MALCon 2017 Panel Schedule

Myths & Legends Con 2017 hits the Ramada in Northglenn, CO on Friday,  August 4th, and wraps up on Sunday, August, 6th. Here is my official MALCon panel schedule. The room names are in parentheses.

Friday, August 4, 2017
5:00 PM: Unsung Villainesses and Heriones of Fandom (Serenity)
Bryan Fields, Tonya L. De Marco, Stace Johnson
Starting with Professor McGonagall, who are some of the great unsung heroines and villainesses of fandom?.

10:00 PM: Building and Cultivating Your Creative Community (Helms Deep)
Melanie Unruh, Sarin Tatroe (Sariochan Arts), Veronica Calisto, Stace Johnson
How do you find people with shared creative energies to build community that inspires and helps you grow as an artist, author, musician, crafter, etc? Learn how others have found and built safe, creative communities with a spirit of helping one another thrive.

—- —- —-

Saturday, August 5, 2017
2:00 PM: Wish You Were There: Worldbuilding (The Shire)
Amalie Howard, Sean Patrick Fannon, Veronica Calisto, Stace Johnson
There are two kinds of worldbuilding: the kind that describes the story’s world, and the kind that makes you wish you were there. Authors discuss the difference, and offer tips and techniques to help you bring your own fictional worlds to life.

4:00 PM: Serenity vs. Firefly: The Audience Quiz Bowl Game (Helms Deep)
Ana MacDonel, Pam Walker, Stace Johnson
Do you know more about Serenity and Firefly than your friends? Now is your chance to find out how much you know in this family-friendly and fun game where deep knowledge is pitted against recall speed.

6:00 PM: Verse in the ‘Verse: Poetry and the Firefly Universe (Kings Landing)
Stace Johnson, Bryan Fields
Readings of fan poetry, impromptu Firefly poetry, and any poetry based on Firefly topics. Bring your material to share or provide prompts to the panelists.

7:00 PM: Relationship, Sexual, and Gender Diversity in Fandoms (Helms Deep)
Catherine Winters, Layman Kingsford, Veronica Calisto, Stace Johnson
Sometimes representation of diverse relationships styles, sexualities, and genders is overt in fandoms, and other times they are fan created. What are some examples of non-cis/heterosexual/monoamorous relationships we see and are these characters authentic and fairly represented?

9:00 PM: Epic Rap Battles of Literature! (Helms Deep)
Jason Henry Evans, Thomas A. Fowler, Stace Johnson
Two teams go head to head in a rap battle where the topics are Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, Lord of the Rings, and more. Fight!

—- —- —-

Sunday, August 6, 2017
10:00 AM: Polyamory and Non-monogamy in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Terre d’Ange)
Jacqueline Koyanagi, Vivian Caethe, Stace Johnson
Panelists will review SFF genre fiction throughout the decades with non-monogamous and polyamorous themes and how they have influenced current lifestyle trends.

11:00 AM: Lord of the Rings: Myth or Mythopoetic (Helms Deep)
Aaron Michael Ritchey, Andrew Hallam, Stace Johnson
Tolkien’s works are often referred to as modern myth, but are actually mythopoetic. Our panelists explain the difference and how Tolkien fits into each.

Myths & Legends Con 2016 – Panel Schedule

MALCon 2016 is just around the corner — like, four days away! Here is my official MALCon panel schedule for those who are interested. It’s going to be a busy con! The convention will be taking place at the Ramada in Northglenn, CO, just off 120th and I-25, from August 12 through August 14. The items in parentheses are the room names where the panels will be convening.

Friday, August 12, 2016
7:00 PM: Critique Groups: Care and Feeding Without Getting Your Hand Bitten (Lawrence, KS)
Christopher Katava, J.A. Campbell, Stace Johnson
Many (most?) established authors will recommend “the right” critique group for aspiring writers. What are some of the things to look for and pitfalls to avoid? Be wary and be wise by knowing how to get yourself into the right company.

9:00 PM: Polyamory and Non-monogamy in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Serenity)
Emily Godhand, Nancy Kay Clark, Stace Johnson, Tanya Hixson
Panelists will review SFF genre fiction throughout the decades with non-monogamous and polyamorous themes and how they have influenced current lifestyle trends.

10:00 PM: Verse in the ‘Verse: Poetry and the Firefly Universe (Nevernever)
Stace Johnson
Readings of fan poetry, impromptu Firefly poetry, and any poetry based on Firefly topics. Bring your material to share or provide prompts to the panelists.

—- —- —-

Saturday, August 13, 2016
9:00 AM: Science Fiction or Science Fact (Serenity)
Brian Ziman, Stace Johnson, Veronica Calisto
How to make Sci-Fi more believable. The Plausibility of Sci-Fi concepts found in places like Firefly, Doctor Who and others.

11:00 AM: Commission Work: Designing Others’ Visions (Lawrence, KS)
Kathryn Renta, Sarin Tatroe, Stace Johnson, Tawny Fritz
Why is it so hard to design for someone else’s vision? Why have some of us given up on commission work all together?

