Category Archives: wiscon31

Publication! & Forgotten Linkage.

My first publication! Woo! It’s not fiction but an essay I wrote about my experience at WisCon last year. It’s entitled Colonialism…In…Space! and on the Ground and will be in WisCon Chronicles 2 forthcoming from Aqueduct Press. It’s actually spurred me into contemplating actually writing essays to submit to Strange Horizons and such. It’s not something I’ve given much thought to before although others have suggested it because I just didn’t think I was good enough compared to what I’ve seen out there. This acceptance is like a shot of confidence/adrenalin in the tush.

Also I now realize I had forgotten to link to my last post for The Angry Black Woman: The Strong Woman & Emasculated Man. It actually got linked to by feministing which is kind of kickass.

That’s all for now but they’ll probably be a longer contemplative post in the next couple of days because someone’s comment has reminded me of something I said I’d write about and never did.

Je suis une bunny (meaning quick post!)

Four exciting things have happened in the last few days:

#1 Another professor agreed to write me a letter of recommendation. (Note to self: contact schools)

#2 I was asked to submit an essay to the WisCon anthology. I have an idea on what I want to write but I have to email them my idea and see if it’s okay.

#3 The first teacher who agreed to write me a recommendation caught up with me yesterday and asked if I would read something at this informal reading series he has in his home.

#4 Is a secret for two more days. I’ll post about it on Sat.

So last night I was nervous waiting for the other shoe to drop when I realized that is not the way to live your life. I am going to enjoy this sudden windfall and be happy about the whole thing. So YAY!

WisCon 31 Recalled 4/4: What do you mean it’s over?!? No, I won’t return to the real world! Nooooooooooo!

As before feel free to correct me if I get anything wrong, I’m working from a memory over a week old.

Monday
I rose very early (8 a.m.) on Monday morning so I could head down to the Interfictions Anthology Reading, to support my girl Tempest. Since it was so early I wandered down in my sleep pants and bandanna. The reading was amazing. Even though I had picked up the anthology I hadn’t actually read any of the stories. Tempest gave us just a little taste from her amazing contribution “Black Feather”. Then Catherynne Valente read her whole story, “A Dirge for Prester John”. As much as I loved her reading style and the story it was just a little too long for 8:30 in the morning. I immediately went upstairs and read Tempest’s story, which by the way – FABULOUS!, then jumped in the shower to prepare for the Sign-Out.

Headed down to the Sign-Out where I got signatures from Laurie J. Marks, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Andrea Hairston, Nicola Griffith & Catherynne Valente. Surprisingly Nina Kiriki Hoffman was also signing even though she wasn’t on the list.  I approached her and told her how much I loved her work and that I had forced Jackie to by “A Fistful of Sky” which is one of my favorite books. I actually picked up another one of her books, “Spirits That Walk in Shadow” at the Con but it was already packed away *emo tear*. We wandered over to the Dealers Room while we waited to see if Pat Murphy was going to be signing (her name sign was there but hadn’t been picked up). On the way we made plans to meet up in a few minutes and go out to lunch with Leah, Candra & Allison.

Picked up a few more books in the Dealers Room and headed back to the Sign-Out. Pat Murphy was there so we got her signature and then headed over to Cosi for lunch. Candra, Allison & Leah had to leave immediately after so we said goodbye and Jackie and I headed to the bar. We hung out with Nisi and Victor for a while, had a few drinks, and then headed up to the Dead Cow Party. There we knitted/worked/talked for a while. Then Jackie, Tempest, Wendy & I headed up to the bar on the 14th floor where we drank and had a good ‘ole time. We closed the bar down, Wendy receiving the last drink of the Con, and headed back to the Dead Cow party. A large group of us (I would name names but some I don’t know plus I was more than a little tipsy at this point) hung out there until like 1 in the morning.
Headed back to my room and fell asleep.

