May. 21st, 2017 09:48 pm
aamcnamara: (Default)
I'm going to be at WisCon! For the first time in years!

I am on two panels:
Living Globally Through the Internet - Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm - Conference 1
With the Internet, it's become possible to live in one place while staying pretty well connected to another. How do we manage when we keep our hearts in a different place from where we hang our hats?

Let's Go Steal a Panel: Leverage and Fandom - Sat, 9:00–10:15 pm - University D
Leverage ended after 5 seasons in 2012, but the show remains popular among fandom, and its themes of found family, as well as Robin Hood-style narrative of standing up to corporate bullying and abuses of the rich & powerful, seem to be more relevant than ever as escapist fantasy. We'll talk about what Leverage did right, and also take off the rose tinted glasses to dive into what hasn't held up. If you've ever wanted to know why Leverage fans are so passionate about the show, join the panelists as they geek out over the adventures of their favorite misfit family of the Grifter, the Thief, the Hacker, the Hitter, and the Mastermind.

Looking forward to seeing folks there!
aamcnamara: (Default)
My Readercon schedule has been finalized! Where I'll be:

Friday July 11
4:00 PM EM LCRW. Christopher Brown, Michael J. Deluca, Eric Gregory, Deborah McCutchen, Alena McNamara. Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Group Reading

5:00 PM ENL The Works of Nicola Griffith. Jonathan Crowe, Kelley Eskridge, Alena McNamara. Nicola Griffith was born in Yorkshire, England, but has lived in the U.S. for many years with her wife, Kelley Eskridge. She began publishing SF with “Mirror and Burnstone” in Interzone in 1987. Her novels include Ammonite (1992, Tiptree and Lambda Award winner), Slow River (1994, Nebula and Lambda winner), The Blue Place (1998), Stay (2002), Always (2007), and Hild (2013). She has also co-edited three anthologies with Stephen Pagel: Bending the Landscape: Fantasy (1997), Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (1998), and Bending the Landscape: Horror (2001). She has published a memoir, And Now We Are Going to Have a Party: Liner Notes to a Writer's Early Life (2007), another Lambda Award winner. Join us for a discussion of her work.

8:00 PM F Revealing the Past, Inspiring the Future. Amal El-Mohtar (leader), Max Gladstone, Alena McNamara, Sarah Pinsker, Julia Rios. When writing Hild, Nicola Griffith was aiming for historical accuracy where possible, including in her depictions of women, queer characters, people of color, and slavery in seventh-century Britain. She writes, "Readers who commit to Hild might see the early middle ages differently now: they see what might have been possible, instead of the old master story about the place of women and the non-existence of POC and QUILTBAG people 1400 years ago. And if it was possible then, what might be possible today and in the future?" What other books and stories expand our notion of the possible by revealing the truth of history? How can creators of future settings learn from the suppressed or hidden past?

Saturday July 12
9:30 AM ENV Reading: Alena McNamara. Alena McNamara. Alena McNamara reads from an unpublished fantasy novel.

1:00 PM G Confronting the Gods. Chris Gerwel, Alena McNamara, Anil Menon, Eugene Mirabelli, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. In the last few years, N.K. Jemisin, Max Gladstone, Jo Walton, and Robert Jackson Bennett have written some intriguing new takes on interactions between gods and mortals. Have cultural shifts made it easier to freely imagine different deistic dynamics? How do we read these books while living in a world full of complicated and conflicting attitudes toward religion?

I am very excited for my panels! "Revealing the Past, Inspiring the Future" might be the topic I'm looking forward the most to discussing. The LCRW reading will be for issue #33--should be pretty great. And last but certainly not least...well, I was not really expecting them to give me a reading slot. Eep. I plan to read from my novel in draft; I've got the first chapter re-drafted/revised at this point but I should polish that, or decide if I want to read from some other bit of it and work that up to strength.

(Also, I should likely look up all those stats on How Many Pages You Should Plan To Read In A Half-Hour Reading.)

