Con-Volution 2017, or Me and My Big Mouth

I went to Con-Volution last weekend and had fun.

This year I had planned to be an attendee.  No workshops, no Masquerade.  After an emotionally intense few months, I wanted to go and hang out with friends and just be.

Unfortunately, I had to work at my day job until 4:30 PM.  By then the route from the South Bay to San Ramon was its usual tangle of traffic jams, so I didn’t get registered until 6:30. I ran into Fiona Jayde, Chip, and Melissa Snark and had dinner.  Then it was off to the Meet the Guests.

Con-Volution 2017 Masquerade
Photo by David Price

While at the panel, I ran into Phil and Kathy Gust.  They mentioned that due to a technical snafu, they hadn’t received any Masquerade preregistrations.  They weren’t sure if they’d have enough people for the show.  I opened my mouth to say “Gee, that’s horrible.”  What came out was “I brought a hallway costume.  I could go onstage if you can get music.”  My mouth clearly needs to check in with my brain more.

I managed to make it to one panel that evening – “Pounded in the Posterior: Selected Readings from Chuck Tingle.”  I can see this become a tradition at conventions like the readings of “The Eye of Argon.”

Saturday I performed in the Masquerade.  Big thanks to Denise Tanaka for making a Target run for some finishing touches for the costume.  The rest of the evening was spent at parties and hanging out.

Con-Volution 2017 Charity Crochet Porg

Sunday I caught up with fellow fiber fans at the Brunching Needles gathering.  I also attending J. M. Frey’s book release party for City By Night.  Then I went to the Charity Auction.  I managed to keep from bidding on the crochet porg I donated.  I did not manage to stop from bidding on other items.

There are a few other things that happened that I can’t talk about yet, but will soon. It was a fun weekend.




The Quick And Dirty BayCon Update

I went to BayCon and had fun, but came home with an epic case of Con Crud that is trying to turn into bronchitis.  So a few quick points before I toddle back to a cough medication induced haze.

I won Best in Show for my X-Wing Pilot costume.  Carolyn Hill has awesome pictures of me and Denise Tanaka in her costume on her website.  I’ll get some up once I’m able to think clearly and get permission to post a few more pictures.  It’s hard to take shots of yourself when you’re in costume.

I had an awesome time hanging out with all my friends.  My hobbies-for-writers panel seemed to go over well, so I’ll keep it in my back pocket for future cons.  The co-writer panel was also a lot of fun, and for once I didn’t feel like an imposter when I spoke.  The Match Game was a lot of fun.  The fanart panel was a lot of fun and brought back memories of my time in the X-File fandom.

Unfortunately, I came home feeling a bit off.  By late in the evening, I had a plugged up nose and began the  process of coughing up my lungs.  Docs have seen fit to give me medicine, so I’m now going in an out of a mental haze. I’ll try to do a deeper writeup when I’m not so fuzzy headed.

BayCon 2017 Schedule

Here’s where to find me during BayCon 2017.  The full schedule of events can be found here.

Creative Hobbies For Writers 
Friday 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Synergy 5
We create with words. But when we’re relaxing, what do you do? Knit? Paint? Sculpt? Weave baskets underwater while wearing SCUBA gear? And how does it inform your writing?
Sheryl Hayes (M), Michele Roger, Tyler Hayes, Dr. Carolyn Hill, Daniel Dociu

Masquerade/Variety Show
Saturday 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Convene 1
BayCon’s talented individuals show their moxie and their craftsmanship through performances and costuming with a nod to this year’s theme.

