Tags: baycon

kojak smile

that was may, this is june

What happened in May:
- Didn't get laid off in the big 15% cut at work. That was the source of some early May anxiety, and it's nice for it to be gone. Now I'm in the midst of "what do I want out of work, what are my interests, what do I want to work on?" and trying to align that with what's being planned for the future rounds of work projects.
- A little bit of writing on "Straw". It's going slow. I never realized you could have the "muddle in the middle" phase in a *short story*, but I appear to have hit it. Really, it's just a matter of making sure to carve out the time to get it done.
- Went to BayCon. It was an enjoyable time with some fun panels: Hugo neepery, Victorian-era speculative fiction, and when the robots take over. But I still felt like one of the youngest people at the con, and I wonder about the future of that slice of fandom and the cons they attend (see previous post).
- Went to Vegas for ARML (http://www.arml.com) as staff member and assistant coach to NorCal teams. Our A1 team won first place nationally, for the second time in the three years! Great work by the kids

What's coming in June:
- Dealing with whatever the hell has happened to my back and is causing me nasty hip flexor and back pain. I think it's a form of sciatica relating to the back strain I suffered 2-3 weeks ago. I need to rest, cycle, walk, and do my core exercises. Getting old(er) sucks.
- Attending DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals (http://www.theroboticschallenge.org/). Should be a great event, and will help give me plenty of brain fuel for Our Robot Future that I can leverage for both work and writing
- Go to Ashland for Oregon Shakespeare Festival for a week with the family. Always a nice relaxing time and the plays look great.
- Finish "Straw" and do a revision pass on it so that I can get it out for feedback. After that, I can start on "Nora" (which feels like it will be fun).
- Reading Hugo nominees and making my decision. Reading is important. Voting on the Hugos is important.


- yeff
kojak smile

five items make a post

1) Leaving for Las Vegas this evening, to spend four days at the American Regional Math League (ARMLwww.arml.com) as assistant coach for Northern California teams. I've been going for 6-7 years as a coach and went for 3 years (waaaay back) in high school. Always very nerdy and always very busy.

2) Went to BayCon last weekend, for about 8 hours each day. Went to a couple panels chock-full of Hugo Award neepery (always fun), a panel or two on space, a fun panel on victorian speculative fiction, another good panel on "After the Robots Take Over", cruised the dealer room and art show, chatted with people. Standard stuff.

I still feel like I'm one of younger people at a sf con. And I'm pushing fifty! I didn't see many younger attendees there. Part of it could be due to both Fanime and Clockwork Century being the same weekend in the same region. But I also wonder if SFF fandom is really aging, or if it's just my perception.

I took my daughter (14 years old) with me. She had fun in the craft room and at the "Geek Girls" panel, but said there wasn't much there to appeal to her. There weren't too many other kids her age around. The Teen Room was a few computers set up for gaming (and was usually virtually empty). So she was ready to go after a few hours both days - I talked her into staying a little longer and she would read a book while I went to my sessions.

On the drive back home on Sunday we talked about what sort of panels and guests and activities might happen at a "YA Con". It's not substantially different from the current con, just with items that would appeal more people in the 11-21 age range. With a smaller admission fee (perhaps $30 for 1 or 2 days). Also with a "Parent In Tow" admission fee, and you set up a coffee/snack bar with wifi next to the book dealers all for parents. Or have some panels that are parent-oriented.

It's an intriguing concept, but I don't have the resources or SF group to make it happen. I do plan to take her to some of the local cons that draw more youth attendees (Sac Anime, Sac Comic Con) and see what the difference is. There are a ton of SFF fans out there, of all ages and cultures and groups. I think they could all enjoy conventions and bring more people into the con culture and fandom.

3) Writing proceeds veeeeeery slow. But it proceeds. I'm in the "muddle in the middle" that writers talk about with novels. Yet I'm writing a short story! That's what happens when you only make 1-3 hours/week to write. It takes forever and seems to drag on.

4) Have started working through Hugo nominees and have made my voting decision in about 5-6 categories (art, dramatic presentation, a couple others). I'm hoping to get into the story categories this weekend as I can make time.

I'm being more liberal about the use of No Award than in my past voting. When looking into past nomination results, I realized that voters use No Award all the time. For any given winning work or person, between 5% and 20% (!) of voters ranked No Award above the winner. So I'm going to use it now and in the future to demark "I don't think this work is good enough, in my opinion, to get a Hugo." But I haven't taken a straight anti-puppy position on anything, even if I do disagree with their conspiracy-based worldview and organized-bloc-voting methodology (and I *really* disagree with the RP on both counts).

