daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Conversion XXI was this past weekend. I am still recovering from the resulting sleep deprivation. *g*

Highlights include:

- IFWA bedtime stories
- [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty won the short story contest! [livejournal.com profile] jestyna placed third!
- the Buffy musical performance--and [livejournal.com profile] queenzulu's later appearance in her Faith get-up
- Firefly shindig! Firefly fake tattoos! Plastering self and friends with said tattoos... ([livejournal.com profile] chaleur23! I grabbed some extra for you!)
- Masquerade, slave auction, the usual suspects.
- Being on panels for both intro to anime for parents, and f&sf in current kids' books (the latter of which was taped by campus radio)
- Hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] zoi_no_miko in her pretty, pretty costume (with corset!)
- Improv with the 404's, and the constipated-Shatner-attacking-alien scene.

So it started out a pretty low-key day. I'm once again between temp assignments, so I mercifully, mercifully didn't have to be anywhere at eight am this morning, and got up at 8:30 to drive my girl with the twisted ankle in to work.

Buuuuut, I had an interview with a local company today that does technology training for teachers and librarians, and it looks like I'm going to be developing a course for them on online collection development for graphic novels, or something similar, and probably acting as back-up instructor for a few other courses. !!!!! It's a part-time contract thing, but is very cool in terms of some extra income, and looks kick-ass on a resume. Plus, I think I'll enjoy it.

Must sleep. Still planning on full con report, and oh yeah, finishing Animethon con report too. Heh.


Sep. 4th, 2003 10:19 am
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
I'm still recovering from WorldCon. Expect a longish ramble about all the goings-on at some indeterminate point in the not-so-distant future. Highlights include:
- Meeting Joan (long-time long-distance friend) in person.
- Rare goodies in the dealers' room.
- Best-in-show Masquerade entry of the Trumps of Amber.
- Discovering the existence of SLOF.
- Meeting assorted author-type people (Josepha Sherman, Allison Baird, Sara Zettel) over the best hot and sour soup I have ever had.
- Hearing Terry Pratchett speak.
- Getting a book signed by Tanya Huff, and then hearing her mention what I had said to her at a panel later in the day.
- Hearing Neil Gaiman read. (Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...)

In other news, some kind soul has added two months of paid time to my lj account. Now if I could only figure out what I can do with that that I can't with a non-paid one... heh.

However, the car is still verging on overheating and needs to go back into the shop. Grrr.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Um. Yeah. About that Con Tales thing. Con Tales is also the name of the publication with the top five short story contest entries. As one of the included entries, Barb got a free copy, signed by all involved. Which I kinda... spilt coffee on. Arrrrgh. It was okay after we blotted it off, and I bought her an additional copy, but still.

The whole coffee incident happened at the anime improv. The Anime Alberta gang (in essence, Anime Alberta IS Mark and Dan, but the rest of us are all part and parcel) regularily do improv like an anime-themed whose Line Is It Anyways. Mark hosts, and Dan, the other Mark, and some of the guys from BAKA (the Edmonton club) are the usual suspects. They're pretty damn good. This year they did Sakura-Con (Seattle), Animethon (Edmonton), Anime Evolution (Vancouver), I think Otafest (Calgary), and ConVersion (Calgary). They need a name, and a website. And six hundred bucks for their own sound equipment, ouch.

They had two improvs at ConVersion, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The improv-ers are always three or four of the cast, with a healthy dose of willing audience volunteers. The Saturday core improv crew was supposed to be Mark hosting, another volunteer, and Dan. Dan got held up, soo... I tracked down a back-up Dan (aka Karl), and Dan and Mannie made it for the second half. It went relatively smoothly--more about the Sunday improv later.

Then we went costume hunting.

But first, I must explain about the gypsies.

Every year, ConVersion has a slave auction. "Slaves" volunteer to be auctioned off. Those who buy them get an hour of their time for mutually agreed upon services immediately following the auction. The proceeds go to the food bank, and much chaos ensues. the guys always go for less than the women, on average.

Several years back, BJ bought four male slaves because they were a steal at $5 each. Last year, she got together with some friends, and found some costumes. And then the gypsies came to the slave auction.

"How much for this one? I give you five dollar! Show me his teeth!" was their rallying cry. They convinced two hapless audience members to be auctioned off ("No, I want him! How much?"), shamed other participants from bidding ("Is for baby!" "Is for me! Is her first slave!" "Why you bid against the baby?"), oh yeah, and bought Mark as one of their entourage. *g*

This year, the pirates came looking for galley slaves.

We headed out to the thrift stores, and after some confusion surrounding SW and SE quadrants of the city and how to get around the Stampede grounds on roads that should connect and didn't, we ended up at our destination.

The plan was to find BJ a costume. We also ended up outfitting Barb and myself, complete with some plastic pirate swords. Skirts, scarves, and beads and bangles were all acquired.

We had supper at our place, costumed up, and headed back con-wards for the masquerade. There were some very cool entries, including two Klingons, a bar wench with corset-enhanced cleavage you could lose small housepets in (she fetched a pretty penny at auction), and a company of Roman legionnaires.

The legionnaires were part of a military history recreation type group, and they were a non-competing entry. They had spent the afternoon wandering the halls, drilling in Latin. These guys were GOOD. Not only did they move with military precision, but their costumes were wonderful and incredibly authentic--to my inexpert eye, anyhow. The linen, leather, sandals, metal armour, the helmets, the record-keeper with his beeswax tablet. Cooooool.

