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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Arisia! Saturday. 
19th-Jan-2011 10:13 pm
I knew that this would be my make-or-break day, for reasons that will become apparent. Note to all y'all: Nine panels + a reading? Don't do it. I don't care how awesome they all look.

I woke slowly and gradually. Thankfully, Adam's CPAP hadn't kept me awake. (That would change.) Leisurely breakfast of GF pumpkin bread, shower, quick wander through the lobby before going to feste_sylvain's First! Reading! Ever!

It will not come as a shock to you that I find feste_sylvain awesome. He read my favorite-piece-by-him-so-far and rocked it; and since he read first, as I had begged him to, I was able to slip out right after and go get my shit together for my reading. Because I hadn't. Of course.

Also, getting your shit together for your reading is annoying because you have to read the whole thing. Exactly as you'll read it at the reading. Because if you don't, you will find that you've run out of time at the actual reading, and you will not like it. This hasn't happened to me, but I've seen it happen to other people; I usually read flash fiction and poetry, so if I'm going long, I can just leave one piece off, but for Arisia I was reading four scenes from Cicatrix and I needed to make sure they flowed. So. 25 minutes of mumbling to myself in the hotel room. And then...

Take Back the Sci-Fi
Sexual assault and rape frequently get used as symbolic plot devices, with no consideration of how sexual violence actually affects survivors and the people around them. Let's discuss books that accurately portray the repercussions of and recovery from sexual assault, as well as those that merely use it as a shortcut to character development, those that end up glorifying it, and how sexual violence can be written in a way that is true to the character and respectful to survivors. Genevieve Iseult Eldredge, Catt Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Ken Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Shira Lipkin (m), Trisha Wooldridge

This is a panel that succeeds wildly or fails miserably depending on the panelists and the moderator. This is the third time overall that I've modded it, second time at Arisia, and the streak remains unbroken; we rocked it. One point of fail from the audience, and cluegirl lowered the hammer on the dude, and I am just overall happy with how it went once again. Go Team Us!

I'm sure I had lunch around then. I don't remember what. I believe it was one of a string on peanut butter sandwiches. I never want another peanut butter sandwich. After that, wandering and hanging out with people. I think that was also my first cursory sweep of the art show and dealer's room.

Next three items were back to back to back.

Alternative Activism
Many fans are also heavily involved in activism, advancing the rights of queer/poly/kink/trans/etc. folks. At this panel, you will learn the best ways to get your voice heard, and what organizations and causes could use your support. Come share your skills, meet some fellow activists, and get some ideas for how to best fight for your cause. Darkteddybear, Bendy Yoga Girl, Shira Lipkin (m), Lawrence Nelson, Mike Schneider

Everyone else knows each other but they made me the moderator, oh hai. This was one of the panels I honestly felt could benefit from an even longer timeslot, just because the topic is so broad. But we got a lot of great discussion and audience participation, yay! Darkteddybear was one of the Finds of the con for me, and we had several meals together afterward talking rapid-fire about activist stuff, thus proving the adage that if you get two activists in the same room they will form a committee. NEVER MORE TRUE.

This was also me breaking out of my rut a bit, branching out into the fan interest stuff after pretty exclusively doing literature, comics, and fast track for the past five or so Arisias, and I'm glad I did.

SF and Fantasy as the Modern Myth
John Campbell, Joseph Campbell, Tolkien, and George Lucas: What is the role of myth in F&SF, and F&SF in myth? Does the ubiquity of SF's tropes in society support the thesis that SF is our modern myth? And, if not, what is? Mark L. Amidon, Renée Johnson, Shira Lipkin (m), Gail Martin, John G. McDaid

Moderating my boyfriend, aw yeah.

One of the things I found most amusing about the panel was that audience members had already seen me running everywhere like crazy. My overscheduling was a known thing.

I feel like the panel went well despite. Despite the fact that at least one panelist seemed to not understand the panel topic and only wanted to talk about classical mythology. Despite some audience members assuming that us declaring that SF&F has become our modern myth meant that we were saying SF&F was the universal monomyth, which no it isn't. But we did have a great discussion besides that, and good audience interaction. Boyfriend was totally on point. Go boyfriend!

Reading—Lipkin, Rabuzzi, Sklar

So yeah. Scary.

I knew I wanted to read from Cicatrix. I knew that when I read from Cicatrix at Readercon, I was not happy with it - essentially, I knew I'd read the wrong pieces. All of the darkness, none of the redemption. For someone who usually has about 50% whimsy in her readings, that doesn't feel right. Cicatrix is just not going to be whimsical, but there are parts that are less depressing and more graceful.

I strung together four scenes, three of which were Ash-and-Aaron-centric to show the progress of their relationship, and one of which was Ash and Kai, to end on a note of impending doom. I made the decision to not infodump about what the elsewheres were and how one got there; originally I had an infodumpy scene in there, but it made the reading overlong and fucked up the pacing. And I have been realizing how different novels are from short stories, structurally. It doesn't work for Ash to infodump because that's not who Ash is and because with the pacing of a novel, it works better to unveil things slowly, and that's how Ash would do it anyway. Those of you who hasn't heard Cicatrix before - how did that pacing work for you?

