cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (why we can't have nice things)
I will not attend WisCon in 2015. I may never attend WisCon again.

WisCon's Subcommittee Statement on Jim Frenkel demonstrates that WisCon is a feminist convention in name, not deed. The Harassment Policy Committee prioritizes the harasser (in this case, a man) over the victims. They offer him the out of a redemption narrative and will entertain any appeals he chooses to make. They offer the victims hollow apologies and no appeals process. They are more concerned with the harasser's access to the con than with the safety of the rule-abiding membership.

Given the committee's decision regarding a well-documented, serial harasser, I have no confidence that WisCon will handle responsibly the other pending report of harassment or future complaints.

The committee has stated their decision will not be influenced by future discussions. (It is non-negotiable for the victims and wider membership, but provisional for the perpetrator.) Therefore, I have no confidence that WisCon will be swayed by a petition like that created by [ profile] vschanoes for Readercon under similar circumstances.

Even if WisCon rescinds this decision, whether due to overwhelming criticism or the demands of their own consciences, I am so thoroughly disgusted that I do not want to a part of the convention anymore.

I am angry that an event I looked forward to year after year cares more about reforming a predator than protecting its other participants. I am disappointed that WisCon has operated with insular stubbornness, rather than learning from cohorts and critics. I am incredulous that this subcommittee passed the buck to future committees, who will have to act as parole boards in addition to dealing with new, inevitable safety issues that will arise.

WisCon is no longer *my* con. There is nothing "provisional" about that.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hammer head)
TW for discussion of child abuse, rape

More and more details are emerging from the deeply sad and disgusting history of Marion Zimmer Bradley and (her husband) Walter Breen's abuse of children. By and large, these are not new facts. This is history: personal, legal, and fandom history. I am not going to link to the proof. Suffice to say, legal depositions and plenty of damning accounts are available online, many using the keyword "Breendoggle."

I would really like fandom to stop using that word. Modifying "boondoggle" in this way suggests that the arguments about what to do about MZB and Breen were useless wastes of time and energy. It minimizes the horror of how fandom failed to excise a pernicious predator, how people colluded to protect perpetrators rather than victims, how survivors were shamed, gaslit, and silenced, and how the truth was allowed to sink out of sight and out of mind.

There's been a critical generation gap. Fans who knew of MZB and Breen's crimes seem to have assumed the information was common knowledge. They stopped discussing it. They let sleeping dogs lie. Which means a swath of current fans and writers (including myself until about a month ago) were completely ignorant of what MZB and her husband had done, what Breen was convicted of. No doubt it would be unpleasant and even painful to constantly footnote every mention of MZB's writing with "and she abused her children and enabled her husband to rape children." But there must be other ways to pass this information on to future fans. I mean, many of us are writers. Communication is one facet of our jobs.

The MZB/Breen situation feels disturbingly familiar to those of us now fighting for harassment policies and their enforcement. We have our own "missing stairs" or "open secrets." We know we have serial harassers attending SF conventions, and we warn our friends about those problem attendees. But not everyone is going to hear these warnings through the grapevine, just as many of us were left in the dark about MZB/Breen. And it's not as if we don't have sufficient evidence or proof of the problem. Instead, we have con committees that are fearful of litigation.

"...while we could of course cancel [their] membership, if we did so without telling fandom why, there would be a big row. And if we told why, [they] would sue for slander and libel and we didn't have $75,000.00.

It was pointed out that truth is a defense in a case like this. So it is, but [they] would probably sue anyway. And even though we have all sorts of evidence establishing the main facts, if not each individual instance, we'd still be out several hundred dollars in lawyer's fees even after we'd won the case."

That's from a 1963 newsletter about Walter Breen. In response to my "WisCon Wins and Fails" post, I heard almost the exact same reasoning from a WisCon volunteer co-coordinator. Fifty-some years later, and we are still (supposedly) immobilized by the fear that a serial predator will sue.

How many times have jackasses threatened to sue but never followed through?
If the NBA can ban an owner for life because of racist statements, why can't a con ban a known harasser?
The SFF community contributed over $53,000 to the "Women Destroy Science Fiction All Genres!" Kickstarter. Do you really think, if a con volunteer got sued for enforcing the harassment policy, we'd let them go broke?

