Archive for the ‘CONduit’ Tag

Poet At Large Reviews, Convention, WesterCon 67/CONDuit 24/FantasyCon 2014   Leave a comment

The night before a convention I am always filled with excitement and anticipation that makes it hard to sleep. Imagine when three different conventions converge on your currant home city over one holiday weekend. They may be separate events but they all blur together in one wonderful collage of color light and information overload. I spent July 3rd through 6th in such an overwhelming situation and I will try to review it for you as best I can.

I spent the morning of the 3rd in the Salt Lake City, City Creek, Marriott Hotel at WesterCon looking at art and talking with friends. Also passing out my card to venders and authors.  At lunch time I attended the book launch party for the Authors from “Writing Excuses” the pod cast series. For those who have never listened to Writing Excuses they are Epic Fantasy Writer Brandon Sanderson, Horror writer Dan Wells, Web Cartoonist Howard Tayler and Puppet Mistress Mary Robinette Kowal. There anthology “Shadows Beneath” is one I would very much like to review. I did manage to have brief conversation with Guest of Honor Larry Correia on Saturday but it was mostly about finding food and other needs before the mass book signing.

After lunch I had seen what was at the Marriott and went across the street to the Salt Palace to see what was at FantasyCon.  They would not let me in the main entrance of the building even though I was using a walker. Instead they sent me a block in the heat to the South end of the building This means that once I got in I was suffering heat cramps and my back was already starting to hurt. We complained to security and were informed that the hired security had not been informed that they would have people crossing the street to the main entrance from WesterCon until after both Conventions were opened and they had not hired enough security to man both doors. This problem was made worse on the second day when they started insisting that people enter only from the main South entrance. It was not fixed until Saturday which was too little too late for me because I ended up on the floor in back spasms for at least half an hour at the mercy of two nice EMTs while my daughter held the hem of my dress in place to cover my dignity. This does get ahead of my story but needs to be said because the situation effected everyone who was disabled not just me. I saw one woman wheel in the South Entrance in a manual wheelchair with sweat beading down her face and could not help but think if I feel this bad she looks worse and she had no companion to help her like I had my dear husband.

At the entrance of FantasyCon.

At the entrance of FantasyCon.

What went on inside the Salt palace was wonderful but in the air conditioned building walking was not so bad. The first think that greeted you on entering the main entrance were two giant Sentinel Statues made of foam and painted to look like stone. There were many great marvels on your journey between booths. Which I got pictures of on Saturday when I was with my daughter the camera did not work the first day and the second day I spent most of my time preparing for the Masquerade competition at WeasterCon. I did not go near the celebrity guest tables at FantasyCon because times being what they are I did not have Money to spend on getting in line to talk to any of them. Yes folks these days you have to buy a ticket for an autograph just to speak to most actors. Authors on the other hand you can get up close to so I did speak to Kevin J. Anderson briefly. Mostly about how big my daughter had gotten since he had first met me but also about crossing each others paths in a cross walk.

As the gentelman in the booth with him said. “Why did Kevin J. Anderson cross the road? Because there was a book signing on the other side.”

I am told that most people entered the Cosplay Competition at FantasyCon on Saturday Night and were unaware that there was a competition on Friday because the local CONDuit Masquerade which was joined with the WesterCon Masquerade is usually held on Saturday but was moved so people could enter events at both Conventions. A few such Snafus were inevitable.

Front View

Front View

Rear View

Rear View

The only thing I have to report from the Masquerade is a special prize for the Jewelery I made as part of my costume. I am use to a Masquerade that goes on for at least an hour but due to the circumstances this left us with 7 entries in total. this did however allow them to hold the Belly Dancing recital at an earlier hour than usual. The dancers were all very good and I finally understand why Charles Galway has such defined leg muscles. Yes a man can be a belly dancer too and you can enjoy it no matter whether you are attracted to men or not. It’s about artistry and skill no matter who is dancing.

After the Masquerade I had to be unpinned from my costume I had a zipper bust on me at the last minute. so I went from party to party in a Klingon forehead and half my Steam punk costume from the morning. This was the night of July 4th and fireworks could be seen all over the valley from the balconies of the Marriott. We enjoyed food at parties for upcoming conventions and Filk singing. Filk is a type of Folk music with Fantasy, Science and Science Fiction themes.  We were suppose to leave for the night at 11:00 but my oldest son who I use the nickename Drake for online decided to step out of the hotel without telling anyone while his phone was not working. This mean they spent half an hour on a Code Adam looking for him all over the hotel.  If you were there and heard about the Code Adam search for a 16 year old boy he is home safe and sound. For the record my sons call me Matoo (our Family word for step mother).

On Satuday I spent my time during the day devoted to time with my daughter who we shall call Roo. I do not post her given name online just like I don’t post my sons’ names. She is 11 and loves Fantasy and Sci-Fi on a level that I think drives my Ex-Mother-In-Law nuts. This was her first time at a convention but she enjoyed it very much. On Friday she went around with her Patoo (our family term for stepfather) at FantasyCon and Saturday with me at both conventions.

This picture was taken with Patoo's cell phone. I made the ears and tail to match her natural hair color.

This picture was taken with Patoo’s cell phone. I made the ears and tail to match her natural hair color.

The Cat Maiden's Beheading.

