Charlotte’s Farewell Post as Director, Fantasy Lit, Dragon Con

Posted on 7 June 2018 | No responses

With Permission, I am posting this without comment so that it can still be seen. It had originally been posted to the Fantasy Literature at Dragon Con Facebook page, which was taken down by Facebook. For good reasons, Charlotte did not want to post this on her personal wall, so I am giving it a home here.

Hi, everyone. It’s Charlotte.

Effective immediately, I am no longer the Fantasy Literature Fan Track Director.

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Categories: GeekLife

My Resignation from Dragon Con

Posted on 7 June 2018 | No responses

The below is my resignation as Director’s Second of Fantasy Literature at Dragon Con, as I sent it in. For some quick context:

  • The prior director had acted out of line and was due some form of censure, along the lines of public apology and a warning to chill.
  • Instead of a transparent process, she was fired without being allowed to defend herself, and before she was even informed that she was being fired, they were soliciting potential new directors.
  • The “greater crime” for which she was fired was that she was vocally expressing that she would not provide a platform for bigotry and hate in her programming.

So, without further adieu, and with the intent to allow this to be shared easily across social media platforms (I’d already shared it on Facebook), my letter of resignation to Dragon Con:

To: Director, Fantasy Literature
CC: Sr. Director, Fan Track Operations; Dragon Con Board of Directors
Thank you for the opportunity to stay on as Director’s Second for Fantasy Literature. After a long time mulling it over, I regret to inform you that I cannot, in good conscience, continue on in this position.

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Categories: GeekLife

JordanCon 2018

Posted on 24 April 2018 | No responses

Seems I only ever post after a convention now. That’ll change one day? Who knows. I’ve realized that I’m not a “blogger” per se. But, it is a rainy day, I have the day off to recover from my vacation, so: Post-Con stuff!

JordanCon 10 was amazing, and I have to say that having an assistant director for the Writers Track has made all the difference. I have time to breathe, to relax, and to enjoy the con outside of my track room. Some highlights of the convention:

  1. We had 850ish attendees this weekend, with the vast majority showing up on Friday (Badge 700 was printed on the first day)
  2. Even on Friday, my panels had good attendance, and in what I observed (again, I thankfully was able to get out of the room for several panels), the numbers only kept going up on how many we had sitting in the room. We even had a 3/4 full room Saturday Night during the dance party and first thing Sunday Morning. Impressive achievements, if I say so myself.
  3. People like hands-on workshopy type things. We had 3 panels that directly engaged with attendees work: a 1000 word pre-submitted workshop, a 600 word pre-submitted “Slush” panel, and a Flash Fiction Writing workshop/panel. Now I have to try and decide how to balance that.

Deeper thoughts  below the break.

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Categories: GeekLife

DragonCon 2017

Posted on 6 September 2017 | No responses

Just got back from D*Con 2017. It was an amazing experience where I met new authors, visited with old friends, and had a refreshing revitalization of my sense of self that had gone too long without nourishment. I had typed up some sappy self-affirmation stuff, but y’all don’t need that. It was for me. Instead, have this wonderful bullet point list of the great times I had at con:

  • Got to be Director’s Second for Fantasy Literature this year, meaning I moderated more panels and got to take a hand in shaping the programming. I think it was a great success.
  • 5 hours of karaoke Friday night. That’s right, I ran it for 5 bloody hours. Lots of good singers. Lots of not so good singers. But everyone had fun, and that is the point.
  • Panels on the Science of Fantasy, Inaccuracies commonly seen, and Why Boob-armor needs to be less of a thing.
  • Not one but TWO great evenings at the Westin Bar meeting and chatting with writer and creative types. One of these nights included drinking “pie” that was closer to “rotgut moonshine” with Laurel K Hamilton’s posse. They are fun. The other night involved drinking with Christopher Paolini and getting ammo to taunt my track director with for years to come.
  • I only bought one thing in the dealers hall: a d20. I paid a buck-a-side, but this is no regular d20. It is a Boulder, and I could crush the skull of an unruly player no problem with it. I shall make it my boss die an name it “Curb-Stomp”. My luck, it will just roll 1s.

