rolanni: (Default)

AsyouknowBob, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be Writer Guests of Honor at Confluence, in Pittsburgh, August 4, 5, 6.

Here's your link to Steve's schedule.

Here's your link to Sharon's schedule.

Here's your link to the Master Schedule.

Here's your link to the con's front page.

You will notice that there is a Friends of Liad breakfast scheduled for Sunday at 8:30 am in the hotel restaurant.  Despite being scheduled, this is not a convention-funded event.  It is what we called in my youth Dutch Treat, with every attendee (including Steve and me) ordering, and paying for, their own breakfast and tip.  Steve and I try to host a FoL breakfast at every con we go to, whether we GoHs, panelists, or convention members.  The Friends of Liad breakfast is. . .Well, it's most like an extended family getting together to share a meal, and news, and memories.

The Teddy Bear Tea, now, scheduled for 4:30 pm on Saturday, is a convention event.  We try to have a Teddy Bear Tea at every convention where we're GoHs, ever since it came to our attention that many fans (including Steve and me) travel with plush friends.  Sadly, though, the plushies often don't get out to the larger convention.  So, the Teddy Bear Tea is event for the plushies to come out and socialize, while their human friends chat, and sip tea, and perhaps share the histories of their plushies.  The Teddy Bear Tea is open to all plushies and their friends.

Can we get a show of hands?  Who's coming to Confluence?

*raises hand*

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

As mentioned Elsewhere, Steve and I will be Writer Guests of Honor at MarsCon in Minneapolis next weekend.  I know some folks will be coming in from Far Places (Alaska!), and some will be attending their first con, or their first con in years.  Below, is a quick idea of what we'll be doing when at the con.   Because this is not the final schedule, not all of the panelists are sorted, yet, so I've just noted which of us will be on each.

REMEMBER: This is not the final schedule.  You will get a final schedule in your registration packet at the convention.

This is Very Important: Steve and I will be hosting a Stuffed Animal Tea (aka a Teddy Bear Tea) on Saturday at, err, tea time -- 5:00-5:50.  Do plan on escorting your stuffed animal to tea.

Also! We will be hosting the Friends of Liad breakfast at 9:00 Saturday morning in the hotel restaurant.  For those for whom this is a new thing:  The Friends of Liad Breakfast is, basically, just a bunch of the family getting together for breakfast, to share gossip and clan news and basically catch up with each other.  Each person must come prepared to pay for their own breakfast, just like Steve and I will be paying for our breakfasts.  Looking forward to seeing all you early risers there!


4:00-4:50pm, Krushenko's. Panel: Psi Powers. Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
7:00 p.m.-, Mainstage. Opening  Ceremonies.  Sharon and Steve, and a Cast of Thousands
8:00-8:50pm, Re(a)d Mars. Panel: Clans and Families in Space.  Sharon Lee


11:00-11:50am, Re(a)d Mars. Massive Literary Autographing I. With: Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Michael Merriam, Kathryn Sullivan
2:00-2:50pm, Krushenko's. Fiction Reading: Sharon Lee
3:00-3:50pm, Krushenko's. Fiction Reading: Steve Miller
5:00-5:50pm, Krushenko's. Teddy Bear Tea. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, hosts
8:00-8:50 p.m, Re(a)d Mars. Panel: Relativistic Space Travel Fiction.  Steve Miller


11:00-11:50am, Krushenko's. Panel: Sharon Lee's "Carousel Tides" Urban Fantasy Series. Sharon Lee
1:00-1:50 p.m, Krushenko's. Literary Guests of Honor Interview. Polly Jo Peterson and ____, interviewers; Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
2:00-2:50 p.m., Krushenko's. Talk: Living a Science Fictional Life. Steve Miller
4:00pm, Mainstage. Closing Ceremonies, Steve and Sharon, and, yes, a Cast of Thousands.

rolanni: (what it's like)

In this case, too much.

Having finally achieved mastery of my form in the Pullman Class, I decided, naturally, to vary.  I thought that it would do no harm, and possibly significant good, if I were to make the honey-oatmeal-wheat bread that I'm partial to, and bake it in the Pullman Pan, thus creating Square Sandwich Bread.

So, I did that.  The recipe for the honey-oat bread normally makes two one-pound loaves; the Pullman Pan accommodates one really big loaf.  Things went pretty much as I expected that they would to the point where I put the bread into the oven.

With a Pullman Pan, you cover the bread for the first 25ish minutes of cooking, to keep the bread square, taking the lid off in the last 10 minutes in order to brown the top of the loaf.

When I opened the oven to take the lid off, I noticed that the bread dough had overflowed and there were curlicues of bread on the oven rack.  Not good.  I took the pan out in order to remove the lid -- and it took Steve holding the pan and me pulling on the lid to finally get it off.  The bread crust, of course, was torn.

Back the pan went into the oven for the final 10 minute browning, came out,  thumped appropriately hollow, and went onto the cooling rack.

. . .and, as it began to cool, it began to. . .sag.

Experienced bread makers will know what this means.

Yeah, not done in the middle.

So, as an experiment, for Science!, we have a success, in that we tried.  Obviously, if I wish to continue on this course, Tweaking will be required.

For the moment, then, since we're writing a book and all like that, the honey-oat will go back to being baked in its two regular bread pans, whence it emerges tasty and, more importantly, cooked through.  And I will continue to bake Pullman Bread for Steve, so that sandwiches can happen.


