Here’s a quick run-down of my 2009 MARcon experience:
Got my badge and went to the consuite for some grubb. Talked to a couple fellow convention-goers while Samuel T. Clemmons had a Mark Twain tea party thingy. I was too deep in conversation to catch the whole thing, but that’s okay. I found it on YouTube when I got home:
At the Dealer Room, I ran into T. R. Chowdhury, who I met once before at Context 21. Since I owed her a book purchase, I bought hers and T. M. Crim’s book, Shadow Over Shandahar: Child of Prophecy. As of this date, I’m currently on Chapter 4. Pretty good so far. The writing style reminds me of Ed Greenwood a bit.
I checked out the Twilight panel before going to the panel I was on with Brian Mosteller, Rebecca Kernaghan, and David Pitstick: “As a Gamemaster, What is Your Goal?” Prior to the panel I had a conversation with a Klingon about the new Star Trek film.
People got a laugh at my idea of using a half-orc named Bubba as a cell mate to make sure a player “gets the hint” on why his character should stop causing needless trouble.
Afterwards I went and ate Sushi at the Consuite and ran into a couple people I had met two years ago at MARcon 42. Then I went to the “Con Sociology 101″ panel. Alas, I had a hard time listening due to the heavenly sight of a hot babe with some really sexy boots on – and a really, really big gun….
Then I went to the restroom, splashed some cold water on my face, and went outside for a cigarette. On my way down the hall, I encountered hotty with big gun again. Back to the restroom for more cold water.
What can I say? I love guns.
Visited the Vampires in Literature panel, mostly because I knew there’d be a few hotties dressed like vamps there. Oddly, there were only two. I decided I’ve seen enough horror panels for one night, so instead of visiting the Scared Hot panel, I had a one-on-one discussion on religion and ancient societies with a guy whose name I can’t remember. Eh, I can barely remember my own name half the time.
Smoked a couple more cigs then crashed out at the all-night movie theater. Unfortunately, I got so enamoured in the movies that I only got about 45 minutes of sleep in. Somehow I even skipped the Catacombs/Guilty Pleasures and Play Party going on across the hall from the movie rooms.
Dang, I’m such a geek….
Ate some breakfast then went to my 10 AM reading at Suite 501. Discovered it was locked. Went back downstairs to let the staff know. Ran into Nick in the elevator on my way back up, who gave me the key. Alas, only one person showed (I think his name was Steve. I met him once before at MARcon 42, so you’d think I’d have his name memorized by now. Remind me to have everyone write down their names from now on. I sooo suck at remembering names), so I just let him skim through some of my published work, and we talked about writing and publishing for about 10 minutes. Once we realized no one else was showing up, we went back downstairs. As I handed Nick back the key, he introduced me to a guy from OSU who was conducting interviews for a local radio show that’ll be hosted by NPR. I’ll let you know the date and whatnot of when it’ll air when I find out. I know it’ll be sometime this fall.
Oh yeah, prior to heading to my 10 AM reading, I went outside for a cig and had a nice conversation with a hottie dressed as a Twi’lek slave dancer. The costume was 98% body paint. Yep. Cold water time….
Now you know why I stay single.
At 11:30 I visited the “Writing and the Rest of Life” panel being done by Ross Martinek, Tracy (T. R.) Chowdhury, Charles Coleman Finlay, and Faith B. Van Horne. Learned some interesting tips.
At 1 PM, I was on the “I Have No Idea Why I’m On This Panel” panel with Evan Mill Seigling, Finlay, and Michael Z. Williamson. The goal was to figure out what three things we each had in common based on the questions being asked us. Eh, getting two out of three ain’t bad….
Immediately after that panel was my 2:30 panel, “How do You Write The Other,” with Tim Waggoner, Martinek, Andrew S. Swann, the Author guest of Honor: Simon R. Green (who I’ve dubbed “The Brit”), and Williamson. That was the best panel on that day. The Brit has a sense of humor par excellance. He can literally say something that you know will offend half the people listening, but say it in a way that’ll have you laughing too hard to even realize that you’re supposed to be offended.
Sigh. If only I could be so wittily skillfull.
Williamson, btw, is just as witty and funny in his own way. Playing off those two was what helped make me look good.
(Note: the reason I know all these names is because I have this handy-dandy little booklet in my hand to refresh my memory with)
Hanged out at the consuite, went to eat some grubb elsewhere (and get loaded up on CAFFEINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), took another smoke break, then visited the “Diseases For Your Characters” panel.
One word: MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!!!!!
Me so evil…
Missed the Tracy Chowdhury reading at 7 (Dangit!) but caught the “Practical Technology” panel halfway through. Why? I got sidetracked….
Don’t ask. My memory’s a bit hazy anyhow. Only 45 minutes of sleep, remember?
“Open Short Story Readings” at 8:30. Martinek was the moderator. Only two people showed up with stories to read. After the one guy nearly killed us over with what amounted to just a set of comedic punchlines….
Hey. At least after him, my stuff came off sounding like a pro’s.
Ate some Deli at the Consuite, and loaded up on more CAFFEINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pumped myself up with more Nicotene and went to the 10 PM “Buffy!” panel, then did the “War Stories From The Gaming Table” with Kernaghan, Alex Rodriguez, and Chowdhury at 11:30. Whether it was because of the Masquerade party or the all day/all night gaming sessions (or both), nobody but the panelists showed up. So, we all went over to where Clemmons, Martinek, and Lisa Richards were doing “Open Adult Readings”.
