KateBaker_Clarkesworld_Hugo

Renovation Worldcon Recap

                                                                                                   (Excellent photo by Warren Schultz)

I had one hell of a weekend.

Got to Reno on Thursday night and proceeded to walk the distance from the Peppermill to the convention center as the bus never showed. Apparently, the driver refused to clean up vomit from an earlier passenger. Carrying a large load of SFWA t-shirts, I was a bit flustered when I got there, only because of the heat and the higher altitude. I could not breathe but as I found out on Saturday night, high altitude and a stuffy nose isn’t the only thing to draw away your breath.

After a badge mishap was rectified and a new one created, I was able to finally settle in. I wandered to the SFWA table where I dropped off the shirts and hugged Steven H. Silver. If you ever get a chance to hang around this man in a non-stalker type way, please do. He is wonderful, charming and a great conversationalist.

I headed over to the Chesley Awards and met Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace. Although none of our artists won the magazine category that Clarkesworld was in, Julie Dillon who offered up a magnificent piece for one of our covers won in another category. She is an extraordinarily talented person and I highly recommend you check her out.

I am pretty sure I crashed a bit early that night.

The rest of the weekend is kind of blurry. I know I ended up taking multiple taxis to and from the hotel only because the bus service was non-existent. I also remember having mild seizures in the Peppermill buffet due to the “lightning effects” or due to the food. Not sure which.

My one panel on creating a successful podcast was a blast. I started off the hour really nervous then finally settled in. In the very excellent company of Howard Tayler, Rachel Bloom, Mur Lafferty, Eric Zuckerman, we had some really great things to say about getting started in a field that continues to explode in popularity. Also, if you are lucky to get Howard Tayler as your moderator, you will have an awesome panel. He’s one of the best out there. He kept the conversation focused, asked all the right questions and was extremely interesting. You should definitely check out  Writing Excuses and his excellent graphic novel, Schlock Mercenary.

I know I met and hung out with a ton of wonderful people, which I will now name drop because it was totally awesome and really, how often do you get to name drop like this? Mur Lafferty, Patrick Hester, Jeff Macfee, Warren Schultz, Christie Yant, Christopher Kastensmidt, Peggy Rae Sapienza, Steven H. Silver, Steven Gould, George R.R. Martin, John Scalzi, Kim Stanley Robinson, Paul Cornell, Sheila Williams, Stu Segal, Steven Segal, Rachel Swirsky, Nora Jemisin, Mary Robinette Kowal, Yanni Kuznia, Jake Lake, Lynne Thomas, Tara O’Shea, Howard Tayler, Rachel Bloom, Eric Zuckerman, Aliette de Bodard, Saladin Ahmed, Rajan Khanna, Jaym Gates, Wendy Wagner, Lawrence Schoen, Taylor Anderson, Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, Nick Mamatas, Jeremy Tolbert, Bud Sparhawk, Chris Hansen, Lee Martindale, Bob Howe, Jim Fiscus and Doug Cohen. (forgive me if in my jet-lagged state I missed a name!)

Special thanks to Vylar Kaftan who went shopping for a Hugo Awards necklace with me. Although we didn’t find one on that trip, Vylar has a amazing eye for beautiful things.

Speaking of Hugo Awards, you might have heard that Clarkesworld won for best semi-prozine. Before the ceremony, Sean Wallace asked me if I wanted to say anything if we won. I had a speech all set to go in my head.

“Are you sure you don’t want to write it down?” Sean asked incredulously.

“Nah. I’ve got it right here,” I say as I point to my addled brain. “Besides, we’re not going to win anyway. ”

As David Hartwell was announcing the winner, Neil, Sean and I looked at each other and were convinced it was going to someone else. They had mentioned in the practice that they were only going to bring one on stage, but hell, I got caught up in the moment and forgot.

I will tell you one thing about winning something you’re not expecting. Reality sort of fades as adrenaline starts flowing through your excited body. I had to keep whatever wits I had left to manage coherent thought. I don’t remember practically shaking with glee and saying “Oh My God!” on stage. I don’t remember how just only a few the words snaked their way out of my memory to the microphone.

What I truly wanted to say was this:

Let me tell you a story of thanks. To my children who were my first and most critical audience in their pajamas as the sun was setting, thank you. To my best friend in the entire world, James Seals who allowed me to narrate some of his works into a $12 microphone, I wouldn’t be standing here without your encouragement. To the wonderful Mary Robinette Kowal who offered my name to Neil Clarke as a reader, I am forever in your debt. To Neil, Sean Wallace, Cheryl Morgan, and the rest of the staff at Clarkesworld, I could ask for no better friends and colleagues.  I wish you were here to celebrate with us, Cheryl. You are missed. To the nominees in the category, you have set the bar in excellence and I am extremely proud to stand with you. Finally, to the fans who voted for us — thank you so very much for allowing me to be the voice of Clarkesworld Magazine. It is truly an honor and a privilege to narrate some of the finest stories by some of the best authors in the field every single month.

Instead, as I stood upon the stage looking into the utter blackness of the room with my heart leaping out of my chest, I got only the gist. But one thing remains true as I type this recap. I am truly thankful for every single moment in this community and for the votes we received. You have made me a very humbled woman.

Now — onto next year.

 

 

Vacant Twighlight

The Doctor’s Wife Recap

More often than not when I read Neil Gaiman’s writing, I end up blubbering at the end. This week’s Doctor Who episode penned by the master storyteller was no exception. There is humanity and truth in Gaiman’s tales and most importantly a reminder of how precious our lives are beyond the books we’re holding and the TVs we are watching.

