selenay: (Default)
*blows dust off blog*

Ahem. Yes. I am terrible about updating. BUT. I figured it might be handy if I listed somewhere which panels I'm on at Nine Worlds THIS WEEKEND OMG HOW IS IT SO SOON. Don't believe the schedule - there's a small back-end issue with one of my panels, where I had to turn one down due to a clash but the listing still has me down on the turned down one. Woops!

So, if you want to see me be geeky, here's where you can find me:

Friday, 3.15pm: Writing Superheroes

Join Emma (signe_chan), Ollie, and I as we discuss writing superheroes in our fic. The ins and outs, the interesting aspects to explore, the way fic explores superpowers. However you define superheroes and superpowers, whether it's DC/Marvel or Buffy, this is the panel to be at.

Friday, 5pm: WILD SPECULATION: Star Trek

Round-table speculation about the movies and the forthcoming TV series. The wilder the idea, the better!

Saturday, 11.45am: History of Femslash

Llyn, Cleo, Roz Kaveny and I will be talking about femslash and its history, discussing where it began, where we all began in it, and how it has changed over the years. Whether you're new to femslash or an old hand, this is a panel for you! Wanna know what the first written femslash pairing probably was? Or what in heck a Xena Uber was? (And why so much lesbian fiction from the early 2000s looks suspiciously Xena-like?) Audience participation is encouraged and we'll be trying to put together an actual timeline on a large piece of paper during the panel.

Sunday, 9am: Why we love femslash

Despite the early hour, this is a celebration panel! Why do we love femslash? What are the tropes and stories we adore? Come and spend 45 minutes squeeing with Llyn, Cleo, and I about the joys of f/f romance in our favourite shows, books, and movies. There's only one rule: the phrase "femslash is better than dudeslash because..." is outlawed :-D
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
I made the decision a while ago that I wasn't travelling to England for Redemption this year, after the disaster of horribleness that was last February. Travelling at this time of year is incredibly stressful due to weather, and while I love Redemption hugely, the "will I get there or not" stress was getting too much for me.

On the one hand, that now seems like a very sensible plan. I would have flown out on Tuesday, when the roads around the province were still a mess and there were threats of weather bombs Tuesday night that could cancel my flights. Not dealing with that stress has been good. This winter has been worse than last year, just by virtue of having the whole of winter take place over a concentrated four week period, and it really would have been awful trying to do the travel.

My back is also still very painful due to Sunday's snow-rain-ice shovelling extravaganza, so the flight would have been very uncomfortable and I probably would have been slower than usual at the con. I would still have had fun, but it would have been harder when I'm dealing with pain and exhaustion from pain. So there's that, too.

I'll be going over in the summer for Nine Worlds instead. I discovered last year how much less stressful it was to travel when the weather isn't universally horrific, and I know that I'll have a ridiculous amount of fun.

But today, I'm watching people depart for Red and discuss what they're doing and generally being all Redemption-happy on Twitter, and I'm feeling sadder than expected. I love Redemption. I love the people and the community and the fun we have. For the first time in ten years, I'm missing out on that.

Have fun, everyone who is going. Have the best Redemption you can. Do all the things, stay up through the night talking, and be excellent to each other.

Hopefully I'll see some of you at Nine Worlds in the summer.
selenay: (Default)
So, a good friend of mine is on the committee for this con and has spent the last two years extolling its virtues, which says a lot about a con if someone I like and respect is involved and loves it :-) If I can make my vacation time work out next year, I'm hoping to go to the 2015 edition.

I love fan run cons. They're fun, relaxed, and filled with really cool panels and awesome people. They're running some things right now with the aim of making the con an even better experience and opening it up for more people to participate in from next year. And thus, I'd like to let the Wincon folks tell you a bit more about the con, what they're doing, and how you can help (and get cool stuff for doing it, even if you can't actually go).

Wincon is a 'by the fans, for the fans' multi-fandom con. That means no guests, no celebrities, just the internet in real time with other fans. Wincon 2015 in Pittsburgh will be their 10th anniversary, but they need some help to make it happen.

In the past, they've been about a 100-person con. That's no longer sustainable, so they've decided to grow to 250-300 people. At this size, they can offer more programming, better events, etc. while cutting registration costs nearly in half. Registration for 2015 is just $55 for the weekend.

To make sure Wincon can be successful at this new size, they're running an Indiegogo campaign. You can buy your registration or choose from their other awesome perks. They have custom art from some truly awesome artists made just for the campaign, as well as donations of art commissions and custom fan crafts.

