Posts tagged with "orycon" - Faerye Net 2009-11-28T10:12:40+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Orycon 31 2009-11-28T10:12:40+00:00 2009-11-28T10:12:40+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m back home from a Thanksgiving filled with piemaking and nephew-chasing, and right back into the thick of things: <a href="" target="links">Orycon 31</a> is, unlike other Orycons, happening Thanksgiving weekend. I&#8217;m a panelist as I was <a href="" target="links">last year</a>, so if you&#8217;re coming, you might want to know <a href="[]=288&time[]=any&day[]=all#search_results">my schedule</a>.</p> <p>It&#8217;s surprising to think that Orycon 30 was only a year and a week ago. Some of the people I met there are now good friends! I&#8217;m a lot more confident now, walking into a con on the first day, and I have some idea of what to expect. It&#8217;s quite exciting to be able to go to a con and tell people <a href="">my story is out right now!</a></p> <p>And of course, I am keeping an eye out for <a href="">the nice woman with long hair and bangs</a>.</p> Identify yourself 2009-02-08T21:31:25+00:00 2009-02-08T21:43:43+00:00 <p>I&#8217;ve mentioned my discomfiture with the term &#8216;white&#8217; and its pseudo-scientific relative &#8216;Caucasian&#8217; <a href="" target="internal">on at least one occasion</a>. &#8216;White&#8217; is a false monolith of assimilated, &#8216;non-ethnic&#8217; culture. It&#8217;s also, in one sense, a useful diagnostic term: I&#8217;m white, because I have <a href="" target="links">white privilege</a>. I think it&#8217;s worth acknowledging that privilege, even though I would love to tear it down along with the nonsense, &#8216;unmarked&#8217; category.*</p> <p>I thought I&#8217;d accepted that definition: I have white privilege, I acknowledge it by admitting I&#8217;m white. But on a panel at <a href="" target="internal">Orycon</a>, I came up short. It was a panel on using non-European folklore in fiction, and the moderator asked each of the panelists to sketch her (and in one case, his) background, personal and artistic. I was last, and she turned to me and said, &#8220;And, Felicity, you identify as white, right?&#8221;</p> <p>I sat there, opened and closed my mouth. Eventually, some words managed to tumble out, probably to the effect that yes, I am white. I felt stunned for a few minutes, not to mention (still) quite embarrassed for turning incoherent in front of a room full of people. It seemed so silly. How was this any different from <a href="" target="internal">the aforementioned &#8216;ethnicity&#8217; checkbox</a>? Wasn&#8217;t this a ludicrous reaction on my part?</p> <p>I&#8217;ve managed to convince myself that it wasn&#8217;t. &#8216;Identify&#8217;. It&#8217;s a loaded term in these contexts. Perhaps the most well-known example these days, known even to those of us who haven&#8217;t (<em>yet!</em>) read <a href="" target="powells"><em>Dreams from my Father</em></a>, is President Obama&#8217;s identification as African-American. The media&#8217;s obsessed debate over his racial identity showed that people think this kind of thing is mutable, but most agree that it&#8217;s fundamentally Obama&#8217;s right to mediate his own racial affiliation. Naming has power, and self-naming is particularly heady. From race to political inclination to gender and sexual politics, people self-describe and self-categorize: feminist or <a href="" target="links">womanist</a>, gay or <a href="" target="links">same gender loving</a>, disabled person or person with disabilities: these distinctions are meaningful, often crucially so, to those making them. You cannot stop others labeling you, or understanding you according to their own rubrics, but you can choose your terms. You can define yourself.</p> <p>For me, this question of ethnic identity is not so simple as &#8216;do you have white privilege?&#8217; To say that it is is to wipe away the traditions from which my ancestors rose. It&#8217;s affirming and embracing the false homogeneity of white mainstream culture. It&#8217;s not as simple as my <span class="caps">DNA</span>. I have drops of blood from places only recently discovered by my grandmother&#8217;s genealogical excavations, and gouts of it from cultures deliberately put aside and denied by my forebears. Those contributions to who I am may be too far back, or too far away, or too small, to claim. My identity is something I am still making, something I am naming based on an interplay of factors.</p> <p>But if I could go back and whisper in my own ear at that panel, I would say: &#8220;I identify as Welsh-English-Irish-French.&#8221; Yes, it&#8217;s long, and complex, and messy. But it&#8217;s true. I have studied those cultures, histories, even languages, and they are part of who I am. I am not unmarked. I mark myself.</p> <p>*I&#8217;m pretty interested in this concept of &#8216;markedness&#8217;, as it applies to people and types of writing. It&#8217;s what I was trying to get at with my post <a href="" target="internal">&#8220;Maleness is the human default.