jmward14: (Default)
Spring has sprung, and Memorial Day is less than a week away. You know what that means: Balticon! This year’s con will again be held at the Marriott Renaissance overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, May 26-29. I’ll be appearing on six program items, including two readings:

Saturday, May 27
Noon, Kent Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Writing Interesting and Effective Short Stories
Hildy Silverman (Moderator), Scott Edelman, Malka Older, Jean Marie Ward and Fran Wilde

3 PM, St. George Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Author Readings
Bjorn Hasseler, Jean Marie Ward, Ted Weber

6 PM, Kent Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings
Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Lauren Harris, A.L. Kaplan, Gail Z. Martin, Cara McKinnon, Christie Meierz, Jennifer R. Povey, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timpko

7 PM, Pride of Baltimore Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Mythology as a Basis for Speculative Fiction
Kim Hargan (Moderator), Tom Doyle, Ada Palmer, David Silverman, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday, May 28
Noon, Pride of Baltimore Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Social Media Promotion Without Being Obnoxious
Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Melissa L. Hayden, Nathan Lowell, Hildy Silverman, Michael Ventrella

4 PM, Guilford Meeting Room (Fifth Floor)
Judging an Editor’s Work
Kay Baiman (Moderator), Jamaila Brinkley, Jennifer Levine, Jean Marie Ward, Joy Ward

Hope to see you there!
jmward14: (DuzWriter)
Taking a moment away from baking double batches of molasses cookies and pecan snowballs to share my tentative schedule for Balticon 50. Why did I tantalize you by mentioning baked goods made with butter and sugar and vanilla and all sorts of wonderful things? Because they and a lot of other homemade goodies will be waiting for you at the E-Spec Books Launch Party on Sunday night. I’m also bringing chocolate to the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading Sunday afternoon.
This means you’re coming to Balticon, right? Right?
Can’t wait to see you there!

Saturday 1-1:50 PM, Guilford (Renaissance)
Writing: It's My Job AND What I Do For Fun—Our panelists discuss how awesome it is having their job be something they love to do: the work itself, the fan, the other authors they meet, the places they get to visit.
Panelists: Carl Cipra (Moderator), Keith DeCandido , Jody Lynn Nye, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday 6-6:50 PM, St. George (Renaissance)
Steampunk and Urban Fantasy Readings with Keith R. A. DeCandido, Christine Norris, Jean Marie Ward, and D. C. Wilson

Sunday 3-4:20 PM, Pride of Baltimore (Renaissance)
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings—The woman of Broad Universe are back with flash readings to tweak your appetites!
Panelists: Randee Dawn (Moderator), Roxanne Bland, Carmen Webster Buxton, LJ Cohen, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Lisa Hawkridge, Tamara Siler Jones, Paula S. Jordan, Gail Martin, Jody Lynn Nye, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday 7-9 PM, MD Salon B (Renaissance)
E-Spec Books Launch Party—The authors contributing to Gaslight and Grimm, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil and Defending the Future invite you to help them celebrate!
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, R. S. Belcher, Danny Birt, Keith DeCandido, John L. French, Eric Hardenbrook, Kelly Harmon, Chris Hiles, Emily Leverett, Diana Bastine, Gail Z. Martin, Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, Christine Norris, Jody Lynn Nye, Ken Schrader, Bud Sparhawk, David Lee Summers, Jean Marie Ward, Robert Waters, Jeff Young

Monday 12-12:50 PM, Parlor 8029 (Renaissance)
What's Hot Short Fiction?
Panelists: Sarah Pinsker (Moderator), Alex Shvartsman, Michael Underwood, Scott Edelman, Jean Marie Ward
jmward14: (DuzWriter)
Balticon has posted its 2015 program—and not a minute too soon. The con starts in three days! I can’t wait. There will be friends to see, toasts to raise, costumes to praise, and panels to enjoy. This year, I have three formal panels, and three readings, at least one of them involving more than my usual offering of chocolate.
Yes, I share chocolate at all my readings—and bring swag to all my panels. I trust that means I’ll see you there. ;-)

Friday

6 PM, Chesapeake
Readings: Keith R.A. DeCandido, Sunny Morraine and Jean Marie Ward

Saturday

8 PM, Salon B
The Scholar as Author: Not every great author is an academic, or vice versa, but it doesn't hurt. Our panelists discuss what scholarly experience brings to an author's tool kit, and what writing techniques can't be picked up in the academic setting and have to be learned the hard way. Karen Burnham (Moderator), Tom Doyle, Ada Palmer, John Skylar, Jean Marie Ward

