I’m raising donations for SMYAL–the LGBTQ Youth Group in the Nation’s Capital. I attended Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) back when I was first coming out, and can vouch from a consumer perspective the importance of the work for LGBTQ youth, who are an at-risk population. (In fact, a group like SMYAL makes an oblique appearance in my forthcoming novel!)
Here is some more information on the group:
SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy. Committed to social change, SMYAL builds, sustains, and advocates for programs, policies, and services that LGBTQ youth need as they grow into adulthood.
The Facebook fundraiser page is here.
Stalker vs. Love Interest, the Capclave panel I was on was recorded for the Geek Girl podcast. Hear me, Alyssa Wong, A.C. Wise, and Jeanne Adams talk about Pepe Le Pew, Urkel, Edward the Vampire and Christian Grey.
|Fri Nov 9 4:00:pm||Fri Nov 9 5:00:pm||#OwnVoice In Storytelling|
|166 B||What started out as a kid-lit movement, has emerged to be a discussion of representation in all the stories we consume. What does it mean for books, or other media, to be part of #ownvoice? How does the diversity of the creators influence the voice of the story?|
|Craig Laurance Gidney Crystal Connor Maquel A. Jacob|
|Fri Nov 9 6:00:pm||Fri Nov 9 7:00:pm||Gender and Sexuality: The Divide|
|Overton||A discussion about the difference between gender and sexuality and why both need to be present on page. What does it take to be mindful of Queer readers when writing SFF with Queer characters?|
|Craig Laurance Gidney Elton Elliott Greg Hallock J.S. Fields Taylor Brooke|
|Sat Nov 10 11:00:am||Sat Nov 10 12:00:pm||Historical Queerness|
|Lovejoy||Queer theory and how it can inform readings of fiction/literature from the Victorian era, such as Frankenstein and Sherlock Holmes.|
|Arwen Spicer Craig Laurance Gidney Elinor Gray L.M. Pierce Maquel A. Jacob|
|Sat Nov 10 3:00:pm||Sat Nov 10 4:00:pm||Why inclusion in Media Matters|
|Overton||Inclusion for media, whether it is television, film or social media, has been a major topic for some time. It seems to be getting more confusing and frustrating. Panelist will discuss current examples with the strides we have made and far we need to go.|
|Craig Laurance Gidney Judith R. Conly Steven Barnes|
|Sat Nov 10 6:00:pm||Sat Nov 10 7:00:pm||Backlash of Afrofuturism|
|Overton||With the growing popularity of Afrofuturism, assumptions for POC writers has emerged. Does this invalidate their story telling? Is it fair to call them traitors to their culture and ethnicity?|
|Craig Laurance Gidney Frog Jones Maquel A. Jacob Tristan J. Tarwater|
I will be my local con, the DC-Area Capclave, this weekend. My schedule is below. I love meeting writers and readers, so come on down!
|Friday 4:00 pm: Mindfulness and Habit Training/Tracking for Writers (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Meriah Lysistrata Crawford (M), Kelly Dwyer, Craig L. Gidney, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Irette Y. Patterson
What works, what doesn’t, resources, how mindfulness helps the writing process
|Friday 6:00 pm: Reimagining the Fairy Tale (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Sarah Avery, Craig L. Gidney (M), Michelle D. Sonnier
Who doesn’t love a fairy tale retelling? Part of the universal appeal of fairy tales is that they were never a static form, at least not as an oral tradition. Re-tellers have used these archetypes and modes to spin new variations ever since these stories first came to the page. Angela Carter once said that “Ours is a highly individualized culture, with a great faith in the work of art as a unique one-off…. But fairy tales are not like that, and nor are their makers.” We can find fresh insight into our own lives and connections through these age old tales. This panel will focus on a variety of approaches in reconstructing fairy tales with a modern bent, both in their favorite respins and in their own work.
|Friday 7:00 pm: Taxonomy of Fantasy (Ends at: 7:55 pm) Truman
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, J. L. Gribble, Lawrence Watt-Evans
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Mythic Fantasy, etc. How many types of fantasy are there? Readers’ tastes evolve over time. Which types of fantasy are currently the most popular, which are becoming less popular, where is fantasy headed and why?
|Friday 9:00 pm: If I Ran the Studio (Ends at: 9:55 pm) Washington Theater
Panelist:Sarah Avery, Craig L. Gidney, Will McIntosh, Sherin Nicole (M)
What books and stories would you adapt to film? Live action or animated? Why do film studios insist on optioning novels when short form fiction is really the ideal length for being adapted to film? Which series or stand alone book that hasn’t been adapted for the big screen or television would you like to see made?
|Saturday 10:00 am: I Hate Myself For Loving You (Ends at: 10:55 am) Monroe
Panelist:Alyssa Wong, Jonathan Edelstein, Jim Freund (M), Craig L. Gidney
Guilty pleasures and secret fandoms
|Saturday 4:00 pm: Stalker vs. Love Interest (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Alyssa Wong, Jeanne Adams, Craig L. Gidney, Sherin Nicole, A.C. Wise (M)
Given changing cultural norms is the handsome prince engaged in romantic pursuit or is he a creeper?
|Saturday 5:00 pm: Political Dynamite (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Monroe
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, Larry Hodges, Mark Laporta, Joan Wendland
Writers and editors talk about how they address current events in their work and in social media–and what they don’t.
