Category Archives: Conventions/Events

The Con Blog, 2016

Last week, I was at DragonCon in my best dresses and new hat.

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Yes, everything I own is basically black lace.

 

Today, I’m at home in Slytherin lounge pants.

Con season is always weird because it’s either a year away or it’s tomorrow and the in-between does not exist. This marks my sixth (seventh?) DragonCon, and to be frank, I wasn’t looking forward to it. The past two years left me a bit cold in terms of programing and direction. Year one I chalked up to new management; everyone has a poor year on occasion. Last year, though, I was equally bored. I’m sure it didn’t help that I had to commute all weekend.

When I looked at the panel listing this year, I felt much the same ennui. The saving grace this year (as any year) is getting to see my friends, and as I mentioned in my last post, I finally met Kira Butler. We’ve known each other for a few years, and when she told me she was coming down for DragonCon, I freaked right out. Guys, this gal is awesome.

What I love best is when I meet people face to face and that insta-friend thing happens, that whole, “We’ve known each other forever and this is great and man, you smell really nice” deal. And she did. Kira smelled super nice. I wish we’d gotten to hang out more, but we did go out for dinner and I hope she comes back next year and the Gathering of Strange Women continues annually.

And then two astonishing things happened:

One- I was on my first ever DragonCon panel. In front of a packed room. I wish I’d thought to take a photo because it was standing room only. Since my dear friend Leanna was going to be late, I asked if I could step in, and was approved. I’ve paneled before at AnachroCon, but doing so at DragonCon has been one of my goals forever. Check.

Two- In the same conversation in which I asked to sit on the panel, I was asked if I’d want to be Kathryn’s second for the Lit track at AnachroCon. So now you’re reading the blog of the second for AnachroCon’s Lit track. I have no idea what I’ll be doing or how to do it, but I’ll figure it out. I’m excited.

I spent a lot of my “down” time at the Westin Bar (as the writers do), and I got some work done on my current book, as well as a couple of sketches of my own characters, and one of Leanna’s. Listening to her righteous anger at Penny Dreadful was certainly a highlight of my weekend, as was getting to spend time with her in general. I admire her greatly.

On the last night of Con, I was gifted this magical* clear bouncy ball. I was assured it would show me my dreams without the trouble of my having to solve a labyrinth, though The Goblin King was not included in the package.

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*might not contain real magic. Your mileage may vary.

I laughed and denied the bouncy ball before ultimately taking it, and now it’s sort of …earned it’s own magic. It’s funny how things unintentionally take on meaning. Now the bouncy ball lives on my desk.

In a final burst of grace from the universe, on my way to the train Monday afternoon, a tourist pointed me out to his wife and child as I stepped onto the escalator, saying, “Look, there’s a vampire.”

I had one of those moments of “Where?” before realizing he meant me. I’ve arrived. I am legit.

DragonCon is now a week past somehow and I’m tired; the usual con-exhaustion plus day job and men working on the house exhaustion. And edging in just below the wire is the first thread of depression. It’s not the missing my friends, or the con, it’s being worn down. It happens every year like clockwork. I’m attempting to stay busy: I have a book I’m loving, artwork to finish, blogs to post, podcast episodes to write (maybe), but I know it’s there. Lurking.

I want to be nicer to myself than I was last year. I want to make sure I’m taking care, doing only what needs to be done, and not taking on projects I don’t have to. I’m watching Stranger Things on Netflix because I’m way late to the party and it’s a fantastic show. I have high hopes for next DragonCon, and for AnachroCon next February.

I’m making plans.

I’m hanging on to that magical, star-filled bouncy ball.

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So I Tripped and Fell off the Face of the Earth…

Man, is this blog way overdue or what? Last time didn’t end on such a great note. I felt really down and useless, but the truth is, I didn’t stop writing. I finished Katherine Locke’s SECOND POSITION and her book helped me realize that the thing causing me to fall apart (writing) was the same thing holding me together. I couldn’t stop. Stopping was never an option.