Writing has been going forth, with about 14,000 more-or-less usable words written in the last four days, which is, Ladies and Beans, what can happen when the calendar is clear and you turn off Facebook and Twitter.

It also helps if you know where this bit goes, because it's one of the foundation shticks that convinced you to write this book in the first place.  Run while the route goes downhill, and all like that.

For those who dote upon numbers, Neogenesis -- by which I mean the melded Part One, and the still-under-construction Part Two -- now clocks in at plus-or-minus 82,400.  Which would be more exciting news if we were looking at a 100,000 word book, but at a projected length of 130/140,000 isn't, so much.

Given the structure, I briefly flirted with SFWA's lower limit for novels and an adding machine, but I'm not sure I can make it all come out even.  And 160,000 words is a LOT of words.


Today, for the first time in a couple weeks, I go back to the gym, and hope not to collapse into a hacking heap on the treadmill.  After, there are errands, while I'm in town and all, and then home, for the midday meal, and so to work.

Tomorrow, I get my hair cut, which is Long Overdue, and then things are pretty much clear on the calendar/writing front until November 6, which, in addition to being the Death of Daylight Savings Time, is our wedding anniversary.  Not sure what we'll do about that.  Possibly put off the celebration until Tuesday (since we Early Voted), and run away from the news, upcountry.

End of the week is Comic Con, which will be fun for All the Usual Reasons, and also because I've Completely Missed ever being in the state of Rhode Island before.

So that's today's episode in the Exciting Life of a Writer.

Hope y'all are doing well -- and welcome to November.


"Surely, you'll do better to appeal to Captain Waitley in this matter?"

"Possibly so, sir, but -- there's a. . .complication."

"Of course there is.  There can be nothing other than complications, in Captain Waitley's orbit."

rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

RavenCon, held in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Doubletree Hilton, starts on Friday, April 29 and runs until Sunday after, May 1.  Everything you need to know about the convention is right here.

Steve and I will be Writer Guests of Honor at RavenCon.  Reproduced below, for your listening pleasure, is our schedule.


5 pm (FHC) Six Decades of Electing Elsewhere / Room L Steve Miller
7 pm (Opening Ceremony) Large Auditorium Steve Miller, Sharon Lee, and a Cast of Dozens
8 pm (Panel) The Magic of Collaboration / Room 8 Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Peter Prellwitz (M), Joelle Presby


11 am (Reading) Lee and Miller / Room 8
Noon (Signing) Lee and Miller / Room 8
3 pm (Interview) Mike Pederson interviews Lee and Miller / Room 8
4:30 pm - 6 pm (Presentation/Workshop) Baen Traveling Roadshow / Room 8


8:30 am Friends of Liad breakfast in the Hilton restaurant (NOTE:  This is what we called in my youth "Dutch Treat." That means that everyone who attends pays for their own breakfast.  Including Sharon and Steve.)
Noon (Talk) Learning to Write: Recommended Workshops, Books and Classes Steve Miller
1 pm (Soapbox) Believable Characters / Room F Sharon Lee

Also look for us at the art show, in the dealers room, and sitting in a lobby, talking with other fans, or even reading a book.

Looking forward to seeing you -- yes, you! -- there!

Do so fit Mar 29 2016

rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

As previously advertised, Steve and I will be at Boskone (February 19-21, 2016) in Boston, MA for New England's longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. It's going to be a fun weekend filled with books, film, art, music, gaming, and more, and we'd love to see you there! For more information about Boskone, check out The Boskone Blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Visit the Boskone website to register.  The Full Con Schedule may be found here.

Our schedule for the weekend is below.  Also look for us in the Art Show, the Dealer's Room, and sitting around the lobby, chatting with friends.

As in previous years, we intend to host a Friends of Liad breakfast at Boskone.  Since our Saturday is rather full, and in addition begins with a 10 a.m. Kaffeeklatsch, we will be aiming for a Sunday morning breakfast.  For those who are new to this tradition -- the Friends of Liad breakfast is an informal, extra-con event, where Friends and readers of Liad meet to catch up with each other, and with the authors.  All are welcome.  Everyone pays for their own breakfast, even Steve and Sharon.  As soon as we've made arrangements with Saucity, the Westin's in-house restaurant, we'll put out the word regarding time, and day.

Hope to see you at Boskone!

Boskone Schedule:

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller


Collaboration: Writers, Artists, and More!
Friday 6:00 - 6:50, Harbor III (Westin)
Creative collaboration is an endurance event. Each experience is different, whether working in a shared universe, co-writing a story, or working word by word with another author. Whatever the scenario, it can be an immensely rewarding experience. However, personalities can clash and the final decision isn't always mutual. If you're curious about creative collaborations and want to find out where to start or how to avoid the most common missteps, this panel is for you.
Steve Miller (M), Julie C. Day, Teddy Harvia, Stephen Hickman, Sharon Lee


Kaffeeklatsch 2: Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Saturday 10:00 - 10:50, Harbor I-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

Foppish Fiction: The Dandy in SF/F/H
Saturday 11:00 - 11:50, Harbor II (Westin)
The Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro both hid their secret identities behind foppish appearances. We'll explore their descendants, both male and female, in speculative fiction. Then there's the effete ruler of a decadent empire as a trope (or is that a meme?) of our genres. And what about the sidekick with a flair for fashion? Why are our protagonists all Winters in jewel tones, and none of them Autumns in burnt umber?
Sharon Lee (M), Ellen Asher, Debra Doyle, Grady Hendrix, Walter Jon Williams

