WisCon 41 Wrap Up

I’m home, finally. Well I’m at least in my home state, after a weekend of traveling, paneling and getting to hang out with friends that I only get to see a few times a year. That’s right friends, for the 4th(?) year in a row I spent Memorial Day weekend at WisCon.

I was especially excited this year, because along with meeting friends and doing panels, I got to guest DJ at The Floomp VII: Fairy Tales. I was nervous beforehand, because I’d only ever disc jockeyed smaller parties so I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to entertain the folks at the big dance party of WisCon. Turns out I did a pretty good job, and I’m glad I got to share music I like with a bunch of people who just wanted to dance! To the folks who organized the party, I am truly thankful for being able to DJ, and to the folks who had so many nice things to say afterwards, thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad so many people had so much fun.

Another exciting thing that happened at this years WisCon was the expansion of the POC Dinner Party. What used to be a small party on the 6th floor of the Madison has now gotten so big that it no longer fits in the room. It warms my heart to see how much it’s grown since the few years I’ve been going to WisCon, and I’m excited about all the new people I met there. I’m hoping to see a lot of them as the years go on.

Lastly I want to thank everyone who feverishly live tweeted the panels they attended. There were a lot of panels and unfortunately I don’t have a working DeLorean nor a Flux Capacitor to help me see every panel I could ever be interested in. The people who live tweet, whether a lot or a little, share the panel experience with those of us that aren’t able to attend and I’m grateful for it. Honestly, I could do a whole post just thanking them, but I’m exhausted.

All in all, while not totally devoid of fuckery, this years WisCon was good. I’m excited about next year.

Words on the Internet #1–Melissa from Nerdgasm Noire

What is this?

This is the very first episode of Words on the Internet! A podcast where I get to talk with creators about why they create. In this episode I speak with Melissa from my other podcast Nerdgasm Noire. Melissa is a podcaster, writer, geek, blogger and internet smartass. You can find her on her blog The Life of a Bookworm and make sure you pick up a copy of her book Dispatches from a Fake Geek Girl on Amazon.

Music Credits
Swift Protocol (Intro) by ALBM Productions
Smooth Sessions (Insignificant Things You Hate theme) by a friend
Air on the Piano (Outro) by a friend

For Your Consideration

Huh…..

So I love to write stories. I’ve been writing them since I was a kid and while they aren’t always good (that’s what rough drafts are for), they’re always fun to write. I never really expected to do anything with them other than share them with my friends, or keep them to myself in their digital storage space after I couldn’t keep them in my headspace any longer.

Then the year before last a call for submissions went out for an anthology of short stories that featured main characters who were kids from marginalized groups. I wrote a story called “Fear of the Dark” about a girl who’s scared of a monster that travels in the shadows and last year that story was published in the anthology Hidden Youth.

I felt proud of myself for maybe being good enough to share a story on a broader scale. To me, it was all I could ask for, especially since I was able to share it alongside other amazing stories. Funny, all these years writing and I can’t even come up with the appropriate words to explain just how excited I was (and still am, really) to have a story included in this book. I didn’t think I could be happier.

Then yesterday I was informed that Hidden Youth could be nominated for awards – like the Nebula Awards or the Hugo Awards – and in the midst of peacocking about potentially being in a(n) [insert LITERALLY any] nominated award anthology, I was told that “Fear of the Dark” could also be nominated for an award individually.

(Please excuse this next line of me forgetting how to use words again)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem.

After a lot of jumping and screaming and thanking my momma and whatever deity would listen to me for just being eligible to be nominated, I finally looked up how a person actually gets nominated for different awards. I found that for the Nebula and the Hugo awards, members of SFWA and World Science Fiction Convention (respectively) are the ones who nominate and vote on them. I don’t know anyone (at least I don’t think) who is a member of either, so in order to get actually nominated, my best bet to to get the word out.

So, if you are a SFWA or Worldcon member, please consider nominating Hidden Youth and/or “Fear of the Dark” for Best Novel and Short Story categories. SFWA members can find nomination info for the Nebula here, and for Worldcon members can find info for the Hugo here.

I’ll also be making more posts with other awards that Hidden Youth and “Fear of the Dark” can be nominated for as well.

Thanks!

Gone For A Minute Now I’m Back

This might be the 5th time I’ve dusted off this site and decided to write again. I want to blame business for it, but honestly my desire to participate in the overall Black nerd debates has waned a bit. That along with my already short attention span has made keeping up with blogging hard.

However I’m back (again) on the scene and for the most part still have some pretty strong feels about being Black, femme and nerdy in a world that likes to deny my existence.

I also have some wonderful news.

While it may be hard to tell based on the frequency of which I update here, I love to write. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve had the courage to submit anything anywhere but last year at the behest of both the Nerdgasm girls and Inda Lauryn of Black Girl Squee, I submitted a short story to Crossed Genres for the Hidden Youth anthology. I honestly wasn’t expecting more than a polite rejection letter. Instead my story was accepted.

