jmward14: (Default)

Michael "Mookie" Terracciano, creator of the fantasy
webcomic "Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire", mugs
for your pestilential reporter.

It may seem backwards to post my photos of Intervention Con, the brand new Washington DC-area webcomics convention, first but it's only fair. Although I was pencilled into the program for two days, the horrors of Con Crud (my first-ever unwelcome souvenir of Dragon*Con) will keep me from playing on today's panels. I only hope I didn't spread my plague to the other attendees.

There was a lot to like at Intervention 2010. The organizers were friendly and helpful, and the attendees were thrilled at the chance to promote an artform they love to DC and the world. Guest Relations Chair Gloria Chapa deserves special thanks for dealing with my unexpectedly diminished schedule. But everyone I dealt with, from PR maven Brian Lynch to hotel liaison Colette Fozard (of the fabulous cat ears) to the dread photographer/videographers Wes Mason and Isaiah Beard, were first-rate folks.

Another special shout-out needs to go to Chris "Kilika" Malone (New Jersey's premier surfer and creator of Blue and Blond) and fellow DC Area Storyteller Anthony Stevens for helping to make Greg's (aka the Spouse Person and IV Caffeine's chief squirrel wrangler) first ever con as vendor and guest a success. Thanks guys! My only regret is I was too spacey to get Chris's picture. My reportorial instincts were obviously out to lunch all day long.

Oh well, with any luck they'll do it again next year. I'll be better then. Promise!
jmward14: (DriversLicense)

No, not that kind of intervention. This is Intervention capitalized, a very new webcomic convention gracing the Hilton DC/Rockville, Maryland, September 10-12. Yes, the con starts tomorrow, and yes, I do have panels. So does Greg, the darling spouse and squirrel wrangler of Intravenous Caffeine. This will be Greg's first con as a participating artist and guest, so come on by and show him some con love. Our schedule is:

Friday, September 10
1 p.m.
Okay, I Finished My Story. What Happens Next?
How does your story get from your keyboard to into a reader’s hands? What’s the editorial process? Why does it take so long?
Panelists: Elaine Corvidae, Jean Marie Ward

7 p.m
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Publishing, But Didn’t Know You Had to Ask.
Writers at all points in the publishing food chain share their experiences, good and bad. Panelists will discuss the various advantages of NY publishers, small press and self-publishing. Along the way you’ll learn what publishers really look for in a book, how to get your project noticed in a good way, and how to spot potential warning signs of trouble. (I had hoped to lure Ben Bova into this one, but alas, he had the flu and had to cancel. But trust me, Elaine and I have lots of experiences to share, good, bad, our own and others’.)
Panelists: Elaine Corvidae, Jean Marie Ward

9 p.m.
Free Is a Good Place to Start.
Do you have big dreams, but a minuscule budget? Never fear; our panelists can show you the path to Freedonia. This panel is a short seminar with hand-outs highlighting free word processing, graphics, audio and video programs, and free web site templates. (This is Greg’s first panel ever. Drop by and show him some con love.)
Panelists: Anthony Stevens, Chris Impink, Ryan Thompson, Greg Uchrin, Jean Marie Ward

10 p.m.
The Economies of Small Scale.
Just because your dreams are big doesn’t mean that you’ll be forced to break the bank. This panel deals with posting a comic on the cheap, a word about copyright, and the real costs of self-publishing in ink and paper.
Panelists: Anthony Stevens, Greg Uchrin

Sunday, September 12
11 a.m.
How to Use Social Media Without Inadvertently Seeming like a Jerk.
Social Media has changed the industry dramatically. Gone are the days when creators had little to no contact with their fans. Which services are worth using? How do we use them? What are some common mistakes? What are some creative promotional techniques?
Panelists: Chris Flick, Illya Kuryakin, Christiann MacAuley, Ben McCormick, Jean Marie Ward

1 p.m.
Creating Three-Dimensional Characters.
When writing an adventure or a story, having characters that the readers can get into is half the battle. If the readers or players become intrigued by the characters, then the rest of the story will fall into place. Join our panelists as they discuss creating characters that are non-flat and can intrigue.
Panelists: Pete Abrams, Chezhnian Angelus, Garth Graham, Michael Terracciano, Jean Marie Ward

And that’s just our panels. The con boasts three full-time tracks, workshops, a club (with dances) and a video room. You’ll even get the chance to meet fellow DC Area Storyteller Anthony Stevens. See you there!

jmward14: (DuzWriter)
I know, I know. The only interesting blogging I've been doing lately has been on behalf of S.J. Willing. It's not that I've given up blogging for un-Lent or anything. I've just been busy, working on some fiction, nonfiction and, for the first time in ages, some fan fiction.

