Contober – K.O.

Cross-posted from my other Blog, Cosplay Calamity. Normally I like to keep the two subjects separate, but I feel that my experiences with the Geek Market are worth sharing with writers in the Ottawa-Montreal area who might be thinking of getting a table.

OH THANK GOD IT’S OVER.

*falls onto face with a groan*

With the end of Geek Market, Contober’s complete. 3 Con/Con-like events in three weeks. Sweet Jesus Murphy I’m tired.

naps

Geek Market Recap

Oh my god, so not worth it for me. I really wish the Charities the best, and hope that it was a worthwhile fundraiser for them. Kudrel, Mirror and I ended up doing two turns at the green screen photo booth to raise money, with Sunday being more successful.

However.

I won’t be back next year

Due to miscommunication, double standards, and chain-headaches in arranging everything, it’s just not worth it. Especially after setting aside writing and other events to do this.

Besides, I’m pretty sure I’m blacklisted anyhow. Somehow asking why I was the only cosplay guest to be charged for the table (out of 6 who were also all selling items, two of which where NOT volunteering) seems to warrant being told “[I] can hate” the organizer if I want.

Hate? No. Disgruntled? Very. I never made it personal, I just wanted to be on equal footing with everyone else. Apparently the other jewelry vendors ‘flipped out’ when they heard another jewelry maker was coming in.

OH HEY, HOW DID THEY HEAR THAT? So apparently the ‘curation process’ is curated by other vendors. Now you know.

So! I won’t be back, even as a customer, but I do wish the event well. It’s a great idea, but there’s some big obstacles in the way of it becoming truly successful:

  • No ATMs in the show floor. No signs to the nearest ATM
  • Paid parking + Paid Entry
  • Announcing there will be discounts on Sunday, before Saturday has even happened
  • handing out coupons but not warning the vendors more than an hour in advance.
  • Lack of Attendance
    • The estimation was to have 5 000 attendees, the generous estimate of what we had was maybe half that.
  • Poor communication.
    • The contract we signed offered us two 10 x 10 booths.
    • Then we were told we would have an end artist table, with 2 4ft tables and 2 8ft tables
    • then I had to pay 50$ for said artist table and change what I was selling. (no one else did. Sub point: questionable curation process?)
    • When we arrived there were 2 6ft tables. We had to ask for the extra two 4ft tables and then for enough chairs.
    • Receiving angry phone calls for packing up early Saturday, and being told that it was in our contract (The one that promised two booths for free) that we couldn’t. It wasn’t.
    • No offer for the money spent on the table when I brought up the double-standard issue. Instead, I was told that it was Mirror’s fault and I could hate the organizer or accept the apology. There wasn’t actually an apology, and I was there for one of the phone conversations Mirror had with the organizer and was forwarded the emails discussing the issues. It wasn’t Mirror’s fault.

I hope the other vendors had a better experience, because the idea is worthwhile and the charities can really use the extra funding. You can find links to them below.

Distress Centre: Crisis response and support, as well as training to help people get back on their feet.

Jer’s Vision: an initiative to eliminate transphobia, homophobia and encourage diversity in youth.

Kid’s Help Phone: Sometimes kids and teens need someone to talk to. This gives them someone safe who wont’ judge them. Think of the kids.

Also, please, PLEASE check out the charity below. It’s near and dear to my heart and often falls into the shadow of it’s bigger, Pinker, cousin.

Ovarian Cancer Canada

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Contober – Round 1

Tonight begins Can-Con, which I’ve been blabbering about for the last week and a bit. I’m part of my first panel ever this evening: “So this is your first [Lit] Con” at 7pm. I would invite all two of my readers to come, but Mom’s already got plans (HI MOM).

Friday

 I’ll mostly be putting around after my panel and saying hi to folks I haven’t seen in a while, as well as then kicking off the unofficially official “Beers with Writers/Fans/Hockey Enthusiasts” at the Royal Oak on Kent at Slater. Then there’s the Chizine party before I stumble home, exhaused.

