Belated Thanks for a Great Archon!

I had a wonderful time at Archon weekend before last (Oct. 2-4,2015). Archon is one of my favorite science fiction conventions.

From my perspective as a panelist and participating artist, everything ran smoothly. I need to send a big shout out to the concom, especially the programming team, the art show team, and the volunteers: Awesome job, ya’ll!

Thank you shout-outs also to Alan D and his awesome first aid skills  (No worries. It’s just a bruise!); the Dread Pirate Meghan, The Fourth Doctor, and Skerri Sherri for graciously agreeing to stand still while we sketched them; Clare Ashgrove and David Pedersen for being awesome panel moderators, and Yard Dog Press authors and fans for putting on another gut-bustingly funny road show readings with interpretive dance.

All in all, it was another successful convention. I’m already looking forward to next year!

My Archon Schedule

Art for Archon 2016

Art for Archon 2016

The fine folks at Archon 39 have posted the programming schedule for this weekend and it looks like it’s going to be a great weekend! You’ll find my art in the show and me in person on the following panels:

Friday

7:30 PM — Art Reception, Great Rivers Ballroom B

9 PM — Yard Dog Press Presents Readings and Interpretive Dance, Marquette B

Saturday

1 PM — Draw with the Pros, Marquette B

5 PM — The Ad-Lib Game (M), Marquette B

7 PM — The First Editor: Yourself, Marquette B

Sunday

10 AM — My Favorite Art Medium (M), Mississippian

Noon — Marketing for the Self-Published Author, Mississippian

Don’t forget to stop by the art show and ogle the art (and buy some, perhaps?). Also, stop by the Yard Dog Press booth in the Dealers Room and buy books. Lots and lots of fun-to-read books. See you there!

My SoonerCon Schedule

Here’s my schedule for SoonerCon, June 27-28 in Oklahoma City:

Friday, June 27

3 pm —Tut, Tut Mummy!
Why this strange fascination with the dried-up husks of dead people? You don’t see movie franchises about Mayans or the Inuit. Why have other myth systems been left behind in the (mummy) dust?

5 pm — A Game of Thrones: A Fan’s Addiction (moderator)
Is the series a dark fantasy or rather, a soap opera with swords and incest? Which character do you hate the most? Who should die next (because probably, they will). Panelists discuss everything Game of Thrones from the books to the television series. *Spoilers may be unavoidable

8 pm — Art Reception

Saturday, June 28

11 am — Dragons: Myths Across the Miles
There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons; the European dragon and the East Asian dragon. How did the legend of the dragon make its way across the continents in the ages of minimal communication and cross-continental travel? What cultural truths can be explained by the similarity of the various dragon myths and forms?

3 pm — Dr. Who: The Anti-Antihero
The Doctor is the best person, er, Timelord ever. Sure, he makes some mistakes but things seem to work out as they were meant to in the end. Is the Doctor’s ultra-goodness his best appeal? What gives him such cross-generational staying power?

4 pm — Yard Dog Press Roadshow

Sunday, June 29

10 am — Koffee Klatch
Meet guests of the convention and enjoy coffee and casual conversation.

12 pm — The Inspired Artist
Artists discuss their real-world inspirations used to create works of SF/F art.

3 pm — Why So Grimm? (moderator)
A gruesome look at the original Grimm’s fairy tales. The dark ’n’ gritty older versions of the folktales that Disney sanitized. Were kids really lulled to sleep hearing about how Cinderella’s stepsisters hacked off their toes to fit the Prince’s slipper?

SoonerCon 22 was Awesome!

SoonerCon 22 (2013)

Laura J. Underwood and Selina Rosen

Another SoonerCon is over and done, and a fabulous time was had. Of all the conventions I attend each year, SoonerCon is my favorite. Big thanks and a shout-out to Leonard Bishop, Matthew Alfred, Aislinn Burrows, Jerry Wall, Kimber Chessmore, and the entire concom team for all their hard work.

Thanks and hugs go out to them as well for making me and the rest of the Yard Dog Press pack of feral chihuahuas feel welcome and appreciated. There were more than 20 of us Yard Dog authors and artists on site, and you couldn’t throw a rock (not that you would, of course) without hitting a member of our pack wearing a yellow fedora, bandanna, or button. (Branding works, ya’ll.)

SoonerCon 22 (2013)

Sherri Dean

SoonerCon’s biggest change — their move to the Reed Conference Center and Sheraton Hotel in Midwest City, OK — was all for the good. The facilities were clean, comfortable, and functional.