Tuesday
Jackie woke me up to say goodbye at like 5:30 and then headed off to catch her plane. I woke up for real at around 9, went downstairs, checked out and hung out in the lobby with Cynthia, Bill, Wendy, Tempest and other people (I’ve forgotten who, sorry) until it was time for Tempest and I to catch the hotel shuttle to the airport. When we got to the airport we had lunch (well Tempest had lunch, I just sipped on a beer) by this time her flight was boarding so we said goodbye and I headed over to my gate. My flight wasn’t for over two hours and heading out of the gate before me was Andrea Hairston and her friend (whose name I forgot, again sorry). We had a cool conversation about Creative Writing programs and poetry until their flight headed off.

Turns out I was on the same plane as Debbie and her partner, even though we weren’t sitting anywhere near each other. When we arrived at SFO Debbie’s friend, Laurie I believe?, who had also been on the plane offered me a ride home.

That is all for my WisCon report but there is a post called WisCon minutiae that will be going up soon with a few links and notes.

All in all it was a great con where I met some amazing people, both mentioned in the report and not. I will definitely be going back next year!

Delays, delays, delays…

The final part of the WisCon report will be coming soon. I’ve just been busy. I have a story that needs to be typed up (yes, I write everything longhand) and revised and its been kicking my ass a little.

In other news I am now on Twitter under naamenblog….it’s interesting.

Also my new favorite website, and no I have no idea why, is LibraryThing (as naamenblog, as well)! There’s just something about having an online visual representation of my books that’s a bit thrilling. Most of what I have up now are the books I bought from WisCon31 (they’re all tagged with that). Fourty-four books!

Anyway today I shall type up my story and play on LibraryThing but soon the next part of the Con Report will come.

WisCon 31 Recalled 3/4: Is This Level Of Exhaustion Normal?

Again, If I get any names or facts wrong, feel free to let me know. I’ve only got my own faulty memory to rely on here.

Sunday
The day started not with a bang but with a whimper as I climbed out of bed slowly and prepared myself for my second panel of the weekend. I wandered down to the Green Room for some tea and then headed over to the meeting room. On the way I ran into a bunch of the FeministSF Blog bloggers and talked with them for a bit.

There were a few people in the room and one of my fellow panelists, K. Joyce Tsai. I knew Joyce from online but had never really met her in person before this Con (we had talked the previous night outside the parties & at the Whither Hero(in)es panel on Friday night.) so we talked a little in our bleary, sleepy states. In came Doselle Young, in his atheist t-shirt and furry slippers and the first words out of his mouth: “I’m not the moderator, am I?”
Joyce & I: un-huh
Doselle: Damn, I don’t want to be a moderator, let’s just run this anarchy style.
Me: Fine by me
Unfortunately for my inner anarchist, but luckily for the audience, Janice Ellen Young was also on the panel and took on the role of moderator.

What These People Need Is A Honky!
– Joyce had a list of films that meet this trope (I will find the list and post it in the WisCon Addendum post on Tues. or Weds.)
– Leah (in the audience) brought up the white female teacher savior trope and I told them about the skit “Nice White Lady” from MadTV.
– I brought up Tamora Pierce’s Trickster duology, which I do love but has way too much: “Oh we couldn’t have done this without you, young white spy!”
– Doselle brought up the movie Mimic(?) and the fact that not only does the black man sacrifice himself for the white main character (a staple in these types of films) but he goes to his death SINGING! Doselle said he was afraid to look down and see that his popcorn had been changed to watermelon.
– Of course we brought up “Dancing with The Last Samurai of Heaven.”
– Joyce brought up the film Cry Freedom and the lack of black characters (speaking ones in particular) in the second half.
– Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Jar-Jar, the evil traders with Asian accents & the evil merchant/slave-owner with a Jewish accent. (It should be noted that when I say accents I mean stereotypical racist portrayals of accents)
– Johanna (from the audience) told us the Ewoks actually speak Tagalog a lot. “Yes, the little brown bears speak the language of the ‘little brown people’!”
That hurt me…a lot.
I brought up the Wounded Knee adaptation and the bullshit of the added part-white character. Doselle had to take a moment.
– Someone brought up the little coda always at the end of the film, “This is still a problem in…”. Which I brought up is mostly for a white audience. It’s like ‘Oh there’s still racism in America? Yeah I’m black I already knew that shit.’ This makes it very obvious who the films are made for and it ain’t PoC.
– Joyce brought up Shogun & the Empire book series by Feist & Wurts.
– The fact that a large majority of interracial relationships are white man/woman of color. That interracial is hardly ever interpreted as PoC/PoC.
– I said I have no respect for those (like Mariah Carey) who actively hide their heritage only to admit to it later to cash in on the trend.
– The fact that many white people view Denzel as “the Good Negro” in that he is safe and they can identify with him as opposed to say Djimon Hounsou. (Note: I don’t view Denzel this way but it is why for a long time he dominated any roles that needed a black man; we’re just starting to see the end of this)
– Also that Denzel, Avery Brooks, Eric LaSalle all had/have enough power to alter their character, whereas most PoC in Hollywood do not. That this is why their characters often turn out more realized than other PoC characters.
The Pam Noles blog post about white men dominating hollywood, I compared it to the coda at the end of the films. Is there any PoC who did not know this was still the case?