For those of you who might not know, Hidden Youth is the second Hidden anthology book from Crossed Genres. The first is Long Hidden which was released in 2014. The theme of the anthology is stories told from The Margins of History, meaning stories from the point of view of marginalized people of a certain era. Hidden Youth added an extra criteria, requiring the stories to have marginalized main characters under the age of 18.

Right now they have a Kickstarter active to raise money for the production of the book. The incentives for backers are not only ebook and/or print copies of Hidden Youth, but also ebook and/or print copies of Long Hidden as well. If you want to know just how good Long Hidden is make sure you check out Nerdgasm Noire’s review of the book.

Catching Up: April and May 2015

So I didn’t make a Catching Up post last month because I was getting ready for WisCon but don’t worry I got the wrap up for the few things I did during April and May.

Arsenal for Democracy:

I was also in an episode of the Arsenal for Democracy radio show.

Take a moment to check those out if you can. Also make sure you check out the Nerdgasm Noire website! We’re going to start putting even more content there as well!

Erasure: My Feelings on Proving POC Exist

There is a lot going through my head right now. After a fantastic weekend at WisCon 39, I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing regularly and have gathered a surprising amount of ideas over the past few days. However with all of the new ideas that have been floating around in my head there are also new doubts and worries, some of which are minor and some of which are slightly existential.

I think I should back up for a moment and let you know where all this begins. At WisCon I got the opportunity to once again interview Daniel Jose Older about his upcoming novels. During the interview, in a conversation about how realistic his novels were because of the diversity, I’d jokingly asked how he felt knowing that in 1000 years, his novels would be used as the proof that there were People of Color in the year 2015. He expressed not just hope, but certainty that it wouldn’t be the case, and that it seemed as if with campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks, #INeedDiverseGames and many others, media was going towards a more accurate portrayal of race, gender and sexuality in the world.

I agree, but it feels like we have a long way to go, as evident (at least to me) by the fawning over the feminism of Mad Max: Fury Road. It’d been suggested to me by several people that I should watch it, and for a few weeks I felt apprehension about my concerns about not being as excited to see it as others. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic Australia but has no Australian Aboriginal Women in the main cast. To me, it seems empty to say that a movie is Feminist when it ignores and almost erases the stories of the women native to the setting.

If you ever wonder why twitter campaigns calling for diversity in media are important this is why. We shouldn’t have to prove a thousand years from now that we existed. We shouldn’t have to re-discover our histories because they were drowned out by the stories of those with power. The erasure of People of Color, especially Women of Color, being treated as the standard is why things like the K Tempest Challenge, #INeedDiverseGames, #WeNeedDiverseBooks, #DiversifyAgentCarter and so many other hash tags and calls for diversity are important. So going forward, as a Midyear’s Resolution to myself I’ve decided to not be afraid to speak up when I feel trepidation about dishonest representations. So….. wish me luck?

Catching Up: March 2015

So March was actually a pretty big month for me! Aside from my regular articles in Arsenal for Democracy, I also did an interview with Buzzfeed about Women in Nerd Culture. That was a fun experience, as I’ve never been interviewed for anything without having a partner or group with me. I was nervous, but the article came out great! You can check it at the link below:

8 Women Talk About Sexism in Geek Culture

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

 

Also here are my March posts for Arsenal for Democracy:

Thanks for reading!

Catching Up: February 2015

So here I am again, neglecting this blog (aside from the #CareFreeBlackGirl videos), but I haven’t gone back on my resolution. I’m still writing more, just in other places, and I’m also working on a couple short stories to shop around. And then there’s the zine, which I am also still working on, but don’t think it’s as humorous as I had hoped. However there’s always time to rewrite, so I’m not too worried about.

However to make up for my absence here, let’s catch up on all of the other things I’ve written for other places, specifically for Arsenal for Democracy.

Make sure you go check those out!

Catching Up: January 2015

I’d like to think I’ve started the New Year off right. I’m writing more, like I said I would do in my New Year’s Resolution post, not just for myself but also for other places as well. Hopefully I’ll keep writing, I’m actually very proud of the fact that I’ve been able to keep this up for this long. If you want to read any of them, please check out the links below:

For Arsenal for Democracy

#BlackLivesMatter means just that, not that police lives don’t

France and Nigeria Terrorism: Dramatically Different Coverage

#ReclaimMLK: Why We Need a Bigger Picture of the Civil Rights Movement

Aside from that I’ve gotten so many ideas for stories and I even started working on a zine! I said I was going to sell it, but we’ll see after I get finished with the first draft. If I don’t absolutely hate it, I’ll sell it, but if I hate it, we must never speak of this project again.

Here’s to the upcoming months!