You'll like the short story. It's the new and improved "Syren Bridge", twice as long with more characters, more fun and all the strudel-ly goodness you loved in the first version. I hope to be able to tell you more about its new home in a couple months.

It'll be a lot longer before I can talk about the nonfiction project. It's very different from anything I've done before, but you'll definitely want to read it.

On the guilty pleasures front, I succumbed to the lure of John Scalzi’s June fan fiction challenge. Scalzi is a very evil man, and I say that in full knowledge that he is now president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and therefore ruler of the known SF/fantasy multiverse. But he’s still ebil, Ebil, EBIL.

To benefit the Lupus Alliance of America, Scalzi, Wil Wheaton (yes, that Wil Wheaton), Catherynne Valente, Patrick Rothfuss created a chapbook for electronic publication by Subterranean Press later this year. If that’s all they did I would’ve give them a karmic pass and scoped out the book when it appeared. But noooooooooooo, they couldn’t let it go at a good deed. Somebody (and I think we know who that is) commissioned Jeff Zugale to create the attached cover art. But that wasn’t all they did. Scalzi, Wheaton and SP solicited fanfic writers to create stories explaining the picture. The best story, as determined by the Jury of Awesomeness, will be awarded double the SFWA-defined professional rate/word and be included in the chapbook.

And this is how I spent my June.

Before it was over, Scalzi & Co. received over 350 submissions—which tells you how the Jury of Awesomeness is going to spend their July, August and possibly September. From the links posted after the contest closed, some of the entries were mind-boggling. How does anyone compete with a complete play? Meep!

In other news, I'm attending a new con. I've been added to the guest list of Intervention, the Washington DC-area webcomics con. Intervention will be held at the Rockville Hilton (home of Capclave) September 10-12. I'll be sharing the bill with fellow DC Area Storyteller Anthony Stevens and, for the first time, the love of my life. Yes, Greg Uchrin of IV Caffeine will be attending Intervention as a guest and a dealer. Come and cheer him on...and buy lots of stuff.

In the meantime, there’s ReConStruction and DragonCon.

ReConStruction (August 3-8 in Raleigh, North Carolina) is the tenth occasional North American Science Fiction Convention—in other words, what happens when WorldCon travels somewhere other than the U.S. or Canada for the summer, like this year. It boasts all the usual WorldCon events, including dances, masquerades, auctions, interviews and panels. Laurie Toby Edison, one of my very favorite jewelers, will be there, too. No word on the final program yet, but the interim list of participants and panels looks really good.

Then there’s DragonCon, the ultimate end of summer party. It’s bigger than ever this year. We even sucked in the Westin. Soon all the business district will be ours! Then…

Er, leaving off the plans for world domination, programming is coming together for that, too. What I’ve seen looks fabulous. And if you’re there, be sure to join us for the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings. I’ll firing up two new stories: “Syren Bridge” and “Lord Bai and the Magic Pirates”. I am told my impression of a Wagnerian soprano singing about strudel is enough to scar a person for life. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
jmward14: (TopHat)


Last week, my friend Ellen Byerrum (center) celebrated the broadcast of Killer Hair, the first of two Crime of Fashion movies on the Lifetime Movie Network. Ellen’s written six mysteries featuring vintage design-loving fashion sleuth Lacey Smithsonian and several plays, not to mention a career full of articles for daily newspapers, magazines and industry journals. Even so, there’s something very special about seeing a movie made of something you wrote.

To mark the occasion, Ellen held a party June 21 at Generous George’s Positive Pizza, a funky Alexandria VA landmark which features the kind of retro chic Lacey revels in. My photos don’t do either the event or the place justice, but at least I captured the big smile on Ellen’s face as the credits faded to black following Killer Hair. The movie and its sequel, Hostile Makeover, are very good introductions to the books. They’re bright, funny and feature lots of great clothes—three of my favorite things. Here’s hoping Lifetime feels the same and picks up Crime of Fashion as a weekly series.




