Friday, September 25, 2009

Blogging Live at the SCBWI-Midsouth Conference

The SCBWI-Midsouth conference takes place in Nashville this weekend. If you can’t make it but want to know what’s happening, follow along on the official conference blog. Amanda Morgan, Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, and I will be posting interviews and updates from the workshops.

Guest speakers for the conference are:
Kaylan Adair, Associate Editor, Candlewick Press
Patrick Collins, Creative Director, Henry Holt
Caroline B. Cooney, Award-winning Author
Shelli Johannes-Wells, Marketing Expert
Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic imprint)
Chris Richman, Agent, Upstart Crow Literary

You can find us at the Official Midsouth Fall Conference 2009 blog here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dragon*Con Report by Lara Hansen

My friend, Lara Hansen, attended Dragon*Con 2009 in Atlanta recently. She graciously agreed to share her experience by answering a few questions for my blog.

1. What is Dragon*Con?

The exact definition from the Dragon*Con website is: The largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film in the US. My definition opportunity to meet like-minded individuals (people who love the same crazy stuff as me), see some amazing (and frightening) costumes, listen to music, see spectacular art & comic book artists in action and STAND (or sit, lounge or shuffle) IN LINE. Hours and hours and hours and miles and miles and miles of lines! Our saying for the weekend..."It's not Dragon*Con without lines." or better yet, "Hey, what's this line for?" (Normally this statement was made after standing in line for a while.) I heard later fans started lining up to see Patrick Stewart from Star Trek 7 hours before his panel.

2. What is the craziest costume/person/thing you saw at the convention?

There is all kinds of craziness going on all 4 days. You never knew what you're going to see when you round a corner, step off an escalator or walk through a door. I saw a man dressed like Elasti-Girl from The Incredibles - platform boots, body suit, bobbed wig and boobs! He actually looked pretty far as costuming was concerned. There were some people who stretched the Georgia state laws on nudity to its limit. Hundreds of stormtroopers, several women dressed in Princess Leia's slave girl outfit, tons of members of Star Fleet and a great group of Spartan Warriors from the movie 300. Whew! They were hot! *fans self*(And a set of Spartan Warriors that had no business letting their hairy beer bellies hang over their leather underpants.) My favorite costumes by far were the Steampunk fans. They were amazing. Each costume looked professionally custom made and so incredibly intricate. I wish I had been bold enough to ask to take their picture. But by the time I was so bold they seemed to have disappeared. I later found out they had a Steampunk Ball Friday evening and they had all wore their costumes that night.

3. What was your favorite thing/event?

Jason Momoa! I must preface this by saying I went to Dragon*Con solely for the Stargate Multiverse Panels/Events...and those events gave me the opportunity to get my photo taken with Stargate Atlantis actor Jason Momoa. His character, Ronon Dex, is my favorite from the series. For those who don't know, a Panel is the opportunity for the fans of a TV show or Movie to ask questions of the Stars. The actors sit at a table at the front of a large ballroom and participate in an hour long Q&A. I attended all of the Panels with members of the Stargate Atlantis cast. To get the best seats in the house, it is necessary to get in line at least two hours early. In those lines, I met a group of fellow SGA fans who quickly became close friends. We helped each other get that elusive 'best picture' of our favorite stars and relived the best moments after each panel was finished. (Oh and I attended a couple of writer workshops as least I sort of tried to learn something while I was there!)
Jason Momoa & Lara
4. This was your first trip to Dragon*Con. Was it your last?

Yes, this was my first trip to Dragon*Con. Is it my last? NO WAY! I've already booked for next year. I'm going to stay in one of the host hotels so I'm in the middle of all the action. I never dreamed I would have as much fun as I did. Dragon*Con is something - if you’re a SciFi or fantasy fan - you have to experience. As my new Dragon*Con friends say, "Post-Con letdown bites." The excitement and sensory overload keeps you going over the 4 days of bad hotel food and lack of sleep but reentry into reality is a serious letdown.

Thanks so much, Lara!