There was no traditional consuite this year, but food was available in the conference center at a reasonable price in the 10 Forward Lounge, there was a cash bar at the evening events, and they even arranged for two local food truck vendors to set up shop right outside the conference center door on Saturday evening. The egg roll man rocked, and his cherry pie dessert egg roll was very yummy.

(FYI: Do not inhale while attempting to eat something covered in powdered sugar. Don’t ask me how I know. )

The dealer’s room was so packed with a variety of goodies that traffic flow was a little congested, but that’s not entirely a bad thing — all the more pretties and baubles to select from. The Yard Dog Press table was front and center, and I’m told we had one of our best sales weekends ever. (Another big thank you to everyone who bought our books!)

SoonerCon 22 (2013)

Lynn at the Yard Dog Press table, displaying Selina Rosen’s new book.

The art show was again the smoothly run event I’ve come to expect, and they made great use of the space and lighting to show off our work. I had to dash off to my first panel before I could complete the traditional artist check-in, but I was confident that I could leave my paperwork with them to finish the job and it would all be fine. And it was.

I sold a couple of my new pieces to my biggest fan in Oklahoma, who gave me some neat ideas to ponder for new work. (Thanks, Telia!)

SoonerCon 22 (2013)

Good morning, SoonerCon! Some people are entirely too perky for that time of con.

The programming was plentiful and broad, and the quality was consistent with that of previous years. Topics covered art, comics, music, cosplay and costuming, media, and more, ranging from a discussion of cryptozoology to e-publishing to propaganda to cyberpunk to superheroes.

There were also plenty of non-panel events — films, fan gatherings, gaming, masquerade, music, and an art show reception. Even the hallways were packed with people, including the maker’s alley (artists, authors, and others) on the first floor, and the fan group tables on the second floor.

SoonerCon 22 (2013)

Bland Lemon Denton and The Honey Badger

Finally, I really enjoyed the music stylings of Bland Lemon Denton and the Honey Badger of Awesome on Friday night. I wish I could have made time to see David Lee Anderson and the Starcruisers, but there was so much going on that night, including the Art Show reception.

Bottomline, SoonerCon was great! I’m looking forward to attending SoonerCon again next year. Mark your calendars for June 27-29, 2014: Same bat time, same bat channel.

Recapping 2011…

A tale of work, fatigue, and distractions.

I've been MIA on LJ for about a year, except for the occasional "still breathing" posts and the auto-posts from my near-dormant Twitter account. Mostly, I've been hanging out on Facebook.

So, yes, I'm still breathing. I'm just fatigued. In March 2011 (the point at which I nearly disappeared from LJ and my art blog), I accepted a job as a software tester and technical writer at a small engineering firm, in a position advertised as a six-month temporary assignment. As we approach March 2012, it’s been 12 months, I'm still there, and the big pile-o-work isn’t getting any smaller.

Although I shouldn't complain about having a decent-paying job in my field, I am fatigued by the rigid work schedule of 10-hour days that start a wee bit too early in the morning. I'm adapting, but I'm not getting much done at home in the evenings, and my creative output has been severely limited. My creative drought was exacerbated by a medication prescribed for my twitchy eye, until I decided I could live with a twitch but I can't live without art. (So, when you see me, remember that I'm not really winking at you; I just twitch a little bit.)

2011 in general was a year of health-related distractions. I blame most of it on the fatigue and on working in an old, dusty building with drainage issues. The epic battle against the bacteria that Occupy My Sinuses continues, but I think I'm winning. Also, 10 weeks and 10 pounds after injuring my knee twice during the holidays, I’m finally getting back into my regular yoga schedule. (Baby gates and spikey gumball trees, I hates them I do.) Luckily, the important knee mechanics weren't damaged, but it's hard to do yoga with a near-equivalent of "housemaid's knee". (I’ve also learned that a memory-foam bathmat makes an incredibly useful yoga accessory if you have grumpy knees.)

Other tidbits from 2011:

  • I had a short story published in the Yard Dog Press anthology “I Should Have Stayed in Oz”.
  • My short story from the 2010 Yard Dog Press anthology "A Bubba In Time Saves None" was awarded first place in the short story category by the Missouri Professional Communicators and second place at the national level by the National Federation of Press Women.
  • I went to the National Federation of Press Women conference, and was appointed to the executive board as web director for the next two years.
  • I attended three science fiction conventions and had art in their art shows (ConQuesT, SoonerCon, and Archon).
  • I went to the Campbell Conference at KU.
  • I was supposed to be Artist GOH at Contra, but it was cancelled. (Stupid economy.)
  • I drove cross-country solo to Mom’s for Thanksgiving, a significant distance that I would prefer to fly, but at Thanksgiving? Um, no.

So, that’s a brief recap of my year. I could write a little bit about art, but I’ll do that in another post.