Thursday, July 29, 2010

GenCon 2010 Update

My preparations for the convention are going well. I've got my notes all ready and the menu set for the workshop. I do have one bit of news though: I am now officially a published author!

The group that puts on the Writer's Symposium panels at GenCon have put together a collection of short stories called "Stalking the Wild Hare", and in it is my story "Critical Violation".

It's a nice little story about zombie rats invading the cafeteria at a government laboratory. See? It's even food related!

There are also twenty or so stories by some of the other Writer's Symposium authors - they're a great bunch of people and I'm honored to be included in their midst. The publisher says it'll be available from in a couple of weeks (I'll update this post with a link at that time).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gen Con 2010 Schedule

It's less than a month before Gen Con, and once again I'll be participating in some of the Writer's Symposium seminars, as well as a couple of events of my own.

On Thursday evening I'll be giving a 2 hour talk about medieval feasts, targeted more towards fantasy authors and role-playing gamers than historians (there does seem to be a surprising amount of overlap though).  I expect this to be a bit rambling, with my usual tendency to sidetrack and distract myself.  Here's the description from the Gen Con catalog:

SEM1008386 - Real Medieval Feasts
Why did they have feasts in medieval Europe? What did they eat? Who paid for it all? This seminar examines real feasts based upon descriptions and menus from medieval sources, and compares the medieval practices with modern misconceptions. Some of the topics to be included are feast foods, entertainment, manners, economics, and the practical challenges of processing two thousand head of poultry. 08/05/2010, 8:00:00 PM, Marriott : Santa Fe

I'm also trying something new this year, a medieval cooking workshop.  It's scheduled for late Saturday afternoon, and essentially is providing an early supper for the participants.  I am understandably a bit nervous about this one, ans there aren't any cooking facilities available.  This means I have to do any cooking using hotplates and the like.  Having worked in equally difficult situations though, I'm sure it'll turn out just fine.

WKS1008387 - Medieval Cooking Workshop
Everything you need to know and not know about the basic techniques and ingredients of medieval European cuisine - complete with roasts, vegetables, pies, sauces, and desserts - complete with a demonstration and full meal. A booklet will be provided to each participant with full recipes for all the dishes made. Due to limited facilities, special dietary requirements cannot be accommodated.
08/07/2010, 4:00:00 PM, Marriott : Santa Fe

Because of the limitations in space and such, I had to limit the number of participants to 15 - and I was surprised at how quickly it sold out.  This is also the first time I've charged anything for a seminar/workshop ($12), but given how much I'll spend on the food it was pretty much unavoidable.  Considering how much the convention center charges for pizza or hot dogs, I suppose it's a good deal.

Here are the Writer's Symposium panels I'll be part of:

SEM1009889 - Bottom's Up!
Is your hero always sober? Does your villain have a drinking problem? When is it appropriate to use alcohol in literature to set a scene, advance the plot, or add some color to your characters? Our panelists look at drinking ... and not just the intoxicating stuff. We’ll delve into medieval drinks and futuristic concoctions and discuss reference material to sate your characters’ thirsts and wet your readers’ whistles.  08/07/2010, 11:00, AM Hyatt : Studio 1
SEM1009908 - Dark Ladies
There is a dark side to the “fairer sex.” In this hour, we’ll focus on female villains, hard-boiled heroines, and tough-as-nails supporting characters. How do you make a female character real without becoming a cliché or done-to-death stereotype?  08/08/2010, 9:00 AM, Hyatt : Studio 1
SEM1009910 - Rounding Your World
If you’re not writing in the “real world,” and you’ve created a land of your own, you have to do more than draw a map, add a river, and sprinkle in some mountains and other geographical features. You have to put a lot of thought into the place. Our panelists will tell you what elements make a fantasy setting believable, including weather, population clusters, animal life, and more. 08/08/2010, 10:00 AM, Hyatt : Studio 1

I'm looking forward to it all, but there's a lot of preparation still to do.