At the Dead-Dog party, they told us attendance topped 80k. That’s a lot of geeks, and a lot to do. And boy do I feel like I didn’t even come close to getting to do even just the things I really wanted to do. I missed the art show completely, didn’t see any gaming, and didn’t attend any panels outside of Fantasy Lit. But even for all that, I still feel like DragonCon is a chance to “come home”. For as big as the convention is, a person can make of it exactly what they will, and it will be everything you needed it to be.

Until next September Dragon Con!

Categories: GeekLife

JordanCon 2017

Posted on 25 April 2017 | No responses

Just got back from JordanCon 2017 down in Atlanta, and boy that was a blast. I have to say, I am becoming more and more happy with the way this con is growing, and with the Writers’ Track in particular. Yes, I’m biased since I run said track, but I’m still happy. I honestly don’t know what I enjoy more: seeing the aspiring writers eyes light up as they listen to the panels and have their questions answered, or the guests making having great times and making new friends and finding new readers. And now, back to the writing grindstone, all refreshed myself with creative juices.

Categories: Admin Blog

Yog’s Law

Posted on 1 May 2016 | No responses

There is a thing in writing called “Yog’s Law”, which is “All money should flow to the author.” In short, this means that a writer shouldn’t pay for any services to polish and perfect their work, especially since typically these services are scams. I am coming to realize Yog’s Law needs revisited. Because I have broken Yog’s Law, and I couldn’t be happier for it.

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Categories: Writing

On Earthsea Revisited

Posted on 8 April 2016 | No responses

So, I muscled through reading A Wizard of Earthsea. About halfway through, the generation-prior writing style stopped sticking in my craw, and honestly, it reminded me a lot of reading the old Icelandic Sagas, but I am still of conflicted thought.

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Categories: Writing

Sad Endings

Posted on 5 April 2016 | No responses

Listened to the last quarter of Hamilton on the way into work today. As always, hit me right in the feels. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do (at least some of us) enjoy amazingly sad endings? I mean, I’ve written my fair share of them, but the mechanic of why they work still kind of puzzles me.

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Categories: Writing

Evolution of Writing

Posted on 29 March 2016 | No responses

First of all: NOPE, NOT DEAD!

I’ve just spent the last two years consumed in local theatre, a disease I am not entirely recovered from yet, but there it is. On the bright side, I have finished a redraft novel “Of Brass and Blood” that takes place 5 years after the events of Tijervyn, but over in Adervyn, and has nothing at all to do with Tijervyn plot wise, probably because the story was written before Tijervyn. So yeah, redraft done, and actually in the hands of beta readers now. Feeling really good about this one, going to seek traditional publishing.

But, that isn’t what I’m writing a blog post, because “State of the Blogs” are so… well… Livejournal. Let’s get some meat, and for that, I want to muse on the craft of writing through generations. I’ll try to not get pretentious, but no promises.

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Categories: Writing

Dec 10, 2014 – Ghost Story

Posted on 10 December 2014 | No responses

The old man sat down in his arm chair and waved a hand. “Gather around, children. Grandpa wants to tell you a story.”

He waited, slowly unwrapping a mint and popping it in his mouth. The wrinkles that lined his face were cast into stark shadow by the singular lamp on the other side of the room, and he rocked back and forth in his recliner while he waited. Finally, once he was satisfied, he leaned forward.

“Grandpa has a ghost story for you.” He smiled and leaned back again. “Yes. See, once, long ago . . . .”

He stopped and furrowed his brow before shaking his head. “No, that isn’t how this story starts. Not that way at all. Ahem.”

“Not far from here, there is a town much like ours. It has all the things a town needs to be a town. Houses, for sure, and grocery stores. Churches and clinics, gas stations and stores of all kinds, dry cleaners and warehouses and even factories. What made this town special, though, was that it had only one graveyard, to the south of town. It was a curious thing, surrounded by a high, cast iron fence with points that curled inward. The gate was likewise cast iron and twisted into shapes with meanings long since forgotten. What is more, is that no one ever entered this graveyard.”