This episode spelled redemption for the Doctor. After hundreds of years of carrying around the guilt for stealing the TARDIS, it is the heart and soul of the living entity that claims to have stolen him. It was “her” wish to travel the universe and no other man was brave enough to accompany her.

This wasn’t about the thing that ripped the soul from the body and stole it. This wasn’t even about Amy and Rory getting lost in the depths of the blue police box. This episode was about the whispers heard and felt within the joined hearts and minds of two soul mates.

This episode was about finishing each other sentences, feeling passion for each other and working together to solve a crisis. A romance that was wholly embodied in a warm and brilliant script. Above all else, this was about love, about not wasting opportunities to tell someone how much you feel, to cherish each moment you have and to truly live your life as it is as fleeting and fragile as each passing heartbeat. (In this case, a double rhythm.)

Well done, Mr. Gaiman. Only now is the color of both sadness and hope draining from my cheeks.

Vacant Twighlight

Japan

My heart is breaking with each story, picture and video coming out of Japan. I feel helpless as I hear the tales of those who could not heed the warnings. Tragic reports of the elderly who could not get out of their homes in the 25 minutes from earthquake to tsunami. Hospital workers who had to abandon patients as the wall of water came crashing through. Children ripped from the arms of their parents.

The devastation is horrifying.

I do hope we hear more stories of survival and rescue as the days continue. My thoughts and prayers are with the brave people of Japan. I also hope the world can pull together and help however they can.

Vacant Twighlight

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-12

  • Back home from Dragon*Con! All I got was to be a part of a staff that won a Hugo for Best SemiProzine *hells yeah* #
  • Had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day today. I think I'll move to Australia. Or eat ice cream. #
  • Feeling really weird. Very light headed, migrane — stuffy. Wonder if I got the concrud #
  • I need a deadline. Someone give me a freaking deadline. It's the only way I'm going to start writing again. #
  • Just bough two tickets to the Dallas W00tstock since I'll be down there. Can't wait to go. #
  • Going apple picking today. Maybe I'll make some pies. #
Vacant Twighlight

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-05

  • I need the power of Twitter to push Hurricane Earl away from the Northeast on the day I'm supposed to fly to Atlanta for D*Con. #
  • RT @clarkesworld: Recruiting volunteers for our slush army! http://clarkesworld.livejournal.com/161339.html #
  • *giggles* Listening to the Inception soundtrack while I work makes me feel like a super spy. Lots of urgency implied to the mundane. 🙂 #
  • RT @NathanFillion: That's right, folks. Today is Flatterday! Don't have anything nice to say? Pour yourself a nice glass of Shut Up. TY! #
  • Hrm. Earl. You and I won't be friends if you keep cozying up to my coast so closely. #
  • Just tried on the shoes that came for the steampunk costume for d*con. The whole costume looks great! 🙂 #
  • I am ANGRY. For no apparent reason though. Nope. None at all. #
  • Hello from 35000 feet! #
  • In "What Editor's Want" panel right now. Great stuff for new writers. #
  • Attending parsec awards at four today in hyatt ballroom v come see me! #
  • Sitting in line for parsec awards… In steampunk goggles at front of line come say hi #
  • Omg it is too early sitting in the hugo breakfast #
  • Congrats to @starshipsofa #
  • Omg omg omg #
  • Thank you everyone! I still maintain I have the best job in the world #
  • Wooooo Peter Watts! Abyss of belief works don't it #
Vacant Twighlight

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-29

  • RT @mattkressel: N.K. Jemisin heaps praise on Sybil's Garage No. 7 over at Scalzi's Whatever blog: http://bit.ly/dpIzGi #
  • RT @TheHugoAwards: New blog post: Follow the Hugo Award Ceremony at Dragon*Con http://bit.ly/cIgiVr #
  • RT @Nayad: New post in Nayadica: Creepy behavior in social media. http://bit.ly/aGeE5Y (Excellent post.) #
  • RT @nkjemisin: Congrats all! RT @locusmag News: 2009 World Fantasy Awards Nominees http://tinyurl.com/234bmfd #
  • Going to sleep with various soundtracks playing. Wondering what my dreams will be like. See you on the other side. #
  • RT @lclarke522: Liking: Toast in a box and a World Fantasy Nomination http://bit.ly/9L8qkr #
  • RT @ecmyers: Reminder: I'm on @JimFreund's HotW at 5am tonight (WBAI 99.5FM) w/ other Sybil's Garage writers & editors, incl. @mattkressel . #
  • Omg, I'm actually up to begin my journey to NYC to be on the Hour of the Wolf. Wish me luck! #
  • So I am finally home. Nothing like 21 hours of no sleep! Hour of the Wolf was amazing as was hanging out with the Sybil's Garage crew. #
  • Now, I shall go to bed before the hallucinations start. #
  • Omg – *blush* Excellent and humbling write-up of what I do in podcasting – http://bit.ly/cR0gDJ #
Vacant Twighlight

Narrator, Writer, Singer, Gamer, Geek

Well, you’ve found me.

Whether you followed a link from the Clarkesworld Magazine Staff page, or you heard one of my narrations, welcome! I have lots of things for you do to here. All you have to do is click on one of the buttons above this post. The first one will take you to a list of my podcasts and narrations I’ve done up to this point. The second box will take you to some original music I’ve composed. There are both instrumentals and vocals.

Are you a writer? Are you looking for someone to read your works? The third box will take you to a narration/voice over rates page.

Lastly, I’m assuming if you’ve landed here, you want to know more about me. You see that box with the happy blue monster? Click on her and you’ll be taken to the “Kate” page.

Don’t forget to visit the blog, either. You’ll need to follow that specific RSS feed if you want it to update when I post.

I hope you enjoy your stay here. As always if you have anything to say — don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email via the contact form on the “Kate” page.