Reading: Steve Miller & Sharon Lee
Saturday 12:00 - 12:25, Griffin (Westin)

How You Get the Word Out: Starting and Running a Successful Podcast
Saturday 2:00 - 2:50, Harbor III (Westin)
Podcasting gives us an outlet to share our thoughts and ideas with the world, and everyone seems to have something (perhaps a lot) to say. But is podcasting right for everyone? How do you go about "bootstrapping" a podcast? What do you need and what do you need to know? How do you attract and keep an audience? Where do you find a place to host your site? Successful 'casters pass on their secrets.
Steve Miller (M), Kate Baker, C.S.E. Cooney, Don Pizarro, Brianna Spacekat Wu

Romance Across Space and Time
Saturday 3:00 - 3:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
Romance shows up in the unlikeliest places: from prehistory to the far-flung future; from pole to pole; from fantasy and science fiction to horror. Must it be a guilty pleasure? Or should we proudly proclaim the heart of the matter: wherever they may find it, all the world loves a love story!
Darlene Marshall (M), D L Carter, Mary Kay Kare, Steve Miller, E.J. Stevens

Writing: Pinning Down Your Plot
Saturday 4:00 - 4:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Complicated plots need proper handling. Writers who lose control of a twisty tale can confuse and/or alienate their readers. But just how do authors manage a complex story line? Come hear their tips for keeping track of the trickiest of plots.
Steven Popkes (M), Ken Altabef, Sharon Lee, Christie Meierz, Vincent O'Neil

Boskone Book Party
Saturday 6:00 - 7:20, Galleria-Stage (Westin)
Join us for Boskone's Multi-Author Book Party, see what's new from authors you love, and discover new favorites. Boskone is also launching three NESFA Press books tonight: The Collected Stories of Poul Anderson Vol 7, Conspiracy!, and The Grimm Future. (Authors and publishers with a new book and a current Boskone membership are welcome to take part; contact for details.)
D L Carter, Tom Easton, Grady Hendrix, Carlos Hernandez, E. C. Ambrose, Judith K. Dial, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Cerece Rennie Murphy, N.A. Ratnayake, Erin Underwood


NESFA Book Club: Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee & Steve MIller
Sunday 11:00 - 11:50, Griffin (Westin)
This February, the NESFA Book Club hosts its monthly meeting at Boskone. Join us as we discuss Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, who will join the group halfway through the discussion in order to lead a Q&A. All members are welcome and newcomers are encouraged to attend.
Michael Sharrow (M), Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

Autographing: James Cambias, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Sunday 12:00 - 12:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)

Take Me To Your Leader
Sunday 1:00 - 1:50, Harbor II (Westin)
Does SF/F get leaders all wrong? How do leaders in large organizations actually act? Are leaders creative? What motivates them? Let's compare character archetypes from page and screen to real-world leaders.
Stephen P. Kelner Jr. (M), A.C.E. Bauer, Vincent Docherty, Sharon Lee, Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Exoplanets Are Out There
Sunday 1:00 - 1:50, Burroughs (Westin)
Did you ever expect to view exoplanets from Earth? SF writers since Doc Smith seemed to assume we’d discover planets only when we approached the stars they orbited. Now astronomers have confirmed 2,000 exoplanets and counting; they’re designing new devices to resolve their spectra and hint at their habitability. Was this a failure of imagination, a choice to build drama, or an unexpected success of astronomical instrumentation? Didn’t any writers get it right?
Charles Gannon (M), Jeff Hecht, Beth Meacham, Steve Miller, Mark L. Olson

rolanni: (Tea and dragon)

This just in!  Laura Haywood-Cory interviews Lee and Miller!  Here's the link. Please share it widely.

Lee and Miller PhilCon Schedule (be aware that this is our preliminary schedule, and that changes may be made:


Fri 7:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 (1 hour)


Sat 12:00 PM in Autograph Table (1 hour)

Sat 3:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
[Panelists: Gregory Frost (mod), Barbara Krasnoff, Allen Steele,
Margaret Riley, Steve Miller]
Science fiction can be set in the future without all of the
impossible tropes, such as time travel, faster than light travel,
psi powers and galactic empires.  What are some examples, and what
goes into creating it

Sat 4:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
[Panelists: Tim W. Burke (mod), Edward Carmien, Tom Doyle, Jim
Freund, Steve Miller]
Taking another look at Harlan Ellison's ground breaking anthology.
Did this change the field forever?  Or is it overrated

Sat 6:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
[Panelists: Gary Feldbaum (mod), Tim Sullivan, Rock Robertson, Steve
, David Walton]
What is the Philip K. Dick Award, and what does it have to do with
Philadelphia area fandom?  How is it administered?  What are oame
famous works that have won?  What influence does it have in the

Sat 7:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
[Panelists: John Ashmead (mod), Darrell Schweitzer, John Monahan,

Sharon Lee]
From cavorite to kryptonite, science fiction fiction writers love to
add new elements to the periodic table.  How do you create
convincing imaginary substances and what do you do with them

Sat 8:00 PM in Plaza IV (Four) (1 hour)
[Panelists: Steve Miller (mod), Sharon Lee, Lawrence M. Schoen, Mike

How do you turn a short work into a longer work without just simply
padding.  What are proper ways to expand a story

