. At first, we thought there was something up with the traffic light and then we saw all the cops and figured out the deal.

Flash hopped out of the car (after turning it off, of course) and went to the gas station we stopped in front of to get drinks. I sat on the car door and watched the whole thing go by.

Thankfully, my first panel didn’t start until 5pm. We arrived with plenty of time to pick up our badges, yap with a few friends, and peruse the dealers’ room.

My first panel was Paranormal/Vampires TV Shows. None of us (including the moderator) really knew what the panel should be about so we basically touched on why paranormal TV shows are on the rise and which ones interested us. Very fun panel.

7pm was the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. That’s when several ladies from the Broad Universe group (of which I am part) get together and do a quick 5-minute reading of some of their works. I did ERIS — the part featuring Stephanie Burke. Everyone got a good laugh out of that, including Flash.

10pm was the ‘Why We Love Anime’ panel which had a great turn out and was a ton of fun. I’m a HUGE anime fan so I was really happy to get this panel. I even learned some stuff about the distribution of anime and how it’s changing thanks to the issues with the economy and the prevalence of online fan-subbers.

Around midnight, Flash and I headed for the room where I was to have a second reading. Before me was Jhada Rogue Addams, who read a spicy excerpt from her book (sorry, I can’t remember the name though I do remember some chick being done against the side of a pick-up truck). While I was supposed to do my reading immediately following hers, the group of us started discussing sex and talked straight through my half hour. That was something I didn’t mind since I didn’t feel like doing another reading.

Jhada cut out around 1am and was replaced with the next author doing a reading – J-P Bibeau. He’s such a cutie. We sat around jawing through his session too since we figured (and were correct) that no one would show up for a reading at 1am.

After that, Flash and I took our tired butts home to get some rest.

DAY TWO – SATURDAY

This was my lazy day. I had no panels so I followed Flash around to hers. Flash’s niece Connie came with us as well. For the most part, I caught up on some emails and visited with the people around me. I even got a little writing done.

The highlight of the day was that one woman who had attended the Broad Universe RFR got intrigued with my book and bought a copy. I was very happy about that.

Saturday was also the masquerade. That got Flash very frazzled since there were issues with the music and various costume malfunctions. All in all, we had fun and that’s what matters. My favorite was the green lantern corp. That was hilarious.

After the masquerade, Flash had another panel while we waited for judging. Connie and I stood for photo ops and sat around talking until we were allowed to change back. Once judging was over, we dragged our tired bodies home for some much needed sleep.

DAY THREE – SUNDAY

This was my day. 10am was the panel I REALLY wanted to be on — Shadow of the Torturer: Authors who abuse their characters. The moderator for this panel was FANTASTIC. He asked pertinent questions and kept the discussion flowing. All of the writers present had a great time.

3pm was the ‘Did We Win?’ panel to discuss whether sci-fi/fantasy has been truly accepted in the mainstream or not. The general consensus was no, it hasn’t. Sure there are a lot of sci-fi/fantasy TV shows and movies out, but most of those are watered down so as not to scare off the mundanes who make up the majority of the ratings pool. I mean, even Syfy channel changed it’s name to attract a broader audience. So what does that tell you?

I had a lot more fun on this panel than I thought I would. I thought for sure I would be eclipsed by my fellow panelists who were older and more well-read of the hard sci-fi genre than myself. I got my shots in where I could and brought in a younger perspective, as well as the perspective of the movie-goer. After the panel ended one audience member came up to me and said he really enjoyed the panel thanks to me. That had me all happy. 😀

5pm was the round table discussion about Small Press and Small Press authors. This had the potential to be a very informative panel, however the moderator turned it into Big 6 NY Traditional Pubs versus Small Press discussion with Small Press being painted with a very black brush. It should have never been that way, and it still ticks me off that he did that. The man actually looked at me and asked me specifically why I had given up on my career by choosing small press. It’s a good thing I think before I talk (most of the time) because I would have told him off otherwise.

ANYWAY… the other panelists and I were more than a little pissed at the end of this panel. Just remembering it is ticking me off while I type so I will drop this and move on before I say something I shouldn’t.

The rest of the day was spent sitting around and jawing with passersby. Flash had one or two panels late in the day, so we parted ways since I had an autograph session that clashed with one of her panels. We met up again in an after-hours party in someone’s room. You know, I’m still not sure whose room that was.