So I revised a different book. By some miracle, I gained an amazing critique partner, and we swapped manuscripts. It was instant chemistry, and she made me feel 130% better about everything. I met my deadline, and as of right now, I’ve got a new query and synopsis ready for the terror that is querying. Again.

Most importantly, I learned something critical about myself.

I am not a contemporary writer. That’s not my voice. That’s why my first book didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t a bad story, it’s not because I lack talent; I’m writing in the wrong era. New book? Victorian. It’s what I read most, it’s what I like most, and according to my past life regression experience, it’s where I lived once upon a time. To be honest, I’ve never read a lot of contemporary fiction, so why I thought that’d be the place to start is beyond me. But finding my voice was essential. Now that I’m starting a third book, same era, it’s worlds easier to move into the story. Going from my first book to my second was like pulling teeth. I found it nearly impossible to switch gears. Things are looking up. I have the support of my friends, a wonderful critique partner who sent me the most darling anatomical heart curio, and a book I believe will make it.

This weekend, I’m headed out to DragonCon, so if you want to come say hello, I’ll be around. I’m hoping to use it more like a writing weekend, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m behind on the podcast. I know. We’ll be back up and running shortly. September is just a mess of too many events, not enough brain power.

I need to pack, so I’ll see you all at DragonCon.

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World Horror Con Schedule!

I am so delighted to be attending World Horror Con and the Bram Stoker Awards here in Atlanta next weekend at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis! Please stop in and say hello!

My Schedule:

Friday

9-10 AM Panel: TERRIFYING TROPES: Horror in the Headlines: Bringing the Real World Into Your Fiction – SARNATH
We see authors (Stephen King, for example) berated in social media for basing a story on a well-known recent serial killer. We see authors who rip off a fast book – not necessarily good – just to take advantage of a global event such as a typhoon, pandemic, etc. A good example is the book reported to be coming out from Permuted Press: ISIS and Ebola. Is this a good thing? Does it guarantee more publicity and sales? Does the writing suffer from moving so fast?

Moderator: J.G. Faherty. Panelists: Nickolas Cook, L. Andrew Cooper, Meghan Harker, Michael Huyck, Erinn L. Kemper, Erik Williams

2-3 PM  Panel: SCAREBIZ: Stabbing Through the Glass Ceiling: Advice for Women Writers Starting Out – R’LYEH
Women with years of experience in the field share their practical tips for new women writers. More women are writing horror to success, but are there still more barriers to getting published for women than men? What can beginning writers do to better navigate the often tough world of publishing.

Moderator: Linda Addison. Panelists: Kami Garcia, Meghan Harker, Lisa Morton, Melissa A. Singer, Lucy A. Snyder

Unfortunately, I can only be there Friday and Saturday.  If you’re looking for YA Horror, my dear friend Catherine Scully has put together a KILLER track for YA ROCKS. I’ll list the tracks below. I’m so thrilled to be attending and I hope I get see some of you there!

SCHEDULE FOR THE YA ROCKS TRACK

Thursday

8-9 PM  Panel: YA ROCKS: Teen Voice: Reaching The Teen Audience – SARNATH

Young Adult Horror is more popular than ever – but how do you write it? How do you capture the teen voice for teen audiences? Join us to discover how to reach current teen readers.

Moderator: Jeff Strand. Panelists: Courtney Alameda, Jake Bible, John Dixon, Alethea Kontis, Jonathan Maberry

Friday

NOON-1 PM Panel: YA ROCKS: Teen Protagonists Vs. Books for Teens: What Makes Teen Horror for Teens – DUNWICH

If a book has a teen protagonist, does that mean it’s written for teen readers? What is the difference between books about teens and books for teens? Our panelists discuss what makes young adult books for young adults.

