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.
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.
To be continued tomorrow.