After the panel it was discovered that all the panelists were from California. Just an oddity no real point to the fact.

We all talked for a while then Jackie & I headed out for lunch. I think we went to the Noodle place again (we went there about 3 times and I always ordered the Mac & Cheese. We were in Wisconsin it would have felt like a betrayal not to sample their delicious cheeses!) I can’t recall if this should have gone in Sat.’s report but I’m putting it here. Jackie and I entered our room to find a plate of freshly made chocolate-covered strawberries & 2 glasses of Sangria. Our friend Kit from back home had heard about the bad thing that had happened to us that first day. She called the hotel and had them send up the treats with a nice little card. It was a wonderful surprise. I have great friends.

Then over to my next panel:
Colonialism…In…Space! (which I told everyone had to be read the way it was written.)
Panelists were: Me!, Victoria McManus, Jane Acheson (who has a great post here), Sara Brodzinsky & James A. Trimarco.
So I am gonna say that this was the panel I was most worried about because I felt I was going to be the only (or only visible) PoC on the panel and I was right. I wouldn’t have even been on the panel had Liz Henry not dropped out. I took Liz’s spot which I think is a very good thing. A panel on Colonialism with no PoC there would have felt weird, not because white people can’t talk about colonialism but they’re drawing parallels to the (mostly) white colonization of brown folks. If we’re going to discuss that I felt the panel should have been a little more mixed. When we are discussing Colonialism…In…Space! in comparison with first contact scenarios…it was just felt odd not have more PoC on the panel. Especially since colonialism in America is not over, it happens everyday.

I digress, the bottom line being it was uncomfortable being the only PoC there, though I rather be uncomfortable than there be a panel on colonialism with no PoC. When we were introducing ourselves I struggled with if I should bring it up. Y’know point out the elephant in the room. Instead I just brought up the fact that I identify as a colonized person in America, which I do. Allison, who was in the audience, later told me that I should have brought it up, that she expected the moderator to and truthfully so did I.

The panel did go well, though I think my uncomfortableness with the situation made me dominate the conversation more than I usually would.
– I brought up BSG and them being the colonized people at which point Jane said one of my favoritest quotes from the Con “It’s still pretty white people oppressing pretty white people.” Which is very true. I mentioned that I thought it was revolutionary in the way that it forced most of the audience to code with an oppressed and colonized people. A rarity to be sure.
– There were some great books and movies brought up but I never take notes so they are lost to the winds of time.
– I brought up Nalo’s Brown Girl In The Ring as a very visceral moment of colonialism. The Minister needs a new heart and it is ripped from the body of the oppressed. This was in a response to a question about books and colonialism that I can’t quite recall.
– Jane brought up the Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein and spoiled it a bit but I still want to read the series. I vaguely recall reading the first book years ago. Anyway she had some great examples on why the land itself is a colonizer along with the people.
– Victoria mostly took the silent moderator approach, just there to keep things on track.
– James had some great books he listed but as I said no notes.
– We also brought up the fact that the story most used in books is the big bad colonizer comes in to destroy someone. Then one of the colonizers lives among “the people” and learns they’re fabulous. Then he attempts to save them from the colonizer. This also ties in to the “What These People Need Is A Honky.” panel
– One book suggested that I do remember and could not find during the Con was So Long Been Dreaming a collection of sci-fi stories focusing on post-colonialism. I need to pick that up.
(There will probably be a post later about how my identification as a colonized person affects my writing because after Jane wrote about it I started to think about it a lot.)