Collaborations: Are two heads better than one or do too many writers spoil the plot? 
Sunday 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM, Synergy 5
Are two heads better than one or do too many writers spoil the plot?
Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (M), Mark Gelineau, Sheryl Hayes, Kathleen Bartholomew

Match Game
Monday 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Inspire 1
Hilarity ensues as our contestants try to match their answers.
Ms. Jennifer L. Carson (M), J. L. Doty, Sheryl Hayes, Chris O’Halloran, JC Arkham

Monday 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM, Synergy 1
Is fan inspired art (the art equivalent of FanFic) actually creating your own art? Discussion of how artists do it and make it their own!
Daniel Dociu, Amy-Elyse Neer, Taunya Gren, Sheryl Hayes

Otherwise, I’ll be in and out of panels and the ever dangerous Dealer’s Room. Look for my write up on June 5th.

One Con Down, One To Go

I went to Silicon Valley Comic Con this year.  Since it was my first year attending, I decided I wanted to just hang out and not have the stress of competing in the Masquerade.  I ran into several friends and made a few new ones.  It’s a fun con to attend.  Even though it was crowded, it never felt jam packed (except when looking for parking).  It helped that it was spread out over the entirety of the top level of the San Jose Convention center, as well as part of the lower level.  I could move around easily, unlike the crowds at DragonCon.

While I was there, I got notification of my panels for BayCon.  You can find me at the following panels –

Creative Hobbies For Writers

Friday 16:30 – 18:00
We create with words. But when we’re relaxing, what do you do? Knit? Paint? Sculpt? Weave baskets underwater while wearing SCUBA gear? And how does it inform your writing?
Sheryl Hayes (M), Michele Roger, Tyler Hayes, Dr Carolyn Hill, Daniel Dociu

Collaborations: Are two heads better than one or do too many writers spoil the plot?

Sunday 10:00 – 11:30
Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (M), Mark Gelineau, Sheryl Hayes

Match Game

Monday 11:30 – 13:00
Ms. Jennifer L. Carson (M), J. L. Doty, Sheryl Hayes, Chris O’Halloran, JC Arkham


Monday 13:00 – 14:30
Is fan inspired art (the art equivalent of FanFic) actually creating your own art? Discussion of how artists do it and make it their own!
Daniel Dociu, Amy-Elyse Neer, Taunya Gren, Sheryl Hayes

I’ll also be onstage at the Masquerade Saturday Night.  It’s shaping up to be a busy weekend.

Con-Volution 2016

What a weekend.

Things started early Thursday morning when my mother was showing signs of  what could have been either kidney failure or heart failure.  I got her into the doctor and have never been so relieved to hear the words “I think it’s pneumonia.”  Her tests came back clean and she is responding to the medications for the symptoms, but we’re still not sure what exactly is going on.

That and a grocery store run ate up most of the day, so Thursday night I threw stuff into my suitcase for Con-Volution, which Mom insisted I still go to. Friday morning, I surrounded her with food and drinks and all my emergency contact methods, left her in the care of my sister, and headed up to Burlingame.

Con-Volution was a blast.  For the first time, I was attending a con as a guest costumer and a guest writer.  To my shock, the first panel on Friday, “When Does Fanfic Become Profic” had almost a dozen people in it.  I’m used to there being two or three since people are still arriving and registering at that point.  The “Our Favorite Fangs” panel later in the evening was less well attended, but since we were up against several panels that I had wanted to attend as well as room parties, I’m not surprised.  Both were filled with lively discussions and deep thoughts from both my fellow panelists and the audience. I freely admit a few times I felt out of my depth.

At the same time, my short story “The Twisted Princess” went live on Ligature Works.  I spent the weekend mentioning it when it fit into conversations or when we were given time to shill what projects we were working on.

Saturday I was on the “Cosplay At Any Price” panel.  Unfortunately I had to leave early to attend the Masquerade Tech Meeting, which is required to participate in the Masquerade.   I had the good fortune to be the first act up, so I was able to grab a seat in the back of the room and watch the rest of the show.  There were many creative and talented entrants this year, and my congratulations to all of them. My Cruella De Vil did not win anything, but given the caliber of the competition, I did not expect to.  Or as the wise man once said, “you can’t win ‘em all.”