&#8221;</a></p> Orycon 30 2008-11-23T21:03:46+00:00 2008-11-24T15:50:56+00:00 <p>So it&#8217;s over, my <a href="" target="links">first con appearance</a> as a writer. I loved it. That&#8217;s even though I was initially terrified that I would be expected to arrive full of wisdom and pithy jewels, and even though my first panel was so poorly attended I considered closing my eyes and trying to levitate to make sure it wasn&#8217;t an anxiety dream. I learned (or sensed) that I am what I&#8217;m expected to be: full of opinions and odd scraps, self-deprecating jokes and nonsense; and that I know more than I realize. All my subsequent panels were well-attended, and even at the first one, I learned something. It&#8217;s an odd thing, a convention panel. It arrives sometime after you do, assembled from audience questions and bits of every person at the front of the room. You go partially to find out what it is you&#8217;re going to say.</p> <p>I met splendid people, and in general, everyone was radically friendly (even by Northwest standards.) I made new friends and bought new books. I haven&#8217;t assimilated everything yet &#8212; that will require time, and quite a bit of sleep.</p> <p>But one thing I think I will remember forever. It&#8217;s both a shining moment and a little bit of a regret. After a panel I was on where my story, <a href="" target="links">&#8220;Burgerdroid&#8221;</a>, was relevant, I was taking the escalator down to the main meeting floor. A woman leaned over the railing and called, &#8220;Felicity! I just wanted to tell you I loved your story.&#8221; I very nearly started running backwards up the escalator. I did not want to miss this. But I decided to err on the side of caution and confined myself to grins and thanks. &#8220;Have you got anything else coming out?&#8221; she said.</p> <p>&#8220;No sci-fi,&#8221; I replied.</p> <p>&#8220;Too bad. It was the most badass story I read all year.&#8221; (this is of course reconstructed. She may have said &#8216;kickass&#8217;, for example, but the emotion of the hearer is unaffected by such details.)</p> <p>I really wanted to find out who she was, but the few times I saw her again, she was deep in conversation, and her nametag was always flipped the wrong way. (If you ever read this, nice woman with long hair and bangs, leave me a comment and introduce yourself.) Maybe I&#8217;ll see her again &#8212; Orycon is a pretty cozy convention, and I hope to return next year. But if I don&#8217;t, I&#8217;ll chalk it up to fate: maybe it&#8217;s a good thing to have an anonymous reader in mind who loved your work and wants you to keep writing.</p> <p>Enough blogging! The page calls. Some nice woman with long hair and bangs is waiting for more stories.</p> First Ever Chapbook: The Lonely Mecha-Dragon 2008-11-19T00:27:50+00:00 2009-10-16T23:57:36+00:00 <p>Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered&#8230;okay, mostly through printing problems and logistical errors, including some on my part (Captain&#8217;s Log: must&#8230;tell&#8230;artist&#8230;project due date!), I have produced my first ever chapbook. Well, once I stitched one together in a Book Arts class my pal <a href="" target="links">Julie Madsen</a> taught, but only a real completionist is going to argue that counts.</p> <p>My first chapbook, brought into existence for the occasion of <a href="" target="links">Orycon 30</a>, consists of the (hopefully) humorous story <em>The Lonely Mecha-Dragon</em>, briefly published on this website and now polished into chapbook form. Most notably, it now has <a href="" target="links">cover art</a> by my fabulous friend <a href="" target="links">Amanda Van Howe</a>, who came through under duress with a lovely, classic mecha-dragon. Classic except for being mecha, that is! She is a very gifted illustrator and artiste and I feel very lucky.</p> <p><em>The Lonely Mecha-Dragon</em>, by Felicity Shoulders under the auspices of (coughherselfcough) Paracosmonaut Press, is a limited edition of 100, hand-numbered by the author! I will also sign them if given the slightest provocation. How can you get them? Well, first of all, by being named in the &#8220;Thanks&#8221; section (there go five or six of one-hundred), second of all, by coming to Orycon and paying the low, low Orycon price, and third of all&#8230;yet to be determined. Watch this space. But not for too long, you might get pixel-burn on your eyes.</p> Orycon 30 appearance 2008-11-10T12:58:10+00:00 2008-11-10T12:58:27+00:00 <p>As my <a href="" target="links">literary godmother</a> <a href="" target="links">predicted</a>, appearing at a convention proved to be a less remote possibility than I had thought. Time to rejigger the <a href="" target="links">Fame-o-Meter</a>, I guess! I made some inquiries about attending <a href="" target="links">Orycon 30</a> in a professional capacity, and <em>voila!</em> I&#8217;m on the schedule. Orycon 30 is November 21-23 in downtown Portland.</p> <p>Orycon 28 was the first (and thus far only) sci-fi con I ever attended, as a guest of one of my other good fairies, <a href="" target="links">the scintillating Leslie What</a>. It was a blast, dampened only by the necessity of making coffee drinks for $8.50 an hour miles away during some of the festivities. Well, that and the parking ticket, but I underwent that parking ticket knowingly in order to stay around awesome people for another half an hour! Orycon 28 was a grand old time, and I look forward to Orycon 30 with great excitement. And a little trepidation, but I tell myself not to worry. After all, it&#8217;s mostly talking to people, and I talk to people <em>every day</eM>. Sometimes I even talk to cats!</p> <p>Anyway, I&#8217;ll be on four panels and host one round-table conversation (schedule <a href="" target="links" >here</a>.) Wish me luck, and perhaps I&#8217;ll see you there!</p>