MileHiCon 45

MileHiCon 45 is quickly approaching, and I have yet to publish my panel assignments, so here goes!

Friday, October 18, 2013

I’m not on any panels on Friday, but I will be stopping by in the evening to participate in the Friday edition of the Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament, which takes place in the Atrium at 9 PM.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Poetry Fantastique (1PM, Wind River B) – This year’s poetry panel should be excellent.  With the ever-cheerful David Lee Summers moderating and guests like Laura K. DealRobin M. Ambrozic, and Gail Barton, you can expect some excellent verse in general, but this year, it looks like Rhysling Award winner and multiple Pushcart Prize nominee Catherynne M. Valente will be joining us.  I’m honored to share a panel with all of these people.

I don’t have any other panels that day, but I’m looking forward to visiting other panels and participating in the Saturday edition of the Hold ‘Em Tournament.  (I took second place last year. :-))

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Patent-ly Ridiculous (1 PM, Wind River B) – Patent laws are in tremendous flux, with game changers like the international Trans-Pacific Partnership pending and 3D printing becoming more accessible to the average criminal person.  What does the future hold for intellectual property and copyright law?  I’ll be joining Arlen FeldmanVan Aaron HughesThea Hutcheson, and Rebecca Lickiss on this panel.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow (4 PM, Mesa Verde A) – How do you know when a story/poem/song/novel/piece of artwork is ready to make its own way in the world? Should it even go out to the world? How true is the idea that a work of art is never truly finished, just abandoned? Join Ronnie SeagrenGary JonasCarrie VaughnRebecca LeeChaz Kemp, and me to wrap up the con.

As usual, MHC45 is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel – Tech Center, 7800 E. Tufts Ave., Denver CO.  See you there!

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card made an appearance at a Borders book store today. The store was on the geographically opposite end of Denver from me, but I wanted to make the trek anyway and get a copy of his latest Ender book, Shadow Puppets. In order to justify the journey, I decided that I had to make sure I got some trim painting done on the house. Kim and I worked on that until almost too late, then hurriedly took showers and jumped in the car.

I took copies of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead for him to sign, as well as two copies of Analog from 1978 that featured his stories. I also took along a copy of a 1977 Analog containing the story “Particle Theory” for Ed Bryant to sign, since he was handling the introductions for Scott. We were late, so I missed Ed’s introduction, but caught most of Scott’s question and answer session. The man is a very good speaker.

After the session, while waiting at the tail end of the line for Scott to autograph the books, I had a great conversation with Gary Jonas. We discussed writing groups, stories, and publishing strategies. Kim joined us, and brought up my story “Half-Lives of Quiet Desperation.” I mentioned that the story needed a lot of trimming, because it was too long for submission to most magazine markets for a first-time writer. Gary suggested that maybe the story needed to be expanded, rather than trimmed, and marketed as a novel. Of course, Gary hasn’t read the story, and might have a different opinion if he did, but this is not the first time someone has told me that. The story’s at about 9500 words already, so I could, conceivably, turn it into a novel. I don’t know if I’m up for that, though. If I did expand the story, the hinted romance between the main character and a secondary character would be the first subplot on which I would concentrate. Several people have told me that their romantic history needs to be flushed out more, but I can’t do that and keep the story short. I’ve flirted with the idea of taking their romantic tension out of the story — or better yet, leaving the tension, but not really acknowledging it. I have to admit that the idea of expanding appeals to me, though. Almost as much as it frightens me.

No matter what, I need to get some fiction writing done. I’ve been doing some musical things, and I’ve been getting lots of important housework done, but I really need to get my butt in gear and write. Then I need to stay in gear and start sending out the submissions and tracking them. Gary and I made an interesting observation: It’s much harder to get published when you aren’t sending stories out to editors.

Broaband, Bryant, and Band

I’ve been waiting to hear the words for over three years, now. “Yes sir, broadband Internet is now available in your area. Would you like to place an order?”

I felt like Fred Sanford. “It’s the big one, Elizabeth! I’m comin’ to join you honey!”

I’ve been trying to get DSL or some kind of broadband service since I before I moved into this town home. Unfortunately, I’m too far away from the closest CO (22,000 + feet) to get anything but IDSL, and with the vaporization of the DSL providers, no one will bring IDSL to a residence without charging double what ISDN would cost for nearly the same bandwidth.

But AT&T Broadband has come to my rescue. The cable upgrade in my neighborhood is finally complete, and I will be getting my cable modem Tuesday. It’s not the best alternative; I would much rather have DSL with a static IP, but I’ll take what I can get. I hesitate to leave my excellent ISP, id Communications, but there’s no way they can get me broadband at this time. At least I will lose some spam when I change e-mail addresses, though.

Ed Bryant’s birthday celebration at Stories for All Seasons was wonderful. A spate of writers showed up, including Connie Willis, Steve and Melanie Tem, Wil McCarthy, Terry Wright and Gary Jonas, to name a few. Connie introduced Ed using a “retro Powerpoint demonstration” (Ed’s words) that consisted of hand decorated poster boards, held up to spoof the milestones in Ed’s career.

Ed’s gift to the guests consisted of a raffle. The winner was awarded the dubious honor of having a character named after him or her in a future story by Ed. No one responded to the first number drawn, but we’re not sure if that was an act of self-censorship, wisdom, or if the person had actually left. At any rate, the second number called was my son’s, and I don’t think there could have been a more enthusiastic winner. He respects and likes Ed very much, and is excited that he will be appearing in one of Ed’s stories. Here’s a picture of the odd couple.

Brad the Drummer is playing with Dante Spumante again Friday and Saturday. His regular band is off this weekend, so he can make a little extra scratch. We will probably go to see them play Friday.

I revamped this Creativity Journal, in case you haven’t noticed. I hope the new format will be less daunting and have more of a journal feel. E-mail me with comments if you wish; any feedback is welcome.