Moderator: Jonathan Maberry. Panelists: John Dixon, Christopher Golden, Tonya Hurley, James A. Moore, Peter Salomon, Catherine Scully

Saturday

10-11 AM  Panel: YA ROCKS: Writing Horror for YA and Middle Grades: How Far Is Too Far With Your Scares? – SARNATH

So you want to write horror for kids and teens, but how far is too far with your scares? Is there a limit to what you can write for middle grade and young adult readers? Is there a limit to the kinds of monsters you can create? Our panelists discuss how to approach crafting horror for middle grade and young adult readers.

Moderator: Susan McCauley. Panelists: Kami Garcia, Tonya Hurley, Alethea Kontis, Peter Salomon, Catherine Scully, Tim Waggoner

11 AM-NOON Panel: YA ROCKS/SCAREBIZ: Horror As a Literacy Tool – R’LYEH

Kids love to read horror. Writers, librarians, and teachers discuss everything from Goosebumps to adult horror fiction, graphic novels, YA vs NA, how libraries can find more books *ie, small press!* to satisfy their readers, and how reading horror can help increase literacy levels in schools and communities.

Moderator: J.G. Faherty. Panelists: Courtney Alameda, Jake Bible, Lynne Hansen, Susan McCauley

Sunday

9-10 AM  Panel: YA ROCKS: What’s Coming Up? Are Trends Important? – SARNATH

A lot of editors are interested in horror for the young adult market – is it a trend or is horror here to stay? Are certain stories – zombies, vampires, the supernatural – on their way out or should you write what you love and hope it sells? Join our panelists as they give insight to horror writing trends in the publishing industry.

Moderator: Courtney Alameda. Panelists: Jay and Katie Barber, Jake Bible, Alethea Kontis, James A. Moore

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AnachroCon Schedule!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I’ve been invited to be a panelist at this year’s AnachroCon!

AnachroCon is Atlanta’s Steampunk Convention, held Feb. 27-March 1st. I am busy preparing my costumes, but I am so excited to attend. Pre-Registration is closed, but you can buy day passes on site. For more information, you can click here to check out their website.

I will be on EIGHT panels and you can find my schedule below.

Friday
2:00 PM: Rococopunk: Just Costuming, or is there Literature too?
3:00 PM: Exploring Gender in Alternate History
5:00 PM: The Uses of History: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Alternate History
7:00 PM: Regency Magic: Being a Discussion of the Novels Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Sorcery and Cecelia,  Shades of Milk and Honey, and Sundry Others

Saturday
1:00 PM: So You Wanna Write an Alternate History…
4:00 PM: Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World: Non-British, Non-American Settings and Characters in Alternate History

Sunday
10:00 AM: What’s Up in Steampunk?12:00 PM: Exploring Race and Ethnicity in Alternate History

I will be a very busy girl this weekend! Hope to see you there!

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Gettin’ Crafty: Bioshock Splicer Mask

2014-05-19 17.18.34What you’ll need:

  • thick cardstock
  • a plastic or paper Halloween mask
  • white, gold, red, blue, brown and black acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Air dry modeling clay
  • a hot glue gun
  • an elastic
  • Optional: Gold poster-paint pen

I made this mask over three days. The longest part by far was the sculpt, which took me four hours.

I started making my Splicer mask based on a YouTube tutorial I’d found. While it’s a good tutorial, I found myself wanting more images to go along with the steps.

2014-05-15 10.39.36You’re going to take your mask and cut the lower portion of the face off, right up to the lip, as well as removing the nose and making the eyes wider. Draw out the ears and cut them out of that stiff cardstock. You want to make sure they’re sturdy. I made one ear out of regular paper and used it as a template for the cardstock.

2014-05-15 10.55.29The forehead of my mask was too square, so I added a piece of that same cardstock and rounded it out. I also added two pieces to either side to curve around my cheeks. I hot glued the ears to the forehead band.

