Back from Context 27

I owe you two or three posts today, but you’re only going to get the one. The first one was a bit more on the pre-order for Things Don’t Go Smooth and the second was this week’s list of squees. (A third was going to be on how I write long form works, but hey… there’s only so much time in the day.) Instead, I turn to my summary on what happened at Context 27–because it’s fresh in my mind.

Having been to more science fiction and fantasy conventions now, I feel that there’s a marked difference between shows and what you can expect from them depending upon what you want to get out of the convention. I talked about this before, but I feel it’s important to note that yes, I do have a touch of social anxiety when it comes to meeting new people. I am terrible with first impressions, partly because I have a very big personality that I realize can/has steamrolled over others, but also because I’m sensitive to the mood of the room or I’m trying to be respectful of what the person I’m talking to is there to do. As I told one of my friends, I see the threads connecting folk, and I never want to feel like I’m imposing. This changes with time, yes, because as I get to make more friends who are comfortable around me it gets easier. (Which I think is true of anyone, really.) BUT, it’s also equally important that I have something to “do.” A media or gaming convention? No problem. But SF&F cons tend to have a slower pace due to their focus, which means I have to get “creative” with my time and make the most out of it while I’m there. Yes, absolutely, I can write or read, but that’s something I can do at home.

Context fits into my sweet spot because (though the hotel was probably designed by Loki) there were definitely Things To Do and it had a tight focus. I went in a day early to decompress and not be rushed; meandered over to this lovely place called Pies and Pints where I stamped “approved” on their pulled pork nachos and blueberry cider. Everyone in the general area was extremely friendly and happy to divulge their life’s story, from the Nigerian shuttle driver to the local pottery artist to the budding songwriter. It was lovely. For Day Two, registration began, I got to meet guests-of-honor Jonathan Maberry and Betsy Mitchell who were both fabulous. Then, I had a fun panel about the future of magazines with Brady Allen, crashed my friend Maurice Broaddus‘s workshop on Building Your Brand, had dinner with the amazingly talented Lucy Snyder and a heap of others, and started to get excited. As folks trickled in, I knew the guitars would too–courtesy of Lawrence Connolly, John Hornor Jacobs, and Geoffrey Girard. So we spent later Friday night in an impromptu jam, and it was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. I hope that this’ll become a regular thing, as there are loads of great musicians floating around!

Saturday was The Big Day with more panels, a signing, a reading with Janet Harriett, my Build-a-World game show, and parties. The most feedback I received about my panels was for the Writing for Media Tie-Ins with Tim Waggoner and Laura Resnick and the Build-a-World gameshow–which was a total hit! Congrats to John Hornor Jacobs, Ferrett Steinmetz, and Addie J King (e.g. Team Things Could Get Ugly) for their hair-raising six-point win over Team Responsible and Sober! Huzzah! Also on Saturday were shenanigans at the various parties. But, since what happens at Context stays at Context…

Sunday I slept in a touch, got to make my good-byes, and scrambled for the way home. Now, I am SURE I am missing something. Positive, even. (I’m also certain I am missing more someones, too… DARN IT ALL and HUGE apologies in advance!) But here’s the thing: the reason why I feel that this show is a good one to attend, is simply that there’s a strong emphasis on craft. If that’s the type of convention you want to attend? Then mark your calendar for next year’s show!

Thanks again to Steven Saus for inviting me!

Context 27! (Not to be confused with Subtext or Subcon or…)

I will be at Context 27 in Ohio this weekend along with the Very Fine Guests and panelists listed at the bottom. Yes, I will be there in Ohio, in both spirit and in flesh with mah skulls on. There will be a reading of my original work, a fantabulous game show about worldbuilding, and may *if it fits in my suitcase* even be a rousing game of Firefly RPG happening. Shenanigans!

