Friday, April 19, 2013

Thoughts of Stellarcon

UNCG’s SF3 announced yesterday that there will be no Stellarcon in 2014. The club plans to spend the year restructuring.

As someone who served as both president of the SF3 and a Con Manager, I must admit this news makes me sad.    I cut my teeth on convention running at Stellarcon.  In fact, I’d be willing to go as far as saying that without Stellarcon and SF3, there would be no ConGregate.

I met amazing people, who became dear friends, in the course of the years of running Stellarcon.  From authors and artists, to actors and fans, the people I’ve met at Stellarcon have almost always been incredibly kind and generous with their time.  The list goes on and on of authors who encouraged me to write, who gave me the confidence to write and without having met them at Stellacon, I don’t know that I would now be a published author.

My memories of Stellarcon are, of course, clouded now by the years.  I have incredibly fond memories of sitting at the Hams on Friendly, which is now closed, drinking Rum & Cokes (and White Russians) while planning out the convention.  Through SF3, I met my husband.  And certainly, we drew closer working together on the con. There were a lot of late nights putting the program together, laying out the convention or dealing with last minute changes.  A lot of blood (hey! paper cuts bleed!), sweat and tears went in to each year to make it a success.  And yes, I know there are negative memories as well, but I don’t think they overshadow the good ones. 

Memories like:

  • Having Fire Alarms often enough at the old Holiday Inn that we scheduled a random Fire Drill in the program (Fire Sale!), only to have the alarm not go off the one time we really had a fire!
  • The Vampire LARPs taking over all 6 floors!
  • Robert O’Reilly singing “The King of the Forest”
  • Star Wars Trivial Pursuit w/ Aaron Allston, Mike Stackpole and Tim Zahn
  • Cabaret at the End of the Universe!
  • Inside the Stellarcon Studio
  • Wearing the original Cubic Zirconia costume at DragonCon and having someone in a line jump out and shout “Stellarcon!”
  • Iron Seamstresses
  • The last page of the program…
My daughter’s first convention, at 3 months of age, was Stellarcon and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.    

Even as Stellarcon changed, moving to more student-run, and away from alumni involvement, I still went every year.  Being named Fan GOH by them was an incredibly meaningful moment for me.

Laura Haywood-Cory perhaps says it best: “End of an Era.”  Stellarcon may come back in 2015 or the club may decide to let it rest forever.  But for the first time in 21 years, there will not be a Stellarcon in March and that makes me sad.

More things than are dreamed about/Unseen and unexplained
We suspend our disbelief/And we are entertained
~Rush, Mystic Rhythms

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Some things are in your blood, in your soul, in your heart and you can’t not do them (Yes, that’s a double negative!).  Your passions.

In my case, I apparently have two of them…writing and conventions.

The Writing is going well.  I have 4 short stories published (the most recent coming out at the end of May!), the first chapter of the first draft of my novel being copy-edited, several more short story ideas are in draft form and an entire new series is being plotted.  So I feel like I’m making progress in that passion.

And then there are cons… After I had the Geeklet, I decided to get out of running conventions.  But it’s been 5 years and I miss it like an addict misses cigarettes or coffee. 

So when a small group of us started talking about running a convention…I was onboard.  Particularly if I got to do programming again!  Programming is my true love of conventions.  I love figuring out what topics to discuss, how to draw in the fans…and ConGregate is giving me that opportunity.  Plus we’re really focused on organizing a convention that fans want to attend.  So when it comes to topics and programming ideas, I want to hear from the fans as well as the guests.  We’re even going to put up a link for people to email me their ideas and if I can make it work, it’ll happen.

Congregate is a group of experienced conrunners from all over the South…we have staff from across NC, SC and VA helping out.  We have some of the best talent you can name from RavenCon, Trinoc-coN, MACE, StellarCon, ConCarolinas, Mysticon, and DragonCon. It’s an amazing staff already and I can’t wait to see what we can do. 

I hope you check us out, and share your thoughts and passions with us.   The tagline for ConGregate is “Where strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.”  We really hope that by the end of our first con, we’ll have made a lot of new friends!

 You may be right/It's all a waste of time
I guess that's just a chance I'm prepared to take
A danger I'm prepared to face/Cut to the chase
~Rush, Cut to the Chase

Monday, April 8, 2013

Today's blog post up at Nerdiquette 101

Today's post can be found over at the Nerdiquette 101 blog.

Nerdiquette 101 is a movement started by three women who all had "that guy" encounters at a science fiction convention in 2012.

Today's post is called We will not fail and is about what women in fandom could do if we weren't afraid to fail.

I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Too much writing??

So how much is too much writing?

That’s the current question of the week.  I’ve been invited to be part of a new website/blog, The Gamers Codex, run by Ron McClung and Jeff Smith of JustUs Productions.   I’ll be doing a semi-regular featured column on “Geek Girls Gaming” for them.  Look for our first few posts in the next few weeks.

In addition, Nerdiquette 101 has a blog that I’ve been meaning to write a post for, so I need to work on that and of course, I needed to do a post for my own blog (that would be this one).  Oy.  It’s been a busy week.  I am beginning to think I need to start scheduling writing time for blog posts in addition to my fiction.

In upcoming news, I will be a guest at Ravencon this weekend in Richmond, Va.   Come say hi at the following panels:


·         10am     Shared Worlds

·         12N        Steampunk Costuming


·         12N        Balancing Writing w/ the Rest of your Life

·         3pm       Short Story Techniques

Oh, speaking of news…my fourth short story is due to be published in May 2013!   “Knight’s Gambit”, a story wherein a new knight learns that some things really are black and white, will be included in the next volume of Tales of Fortannis: A Bard in the Hand.

I know this is a short blog…but I’m going close now so I can finish writing something for the other blogs! 

Wilderness of mirrors/World of polished steel
Gears and iron chains/Turn the grinding wheel
I run between the shadows
Some are phantoms, some are real
~Rush, Double Agent