Please take a minute to visit the Indiegogo page and get to know what they're all about. You can also find more information at their tumblr or website.

selenay: (Default)
As anyone following me on Twitter or Tumblr would have noticed, last month I went to England for my first Worldcon: Loncon3. And then I failed to write about it UNTIL NOW.

This is mostly because it was huge and overwhelming and awesome, and it's taken me this long to digest it and get homesick for it. I got to fulfill a long-term dream and actually watch the Hugos live. I met Seanan McGuire. I found out that Connie Willis and George RR Martin and utterly hilarious if you put them on a panel together.

Plus, I got to visit with lots of old friends and hopefully make some new ones.

I suppose this should really be put in something approaching chronological order, shouldn't it?

Cut for length )

In conclusion, I had a brilliant time. Excellent. Would do again. It was my first time working on operations, and I loved every minute of it. Even the hectic ones. I'd definitely do that again...which is good, because I've already been volunteered onto the team for Nine Worlds. Heh.

I can't speak to other peoples' experience of Loncon, but for me, it was excellent. I expected something fustier and filled with intolerant old dinosaurs, even though we'd been trying not to do that, and what I found was bright, fun, vibrant, and filled with great people and new ideas. A large part of this, I suspect, is because of how I chose to do the con.

Most of the panels I went to were not the kind that attracted that old dinosaur element: diversity, representation, urban fantasy, transformational works. I had a big group of friends there, and I met some new people. All of them are lovely. It felt like a world away from the Eastercon I attended a few years ago. I'd love to do another Worldcon, but only if it's like that. Sasquan doesn't sound like my kind of Worldcon. I might see if Dublin 2019 happens, and whether I can swing doing that one.

It probably helped that I didn't do it coming off Nine Worlds, which is a very, very different kind of con. I didn't have 9W to compare to and, for me, Loncon3 was one of the best cons I've been to. My opinion on some things might change after seeing 9W next year, but we'll see.

The other factor that might have helped, was being on the ops team and seeing the staff side of things for months beforehand. I knew how much work we'd put into the code of conduct and the team supporting it. I knew how many knots we'd tied ourselves in trying to make the con safe and welcoming to everyone. And I think we largely succeeded, which makes me feel incredibly proud to have been a part of it.

In short, roll on a Worldcon run by the next horrible, liberal, diversity-conscious, BLOODY FANTASTIC team to stick their necks out and try to take it on. Helsinki 2017. Dublin 2019. Let's make those happen.
selenay: (angels have the phone box)
Cut for medical stuff )

Onto more cheerful things!

My local con announced yesterday that they've got Peter Davidson as a guest! *cue running around shrieking*

While Sylvester McCoy is my favourite Doctor (from Old Who) in terms of having the best stories, Peter Davidson is *my* Doctor because he was my first and that always stays special. So I'm rather over the moon and definitely planning on attending :-D

They've got a few interesting names including J. August Richards. On the one hand, I'd love to see him. On the other hand, I'm assuming he'll probably pull out as he's got a major role on the SHIELD TV show and when (I'm no longer going with 'if' here) ABC picks that up officially, I'd imagine he'll have filming commitments that will make jaunting up to Canada rather tricky.

I try very hard never to book for cons based on one single guest. Odds are always good that something will happen and that guest won't be there.

My local con is more of a big media con than I really like these days but they're making an effort not to have everything revolving around the big name guests, which I'm fully in support of. Knowing there are multiple programming tracks makes me much more likely to attend. I'd love it if there were some more fan-oriented tracks and maybe a literary track, but I can't have everything. And hey, at least there's a con here of some kind :-D

This weekend is going to be mostly about sleeping and maybe some napping. It's been an exhausting week and I'm running on fumes today. I've got a pizza in the freezer for supper tonight and I plan to completely veg out and catch up on some TV. The cats are going to appreciate this plan because they've started to act rather cuddle-deprived and mournful every time I get up and have to go somewhere. Poor petals.
selenay: (ace and the doctor (fenric))
As always, I had a terrific time at Redemption. It's a completely unique con even within the British fandom, which various people noted is a lot more chilled and relaxed than fandoms in other countries. Redemption is the kind of place where you can be yourself no matter what that self is. No gender expression, sexuality, mental health issue or disability is considered 'too out there' to be a part of the con and it's one of the things I genuinely love about Red each year.
Cut for length )

All in all, Red 13 was absolutely brilliant and I had a fantastic time. Can't wait to see lots of you (including all the people I didn't have to time talk to and the sadly missed folks who couldn't come due to illness) at Worldcon next year!
selenay: (angels have the phone box)
I was all psyched up to have a brilliant day because any day that starts with the radio playing one of your favourite (sappy) songs is automatically brilliant and it's Friday and...