Then I was off to: The Author’s Blog: Does It Help? Does It Hurt?
Panel: Lori Devoti, K. Tempest Bradford & Michael Mornard
This was a good panel with a whole lot of audience interaction. I asked questions about reviewing books on your blog and things of that nature. The advice given which I’m going to stick to is when critiquing work you have to have a reasonable critique. You can’t say “This book is stupid and so is the author!” but instead have things about the book that you disliked and point them out and your reason for disliking them which I think I’ve mostly stuck to. In other words don’t get personal, although that’s inevitable to a point, try and stay distanced.
Lively panel and lot of laughter. Points I remember:
– Once you put something online, it’s there forever in some form. Think before you post.
– People are reading your blog, even if their are no comments. Think before you snark, under your real name about people you need to interact with (I had to add the qualifier because I love snark and don’t want it to go away).
– Some authors use the blog to stay connected with fans and make them feel involved in the process.

I stayed in the same room because Candra & Allison were giving their paper presentation: Inherited Traits – Race, Gender, and Intertextuality in Heroes.
Unfortunately due to technical difficulties they started late so we didn’t get the whole paper but the 75% of it we got was great. They had clips to illustrate their points and brought up a lot of things I hadn’t seen because I stopped watching. I only had to leave the room once, when they showed the attempted rape of Claire, because that’s way too much for me to deal with. (In case I haven’t mentioned this elsewhere in the blog I cannot deal with sexualized violence, it makes my stomach turn. It’s something I don’t like to read or watch. In fiction rape is often played as titillating or motivating and to see this horrible base act made into something sexual for the audience’s male gaze is just disgusting. There’s a whole post here for later so I’ll stop now.)
Despite several attempted derailments by random men in the audience I do think thiswent very well. Although it did take me a little bit to realize exactly what intertextuality is because in my film class we always called it extra-diagetic information. Luckily I cottoned on but even before I did I enjoyed the things brought up. I especially enjoyed their discussion of the death of Simone and how the blame is placed only on Isaac (even though he was right!). Yeah, I could go on about this for a while but let’s move on…

We (Jackie, Candra, Allison, a bunch of people whose names I don’t remember or never knew & I) went to dinner at this burger place. The conversation turned to films that involve diversity of all types.

Then it was back to the hotel for a nap and then the GoH (Guest of Honor) speeches. Unfortunately while the spirit was willing the flesh was exhausted. Jackie attempted to wake me from my nap. I mumbled something about leaving me behind and went back to sleep. I woke up in time to start ironing my shirt for the fancy dress party. Jackie walked in to find me ironing while watching Flavor of Love: Charm School (or whatever it’s called). Give me a break, the hotel had limited cable! It was a good episode too, the one where Hottie hides two of the girls dresses to fluster them before a competition, where Andrew Firestone from The Bachelor interviewed them (no, I couldn’t make this shit up!).

Anyway we headed upstairs to one of the parties but it was crowded, stuffy and hot. Also we’d worked the parties the last two nights in a row. So we headed downstairs to the bar and drank until last call (which is really early in the hotel, 10:30p.m.) then up to Candra & Allison’s room. We just hung out chatting for a couple of hours. Then Jackie & I headed down to our own room and passed out.

Next: WisCon 31 Recalled 4/4: What do you mean it’s over?!? No, I won’t return to the real world! Nooooooooooo!

WisCon 31 Recalled 2/4: My First Panel or What The Hell Am I Doing Up At This Table?!?

If I get any names or facts wrong, feel free to let me know. I’ve only got my own faulty memory to rely on here.