We need to fix our missing stairs now. I can't bear the thought of, twenty years from now, younger writers and fans "discovering" their literary heroes are moral scumbags. Or that the same creepers bothering them at cons were known to be problems even back in my day. We in the SFF community pride ourselves on envisioning grand, complex futures. We need to develop longer memories. Otherwise, our future will be a shameful repetition of the past. The MZB/Breen history reemerging now is a timely, if painful warning.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (christina aguilera)
I attended WisCon 38 this weekend and had a fabulous time. Some highlights:

I watched a young woman of color, a self-described fangirl, meet a hero. Shivering, eyes welling with tears, she introduced herself to NK Jemisin, who responded warmly and graciously. Though I could not hear their conversation, I saw that it NEEDED to happen. This young woman needed to meet Jemisin, needed to tell her how much her work meant, needed to have her hero-worship met with respect and thanks.

Think back on all the stories we've heard of young women approaching their favorite authors in other times and places, only to be condescended to, brushed off, or sexually assaulted. The SFF community needs to be different, and better. WisCon tries and often succeeds.

I watched the Tiptree award winner, Nike Sulway, struggle through tears to tell the audience about how many times her book, Rupetta, was rejected before Tartarus Press came to the rescue. Sulway mentioned her other life as an academic, and I imagined what it must've been like, to carry on professionally while her heart was aching, maybe breaking, on the long road to Rupetta's publication. Sulway really NEEDED to hear the silly, celebratory song written for her and Rupetta, to be welcomed into the Tiptree community, to be cheered by an entire ballroom audience.

Think about other venues, where tears would've been unseemly. Think about Sulway moving forward on her next projects with the knowledge—not hope, but knowledge—that there is an audience for her work, people who live and breathe with her characters, fans ready to devour her next literary feast. Her future will be different, and I hope, better because of WisCon.

I listened to the tremulous emotion in NK Jemisin's voice as she related her trials of the previous year, the defiant calm as she restated and refined her case, the awesome power as she called us to arms and the implacable righteousness as she urged us to fucking FIGHT—for our lives, for our art, for our future. We NEEDED to hear that speech, all of us, not just the POC in the audience. And, given Jemisin's comments right before her speech, that she wasn't completely sure what she was going to do until she heard co-Guest of Honor Hiromi Goto's speech, Jemisin needed a boost of inspiration, too.

Think about other venues, where Jemisin would've been booed and heckled, where people would've walked out, where she would have been confronted, attacked, assaulted, for speaking Truth to Power. WisCon can be different, better. In this case, I think it was.

I sat in a mostly white audience that was listening (and hopefully learning) from a panel composed entirely of black women. Where else would that happen?

But for all the good WisCon 38 achieved, for all the happiness it gave me and others, more needs to happen.

We need to revise and/or ENFORCE the WisCon harassment policy.

It is inexcusable that a known serial sexual harasser (James Frenkel) would be allowed to attend WisCon the year after abusing two women and being fired from his position at Tor as a result. [Scroll down to the Frenkel discussion in this storify, "WisCon and Harassment" (the Bergmann discussion is relevant, too, and I'll get to that in a minute). See also Lauren Jankowski's reaction to discovering Frenkel was attending.] ETA: Note that Ms. Jankowski has revised her statement since I initially posted. Please take that into account when referencing/reblogging. ETA2: Lauren's followup post is here. Thanks to Elise Matthesen for providing that link.

What a slap in the face to women who endured Frenkel's abuse to see this unrepentant offender all over the con! What callous disregard for newcomers and those who cannot identify Frenkel on sight so as to avoid him! What a thoughtless decision to allow this offender to volunteer in the consuite, thus endangering some of our most vulnerable guests!

WisCon needs to be different, and it needs to be better. There are several members on the concom who want to fix the Frenkel fail. Folks who attended WisCon can help by filling out the survey at . Even if you didn't attend this year's con, you can express your dismay at Frenkel's inclusion by emailing the concom: . (ETA: This email address is the one provided on the survey. On Twitter, I was informed by the WisCon38 account that they prefer to receive general feedback at .)