...and then I came to work.

It appears that this was my major mistake of the day. Why do we bother to do all this requirements gathering and use case malarkey if we're going to be given TOTALLY THE WRONG INFORMATION every single bloody time?

*ahem*

And my manager keeps trying to help us this week. For the love of god, will someone give that man something to do so that he doesn't interfere with our work? Surely someone has some urgent resourcing charts that he can play with? He'll love using all the pretty colours that Excel can hold, I promise.

Er, yes, I do tend to feel that my manager is best left in a quiet corner with some glitter pens and construction paper rather than trying to 'help' us. Although he does occasionally get us good chocolate when we're looking particularly desperate. It's the reason we like him.

Still, I've got a weekend lined up filled with cycling and tennis. There are good books to read. And if I haven't finished 5 Things by Sunday evening, feel free to yell at me and wave pointy stakes, OK?

So when 3.30pm rolls around (no, my new hours *still* haven't been approved although all the other departments are on their new hours grump grump grump manager) I'm out of here and my day will improve drastically. Maybe I'll even talk Mum into pizza for supper.

ETA: Day got better - my local con announced Gail Simone as a guest. OMG. With Brandon Sanderson, John Rhys Davies, and Nicholas Briggs already announced, it’s something I’m definitely going to need to go to.
selenay: (donna 1)
Hello Internet! Why yes, it has been forever since I last updated this thing.

Cut for babble amount life milestones )

Anyway, everything is so different now and I couldn't be happier.

The last few weeks have been quiet due to a lot of reading and watching stuff. I've got so much to say about it all so I shall try to get something up on here about it over the weekend.

Suffice to say, since the beginning of 2012 I have read 10 books, watched a season and a bit of Deep Space 9, watched season 2 of Buffy, watched half a season of Castle and assorted other bits and bobs. It's been so much fun!

And in the most important bit of news yet, I'm now a supporting member of Worldcon 2012 and a Friend of Worldcon 2014. It looks like I'm going to Worldcon in 2014 :-D Let the countdown and insane bouncing begin!

ETA: Correct the years, I'm a supporting member of this year's Worldcon :-D
selenay: (questions/comments)
Oh, Humira, you fickle thing. Some weeks the injection barely stings, other weeks I have to question the maternal status of local canines out loud.

Guess which was this week's experience?

I have so totally earned the chocolate peanut butter ice-cream that I'm treating myself to tonight.

In other news...

I have set up a savings plan to pay for flights, accommodation and spending at Worldcon 2014. With a small weekly put-away, I estimate that I'll have enough for a very pleasant time indeed. Look at me, being all responsible and stuff.

I am quite disappointed that [livejournal.com profile] tardis_bigbang does not seem to be happening this year. It would have made me actually write my Orient Express in Space story rather than piddling around with files of notes and not actually writing anything.

Still, the Doctor is back on Saturday so maybe I'll finally start putting pen to paper. Either on that one or the adventures of the cross-dressing inter-species lesbian lovers. Something has to work otherwise my entire writing output this year will be [community profile] yuletide and that's just really, really bad. Someone suggest a way to make myself write?
selenay: (reader)
So, I had these plans to write trip reports and con reports and all sorts of things. Except, er, I didn't. My gentle relaxing trip to England was actually far too busy to have time to do that. When I wasn't out and about, I was relaxing over cups of tea and knitting with Mum and Dad. I had Twitter and other things on my iPod to keep up with the outside world, but it was lovely to spend time not really worrying about online stuff.

Now I'm back. Work remains the same as ever (lovely colleagues, Zombie Project eating my brainz) and the medical appointments resume. Something showed up on my bloodwork so I have to see my GP later in the week. I suspect that my blood count may be down again. Ugh. Some of my symptoms returned (only very slightly, but just enough to be worrying) over the weekend, so I have done as my specialist recommended (increasing my predinisone) and I'll be seeing him later in the week to discuss it. I won't pretend that it's not a bit of a blow, but hopefully this is a minor blip in my recovery and could even be due to the stress of flying.