Saturday
Rose early, all bright and shiny… well it would have been bright and shiny if the laryngitis fairy hadn’t snuck into the room during the night and stolen Jackie’s voice. I woke and went to the bathroom, ignoring Jackie’s frantic gesturing in my sleepy state. When I emerged she gestured that she had lost her voice. We…well I discussed how that sucked and she whispered some comments back. Eventually we proceeded to our first panel of the day:

Genre Tokenism Today: The New Octavia
Panelists were: Nora Jemison, K. Tempest Bradford, Candra K. Gill, Nnedi Nkemdili Okorafor-Mbachu & Nisi Shawl.
I would bullet point it but there’s a pretty good transcript over at the FemSFWiki and my memory is way faulty.
I do want to say though that I thought it was a great panel that addressed a lot of concerns I had. The panelists discussed how it felt to be asked that question (Who is the next Octavia? Are you?), there was also some remembering of Octavia that had me tearing up a bit. Also just to point out, all the women on this panel are hilariously funny. I got to talk with all of them during the Con, except for Nnedi, and I was in almost constant laughter and always had a smile on my face.

Next my fellow panelists from “Why Is The Universe So Damn White?” K. Tempest Bradford, Wendy Bradley, Kate Elliot and I along with Kate’s daughter Rihana and Jackie went for lunch over at Ian’s Pizza.

(I had been escorted to Ian’s Pizza on Thurs. morning by Liz Henry, her partner John, their son Milo and Penny after my arrival at the hotel. Any place that has Macaroni & Cheese Pizza is my kind of place. I hit that pizzeria about 4 times during my trip. I forgot to mention this excursion on the first part of this report but it was a really good time with great people. I’ve heard Liz talk about her partner and child and it was awesome to put faces with the names. Penny was great and we talked about what panels we wanted to attend and shipping all the way to England (she’s British). I ran into all them throughout the Con but this was the only time we all got to sit down and actually talk. Okay timewarp from Thurs. back to Sat.)

We discussed the panel, what we wanted to discuss, how we wanted to approach certain subjects. Kate Elliot brought pages of wonderful notes, me being the unprepared person I always am, brought nothing. We also laid bets for when we would hear “I’m colorblind.” “I don’t care if someone’s black, white, green or polka-dotted!” and a few other key phrases. After lunch and some tea in the Green Room it was time for our panel. Right before the panel Kate gave me a copy of her new hardcover book, Spirit Gate. It’s almost all PoC (there’s only one white character and she’s secondary) and I’m so very anxious to read it. I asked her to sign it and played Vanna during the panel a bit, showing it off. Also somewhere in here Tempest became my con buddy! She was totally amazing to hang out with and we had a great time gossiping and just in general running around the Con.

Why Is The Universe So Damn White?
Points I can recall:
– Buffy, SoCal with no PoC until season 7 (excluding Trick, Kendra and a few others, very few and they never lasted very long)
– Battlestar Galactica and the Planet of the Black Fundies (a.k.a. Gemenon)
– Bury My Heart @ Wounded Knee adaptation, which Kate had actually brought the quote from the producer. It made the audience groan and shudder as it should.
– Tempest told us about her interaction with Ron Moore.
– Wendy discussed the difference in British TV and how we code PoC.
– Heroes and the absence of a name for “The Haitian”

That’s all I can really recall but a final note, Tempest and I were both blogged about at Wired.Com by Annalee Newitz. When Annalee told me she had blogged about me I assumed she meant a personal blog, not a professional one. Then people started emailing me to let me know what was happening. Also if you have any knowledge of race issues or any kind of consciousness about race, do not read the comments. No really, they’ll make your head all explodey!
Afterwards people complimented us on the panel, which was a real boost cause I was completely nervous and spazzed out, and Rihana showed me a picture she had drawn of me during the panel which was great. She’s quite an amazing artist. Also I’m damn cute!

Then I set off for:
Cultural Appropriation Revisted Part 1, the panel consisted of:
Candra K. Gill, Yoon Ha Lee, K. Tempest Bradford, Victor Jason Raymond, MJ Hardman & Nnedi Nkemdili Okorafor-Mbachu
There is a transcript for this panel over at FemSfWiki.


So just my impressions. I thought it went very well. There was good discussion among the panelists about cultural appropriation and appropriate cultural appropriation. I loved hearing Nnedi talk about the experience of being the child of Nigerian parents and feeling trapped between two worlds because of it. Sometimes not being acknowledged as valid by Nigerians or African-Americans. As the son of an Ethiopian immigrant I feel the same way a lot. I did not stay for Part 2 of Cultural Appropriation because that was when the audience got to speak and I just didn’t want to deal with it. Also people entered the room that had not been a part of the first discussion which I thought was extremely stupid. It also confirmed that I had made the right choice in leaving. If there was a way next year to only allow those who attended the first part, to attend the second I would recommend it.