I got to taste Crackin’ Rum. Really smooth and yummy. The hubby would like it. The party ended when one of the neighbors complained. Flash and I didn’t get home until 2am.

DAY FOUR – MONDAY

Flash and Dennis went out to the last day of Balticon. I did not. I sat in a fatigued, semi-stupor trying to recuperate. I had planned to get some work done for the next convention but I couldn’t do more than sit and stare at my computer.

All in all, the whole thing was fun. There were lots of complaints about the scheduling being a little stupid (okay, a lot stupid) but I was happy with what I got. I’m going to miss Balticon while I’m in Hawaii. When the hubby and I come back this way, I’ll be sure to put it on my to-do list.

Balticon 45 Schedule

Balticon 45

The Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Memorial Day Weekend – May 27-30, 2011
Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD
Learn More

Here’s my schedule for those who want to track me down.

Fri, 5:00 PM, Salon C, Vampire/Paranormal TV shows (Film/TV)
Moderator: R. Allen Leider; Panelists: Lisa Adler-Golden, D. Renee Bagby, Wayne A. Hall, Gail Z. Martin

Fri, 7:00 PM, Salon B, Broad Universe Reading (Literary: Readers)
Moderator: Jean Marie Ward; Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, D. Renee Bagby, Roxanne Bland, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, Phoebe Wray

Fri, 10:00 PM, Parlor 1041 Anime: Why Do We Love It? (Anime)
Moderator: Jean Marie Ward; Panelists: Grig “Punkie” Larson, Ruth Lampi, D. Renee Bagby

Fri/Sat overnight, 12:30 AM, Maryland Foyer — Reading — D. Renee Bagby

Sat, 9:00 PM, Valley Ballroom, Masquerade (Special Events)

Sun, 10:00 AM, Belmont, The Shadow of the Torturer: The Writer as God — Round Table Discussion (Literary: Writers)
Moderator: DC Wilson; Panelists: J-F Bibeau, D. Renee Bagby, Carl Cipra, Elaine Corvidae, Mike D’Ambrosio, David Forbes, Laurie Gailunas, Brian Koscienski, L. Jagi Lamplighter, DC Wilson, Leona Wisoker, Alan Zendell

Sun, 3:00 PM, Salon B, Did We Win? SF and its Takeover of Popular Culture (Film/TV/Filmmaking)
Moderator: Ray Ridenour, Panelists: Joshua Bilmes, Laurie Gailunas, Ian Randal Strock, D. Renee Bagby

Sun, 5:00 PM Belmont, Authors and Publishers — Small Press Publishing Round Table (Literary: Small Press Publishing)
Moderator: Joshua Bilmes; Panelists: D. Renee Bagby, James Chambers, Mike D’Ambrosio, Phil Giunta, Katie Hartlove, Reesa Herberth, Neal Levin, Michelle Moore, Maria V. Snyder

Sun, 9:00 PM, Maryland Foyer Autographing – D. Renee Bagby, Michele Bekemeyer, and Jessica Shearer-Wilson

2011 Reader-Author Get Together

Lori Foster’s Reader-Author Get Together is now open for registration!!

It’s the 7th Annual Get Together in the first weekend in June — 03 June (Friday) to 05 June (Sunday).

Register Here

At $52, it’s one of the most affordable conventions you’ll ever attend. Come on out to beautiful West Chester, OH to meet some of your favorite authors (myself included).

Appearances of 2011

2010 isn’t even over yet and I’m already planning for 2011. Actually, if I wanted to be ahead of the game, I would be planning for 2012. But, for now, this is the best I can do. 😀

Here’s where I’m planning to be in 2011. Keep in mind some things may change given outside influences of the real world.

RavenCon 2011
(Richmond, VA)

08 – 10 April

BaltiCon 44 2011
(Baltimore, MD)

27 – 30 May (Memorial Day Weekend)

Lori Foster’s Reader/Author Get Together 2011
(West Chester, OH)

03 June – 05 June

Authors After Dark 2011
(Philadelphia, PA)

11 – 14 August

Dragon*Con 2011
(Atlanta, GA)

02 – 05 September (Labor Day Weekend)

PhilCon 2011
(Cherry Hill, NJ)

??? November