(I should totally apologize to Joyce Carol Oates for that title.)
Hey! It’s been a crazy couple of months, which has made for a lonely little blog. But it’s been the good kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that comes with pictures to share.
July started with a bang (ha) with a trip to San Diego for Westercon! While I’ve been to more than a couple comic conventions, I’d never been to a science fiction convention, so I didn’t really know what to expect. All I can say is, wow! What a cool experience! While most of the comic conventions I’ve been to focus on the latest pop culture experiences, Westercon was a convention about ideas. The panel topics varied from climate change to colonies on Mars. It was brainy and scientific and I absolutely loved it. One of the highlights was being on panels with William F. Nolan and Larry Niven. (!!!) I also made some new author friends: Lisanne Norman, Fred Wiehe, Thomas Voorhies, and Jason V. Brock. Such a cool convention. If you get a chance to go next year (in Portland), definitely check it out.
Here are a couple of pics:
San Diego Comic-Con
Two days after Westercon ended, I turned around and headed back to San Diego for SDCC 2015.
Ahhh, SDCC. This year was magical to say the least. Not only were my books on display at the Random House booth:
But over the course of the con, I met Peter Capaldi, Guillermo del Toro, Tom Hiddleston, Greg Grunberg, and Curtis Armstrong. I also went to a bunch of NerdHQ panels, asked Zachary Levi to smolder, attended both Nerdist podcasts, played both Battlefront and Project Morpheus, and walked my feet off. It was amazing. Here are some pics:
Teen Lit Fest
The weekend after SDCC, I participated in Teen Lit Fest at the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert, AZ. I was just one of a dozen or so authors appearing at the event. I not only got to see a few of my friends in the AZ author community there (Tom Leveen, Bill Konigsberg, Amy Dominy, Brian Augustyn, Sara Francis-Fujimura, Mark Rude), I also made friends with new authors and chatted with a bunch of teen readers. It was a really fun event, one I hope to be invited back to in the future. Here are a couple of photos:
Payson Book Festival
And this last weekend, I traveled to northern Arizona to participate in the first ever Payson Book Festival! I shared a table with my friend and fellow author, Patricia Grady Cox, and we had a great time spending the day together up in the cool Payson pines. Here’s a pic of us at work:
The Schrödinger Sessions: Science for Science Fiction Authors
This weekend I’ll be attending the Schrödinger Sessions at the Joint Quantum Institute a the University of Maryland. Holy guacamole, I’m getting a crash course in quantum mechanics! If I’m not too busy entangling my brain with quarks, I’m going to post some blog updates. We’ll see. If not, a full recap and pics when I get back.
WHILE YOU WERE GONE Book Launch!
Thanks for being on this journey with me!
Happy New Year!
How’s 2014 treating you so far? Around here, it’s been swell. I spent the first day of the new year reading, doing some web design work for the Class of 2k14 and counting down the minutes to the new season of Sherlock.
(Did you see it? At first I was like *gasp* and then I was like, AHHH! and then I was like, Whoa. I’ll tell you one thing: between The Day of the Doctor, The Time of the Doctor and The Empty Hearse, I’m emotionally spent.)
Anyway, back on topic. 2014.
With my first book coming out this year and a slew of other writing projects in the works, the word I’ve chosen for 2014 is…
Let’s do this.
Blissfully exhausted, Trish and I traipsed into Sunday, the final day of San Diego Comic-Con 2013.
We had chosen not to camp out in the Hall H line to see the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary panel. We’d heard there had been people lined up since early Saturday afternoon. Ugh! Had we decided line up, we wouldn’t have been able to attend the Nerdist Podcast with Matt Smith the night before. So we felt okay with our choice.
Still, there was a Doctor Who autograph lottery Sunday morning and we thought, Why not try? So we lined up at 6am for our shot. Made some friends with others in line and then when the time came, tried for a signing ticket.
The autograph lottery lines are a special kind of torture. Lining up for hours and then climbing numerous sets of stairs for a chance to stand in a smaller line where you get to reach into a bag in hopes of getting a ticket with a stamp on the back. It really is a gamble. Our first time through, we didn’t win. Our second time through, they were out of tickets. Sigh. Ah well. At least now we knew what the lottery was like. The experience made us all the more happier we’d been able to go the to Nerdist Poscast the night before. (Thanks, Star Dot Geek, for the ticket!)
We briefly considered bribing people for their bathroom passes in Hall H so we could slip into the Doctor Who panel, but instead we were distracted by John Barrowman. Had to stop for a hello and a photo. We also stopped by the Random House aisle, where I met some of the marketing team who will be working on the marketing plan for my books. SO exciting! They mentioned maybe me doing ARC signings at next year’s con. Here’s hoping!