Sat 9:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
[Panelists: Sally Wiener Grotta (mod), Brian Koscienski, Steve
Miller, Mike McPhail]
Some people want to go beyond just writing and editing books into
the world of publishing.  If you really do want to publish books,
what steps do you take?  What pitfalls must you avoid

Sat 10:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
[Panelists: Peter Prellwitz (mod), Danielle Ackley-McPhail, David
Sharon Lee]
There are characters or character types so popular that certain
writers can not stop writing about them even if they want to. Can
you name your favorite examples


Sun 12:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 (1 hour)

Sun 1:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
IS THAT A "STORY"? (1611)
[Panelists: Darrell Schweitzer (mod), Jim Freund, David Sklar,

Sharon Lee]
Ever since the days of the "New Wave" we have had this argument.
What is a story?  Are there works published that are not stories

Sun 2:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three (1 hour)
[Panelists: Steve Miller (mod), D.H. Aire, Christine Norris, Alex

Everyone talks about the craft of writing, but what are some of the
hidden pitfalls from the business side of... well... the business?
From contract basics to handling taxes, published professionals will
talk about what you need to know, and what traps are out there for
the unwary.

rolanni: (baby dragon from rainbowgraphics)

Herewith the triangulated preliminary schedule. Subject to change, please check the convention’s on-site material to verify day, time, panelists, room &c, &c.


2-3 pm — Fantasy before Fantasy, SF before SF – The Odyssey, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Frankenstein, Gulliver’s Travels, and Journey to the West. A look at classic works of world literature that, while not written as science fiction and fantasy, have been co-opted in the 20th and 21st centuries by speculative fiction readers and used as inspiration by the writers. Benton B
James Hollaman, Susan Satterfield, Dennis Young, Steve Miller, Issac Bell

7 pm – Opening Ceremonies

8 pm – Meet the Authors & Artists Reception


10-11 am — Anne McCaffrey Memorial Panel — Discuss the life and work of one of the most award winning and influential female Scifi writers of all time. Benton B
Steve Miller, Sharon Lee, James Hollaman, Zo Leavy, Kat Donovan, Bev Hale

11 am-noon — The Good, The Bad, and the Fixable Genre writing workshops have proliferated in the last decade or so and now range from con-based three hour mini-courses to six week long marathons. Are writing workshops worthwhile for everyone? What are the warning signs you should not be a workshopper? What joys and discoveries have the panelist had for themselves or for others they’ve workshopped with? Fremont
Steve Miller, Shauna Roberts, Chris McKitterick, Lynette Burrows, Steven Gould

12-1 pm — The road to publishing — A talk with Publishers, Editors, and Authors who discuss the road to publishing along with the dead ends and potholes you might come across. Benton B
Sherry Foley, Eric Reynolds, Robert Collins, Sharon Lee, Shannon Butcher

1-2 pm – Guests of Honor session

3-4 pm – The Great Book Signing Event

5-6 pm — The Campbell Conference — Some authors are ditching the print industry all together and making a nice living off of the self publishing and novella trade for ebook. We’ll talk about the different writing styles of the two markets and why one might be more for you than another. Atlanta Ballroom
Brent Bowen, Sharon Lee, Dennis Young, David Pedersen, Steven Gould, Ursula Vernon


Noon-1 pm — How hard should science fiction be? Truth told, a lot of science ficiton isn’t scientific at all, but utilizes handwavium (or Timonioum and Nonobtainium) to get the story in gear and make it run. Is today’s science fiction letting the world down? Should the writer do the math so the reader doesn’t have to? Are books that are “too sciencey” chasing readers to fantasy or online games? Freemont
Ross Hathaway, Steve Miller, Rob Chilson, Lynette Burrows

3-4 pm — PR Kicking ass in high heels: These days women can kick ass, save the world, and still have time to fall in love. But why are they still doing it in hotpants and high heels? Can heroines be a size 18 and still be beautiful? Benton B
Deb Sturgess, Cleo Hathaway, Karin Gastreich, Bev Hale, Sharon Lee

5 pm – Closing Ceremonies

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (i've often seen a cat without a smile)

When last we saw our brilliant, crime-fighting duo, they were on their way to get clocked.

I can report that the clock has been repaired and is home.  Sadly, we hung a picture the place the clock occupied for the last 12 years, and are now having a hard time identifying an appropriate expanse of wall for it to grace with its presence.

Shoulda thought of that.

In other news, I’ve finished proofing the galleys for Ghost Ship.  Given everything else (specifically, given that I had it firmly in my head that we were leaving on Thursday for Kansas City, when in truth, we must leave on Wednesday), I’m probably not going to finish “Emancipated Child” before we get on the road.  Sigh.  Yo!  Universe!  Adhere to my schedule, please.

Yeah, that’s gonna work. . .

We have gotten our preliminary schedule for ConQuest, which is why we’re traveling to Kansas City on Wednesday, because if we leave on Thursday, we miss the first day of the con. Below, is more or less where we’ll be when, and doing what.  As always, preliminary information is subject to change.

. . .which it’s going to have to do, because I see that I’m scheduled to be on a panel at the same time Steve and I are supposed to do our Guests of Honor gig, on Saturday afternoon, so I’ll reveal our schedule. . . tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (Default)
Spent a relaxed morning in the lobby, working on the Leewit while Steve went with Andy to tour the Rail Museum.  The hotel is starting to fill up nicely, and it looks like a super party is shaping up.