Frenkel is not the only problematic guest attending WisCon. Another documented case of harassment, that perpetrated by FJ Bergmann against Rose Lemberg, has apparently been ignored by WisCon organizers. [see also the references to Bergmann in the "WisCon and Harassment" storify] Perhaps because Bergmann is local and a long-time attendee? Whatever the excuse, because of Bergmann's behavior at WisCon 36 and WisCon's failure to address the matter, Rose Lemberg, an editor, publisher, and author crucial to the new wave of intersectional speculative SFF no longer feels safe attending WisCon. And several of the authors Lemberg has mentored and championed, who could contribute valuable new voices to WisCon, do not feel safe attending, either. What a trade-off we have made! This is another matter to address when you give feedback to WisCon, whether via survey or email.

Other authors and editors who could offer valuable insights to WisCon programming have given up after years of their panel ideas being ignored, misunderstood, or mishandled. I believe the variety of panels has improved to include more traditionally marginalized voices, but panel assignments still need to be vetted more carefully. For example, why were the "How to Ally" panelists all white, while the moderator was a WoC? Was the "Escaping the Hair Police" panel as representative as it could have been? If you found fault with any panel's composition, be sure to include that info in your feedback.

I'm told the concom is looking to improve panel assignments, by letting those of us who suggest panels flag ones that need special attention. In the meantime, we can help ensure parity and the best-informed participants by including notes when we suggest panels: "PoC only," "needs non-US participants," "trans person should be on panel," "must be moderated by a WoC," etc. We can also name specific people we'd like to participate, although they are of course not obligated to do so. And if you fall into a traditionally marginalized group, consider volunteering to moderate or sit on panels, if you can. It's easy for folks to burnout if they always have to act as spokesperson.

A few more thoughts for making WisCon different, better, safer for everyone:

Moderators should avoid assuming gender when calling on audience members. Rather than "First the woman in red, the man in the back, then the woman with long hair" the moderator could say "First the person in red, you standing in the back, then the person in the kilt." No one wants to be misgendered, least of all at a con that purports to care about gender and trans* issues. (I was on a panel where the moderator made this mistake, and I felt bad but failed to speak up. I might need to rehearse a quick interjection for that scenario.)

Folks, don't go up to a stranger and ask them if they are "so-and-so." If you're the person asked, it's hard to answer in the negative without feeling like a disappointment. And if you're asking a POC, you give the impression that you think all POC look alike. Instead, introduce yourself, wait for the person to reciprocate, and be prepared to chit-chat whatever their response. And, for goodness sake, do not inquire as to the origin of someone's name or whether it's a family name or married name. Just, no.

And a last request: Many of the folks I've quoted or linked to in this post are DONE and DONE talking about WisCon. They've said their piece, documented it, and are not up for reopening old wounds. Please be respectful of them. Don't drag them into these discussions yet again. Instead, learn from what they've already said and fashion new solutions with their experiences in mind.

I really do love WisCon, but I would love it even more if ALL my friends felt safe, welcome, and valued there. We have made progress. We can make more.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (scheming)
Things to know about me at a con.

I am not a morning person. I will sleep in. And then I will try to do some writing, to stay on track with my novel. Is this a realistic goal? Probably not, but I should at least try.

I am happy to meet folks for lunch or drinks just about any day/evening, but right now the only dinner slot I have left is on Sunday, before the dessert salon. I'm a vegetarian.

I am easily overstimulated and will disappear to my room for downtime. For the same reason, I may not make it to parties, or may only pop in and out to say Hi.