9 PM, Frankie & Vinnie’s
Broad Universe Fabulous 15 Birthday Party: The Balticon Broads celebrate 15 years of Broad Universe with readings, goodies, giveaways and food! Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Day Al-Mohammed, Sarah Avery, Roxanne Bland, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timko, Jean Marie Ward and T.J. Wooldridge

10 PM, Salon B
Diversity in Popular Culture—Fad or the New Normal: Diversity and representation has been a hot topic
in SF/F literature, gaming, and other parts of fandom and popular culture over the past few years. Is this a phase or a watershed moment in the broader pop culture landscape? What role can individual readers, writers, and fans play in this discussion? Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Day Al‐Mohamed, Stephanie Burke, William Galaini, Sunny Moraine

Sunday

12-2 PM, Concierge Lounge
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading: Bite-sized readings from your favorite Broad Universe authors. Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Day Al-Mohammed, Sarah Avery, Roxanne Bland, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timko, Jean Marie Ward and T.J. Wooldridge

Monday

11 AM, Salon B
Ancient Greece in SF and Fantasy: Greek history—rewritten or reimagined—is one of the more common sources for stories and novels in fantasy and science fiction. Our panelists discuss why it works so well and what still remains to be imagined. Tom Doyle (Moderator), Jack Campbell/John Hemry, Jo Walton, Jean Marie Ward
jmward14: (DuzWriter)
Balticon has posted its 2015 program—and not a minute too soon. The con starts in three days! I can’t wait. There will be friends to see, toasts to raise, costumes to praise, and panels to enjoy. This year, I have three formal panels, and three readings, at least one of them involving more than my usual offering of chocolate.
Yes, I share chocolate at all my readings—and bring swag to all my panels. I trust that means I’ll see you there. ;-)

Friday

6 PM, Chesapeake
Readings: Keith R.A. DeCandido, Sunny Morraine and Jean Marie Ward

Saturday

8 PM, Salon B
The Scholar as Author: Not every great author is an academic, or vice versa, but it doesn't hurt. Our panelists discuss what scholarly experience brings to an author's tool kit, and what writing techniques can't be picked up in the academic setting and have to be learned the hard way. Karen Burnham (Moderator), Tom Doyle, Ada Palmer, John Skylar, Jean Marie Ward

9 PM, Frankie & Vinnie’s
Broad Universe Fabulous 15 Birthday Party: The Balticon Broads celebrate 15 years of Broad Universe with readings, goodies, giveaways and food! Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Day Al-Mohammed, Sarah Avery, Roxanne Bland, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timko, Jean Marie Ward and T.J. Wooldridge

10 PM, Salon B
Diversity in Popular Culture—Fad or the New Normal: Diversity and representation has been a hot topic
in SF/F literature, gaming, and other parts of fandom and popular culture over the past few years. Is this a phase or a watershed moment in the broader pop culture landscape? What role can individual readers, writers, and fans play in this discussion? Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Day Al‐Mohamed, Stephanie Burke, William Galaini, Sunny Moraine

Sunday

12-2 PM, Concierge Lounge
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading: Bite-sized readings from your favorite Broad Universe authors. Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Day Al-Mohammed, Sarah Avery, Roxanne Bland, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timko, Jean Marie Ward and T.J. Wooldridge

Monday

11 AM, Salon B
Ancient Greece in SF and Fantasy: Greek history—rewritten or reimagined—is one of the more common sources for stories and novels in fantasy and science fiction. Our panelists discuss why it works so well and what still remains to be imagined. Tom Doyle (Moderator), Jack Campbell/John Hemry, Jo Walton, Jean Marie Ward
jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Balticon is this weekend—and I have schedule. Sort of. We’re talking Balticon, after all. Plans and schedules tend to be (ahem) fluid.
The one thing you can be sure of is a lot of fun. So if you happen to be in the vicinity of Hunt Valley, Maryland, this weekend, I hope I’ll see you there!

Friday

9 p.m., Salon A
Steam-powered: Rage of the New Victorians
Moderator: Jean Marie Ward
Panelists: Martin Berman‐Gorvine, Richard Allen Leider, Neal Levin, Jeffrey P. Young
From werewolves of property to anti-zombie airship pilots, the Empire has struck back. Meet the writers of this Brave Old World and learn about their stories and novels and where they get the ideas for those crazy gadgets.

11 p.m., Chase Room
Cover Trends
Moderator: Collin Earl
Panelists: Richard Allen Leider, Starla A. Huchton, Philip Giunta, Jean Marie Ward
What are the latest trends in science fiction, fantasy and horror covers? How are the new media changing the rules? What’s next?

Saturday

4 p.m., Salon B
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings
Moderator: Kelly A. Harmon
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Gail Z. Martin, Christine Norris, Sarah Pinsker, KT Pinto, Morgen Rich, Roberta Rogow, Jean Marie Ward, Trisha J. Wooldridge
Bite-sized readings from the amazing women/authors of Broad Universe.