Another point is that at the panel I saw C.E. Murphy, author of the Urban Shaman series. The Urban Shaman series (from Luna) features a protagonist that is part Native. So it was good to see the white author in the panel taking notes and nodding along. Now that I have proof she’s aware of what’s going on and might have done some research I might give the series a try.
So the time between this and the parties is a bit of a blur. I don’t exactly remember what I did or with who because I did so much all weekend. If you know what I did here please let me know. And no I wasn’t drunk…yet. Oh wait! There was swimming! Yes, Jackie & I headed to the pool at one point and were stared at very rudely by this mundane (as in not a Con goer) mother. Yes, we are two black people. That will not change the more you stare. After a bit we both stared back at her until she looked away. During the pool time there was talking to John and a host of other people whose names I’ve forgotten or never knew. It was great conversation about spirituality and tattoos.

The parties I stayed in the bound of this night were the Tor book party & Small Beer Press’ release party for Water Logic by Laurie J. Marks. The first two in the Logic series were published by Tor, so the two parties on the same floor on the same night made me giggle.

During the party a man (I can’t remember his name damn it!) came up to me and asked me about authenticity in writing cultures of Color. I told him that authenticity is, more often than not, a false idea because what is an “authentic” black/asian/female experience? I told him my view which is that if you create this culture, create it all the way. You have to know what this culture is about, their beliefs and practices, their traditions and expertise. It was to be more than a plot point. Even if you don’t include any of their culture in the story itself knowing all that about a culture means that when you write it’ll most likely come across as more real. That’s just my opinion though. Somewhere during this conversation another man joined us and had some great things to say. When I looked at his name tag I realized it was freakin’ Lawrence Schimel! As with Kate I interrupted the conversation to fanboy him a bit over his book, The Drag Queen of Elfland. That’s almost the only way I can deal with my fanboyishness with people in person, to let them know right off the bat and then try to move on.

Anyway I had to extract myself from the conversation a little before midnight, so I could head down to the General Reading Group 2. Rosalyn Wiggins Berne had mentioned she had a reading that night, in the Genre Tokenism panel. Since she hadn’t mentioned her name it caused me a bit of panic but it was the only official reading at midnight so I figured it was a safe bet. Rosalyn had talked in the earlier panel about being an academic for 30 years and just recently coming into F/SF. She talked about how great it was to see Women of Color in F/SF. I’m also about to support writers of Color so off I went. Okay anyway this is the last panel of the day for me, actually a reading but whatever.

General Readings 2 : Rosalyn Wiggins Berne, Eileen Gunn, Heidi Lampietti & Fred Schepartz.
Rosalyn read first, from a book that’s being shopped around right now. I thought she was amazing. It was this great section with a sex toy named Mammal, who has AI and looks more animal than man. Just a great piece and I wanted to read the whole book then and there. I got a chance to tell her all this later in the elevator.
Fred read next and I thought it was an interesting story about a vampire who loses all his wealth and becomes a cabbie in Madison, WI. I didn’t understand how it was a feminist novel though.
Heidi Lampietti read a story from her collection XY. The collection is about love and most of the stories end badly, from what she said, but she read us one with a happy ending. It was hilarious, about strolling and cross dressing and a guy named Bugsie. Also she did voices, which made my day. Ran into her later in the Con and told her how much I enjoyed her reading.
Eileen Gunn was last. I had heard Eileen read at Writers with Drinks not too long ago so I was expecting the funniness and it was there in spades. Eileen read the Kirk/Spock piece I had heard before “No Place To Raise Kids” (go read it!) and it was just as hilarious as it was at Writers with Drinks. Then she read a piece called “Up The Fireroad”(?) or something like that and it was hilarious as well. A story that switched POV’s halfway through when the lumberjack/talking bear/Sasquatch comes into the picture. Had me gasping for breath, seriously. I also got a chance to talk to Eileen later in the Con and tell her how much I loved her readings and how funny she was.

Then it was off to bed!