And really, everyone at the reading - how was that?

Since I usually read whimsy, like I said, I'm used to continual audience feedback in the form of laughter at appropriate places. Here, dead silence. Which felisdemens later assured me was everyone holding their breath. I did hear thunderpigeon gasp at one point, which was a good point for him to be gasping. But. Nervous 'song is nervous! So. Feedback?

I read with thunderpigeon and Daniel Rabuzzi, who were both excellent. Our stuff is all very different, but I feel like we all fit together very well!

After the reading, dinner with asim, Darkteddybear and his wife, and badseed1980, then parties.

At the Barfleet party, the ladies from dinner and miss_lisa_ma declared ourselves the Rump Parliament.

Which resulted in poor feste_sylvain getting a drunken text message as he was right about to start moderating his 11pm panel that read "We are the Rump Parliament."

He has learned to take this in stride.

The official greeting of the Rump Parliament is "Welcome to the Rump Parliament. May we touch you?" This resulted in a puddle of men at our feet. But that's really not much different from any other party. Also much cuddling from awesome people of all genders, yum.

The Barfleet party was also notable for me convincing many lovely women to drink an incredibly nasty drink called a YT. I cannot tell you what that stands for, because if I say it I have to drink another one. Y'all, I am occasionally wicked and cruel. I blame scifantasy for convincing me to drink the damn thing in the first place.

I went from there to Ziggurat Labs, where I got the tour from co-host xthread, and bartender xiphias put up with my "I have to know what is in every drink please and thank you no surprises and no citrus" and gave me a Hugo Loser, which resulted in me wandering around for an hour or so informing the world at large that my bourbon was carbonated. Because that's what happens when you carbonate my bourbon. Let that be a lesson. I finally caught up with hammercock and rikibeth and fun conversations were had. And I had a great "oh! yes! I know you from The LiveJournal!" moment with crewgrrl and iambliss, and was given a beaker with an eyeball in it.

I finally wandered off to bed at around 3am.

Big mistake.

To be continued tomorrow.
20th-Jan-2011 03:19 am (UTC)
*evil grin*
20th-Jan-2011 03:23 am (UTC)
I loved the parts you read from Cicatrix. I really want to hear the rest of Aaron's story. The reveal of the duet was like a physical presence in the room. For once, the goosebumps weren't due to the temp in the hotel!

Also, thank you for introducing me to David Sklar's work. I have to find more!
20th-Jan-2011 03:36 am (UTC)
Thanks for enjoying the reading.
20th-Jan-2011 03:39 am (UTC)
p.s.: Fairylogic, may I quote you when I write my Arisia wrap-up?
20th-Jan-2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Shiny, indeed! Thanks! :)

And feel free to use any quotes you'd like.
20th-Jan-2011 03:37 am (UTC)
OK, you heard me gasp, and I told you I loved that scene, right? So if I compliment you again it'll be redundant. But I will if you want me to.
20th-Jan-2011 03:50 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure my incoherent weeping was evidence of how I felt about the parts you read of Cicatrix.

I will not flatter you further because I was one of the lovely women and am therefore still mad at you!
22nd-Jan-2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
Mea maxima culpa!
20th-Jan-2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Having never heard any of Cicatrix before, I can say that your selections flowed well and made sense. They left me with the impression that there was a lot more to the story, but in a way that was enticing, not confusing.
22nd-Jan-2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
Good! That's what I was going for. :)
20th-Jan-2011 04:03 am (UTC)
We took two of those beakers home.

Also, one of these days we need to have the "how do you feed yourself at cons when cross-contamination is an issue" conversation. You have gluten, I have invisible kashrut gremlins.
22nd-Jan-2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
I'm still in staff mode, because I'm like "THAT WOULD MAKE A GREAT PANEL".
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22nd-Jan-2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
20th-Jan-2011 06:33 am (UTC)
OMG WOW was I floored by your reading. And this is after having skipped much of it when it went up on your blog, because it wasn't reading like that in my head. So you now have someone who WANTS to read the rest of it, because of your reading, and OMG WOW.

It was gorgeous, it was music in all the right places, and I swear I had the awesome kind of synesthisia listening to it.
22nd-Jan-2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Yay synesthesia!
20th-Jan-2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
I wanted to make your reading, but I was at the point of "I need food or I will fall over." :( Another time!
22nd-Jan-2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Totally understood!
21st-Jan-2011 06:48 am (UTC)
I had read the parts of Cicatrix that you posted, back when you posted them, and I enjoyed hearing them read aloud--and I thought you read them very well. (I also enjoyed the other two readers' works, but I seem to be mixing up who was who, there.)
22nd-Jan-2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
I did a bunch of editing on those bits, but that was apparently invisible - which is how it should be!

Daniel Rabuzzi stood as he read; David Sklar read the story about Lady Marmalade in Hell.
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