Opening Ceremonies, as previously advertised, at 7 p.m. in Finley Auditorium, followed by a Meet the Pros reception next door in Gallery A and B.

TOMORROW MORNING (that's Saturday!) Friends of Liad breakfast at the Garden Restaurant in the Main Building at 9 a.m.  This is a highly informal gathering of FoL, and everyone is invited.  but! (since there was an almost tragic misunderstanding at a previous con that we would like to avoid repeating), you do have to pay for your own breakfast.  The Garden Restaurant  has a breakfast buffet.

Tomorrow at 11 a.m. in  the Centennial Theater Hallway (outside the dealer's room), Steve and I will be signing.

at 1 p.m., Rachel Caine, Sharon Lee, Laura Anne Gilman and Robert Buettner will talk about "Cities, Vampires & Wolves, WOW" in Finley.

at 2 p.m. in Gallery B Mark van Name, Steve Miller, Sharon Lee, and Elektra Hammond will discuss "Stories: The Long and Short of it"  NOTICE:  This may change because it's against the Baen Travelling Slide Show.

On Sunday (that's, like, the day AFTER tomorrow!) Closing Ceremonies will be at 12 Noon.

In which we arrive

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 05:20 pm
rolanni: (crescent)
Awoke at 5 a.m.-ish upon the train, heading in a southerly direction.  It was dark outside.  Got ourselves together and wandered one car up for breakfast, where we were but two of six early rising diners.  It was still dark.  Finished breakfast and came back to the roomette and it was still dark.  Finally, along about 7:30 a.m., the sun began to peek, all shy oranges and pinks over the horizon. 

At 8:15, we detrained at Atlanta, which began several hours of comedy, starting with the fact that the Atlanta train station is arranged with genius to utterly get in its own way.  The detraining passengers arrive in a goose necked area and it is exactly there that the baggage, when it arrives, which it won't for another 20-30 minutes will manifest.  Which means that the folks who have gotten off the train with all of their luggage in hand, must fight for their lives through the milling mob.  Also!  When the checked luggage does arrive, two railroad employees take them off of the belt one by one and call out the check-ticket number.  Think door-prize drawing at the neighborhood Christmas Fair.

Our baggage, having been first onto the train, thanks to the good offices of Super Redcap Charlie Maccianno, was -- anyone?  Yes, thank you.  Our baggage was last off the train.

Also! Our travel agent had arranged for us to pick up a car at Atlanta (because, ironically, there doesn't seem to be a passenger train to Chattanooga), and had said that we would just go to the Hertz phone in the Amtrak station, and the Hertz folk would drive our car to us, or, alternatively, we could take a taxi to the Hertz location, and the Hertz folk would reimburse us our taxi fare.


There was no Hertz phone in the Atlanta Amtrak station and, according to the person on the counter, hasn't been for years.  Nor did we have a phone number for the Hertz place from which our car was reserved.  And?  There are a zillion Hertz places in the Greater Atlanta Area. 

We called the travel agent in Maine, they located the phone number (but not the address -- we're to take a taxi, remember?) of the Hertz place.  We called the Hertz place, got voice mail.  Left a message.  Heard nothing back.  Called again.  Got the guy on the desk, who allowed us to know that our car had been reserved for yesterday, but! that he could let us have it today if we still wanted it.  We did.

We did not so much find a taxi as a taxi found us, and drove us, conservatively, to Mars, where we picked up our car and, with a few wrong turns while the cellphone GPS caught up with things were on the road.

We arrived in Chattanooga, found the Choo-Choo with no trouble at all, located our room and Lee, who delivered my scooter -- it is red and I shall call her Ruby Thursday -- discover the Very Best Gift Basket Ever! awaiting us inside the room; got the luggage in and went off in search of lunch. 

During this quest, we found Regina Kirby and Artist GOH John Picacio, and Regina guided us to ...the Terminal Brewery, I believe, where a wonderful lunch and good conversation was had, and so eventually back to the room to unpack and settle in.

We have seen to wave at Lee Martindale, and we have heard rumors of the arrival of fellow lit'rary type GOHs Laura Anne Gilman and Rachel Caine, and we are promised Mark van Name, later. 

Soon, I shall mount Ruby Thursday and Steve and I will go over to the Big Dome to see who else might have arrived.

Our first Official Scheduled Item is at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, for Opening Ceremonies.  Immediately after, in the room next door (Gallery A&B) there will be a Meet the Pros reception.

We have not yet scoped out the on-site restaurants for the best FOL Breakfast venue. More news there as we have it.

...and that's all the news that's fit to print.  If you're coming to the con, do introduce yourselves, and remember to ask for a Happy Birthday, Theo! ribbon (Saturday is Theo Waitley's birthday).

rolanni: (i've often seen a cat without a smile)

Slept in; Steve made us a lovely ham omelet for breakfast, after which I repaired to the office and have been doing odds ‘n ends of clean-up and touch-up at the Splinter Universe site. Since I had the hood up, anyway, I posted the first 340-odd words of “Guaranteed Delivery.”

You can thank me later.

Close study of the schedule for the Steampunk Expo would seem to have us getting into Fitchburg on Thursday evening, since Opening Ceremonies is at 10:00 Friday morning.

At noon, Steve and I will be doing a panel/dialog, “How Not to Lose Your Readers in the Maze,” then conducting Part One of the Writers Workshop from 2:00 – 4:00.