Next we went upstairs and enjoyed the X-Men comics panel (one of the panelists was Paul Cornell!!) and Ben 10 panel, before scoring perfect seats for the Spotlight on Neil Gaiman panel.
I feel quite spoiled, getting to see Neil Gaiman twice in less than a month. And this time it was hosted by Jonathan Ross!
The panel was brilliant. Very relaxed and fun. Neil and Jonathan talked about everything from Neil’s hair to movie plans that Neil isn’t allowed to say anything about. One of the best panels we saw during the entire con.
After, we rushed over to the Sails Pavilion in hopes of catching the tail ends of a couple of author autograph sessions. SM Wheeler signed the ARC of Sea Change I’d won during the Tor panel at Phoenix Comicon. Very cool. And then we ran over to Patrick Rothfuss’ table.
They’d capped the line and wouldn’t let me in. I was sad. Very sad. I watched him signing books, and thought very sad thoughts. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Trish convinced the young guy guarding the line to let me in! Yay, Trish!! Thank you!!
I had a really wonderful chat with Patrick. He is a very kind and generous soul. I am so grateful for the chance to connect with him. Really meaningful moment. Thank you, Patrick.
We left the Sails Pavilion in a total Con fog, our geeky hearts full of joy. It had started raining, but that didn’t dampen our spirits at all. We boarded the trolley for Old Town and took a final pic of the Convention Center in all its glory.
We decided to have one last adventure to cap off the weekend, and did a ghost walk of Old Town San Diego. What a blast! We got to see the sights at night and learn the history of our hotel and surrounding area.
The morning after our first real night at the Cosmopolitan (Friday night), Trish and I had commented how noisy the night had been, how we’d heard footsteps outside our door. We didn’t think anything of it, though, until our ghost tour guide asked us if we’d heard them. We said yes and that we’d assumed it was our neighbors (though we always got home very late, around 2am) and the hotel was quiet. The guide said next time we heard the footsteps to look outside our door, there’d be no one there. Eeeeek.
Monday morning, we enjoyed scones on our porch outside our room, got in a taxi for the airport and said goodbye to another amazing adventurous weekend.
Thank you, San Diego Comic-Con for an incredible time. We’ll see you again next year!
This past weekend was Phoenix Comicon ’13.
It was an incredible weekend. Much geeky fun was had by all. Even up to the point when we all had to evacuate the Phoenix Convention Center.
Yep. That’s right. Evacuate.
I was sitting in room 132, listening to Michael Stackpole, James A. Owen, Peter Orullian, Terry Brooks, Brandon Sanderson, and Timothy Zahn talk about worldbuilding. My husband and children were on the other side of the building, learning how to build a dalek. And then, just as the worldbuilding panel was finished up, the lights on the ceiling flashed and a siren (that sounded a bit like the alarm on the Enterprise) sounded. We all looked at each other. What do we do? Well, luckily, there also came an automated female voice instructing us to leave the building in an orderly fashion at once.
So we did.
Here’s a video fo how those sirens sounded:
Brandon Sanderson was still talking about writing as he left the worldbuilding panel, and I got to ask him a couple of questions. Very cool.
But the very not cool part was that my phone battery had died just moments before the sirens sounded.
I had no way of getting a hold of my husband and children. Sad me. (I wasn’t too worried, though. I knew they couldn’t be far.) I asked the man standing next to me (not Brandon Sanderson) if I could borrow his phone. He said yes and I made contact with my hubby. Awesome! I told him where I was (just outside the doors) and he said he’d come to me.
But then security said everyone had to move across the street. And so the plan hubby and I made to meet was thwarted. Not awesome.
I asked a young woman passing me if I could borrow her phone to call my husband. She scowled at me (actually scowled) and said no. I was a bit shocked, really, because this was Comicon and people are Comicon are so cool. Except for her. She was not cool.
Then, I saw a woman in TARDIS socks and a Who shirt and I approached her with confidence. “May I please borrow your phone to call my husband?” I asked, and explained my phone battery was dead.
She said yes. She even dialed the number for me.
You know why?
Because Doctor Who fans RULE.
After I made contact with hubby and told him to stay where he was I was coming to get him, I thanked her profusely and pointed out my own Doctor Who shirt.
We smiled at each other, knowing inside how much better the world would be if everyone was a Doctor Who fan.
I was soon reunited with my husband and children, thanks to the kindness and generosity of the woman in TARDIS socks.
Dear Woman in TARDIS Socks who Let Me Use Your Blackberry to Contact My Family:
Thank you for being awesome.
Congratulations, Baylee! Enjoy your new Time Lord mug. May you drink many delicious beverages in good health.
Thanks to all who entered and shared theories about who Clara might be. Hooray for only one more day until we (hopefully?!) find out what The Moff has up his sleeve.
Happy Who everyone!