Speaking of flying, it was surprisingly un-stressful compared to my last few trips. I have concluded that on-line check-in is the best thing ever. It made everything so much easier: I picked my seat from home, didn't have any worries about check-in closing before I got there and didn't have to spend so many hours at the airport. Lovely. Even getting through security in Heathrow was a doddle because they're actually being a bit more sane about it all. It's made me think seriously about taking an England trip next year, possibly in May, because it felt so much easier than it has done the last few times.

I shall write up the reports etc. over the next few days. What I can say is that I came back from the convention refreshed and reinvigorated in my love for science fiction. It feels like I've had my brain switched off for the last few months (possibly all that exhaustion from being ill) and I'm just starting to wake up. Now I need to catch up and read all the books and essays that I've missed, watch all the shows that were amazing or thoughtful and generally get back into the habit of thinking again.

The trip also got me out of my reading rut and I've finally identified why I'd been so dissatisfied with my reading: I'd been deliberately going for the fluffy and un-challenging because it's what I thought my tired brain needed. A lot of the books didn't engage me and left me completely unsatisfied, which just made me want to read less. My last few books have been different. They have made me think, they have challenged and none of them have really been fluff, not even the YA that looked fluffy. It's been wonderful: the books have engaged me from the outset and kept me compelled to read at every opportunity. This is what I really needed because these are books that are exciting me and that seems to be better for my brain.

I'll post up my book reviews soon :-)

Fly-by!

Feb. 24th, 2011 12:01 pm
selenay: (angels have the phone box)
I'm sitting in my parent's dining room in England. Yup, I made it safely and the flight was one of the best that I've had in years. Possibly the glass of wine before we got on the plane helped...

In a couple of hours, I will be off to Redemption. So excited! I still can't quite believe that I've made it - four weeks ago, I was receiving multiple blood transfusions and being told that in a couple more days, I would have died. Today I'm being treated successfuly, managed an overseas flight and am about to run off to a science-fiction convention. It's something of a miracle, I feel.

My sister made a special trip out last night so we got to see her. I've missed my sister. We all dined on yummy Chinese takeout and I got prawn crackers, which are one of the things that I've missed in Canada.

Now I'm going to grab some lunch and then head for a train to Coventry. See everyone there!
selenay: (bemused Doctor)
I have got to get myself back into the habit of posting about things that aren't Unix scripting issues. Although the good news is that I now know much more about scripting than I used to and have a good idea of what I'm doing and what I need to learn. Yay?

I've been thinking about conventions. To wit, the Redemption 2011 prices go up in September and I think that it's time to stop being in denial and just buy myself a ticket. I'm going, I was crazy to think about pretending that I wasn't. It's my favourite con on the calendar. If I plan to arrive in England on the Thursday and travel straight up to Cov then I could spend a few days with my family afterwards and still have three vacation days left for other things that year. And in June that year, it will be a new vacation year and I'll finally be up to three weeks vacation. Woo.

Also, it's Worldcon in a couple of weeks and I can't go. Boo :-( This made me think about cons for next year, though. Hal-Con is in my own little home town in October 2010, so I'll definitely be going to that. But if I don't go to something in the first half of next year, then I'll have been con-less for eighteen months. I really miss geeky fannish gatherings, there isn't a space like it anywhere else.

Are there any cons that folks would recommend happening say March-June next year? Preferably something reachable in one flight from Nova Scotia. I love the relaxed, fannish gatherings like Redemption far more than the big media cons. I have a feeling that [livejournal.com profile] muskratjamboree is only every two years, isn't it? And that would mean it happens in a Redemption year :-( But really, some recs for cons that people love over here would be awesome.

In other news, the Tour de France was awesome. I cannot express enough how much I loved it. The racing, particularly in the final week, was great. There wasn't even a sniff of a drugs problem. Contador absolutely deserved to win. Best of all, there were Brits in the race doing fantastically. Mark Cavendish was amazing and, with 6 wins in one race, rather deserves the title of fasted man on two wheels. Bradley Wiggins was the revelation of the race and he's made me very excited about the future of Brits in the Tour. Next year he'll be going in as a viable favourite - how cool is that?

In knitting news, I finished some stripey socks in merino and may never want to knit socks from anything else every again. Oh, so gorgeous. My lacey sweater continues apace: I finished the front last night and got some ribbing done on a sleeve today. I am actually slightly worried about how quickly it's knitting up, but it's fun.