Next WisCon 31 Recalled 3/4: Is This Level Of Exhaustion Normal?

WisCon 31 Recalled 1/4: The Tale Begins…

Got back home Tues. night, crashed and used Weds. to decompress and relax in my own bed.

Though the Con started out very negative, which I won’t go into but it was through no fault of the ConComm or those attending the Con, I ended up loving my 1st Wiscon and definitely deciding to return next year.

Now this will be a general recall of the night before & the first day of the con, because I don’t take notes.

Thursday Night
Packet stuffing galore! Where I met great people, including but not limited too: Julia Starkey, Johanna a.k.a. littlebutfierce & Phredd. Also in the middle of packet stuffing Jackie arrived, after many an airport mishap.

Then it was off to dinner, where the bad thing happened, back to the room to let the bad thing percolate, then down to the bar.
Luckily the next day went better.

Friday
This day begun with a trip down the street to the local feminist bookstore, A Room of One’s Own, where my friend & roommate, Jackie & I spent copious amounts of money. I not only picked up some genre work but also a collection of Barbara Smith’s essays (a complete listing of all books purchased will be posted when the bulk of them arrive, I had to ship 26 pounds of books). Then it was down to the local “hippie-dippie” (which is said with love) community pharmacy to pick up a toothbrush/toothpaste for myself (I always forget something) and natural decongestant for Jackie (her ears were blocked from the plane ride in).

We then returned to the room, rested for a bit and then headed off to the dealers room, where I had a great conversation with the wonderful Kate Elliot, about race, writing, publishing and its future and more. At one point I paused the discussion so I could tell her how much I loved her work. It went something like this:
“Okay I’m just gonna get this out of the way. I love your work and remember adoring Jaran when I first read it. I just wanted to get thew fanboyishness out of the way first and foremost.” She thanked me and then we moved on to other topics. We made plans for lunch with the rest of the people on our panel, “Why Is The Universe So Damn White?”, for the next day.

After going to drop off my purchases, of which there were many, we headed to The Gathering. So much to do but me, being me, I concentrated on the $1 galleys and the other booksales. Jackie was pulled aside by the fabulous Molly, who was hosting “Show Us Your Tats”. We were amused simply because Jackie had already been planning on participating but was worried about disrobing somewhat to display all her tattoos. Molly said that they had no problem with a partial disrobe and proceeded to call Jackie up as the first victim.

Somewhere in here we ran into some wonderful people like; Leah, Candra, Allison, leela_cat, Lori and various and sundry other folks I only knew from online or not at all. Our group headed out for some Indian food, then back for the Whither Hero(in)es panel.

From what I can recall the panel went well, with people bringing up their issues with Nikisca (as I call her), Claire, Hannah, Simone, Charlie and other female characters. Points brought up included:
– The fact that all the women have stereotypical female roles
– The regression of Claire, back into a Daddy’s Girl, in the finale
– The destruction of the female body, throughout the series
– The fact that the female character with the most backstory, Hannah, appears very rarely onscreen. Most (or all) of her character is fleshed out in the extras.
– The complete absences of WoC (Women of Color) heroes
– The manipulative or “bad” mom trope that Heroes is paying much attention too.
– Identifying with Claire, the unpopular cheerleader & just how many cheer-leading outfits can she afford to ruin (that stuff is expensive!)

Then it was off to the Carl Brandon Society party, where there was chocolate liqueur and party games. The amazing Nisi Shawl made a fabulous crown for my afro and I ended up joining the society itself. I went across the hall to the Think Galactic party so I could beat on a pinata, in the shape of a rocket ship, that represented the patriarchy and was named the S.S. G.W. Bush. Later in the Con someone approached me and praised my violence with the pinata. I do love to beat down the patriarchy.

Back in the Carl Brandon Party it was time for the music mixes, 3 songs that are connected to POC & Science-Fiction. I almost fell out when Candra busted out with Cibo Matto – Sci-Fi Wasabi (one of my favourite songs!). Prizes were given out and then it was off to bed, to drunkenly guzzled down water and sleep.

Next: WisCon 31 Recalled 2/4: My First Panel or What The Hell Am I Doing Up At This Table?!?