Sunday

7 p.m., Salon B
Marketing and Promotion
Moderator: Roxanne Bland
Panelists: Ian Randal Strock; Cecilia Tan, Jean Marie Ward
What marketing and promotion will publishers do, and how much of it? What marketing and self-promotion do publishers expect authors to do? Do the big houses do more for their authors than the small press houses, or do they only do more for their “big name” authors?

9 p.m., Parlor 3041
Balancing Creative Life with Real Life
Moderator: Leona Wisoker
Panelists: Phil Giunta, Jean Marie Ward
How do you get your creative time in while still getting to work, having clean underwear and remembering to feed the cat?

10 p.m., Belmont Room
Promoting Your Book
Panelists: Jean Marie Ward, Michael Ventrella
What works in promoting a book? Do book-signings really help a small author? Are bookmarks and/or postcards effective at garnering attention? Does a blog help or hurt an author? Does an author have to have a website? How do you find good reviewers? What tactics do NOT work? What methods might work for an established author that wouldn’t work for a beginner?

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

While I was at Balticon. Sorry about that, folks. Hopefully, changing the password took care of that.
The con, however, was great. Joshua Palmatier and I hosted the Maryland launch of The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity with help from his brothers Jacob and Jason. Well, really, it was mostly Joshua and me, but J2 and J3 were very decorative, which didn’t hurt the launch party any. People came for the books and then looked for the food. Joshua and I were intensely flattered.
The Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading was enormous: Guest of Honor Jody Lynn Nye, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Emilie P. Bush, Elaine Corvidae, Meriah Crawford, Kelly Harmon, Reesa Herberth, Gail Martin, Michelle Moor, T.J. Perkins, KT Pinto, Roberta Rogow, Trish Wilson, Trisha Wooldridge and me. And we still had more folks in the audience than lurking around the front of the room. As I always say, feed them cookies and strawberries, and they will come. ;-)
But as always, the best part of the con was connecting with friends, old and new. Well, that and having someone actually ask me to sign something at the autographing session. (Thanks, Patty!)
Looking forward to next year, everyone!

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

This year’s Balticon will nothing if not exciting. I’m scheduled for fifteen (fifteen!) panels. Gulp.

Friday 4:00 pm (Salon B)
Symbology of Animals in Folk and Fairy Tales
(Readers Track)
Are certain animals used to symbolize certain character types. How? Why? In a modern fairy tale, what animals would you use and in what way?
(M): Trisha J. Wooldridge, (S): Jean Marie Ward, Ray Ridenour, D.H. Aire, Phil Giunta

Friday 5:00 pm (Salon D)
Worst. Panel. Ever.
(Fan Track)
Panelists trade stories about their worst ever panel experiences.
(M): Jean Marie Ward, (S): Wayne Arthur Hall, Perrianne Lurie, Stephanie M. Burke

Friday, 10:00 pm (Parlor 1041)
The Role of Anthologies, Roundtable Discussion
(Readers Track)
As both a source of fiction and a means of promotion, what do anthologies have to offer? Fan and author panelists discuss.
(M) Danielle Ackley-McPhail, (S): Michael A. Ventrella, Joshua Bilmes, C.J .Henderson, Trisha J. Wooldridge, Bernie Mojzes, Pete Prellwitz, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 12:00 noon (Parlor 1041)
Magical Systems in Fantasy Literature
(Readers Track)
A Roundtable Discussion. Panelists look at what are some of the things we expect to see in magical systems and give examples of works that are missing those factors, but work just fine for the reader anyway.
(M): Gail Z. Martin, (S): Hildy Silverman, Trisha J. Wooldridge, Myke Cole, Jody Lynn Nye (Guest of Honor, David Wood, Barba¬Friend Ish, Elektra Hammond, Bill Fawcett, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 1:00 pm (Salon B)
The Effects of War on SF & F
(Readers Track)
How has our war torn era shaped fantasy and SF?
(M): Myke Cole, (S): Charles Edward Gannon, Bill Fawcett, Jon Sprunk, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 2:00 pm, (Maryland Foyer)
Autographing: Jaclyn Dolamore, Christine Norris and Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 7:00 pm (Parlor 1041)
Modern Fae Book Launch
(Readers Track)
Come join editor Joshua Palmatier and contributing author Jean Marie Ward as they celebrate the release of the anthology The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity from DAW Books, containing tales of the fae and how they have adapted to fit into modern society. From leprechauns on Wall Street to Selkies at Sea World, see how the fae have learned to live with the infestation that is humanity. Drinks and snacks available, along with books for purchase and Autographing at the event.
(M) Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 12:00 midnight to Sunday 1:00 AM (Pimlico)
The Wild Hunt and the Payment To Hell
(Readers Track)
Fairies Are NOT Nice! Panelists discuss the ugly side of the beautiful Fae.
(M): James Daniel Ross, (S): Elaine Corvidae, Jagi Lamplighter, Stephanie M. Burke, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday, 1:00 pm, (1 hr, 20 mins) (Salon B)
Broad Universe Reading
(Readers Track)
Rapid Fire readings from some amazing women/authors.
(M): Jean Marie Ward, (S): Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Emilie, P. Bush, Elaine Corvidae, Roxanne Bland, Jody Lynn Nye (Guest of Honor)