I also cast on for a shawl this week. It's going to be a warm, snuggly shawl from DK weight yarn rather than a lacey thing, suitable for cool autumn days and overly enthusiastic AC at the office. I'm using Malabrigo Silky Merino and it's possibly the most amazing thing I've ever knitted. I've never knitted with yarn this soft, it isn't even remotely splitty and the fabric feels smooshy and gorgeous. The shawl is very simple, alternating bands of stocking and garter stitch whenever I feel like a change, so it shows off the sheen and the slight variations in kettle-dye beautifully. It's 50% silk and the reviews say that it grows a lot with blocking, so wouldn't be good in a sweater, but in this kind of snuggly shawl it's just amazing. I'm in love.

It's so gorgeous that I keep reaching into my desk drawer to feel my shawl. Oh, dear, you're not going to part me from this shawl when it's finished.
selenay: (coffee)
I am writing this on the train with the intention of posting when I get Internet access. But right now I need to do things to keep myself awake so that I get off the train at the correct station. Hence a blog post and then possibly some knitting. Definitely no book, absolutely no "just closing my eyes" for two seconds.

Why is this?

Because I didn't go to bed until well after 5am last night and I had to be up this morning to pack, shower and check out. Urk. I'd say that it seemed like a good idea last night, but we all knew it was a bad idea and still couldn't quite make ourselves get up and move.

The Dead Dog party has also been called Dargo's Wake in the past so you can get a flavour of what it is. It's the dedicated few trying to extend the con for as long as possible, denying the return to the real world until the last possible moment. People gradually fall by the wayside, succumbing to beds and the desire to be awake enough to drive, until we reach the last man standing stage. Sadly, [livejournal.com profile] gaspodex still won that honour. As I didn't have to drive today for once (oh, I love that) I figured that I'd stay up for just a while because I was still awake.

Oops.

The people at the table I started on gradually gave in, [livejournal.com profile] gmul and [livejournal.com profile] paranoidangel42 giving in some time between 1am and 2am, then Eddie giving in a little later. At that stage we merged with the table next door, which provided a boost of energy for me so that I could natter books, cons, Eastercon, Doctor Who and fannishness with [livejournal.com profile] kilbswhitecrow for a long while until he gave in. Finally it was the few, the brave, the insane: [livejournal.com profile] robshearman, [livejournal.com profile] calapine, [livejournal.com profile] 36, [livejournal.com profile] beccaelizabeth and the lone non-Who fan who's name I never quite caught. We kept proposing that we should go to bed, but then someone would mention something Who-ish or regale a story that triggered five other stories and it never quite happened until reality started dissolving around us and we had to declare defeat to Gaspode.

I've just added it up. I spent nine hours in the bar last night and didn't notice the time go. Nine hours. Wow. This is why I adore conventions.

I vowed at the start of the weekend that I wouldn't be back for Redemption '11. I can't justify travelling 3,000 miles just for a convention. That's insane. I really should combine it with a proper England visit, but that uses up all my vacation allowance and I want to explore my new home a bit. And yet I'm now considering taking a week to come over here for Redemption '11 despite it being an insane idea.

It's just that I talked someone into doing a "role playing for absolute beginners" workshop and I want to go to it. Judith asked me to do a sock workshop for Odysssy, which I can't do (although with the number of people who showed me their work over the weekend, I'm sure she can find a couple of willing victims to run it), but I'd love to do it for Redemption. Someone else asked about a knitting for beginners workshop to compliment it and I love that idea. There are some wonderful fannish patterns out there for people to aspire to and some of them would make great first time projects. Harry Potter scarves anyone? We even tossed around the idea of a stash swap and dedicated knitting area for people to hang out in and find experts for advice. Steve tried to sign me up for a Highlander panel, which would be great fun. I know there was at least one other panel proposed that I'd love to do. And Redemption is an amazing con to steward. Oh, dear, I'm talking myself into this, aren't I?

Well, I've got two years to work out the logistics and persuade myself that I can justify it. This has been an absolutely brilliant convention. Thank you to everyone who's hard work made it possible, to the guests for being super (I love guests who are also fans) and most importantly to all the wonderful fans that I met for the first time and the old friends that I got to visit with for making Redemption what it is. I hope to be back in two years time! (There, I said it)
selenay: (brain to mush)
The convention is over and I'm at the Dead Dog party. That is not a hooray thing :-( But I will try to stay awake as long as possible.

It's been a busy day, this is the first time that I've not been in a programming item since 9am this morning. I had originally had a lunch break in my plans, but then events overtook me.

