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Julie Andrews

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More Random Thoughts About WisCon [May. 28th, 2014|11:25 am]
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I was worried I'd lose everything I typed in the last one if I didn't post it.

Okay, so, more thoughts.

Books - I bought the WisCon Chronicles and the chapbook thing with the two GOH stories in it at Room of One's Own, along with 2 used paperbacks. Then I got 6 ARCs at Galley Ho. Then I bought a book at the Circlet Press party. And that might have been the end of it, but then I put in bids at the Tiptree silent auction and won some paperbacks that Ellen Kushner had donated. (And a Riker yo-yo, because it struck me as ridiculous, and plus Star Trek.) I also got a rainbow flag at Room, which I haven't seen yet if it survived transport in my suitcase. And a Tiptree shirt. I think that's everything. I didn't get anything in the Dealer's Room this year. Partly because I was conscious that I only had so much room in my carryon luggage (since I didn't intend to check a bag).

Panel - I was on a midnight TV panel. I thought that went pretty well. I totally forgot to talk about Once Upon a Time/Wonderland, but we all know they're pretty awesome, right? I could have gone on about Doctor Who or Sleepy Hollow, but there were tons of panels specifically about them.

Missed People - Kater didn't go! (Booo.) Ellen Klages hurt her back and wasn't there. That was a real downer for a lot of people. Mary Robinette Kowal also wasn't there, and I was looking forward to running into her, since she'll be at the workshop I'm going to in a couple weeks.

Twitter/WiFi - The hotel wifi was suckier than it's ever been before. I would type up a tweet only to be told I was no longer connected to the wifi. It did improve after most people had left, but that's not much help, is it?!

Panels - Panels are awesome.

People - People are even more awesome. I met people I knew. I met people I sort of knew. And I met people that I should have known, if I'd had a better memory. And I met new people. Yay new people! I didn't meet any Clarion 2012 or 2013 people, but I heard y'all were adorable.

Um.. oh, I read the latest WisCon Chronicles on the plane. (Not all of it, but several bits of it) And it's always worthwhile to buy and read some or all of those. You learn about aspects of the con that you didn't experience yourself. Because you are not capable of being everywhere, and because you are not everyone. How you experience the con is always going to be different from how every other person experiences the con. And it can be eye-opening.

So definitely check those out. They're all still on sale from Aqueduct Press, and probably on Amazon.
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Random Thoughts about WisCon 38 (2014) [May. 28th, 2014|11:11 am]
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I mean it when I say random. In the past I've been super-organized, with daily posts, and panel writeups and everything. But nope, you're not getting that this time.

SFRA - I went over to Inn on the Park to see the Tiptree panel. Glad I went over for that. That's the only thing I went over there for. It's a short 5-10 minute walk. The room was AWESOME. It has a 180-ish view of the capitol and the water and whatnot. And it's just quite a shock to find a panel in that room. The layout was odd though. The audience chairs were not centered with the panel table.

Flights/times/whatnot - I definitely think arriving in time to catch the readings at A Room of One's Own is sort of the latest time I want to arrive. Next year I might want to arrive Wednesday. Definitely leaving on Tuesday was a great thing this year. I got to extend the con with random conversations throughout Monday and even at Tuesday breakfast. The afternoon flight out also wasn't full. Though we did get a 1-hour delay because "all flights into Boston are delayed". And the plane wasn't going to be full, but they stuck some airline crewmembers on it and filled it up.

Delta - They charge 25$ for a checked bag, but then when you get to the gate they're begging and threatening you to check your bag (for free this time) because there's no room on the plane for all of them. Such a ridiculous policy. You're just causing more work for your employees at the last minute. And now how do the people feel who paid 25$ to check their bag ahead of time?

Food - Madison is awesome for restaurants and WisCon is awesome for going out to meals with people. And yet I didn't really do that this year (or last year), because the Governor's Club Lounge food is "free" and more convenient, and the consuite as well. I did get to Noodles & Co, because I had that in mind my whole trip there. 'Shuttle to hotel, check into hotel, go get noodles'. We're getting our own Noodles & Co this summer though, so that will be less a thing next year for me. And Keyan and I and someone she knew went to the Spanish tapas place. It was disappointing this year. Only 4 vegetarian tapas, and one was olives (gross), and one was goat cheese (not as bad as I was expecting), and one was sold out (zucchini). How can you not have some form of mushroom thing?! There wasn't even a vegetarian flatbread.

More food - I didn't do the dessert salon this year, and I never saw chocolate mousse in the governor's club lounge! I didn't get any chocolate mousse! Might have to do dessert salon just to make sure I get some. Also it turns out you have to show up for dessert in the lounge at 9pm. They put everything out, and then only take away. They never replace or add. Unlike the appetizers/hors d'ouevres, which they will replace if something runs out. And they love putting booze and coffee in the desserts. Bleh.