Sunday, 7:00 pm (Belmont Room)
History as a Source of Fantasy
(Readers Track)
Panelists discuss the use of history to develop fantasy and which sources are good ones.
(M): Jagi Lamplighter, (S) Walter H. Hunt, Bill Fawcett, Pete Prellwitz, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday, 8:00 pm (Parlor 3041)
Which Comes First: Main Character or Supporting Cast?
(Readers Track)
Do you start with a main character and build the rest around them? Or do you start with a cast of characters and wait for the most compelling to “”become” the main character? What do you do when you start with a main character in mind and another character steals the show?
(M): David Wood, (S): Jean Marie Ward, Barbara Friend Ish, James Maxey, Elaine Corvidae, David Sherman, Pete Prellwitz

Sunday, 9:00 pm (Parlor 3041)
Fessing Up to the Adult Themes in YA Literature
(Teen Track)
Young adult literature is growing up, tackling such hard issues as good and evil, abuse, abandonment, grief and loss. And then there’s sex. Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed or is no subject taboo for today’s teens? A roundtable of teens and YA authors discuss these topics and takes questions and comments from the audience.
(M): Jean Marie Ward, (S): Sarah Taylor, Janine K. Spendlove, Michael Andrew D’Ambrosio, Daniel Hack, Sarah Sexton, Christine Norris

Sunday, 10:00 pm (Parlor 3041)
Films, Books and TV Shows That Everyone Likes, But I Don’t
(Film, TV, Film Making Track)
Panelists bash the things we hold dear.
(M): Joshua Bilmes, (S) Daniel M. Kimmel, Ian Randal Strock, Trish Wilson (Elizabeth Black), Jean Marie Ward

Monday, 11:00 am, (Salon C)
Old Fandoms and Favorite Cancelled Shows
(Fan Track)
Star Trek, Farscape, Lexx, Firefly: What keeps their fans hanging on? What are some other series that still have strong fan follow¬ings?
(M): Billy Flynn, (S): Zan Rosin, Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani, Hildy Silverman, Jean Marie Ward, Lisa Adler-Golden

Monday, 12:00 noon (Salon D)
The Discreet Charm of the Historical Fantasy
(Readers Track)
What prompts otherwise sane writers to spend years research¬ing the Imperial Japan, the Silk Road, or the Ripper’s London? How do they know when they’ve gotten it right?
(M): Christine Norris, (S): Diane Weinstein, Patrick Scaffido, Bill Fawcett, D.H. Aire, Jean Marie Ward

Looking forward to seeing you there!

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

I missed the posting deadline for Six Sentence Sunday for the second week in a row. Bad blogger, that’s me. By way of apology, I thought I’d offer a slightly longer excerpt from “Burning Down the House” from Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy which will be launched at Balticon, May 25-28. I promise to share the date, time and details as soon as I learn them. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy what happens after our poor protagonist Eddie Woodhouse sits in that big comfy chair:

“Do you have the bottle?” he asked.

A flash from the dance floor lit her eyes like an evil smile. She placed an empty absinthe bottle on the table.

“May your next transfer run as smoothly as the one from your bank.” The blare of the music muted the scrape of her scimitar nails along the glass. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather do this someplace more private?”

“No.” The jinni inside him lashed his face. He couldn’t hide the bulge of their shared skin or his flinch of pain.

The woman added teeth to her smile. “Your funeral. I trust you’ll be more careful where you stick your straw in the future.”

Her exit line raised a different kind of welt, but he didn’t care as long as she left. Nobody paid any attention to a fat man in a club full of beautiful people. More importantly, the security cams and warding spells focused on the tables would keep her from trying anything more than what he paid for. He’d never been a contender in the magical department, but he never thought he’d sink so low that he’d owe his life to the sorcerous paranoia of Ducky “Duc d’Or”.

