Post Wiscon 37 thoughts (not too long because I’m so tired)

There was a moment at Wiscon when I was dancing with everyone in the dark at the Genderfloomp, that I stopped dancing, looked around, and burst into tears.

These are my people. I don’t want them to go.

I had ditched a family trip to Florida to be at Wiscon. I had a reading Friday night with the Oxford Comma Bonfire with Vylar Kaftan, Michael Underwood and Nancy  Hightower which went well. I was on a panel called “Remote vs Intimate Gods in literature”, which had a former Methodist who was now atheist, a former Catholic who converted to Judaism, and a woman Lutheran pastor who lives with her female partner in Tennessee. The discussion we had was wonderful, and I’m not just talking about the panel—but the long discussion we panelists had afterward with each other. I got a taste of the Kindred Reading Series. And I participated at the Sign out for the first time ever. Got to sign four copies of Dark Faith: Invocations. I was so excited, the first signing I did, I misspelled the word ‘ask’. Because I was so awesome. Or maybe tired.

But most of all, the conversations I had with the people. Ohhhh…my fellow black geeks, asian geeks, puerto rican geeks, gay geeks, trans geeks, bi geeks, poly geeks, straight geeks, atheist geeks, agnostic geeks, muslim geeks, christian geeks, pagan geeks. All of us together in one place. Sure, there were debates and arguments and words said that made people get the stink-eye and misunderstandings, but who doesn’t get that in a family reunion.

And this was indeed a family reunion.

That was why, at the Genderfloomp dance, I realized that I didn’t want any of them to go. I only get to see most of these people once a year.

Sean M. Murphy wrote a blog post that better sums up my feelings. And yeah, there’s going to be a few days when I’ll look around and feel glum and feel out of sorts with the normal world. But it’s okay. It won’t be the same, but I will continue to talk to my Wiscon friends on the internet. Occasionally, there’ll be a couple of us at other cons, like Mo*Con, which is like a smaller, room party. And knowing that N.K Jemisen and Hiromi Goto will be the Guests of Honor at Wiscon 38 already has me planning for next year’s activities.

These are my people. They never really go.


Omni Magazine Entire Backlog Online

When I was a kid, I was introduced to science fiction two ways: through fantasy novels, which my Grandma collected, and through Omni Magazine, which my Grandma subscribed to (though I called her to check and she said she couldn’t remember…it may have actually been my Grandpa).

Omni magazine was cool in that it introduced me to the concept of the short story. Plus it had awesome gorgeous illustrations to go along with the stories. Ask me what story I remember most–I won’t be able to tell you, but what I can tell you was that it was about an angel because there was this wonderful image of an angel in the magazine.

Omni also had neat science articles—most of them went over my head, except one. It was an article on dreaming, and there was a section that talked about how to control your dreams. Something about learning how to recognize that you’re dreaming, and then building up to changing little things in your dream, until you’re able to to make big changes like being able to fly. That article so stuck with me, I ripped it out (Don’t know if my grandma knew) and took it home. I then spent the next several months trying to follow it. I think I did get to the point that I sort realized I was flying, (though I never really flew in my dreams; at the most, I’d hover two-three inches off the ground.) But still, for those couple of seconds before I woke up, it was the most awesome thing ever.

I think my Grandma let her subscription lapse, so it was a while before I learned they stopped producing any more issues. But now, you can read the entire series at the Internet Archive. I’m going to check it out now and see if I could find that dream article again. It’s been a while since I hovered in my dreams.

My Wiscon 37 schedule

Due to a wedding I won’t be joining Wiscon until Friday evening, so I’ll probably miss out on the Gathering. But here’s what I’ll be doing when I do get there.

Friday, May 24 9pm Oxford Comma Bonfire Reading, Michaelango’s

I’ll be joining Vylar Kaftan, Michael Underwood and Nancy Hightower for a reading at Michaelangelo’s. I’ll be reading my story poem from Dark Faith: Invocations “All This Pure Light Leaking In”. This is open to the public, so if you’re around, stop by!

Sunday, May 26 8:30am Intimate vs. Remote Gods, Senate A

Is it faith if you run into the god in question while doing your grocery shopping? What is the nature of a god whose existence you don’t have to take on faith? What does believing in an unseen god signify? I’ll be joining Heidi Waterhouse, Rose Hayes, Janice Mynchenberg, and Judy Peterson to discuss examples from recent and older literature, including N.K. Jemisin, Mary Doria Russell, Phillip Pullman, and Lois McMaster Bujold.

Monday, May 27 11:30am Sign Out, Capitol/Wisconsin

If you have a copy of Dark Faith: Invocations, bring it by for me to sign. Or just come by to chat, because, really, this being my first signing, I have no clue how to do these things.