The Capclave Mascot -- A dodo for reading is not extinctAs those of you who read this blog regularly know, I’m the chairperson of Capclave 2010. Capclave is the Washington Science Fiction Association’s annual convention, held this year in Rockville, Maryland. Our guests of honor this year are Connie Willis, Ann VanderMeer, and Jeff VanderMeer. There will also be many other guests — writers, editors, publishers, and of course fans of speculative fiction in all its various designations.

One of the things that we’re very proud of this year is the number and quality of the workshops we’ll be offering to participants. If you are registered to attend Capclave, there is no extra charge for being in a workshop, but space is limited and some have requirements (homework that’s due at the time of the workshop or before you arrive in the case of the VanderMeer workshop).

If you are already a member of Capclave and wish to sign up for one or more of these workshops, send email to workshops at capclave dot org (you know how to parse that email address I’m sure). If you haven’t signed up for the convention yet, check out the website and sign up then send your email asking listing the workshop you wish to be in.

Here’s the full list of workshops:

Workshops at Capclave:
Capclave 2010 is pleased to once again host a number of interesting workshops. Space is still available. If you are interested, send an e-mail to our workshop coordinator.

Online Content Workshop
Putting your comics, music, video, and fiction online is easy. Making it pay is harder, but it can be done. Join webcomic creator and comedy musician Rob Balder as he talks about making a living with the free content model. Get practical advice (feel free to bring a laptop/tablet and samples of your stuff) and work out a specific strategy for growing and monetizing an audience around your work. Two hour workshop.

Plotting Workshop
What makes a story a story? How do you construct a viable plot from a bare (naked) idea? We’ll start at the beginning, and by the end, you should have everything you need to know to plot your story. Allen Wold will lead this 2 hour session.

Reviewer’s workshop
A good reviewer does more then read free books and say “I like that”. Peter Heck, a regular reviewer for Asimov’s Science Fiction will demonstrate the hallmarks of a good review and how to create one. Bring a at least 10 copies of a review you’ve written and are proud of.

Wordsmith’s Workshop
Danny Birt will guide you through looking at writing from the perspective of the single word, and then work up from there, making sure that every word counts. This 1.5 hour workshop is good for beginners to professionals and is limited to 16 participants.

Writer’s Workshop
Allen Wold will lead a panel of authors in a hands on workshop. Learn many skills as you work on a short story. Session will be for 2 hours on Sat. and for those interested, a 1 hour follow-up on Sunday. Number of Participants is limited to 12.

Writer’s Workshop
Jeff and Ann VanderMeer will critique short stories of 12 participants. Each participant must write and submit a story of no more than 7500 words at least 2 months before Capclave (by August 22nd) to the workshop email address (workshops at capclave dot org). The story will be shared with the VanderMeers and the other participants. This will be a 2 hour workshop.

Hope your as excited about these opportunities to learn as we are to be able to offer them to our convention attendees.

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It seems that the old saying, “the faster I go, the behinder I get” is getting a workout in my life.  The zines go live on June 1st.  But then you probably knew that.  But, I’m going to be at Balticon from May 28th to 31st — I think you begin to see the problem. Now add to the mix that I’m going to be on a couple of panels and will need to prepare for that. Then add that I’ll be helping a bit with the WSFA/Capclave table at the convention. My time is being eaten away and I still have things to do, reviews to edit, books to finish, my own reviews to finish writing. I love it when those deadlines come upon me like a tsunami of ginormous proportions — well I should learn to love them it happens so often in my life.

Meanwhile, the cat has been vaccinated, dewormed, chipped, and treated for ear mites. He needs to go back to the vet again next week to get his ears checked out again. I’m not sure how we’ll get him in the cat carrier this time. We had to pick him up and push him in last time getting all four paws into the opening. I understand that they had just as much of a fight getting him out at the vets. They turned the cage so the door was at the bottom and he still didn’t come out. The assistant held the carrier while Hyperion reached in to disengage paws.  After treatment though he couldn’t get in the carrier fast enough. It’s been a few days and he doesn’t take off when we both come out of the house at the same time anymore. It takes two of us to get him in the carrier so he’s very cautious of the two of us together.