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Cover the mask with the air dry clay. This part was the most challenging for me Ideally, you want the cheap Crayola brand because it’s much lighter. I’m not certain if it’s because I had a plastic mask (vs paper), but the clay would not adhere to the surface. I had to make a slip-solution of water and clay and paint that on first, this way the clay had something to stick to.

2014-05-15 11.16.43Then you sculpt until you die. Build up the clay to create those rounded out bunny cheeks, the nose, and the eyebrows. It’s a bit of trial and error, but eventually it’ll look something like this:

2014-05-15 14.29.14The nose and the top portion of the mask were the most difficult for me. Damn bunny noses. Hannibal not included.

Once the clay dries for 24 hours, apply a coat of Mod Podge. This will seal the clay. Once the Mod Podge dries, break out the white acrylic paint.

2014-05-16 22.33.00After that, it’s all about the gold detailing. The tutorial I linked above crafted the designs out of foam, spray painted and hot glued them in place. I realized I had a gold paint pen and free-handed. If you weren’t already looking a video game screenshots, now would be the time to check them out.

I started with the ears and worked my way down. Once again, the bunny nose was the most difficult part to get right.

After your mask is golden and gorgeous, it’s time for BLOOD.

Now, remember, when it comes to blood, less is more. You don’t want to drench your hard work in gore. You might think it looks brutal, but it actually more like a hot mess.

I mixed red, brown and a drop of blue and black to get a deep red-brown. Blood isn’t always bright red, and when it dries, it dries brown. It’s more trial and error, but when you get a color you’re happy with, splatter away!

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The last step is fixing your elastic in place, or whatever you’re going to use to keep the mask on your face. Once again, your trusty hot glue is your best ally.

Over all, I’d say the level of difficulty ranges from Medium to Hard. It’s certainly not as easy as I was lead to believe, but that might also be using a plastic mask instead of paper/using a different air dry clay, or a dozen other user-error issues.

Photo on 5-20-14 at 6.42 PM #2

I find the mask as bit too flat on my nose, so I’m going to try to move the elastic and see if that changes the way it sits on my face. I may be making another mask in the near future using the lighter Crayola clay now that I’ve gotten one under my belt.

The costume and base makeup will be the easier parts of the Spider Splicer costume. I also added gold outlining and some blood to the back of the ears. Let’s be honest, if you’re slaughtering a bunch of people for their Adam, your gonna get pretty messy.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments below!

Now I’m going to figure out how to make a metal arm. I’m pretty sure forming a spiritual connection with Bucky was not the intended purpose of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Dreadlords and Sass

LIVE FROM CAT AND MICHAEL’S LIVING ROOM.

Well, no. I mean, it was live on Saturday, but now it’s Tuesday.

Saturday was the Inaugural Gaslamp Gala, hosted by The Artifice Club. True to my word that I would be less hermity this year, and with the promise of dance lessons, I threw together a costume. I don’t have any steampunk characters, so I decided to channel Annabelle McKittrick from my waiting-for-edits MS, The Mortality Vice.

Anna is the first female surgeon to enroll in the Medical College of New York, which means her dresses are simplistic (because blood ruins everything) and I don’t need to go crazy with the makeup. The most extravagant thing I did was pop on a set of false eyelashes.

Bj608ruIIAAhKjEI made the 1800 style walking skirt out of a thrifted prom dress and two curtains. The ruffled top I bought and expanded with panels from the curtains, and the white shirt and corset were purchased from Damsel in the Dress. I LOVE that corset, but since it’s brown and not black, I didn’t have an outfit for it. Now I do. The shoes I found the shoes a few years ago, at Target of all places.

Yes, the rest of my arm IS there, I’m just the shade of porcelain that reflects light.

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My bathroom needs better lighting.

Since Anna wouldn’t actually have worn makeup, all I did was put on my usual foundation, some brown eyeliner (mostly to mask the band from the lashes), and a bright pink blush. I also used a pale pink lipstick and tiny bit of brown eyeshadow in the crease.