On Saturday, there will be a Friends of Liad breakfast at 10:00 a.m. in the Gardner Room; then at noon we’ll be doing another panel/dialog, “Writing a net serial versus a traditional novel.”

We’ll be conducting Part the Second of the Writers Workshop on Sunday from 11:00 to 1:00.

Also? We’ll definitely be at the Abney Park concert on Saturday night, and in the dealer’s room (oh, my, yes), and in All the Usual Places.

Do come! It’ll be a blast.

In other news, I see by my calendar that it’s time once again to post the list of Auctorial Influence. I hope to get around to that a little later today.

After I, yanno, do some work.


Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.

rolanni: (Histoire des Etats et Empires de la Lune)

I hope you have all celebrated fruitfully; perhaps taking a moment or two to talk with your spouse, your children, friends, and co-workers about what SF/F means to you, and to mention a few favorite authors.  Some of you may have written to those favorite authors to thank them for touching your life.

And, of course, the ice cream and cake.

Steve and I celebrated by signing the first 300 subscriber copies of Saltation.  There were also lemon squares involved.

We are, as you may surmise, home from Duckon, where an exciting time was had by all.  Steve and I met lots of folks, and were thanked many, many times for having written the Liaden Universe®.  We were kept pretty busy, but did manage to take in the World Bird Sanctuary presentation — owl and bald eagle introductions; falcon and raven flights inside the ballroom!  One pretty lady passed so close to my head that her jesses brushed my cheek.

My photography skills are in no way up to catching hawks in flight, but here’s a  picture of Twig, one of the Education Team members, who was nice enough to sit still for me:

Twig is an Eastern Screech Owl

In addition to birds! in! flight! on Saturday night we attended a display of and concert by the Singing Tesla Coils, Dr. Zeuss officiating.  (Somebody who was there — what was the title of the second song?  It’s been on the tip of my brain for days and I can’t quite remember.)  Let me just say?  Impressive.  One little girl listened in stunned silence to the theme from 2001, then burst into tears and had to be led from the show grounds.  Neither reaction was inappropriate, in my book.

Now that we’re home, Steve and I will be getting on with the signing, boxing,  and mailing of subscriber Saltations.  Remember that this is a lengthy process.  We will shout to the skies when the books have all been mailed.

We also Seriously Need to write a book.

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.

News from Duckon

Saturday, June 19th, 2010 10:18 am
rolanni: (the captain will see you now)
Left Maine at 8:30 Thursday morning; arrived at Duckon Headquarters sometime close to 1 p.m., Middle of the Country Time. Slight mixup in rooms (ours entered a time warp) fixed as expediently as possible, and we had time to grab a quick lunch (mmmm potato brie soup) at the hotel cafe before it closed to prep for dinner. Nap (mmmmm sleep), then out and about the con. Lots of people already in, and more coming. At opening ceremonies, we met our fellow Guests of Honor, including Jim Humble and Talis Kimberly (keristor, she extended your well-wish, and said you had hooked her introduced her to our work); Scott Raun of course we know of old. And! we got a brief glimpse of the stars of the con --an owl and an African hawk from the World Bird Sanctuary. After opening ceremonies, dinner with Sally Kobee and Larry Smith, punctuated by a Really Excellent thunderstorm, then a quick tour of the parties, and back to the room to turn into pumpkins.

Today is a busy one: I have panels at 10, 2, 4 and 5 (hmmm, it looks like I can see the birds of prey presentation! Good deal.) and Steve has all of those, plus one more.

For those who are coming to (or are already at) the con -- an addition to our schedule for Sunday: We are scheduled to sign from 11-1. Also! Do come to the Friends of Liad Breakfast -- 8 a.m. tomorrow in the hotel cafe!

The con's shaping up to be a good time -- if you're here, stop by and say hi! If you're not here, we miss you!

Oh! We read in the program book that Fledgling (rendered here as The Fledgling, but attributed to us, so I'm guessing it's the same book) was a runner-up for the Hal Clement Award for Best YA novel; Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is the deserving winner.

More as can.
rolanni: (Default)

The newest iteration of the Master Schedule for Duckon 19 is up over thisaway.  There are also a bunch of really interesting Special Events listed

The Lee and Miller subset looks to be something like this:


7 PM: Opening Ceremonies


10AM: Creating a large story arc – Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

Noon: Fact and Features vs Fiction–The Fallacy of Exclusion – Steve Miller

2PM: A Philosphy of Character Building – Steve Miller

2PM: World Building: How The Elements Evolve – Sharon Lee

4PM: Reading — Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

5PM: Collaboration: Working as A Team — Sharon Lee & Steve Miller


8AM: Friends of Liad Breakfast in the hotel restaurant

10AM: Steve Miller Young Fan Programming – Build your own Spaceship/aircraft

2PM: Our Publishing Experience Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

3PM: Closing Ceremonies

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (agatha primping)

If you’re coming to Oasis and want to be sure to see (or avoid) us, our schedule is below.  We’ll probably also be findable in the art show, the dealers room, and any conveniently placed sofa.  The full program schedule is here.