Reading - So I repeated what I did last year and wrote my story at the last minute, at the con. Although not all in one sitting. I think I wrote it in 3 different stolen hours. Which is one more reason I did fewer 'eat out' things. I really should write what I intend to read before the con, so I have more time at the con. It was an idea I had been working on, and I tried to use what I'd learned at the Motivation Conflict Uh.. one other thing RWA workshop I attended about a week before WisCon. I think the story is reasonably good, but needs some work. Then I had some panic at the reading, because I was thinking it over and thinking I had been particularly unfair to my trans char for the sake of the main viewpoint char and her character/story arc. But actually I didn't get to that part in the reading. So I can fix it now without anyone seeing/hearing it first. :) I liked that people laughed at my reading. And two people came up to me after to say they liked it. Yay! And it gave me a sense that what I'd written was not just enjoyable, but actually important. (Which is a later theme addressed in the GOH speeches.)
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Arisia-ing [Jan. 13th, 2014|11:24 am]
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I have plans to go to Arisia this weekend. I'm not officially or unofficially on anything. I am going to browse and learn things! And check out those food trucks.
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I Can Haz Awards-Eligible Work! [Jan. 13th, 2014|11:21 am]
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The Flaming Geeks Book of Geeky Trivia - http://amzn.to/geekytrivia1 - is totally eligible for a Hugo for Best Related Work.

And I totally just told you so!

Also, if you'd like a free copy in whatever format for your awards-consideration, just let me know.
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Reading / Watching 2013 [Jan. 5th, 2014|11:44 am]
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Just a quick update on what I read/watched in 2013.

Goodreads widget says I read 96 books of my ambitious pi in the sky goal of 314. This is really, really pathetic for me. And though I was taking classes, this isn't really much of a change in the busy-ness of my life since 2012. Either I'm watching more or playing more games or... who knows what.

The books I rated 4 or 5 stars in 2013:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler
Contagious: Why Things Catch On / Jonah Berger
Miles in Love (reread) / Lois McMaster Bujold
Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus 1 & 2 / CLAMP

Bi-Normal / M. G. Higgins
Fortunately, The Milk / Neil Gaiman
If You Could Be Mine / Sara Farizan
The Reason I Jump / Naoki Higashida
Pink and Say / Patricia Polacco
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library / Chris Grabenstein
The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett / Tom Angelberger
Code Name Verity / Elizabeth Wein
The Power of Poppy Pendle / Natasha Lowe
The Ocean at the End of the Lane / Neil Gaiman
Magic Below Stairs / Caroline Stevermer
The Story of Saiunkoku Vol 1 & 2 / Kairi Yura
Doubleblind / Ann Aguirre
The Summer Prince / Alaya Dawn Johnson (even though I gave it 4 stars, I tagged it 'awesome')
Will in Scarlet / Matthew Cody
Squire / Tamora Pierce
The Language Inside / Holly Thompson
School Spirits / Rachel Hawkins
Destiny, Rewritten / Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Doll Bones / Holly Black
Gulp / Mary Roach
A Bride's Story Vol 2 & Vol 4 / Kaoru Mori
First Test / Tamora Pierce
Seraphina / Rachel Hartman
Stranger Here / Jen Larsen
Monument 14 / Emmy Laybourne
Ignore Everybody / Hugh MacLeod
Diplomatic Immunity (reread) / Lois McMaster Bujold
The Millionaire Messenger / Brendon Burchard
The $100 Startup / Chris Guillebeau
Rainbow Man / MJ Engh
Steal Like an Artist / Austin Kleon
Animal Academy Vol. 6 / Moyamu Fujino
Miles Errant (reread) / Lois McMaster Bujold

--- Well, there's one book I forgot to mark down! Because I did read the latest Bujold. It would've been silly to reread them all and then stop! ----

But it looks like I was rating roughly half the things I read as 4 or 5 stars. Maybe I'm getting better at not bothering with the lower-rated books. Of course I say that, but I read all of that Ann Aguirre series.

Let me just wrap this up with things I watched. Just, in addition to keeping up with probably too many shows, particularly reality shows, here's what I watched once we got a good Internet connection:

* All of Eureka
* All of Warehouse 13 so I'm caught up for the final mini-season
* Up to somewhere in season 8 of Stargate SG-1
* Somewhere towards the beginning of season 1 of Stargate Atlantis

I'm trying to watch the Stargates in airdate order, so I'm flipping back and forth now.

New Sherlock tonight!
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Lightspeed's Women Destroy Science Fiction Issue - Ur doin it rite [Dec. 16th, 2013|10:28 am]
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Here's the call to submissions. Really cool idea, go read the submission call, etc etc.

But what prompted me to post about it here was this bit:

Who can submit stories for consideration for the special issue? Women.
And what is a woman? A woman is any human being who identifies as one, to whatever degree that they do so.