That's me--who will I be seeing there?
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My newest short story sale, "Starling Road", will appear in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #33 (out next month from Small Beer Press!). I love "Starling Road" and am extremely pleased it found such a good home. Michael DeLuca, the guest editor for the issue, has posted the full table of contents on his blog. It looks like it's going to be pretty awesome.

Associated with LCRW #33 will be a group reading at Readercon. I am also a program participant at Readercon--which is coming right up! I've seen a draft panel schedule, and it looks great, but I don't have the finalized version yet. Hopefully I will see many people there!

Spring and early summer have been quite busy for me between travel, a big work project, and starting some classes, but things seem to be calming down now (I say this every week) so I hope to get back into spending more time writing soon. It's not for lack of things to work on: I've got projects at novel, novelette, and short story length awaiting revisions. Fingers crossed I'll soon be able to work through those and get one, or more, out the door.
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1. I had a Readercon! I met some people I had previously known only as Internet usernames, including Leah Bobet (with whom I chatted sitting in the hall outside the very awesome and entirely too warm Interstitial party on Friday evening) and Brit Mandelo (with whom I failed to have any conversation, but waved at in passing), and saw some of those people one only sees at conventions (like Ellen and Delia, or Claire Cooney and Pattie Templeton, whose name I am probably spelling wrong), and met a couple of excellent people for the first time, and saw [livejournal.com profile] vcmw and [livejournal.com profile] aliseadae, which was fabulous.
1.5. I did not get Delany to sign my copy of Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, because apparently I left it in Minnesota.

2. I have now taken the Starburst Challenge, which means little if you did not go to the summer writing camp [livejournal.com profile] aliseadae and I attended as junior high/high school students. (We were so young then!) It is where you are given a Starburst and have to unwrap it with your eyes closed and determine what flavor it is, and it is a Thing at MITY. When I actually was at MITY, I did not know whether I could eat Starbursts. Lately I discovered that I can. So Sally and I went in together on an extremely expensive package of Starbursts from the hotel lobby shop and I took the Challenge standing on a grassy slope by the Burlington Marriott parking lot.

3. Sally and Kate polkaed down the hallways of Readercon.

4. I now have extensive notes, plus bits of actual text, on a short story and a novel, both of which I just need to sit down and draft, dammit, except that I keep not being near a computer (and when I am, doing such important things as Checking My Email And Marking All Those Emails I Saw When I Checked It At Work As Read On My Computer).

5. ... Also I got a really nice rejection on my flash fiction "Katabasis" and I intend to change a couple of things and send it out again, but I haven't yet.

6. I read some books on my commute, but I forgot to write them up for a post and lately I've been using that time to write (or, well, think about stories), so there you have it. Not totally destitute of books, but busy. (I got a library card yesterday. So there may yet be more books.)

7. Yes, this entire post is "I have a brain! Really! Sometimes! It's just buried under... things!"

8. In mad-scientist news, part of my job involves testing things at higher and higher voltages until they produce large purple sparks and stop working.


Jul. 15th, 2011 06:00 pm
aamcnamara: (Default)
This is just a note to say that I am going to Readercon (yay!) and will be arriving tonight.

Once more with feeling: I look like my icon, except that I will not be wearing a tuxedo. (I didn't bring it with me from Minnesota for the summer. How do men wear full suits in the summer? I am impressed, and do not understand.)


Also, apparently I have become the sort of person who a), commutes, and b), writes on a bus. I am okay with this. (And at lunch breaks. Um.) It gets things done! More things than I was getting done before, definitely. However, I still do not end up with time to type stuff up/update LJ with word count or progress or anything, and this weekend's pretty much gone... ah well. Next weekend, maybe.
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I want to bring library books with me to return when I go to meet a friend this afternoon. This means I should probably type up Books Read. Which, in my brain, means I ought to write up everything else that happened this weekend because that's more important. Instead I will type up books read, wander off to do things, and come back to complete the post later.

WisCon )

China Mieville reading )

Books read )
aamcnamara: (Default)
This morning I went on a Quest for Bordertown. The new anthology came out today and I was determined to possess a copy by the end of the day. (Spoilers: I was successful.) I knew I was going to be downtown, so maybe I could just get one from the B&N down there...