Tonight's panel was scheduled opposite the quarterstaff workshop, to the great disappointment of PA and I. We were noting this on Friday night with [livejournal.com profile] kilbswhitecrow (who was running the workshop) and he offered to let PA and I join in when he went over it with his co-workshoper. So instead of eating lunch PA spent an hour with Steve and Sigga, learning some rudimentary quarterstaff manoeuvres, and had a wonderful time. Thank you, Steve!

I got asked the question "why do you volunteer to steward?" and I've been trying to think of ways to express it. For me it's about finding ways to give back to my community. These events don't happen without the contribution and sacrifice of time from the fans. I love this community and I felt like there was a time when I needed to give something back. If nobody takes up that baton then these events will die.

So I give my time. And I have great fun doing it :-)

Overall, it's been a brilliant convention and there is a part of me that's tempted to sign up for Redemption '11. I know that my vacation time probably wouldn't support it, I know that I'm insane, but I'm considering it.

More importantly, I'm considering seeing what help I can give to the proposed convention at home. I want to find out more before I volunteer. All I know so far is that it's got three fairly big actor names attached, which I'm not sure about. What I really want out of a con there is something like Red: lots of panels and workshops, lots of fan interaction. Big name guests don't tend to be involved with that kind of con, but I'll see.

I refuse to contemplate starting a Redemption-like con for Eastern Canada (yet). That way leads to madness.

Anyway, I've got Rob Shearman behind me debating something that I think involved shooting Paul Cornell, discussion of re-gendering Cagney and Lacey on the right and a debate of the contents of Walkers Sensations on my left. That's the Dead Dog party.
selenay: (Gwen drinkie)
*flump*

About an hour ago I suddenly realised that I was shattered and couldn't work out why. Then I realised that I'd either been attending panels, talking on panels or stewarding since 10am and it was now 6.30pm. In other words, I'd been actively doing stuff for longer than an average working day.

And I wondered why I was shattered?

I only did an hour of stewarding today, but that was long enough with everything else I was up to today. There were panels on Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan universe (mostly "we love it, shall we count the ways?") and whether the return of Doctor Who is getting children into SF (yes, let us count the ways). There was an interview with Paul Cornell who only collapsed into giggles once and said interesting things about Doctor Who, Christianity and comics. Apparently the new Doctor is Patrick Moore's head on an underwear model's body (to quote Moffat) and Paul wants to be in the part of the Church that schisms off and allows gay marriage in church with priests, but he doesn't want to preach his faith through his writing because that's not what he is.

There was a fascinating writing workshop with Paul Cornell who had a lot of interesting things to say from both a novelist and a script-writing point of view. For both, though, he emphasises having a plot. The plot is the thing. If you have no plot then it doesn't matter about characterisation and style, you have crap. Also it is possible to train friends into giving you useful feedback through positive feedback to them and not killing them when they point out the bits that need work.

My panel did not end in mass slaughter, which was impressive, and people actually enjoyed it apparently. Hooray!

I am speaking on another panel this evening, on strong women in Doctor Who. I spotted two problems with it:

1. It is at 10pm. I shall need a lot of caffeine to be intelligent.
2. Although I am not talking with Paul Cornell this time, Rob Shearman (writer of 'Dalek' among other Who-ish things) is on the panel. So I have to be intelligent about women in Doctor Who with a Who writer. Again.

I suppose that saying "Donna!" through the whole panel isn't quite what they're looking for...

Right now I'm taking a bit of a break and planning to turn up to the fancy dress/cabaret late because I needed a break from hot, crowded rooms for a while. Although the hotel staff are lovely and the food is infinitely better than it was in Hinckley, we do have an issue with the heating here. There is rather a lot of it!

I need caffeine. Pint of Diet Coke anyone?
selenay: (are you my mummy)
So far, Redemption is brilliant fun :-) As I was here this morning, I volunteered to help sort out the charity bookstall which was a great time, mainly because of the girls that I was working with. Then I registered (so now I have a name badge, which makes life much easier), ate some lunch and went to the New Who versus Old Who panel.

Nobody died and nobody cried. I regard that as a success. It was one that made me think a bit more about why I love Doctor Who and what attracts me about each version as well as making me laugh. I did an hour's stewarding duty in the vicinity of the reg desk, so basically helped to hand out badges and con packs (the packs that I helped to stuff last night, in fact) and made sure that no one went into the Ceilidh workshop without a badge.