Yesterday it was my turn—well, mine and three good buds from the DC Area Storytellers. Here you see Anthony Stevens (left), me, D. Renee Bagby and Stephanie Burke (right) at our book signing the Parkside in Baltimore MD. The venue and its art were stellar and the company couldn’t be beat. Aren’t Renee and Stephanie gorgeous? Anthony and I…well, we’re good writers too. :)
 
Cheers and smiles,
jmward14: (Default)
If you happen to be in the Baltimore area this Saturday, you might want to drop in at the Parkside Restaurant anytime from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. DC Area Storytellers D. Renee Bagby (also a Samhain author), Stephanie Burke, Anthony Stevens and I will be reading from published stories and upcoming works, and signing and selling our books. Knowing this group, we'll probably manage to get into a fair amount of trouble too. I mean, they serve drinks and food at this place, and I saw Animal House at a very impressionable age. Don't say you weren't warned...
jmward14: (lexluthor)

Finally sat down with Lil Kids!, the first paper graphic novel by Von Allan of [livejournal.com profile] vonandmoggy .  Lil Kids! is a prequel to his web comic, the road to god knows..., which tells how the two main characters became fast friends.  Thrilling girl adventure stories and the friendships that make them possible are among my favorite things.  When I was the age of the girls in this story--and the road to god knows...--I generally wound up reading comics and boys' books, because nobody seemed to understand that small females were every bit as curious, ambitious and prone to getting into trouble as small males.
And, oh yeah, we wanted to be superheroes too, because it's fun beating up bad guys.
Now I know Von's a man.  I've seen his picture on LJ, and Moggy swears it's really him.  But reading Lil Kids! it sometimes feels like Von plugged right into the little girl I used to be.  And there's more.  Lil Kids! sets up the main plot threads of the road to god knows..., including Marie's awareness that her mom is different.  It also provides interesting insights into Von's creative process, from initial idea and thumbnails to fully developed comic.
In fact, I enjoyed the book so much, I'm going to give it away.  To my husband, another late-blooming artist.  If artists are like writers--always learning from each other--this could get interesting in the best possible way.
Today has been an all around good book day.  I decided to present my local Waldenbooks a copy of Here Be Dragons: Tales of Dragon*Con, the wonderful anthology I'm in with Jody Lynn Nye, Susan Sizemore, Quinn Yarbro, Todd McCaffrey, Teresa Patterson and the late Bob Asprin.  (Yes, I will post the cover as soon as the dh scans it.  Some people!  *g*)  Naturally, I couldn't escape without buying something, especially since they had only two copies of [livejournal.com profile] lilithsaintcrow 's Steelflower left.
Steelflower is Lili's sword & sorcery epic, and as fine as anything she's ever written.  But that's not why it holds a special place in my heart.  Steelflower was the first novel [livejournal.com profile] qnotku bought as a Samhain editor.  I read it in the manuscript, filching pages from Teri as she finished them.  It broke my heart when her ill health (and her all-too-sudden death) prevented her from bringing the novel from perfect ms. to published book.
Today the book broke my heart all over again when I read Lili's dedication: "To Teri Smith.  Go, blithe spirit.  You were a joy to know.  And I look forward to seeing your smile again." 
Somehow I missed that in the electronic version.  As soon as the budget permits, I hope to get a copy for [livejournal.com profile] hundakleptisis.  He needs to see that.
Was finally able to do all this good stuff because I shipped off the last section of a new book proposal early this afternoon.  The deadline for the proposal had been hanging over my head since Dragon*Con.  Ironically enough, the book is a how-to for aspiring fantasy artists.  (No ma'am, I don't draw; I just write like I know how.)  I'll share more if the project gets the green light, but for now, let's just say the artist is super and the set-up really intriguing.
The proposal is why I've been so slow about posting my Dragon*Con pics and report.  Nope, still not finished, and I have to get back to the Story From Siren Hell before I work through them.  But thanks to fellow DC Area Storyteller Anthony Stevens, I do have pics from this weekend's two book signings.  Yes, Virginia, little tomboys do grow up girlie.  Now if I could only figure out a way to get make-up on without losing that extra half hour of sleep...
Hugs and smiles,
Jean Marie

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Jean Marie Ward

May 2017

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