Jali Cardigan from Interweave KnitsI got the yarn for a sweater from the new Interweave Knits; the Jali Cardigan. I had to order the yarn from Lion Brand since none of the stores near me had it. I’m making the sweater in Hyacinth — which is a sort of light many times washed denim shade and no where near as dark as the swatch on the website. Now I just have to find my circular No. 6 needle long enough for the sweater. Heck I even did a swatch and washed and dried it. Love the feel of the yarn — soft and nicely drappy.

I’m really hoping I can finish this sweater in time for Readercon. It’s nice to have deadlines they make such a nice breeze as the pass you by. Who knows maybe I will figure out a way to knit in my sleep and I will finish it. I’ll try to post updates as I move along on this project.

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Capclave Dodo -- where reading is not extinctJust today the last fiddlybits on the new Capclave 2010 website got finished up and the site is live. We even have a registration link so you can sign up for the convention on line.

The Guests of Honor for Capclave, which will be held October 22-24th, 2010 at the Rockville Hilton (1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852), will be

    Connie Willis
    Ann VanderMeer
    Jeff VanderMeer

All these guests are standouts and the convention should be great.

Capclave is the Washington, DC areas literary science fiction convention and in the past the convention has had kaffeklatches; readings by authors; a dealers’ room (lots and lots of books); space science presentations from NASA scientists; workshops on writing, reviewing, contracts & negotiating basics for writers, publicity for writers, and getting an agent; a hospitality suite, room parties, filking, and board gaming. The WSFA Small Press Award Ceremony is traditionally presented during a Saturday night event.

The membership will be capped at 500 this year. So, check out the website — bookmark it and check back often because we’ll be adding details as we delve into planning the programming schedule and invite participants. The website also has a link to the Capclave blog which will have the most recent news about what’s going on. And since I’m the chair of Capclave 2010, you’ll probably hearing a lot about Capclave here in my blog too.

Right now membership rates are the lowest they are going to be — $35 per person. Membership prices will go up on January 1st to $45 and raise again on July 1st and October 1st. Capclave does offer special rates for active military and students with proof of their status.

So, if you enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and related writings or you are an aspiring writer, or you’re a professional (author, editor, publisher, reviewer, etc.) in the genre — join us in October 2010 for a great convention.

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http://www.wsfapressbooks.org/index.php?image_id=10&width=115&height=160As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) and also one of the members of the publications committee that is responsible WSFA Press publications. So, I’m posting a plug for WSFA Press here (this is really needed since my basement is the storage area for WSFA Press–please, help me get my basement back).

At Capclave 2009 WSFA Press released it’s newest publication Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove with introduction and story notes by Sheila Williams. If you missed buying a copy at Capclave or didn’t attend Capclave, there are still books available:

Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove (signed hardcover, 2009)
Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove (trade hardcover)

The Washington Science Fiction Association’s WSFA Press is trying to clear out inventory to make room for planned future releases, and to scare up monies to further support Capclave, our annual convention, for future years. So we’re selling some of our older, limited edition publications. Available are:

The Edge of Things by Lewis Shiner (75 copies, signed hardcover; published 1991)
Home by the Sea by Pat Cadigan (50 copies, slipcased/signed hardcover, 1992)
Future Washington edited by Ernest Lilley (200 copies, trade papereback, 2005)
Future Washington edited by Ernest Lilley (40 copies, trade hardcover)

The Edges of ThingsFuture WashingtonHome by the SeaWSFA Press Historical set

They’re also offering “special sets (or bundles), representing a slice of WSFA Press history, comprised of five hardcovers, for just $100: The Edge of Things, Through Darkest Resnick with Gun and Camera by Mike Resnick (1990, unsigned), Home by the Sea, Future Washington, and Reincarnations.” (Only 5 bundles left as of 23 October 2009).

The books (individuals and sets/bundles) are available on a first-come first-served. WSFA Press is offering dealer discounts (for more information, contact Gayle Surrette or Paul Haggerty at webmaster@wsfapressbooks.org) or to purchase go to WSFAPress.org

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Capclave DodoCapclave starts tomorrow. Today, we had to drive in to deliver the boxes of books filled with Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove (foreward by Sheila Williams). The book debuts at Capclave.