Saturday

Saturday morning I’ve got some panels I want to hit up, as well as the local Bridgehead for my fix of caffeine water.  quantum

The schedule currently says I’ll be in two places at once at 5pm. I would if I could, but unfortunately I’m still working out the kinks of quantum vibration. Luckily my friend (and lovely critique group member) Mary Pletsch has taken over my spot so I can do the Multiculturalism panel. YAY MARY. I’D LINK IF YOU HAD A WEBSITE. GO MAKE ONE.

After that I thought I was scot-free, able to run amok through the con as usual. But no.

You may have read about the impending Doom on my friend Marie Bilodeau’s page about deaths by a thousand papercuts to the eyes, dervishes of sharply folded general use paper, or college rule.

Oh, the Calamity! Oh the humanity! (although if a paper airplane combusts into a large fireball I’m not sure if I’d be more impressed, or concerned).

Sunday

Probably wander in a zombie-like state, muttering about NYCC.

Shit. So much to sew.

PS –

MARIE YOUR SITE KEEPS RANDOMLY OPENING WINDOWS ON ME. WTF IS THIS BLACK MAGIC?

marie

 

Con Manners Matter

cancon-logoHey all!

Can-Con’s coming up in about 3 sleeps. YAY. Cons are amazing to meet other fans, writers and fellow Fandomers. And in order to make it the best Can-Con it can be I thought I’d review some Common Sense Con Manners Guidelines.

It’s a pretty short guideline. It’s pretty much just one rule, really.

DBAA  – Don’t Be An Asshole.

Let’s review in some role play situations:

  1. You feel like someone isn’t as big a fan of your fandom as you are? – DBAA. Ask how they got into the fandom, there’s probably common ground.
  2. Someone younger asks who Heinlein is? DBAA. Tell them he wrote Starship Troopers. Then, maybe, warn them about the incest thing.
  3. Someone older poo-poos Video Games? DBAA. Would you kindly tell them about how Video Games are telling interesting stories these days?
  4. Someone who is a visible minority mentions that they are upset about lack of diversity?DBAA. Listen to them. Especially if you are white and/or male.
  5. Someone gets a fact wrong? DBAA. Wait until they’ve finished speaking. Gently correct them, preferably not in front of an audience.
  6. You see a cosplayer? DBAA. Ask for a pcicture if you’d like to take one. Don’t comment on the body type, or any aspects other than to
    1. ask how they made it
    2. compliment them on how good it looks
    3. if they’re a child pretend they are the real character.
  7. You want to hug a lady who isn’t interested? – DBAA. Shake her hand instead. Then let go when she does.

And if someone is antagonizing you, remember not to feed the Trolls. Just go to a staff/volunteer/security and inform them what is happening and they will take care of it.

Happy Can-Con-ing! I’ll be talking more about how best to experience your con at my panel “So this is your first con” this weekend, Friday at 7pm.
Hope to see you there.

Good News Everyone!

Awesome stuff has been happening over the last week and I thought I’d share with you fine folk. As well, there’s Can-Con coming up which will be equally awesome and you can find my schedule (such as it is) below.

Writers of the Future – Q3 Hono[u]rable Mention!

I’m pretty happy about this. I mean, it’s still my first year being ‘out’ as a writer, writing stories for submission and going out and meeting other writers like a big girl. But… I’ve put in hours. I’ve been a writer in the real sense of ‘I write’ since before I knew how to actually make my letters. (Sorry mom.) 

But in all seriousness, I have been writing for hours every day for nearly the last ten years. It’s kind of exciting to see that I’ve wound up at a place where the stories I write and how I write them are fairly interesting to other people.

So yeah, I’m pretty pleased.

ALSO.

Can-Con.

I’m going to be a panelist, awh yeah!