|Saturday 7:30 pm: Mass autographing (Ends at: 8:55 pm) Eisenhower
Panelist:Nancy Kress, Alyssa Wong, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jeanne Adams, Catherine Asaro, T. Eric Bakutis, Stafford Battle, Jonathan Brazee, Jack Campbell – John G. Hemry, Neil Clarke, Doc Coleman, Wendy S. Delmater, Tom Doyle, Kelly Dwyer, Deidre Dykes, Andrew Fox, Jim Freund, Charles E. Gannon, Craig L. Gidney, Carolyn Ives Gilman, J. L. Gribble, Bjorn Hasseler, Inge Heyer, Larry Hodges, David Keener, Barbara Krasnoff, Mark Laporta, John Edward Lawson, Edward M. Lerner, Will McIntosh, Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, James Morrow, Kathryn Morrow, Lawrence M. Schoen, Darrell Schweitzer, Alex Shvartsman, Jack Skillingstead, Alan Smale, Joe Stech, Michael A. Ventrella, David Walton, Jean Marie Ward, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Joan Wendland, Steven H. Wilson, A.C. Wise, Allen L. Wold
|Sunday 10:00 am: 50 Years of The Last Unicorn (Ends at: 10:55 am) Jackson
Panelist:Mary Fan, Craig L. Gidney (M), Yosef Lindell, Darrell Schweitzer
It’s been 50 years since Ballantine published Peter S. Beagle’s Th Last Unicorn. Panelists will discuss the book, what it meant to them and its enduring popularity.
|Sunday 12:00 pm: Black Panther (Ends at: 12:55 pm) Washington Theater
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, John Edward Lawson, B. Sharise Moore, Irette Y. Patterson, K. Ceres Wright (M)
The impact of the movie and the comics. The movie was huge. Nnedi Okorafor has just announced she’s writing the new Shuri comic and Ta-Nahesi Coates has written for Black Panther as well. Panelists discuss the cultural significance of Black Panther.
|Sunday 1:00 pm: Stories Lacking in Traditional Plot Structure (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Wendy S. Delmater, Craig L. Gidney (M), David Stokes
How to approach stories with experimental structure or structures that don’t always follow traditional narrative storytelling such as travel guides, lists, stories via instruction manuals, slice of ice or mood pieces
|Sunday 2:00 pm: Why Do We Like Being Scared (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Truman
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, Hildy Silverman (M), Michelle D. Sonnier, Kenesha Williams
Fear probably developed as a survival mechanism. We fear things that might hurt us. Yet many read horror, go to slasher films, ride roller coasters, and climb cliffs. Why? What does this say about us and our psyches?
|Sunday 4:00 pm: Resistance is Never Futile (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Monroe
Panelist:Tom Doyle (M), Aaron Emmel, Craig L. Gidney
What science fiction and fantasy can teach us about being advocates and activists in fraught times. What should the allegorical protest literature of our time look like?
I am over the moon to announce that my novel, A Spectral Hue, will be published next year by Word Horde. Thanks to the publisher, Ross E. Lockhart, for taking on this weird novel of Outsider Art, ghosts, and divine inspiration. I would also like to thank the participants of the Wyrd Words workshop for their valuable suggestions and insight.
Huzzah! I’m joining the Horde!
The duo Autumn’s Grey Solace has been staggeringly prolific. Since their debut in 2000, they have gradually moved away from their gothic pop roots, creating ambient music with traditional rock instruments. Their eleventh album Eocene is a tapestry of echoey treated guitars, heartbeat-like rhythms and ghostly voices. Instrumentalist Scott Ferrell uses a variety of techniques in layering stringed sounds—sustained notes that sound like bells, chimed, and harps. Singer Erin Welton uses her voice like a lead instrument, and whatever lyrics she sings are tumbled into the epic wall of sound, crafting a kind of sonic palimpsest. While the 38 minute digital album works as a whole, like a song suite, there are still individual songs that standout. The lovely melodic “Deep Wild” could almost be a single, as could the dark, driving “Extinction,” which flirts with progressive metal. Too tranquil to be “just” shoe-gaze pop, too dark to be New Age, this atmospheric mini-album has the perfect balance of tension and delicacy, like a spiderweb resiliently holding its shape beneath an onslaught of rain.
Bandcamp Link: Autumn’s Grey Solace
Amialluma/ Chloë March and Todd Tobias
A collaboration between musicians Todd Tobias and Chloë March, Amialluma is an album’s worth of atmospheric ambient music that desultorily drifts between a whimsical and eerie tone. All ten compositions have a distinct hauntological ambiance. The soundscapes have the feel of the soundtrack to a forgotten children’s movie. Music box melodies, echoed bell-like tones and 60s Sci-Fi sounds are woven together, mostly in a halcyon mood that gets disturbed by the occasional dark chord progression. March sings, purrs, trills, murmurs and chants words in an invented language that manages to be both soothing and disturbing, like a feral child raised by nature. The resulting suite (which is how it is supposed to be listened to) reminds of me of the work of the English band Pram, (who share a similar tonal palette crossed) with the Cocteau Twins at their most tranquil.
I was a part of a panel discussing the Afro-surrealist black comedy film SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, along with Tananarive Due and Evan Narcisse for the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast (hosted by David Barr Kirtley. It runs on August 25.
Google finally graced me with an author profile placard. Yay! But they got one thing wrong….
So much for #ownvoices, amirite?
I’m more amused than anything, but I have contacted Google to see if they can rectify this situation.