Eddie’s teeth chattered against the glass as he closed his lips around the neck of the bottle and chanted the first of the thirty-one goetic evocations from The Secret Key of Solomon under his breath. The words didn’t always make sense, but he suspected the real spell lay in his mind’s desperate prayer: “Take this damned thing outta me and I’ll never do magic. I’ll never so much as make a wish. Never. Ever.”

The words burned his throat. Never. The jinni swelled inside his lungs until he thought his ribs would explode. Ever.

#

What happens next? Well, you’ll just have to read the story–or come to the launch–to find out.

jmward14: (Default)
I know, two posts in a single week.  Try not to die of shock.  ;-)

I posted
my photos of Nebula Weekend on Flickr.  I wanted to get them done before heading to Balticon.  They're smaller than usual.  Next time I won't resize in Corel Paint, but I have the full-size originals if anyone is interested.  Besides they're big enough to see the smiles.

When I get back from Balticon, I'll be working pedal to the metal on a fiction deadline as well as on a spate of video interviews for Buzzy Multimedia.  Yes, me, making movies.  Mwahahaha! 

I turned in the first, an interview with
Carole Nelson Douglas (the Delilah Street paranormal mystery series, among many, many others) on Tuesday.  It should air in a few days.  Next up will be the interviews I recorded at the Nebulas: Connie Willis (this year's winner for best novel--I think Connie owns more Nebulas thany anyone), John Scalzi, Joe Haldeman, Mary Robinette Kowal and Chris Claremont.

Who knows who'll find themselves in my lens in Balticon?  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

But don't forget to attend my
panels!
jmward14: (Default)


It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

No, not the big Red/Green holiday. I mean con season! For me it’s kicking off in a big way with Balticon 45 at the Marriott in Hunt Valley, Maryland, this weekend, May 27-30. So far, my schedule includes six panels and events:

Friday, May 27
7 p.m. , Salon B – Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Join us for a selection of sweet and savory readings by seven exciting women authors.
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, D. Renee Bagby, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, Jean Marie Ward (moderator), Phoebe Wray.

10 p.m., Parlor 1041 – Anime: Why Do We Love It?
Anime fans in self-analysis. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Panelists: D. Renee Bagby, Ruth Lampi, Grig “Punkie” Larson, Jean Marie Ward (moderator).

Saturday, May 27
1 p.m., Salon B – Whose Program Is It Anyway?
Panelists—and audience members—behaving badly at cons. What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you or somebody you know at a con? Those are the best stories EVAH!
Panelists: Hildy Silverman, Jennifer Stone, Michael Swanwick, Jean Marie Ward, Leona Wisoker (moderator)

7 p.m., Belmont – Clark Ashton Who? Great Forgotten Science Fiction Authors
So much great literature, so little time. Panelists discuss their favorites among yesterday’s greats and their candidates for that great File 13 in the sky.
Panelists: Marc “Grailwolf” Bailey, Carl Cipra (moderator), Michael Swanwick, Jean Marie Ward, Diane Weinstein.

Sunday, May 28
4 p.m., Salon D – Best SF TV Shows
The audience is invited to help the panel decide which science fiction television shows (a) are really science fiction and (b) the best.
Panelists: Marc “Grailwolf” Bailey, T.J. Perkins, Hildy Silverman (moderator), Suzanne Rosin, Jean Marie Ward.

5 p.m., Salon B – Science Fiction Title Chain
It’s a game! The audience provides the words for a science fiction story or novel’s title. The panelists arrange them in a more or less coherent order, and each panelist comes up with a descriptive synopsis. The audience votes on the synopsis they like best.
Panelists: Lisa Adler-Golden (moderator), Nancy Brauer, Brian Koscienski, Grig “Punkie” Larson, Jean Marie Ward.

And if I’m lucky, I may be added to two more:

History as a Source of Fantasy, 4 p.m. Saturday, Belmont Room.

Ghosts, 5 p.m., Saturday, Salon C.

See you in Hunt Valley!

###
jmward14: (shoe1)

Rose of Night Shade Industries (right) and yours truly at Balticon 44.

If you want to know what kind of mischief I got into at last week's Balticon, the story is now live. The photos, too. Enjoy!
jmward14: (DuzWriter)
I took a page out of S.J. Willing's book today and posted a short short story for my Samhain blog. Consider it a free pass into the weirder corners of my mind. It's "All About the Flies". Really. ;-)

Also want to remind everyone that I'll be heading out to Hunt Valley, Maryland, for Balticon early tomorrow--er, today.  Hope you'll join me, especially for my five panels.  The Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading and the Legendary Triple Launch will have cooookieeeees.  And the Triple Launch will have Dragon's Lure, where you can make the acquaintance of the Estimable Lord Bai.
jmward14: (TopHat)

Memorial Day and Balticon—the two go together like fun and three-day weekends. Balticon is the premier Maryland regional science fiction and fantasy convention, which this year runs from May 28-31 at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn. Tanya Huff will be the Writer Guest of Honor, but that’s only the beginning, folks: Gail Carriger, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Laura Anne Gilman, Gail Z. Martin, Jeri Smith-Ready, Maria Snyder… and, well, me.
This year I snagged five fabulous panels. Hope to see you there.