We also helped stuff the registration packets so they’ll be ready when registrations opens. We didn’t stay at the hotel tonight (or should I say this morning) since we have to drive back in tomorrow with the car filled with the SFRevu stuff for our table in the Dealers’ Room. It was a busy and active day but satisfying in that we got to talk to people and catch up on what’s happening in people’s lives, discuss Capclave items and what still needs to be done and what has been done, make some plans for next year based on this years experience, and to just appreciate being with friends.

If you’re in the DC area and enjoy science fiction and fantasy, check out Capclave. Conventions are a great place to meet people who enjoy the same reading material that you do. I’ll be posting daily coverage of the convention here — or as much coverage as I can and still manage a few hours sleep each night.

If you do come to Capclave — say hello if you spot my name tag or see the SFRevu table in the dealers’ room stop and say Hi.

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I spent a good chunk of my time today working with a WordPress Plugin to try to get a map of all the restaurants in the vicinity of the Capclave convention hotel.

After hours of work, Hyperion and I managed to get the maps to show. The problem is that it was one map per restaurant. Not good… back to the drawing board. Searching …searching….searching…reading….searching…. you get the idea.

Anyway finally found another plugin that looks like it will easily do multiple items on one map but I’d have to enter all the data again and it has to already be geocoded when it’s entered because it doesn’t do it automatically like the first one did — which is why it was the first one I tried.

Okay, more fiddling and it looks like we can export the database to a file and then import to the new one once we know what it required and in what order — then I’m back in business.

The frustrating part is I have to enter the rest of the restaurant data into the program we’re not going to use to get the geocode for the one we are going to use. That’s another two pages single spaced of restaurants (names, addresses, telephone, number, types of cuisine, average cost of a meal).

I know I’m complaining but really this hasn’t been a wasted day. I’ve learned a lot about geo codes, maps, mapping plugins, and a couple of programming tips. I’m also thinking it’s about time I learned a bit more so I could actually change a program that ALMOST does what I want to doing EXACTLY what I want. (Yeah, I’ll add that to my TODO list somewhere around item 4,789,968,365. That’s it … I just have to live forever if I’m even going to make a dent in this list.)

Meanwhile, if any reader has tackled trying to do a map of multiple items to display on a WordPress page using your own list of places–especially with a roll-over that will list the restaurant when you are over the little marker — let me know what you used.

Hyperion and I only have like a couple of days to get this up and running on the website. Time is getting short and suggestions are welcome — though that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll do more than listen and bang my head on the keyboard for a while for not thinking of whatever myself.

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It seems like today I was busy from the time I got up until and including now — I had a huge TODO list and barely made a dent in it. (Guess it didn’t help having insomnia strike again and again.)

We’re coming up on Capclave which will be from October 16 to 18th in Rockville, Maryland. SFRevu is having a sales table in the dealers’ room. It’s a great small convention focusing on short fiction. This year the Guests of Honor are Harry Turtledove and Sheila Williams.

The Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) is activating WSFA Press to publish a limited edition book, Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove with Introduction and notes by Sheila Williams. The book will be for sale at Capclave and pre-orders are being taken at the WSFA Press website.

I’m on the WSFA Press publications committee, vice chair of this year’s Capclave, and Editor of SFRevu, Gumshoe Review, and TechRevu.

You can imagine just how busy that all keeps me — and it’s also severely impacting my knitting time. I’ve got Einstein mittens to finish fine tuning, two bears to finish, not to mention the sweaters (3 in various stages of knittitude), and socks (one project in just about every place I might light for an few minutes).

I need a hug. Guess I’ll go find Hyperion. (Anyone get the reference?)C

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Just got back home from the WSFA Meeting. Everything is on track for Capclave which is October 16-18. Check the webpage for details.

The WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction will also be award at a ceremony during Capclave. Voting has closed and the award has been ordered, certificates printed, and we’re ready for the ceremony.

Big sigh of relief that things are still on track. If you’re going to be in the Washington, DC area during Capclave and you enjoy science fiction and fantasy — consider checking it out.

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