Thursday, May 28, 2015

Miscon Rundown - Friday

NOTE:  I found out on Wednesday the featured author at Miscon 30 - Robin Hobb!  And Jim Butcher will be there too!  Please watch for TV reports on drooling stalker in Missoula over Memorial Day weekend in 2016.

A couple of days ago I did a 'big girl thing'.  I took the three bags of books (yes, three!) and returned them to the library.  You see, part of me does realize these books are from a LIBRARY and I can check them out again.  I marked them 'want to read' in Goodreads, put them in bags and returned them to the library.  Beyond the fact my bedside table was listing to one side, I have way too much on my platter at the moment to devote myself to nonstop reading.  Besides that, I have 'discovered' a slew of new writers (well, new writers to me).


My first panel was "The Attraction of Geekery", discussing why we are geeks and nerds and how we became that way.  What we were exposed to as kids seemed to have an important part of it.  I know have some movies I need to go back and watch like 12 Monkeys or Fallen.  The panel was led Bob Lively, who is the president of the Miscon organization.

The next panel was "Connecting Emotionally with Characters" with the panel members being Laurey Patten, Shawn Speakman and Ann Gimpel.  

Laurey Patten writes under L.F. Patten and is the author of The Talent Sinistral.  Ann Gimpel is a paranormal romance writer and has several books out, such as Earth's Blood and Earth's Hope.

And the one who I really fell for, Shawn Speakman, author of The Dark Thorn.  Shawn is Terry Brook's webmaster, among a myriad of other hats.  I am currently listening to The Dark Thorn on audio since it is a huge book and I can listen and knit, crochet and sew.  A side note - on Sunday, Shawn and his wife were leaving their room and Savvy and I walked by.  I told Shawn, "I enjoyed you in my bathtub last night."  He blushed while I explained I downloaded the audio book.  His wife was laughing and telling us, "I think I'm ok with that."  Needless to say, I don't think I will be easily forgotten.

The panel discussed what makes for a good character and how character arcs are as necessary as plot arcs.  Lot's of interesting information packed into 50 minutes.

Terry Brooks signing my books

The highlight of the day was having books signed by Terry Brooks.  I had The Sword of Shannara Trilogy to sign.  His latest book, The Defenders of Shannara, the Darkling Child, is being released in June.  We got to buy copies early so we could get the signed!  Since this is book 2 in the series, I purchased the previous book, The High Druid's Blade.  So now I have 3 books signed by Terry Brooks.

The best part, Terry Brooks is the nicest, most gracious, person.  He spoke to each person on an individual level.  If I liked him as a writer, I like him as a person now.

Then came the "Gussets and Gores" workshop on adjusting costumes for the less than perfect body.  The panel was a bit unorganized, but I picked up some great I can move darts, gores and gussets around, based on the body type I am working with.

"Minor Characters" was the next panel with Anne Groell, Rhiannon Held, Laurey Patten, Dave Bara and Manny Frishberg. 

Anne Groell is Terry Brook's editor, as well as, George R. R. Martin's.  She has an outstanding stable of authors she works with.  And is a very funny person to listen to.  Rhiannon Held, an author, is one whose first book in her trilogy, Silver,  is now on request for me at the library.  Dave Bara has written Impulse: Lightship Chronicles, among other things, .  Manny Frishberg, writer and editor.

One of the first things discussed was what a minor character actually was.  Anne Groell, defined it as a 'back-up' character.  Dave Bara was a bit more pragmatic and defined them as "someone you can kill".  They did agree they may not have names and Rhiannon Held feels they are "someone in the  prop closet".

The final panel on Friday was "Kickass Women" and where I picked up more books to add to my reading list.  The panelist consisted of Anne Gimpel, Terry Brooks, Carol Berg and John Pitts, who writes as J. A. Pitts.

They first were asked to name characters in books who they would consider 'kick-ass'.  Katniss from The Hunger Games, Heromine Granger from the Harry Potter series, Eowin from Tolken were all names thrown out.  What they all had in common were they were all intelligent, could hold their own and not afraid to take action despite what others may think.  They also go against type and what is expected of them.  A really good panel.  

Carol Berg is an author who has many books out, most of which are carried in the library.  I do have to admit three have already followed me home.  J. A. Pitts, whose Black Blade Blues is currently beside by bed, is one Savvy purchased at my urging and then I took it from her.  There is a story behind the creation of his protagonist I will cover later.

Friday was a full, full day and a great opening to the convention.  Savvy, Lady K and I drove back home, while Texter stayed with friends.  This is a bit of a vacation and time to herself before school starts in August.  She did have to watch Lady K during the panels, but they both seemed to survive.

Next, comes Saturday and Sunday...

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