 

I picked Cat up and we headed to the Gala. Unfortunately, it was horrendously windy and overcast. There were a few vendors set up outside, one physically holding the tent so it wouldn’t blow over. Inside the Solarium, we grabbed a veggie burger and I think I surprised Cat with my enthusiasm for the event. I’m a terrible at talking to people in person, but give me a costume and it’s on.

We talked about why I liked Steampunk events and the inclusive nature of the community versus other, more “traditional” cosplay. I gushed about Anna and my time at the Jekyll and Hyde Club in NYC. We learned to swing dance, which was awesome, even though one of my partners bowed out. I ended up dancing with the instructor a turn.

I also learned that it was a terrible idea to dance in those shoes. Remind me to wear comfy ones at the next gala. Preferably not heels.

The live band, Megan Jean and the KFB, were awesome.

We headed back to Cat’s house for carrot cake and tea. Tiny Nephew was up and about. I’m telling you, that kid is a mutant genius baby. He was flicking through the photos on my phone and pointed to one picture and said “glasses,” totally unprompted. He’s almost 2. He knows more words than most of the people I work with.

One of his favorite things when I’m around is The Sassy Song, which I stole from YouTuber Grav3yardGirl. Saturday night, he finally said “sassy.” My life’s work is now complete. He’s also learned to say “Nightvale” and “Cthulhu,” though it comes out more like “hoo hoo,” which is significantly less dreadlordy.

Of course, all of this meant that once Tiny Nephew was in bed, Cat immediately went to tweet about Tiny Nephew’s new skills. Which I was also tweeting about. Which prompted this:

SO SASSY

Skeletor sassy

And then we playedRockBand, which I am not good at.

 

I hope you guys had as great a weekend as I did. I hope you’re enjoying these “real life” posts as much as I am. I’m going on another ghost tour next Thursday. I hope I have something spooky for you. Now it’s back to the writing board.

Rock step, step, step. Rock step, step, step…

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Adventures in the #WordySouth

Friday, I did something I thought was impossible.

I drove to Macon, GA and I didn’t get lost.

I am insanely proud.

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The reason I drove to Macon was the Crossroads Writers Conference. I heard about it last year when Cat and Delilah went and they had such a great time, I decided that this year I’d be in attendance as well.

And it was awesome and I’m already making plans for next year.

I’ve never attended a writers conference before, unless you count the one or two writing track panels at DragonCon I wander into (which honestly have never thrilled me.) I’ve also never been to Macon (hence the excitement on not getting lost.) I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive about the whole thing. Sure, two of my friends would be there, but I was on my own. I’m unreasonably terrified of looking like I had no idea what I’m doing. Cross-reference: Fraud Police.

I met Cate Noble, a local romantic suspense author who helped me not be sad and let wondering the campus. I made several new friends, held a mini-panel discussion on dinoerotica with Shane Wilson (hashtag: #WordySouthTips), met Cat’s agent Carrie (who has fabulous taste in nail polish and shoes), and learned some pretty great stuff I didn’t know I was interested in.

The best thing about Crossroads was that it didn’t feel like a conference; it felt like coming home. A bunch of word nerds gathered to hang out, eat, drink, and talk about the thing we all love most: writing. Most importantly, Crossroads renewed my sense of purpose.

I came home and got back into revisions and you know what? I didn’t hate it. I didn’t have to fight with myself about it. I have to thank Delilah because in two panels, she helped me solve a plot problem AND reassured me that I’m very close to my goal. Scary close. She also helped me come to terms with writing sex, so expect some acknowledgements in the back of future books, D.

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Note for next year: There’s a freaking BLOCK of hotel rooms with a discount for our people! Why did you think it was a good idea to DRIVE back and forth the whole weekend? Don’t do that again. Plus, you missed the room parties. Bottles of prosecco > bottles of NyQuil.

If you’re on Twitter and want a slice of my experience, checkout #WordySouth for tweets from the weekend. Some of them are pretty great.