Friday, 7 p.m.
Are You Sure You Want to Go There? Writing about the darker things in life: Rape. Torture. Childhood trauma. Sex with Dwarves. Sometimes it's done for a laugh. Sometimes it is done for an emotional response. Sometimes, we ask ourselves "What was THAT all about?!" So why not ask the pros who do it? When is shock essential to the story, and when is it sensational? Find out if authors add in moments of terror and extreme situations in order to surprise an audience, or as an alternative to group therapy. Jennifer Andrea, Allison Duncan, Chris Lester, Tee Morris (moderator) and Jean Marie Ward.

Friday, 10 p.m.
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading – Seven Broad Universe authors resent tasty, bite-sized readings of their work that will leave you hungry for more. Danielle Ackley McPhail, Roxanne Bland (moderator), Elaine Corvidae, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow and Jean Marie Ward.

Saturday, 11:30 a.m.
The Many Faces of Fantasy or the Road to Victory – Peter Beagle once divided fantasy into High and Low categories. One web site lists more than 20 sub-genres. Let's discuss some examples of these. Can we say that Frodo Baggins and Vicky Nelson are characters from the same genre? What is urban fantasy? Is it the same as contemporary fantasy? Elwin Cotman(m), Tanya Huff, Misty Massey, Darrell Schweitzer, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday, 6 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 writers as they discuss creating compelling characters. Gail Carriger, C.J. Henderson, Kory Kaese (moderator), Bernie Mojses, and Jean Marie Ward.

Sunday, 7 p.m.
The Legendary Triple LaunchBad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory, Dragon's Lure, and New Blood. Faeries, dragons and vampires; a little bit of something for everyone. See writers in costume try to read their works. There will be too many of us to name. And yes, I will be wearing wings. Be afraid, be very afraid.
 

###

jmward14: (BenkeiSake)


Normally I wait until I’ve got my schedule in my hand to do a long Balticon promo post, but I think this merits a special post. [livejournal.com profile] damcphail —writer, editor and hostess of some of the wildest con parties around—will be launching not one, not two, but three anthologies at Balticon from 7-9 p.m., Sunday May 30, at the Hunt Valley Marriott outside Baltimore, Maryland.

On the surface dragons, fairies and vampires might not seem to have a lot in common, but as Dani says, fiction readers never grow tired of them. “Each of these anthologies takes one of those legends and gives the reader what they want…and so much more.”

Since one of my favorite short stories, “Lord Bai’s Discovery”, is included in Dragon’s Lure, I must heartily agree. :-)

As always with Dani’s parties, there will be scads of writers, great refreshments and marvelous prizes, including a hand-sculpted dragon box by acclaimed artist Linda Saboe. There will also be readings by the anthology contributors including Dani, Linda, Elaine Corvidae, [livejournal.com profile] kradical , [livejournal.com profile] realthog , Kelly Harmon, C.J. Henderson, Brian Koscienski, Jeffrey Lymon, [livejournal.com profile] arhyalon , Terri Osborne, Chris Pisano and me, Me, ME!

Well, to be honest, I won’t be reading three times. But I do plan to read “Lord Bai’s Discovery”. Hope to see you there. In the meantime, if you want to learn more, check out Dani’s launch page.

Enjoy!

jmward14: (shoe1)
Yeah, yeah, I owe you blogs and photos from three different conferences. But for Balticon I had help!







If you want to put it all together, check out Kelly Harmon's blog about her first day at Balticon. And if you can't get enough of meme, check out Gail Z. Martin's coverage of the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. Better yet, check out the video for the other wonderful writers, like Gail and Kelly, whose stories I highly recommend.

Cheers!
jmward14: (Default)
I’m going back on con time this weekend. From Friday to Monday, May 22-25, you’ll find me at Balticon, Baltimore’s premier science fiction and fantasy con, held over the Memorial Day Weekend at the Hunt Valley Marriott. I hope you’ll check it out. And if you’re looking for me in particular, here’s where you’ll find me:

Friday, 6 p.m.
Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy - Panelists will help you see the humor you may have missed in the work of Charles Stross and others. They will also look at the history of humor in the genres from Feghoots to the present. Panelists: Tom Doyle, Grig Larson, James Daniel Ross and Jean Marie Ward.