...but really, that'd be cheating. So I popped down to Birchbark Books, who didn't have it in their extensive and lovely YA section--but looked it up when I asked about it, and said it seemed awesome and they'd buy a copy or so for the store, anyhow.

And then it was off around the lake to Uptown, where I caught the bus to Uncle Hugo's, because I'd decided that supporting independent bookstores was the better part of valor--er, or something like that. Uncle Hugo's, of course (of course!), delivered. One copy of Welcome to Bordertown dropped into my hands. (At first I was worried, but turned out it was just leaning on the New Releases bookcase behind something else.)

From story one, it's the Bordertown I remember, plus a bit of the geeks and runaways of today. So far I am loving it. I'm halfway through, or so.

Anyway, after that I headed downtown and ate lunch staring at a book (familiar feeling) before meeting [livejournal.com profile] 1crowdedhour at the library to catch up. Got some books from the library so Bordertown wouldn't feel lonely, and came back home. I'd like to just dive back in, but I should probably spend some time developing Plans to hang out with people, or working on writing... we'll see how it all goes.

Speaking of, I've been thinking I should commit to doing something writing-related every day this summer: revise a scene, brainstorm things for a new story, draft something, whatever. Last week I was doing pretty well on this, this week not so much. When I'm doing physics research this summer I'll have plenty of things to distract me, so I should probably get in the habit now if I'm going to do it. On the other hand, it's summer; I'll likely get some work done in the next few months either way. And the time not writing is usually reading books or seeing friends or whatever... or, admittedly, watching television on the Internet, which is maybe a worse use of my time than writing.

We'll see how that all goes, too, I guess.


Entirely unrelatedly, my friend [livejournal.com profile] aliseadae has a post here looking for a rideshare to Readercon this summer from the Twin Cities:

What I need, then, is some friendly person or persons who would be willing to travel with me and who have a car. I do not know of such persons right now, but if you do, please let me know.

I will also be abroad for a month starting this Saturday so I should really plan this soon if I want to go. Which might make planning impossible but I might be able to get internet while abroad. We'll see.

Anyone? It'd rock if she could make it--she's never been to Readercon before and I know she'd love it.
aamcnamara: (Default)
This post is large. It contains multitudes.

Fourth Street! )

While at the last panel at Fourth Street, I had an idea for a slightly related question.

How is your revision process (for novels, particularly, but short stories as well) reflected in the material things and/or software structures that you use?

(For example, if a writer restructures their novel in one stage and then goes through to polish, do they use notecards for restructuring, Scrivener, just work it out in a notebook? Do they print it out and go through to polish it, scroll through, check scenes individually?)

...however, it was not really relevant, so I am posing it here instead, or possibly will suggest it as a panel topic for next Fourth Street (if they let us submit panel topics) or WisCon or something. It seems interesting to me, at least. Some writing software is designed for certain things, and some for others, and since writers All Do It Differently, a certain amount of mishmash cobbling together of things is necessary, I should think.

Arrant pedantry, unrelated to both above )

I have a few more thoughts about Fourth Street (and conventions in general), Et Cetera, but right now I need to do my Ideomancer slush and work some more on my novel.
aamcnamara: (Default)
Some Things of Awesome, numbered and cut-tagged:

1. People )
2. Panels )
3. Parties )
4. Assorted )

I could call that a con report.
aamcnamara: (Default)
I am full of tired at this moment. There are lots of awesome things that I could talk about (mustachioed street magician! farmers' market strawberries! Codex meetup! watching vids! people! panels!), and in fact I am writing up the whole weekend at this moment, but I will need some sleep before I can properly filter what in fact has a point for me to post.

(I am pretty sure you do not need to know that on Saturday morning I made myself a cup of chamomile tea in the Consuite before the ten o'clock panel, nor that it had honey in it. Although the point that it felt like college, in that hot water for tea was readily available, might be relevant.)

As well, and entirely unrelated to any of the above, I suddenly desire to write a bunch of writing- craft thinky-posts. You have been warned.