Friday 03:00 PM What is the Future of Publishing?
E-publishing, self-publishing, The I-pad, the Nook, the Kindle. What will we be reading and how in 10 years?
Balder, Cowden, Fielding, Gittens, Miller, Roen(m), Wilson

Friday 04:00 PM Writers You Have Never Heard of, But Should Have Your favorite SF writers discuss who they are reading and recommending.
Byers, Lee, Miller, Wilber(m)

Friday 07:00 PM Opening Ceremonies and Cthulhu Chili Contest
Meet our guests and taste some great chilis.
Balder, Hinman, Lee, Miller

Friday 08:00 PM Favorite Characters, Favorite Books
Hear our panel of writers talk about some of their favorites from their own books.
Bova, Lee, McDevitt, Miller

Friday 09:00 PM Alien Artifacts
Our intergalactic archeologists evaluate rare objects from around the galaxy. They have all the answers; they just never agree.
Balder, Caldwell(m), Conrad, Lee, Miller, Mitchell

Saturday 09:00 AM Friends of Liad Breakfast in the Livingston Street Cafe (inside the convention hotel)  Join us for coffee! and breakfast!  and coffee!  and good company!  Did I mention coffee?

Saturday 01:00 PM Writer Guests of Honor — Steve Miller and Sharon Lee
Our writer guests of honor discuss their work and answer questions.

Saturday 02:00 PM Signings
Bova, Lee, McDevitt, Miller

Saturday 05:00 PM Science Fiction and Comedy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock
Come discuss your favorite SF comedies.
Balder, Finkelstein, Finkelstein, Hinman, Lee, Ranson

Sunday 10:00 AM Romance in SF and Fantasy
How is a work of fiction defined? What about a story classifies it as a romance as opposed to SF or fantasy. Was “Gone With the Wind” just another romance novel?
Dolamore, Lee, Low, Wilson(m)

Sunday 01:00 PM How to Make Sure Your Manuscript Gets Rejected
Authors discuss how they got published and what you shouldn’t do if you want to be published.
Dolamore, Lee, McDevitt(m), Miller, Roen, Wilson

Sunday 03:00 PM Closing Ceremonies
Balder, Hinman, Lee, Livingston, Miller

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (i've often seen a cat without a smile)
The day-job being a Fact of Life, and the rules of the day-job governing so-called "vacation days," and observed holidays being what they are, please be aware that, Just Because You Saw Steve does not mean that you will also see Sharon. I am, in particular, very sorry to have to miss both Boskone and Albacon again, but them's the breaks.

That said, in 2010:

Look for [ profile] kinzel/Steve Miller at Boskone, Boston, MA, February 12 - 15.

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be Writer Guests of Honor at Oasis 23, in Orlando, FL, May 28 - 30 and at DucKon 19, in Naperville, IL, June 18 - 20.

Lee and Miller will also be attending ReConStruction the 10th Occasional North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC), in Raleigh, NC, August 5 - 8.

So, what's your convention schedule next year?
rolanni: (agatha&clank)
We got up early for some reason, had breakfast at Duncan's Doughnoughts, stopped by SRM Publisher Galactic Headquarters to off-load some freight, then hit the Waterville Art Fest.  It was a good day for an Art Fest, though I'm glad we went before it got really warm.  There were a few early mishaps due to a combination of playful wind and inadequately weighted sun shelters, but everyone seemed to get themselves sorted out pretty quickly and damage was held to a minimum.  There was some interesting art on display, along with rather too many photographs of Monhegan Island.  One artist was doing some fascinating stuff with fractals, and another was experimenting with the art of typography, where the letters, uplifted from mere words, are viewed in isolation as objects of art.

After the Art Fest, we went grocery shopping, then home to finish reading Carousel Tides.  Now, comes the hard part.  Tomorrow, I need to make some phone calls (*sigh*), but mostly I'll be right here, typing.

The leisurely back-to-back strolls around Waterville and the grocery store has sadly convinced me that, no, the Montreal Ghost Walk would not be a good idea as much as I would like to participate, so someone with two sound knees will have to tell me all about it.

In other news, we have, only moments ago, received our Final-Except-If-Something-Changes Program Schedules for Anticipation, aka The WorldCon, reproduced below for your viewing pleasure.  Edited to add:  With apologies for the Intensely Weird Formatting.

When: Thu 12:30  Location:  P-513B
Title:  Team Writing
All Participants:  Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Moderator:  Steve Miller
Description:  Two writing teams talk about their process. Steve Miller says the words “story stuff” spoken in public
means everything stops when he and Sharon brainstorm.

When: Fri 9:00 Location:  P-512AE
Title:  Author Reading
All Participants:  Daniel P. Dern, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller (each author to read for 18 minutes or so, panel-style)
Duration:  1:00 hrs:min

When: Sat 9:00  Location:  D-Bonsecours
Title:  Writing Workshop M
All Participants:  Mindy Klasky, Pat Lundrigan, Sharon Lee
Description:  Critique session for previously submitted manuscripts
Duration:  2:00 hrs:min 

When: Sat 12:30 Location:  P-524C
Title:  SRM Publisher
All Participants:  Steve Miller, Lawrence Schoen
Description:  Publisher Presentation.
Duration:  1:30 hrs:min

When: Sat 17:00 Location:  P-512BF
Title:  Aunts in Spaceships
All Participants:  Karen Haber, Sharon Lee, Debra Doyle, Ellen Klages
Moderator:  Sharon Lee Description:  Why are there so few older female characters in SF?
Duration:  1:30 hrs:min

When: Sun 10:30 Location:  Other
Title:  Steve Miller/Sharon Lee Signing
Duration:  0:30 hrs:min