Saturday, 3 p.m.
Television Science Fiction and Fantasy – Admit it, you love it. But it makes you feel so guilty in the morning. Panelists: Dale Arnold, Brenda Clough, Thomas Horman, Elaine Stiles and Jean Marie Ward.

Saturday, 7 p.m.
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading – Six of Balticon’s featured women writers bring you into their worlds with six-minute readings from their newest fiction. (I plan to read my latest, “Lord Bai’s Discovery of Bacon”. The editor who asked for it will be in the audience. Be afraid. Be very afraid.) Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Jean Marie Ward and Trisha J. Woolridge.

Sunday, 4 p.m.
Reading as Exploration - Tell us about books you have explored recently or those you remember from the past. Panelists: David Glenn Anderson, Robert R. Chase, Darrell Schweitzer, Jean Marie Ward and Martin Morse Wooster.
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Finally the link has been posted!  With Nine You Get Vanyr finaled in the sf/fantasy and humor categories of the 2008 Indie Awards.  And there were several other Samhellions to keep me company: D. Renee Bagby (Serenity, SF/Fantasy category), Traci Hall (Her Wiccan, Wiccan Ways, New Age category) and Ann Warner (Dreams for Stones, Romance category).
Still working on my Balticon photos.  The short version of my con report is I had a fabulous time.  The staff was too kind.  (They gave me a t-shirt!  Bouncy.  Bouncy.)  Connecting with friends--old, new and previously Internet-only--is always a blast.  And the programming and absinthe were lots of fun.  (Yes, thanks to Kelly and her husband, I've joined the decadent ranks of 19th century French poets and mad pre-Raphaelites.)
My only concern relates to the impression I may have left on one of the women who attended both my Feudalism and Mythology panels.  The subject of Joseph Campbell's monomyth came up in the latter, and unfortunately, it's one of the few subjects that make me bats*it insane--urm, rouses me to flights of rhetorical passion.  
I would've liked to talk to her about it later.  I seldom meet a woman who both understands and accepts Campbell's thesis.  Many think they do, but they haven't read enough of the misogynistic twerp--er, George Lucas's favorite scholar to understand what's actually happening in his so-called hero's journey.  (As someone who's spent most of her life in the company of military personnel, I also take violent exception to his thesis that legendary and historical heroism is necessarily the product of profound mental illness, but that's a whole 'nother rant.)  I would've liked to learn what attracts her to Campbell's ideas and perhaps get a better grasp on why his interpretation of classical mythology resonates so strongly with so many.  But she left the panel when her husband arrived, a few minutes before the end.  
I love participating in con programs.  I'm a natural-born ham, and nothing makes me happier than giving the audience a good show.  But performing in a setting where you and your audience are up close and personal requires a delicate balance between courtesy, respect, expertise and flamboyance.  Limited time means everything is delivered in broad brush strokes.  I never want to imply my view is the only valid one out there--especially on a subject as controversial as Campbell--but I am a redhead, with all the drama that entails.  I'm the living embodiment why symphony conductors used to warn their proteges, "Whatever you do, don't smile at the brass."  I can be as brassy as it gets.  
Since the woman left early, I don't know how well any of my intentions came across.  But I hope she enjoyed herself, and that she realizes the thanks and applause I gave our audience at the end of the Mythology panel were intended for her too.
Cheers,

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The final nail of official approval has been hammered into the coffin of my Balticon--wait, I'm not sure I like where this metaphor is going, especially since I'm rather fond of Balticon.  Let's just say, I have my Balticon schedule and it is good:

E-Publishing (Friday, 7 p.m., Derby) - After editing Crescent Blues for eight years, persuading other people to publish my articles and stories online, and working with Samhain as an author and final line editor, this was probably a no-brainer.  But I'll try to find some new stories to tell.

How Do You Write Them Shorter? (Friday, 11 p.m., Salon D) - This is a perfect example of chance working for you.  I hadn't marked this on my Wanna List, but I actually do have some good info to share--like how to cut 45K from 165K manuscript in 30 days or less and what to do when you get invited to participate in an anthology and you haven't written short fiction in over five years.  My only problem is I'm not sure how to promote this as a sex panel.  When it comes to late night panels, short is generally not considered a good thing.  ;-)

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading (Saturday, 11 a.m., Salon D) - I've got two passages earmarked for reading here: the opening of Highway from Hell and the opening of "Hero Material", the short story resulting from the panic attack alluded to in the last paragraph.  Guess it depends on what the other writers--Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Christy E. Tohara and Trish J. Woolridge--choose to read.  My natural inclination is to read whatever offers the greatest change of pace.  But I won't know what that will be until I get there.

