Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I-Con schedule

Before I forget, I have my schedule for I-Con now, in case any of you are attending and want to find me:

Friday, 7pm
Tie-Ins: Putting a Personal Spin on Shared Worlds
DeCandido(M), Osborne, Rosenberg, Greenberger

Saturday, 11am
“Gems” From the Slushpile
Rosenberg, Crawford(M), Gorinsky, Bilmes
Pros share their amusing (and scary) stories of memorable (for the wrong reasons) submissions

Sunday, 11am
Dealer’s Hall

Sunday, 2pm
Lies and Myths About Getting Published
Rosenberg(M), Crawford, Bacigalupi, Gorinsky, Bilmes
A surprising take on “accepted” ideas about publishing

Apparently I may be on a comics panel as well, though why I’m not sure. If that is the case I’ll update this list and post to let people know.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

LunaCon 2008 report

LunaCon was very nice and very friendly—it helps that we knew a lot of the other program participants already, so it was very comfortable. We drove up Saturday morning, checked in (nice room!), and had enough time to locate Glenn, get downstairs, register, get our badges, and still make it to David’s Life Jam. I only related one story, from the night of my bachelor party, before I had to head out to my first panel. Jendaby told a story while I was gone, apparently, and to good effect.

The World at Your Fingertips panel was fun and the audience seemed to enjoy it, which is always nice. Afterward I caught up with jendaby and the kids in the Green Room, then we all headed off to the Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox panel, where my son decided he’d rather sit with me on the panel than with Mommy in the audience. He was being well-behaved and quiet, though—and cute, of course—so nobody minded. The panel itself was good, though it wandered off-topic more than a little. Afterward I wrangled the kids for a bit so jendaby could go to a panel she wanted to see—we found the crafts room and my daughter made a hand puppet while my son just had fun handing her things.

We went back to the Green Room for a bit—it makes such a difference having a place you can sit and relax for a bit and get some water or some chips, esp. with kids! Caught up with Bob and Glenn there and finalized plans for dinner, then took the kids back to our room before I headed out to my third panel, the Game Designers Roundtable. That one’s always fun, though this time it was a bit poignant because David moderated it last year—I’ll always remember him storming in a few minutes late, still dressed as Dumbledore/Gandalf from his Masquerade prep, strolling over to the table, leaning his staff against the wall, taking his chair, and then saying, “Right, let’s get started.”

After my panel I headed back to our room to have dinner with Glenn, Bob, jendaby, justcomeinalone, his friend Lisa, and Rick Marshall of ComicMix. Then they all vacated for the Masquerade, leaving me to mind the wee ones.

That was the only bad part of the con for me. Nor was it anyone’s fault, really, just a combination of factors:

1. We only had the one hotel room, so there wasn’t anywhere I could retreat to once the kids were “in bed.”
2. The crib the hotel provided for our son was too low for him, so he was able to straddle the bars and almost climb out. Which he did. Repeatedly.
3. The hotel was charging an outrageous amount for in-room Internet, too much for me to justify paying, so I had no web access.
4. I couldn’t turn off the lights enough for the kids to get to sleep without sitting completely in the dark.
5. I hadn’t brought a book because I figured I’d go online or write.
6. They were being too loud for me to write.

Finally I gave up on getting them to sleep and turned on the TV. The Incredibles was on Disney, so I helped my daughter shift her sleeping bag over so she could watch while lying down and I lay on the bed and watched. She fell asleep shortly after that. My son took longer but finally succumbed, and by the time jendaby returned both kids were asleep. I needed a little breather—fortunately the Swordsmith party was only a few doors away, so I stopped by there for a drink and to hang out with friends. jendaby traded off with me after a little while, so we both got to chat with xochitl42 and others for a bit

The only other bad moment was later that night—around three—when our son woke up because he hadn’t eaten his dinner and was now starving. We’d had to throw out the leftovers because we didn’t have a fridge, and at that hour nothing was open anywhere, nor did the hotel have snack machines. Fortunately a hotel-desk goddess miraculously located and sent up two small boxes of Cheerios, and thus sated our son consented to slumber once more.

Sunday we had no commitments so we didn’t get up until around 9. I took my daughter with me and we went down to the little snack shop and brought back some juice and things for breakfast, then we got everyone up and dressed and checked out. After dropping the bags in the car jendaby went to a panel and I wandered through the Dealers Room and then went to the Green Room to chill. We all went to a panel on geekdom at 1—and knew all the panelists—which was entertaining, and then it was time to bundle everyone back into the car and head on home.

All in all it was a nice show. I had a good time, both personally and professionally, and got to meet some new people and connect with some old friends. Some cons are big and frantic, some are strictly regimented, and some are cozy and friendly and comfortable. LunaCon is definitely in that last category, and I’ll happily attend again next year.

Monday, March 10, 2008

LunaCon this weekend!

I keep forgetting to post about this, but I’m a guest at LunaCon again this coming weekend. Jendaby and I are going up, and yes, we’re bringing the kids. Whee! We should be getting in some time Saturday morning and we’re staying the night there, which should make life easier—last year I drove up and drove back Saturday, which was a little tiring.
For those attending, or just curious, here is my schedule:

Saturday, March 15th
11 am-2 pm, Mianus River
David Honigsberg Life Jam
I am not listed as a participant and I have a panel right in the middle, but I will be there for the first hour and hopefully the last one.

noon-1 pm, Bartell Room
The World at Your Fingertips
Building your own world is a challenge for even the most experienced GM. Where do you start? What essential information do you need before you can start a game and how much can you invent off the cuff? What tools are available to assist you? Have internet wikis, name generators, and mapping software made it easier to create, or just easier to get bogged down in details?
Participants: Shaughn Bryant, Adam Nakama, Daniel Robichaud[M], Aaron Rosenberg

2-3 pm, Odelle Room
Playing in Someone Else's Sandbox
Learn about the differences in writing work-for-hire books (such as Star Trek or Star Wars) vs. writing creator-owned original novels. How do they differ creatively and financially? What are the pros and cons of each kind of project for a writer's career?
Participants: Ginjer Buchanan, Keith DeCandido, David Mack[M], Aaron Rosenberg, Susan Shwartz

6-7 pm, Poplar Room
Game Designers' Roundtable
Game designers of various RPGs talk about particular challenges of design and worldbuilding. What is the relative importance of setting versus game mechanics? How do you avoid coming across as derivative?
Participants: Leigh Grossman, Georgia Horesh, Aaron Rosenberg

I’m sure we’ll be attending the Masquerade—I know jendaby will, at least—and we’ll be around the rest of that day and night and at least part of the following morning as well.