After the Masquerade, I spent time hanging out with good friends, and getting to know other people better.  This year I was shocked at how many people metaphorically grabbed me in the hallway for a quick chat or I ended up having longer talks with people I have a passing acquaintanceship with. When I was in high school, I never was the “popular girl” so this was a new experience. The only downside was that I never made it to the party floor.

Sunday I spent time hanging out with friends and attending closing ceremonies.  I have purchased a membership for next year, when the con moves to San Ramon. I already miss my con-family and look forward to seeing them next year.Preferably without a repeat of the hospital visit the day before.

Con-Volution Schedule

I’ve been invited to be a guest at Con-Volution, September 30 to October 2nd in Burlingame.  This year I’ve been put on both writing and costuming panels.  I’m listed under my legal name for various reasons (like I forgot to mention to use my pen name for writing panels). But trust me, I’m there.  Here’s my schedule.

When Does Fanfic Become Pro Work?
Friday 15:00 – 16:30, Boardroom IV
Not everything is Twilight- but where IS that line, and what do you do when it’s crossed?
Loren Rhoads (M), Sheryl R. Hayes

Our Favorite Fangs – Vampires and Werewolves
Friday 21:00 – 22:30, SandPebble D
A look at our favorite toothy monsters in fiction and media.
Fred Wiehe, Horror Author (M), Carrie Sessarego, Zoë Moss, Lex Rudd, Sheryl R. Hayes

Cosplay At Any Price: How To Pull It Off On A Budget!
Saturday 10:00 – 11:30, SandPebble D
Our panel of Costuming enthusiasts will delve into their lessons learned and secrets to share, on how to make that perfect cosplay costume happen without breaking the bank, or your brain in the process.
Tory Parker, Shodan, Doc of the Bay, Tracy Newby (M), Jean Batt, Sheryl R. Hayes

Masquerade Contest – Monster Style!
Saturday 16:00 – 18:00, Sequoia B
Come and watch the spectacle and grandeur of this year’s costumed entrants as they show off their creativity, skill, and talent, and compete to win awards and prizes. Who will be your favorite monster?
Radar (M), Lord Blood Rah (Toastmaster), Bryan Little, Liliphae, Kohalu, Alain Bloch (The Saber Guild)

Results of the August Word Count Challenge

At the beginning of August, I stared a word count challenge with some friends.  My goal was to write 30,000 words over the course of the month, or 968 words a day.  I managed to write 15,221 words, for an average of 491 a day.  Not anywhere near my goal, but somewhat respectable.

Part of the reason I wasn’t able to hit my goal was traveling.  I also had to catch up on things for Mom when I came home.  I expected that and tried to build up a large enough buffer for handling those days.  Obviously I didn’t build up a large enough one.

I’m going to try to finish the rough draft of a novelette this month.  I need a minimum of 15,000 words by the end of the month.  That breaks down to 410 words a day.  I’m setting my goal for 600 a day so I have a buffer.   Right now I’m on target,  hope to stay that way since I now have a better idea of where the story is going.

And now for something completely different.

I will be a guest at Con-Volution 2016: The Age Of Monsters from September 31st to October 2nd.  I’m waiting to find out what panels I will be on.  I hope to have made it on a few writing panels this time so I will be able to talk about my story in the Alterna-Teas anthology. Expect me to be talking about costuming, crafting, and knitting.  Of course, I will also be in the Masquerade.  Hope to see you there.

I’m back from WorldCon

It was an amazing trip.  I spent five days hanging out with other authors and costumers. I got to visit people that I only see at conventions, both local and distant, as well as make new friends. I participated in the Masquerade.  I didn’t place this year, but I was up against stiff competition. I watched the Hugo Awards in the Con Suite with Denise Tanaka and her husband. And I was thrilled to hear that San Jose will host WorldCon 76 in 2018.

Day six was spent recovering from the con, picking up a car, and dropping Elanor Hughes off at the airport.