Friday at 7pm – “So this is your first [Lit] Con!” with Kate Heartfield, Geoff Gander, Nicole Lavigne and Natasha Bertrand. Look out for comparisons to the popular Comic Cons and Anime Cons and me wondering often what the hell is with the ribbons. I still don’t get it.

Saturday at 5pm – “Multiculturalism in Science Fiction” with Matthew Johsnon, Yves Menard, David Hartwell (!!!) and Jean-Lousis Trudel. 

Saturday ALSO at 5pm – Critiquing Groups. This is a lie, I actually have a good friend Mary Pletsch taking my place who writes awesome things and puts up with my poop jokes and ‘dumb reader’ moments in our own crit group. She’s pretty awesome and if it wasn’t ast the exact same time as my Multicultural panel I’d totally encourage you to go see her. But it is. So come to the Multicultural panel instead.

DO IT.

Also! Whenever people are bored, looking for food, or between events, check out the Royal Oak that’s just on the same block as the Minto Suites Hotel. There’s an informal ‘beers with writers” going on all weekend because as much as I’d like to arrange something all official-like I just don’t have the time this year. Next year. 

Saturday at 8pm – I will somehow be involved with Marie Bilodeau’s Paper airplanes. I don’t know how yet but the word ‘goon’ was mentioned.

Sunday – Recovery and trying to sober catch up on sleep in vain before work Monday.

Con-tober and Nano-vember

Oh Sweet baby Jesus I’m about to not sleep for a month. 

Contober

So I do costuming as well as writing, which is eating up most of October with a trip to NYC for New York Comic Con (although I will definitely be trying to seek out writers and books), followed by the Ottawa Geek Market where I’ll be selling jewelry and things, and probably harassing people to go to Marie‘s table and buy books.

Can-Con logo

But before ALL of that, I’m going to this local con called Can-Con. it’s no big deal, just y’know, hosting the Auroras this year, and has a kind of awesome science track.

I’ll also be a panelist for the first time ever, covering the below:

  • So it’s your first Con
  • Multiculturalism in Science Fiction.

Excuse me while I go panic. But hey, I can totally sleep in November right?

nanowrimo logo

NOPE.

 

Youthanizing SFF

The days since WorldCon have been pretty interesting, not because I was back home and back to work, (cue MST3K ‘yay…’) but rather because of the discussion that’s popped up on both writer blogs, and then twitter about World Con and the lack of diversity. It’s not just a POC (People of Colour) issue, though that’s a huge chunk of it, it’s also an age issue.

I regularly go to cons, in fact I write another blog, Cosplay Calamity, that deals with my costuming and adventures attending the Anime, Comic and Game Con circuit. I’d been to Ad Astra earlier this year, but I think it didn’t really sink in how DIFFERENT the two worlds of Cons are until World Con.

I will explain how different with a visual aid:

How I feel at Conventions

Anime/Comics/Gaming

Worldcon/Ad Astra/SFF

How-do-i-download-an-internet incredulous-baby-meme

I make light of it, but as someone who’s in her mid-twenties I get teased for being a ‘Grannie’ at one circuit and getting carded at the other. Not that I particularly mind, really.  But one of these con types is regularly packed, with hours-long line ups to get your pre-registration pass, while the other’s dealer room was empty, quiet and the aisles wide enough to get around the abandoned mobility scooters left there.

Now don’t get me wrong, I had a great time. I met tons of other authors, all of whom were more established, editors who were working as such full time and even the odd Agent who I quietly hassled in my Canadian way to get a card. (I’m sorry, thank you). But reading the various blogs and #DiversityinFF tweets, I realised that all this I did outside the con proper.

I went to one panel, one reading and then did a bit of shopping and got a book signed by my friend Marie Bilodeau. Everyone I met I did by hanging out in the lobby bar, going to room parties or stalking following people I’d met earlier and latching onto them lamprey-like to suck out their networking skills introducing myself to their contacts.

Sea Lamprey

This is my ‘networking’ face.

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