When: Sun 11:00  Location:  P-512BF
Title:  Food for Writers
All Participants:  Alison Sinclair, Jon Singer, Sharon Lee, Debra Doyle
Moderator:  Jon Singer
Description:  So you have 90000 words to write, three months to do it in, and the fridge is bare.
What foods keep you going? Duration: 1:00 hrs:min When: Sun 15:00 Location: P-516E Title: Chicks that Kick A** Session ID: 829 All Participants: Amy Sisson, Heather Urbanski, Kathryn Sullivan, Sharon Lee Moderator: Sharon Lee Description: We know and love them: from Nancy Drew, to Buffy, to Kim Possible. Duration: 1:00 hrs:min

When: Sun 15:30 Location:  P-516AB
Title:  Economics of the Star Traders
All Participants:  James Alan Gardner, James Cambias, Steve Miller, Larry Niven
Moderator:  James Cambias
Description:  How do you keep an interstellar economy going?
Duration:  1:30 hrs:min

When: Sun 17:00 Location:  P-511CF
Title:  The Baen Books Travelling Slideshow
All Participants:  James Minz, Mark L. Van Name, Mark Sebanc, Steve Miller, James G. Anderson
Description:  Come see the pretty covers. Listen to the authors wax rhapsodic.
See stuff blow up. Try to win cool door prizes. Listen to an editor prattle on-and-on about
the latest and greatest books from Baen.

Duration:  1:30 hrs:min

When: Sun 17:00 Location:  P-510C
Title:  Avatar Fan Club for Kids
All Participants:  Cynthia Huckle, Madeline Ashby, Nora K. Jemisin, Sharon Lee
Moderator:  Cynthia Huckle
Description:  This American-made anime from Nickelodeon was a big hit. Why? 
What's in store for the future? And what kind of bender would you like to be? Duration: 1:00 hrs:min

When: Mon 11:00 Location:  D-Royer
Title:  Writing Workshop V
All Participants:  Laurel Anne Hill, Steve Miller, Adrienne Foster
Description:  Critique session for previously submitted manuscripts
Duration:  2:00 hrs:min

rolanni: (drosselmeyer)
A preliminary schedule from Anticipation.

Hey, I guess I'm going to the con!
rolanni: (Dr. Teeth) which (M)="Moderator."


Sat 11:00am
Straddling the Line: SF and Mystery Hybrids
Robert I. Katz, Paul Levinson, Steve Miller (M), Melissa Scott
Is "whodunit meets howdunit" a more natural marriage than with, say, a technothriller nurse book? Compared to regular SF, must you plot more rigorously? Can you hide more clues among SF's many infodumps? Who has arranged this kind of marriage especially well? How?

Sat 12:00 noon
The Business Side of Writing
Joshua Bilmes, Jeffrey A. Carver, Gay Haldeman, Sharon Lee(M), Darlene Marshall
Our experienced panel is all business as they discuss topics such as how to get, grok, and get along with agents and publishers; why keeping good records prevents bad karma; whether you can deduct Boskone from your taxes; and what to do after submitting your latest story. (Hint: start your next one.)

Sat 12:00 noon
What Can't You Read?
Janice Gelb, Fred Lerner, Steve Miller, Patrick Nielsen Hayden (M)
All of us have books that are considered classics or, when we hear the description are convinced are exactly the type of book we would like -- yet we don't. What are some of yours, and why? What makes some types of books very widely regarded by many yet nearly unreadable by a few.

Sat 2:00pm 0.5 hours Reading
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

Sat 4:00pm Autographing
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

Jane Yolen

Sat 5:00pm
The Small Press Renaissance
Beth Bernobich, Steve Miller(M), Steve Sawicki, Lawrence Schoen
Small presses are becoming more important, not only in reprinting fiction but also as a source of new fiction. From the publisher's side, how can you build up a small press? What are small press opportunities for writers? What kinds of special things can small presses do that the bigger publishing houses may ignore?


Sun 11:00am
Making Writing More Vivid and Memorable
Tobias Buckell, Greer Gilman, Sharon Lee (M)
How can a writer make the story particularly vivid or more memorable? Omit needless words? Show, don't tell? (And never say "very"?) Does the use of specific place names or particular word choices help? How else do writers bring those marks on the pages to life? Why do some passages or details stay with us after the book is done, but others are gone a month later. Perfectly prepared panelists may even bring favorite passages.

Sun 11:00am
The Ever-Growing Rift -- Pros and Fans
Gay Haldeman, George R.R. Martin, Steve Miller, Priscilla Olson (M)
Five years ago at Boskone, we discussed the growing rift. It's time to look back, to see if things have gotten better -- or worse. Below is what we asked then. Let's look at those questions again, five years later. In recent years, some pros view themselves as separate from the fannish community, and some fans are happy to have it that way. It used to be different. What happened? Is it getting worse? (Yes - but why?) How can this (damaging...OK, argue it if you want!) trend be reversed?

Sun 1:00pm Literary Beer
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

Sun 2:00pm
The Devil is in the Details
Michael F. Flynn, Rosemary Kirstein, Sharon Lee (M)
Sometimes, a writer can get some details wrong and a story can still be a great one. At other times, getting the details wrong is a killer. What details does a writer have to focus on? Where can you get away with missing something? How does this vary, depending upon your audience? What kinds of things will an audience ignore, even if they know that they are wrong?

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