a more in-depth look at ChiCon 7

I did want to write a post that detailed the very positive experiences I had at ChiCon 7. One of the many highlights of the Con was the chance to meet and talk to Carol Berg. Frankly, when I saw I was scheduled to be on a panel with Carol Berg, I was intimidated. I mean really, really intimidated.

After dinner on Friday night, I wandered around with Courtney Schafer and Mazarkis Williams. Courtney stopped in the lobby to talk with this warm, lovely lady. I glanced at her name tag and saw it was Carol Berg.

My brain flipped out and started screaming at me: Carol Berg! It's CAROL BERG! Stop standing there like an idiot and say something intelligent!!

So I opened my mouth and blurted, "Oh my God, you're Carol Berg! We have a panel together!"

My brain promptly sent another set of instructions: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! MORON!

Carol, on the other hand, was gracious and before I knew it we were all talking (or rather listening) as she told us story after story of panels and conventions she attended. She kept talking until we all relaxed and started to join the conversation.

From that point forward, the con just kept getting better and better for me. I spent Friday morning placing flyers for the Night-Bazaar party on every kiosk the con provided for party flyers. At 3:00, I got to meet the rest of the Night-Bazaar crew as we divided up responsibilities for the party. There was time for a quick dinner and a change of clothes, then it was back to the East Tower for the festivities.

People ate bugs ... they took books ... it was awesome. I had a chance to talk with Kameron Hurley, who is a powerful, lovely woman, and finally got to talk to Stina Leicht, who is just vibrant and full of life. I made new friends and had a chance to meet the people I chat with on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday was a day of panels for me, one of which was the one with Carol Berg. She is just as awesome as everyone says and she gave me a few hints on how to be a good panelist Friday night. I took her advice and had a wonderful time talking about characters and characterization.

Saturday evening was the debut authors panel, and Stina did a great job of keeping the panelists focused and the audience questions were really fun to answer.

Sunday morning, I volunteered to watch the SFWA hospitality suite. The hospitality room was very, VERY quiet, but that was okay. I had a chance to catch up on my reading and think about my afternoon panel on religion. I thought that at 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon, there might be a few people on hand for the panel. Imagine my surprise when I saw the room was packed. The panel was top-notch and we really had an intelligent discussion on religion and how to (and how not to) use it in your novels.

One thing I will do differently at my next WorldCon is I will have the panels I want to attend already picked out and written down. I missed two panels I really wanted to attend, because I just lost track of time a couple of times. I also grossly underestimated how long it would take me to get from the East Tower to the West Tower too. Someone with ADD shouldn't be turned loose on their own in a venue that big.

Overall, the whole con was a blast, and I'm looking forward to next year!

pictures from ChiCon

Thanks to everyone who took so many great pictures at ChiCon 7! They're sort of everywhere all over the Internet.

Courtney Schafer has two pictures of the elusive Mazarkis Williams on her blog.

Martha Wells has posted several pics at her blog as well.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Al Bogdan have a lot of great shots on their FaceBook pages.

Thanks to Bryan for giving me permission to post this picture. It was taken during the Vivid Characters panel with Randy Henderson. This picture is one of my favorites:

I'm sure the others would kindly give me permission to post their photos too, but I'd much rather send you to their sites.

I was too scattered and still coming down from all the excitement yesterday (read: no writing whatsoever was done). I'm feeling more centered today.


More later ...

ChiCon 7, home again, and news on Dolorosa

I only have time for a very quick update:

ChiCon 7 is finally over and what a blast it was for me. The people who organized the con did a magnificent job. I got to meet so many wonderful people. My roommate was awesome and we had great fun together.

I've got to jump right back into my everyday life; however, I'm not going to leave you empty-handed! My friend (and colleague) Mazarkis Williams, author of The Emperor's Knife and Knifesworn, has blogged about ChiCon 7 and did a super job summing up the panels and events (My First Day at ChiCon, ChiCon Day 2, and ChiCon Day 3).

Dolorosa, Miserere's sequel, is in the works. I hope to have something to share with you on the story by the end of this week or early next week.

And I hate to run, but the clocks are ticking on me once more so I must go. I'll be back later!

ChiCon 7 and counting ...

Not that I'm panicking or anything but ...

The countdown to ChiCon 7 is ON (don't forget to check my ChiCon 7 schedule here) and of course that is the time when I get tons of other email and phone calls ABOUT A VARIETY OF THINGS ...

Not that I'm panicking or anything ...

I'm just saying that I'll be a bit slow to respond for the next seven days, so please be patient. While I'm offline, I will be thinking up stories for you.

So while you're waiting for me to get back to you, here is a picture of my cat.

ChiCon 7 and ALL the things this week ...

ChiCon 7 is coming and I've got quite a bit to do to prepare. Check out my Events page for information on the Night Bazaar Party (Friday night) and also for information about my panel schedule.

I'll pop in here from time to time this week, maybe with some bits and pieces of works in progress. I'm also working on a short-story for you and a couple of guest posts.

Thank you for all the Goodreads love that you've showered on Miserere and for all the lovely emails. You guys made a terrible weekend very, very lovely for me. Thank you.

I'll be around later with more ...

ChiCon 7 Schedule

I've been meaning to get this online for a few days now. My ChiCon 7 panel schedule is here:

Saturday (9/1)

3:00 p.m. -- 4:30 p.m. Vivid Character Building: How do you create vivid characters who pop off the page? How do you avoid archetypes/stereotypes and predictability? Join a panel of writers discussing their techniques and tricks and ask questions of your own.

7:30 p.m. -- 9:00 p.m. New Writers Session 4: Join me along with authors D.H. Aire, Michael R. Underwood, Paco Ruiz, and Stina Leicht as we discuss our work and careers.

Sunday (9/2)

3:00 p.m. -- 4:30 p.m. Getting it Right: Religions: Your universes and societies may include religions, but it's hard to 'do it right' . . . not just the assumed theology, but the way the structure works internally and how it fits into the society. How do you avoid the clutches of the Evil Cardinal or the too-pious guru? Which authors have done it right, and what did they do?

I'll be updating my events page next week. I hope to see you in Chicago.