I'm back on duty in half an hour defending the second floor from invaders of the mundane kind. That's actually easier than it normally is because we have the entire hotel, every room, so mundanes on the second floor are *really* not supposed to be there. I think it's the first time I've ever been to a con without mundanes and I find that I miss the wide-eye gawping, although I am enjoying the idea that stewarding might be slightly smoother without drunk business guys trying to gate-crash parties.

Just the atmosphere and the friendliness here is wonderful. Every time I come to a con, it's like taking a nice break and a chance to re-charge amongst people who really get it. Then I can re-emerge into the real world with the energy to deal with it again.

In knitting news, I am almost ready to turn the heel of my con sock. I have the feeling that the first one might get finished tomorrow. So it's possible that I might have an entire pair ready by Monday!
selenay: (canon slash 5)
Arrived in Coventry a couple of hours ago and I'm settled into my room with [livejournal.com profile] paranoidangel42. We have a slight problem in that they just (yesterday) replaced all the locks on the doors and the new keys don't work very well, but it's not completely insurmountable. We'll just have to make sure that one of us stays sober to fiddle with the door lock for twenty minutes at the end of every day.

PA and I took a jaunt up to Warwick University campus so that she could visit her old haunts and we stopped at Tesco on the way back. Why didn't anyone warn me that there are now tubs of Gu bite-size snacks?

Yeah, I did buy some.

Most importantly, I got a phone voucher so I finally have credit on my phone. Hoorary!

I spent half an hour trying to top-up my phone this morning (1p doesn't even get you a text message) and almost missed my train because of it. So I'm glad that I finally got this to work. Texts ahoy!

I've started the arch increase on my convention sock and I'm actually quite liking the striping. It's Trekking XXL and I liked the colours, but wasn't too sure about it when I started knitting because there is rather more pink than expected. It's definitely grown on me a lot.

There is free wireless Internet at this hotel so life is good. We'll go to the early bird dinner in an hour or so and then probably get roped into helping with the set-up.

Panels don't start till tomorrow and I want to go to the first one, New Who vs Old Who. Then I'm stewarding, taking a break, doing more stewarding and then eating supper. I have a steward's meeting after supper then it's the opening ceremony. I suspect the rest of the evening will be spent in the bar, with a break for a panel on the mythology of the Dalek-Gallifrey Time War.

Of course, as with all battle plans, this plan may not survive the first assault of saying "hey, this will be such a great panel/workshop/disco!".
selenay: (blackberry moment)
Knit night is just the best night of the week. I love my knitting group :-)

I think that I've figured out which forms I need for my police record (or at least, the Met Police figured it out and I'm trusting them) so I just need to fill out the form and photocopy some ID. It will be fast for me to take things with me to post from England than to post from here so this is the plan. My fingerprints were done today and hopefully I shall soon be cleared by the government to work on all that data....that I've been working on for the last three months. Heh.

The Redemption programme is up for the general public! Go and take a look! Be jealous!

http://www.conventions.org.uk/redemption/programme/progbook09.pdf

This is going to be such a fun convention :-) I'm so excited. There are loads of things that I want to do, but I'm trying not to set my heart on anything until I've got my stewarding assignment. I do already know that one of my panels solves a debate about what I want to do. I was tempted towards the speed dating session (where better to meet the girl of my dreams?) but it's at the same time as Paul Cornell's talk so, unless I'm stewarding then, I know which option I'll be going for :-) Oddly, this year, the slash panels aren't the ones that really attract me. I'm definitely going to all the writing panels and workshops that I can, the book panels are definites, but I'm not so interested in the slash panels anymore.

Am I getting old?

I've been looking at the dates for [livejournal.com profile] tardis_bigbang and I'm thinking that it's very unlikely that I'll be doing the femslash challenge this year. Unless it's part of a challenge, the stuff I've been writing has all been gen and that seems to be where my writing is going. I'm not sure what that means for my original writing. When Big Bang is over, I'm dusting off Sensible Man and re-reading it from the beginning. I refuse to let myself start over (that's how things end up half-finished, after all) but I need to see where it's going and whether part of the reason that I stalled is because the relationship doesn't work as the text. I suspect that it's better left in the subtext and, if I do that, I'll be better able to focus on the important parts.

I went through the Journey's End fix-it fic with a pen last night and I should have the edits done tomorrow, so I can send it off for beta. I'll try to remember to take my website log-ons with me while I'm gone so that I can post it if it's finished. I also went through the bits of Donna the Time Lord and the notes and was pleasantly surprised by it. The first couple of pages (background stuff that I wrote to get it done and will need re-writing and inserting into the correct points in the fic) isn't my best writing ever, but I like what I had so far of the actual story so now I just need to pick it up and put the other 95% of the story in. Easy, right?