Author Guest of Honor: Jonathan Maberry
Editor Guest of Honor: Betsy Mitchell
Special Game Writing Guests: Lucien Soulban, Jennifer Brozek, Monica Valentinelli
Participating Authors, Artists, and Editors: John Horner Jacobs, Brady Allen, Jarod K. Anderson, Leslie Anderson, Matt Betts, Diana Botsford, Gary A. Braunbeck, Maurice Broaddus, Lawrence Connolly, Carrie Cuinn, Nicole Cushing, David L. Day, Geoffrey Girard, Sarah Hans, Janet Harriett, Rosemary Laurey, Laura Resnick, Linda Robertson, Daniel Robichaud, Steven Saus, Sharon Short, Jason Sizemore, Lucy A. Snyder, Ferrett Steinmetz, Michael West, Tim Waggoner, more TBA
Participating Panelists: Marian Allen, James O. Barnes, Anton Cancre, Doug Hagler, T. Lee Harris, Addie J. King, Roland Mann, Cynthia K. Marshall, Matt Muth, Trista Robichaud, Stephen Zimmer, more TBA

New Release: Unframed The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters

Unframed Cover

Improvisation is key to running any roleplaying game. It’s an essential skill for every game master and player, and can mean the difference between a good gaming session and a great one. Until now, there hasn’t been a system-neutral book that covers improvisation for game masters from every angle. Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters is that book.

An anthology of 23 essays by a diverse group of award-winning authors, designers, and experienced game masters, Unframed gives you the tools and inspiration to improvise better, “wing it” without hesitation, and get killer results.

Inside this book you’ll find advice on improvising dialogue scenes by Robin D. Laws (Hillfolk, Ashen Stars), a look at “Just In Time” improvisation from Jennell Jaquays (Caverns of Thracia, Dark Tower), advice on listening to your players by Jason Morningstar (Fiasco, Durance), tricks for handling curveballs from Jess Hartley (Changeling: The Lost, Geist: The Sin-Eaters), tips on improv in horror games from Kenneth Hite (Trail of Cthulhu, GURPS Horror), insightful essays by the authors of the ENnie Award-winning game mastering blog Gnome Stew, and many more.

Unframed collects the wisdom of 23 top designers and gaming industry veterans, and offers 23 perspectives on improvisation. Running the gamut from old-school to indie, and featuring tips specifically for game masters as well as techniques any gamer can use to master the art of improvisation, Unframed has you covered. Whether you want to create a social sandbox, get better at doing voices, or harness the power of “yes, and,” you’ll find the improv advice you’re after in Unframed.

My essay is also included in Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters. It’s called “Building Worlds by the Seat of Your Pants,” and is geared for GMs who need to expand certain setting aspects on-the-fly. You can pre-order a copy of the book through the publisher’s website.

My “You Pick” Reading at CONvergence

On Saturday, July 6th, I will have a reading at 7:00pm during CONvergence. Will there be tears of blood? Sadly, my reading has to err on the hygenic side, so the answer to that is “No.”

However, I can do one better. You get to pick what I read. Here are the stories I’ll have on hand:

We Are Dust apocalyptic anthology

“The Button” – a Lovecraftian apocalyptic tale that fans voted me to write. It’s about a scientist who must make a terrifying choice as the end slithers ever closer.

The New Hero

“Fangs and Formaldehyde” – a vampire noir tale set in Las Vegas starring Atlas, an iconic character who helps other vampires. Somebody is hunting down other bloodstalkers. Who? And, more importantly… Why?

Don't Read This Book an anthology for Don't Rest Your Head

“Don’t Ignore Your Dead” – a very sad and sordid tale about one woman who is unable to let go of her guilt and get a good night’s sleep

OR…

???MYSTERY TALE???

An original story, un-named, never before been published… For your ears only…

My CONvergence Schedule

CONvergence British Invasion

I will be attending CONvergence as a guest this year.

Here is my schedule, though you should note that the later the panels get… The more unfiltered I shall be… In part, I think this is a mad conspiracy to access my pure decorum-less state. The later it gets coupled with a serious caffeine addiction. Oh, that’s my Kryptonite. Sure, I start out all nice and well-mannered, but Midnight beckons and my fangs pop out all by their lonesome. It’s quite terrifying, actually. Sharp, pointy teeth.

On that note, I suppose I should say: “Come if you dare?”

Friday, July 5

9:30am
Science Fiction as a Hopeful Future vs. a Cautionary Tale

12:30pm
Gaming in the ‘Verse

2:00pm
Signing – Joseph Scrimshaw/Monica Valentinelli

10:00pm
Writing a Book in Someone Else’s Universe

Saturday, July 6

7:00pm
Reading – Monica Valentinelli

11:30pm
Vampire Literature From Dracula to Edward Cullen

Next Posts




September 2014
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Have a Cup. Take a Seat. Be Social.

Archives

DriveThruFiction.com

Back to Top