Day seven had a distinct shift in mood.  My parents are from St. Joseph, which is an hour north of Kansas City.  Both sets of grandparents and my father are buried about a half hour away from there.  I couldn’t travel over 1,700 miles and not travel the extra 70 miles to pay my respect.

They’re buried in a little country cemetery on top of a hill, overlooking several fields. I came away from there emotionally drained, but with a sense of peace that I haven’t felt before.  My father died days after I turned 14, and this was the first time I’ve been to the cemetery alone and could work through some things that my 14-year-old self couldn’t.

I’m back home now, heading out to my day job. I scheduled a few days to take care of things for Mom that cropped up while I was gone.  I can’t exactly call myself rested and recharged, but I did enjoy the trip.

The Bags Aren’t Packed Yet…

… But they will be later tonight.

Tuesday I am hitting the road for WorldCon.  I will be in the Masquerade on Friday the 19th.  Other than that, I’m planning for this one to be low key.  I’m taking a few extra days in the Kansas City/St. Joseph Missouri area since that’s where my parents are from.

I may or may not make some posts here, but more likely I’ll be over on Facebook or Twitter.  I have a guest post set up for next week.

See you all later.

BayCon 2016

Last weekend I spent with my friends and chosen family at BayCon.  It felt like both returning home and a new convention.

The prior BayCon’s I had attended were at the Hyatt at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The construction of Levi Stadium caused that hotel to no longer be an option, so the con moved back to the San Mateo Marriott Hotel.  This was my first year what is lovingly nicknamed the M. C. Escher hotel, due to the fact that there is a second floor for the convention rooms, and a second floor for the hotel rooms, neither of which are accessible by the same set of elevators.  Once I had that figured out, navigating the rest of the con was smooth sailing.

This convention I was asked to be there as a costumer.  Friday, I had a great time swapping stories with Jean Batt and Denise Tanaka in Costuming With Nontraditional Materials.  I can neither confirm nor deny that a knit tribble may have been flung into the audience.  Then I was off to Cosplay Is Not Consent with Anastasia Hunter and Jean Batt to speak about the best ways to interact with people wearing costumes. Then I scampered off to String Theory where instead of ribbons, I gave out a pattern for a Crochet Badge Necklace I developed. I spoke about my costumes and other nerdy things I have made, or as much as I could since I was then losing my voice. Not surprising since I did three panels back-to-back-to-back.  I’ve learned my lesson to never do that again.

Courtesy of Denise Tanaka

Saturday I did not have any panels I was on.  I did go to the Klingon 101, How Can Science Fiction And Fantasy Blend Well, and Costume In Fiction.  Then I scooted upstairs to prepare for the Variety Show.  Cruella De Vil was a hit, but I could not compete with the power of the Dark Side of the Cute.  Top costuming award went to Denise Tanaka and Eudora dressed as General Leia Organa and Kylo Ren.

Cruella De Vil Back
Courtesy of Denise Tanaka

Sunday was another panel-less day.  I sat in on Fantasy Tropes, Beyond Olympus and Asgard, A Chat With Lawrence Schoen, A Chat With David Gerrold, spent too much money at the Charity Auction supporting SETI, and laughed hysterically at the Let’s Pretend We’re Famous panel.  I did a circuit of the party floor and discovered the free books at the Zine Room.  They jumped into my arms!  I swear!

Monday things wound down.  At Is Serial Fiction Right For You, I lost a D-20 roll off to Steve Mix.  I tried not to fangirl too hard at A Chat With The Library Bards, who remembered me as Maleficent from the prior Con-volution. My final panel of the con was one I was on with  Chris O’Halloran and John O’Halloran, Are Cons Good For Your Health.  I made it through Closing Ceremonies, but was too wiped out to attend Hiss And Purr.

This doesn’t include all the meals shared, getting hugs as I passed old friends on the way to panels, and making new friends. All in all, it was an enjoyable weekend.

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