I am bad with names/faces and stress exacerbates the problem. (I wouldn't call it face blindness, exactly, but I have trouble processing wholes rather than parts.) If I re-introduce myself to you, or don't recognize you or flub up your name: it's not you, it's me, and I'm sorry.

afternoon: arriving with my buddy [ profile] diatryma in time for The Gathering
early evening: POC dinner
9pm: Spindles and Spitfire reading with Gwynne Garfinkle ([ profile] gwynnega), Shira Lipkin ([ profile] shadesong), and Patty Templeton

10am: writing date with [ profile] queenoftheskies
late afternoon/early evening: Secret Poetry Cabal meetup
9pm: Chromatic Book Launch Party, maaaybe the Vid Party

morning: writing time
1pm: Defining Insanity panel: With the release by the American Psychiatric Association of the newest Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the way we categorize and label mental illness has been a hot topic. How much of mental illness needs to be "corrected" or "fixed" and how much is caused by our society's not having spaces for those who function differently? Let's discuss other visions for societal response to mental health as presented in science fiction/ fantasy. What are your favorite examples of things being done well or terribly? Who are your favorite "crazy" characters? Do you find it interesting or helpful to diagnosis them? Do you think a lot of conflict could have been avoided if the Galactica had a resident therapist à la the Enterprise?
2:30: Coloring Contest...of DOOM! Let's color! And while we do, let's talk about what kind of fat ladies we'd really like to see in space, how to deal with our unicorn problems (they are distressingly bro-ish), and how to accommodate giant lizards in the workforce. Winners will receive a pretty pretty picture to take home. (That they themselves colored. We're all winners!)
7:30: Dessert Salon & ceremonies
10:00ish: maaaybe the Aqueduct Press Party

noonish: Sign-Out (not officially there to sign anything, just to say goodbye to folks, but if you have something you'd like signed, I'll oblige!)
afternoonish: heading home again with [ profile] diatryma, and probably tons of books!
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (scheming)
I have not even had breakfast yet this morning, but I HAVE read an amazing poem by [ profile] shadesong at Strange Horizons: "And The War Is Never Over." Right now, my favorite part is "Some essential part of me / has burned...Chalk-bone-dust / to spiral up my arms. / This is my armor now." But I do think the turn in section 7 (Or we may yet prevail.) is a stroke of genius and opens up the poem to healing.

During the Open Secrets reading at WisCon, Emily Nordling tweeted: "I just want to listen to poetry all day every day and I don't think that is too much to ask." I concur.

My book haul from WisCon includes two new coloring books, Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace and Unicorns Are Jerks. I didn't realize the creator, Theo Nicole Lorenz, was actually AT WisCon. *smdh* Just as well, as I'm not the smoothest operator even when I'm not starstruck.

I also dropped a bundle at the PM Press table. I'd been mooning over Barred for Life: How Black Flag's Iconic Logo Became Punk Rock's Secret Handshake for over a year, so I picked up that. Also, Anarchist Pedagogies, because, as I told [ profile] diatryma, when anarchists talk about eradicating public education, I get chills--the bad kind--because if it weren't for public ed...I don't know where I'd be. And I bought Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities and Ursula Le Guin's Wild Girls, Plus...

From Crossed Genres, I picked up INK by Sabrina Vourvoulias, which has been on my to-buy list for a long time. And now I've got a signed copy!

And from the freebies table, I snagged The Arbitrary Placement of Walls, a collection of short stories by Martha Soukup, which I know nothing about but it was reviewed by Locus and blurbed by Neil Gaiman, so...all signs point to Yes?
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (coffee wtf)
The full con schedule is now available at the WisCon site.

Stop Killing All the Minority Characters!  Fri, 4:00–5:15 pm
Panelists: Na'amen Gobert Tilahun, Lisa Bradley, Lauren K. Moody, Nisi Shawl

Why are so many women, people of color, and queer, trans*, and disabled folk killed off in our fiction? Is it because there are so few of these characters represented in the first place, or that they are less likely to be main characters and thus more likely to be red shirts? Are the writers all bigots who enjoy killing off minorities—or is something else going on here? What books or TV shows do a better job at keeping their minorities alive, and how do they do so? Are some stories that are blamed for this also killing off just as many straight cis able-bodied white men, and, if so, does that even make a difference? How do these killings reflect real life and in what ways do they reinforce that reality?

Open Secrets, A Speculative Poetry Reading  Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm
Members of the Secret Poetry Cabal (a speculative poetry group) will read their work. Readers include Amal El-Mohtar, Gwynne Garfinkle, Nancy Hightower, Kathrin Koehler, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Elizabeth R. McClellan, Julia Rios, S. Brackett Robertson, Sofia Samatar.