Feudalism (Sunday, 6 p.m., Derby) - You'd never know my minor was British History in the Medieval/Early Modern Period from the way my brain froze when I read that.  Time to relearn "usufruct".  LOL

Reinventing The Myth (Monday, 2 p.m., Salon D) - This is the one I asked for special, and the Programming Crew was kind enough to sign me up.  This so very much relates to Highway and my work-in-progress.  Looking forward to hearing what my fellow panelists are up to, as well.

Looking forward to connecting with everyone who can make it.  Now it's time to get back to researching that WIP--more You Tube videos of Who Wants To Be A Superhero auditions.  Who says I don't suffer for my art?
Cheers and grins,
jmward14: (Default)
 The good kind--conventions where you get to attend panels and hang out with your friends and (if you're on the program) hopefully entertain other people doing the same.  So far, my 2008 schedule looks like this:

April 25-27, RavenCon, Richmond, VA
I expect to go a little wild at this one.  I'm rooming with [profile] jer_bear711and [profile] cymreiges, both of whom have fabulous new books coming out this year and want to celebrate the arrival of same.  They're actually contemplating letting me loose in a room party.  Heh heh.  And, oh yeah, there will be great programming too.  ;-)

May 17-18, Philadelphia Book Festival, Philadelphia, PA
This one's a little unusual for me.  It's a book fair sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia. Samhain Publishing has reserved a booth, and I volunteered to help out with sales, etc.  I've never worked a sales table before, but with everything that's going on at the fair, it's got to be a win/win/win situation.  I get to promote a good product, maybe even sign a book or two (yes, Virginia, turns out my mother-in-law's square apple pie recipe really is in The Write Ingredients--go us!), and after it's over I can visit family and friends in the area.

May 23-26, Balticon, Baltimore, MD
No roomie for this one yet.  (I think I'm on probation after getting a little too enthusiastic about the whole room party idea.)  But lots of wonderful programming and fabulous guests--besides me, that is.  One of the things I especially like about Balticon is you always catch folks with fabulous new books you never would've known about otherwise.  It doesn't hurt that the conventon celebrates new authors, either.  (Go Compton Crook Awards!)

August 28-September 1, DragonCon, Atlanta, GA
Oh yeah.  My favorite summer camp for wayward adults.  [profile] cymreigeswill be there.  [profile] hundakleptisiswill be there.  Carole Nelson Douglas...  DragonCon qualifies as a highlight of any year.  It's pure madness, but how can you not love a con with a parade, concerts and the Ms. Klingon Universe pageant?

October 31-November 2, World Fantasy Con, Alberta, Canada
I don't think I'll be playing on any panels for this one, but I'm definitely going.  This will be my first time attending a WFC where I haven't been running ragged trying to nail down interviews for Crescent Blues.  I get to be a fan.  And what a line-up!

Capclave, the local DC sf/fantasy convention is always on my to-do list.  But after the last couple of Octobers, I'm not making any plans just yet.  Of course, this means I may have to attend it as a fan too.  Oh, twist my arm!  :-)
Now to get back to what I should've been doing this afternoon--working on a short story involving a hapless interstellar transport gate repair person and a dragon who resembles my mother to an alarming degree.  It's ironic, I spent years trying to keep her from overwhelming me, now I'm trying to channel her for dialogue and it's hard.
I also need to get this info on Wardsmith.com.  I've let the site slide for far too long.  Oh well, now that the dh has put the finishing touches on the new and improved Hail Dubyus, our new webmaster will definitely have more time.  Once he's recovered, that is...  Mwahahahaha!
Cheers,
Jean Marie
 
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Got back to Balticon to discover With Nine You Get Vanyr had been Giggled.  I'm alternating between squees of delight and "Ouchouchouchouchouch!"  Mrs. G's darts are sharp!  LOL  But her aim is true.  She's also the first and only reviewer so far to catch the book's many Highlander homages.  Not to mention her stellar pull quote about Deryk. 
You can read the full text of the article here.  Seriously, I'm thrilled and very grateful Mrs. Giggles took the time to review Vanyr.  It's great exposure for the book.  If you've got any doubts about the value of a review by Mrs. G, I humbly submit my Amazon numbers.  Last week the book's ranking bounced between 400,000-600,000, dipping to a low of 700,000 over the holiday weekend.  May 28, the day after her review appeared, we shot up to 104,392--not bad at all for a small press book three months past release.
'Course, it could've been my stellar performance at Balticon. .. Nah, not a chance.  I was too busy having fun.  I've got the pictures to prove it, too.  I plan to post the better ones later this week.  Until then, I'm open to bribes--er, gratuities and considerations.
Cheers!

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Jean Marie Ward

May 2017

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