So, with a reinvigorated sense of self, it’s back to knocking out this second book, sending more queries, doing more contests, not checking my email every thirty seconds and getting ready for American Horror Story tonight. Expect a vlog.

Cause you’re getting one.

If you’re looking for a recap on past seasons of AHS and want to know what I’m hoping for this year, consider reading my article, Black Magic Women, over on CriminalElement.com. That’d be cool of you.

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Hello Listeners, and Welcome to the Con Blog

*queue piano riff*

I am partially recovered from DragonCon 2013, and I wish I could say it’d been a more exciting Con. I’m not sure if most of the staff’s energy went to dealing with certain unpleasantries involving a certain former CEO and that’s why the con suffered, but I sadly wasn’t thrilled with most of the programming this year.

There was nothing I was dying to see. Ok, Brian Brushwood’s magic show, but that was about it. I didn’t attend a lot of panels, but I did get in my usual seeing of friends I only see at DragonCon, going to a couple of readings, a surprisingly interesting panel on Puppetry and Evil, and of course prancing around in this year’s costume selection.

DragonCon may have also been slightly overshadowed by my forgetting some crucial costume pieces and one of the pieces I’d commissioned not arriving for the weekend. Miffed doesn’t really cover my upset.

Thursday:
Check in.

I give my name, the name my room is under, and take my key and my suitcase up the to my room. Now, the key read 966. I’d gotten a text earlier saying the room was 819. It’s possible they could have been wrong. I didn’t think anything of it. My roommates were down at Turner Field for the DragonCon Night Parade and costume show-off whatever. So I unlock the room door. It’s dark beyond. Great. I’ll get some quiet time before a weekend of being extremely social.

I’m not sure who was more surprised, me, or the pounchy old man reclining in his bathrobe when I opened the door. I muttered my apologized and ran back to the elevator.

When asked who’d helped me, I said it was the gentleman in the bloody scrubs.

I finally found MY room, free of old men in bathrobes and filled with Ginger Ale and fruit snacks. I set out my Alice costume, call my mom, relax. Roommates return. Lady Loki was a hit.

Friday:American McGee’s Alice.

I am destined to battle the Red Queen. The outcome is uncertain.

I am destined to battle the Red Queen. The outcome is uncertain.

Julie and I went to see George Takei. Funny guy. I enjoyed his panel, even though I’ve never seen Star Trek. What?

I hit up Delilah S. Dawson’s first panel on Pulp Fiction and got to see the beautiful ARC of her upcoming YA, Servants of the Storm. I popped into Writing for Anthologies, thought the attitude of the panelists was poor and instead went to my friend Kathryn’s reading. I was rewarded with chocolate covered pomegranates, poetry, tales of mermaids, and a sneak peek at a super secret project.

I met up with secret sister Cat and her husband Michael for the Ray Bradbury panel, which made me want to cry and watch The Halloween Tree and eat all the candy corn.

After dinner at Moe’s (which I still don’t 100% understand how to order from, but at least they have tofu), we hit up the Ghost in the Robot concert. You may recognize the lead singer as a certain former Buffyverse vampire.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I spent Friday night 20 feet from James Marsters. What did you do?

His band SLAYED (pun absolutely intended.) I really enjoyed his show. Total win.

Saturday:

Goblin Queen.

Glowering is apparently what I am best at.

Glowering is apparently what I am best at.

I was covered in so much spray glitter, it was sick. Also, that stuff is toxic. It’s terrible. I throw on all my regalia and head to the British Horror panel, Cat’s very first ever official panel.

There's Cat!

There’s Cat!

Turns out it was about British horror FILMS and NOT books, but Cat played it off well. I knew none of the answers to the questions and therefore provided silent moral support. I ditched the cape and headdress shortly after. It was just too hot.