12:00 PM: Writing in the 21st Century: What can we do now that we couldn’t do before? (The Shire)
Aaron Michael Ritchey, Stace Johnson, Tonya L. De Marco
Are there topics, characters, or situations that we can write about now that were taboo or forbidden in the past?

3:00 PM: Heroes and Monsters: What Separates the Two? (The Shire)
Paul Lell, Stace Johnson, Tonya L. De Marco
In modern and ancient times, there are figures who straddle the lines, being both monstrous and heroic. What separates the two; is monstrousness something characters are born to or do they have a choice; and are heroes those who are born to it or do they transcend their own monstrousness to become great.

6:00 PM: Story in an Hour (Serenity)
Carolyn Kay, Lou J Berger, Stace Johnson
Panelists and the audience will collaborate in a one-hour fun adventure, outlining a new story together.

10:00 PM: Incorporating Familiar Yet Larger than Life Characters into Fictional Worlds (Helms Deep)
Stace Johnson, Tonya L. De Marco
Writing fictional worlds means creating characters and situations to keep the reader engaged, but where is the balance? How to incorporate larger-than-life characters that are relatable yet interesting.

—- —- —-

Sunday, August 14, 2016
9:00 AM: Learn to Love Your Writing (Serenity)
Christopher Katava, Kevin Frost, LJ Hachmeister, Mike Cervantes, Stace Johnson
Everyone is their own worst critic. Stop worrying and love your writing: a motivational panel. How to stop hesitating because you feel you work isn’t “good enough” and put words on the paper.

12:00 PM: Marketing for Writers (Serenity)
Aaron Michael Ritchey, Kimberly Kennedy, Stace Johnson
Don’t publishers handle all that marketing mumbo jumbo? In this booming era of indie authors, hybrids, and small presses, what does it take to get your name out there? How does a writer market him or herself?


Liking the New Blog

So far, I’m really liking the new blog format. I’ve been able to customize it some to get rid of the stuff I didn’t really want, I’ve been able to add other things, and I’m considering playing around with the default skin to incorporate the blog into my regular site design. First, though, I should probably see if I can import all my old blog entries into this one. There’s not much future in continuing the exercise if I can’t do that.

I’ve also been working on websites for a couple of other people, and I’m pleased to say that I’m really happy with the way they are turning out.

I did just notice that my timestamp is an hour off. I must have specified the wrong time zone somewhere …

We’re supposed to get another half a foot or so of snow tomorrow. We just dug out of the one-two punch of what has become known as the “Holiday Storms of ’06.” I don’t mind the snow, personally. It’s nice to have it again, frankly. I grew up with lots of snow in Durango, and it brings a smile to my face to see piles of snow taller than I am in my front yard. This is Denver, though, and snow never hangs around here for long. By this time next week, I suspect that all of the snow from tomorrow’s storm will be gone, and much of the snow still on the ground from the Holiday Storms will be gone, as well.

As one of my resolutions from a few days ago, I pledged to write every day. Although I haven’t been writing in this blog every day, I have been keeping true to my self-assigned task. Just before New Year’s, I purchased a book at West Side’s Book Annex in Denver. The book is A Writer’s Book of Days, by Judy Reeves (1999, New World Library, Novato, CA.) It consists of many essays about writing and the lifestyle changes that come with a commitment to heed the muse, as well as writing prompts for each day of the year. I’ve been dutifully using the prompts for the first four days of the year, and I’m surprised to see what has come out. So far, I have an essay, a self-reflective journal entry, a prose poem, and a piece of humor written in the style of the old Zork text adventures. Where the hell did that come from?

At this point, none of the above are suitable for publication, and I probably won’t even develop most of what I write in these exercises. But it is nice to feel the juices flowing again; it’s been a while.

Well, I’m off to do my homework.

Let it Snow

At this point, with the war coverage dominating the airwaves, perhaps half of the U.S. has heard that Denver got its worst snowstorm in nearly a century during the past week. It started on Monday night, the 17th, and continued in earnest on Tuesday. My work released us early on Tuesday, and I got home at about 3:00 to find 18″ of snow in the common driveway of our town home complex. I drove the car in as far as I could, then dug myself into the garage from there, as well as digging two neighbors into their garages.

The next morning, we had a fresh 24″ of snow, with a 48″ drift behind my garage door. The pictures below offer a roughly chronological document of the period from Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning. (Apologies for the capabilities of my cheap digital camera.)

“Doot-doot-doo looking out my front door …”

The mess I made Tuesday getting into the garage.

Wednesday morning at about 5:00 AM.  The snowflakes reflected the flash.

Wednesday morning again, snow is about 30″ at this point.

Split branch on the tree in my neighbor’s front yard.  This branch hangs over my side of the fence, and is about 6″ in diameter.

The view from my garage Wednesday morning.  The drift behind the car is about 4 feet high.  Remember, I had already shoveled this the day before.

This is the same driveway as above, with the ruts from my car covered in fresh snow.

Wednesday afternoon, after I had shoveled out my driveway and my neighbor’s.

A neighbor attempting to negotiate the narrow path we cut to the street.

Some neighbors and I cut this path so we could get out late Wednesday.  No one showed up to plow the driveways until very early Friday morning.