In the meantime: I am home, though with very little brain. And I believe that Fourth Street will be awesome.
aamcnamara: (Default)
So I have just registered for WisCon and Fourth Street Fantasy Convention.

Which means that yes, officially I will Be There (and, ancillary, yes, I will officially Be In Minnesota this summer--the physics people turned me down, which would be sad if it weren't for the fact that my summer is going to be equally awesome, just in different ways).

Also, I have no idea where I am staying for WisCon. Anyone have extra roomspace or anything?

Some other things have been happening lately: finally I know which dorm I'll be living in next year (yay!); I'm registering for classes today, and if nothing drastically changes I should be able to get into everything I want (double yay!); and also I did a whole bunch of financial aid stuff earlier this week, so even though there are still things left to do, well, yay!

There are less awesome things about--I feel like I have been losing focus a bit lately, it's so nice out and I want to spend all my time outside and/or with people, which is not so conducive to writing math papers on one's laptop/doing slush. Part of this is having just gotten done with tech for Dr. Horrible, I suspect. I should have some time today to catch up with things a bit more, and with any luck this weekend will also help.

(Also, I have this whole stack of library books on my windowsill I've been ignoring to read Dhalgren, which I feel vaguely guilty about.)

I'll also, I think, be calmer once I have the time to sit down and stare at "As Large as Alone" for a while with the comments on the last draft nearby. I've made some changes going off the biggest comments, but there are other things I still need to resolve, and looking at the items independently just makes me nervous. I still want to get this story Done With and Out. Gah.
aamcnamara: (Default)
1. I have a mohawk.

1.5. It is very fluffy.

2. I am reading House of Leaves and it is very odd. I might post about it when I have finished, though I am not sure yet what I will say.

3. [livejournal.com profile] vcmw, I tried green tea with mint today and lo, it was tasty!

4. This weekend I went to Conbust. Details of ConBust! )
5. I am planning--I hope--to do one more big revision pass over "As Large as Alone" and then send it out somewhere soonish.
aamcnamara: (Default)
Some highlights of the rest of my spring break:
- Pretty Concord library and old old graveyard!
- We tried to go to Walden Pond, but it was closed
- So much good food (spoiling me for dining halls, I fear)
- Hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] vcmw and talking books (and going to aquariums and wandering and watching Buffy)
- Maple syrup! Maple sugar candy!
- Maple cotton candy is a ridiculously awesome idea and also well-executed
- Train! Traaaain!

...and then beautiful weather when I got back to campus. Next weekend is ConBust, which I plan to drop in on at some point or other; next week is lots of tests and papers, hooray! This week will be catching up with my life after spring break.

Less awesome: my plant got bugs while I was gone. I hope that it's all right.
aamcnamara: (Default)
Doing things entirely unrelated to college makes me happy. Working on things for Ideomancer, or doing comments for the Codex novel exchange, or just working on a story. It proves that I am a real person, not just A College Student. That I have a life outside of writing papers and taking tests.

So today was a nice day, even though half the snow melted. (It stayed long enough for me to have a snowball fight, though. I am content.)


Question: who's going to Wiscon this year? Fourth Street Fantasy?

(Fourth Street will probably be a go for me no matter what, as I suspect I will be in Minnesota all summer; Wiscon is more shaky, and depends on, well, mostly me working out where I'd sleep, and if anyone I know will be there.)


Here, have an article about a guy who was a professor at my college. My boss at work was telling me stories about him the other day.

Also, have a poem.


Dec. 12th, 2009 03:58 pm
aamcnamara: (Default)
It has come to my attention that Arisia happens in Boston in January, which just so happens to be when I will be in Massachusetts for my college's J-term. (Or not a coincidence, since the J stands for January, but anyway.)

Being a big fan of SFF conventions, I am pondering attending. However, I haven't heard a lot about Arisia, probably because I've always lived halfway across the country from it. So: what manner of con is it? About how large? Knowing what you know of me, would I enjoy it?

Many thanks.

May 2017



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