Spindles and Spitfire  Sat, 4:00–5:15 pm
Join us for a reading packed full of sinister whimsy, hidden hearts, folkloric sensibilities and SNACKS! Lisa Bradley dances with the skeletons in her closet. Shira Lipkin will apparently write anything if you dare her to on Twitter. Alex Dally MacFarlane works at a spindle of bones and gold. Patty Templeton writes hellpunk in a handbasket, full of ghosts, freaks and fools.

Passing: Self-Care and Embracing Who You Are  Mon, 10:00–11:15 am
Participants: Mary Anne Mohanraj, Lisa Bradley, Courtney, Shayla Dunn, Kathrin Koehler

In some situations a person can choose to pass (hide their oppressed status); in others a person passes unless they choose to purposely identify their status. And sometimes a person has no ability to pass. When we have a choice, it's often a difficult one. We're often encouraged to embrace and disclose who we know ourselves to be, and trying to pass as something we're not (white, cisgender, etc.) can be a source of great pain. But passing as something we know we're not is sometimes the only safe way to live. Passing can be a matter of self-preservation. How can we decide whether we're being self-indulgent or taking good care of ourselves? How can we make these choices with more social consciousness and self-acceptance?
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (coffee wtf)
For those who might not have seen the invite on the WisCon LJ [ profile] wrdnrd s hosting a brainstorming session on Dreamwidth regarding possible class-related panels:
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (lightbulb)
at The Moment of Change reading

Vanessa Vega bounded up to me after the reading, and we talked about our mutual love of the horror genre and growing up with cheesy genre movies. My grandpa and I watched horror movies together, and I told Vanessa, without even thinking, that he probably would've preferred to watch movies in Spanish, but it's always more fun to watch horror movies with a friend, and so he watched English language movies with me.

And damn if that wasn't the first time it occurred to me! At some point, Grampa had slyly, obliquely "invited" me to share this love of horror with him. No one else in the family partook of our gruesome obsession. We didn't choose the movies together; I rented most of them, but others were on tv. We didn't speak during the movies. We didn't discuss them afterwards. We sat in silence, often on opposite sides of the room (although one of us usually disappeared into the kitchen during the sex scenes--talk about awkward!). But it was something we had in common--the only thing I was aware of at the time. And it was a gift he gave to me.

Goddamn, I miss him. 

As Sofia said when I related this epiphany to her, this is the kind of realization that--were it the only one I had over that long weekend--would've made the entire trip worthwhile. So I thank [ profile] rose_lemberg for organizing the reading and [ profile] shadesong and [ profile] alankria for encouraging me to read "The Haunted Girl" and Vanessa for triggering my a-ha! moment.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (studying)
Having absorbed a mega-ton of new info and brain-sizzling insights, I can hardly remember where I was, when. This list is to help me remember, but I'm also happy to discuss any of these events with folks, whether they attended or not.

the last 15 minutes of Asexuality in SF/F -- didn't hear much, then I was too excited at seeing [ profile] rose_lemberg in the audience to hear anything; here's a transcript of the full panel:

The Moment of Change reading -- where I actually read "The Haunted Girl" to a full room! Much to my own amazement. And people liked it!

Outer Alliance party, Carl Brandon Society party, & Vidding party

Assistive Technology Is One of My Fandoms

What Makes a Great Transformative Work? -- here's a report, with many recs:

Vid Party Conversation -- where I saw "The Price" for the first time, which was both hilarious and horrible for its indictment of fandom's fetishization of manpain (trigger warning for violence against women...but it's all been on tv or only R-rated movies, soooo...)

The Wild Ones reading -- featuring [ profile] rose_lemberg[ profile] pattytempleton[ profile] alankria and [ profile] shadesong

Passing Privilege

Class Culture and Values in SF&F -- immigration; class mobility; food and recreational choices; the stereotype of the miserable, downtrodden poor; thoughtlessly importing capitalistic inequities to our futurist SF; traditional (western) novel structure as impeding better portrayals of class... (and one of the panelists was Danielle Henderson of feminist Ryan Gosling fame!)

