Panel in the Pool participants clamber to escape an alligator (I’ll explain later).
I’m back from 8Pi-Con and here’s the pix (and by tomorrow I should be recovered!). Next year’s event, 9Pi-Con, has been moved to the end of April – April 24-26, I believe. I’m bringing friends next year, because this is a great weekend with something for everyone, and much like Conbust in Northhampton, Mass., in March, it’s all about the topics—on just about everything imaginable from writing and science to film, television, genre work and art—and is completely inclusive and welcoming. They truly live up to their tagline “The friendliest little convention in New England.” Get it on your calendars and keep up to date at http://pi-con.org/ Hope to see you there in 2015!
It’s always fun to check-in and get the badge (and yes, those are camels on my shirt…)
…and the hotel key! I was an idiot, though. I thought the door key didn’t work. That wasn’t true. I just couldn’t read the guy’s handwriting on my key card; I thought it said ‘326.’
The view out my room at the Enfield-Springfield Holiday Inn at One Bright Meadow Lane in Enfield.
Here we go with the mandatory bathroom photos…
The refrigerator was surprisingly large.
This was a gift from someone at work. How awesome is that? Let me tell you, it saved me a couple of times at 2 a.m. when I needed some food. The hotel didn’t have vending machines, which I thought was weird.
The Broad Universe Dealer’s Room. Basically, at Pi-Con, vendors reserve a room on a designated floor which isn’t only the room they stay in, but their “store front.” Broad Universe is an international organization of writers, editors, librarians, readers, and reviewers whose mission is to celebrate and help promote the work and careers of women who are writing and marketing their science fiction, fantasy, and horror works. I’m a member. You can find out more at http://www.broaduniverse.org.
Trisha Wooldridge, president of Broad Universe, poses with her newest book SILENT STARSONG.
Trisha’s husband Scott. He is awesome. That is all I need to say.
From left, Terri Bruce (author of the HEREAFTER series), me, and Trisha.
Terri and I doing work to help set up the BU store.
And after all that work, Terri and I needed a break. Here she has some yummy almonds. I am off-camera, having a glass of wine.
Welcome to the BU store!
The free swag table; visitors to the room can pick up some neat things for free.
The Spencer Hill Press Table.
The BU general members’ table. I sold a few books during the event, which was awesome, because it allowed me to have enough gas to get home!
The checkout counter.
Promotional posters on the wall!
Unfortunately I am the one who was guilty of eating most of these Starbursts…
Flyers for our Friday night party and Saturday’s Rapid Fire Reading.
The “Developing Deep Characters in Speculative Fiction” panel. Left to right, writers Vikki Ciaffone, Allen Steele (3-time Hugo Award Winner and author of the COYOTE series – visit http://www.allensteele.com/), Trisha Wooldridge, Kate Kaynak, and me. Photo by Lori Claxton.
The spread for our Friday night gathering. The party ran from 8 until 11:30 and featured hourly raffles (free entry just for coming by and having some food).
A swag-covered wall.
Early on in the Friday night party.
A guest and Scott hang out.
An ad outside our door.
Raffle prizes. We ended up throwing in a few more toward the end of the night.
Lori Claxton won the first raffle of the night. She got the bag full of stuff I put together…
…which included a Mickey Mouse bank…
…and lots of other good Disney-related stuff! I wanted to do something special for this event.
Kate Kaynak, author of The GANZFIELD Books, shows off her cool buttons.
Me and this guy talked serious Godzilla for like an hour. That’s one of the great things about cons…interesting conversations with people into the same stuff you are.
Our second raffle winner got a set of four posters from THE HOBBIT. These are on thick cardstock and are gorgeous enough to frame.
Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, author of Interview with the FAERIE (PART ONE): AND OTHER POEMS OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT, won copies of both New England Horror Writers anthologies, WICKED SEASONS and EPITAPHS.
I didn’t get a chance to formally meet this lady, but her costumes all weekend were amazing. This one was my favorite, though. The glowing screen actually worked and had active, old-school graphics. It was pretty awesome.
Ari Alpert hangs out at our party.
Justine Graykin, author of ARCHIMEDES NESSELRODE and 8Pi-Con’s Guest of Awesome, hangs out at Broad Universe’s Friday Night party.
A magician (yes, a real one! – Jeff Kempton) stops by to entertain us. He was lots of fun.
Saturday morning breakfast. This was seriously the crispiest, most awesome bacon I’ve had in two or three years. I can’t wait to go back in April so I can have it again!
Jan Kozlowski, author of DIE, YOU BASTARD! DIE!, and me, swapping serious industry gossip. I love Jan. She is a blast!
Jan knits just about everything you can think of with a Cthulu twist….
…made by Jan…
…made by Jan…
Me and Catt Kingsgrave after our reading on Saturday morning. I read SKELETONS IN THE SWIMMIN’ HOLE: TALES FROM HAUNTED DISNEY WORLD’s title story.