I like that so hard, you guys! Yes! Whoever came up with that is a wording genius.
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More TV, because TV [Dec. 10th, 2013|11:27 am]
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After one episode (really less than one episode) of Atlantis on BBCA, I decided I didn't need to watch more. I deleted the 3 eps I had and the season pass. If someone convinces me that watching white guys run away from animals/creatures 3 times in one episode is something I should be doing, I'll track down the original uncut 6 minutes longer BBC version.

I have not managed to catch Almost Human, because it's opposite something... now have 1 random episode I can't watch.

I managed to miss an episode of Dracula, so I have to track that down before watching the last one.

Meant to watch the Carrie Underwood Sound of Music, because, but forgot. Oh well.

Have not watched any Christmas specials. Will make up for that later.

Finished season 6 of Stargate SG-1. I'm on the downward slope! I've watched more episodes than I have episodes left to watch.

Anticipating - Christmas Doctor Who, Christmas teaser for Sherlock, New Year's Sherlock (you think I'm waiting for PBS? Ha ha ha!)
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Bye-Bye Tomorrow People [Nov. 11th, 2013|02:48 pm]
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I had 5 episodes of The Tomorrow People saved up because I knew it would take a certain amount of attention to get into yet another new show. Now I'm kind of sorry I waited so long, because I could have saved the Tivo the effort. After 30 minutes, I'm dropping it. I really don't need to watch another show about a teenaged white boy who's actually 25. And bad guys and good guys and super powers that aren't all that exciting. And yea, basically, it gave me nothing cool. It gave me nothing new.

Which is a shame, because I have a fond memory of the original series. Though 'fond' is about the only memory I do have of it. I don't remember specifics. I never saw all of it, and it was so long ago. I don't know how old I was, since it started airing before I was born, but I was definitely a kid. And there is no way I would've liked this new remake as a kid. Since I don't like it now either! Maybe if they used actual teenagers it would stand half a chance. Maybe if it wasn't CW. CW only knows how to make one kind of show.

So, 5 deletes and a canceled season pass.

And we'll see if Fox ever decides to finally premiere Almost Human.
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Dropping Witches of East End [Nov. 7th, 2013|08:03 am]
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I have literally lost the plot. I can't even tell if I missed an episode or not. Reasons why I might not have any idea what's going on include.. having missed an episode?, not caring enough about it when I'm "watching" it to pay enough attention, and finally the fact that too many of the characters are too alike.

Characters need to look, sound, act distinctive! American television oftentimes fails this miserably. Movies too. It's like with books, how you shouldn't name the characters with similar names. Don't start more than 2 with the same letter. Don't make more than 2 the same length. And be carefully of visually similar names like Dick and .. I dunno, something that looks like Dick. Bund? Well, you get the idea.

I am not attuned to fine shades of hair color, hair styles (which are variable anyway), or even skin color. If all your women are white with long, dark hair, I am not telling them apart. If all your men are white or maybe not even white, but I read them white, and they all have short hair (as they inevitably due!), I can't tell them apart. Even if there are blonds and brunettes all mixed in, their hair is too short for even that to help.

If you think you're making your characters different by one having dark brown wavy hair and one having slightly less dark brown curly hair.. yea, no, not really. If you think they all have unique fashion sense.. yea, I'm not going to see it. I can see it only if it's very different and very consistent. Big Bang Theory is a good example.

I'm beginning to ramble. I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep and I really need more sleep, but I have to go to work.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is.. Hollywood (and all those other places they film American shows), make your characters more distinctive! Dare to give a chick a short haircut! Dare to give a guy long hair! Dare to give anyone glasses that look like they actually belong on their face! Dare to hire actors who are short, or fat, or tall, or just built differently than "typical". Dress them differently! Hire someone with a distinctive voice! /Give/ them a distinctive voice. And I dunno, but probably 'vaguely British accent' probably doesn't cut it. Except it would be better than nothing. (Well, except to the Brits who have to listen to it!)

I need to go get dressed and go to work. But there's my rant. That's one of the reasons British television is so good. They cast a wider diversity of people. Old, goofy-looking, adorkable, etc. And I dunno, maybe they do character better too.

Sci-fi shows often get to cheat by making some of them aliens. I kept thinking of TNG. So easy to tell all of them apart...

Anyway, yes, clothes. Work. Blah. Bai, Internet. :)
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More TV [Oct. 15th, 2013|10:24 am]
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Witches of East End - I found myself not paying a lot of attention to episode 2.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland - Pretty good for a pilot. Interesting. Also a bit strange, but I suppose it is Wonderland. I want Alice to acquire a harem. Two boys and a rabbit isn't enough. Give her a couple more. :)

Ironside - Watched two episodes. Not bad, but it's a cop show. I usually need more of a hook in a cop show.

Tomorrow People - Recorded, not watched yet.
Sean Saves the World - Season passed, but it hasn't managed to record an episode because of other conflicting things, so not seen it.

So far my new recommendations are: Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Mom, Michael J Fox Show (which I have trouble catching).

SHIELD is just not cutting it. And I thought Sleepy Hollow was going to be the dud!

Still to come - Dracula, Almost Human
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