Cultural Not-Appropriation -- this was, by far, my favorite panel. Rather than spend a lot of time explaining to white folks how to write the Other, the panelists discussed how they, as PoC, write the Other and about how Writing the Other can be Writing the Self

Dessert Salon and Awards Ceremony

Multiraciality in SFF -- another favorite of mine; both this and the Cultural Not-Appropriation panels featured the brilliant insights of Sofia Samatar and Daniel Jose Older; topics of discussion: multiraciality in YA novels; dominance of white + Other multiraciality, rather than featuring folks of two "Other" groups; multiraciality as a gesture rather than a fully developed characterization; census and minority labels; friction between racial identities (frex Cherokee and Af-Am)

Not All of Us Live in the Future -- tech in places without the infrastructure to support the latest innovations; geek-leaping by cultures that "inherit" some tech without the bothersome trial-n-error stages of development; populations who choose not to use the latest tech, or who are ignored by tech innovators; conflict minerals and green-washing and placating white guilt


cafenowhere: close-up photo of gray cat with big yellow eyes (claire)
"Watchful and Alert" by Molly Keenan (

I bought this 3 x 3 inch collage on canvas because it captures a feeling I sometimes have, of "How did I end up in charge of a small child and these cats and a house and....!" I can't believe I'm being trusted with such treasures, so, although I'm terrified, I'm also committed to being "watchful and alert".

"Lulu was a Gold Digger" Killhouette by John Fair

John Fair makes delightfully creepy Victorian-style cut silhouettes. The one I purchased doesn't seem to be on his website right now, but it's shown on his Facebook page. I chose "Gold Digger" because it looks like a scene from a Munly song.

"Terence" the aging skateboarder by GrrMonsters

I had the pleasure of sitting beside the artist when I attended a panel, and I watched one of her creatures go from a bald blue monster to one with a nice head of blue hair. One of the things I love about these monsters is that they each come with a story. Terence's is here. I couldn't buy Terence (this time!) but I may swap the funds allotted to my booze and art budgets for next WisCon.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (lennon cat)

2 contributor copies of (because I had two poems in) The Moment of Change, edited by [ profile] rose_lemberg which includes my meta-horror poem "The Haunted Girl" and my sexbot poem "In Defiance of Sleek-Armed Androids." 

1 contributor copy of Here, We Cross, edited by [ profile] rose_lemberg, which includes my epic genderfluid dark fantasy poem, "we come together we fall apart"

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (thanks to Isabel Schechter, who told me to march over to the ChiCon table and "tell them Isabel said to give you a copy." Of course, I goofed and told them she'd said to "demand" a copy. :P Luckily, I still got the book!)

In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages

Shotgun Lullabies by Sheree Renee Thomas

Revolutionary Women, A Book of Stencils, edited by Queen of the Neighbourhood

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon, a coloring book, by Jacinta Bunnel and Nathaniel Kusinitz

A Stranger in Olondria (preview chapbook for the novel) by Sofia Samatar


Apr. 9th, 2012 11:10 am
cafenowhere: Dean from Supernatural scratching his head, text reads: Never knows what's going on (confused)
I hadn't planned to go to WisCon this year, but that's where the The Moment of Change anthology will be launched. And so many members of the Secret Poetry Cabal are attending. So I just registered. Now I need to figure out how to get there...and where I'm staying...and all that good stuff.


Sep. 24th, 2010 10:10 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)
"Institutionalized power. You can do things people acknowledge as wrong, and suffer no consequences, and even be protected by the system.

Thankfully, this is a stupid, small example.

Not like police shooting unarmed children, cities cutting off vital services to unwanted communities, withholding medical supplies in the face of H1N1 infections or the many, many other examples [which] kill people and/or ruin lives.

But hey, small stupid examples sometimes are clear, because people haven't already built up a layer of myth of who deserves and doesn't deserve to be served by institutions." from yeloson.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (so tired)
...(by "you" I mean "me") but I'm still fighting with today's poem, so here is one left over from WisCon. I wrote it during the Taboo III reading, partly to contain the fangirl-eruption-that-almost-was when Karen Joy Fowler sat next to me.