“Now, that isn’t fair to say. People did go in, for how else would people be buried? No. People entered it, but they did not do so lightly. It was on a day when people did enter it, one a day when two little boys were attending the funeral of their grandfather, that those very boys learned the truth of this hallowed ground. At the funeral parlor, there were so many people, all speaking in soft voices of how much they missed the old man the two little boys barely knew. Perhaps that was why they could see: they were not bereaved as the others. Of course they were sad the kindly old man who had given them mints was gone, but they hadn’t known him, not really. So they looked at the others, and they did not just see sadness in the eyes of their family. They saw fear.”

“When the clock struck one, the men of the family gathered in a huddle and talked in short, harsh whispers. The funeral director had to come over to them before they would finally decide whatever it was they were debating, and six of them walked with him back to the casket, where they surrounded it, three to a side, and carried it out to the hearse. The men seemed ready to leave, but the funeral director gave them a sharp glare from the driver’s bench, and they climbed onto the side of the large, long wagon. The rest of the family seemed content to stay in the parlor, but the boys’ mother did not see as they followed after the hearse.”

“Now, there is no law that forbids people from entering the graveyard. The iron gate, while latched, is not locked, and the boys knew from books and television that family were supposed to be the burial itself, too. Why had no one else came expect the six men, and them seemingly unwillingly? The boys slinked as well as one could in the heat and light of day, and they followed the procession into the graveyard. Tall tombstones lined either side of the cobbled path that lead deeper and deeper into that singular, large plot of land, and before long the boys could not even clearly see the fence. All was spires and angelic statues, urns and arches that lead to nowhere.”

“The hearse stopped near a spire with a hole before it. The men jumped down quickly from the hearse and, quickly and quietly as possible, moved the casket onto the straps that crossed over the grave. The funeral director watched, and soon as it was done, he triggered the mechanism that lowered the casket. The boys thought he mumbled something, soft and low, that could have been a blessing. Then, with a quick and practiced hand, he freed the straps from the frame, carried it to the hearse, and started it moving, even as the six men hurried back onto the sides. The hearse moved quickly now, and the boys tried to run after it, but soon it was lost to them around bends and past forks in the path.”

“The boys wondered, moving and trying not to be scared, but they had been left unknowingly behind in a place grown men fear, and they knew it. The sun continued to move, and the boys continued on, staying to the cobbled path, hoping to find their way out. Several times they found the fence, but all they say beyond it was barren plains, and no matter how far they looked in either direction, they never saw the gate.”

“As the sun became low enough to start casting long shadows from the tall grave markers, the boys found themselves somewhere familiar, but not where they wanted to be: their great grandfather’s grave. It was still open, the pile of freshly turned earth still sitting in a heap a shovel’s throw to the side. And that was when they heard the creak. It was the sound of hinges not quiet mean to be used, and it had come from the grave. Slowly, they tip-toed up to the hole and looked in, and there, looking back at them from the open casket, was the old man in his Sunday best.”

“’Hello boys, here to help fill in the hole?’ he asked. The boys stared for a moment, and then screamed and ran. And they did not stop running, following twists and turns blindly, until they at last came to the cast iron gate. The sun was just sinking below the horizon as they ran through the gate, and at that moment, they glanced back into the graveyard and saw hundred, thousands of people moving about, all dressed in their best.”

“The boys ran and ran all the way home to their worrying mother. When she asked them where they had been, they lied, saying they had snuck off to play in the park. They never spoke of that day again, but nor did they ever go back into the graveyard again, not until their dying day….”

The old man leaned back, finished with his story and sighed contently. A door opened, and an orderly looked in. “Oh, I thought I heard you talking to someone.”

“Just the children,” the old man said. “Just the children.”

The orderly smiled at the old man sitting by himself in the room and only nodded, closing the door softly behind him and leaving the man alone to his thoughts.

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Categories: Flash Fiction Writing

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