I moderated the “Day Jobs for Writers” panel. From left, me; Trisha J. Wooldridge, author of SILENT STARSONG; M.L. Brennan, author of GENERATION V; Morven Westfield, author of DARKSOME THIRST; and Ellen Larson, author of IN RETROSPECT.
Me and Justine Graykin: ready for THE PANEL IN THE POOL!
The indoor pool. This hotel has a pretty sweet outdoor pool, too!
The Panel in the Pool is just what it sounds like: a Panel in the Pool, swimsuits and backstrokes included! This year’s topic was Aliens of the Seas, moderated by Jeff Warner (8Pi-Con Chair) and Guest of Awesome Justine Graykin. From the program guide: “Recent reports from neurobiologists on the results of genomic sequencing of comb jellyfish reveal that Ctenophores are from a different branch of the Earthly evolutionary tree. “Parallel Evolution of a Nervous System but with a completely different chemical language, evolving independently from the rest of the animal kingdom.” So, what does this portend for Extremophiles that might be living in the Oceans of Enceladus? Or Carl Sagan & Edwin Salpeter’s Gasbags of Jupiter?(an idea that both Ben Bova and Iain Banks, liked, grabbed, and ran with) Join us Floaters, Sinkers, and Punters in a giant container of DiHydrogen Monoxide as we generate lots of hot air!”
I’m such a pool addict, I made sure I blocked off a two-hour slot to enjoy the hotel’s gorgeous outdoor pool. It was a hot day, so the dip was refreshing! This is my art-house version of a photo just so the world knows that I really did go to the pool! The book I’m reading, WINTERGIRLS, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a high recommend, and, in fact, if you enjoyed my book Bad Apple then this is a must read. You can check that out here: http://amzn.com/014241557X
The “Scary Movies We Love” panel and roundtable: from left, Suzanne Hanniford Crowley, author of VAMPIRE KING OF NEW YORK; science fiction writer Terry Franklin; Jennifer Allis Provost, author of COPPER RAVENS, and me. Photo by Lori Claxton.
The “Scary Movies We Love” panel and roundtable! We did the whole panel with the lights off, the doors closed and the windows curtained! It was so awesome!!!
Morven Westfield reads from her novel DARKSOME THIRST at the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, which is when a group of writers get together and have a brief amount of time–in this case, four minutes–to read from their work.
Jennifer Pelland reads a short story from a recently published anthology.
Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert reads poetry from her collection FAERIE (PART ONE): AND OTHER POEMS OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT.
Roberta Rogow reads from her newest novel.
Terri Bruce reads from her newest novel THEREAFTER.
I read from my short story “The Thing Inside” from the anthology UNNATURAL TALES OF THE JACKALOPE. What was super amazing was that I gave the copy away as part of the giveaway, and whoever correctly answered the question “Who was the actor who played the fourth Doctor?” first (I know, that is terribly lame, but I had to come up with the question and I just couldn’t think of anything better) won a copy. It turns out fellow Broad Ellen Larson, who desperately wanted to finish reading the story to see how it ended, was the winner! She was really happy. It made my night! Photo by Lori Claxton.
Trisha J. Woodridge reads from her book SILENT STARSONG.
Ellen Larson shares some of her latest work.
Jennifer Allis Provost reads from her latest novel COPPER RAVENS.
The “Bad Endings” panel. From left, George Claxton, Jennifer Allis Provost, and me. I like this picture. Jenn and I look like we’re posing for animal crackers. Poor George!
The “That Good Old Fashioned Nuclear Apocalypse” panel, which focused on discussing films like The DAY AFTER. From left, writers Terry Franklin (moderator), Catt Kingsgrave, me, and Eric.
I moderated the “Fiction has No Place in Our Curriculum,” which was about the (quite frankly, disgusting) marginalization of fiction in the Common Core standards. It was hard staying off the topic of how the Common Core is going to Harrison Bergeron everyone and keep to the topic at hand—all four of us on this panel were very passionate—but wow, what an amazing discussion. From left, Ken Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Justine Graykin, me, and Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert. Photo by Lori Claxton.
OMG! Selfie! What I was trying to do was get a picture of this cool new hair clip I got. See next pic.
The hairclip. I love this because it features my favorite color combo, green and pink. It was handmade by an artist who’s a member of Broad Universe. That’s one of the other great things about cons…you can buy stuff you just can’t find anywhere else!
…and we Broads know how to leave a good tip (if I were cleaning a room I’d be psyched to get 21 bucks, chocolate, and a beer!)
It was a winning weekend for me as me-who-never-wins-anything ended up winning this really neat movie package at the Barfleet (an SF party) on Saturday night.
A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at kristipetersenschoonover.com.