Alas, it has nothing else to do with Ms Fowler.


wind-ruffled trees
shimmy midriff leaves
silently flirting
through double panes

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (dancing bones)
It wasn't my family, strangely enough. Perhaps because I knew going in that I'd miss them. It was a given.

Not regular meals or decent coffee. Those are the first "necessities" to go with any con I attend.

Not sleep, even though last night my brain decided to make up for three-nights' lack of REM by investigating *Exciting* *New* *Phobias*.

What I missed most was my music.

I had my laptop, so I don't know why I didn't just plug in. I guess I was so overstimulated, I couldn't add One More Thing even if that thing made me feel better...

Good to know for next year!
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)

Gram's earrings,
faux-pearl hand-me-downs
I've had since she died,
now have me

    down on my knees.

I search the hotel elevator
for the lost one,
too new to be vintage
too cheap to be an heirloom.

The elevator is mirrored
like a funhouse jewelry box
   now you see it
   now you don't

and it smells of sunscreen
and chlorine: the ghosts of other

I rise from my
faux deep sea dive
And my rippled reflections sigh

   another lost treasure.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (liquored up Cas)
I just had dinner w/ [ profile] diatryma [ profile] rachel_swirsky, Mike, An and friends, and apparently (sadly) too many margaritas. The sad part is, it was only 1 & 1/2 margaritas, 2 at most. But, combined with bad eating habits the last couple of days, my medication, and other variables, it was enough that I've decided to forego the dessert banquet and Guest of Honor speeches to stay in my room for the rest of the night.

But as I sit watching Giant Piranha on SyFy (Go, piranhas! Eat Tiffany!), I'll list for myself what I've done so far this weekend. Because I'm already losing track of the days, let alone events.

Friday: I toured the state capitol building. Lunch with [ profile] charmingbillie , [ profile] jennreese , and [ profile] jonhansen. Attended the Gathering, where I met up with [ profile] diatryma, made a little book, and got a tarot reading. Window shopping. Came back to the hotel to recupe, them attended the Class Basics panel. Debbie Notkin kicked off the discussion by asking us to consider what was in our kitchens when we were children. Such a simple question, with such profound implications. Still, I think I was ready for more than a "basics" discussion.

Saturday: attended panels: Raised in Geek; Journeymen Writers' Meeting; Pixar: Love It or Hate It?; Raising Feminist Boys; attended academic readings: Different & Equal Together (Andrea Hairston's AWESOME crit of District 9), Camouflage & Gender (Anna Flammang's dissection of military definitions of gender, via BSG); dealer room book-buying binge; hotel pitstop; Tiptree Auction, then the Vid Party.

Sunday: slept late; circumnavigated a marathon; bought gifts for Tweetie; marveled at art show; lunched w/ Rachel and Mike; caught the end of Privilege & Discussion Dynamics panel; Taboo III reading; Would You Let Your Daughter... panel; read one of my new books until the aforementioned dinner.

I've sobered up in the nearly two hours it's taken me to write this. So maybe it's time to think about tomorrow's poem.

P.S. Whoa, giant piranha just took out a helicopter!
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (neon sign)
Morning, Sunshine

sleepy busboy
collects coffee cups
eyes closed

a couple bustles
by the patio, boasting

BONUS poem-a-day:

geese honk overhead
mocking our porta-potties'
turd-brained formation
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)

clockwise. the flow
of the farmer's market
brooks no alternatives. Forward!
or else!

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)


on her belly
and lightening her wings
the pigeon simply flies
but her silhouette sings


I'm in Madison for WisCon, thanks to [ profile] charmingbillie. I've got my laptop and wireless, so poem-a-day shall continue.

Last night I saw the star of today's poem. Also, bubble bath was achieved. And I watched part of one of the Hostel movies (they'll show anything on SyFy these days, won't they?).  And I actually got some sleep!

Right now the plan is to get dressed, get out, and maybe take a tour of this big honking white building outside my hotel. I think it's a greek badger mausoleum. Then lunch and on to The Gathering!



cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Default)

August 2017

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