Guess who else showed up? Yeah, that guy with the killer stories. *shudders*
Eh, at least they were funny….
Suffice it to say, having done all that on only 45 minutes of sleep, not even the movies were enough to keep me awake.
Got up around 6:45 AM, got cleaned up and dressed in the restroom, ate breakfast and loaded up on more C & N. Caught the “Super Robots In Anime” panel because nothing’s cooler than giant robots and hotties dressed up as Anime characters….
Yeesh! Maybe I should, like, just give up on the whole being single thing….
It’s warping my fragile little mind.
Checked out the 11:30 AM panel, “In Space, Who Can Hear You Pray?” There’s something about watching an atheist and a religious person have an argument that kinda gives that same “watching a train-wreck” feel you get when watching an argument on economics between a Keynesian and a Hard Money Austrian. It just leaves you going, “Whoa….that was like, so cool…look at all that blood….”
Then I attended my 1 PM panel, “I’ll Rip Out Your Eyestalks And Stomp On Them,” with Williamson, Martinek, and Green. So yeah, you can probably already imagine how fun that panel was. After a half-hearted attempt to keep it intellectual, we basically devolved down to having the attendees make up some nasty sc-fi critters and have us figure out ways to kill ‘em dead.
Only The Brit would instead try to figure out how to have sex with the big nasties. So yeah, The Brit had us laughing our butts off the whole time.
Have I mentioned that this panel was the one con-goers claimed was the best panel of the whole convention?
After that, my last panel to visit before heading home was the 2:30 PM “Programming Brainstorming” for next year’s MARcon.
Erm, I think I got volunteered to help plan the next MARcon.
I never have learned to keep my big mouth shut….
Hey. At least, what with a Horror theme and all, MARcon 45 is GUARANTEED to be awesome!
“If All Else Fails”
by F.J. Bergmann
“In The Blood”
by Jade Smith
The beast leaps toward me.
The path opens, tangled with weeds and ancient trees. I am panting as I run. I can’t go against all I have been taught—all the memories.
Yep. Tomorrow I head to MARcon. Good thing it’s bacically right down the street from where I live (give or take a couple miles), since I might have to do the bus home – take shower – bus back shuffle while catching catnaps at the all-night movie room. There might be an all-night gaming room there too, and I haven’t gamed in, like, almost a year, so – eh, who needs sleep?
Also, to keep you all occupied while I’m incognito, Flash Fiction Chronicles will be posting an interview tomorrow. Can you already guess who it’ll be featuring?
That’s all for now. Time to head to the dayjob.
by K.C. Ball
The alarm clock glowed red in the darkness. 3:18 a.m.
Some stuttering sound had interrupted Jenny’s sleep. It wasn’t the mumble of Elliot’s television; after eight years, she hardly heard it, but there had been something. Jenny lolled at the edge of slumber. The sound of coughing jerked her awake. That was the noise!
“The Dreamer’s Lullaby “
by Megan Arkenberg
Brave willows whispering, tell me of fear,
of the cold of its clutch and the night drawing near…
The A Work In Progress podcast will be out late. I’m busy trying to cut the final episodes for The Silverblade Prophecy before MARcon. Once I have the final episodes cut, I can relax and chill before going into agent search mode (as well as working on Book II).
Two more subs have been sent. A 3rd story is in the second rounds, plus received an 11-day rejection and a 32-day rejection. I’m also getting interviewed again (WooHoo!).
And speaking of MARCon, here’s the full, complete schedule of where I’ll be at and when:
4PM – 6:59PM: Wandering around aimlessly
7:00PM-8:29PM: Panel (As a Gamemaster, What is Your Goal?) at Franklin A.
8:30PM-11:30PM: Wandering around aimlessly (perhaps doing Karaoke at the Con suite aroind 10:00? Eh, we’ll see).
11:31PM-approx. 2:00AM: Partying (maybe, preferably, but who knows? I might have to head home early before coming back in the morning)
10:00AM-11:29AM Short Story Reading in Suite 501 (possibly while hung over – unless I succeeded at the Zen of Moderation last night)
11:30AM-12:59PM: Wandering around aimlessly (while avoiding attacks from orcs, zombies, stormtroopers…maybe they don’t like my jokes?), and perhaps taking a nap somewhere in a corner.
1:00PM-2:29PM: Panel (I Have No Idea Why I’m on This Panel) – Union C
2:30PM-3:59PM: Panel (How do You Write THE OTHER) – Franklin A
4:00PM-11:29PM: Wandering around aimlessly (“rglbrgllll……brrrraaaiiinnnnssssss……”); eh, or maybe I’ll go chuck some dice for a while.
11:30PM-?: Panel (War Stories from the Gaming Table) – Champaign
10:00AM-12:59PM: Either wandering around aimlessly or sleeping in.
1:00PM-2:29PM: Panel (I’ll Pull Out Your Eyestalks and Stomp on Them) – Franklin BC
2:30PM-5:30PM: Wandering around aimlessly.
See ya’ there.
by John Hoh
Shirley, a homemaker and compassionate woman, has taken it upon herself to help feed the homeless. Her efforts seem to be working beyond anyone’s wildest dreams as each week the population at the shelter drops. Can this simple recipe be the answer to a nation’s greatest shame?