5) Finished off the Cowboy Bebop episodes a while back. *Really* enjoyed them. Wish there were more. Started on Neon Genesis Evangelion (which, in one poll, was the only anime to rank above Cowboy Bebop). NGE is darker, more dramatic, more histrionic at times, but after five episodes I'm in for the run and intrigued to see where it's going.

- yeff
yeff yahoo avatar

a very short "state of the state that is me"

Real Life and Work have kept me very busy, without much time for posting or even general Intertubez action.

But, since this LJ is as much my online "what's up with me" journal as it is a public communication method I want to post a short "state of the state" summary so I and others who read this LJ know I haven't Fallen Off The Face Of The Earth.

No notes on Real Life and Work, but notes on the things that I often blog about here.

- Writing

More on this in a detailed post, but here's a summary. Many stories have come back, and need to go out again in their continued attempt to find a home. One story, the Giant Panda story, has been revised and goes out to the crit group for next week's meeting. I've started another story, which has one of my favorite titles in a while even if I haven't yet figured out what it means. The struggle to infuse deeper character into stories continues, in as much time as I can allot for it.

- Movies

Saw Star Trek, really liked it as a reboot of the franchise, but had nitpicks and Big Issues with it. To be covered in a future post, perhaps after I see it again.

- Fitness

Problems with hamstrings and my right hip caused me to lay off footy, and off core class, for a while. But it feels like the bod is getting better so I'll hopefully be back in action.

- Baycon

Alas, will probably not be attending Baycon. C has to work that whole weekend, so it's me and the kids and I'm not really up for dragging them on a 2.5 hour drive to the Bay Area and paying a bunch of cash so they can sit around a con and be disinterested, then driving back. Who knows, they might have fun, but I've learned that long drives are the killer for me.

- iPhone

Love it. I haven't even put apps, notes, calendar, or music on it and I love it. It's an excellent piece of technology, the things I have used (phone, text msgs, email, internet) work fantastically, and I'm very impressed.

That's that. More later when the time arises. For now, back to it!
yeff yahoo avatar

Memorial Day Weekend

I'm hanging out at the house of my sister-in-law and her family, in Santa Cruz, and tomorrow morning I'll be heading back over the hill to go to Baycon.

Today was fun. We all got up late, grabbed treats and coffee for breakfast, then went to go see "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (review coming later). Bumped around the house for a bit on what turned out to be a cloudy, cool, damp day (rare for Sacramento), then I packed up some clothes and headed out to Santa Cruz.

Tomorrow it's up early, over to Baycon, writing workshop session from 9 am to noon, lunch with a couple VP alums, hit a few sessions, then head back to Sacramento in the early evening.

Monday I'll be taking the kids to the Sacramento County Fair where we'll ride rides until we're dizzy and eat fair (junk) food. In that order, too, because the reverse order is not a good idea.

And that's my Memorial Day weekend. What's everyone else doing?
bald man thinking

in which I critique a couple stories for BayCon

My critiques of stories for the BayCon writing workshop are done. I sometimes wish that con workshops would ask about critiquing preferences because it seems that, again, I'm not sure if my critiques will be helpful to these stories.

I'm a short story person, and I tend towards science fiction and modern fantasy. But it seems that, at con workshops, I always get novels. And these novels are almost always classic fantasy ("high fantasy") with kings and queens and princesses and medieval settings and dragons and quests.

It's not a part of the genre I normally read, and they're novels, so I don't know if I can be any help. I end up concentrating on craft issues (text, dialogue, description) and talking about my opinions of how a novel and a fantasy story should start. There's a decent chance I'm way off base on this stuff.

I'd just like to get a couple short stories in a more familiar genre. Maybe next time. I'll be interested to see how the session goes overall.
yeff yahoo avatar

my BayCon 2008 workshop critique session

I received my info about my critique session for the BayCon writing workshop.

The professionals are: Kevin Murphy, Wanda Kurtcu, Gerald Nordley, and Dierdre Saoirse Moen.

My fellow victims critiquees are: Gwen Dandridge and Martin Young.

I'm bringing "The Reality of Space" (formerly called "Real Space"). I just re-read the manuscript and, while there's some klunky parts (and some hideous grammar/spelling errors that I missed), I think it holds together fairly well and has some nifty bits. I'll be interested to see how the session goes.

Here's the funny thing: Out of my nine con critique sessions (2 Potlatch, 3 Norwescon, 3 Orycon and now Baycon), Gerald Nordley has been in three of those panels. We just seem to get matched up. That's fine with me, he's very nice and gives good feedback. I'm very thrilled to have him critiquing "The Reality of Space" because he knows space travel so well.

I met Dierdre at the Orycon Open Reading and Critique sessions, so it will be good to have her feedback again.

Should be fun! The session is the morning of Sunday, May 25 from 9 AM to noon. Ugh. Early Sunday morning. I hope everyone is awake after Saturday night parties.