The other phenomenal entry was the only entry in the Master's category. They were the House of Charn, from The Magician's Nephew in the Narnia books. When Diggory and Polly end up in an old world (Charn) that is about to be ended, with a red, tired sun, and an empty city, they find a hall full of stone thrones. The seated figures start out at one end looking kind and noble and good and as they move further down, they begin to look foolish or shifty until the last, a very beautiful woman who also looks very cruel. This is Jadis. Diggory rings a bell, wakes her, and she, eventually, becomes the White Witch of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

This group cosplayed as the seated figures in the Hall of Charn, based on the classic Narnia illustrations by Pauline Baynes. The only version of the one illo their costumes were based on that Ic ould find online is on the cover BBC radio drama booktape, here.

They were fantastic. They proceeded in one at a time, and were seated on chairs draped to look like stone. I think there were eight or nine of them altogether, and the last one in was Jadis, who strode to the front of the stage, gestured, and brought down thunder and darkness on us. *g* My pictures will hopefully look better on the computer than on the digital camera's little screen, but I know the flash setting was off. Sigh.

Jadis was a gypsy last year. This year she was bidding on slaves for the salt mines of Charn. *g* But I'm going to have to leave the slave auction for tomorrow because now I'm REALLY tired.

In other news, while the librarian I'm filling in for is NOT coming back from maternity leave, my contract only runs until the end of August. And they're lagging about in HR posting the position--they're waiting until the beginning of Sept, I think, because it's cheaper to just find someone to fill in for the meantime. Arrrrrgh. I'm looking at several weeks of being unemployed, I suspect. Very hopefully not more than a week or two.

Watching DVDs of the Stephen King miniseries, Rose Red. Must not slash Joyce Reardon with Annie. Or Pam and Joyce. Or Nick and anybody. Heh. Anybody seen any Rose Red slash?
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
This weekend was Con-Version XX, Calgary's annual SF&F con. God knows why I'm up at 12:30pm tonight, because I am wiped. (Actually, I think it's just residual adrenaline, but anyhow.)

This is my third Con-Version, and I had a really good time. I was off work Friday, and took Saturday off. The Fri off was a good thing because it gave me a chance to get some last-minute tidying up done prior to our houseguests showing up. Barb's aunt Ann, and her best friend BJ (who is also a Barb) crashed on our futon for the weekend.

Fri, we showed up at the con shortly before seven, and spent the obligatory twenty minutes or so standing in line. We missed the first bit of the opening ceremonies which is a shame because Anime Alberta (specifically, Karl and Mark) put together a kick-ass opening video complete with photos from last year (more about the gypsies later) and a light-sabre fight between the two of them. On a playground. With light-sabres that were approximately the same size as a ballpoint pen. Karl did cut off Mark's hand though. *g*

After a couple of attempts to see The Cat Returns (new Ghibli movie, yay!!!) in which I never actually managed to show up at the right time, and poor Mannie's discovery that brand-new contacts and subbed anime don't mix that well, we headed out for supper with Ann and BJ and Dale. This was a good thing, because low blood sugar was starting to kick in and make me all headachey.

I had to ask Barb what we did after supper on Fri, because I was completely blanking out on it. We went back to the con, and attended a panel on short stories and whether or not they're worth writing. (In short: all the participants like short stories and we all agree they're good. The end.)

We were home and in bed by one-ish, which is good because Ann and Barb had to be at the con for the short story contest at ten Satuday morning. Ann because she was judging, and Barb because she was one of the top five finalists. It was a blind judging with all the names stripped off, so Ann had no idea which story was Barb's. Each of the three judges then presented their critiques on each of the finalists, and then they announce the winners.

I'll spare the suspense--Barb won!

Meanwhile, I sat in on a panel on writing SF for kids, which was good. I kinda wanted more about the how than the whys. Granted, I'm probably more familiar with recent children's literature than most of the audience, let alone what's popular. I missed the panelists' introductions, dammit. They all were very knowledgable, and I wished I'd known exactly who they were. Heh.

I wandered through the dealer's room, and I was good! I only bought four books this year! The one used-book table had some library discards mixed in with the rest of their books. Grrr. That irks me, but I bought one of them anyhow. (Larque on the Wing by Nancy Springer, if anyone cares.) I am such a book slut. I also picked up a Peter S. Beagle novel, and two by Nina Kiriki Hoffman which thrilled me to NO end--The Thread That Binds the Bone (which is out of print), and Past the Size of Dreaming new, in hardcover, for half-price.

(Incidentally, she's got a new book coming out that's a prequel to the Read Heart of Memory/Past the Size of Dreaming series or duology or whatever. It's called A Stir of Bones and I waaaaaant...)

And I just realized that I can't find my bag of books and stuff from today. Bother and damn. I'm hoping it's tucked away somewhere here at home, and I didn't leaveit in BJ's van.

But I think I'm going to finish this tomorrow and write about the most interesting stuff when I'm not so tired. Adrenaline's wearing off here... watch this space for costuming, Roman legionnaires, Queen Jadis and the pirate wenches at the slave auction, how Mannie fetched a pretty penny, and meeting Esther Friesner.



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