What's my first deadline again?
selenay: (questions/comments)
Oracle Reports is a thing of pure, unadulterated evil *sigh*

Apparently I need a certificate of some kind to say that I'm not a criminal in the UK for my security clearance for the semi-government job that I've been doing for three months. A little behind there. Anyone know anything about how I go about applying for such an item? I've googled and the only things that I can find are CRB checks (employer initiated, for people working with children) and a police national computer certificate that's only for emmigration purposes. In fact, the Met Police site specifically says that they do not do police vetting for employers. Presumably this does not include government security type vetting, but there is nothing to say how one goes about applying for that kind of certificate presumably because it's something that employers (i.e. government) usually apply for. Any ideas, oh wise (and international) f-list?

In other thoughts, I'm starting to get organised for the trip. I don't think I'll have to worry too much about my luggage allowance on the way out, but it's starting to look like I'll have a lot to bring back with me. Hmm. The good thing is that my carry-on luggage is more of a wheel-on this time and there is no way in heck that I'll be filling it. So it might be that all the yarn I buy can go in there. Alternatively, I'll put my leather coat in there and pack the yarn in the checked baggage.

I'm taking both the cameras, although I think I'll only take the little camera to the con. I need to buy myself a small, zipped thing to put essential knitting supplies into (scissors, pins, cable needles, crochet hook etc) so that I can just chuck my sock into a small bag at the con. It will also stop me losing things out of my big project bag.

I definitely need to spend some time at the weekend burning DVDs for my father. And tonight I need to spend some time photocopying a few things for people. Somewhere in there I need to edit a fic and email it to a beta. And I need to do a proper, full back-up of the lappie onto my new big hard-drive. Why is it that there is always so much to do when prepping to go anywhere?

I also need to buy train tickets for the con. How early does anyone in the know think that I can arrive on the Thursday and have some hope of checking in and dropping off baggage?

One rather excellent thing that I've discovered is that there are no Six Nations matches that weekend. I think it might be the first time I've gone to a con without having an important rugby match on the same weekend. Hooray! Even better, the following weekend is a match weekend so I'll be able to watch lots of lovely rugby with my family. Solo rugby watching isn't quite so fun as it sounds.

Don't suppose any of my new knitting friends could be persuaded to watch rugby with me? I'll explain the rules! Except the offside rule, obviously, because that's even less obvious that the offside for football. And I am still struggling a bit with one or two of the new rules that completely ruin any changes of a good driving ruck. Or possibly maul. The one where they stay on their feet, anyway. Watch me be a rugby know-it-all!
selenay: (brain to mush)
So today had a quality of disasterousness to it and my wrists are not happy about me falling on the ice on Saturday and then spending today typing, so I'm doing a 'positive things' post.

1) I've got a fic with the words 'The End' on it. Still needs beta-ing, but this is progress.

2) I have a yummy dessert in the fridge: butterscotch Angel Delight with crushed Flake on top. I even split it into three bowls so that I don't eat the lot at once. Dessert of champions!

3) I have lime jelly in the cupboard to be made if I need cheering up next week.

4) Supper was delicious: recipe to follow.

5) I've had a sneak peak at the programme for Redemption and it's very good. Really. Seriously. Brilliant. Everyone who won't be there? Totally missing out. Despite this, I've only requested not to steward during my own panels and the Iron Man reading because my stewarding assignments often resolve the "but I want to be in three places at once!" dilemma.

6) I think that I may also be spending some time in the bar at Redemption this time. Of course, I said that the last time and it didn't happen. But I intend to spend time in the bar catching up with friends this time. Really. Honest injun.

7) The snow removal company that I contacted yesterday might have declared that I was too far out to be worth bothering with, but I found a company that will come out. This is important due to tomorrow's predicted weather.

8) There is still hope that I might get a snow day tomorrow. Please.

9) Redemption is less than three weeks away!

10) Er, I'm stuck for a ten. Hmm. I bought sock yarn on Saturday that is self-striping so I can justify a plain pattern and thus have a 'no thought' sock ready for Redemption?

Damn, a lot of that is Redemption related stuff. I need to start thinking about my panels. And maybe dig out my convention packing list and work out what I need to take with me.

Did you pick up that I might be a little excited about Redemption? Perhaps? Even Yarn Pirate stuff can't compare to this excitement!

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