I don’t really recall what I did after that. I headed to Leanna’s panel on Magic, Occult, and Fantasy in Alternate History. It was an interesting panel until the Angry White Man started on about insider secrets being spilled to Hollywood and put into films. I think he was a conspiracy theorist. The woman next to me and I were cracking up. I think her name was Teresa. She was cool. The panel handled it all very well. He came back with secondary comments on the psychological damage of studying things.

I’m not saying researching dark things should be taken lightly, but this guy was pretty extreme.

I got to say hello to Leanna afterward and chat for a bit. The AWM was behind me. I hope she survived.

I met back up with Cat and Michael for dinner and headed off for Brian Brushwood’s Bizarre Magic show. I’m a HUGE fan of his YouTube program Scam School (and several of his tricks feature in my books), and I was thrilled to get the chance to see him.

The room hit capacity 10 people ahead of me.

Luckily, though, they opened the doors to the room and we were given the chance to watch from the hall. It was a great show. I throughly enjoyed Mr. Happy Pants and I hope Brian does break into the world of children’s magic shows.

Sunday:

Cecilia.

Cecilia, the genderbent voice of Night Vale Community Radio

Cecilia, the genderbent voice of Night Vale Community Radio.

I WAS BLONDE.

And I didn’t hate it. Cat drew some kickass tattoos on my arms and I paraded around in the most comfortable costume of the weekend. I hadn’t left the hotel before someone shouted, “CECIL!” and snapped my photo.

I headed to Leanna’s reading, where she read (and acted) her short, “Charged,” from Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells. Moseley is now one of my favorite characters. I love him almost as much as I love Nathaniel Veil.

After her reading, several of us grabbed some lunch. It was nice to spend some down time in a group. I met A. L. Davroe, who’s pretty awesome, and got trapped in the skybridge with her. I missed Susan Dennard’s reading, so I met her at her signing. She’s also pretty awesome. I forgot my book, which I’d intended to have her sign.

I wandered around Comic Alley and pined over Brian Kesinger’s Labyrinth prints. I went back to the room and cooled off. There was a Welcome to Night Vale meetup at 7, so I popped in for that.

The Dog Park will not harm you.

The Dog Park will not harm you.

Just saying: Tea-infused marshmallows. Whoever made those: Girl, you rock.

Cat, Michael and I then headed to the Mechanical Masquerade, which BY FAR the best part of the whole weekend. Doctor Q is a killer DJ and the bands he’d lined up were amazing. The whole ball had a real 1920’s swing/jazz theme going on and it. was. perfect. I wore my Goblin Queen ballgown in all its mercurial glory. I even danced with boys. Be proud, internet. I danced with boys.

We even did the Time Warp. Duh, it was a steampunk ball. Of COURSE there would be time travel. I danced until 1 in the morning and headed back to collapse. That was probably the best shower of my life (and I’m still washing glitter out of my hair, by the way.)

Delilah and I forgot to shave before the Masquerade.

Delilah and I forgot to shave before the Masquerade.

Monday:

Monday. I packed my suitcase, turned in my room key, and headed to a panel on Puppetry and Evil, which was actually really interesting. I met Crystal (Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands) and told her how much I enjoyed her music at the Masquerade. She’s super sweet, and I took home both of her CDs. “Toy Hammer” is by far my favorite song.

I met with Cat and Michael again and hit up the Dealer’s Hall, which was a freaking maze and basically impossible to navigate. I bought a print from Echo, Cat got gummy Iron Man earrings, and I fell in love with a print by Stephanie Law. I could not get the print as she was not at her table at the time. Someone handed us a giant Cthulhu plushie and told us we had to hug it. Cat squealed, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” She did not die. The Dread Lord accepted his squishes and let us go.

Then it was homeward.

My lack of Con Hangover clearly indicates that the con itself was the best con, but I did have a great time with my friends and my new friends. Now it’s all post-con laundry, sleep recovery, and getting back to working.

I’ve got a short story coming out next week, another coming out in October, as well as Crossroads Writer’s Conference to prepare for. Until next year, DragonCon.

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