The Cat Maiden’s Beheading

On our way to FantasyCon Saturday we stopped and rode a peddle cab that was done up as a Dragon’s head.

Inside the Mouth of Bathshiba

Inside the Mouth of Bathsheba

The Peddlecab Driver

The Peddle Cab Driver

Inside the Salt Palace we had much fun with the our working camera and not only got people for my top ten costumes but also got pictures with the backdrops and props for our keepsakes. I will share a few of them with you.

The Mage battles The Rock Monster

The Mage battles The Rock Monster

The Mage Goes Steam Punk

The Mage Goes Steam Punk

The mage vs The Dragon

The Mage vs The Dragon

The Princess Dances For Jabba The Hutt

The Princess Dances For Jabba The Hutt

Thr Princess The Mage and The Elder Dragon

Thr Princess The Mage and The Elder Dragon

On our way out of the convention we came across something that had to be shared.

I'm not sure how to spell what this is but and Dr. Who fan will know what it is.

Steam Punk Dalek

After my Sweet Roo had collected a drawing of herself as a Zombie from the WesterCon dealers room she went back to her grandmother’s house and we continued the convention as a foursome with my Dear husband Floyd and my sons Drake and BedBug wandering about. because of what had happened on the night of the 4th my sons were told they had to stick together all day. This means that by days end they were both sick of each other but I was trying to teach them both a lesson about responsibility anyway.

I went to the mass book signing which gave me a chance to talk to friends and meet new authors as I pass out more cards and got more books to add to my stack of review submissions. At this point I have a stack that is fairly deep, so It will take me a while to reach the last books submitted. I got to talk to Paul Genesse who started me on this whole review blog notion. I have had to thank him for that more than once because I love to read and to blog.

At 9:30 there was a Filk Concert by Mark Osier dedicated to the members of the Writing Excuses cast with a set inspired by each of the four writers. Mary Robinette Kowal got up and sang “Rubber Ducky” as part of the set dedicated to her and Mark’s rendition of “A Boy and His Frog” left many in tears. For those who don’t know “A Boy and His Frog” is dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson and is sung from the point of view of Kermit The Frog. Mark’s Kermit voice is very good, so it was easy to believe Kermit was singing. His encore was “I want to be Han to your Leia” which is a great piece of New found Filk. After this we left for the night.

On Sunday the 6th only WesterCon was still going with FantasyCon having closed the night of the 5th. This was the only day I was able to sit in on any panels. These panels left me with a need to finish some original projects I have been working on. The results of these projects will spill into this blog as I read some books for research and hopefully enter some of my art in a few art shows.

Some special events I missed include a screening of the film “The Last Unicorn” which I have on DVD anyway. This screening did have the Author of the book it is based on present but I did not have a copy of his book for him to sign. all the Cosplay events at FantasyCon because I was just not able to be in two places at once. All panels held on the first 3 days because I had so much to do those days.

I had a wonderful time but I spent the week after in much pain and even had a migraine so bad that the air conditioning was too loud. The migraine is why this is posted a day later than I had hoped.

Now I give you my top costume picks. One thing to note is that in order to be considered for top costumes I have to catch you in a picture so if you feel your costume was better but you never had me take your picture I am sorry. There were a few people who missed out because they did not stop for me and being in need of the walker or a cane I can’t move fast. I am also obligated by law to ask permission to use your picture.

Honorable Mention "Dead Pool in a cute hat" I know that I got you without the hat too but that one just did not make top ten even though you made a wonderful replica costume.

Honorable Mention “Dead Pool in a cute hat”
I know that I got you without the hat too but that one just did not make top ten even though you made a wonderful replica costume.

Honorable Mention "The Last Unicorn" I really loved your lights in the horn.

Honorable Mention “The Last Unicorn” I really loved your lights in the horn.

costume number 10 "The Muse"

costume number 10 “The Muse”

Costume Number 9 "Let Them Eat Cake" I know that line is a misquote but it is what I think of.

Costume Number 9 “Let Them Eat Cake” I know that line is a misquote but it is what I think of.

Costume Number 8 "Pirate In Red" Love the atittude.

Costume Number 8 “Pirate In Red” Love the attitude.

Costume Number 7 "Dead Mouse" I told you, 'You are a contender".

Costume Number 7 “Dead Mouse” I told you, ‘You are a contender”.

Costume Number 6 "Masked Lady in Blue" Love the glitter.

Costume Number 6 “Masked Lady in Blue” Love the glitter.

Costume Number 5 "Crossplay Thor and Loki" I love when women make a part their own.

Costume Number 5 “Crossplay Thor and Loki” I love when women make a part their own.

Costume Number 4 "Steam Punk Lady" There is something about this costume that just says I am a lady but I will work had too.

Costume Number 4 “Steam Punk Lady” There is something about this costume that just says I am a lady but I will work had too.

Costume Number 3 "Lethal Elf Lady" I would not cross a lady carrying a dagger so openly.

Costume Number 3 “Lethal Elf Lady” I would not cross a lady carrying a dagger so openly.

Costume Number 2 "Creatures of The Forest" these ladies are from an acting troupe and look just lovely.

Costume Number 2 “Creatures of The Forest” these ladies are from an acting troupe and look just lovely.

Costume Number 1 "Hocus Pocus" Replicas of the 3 Withches from the Disney Movie "Hocus pocus and a Cross play of the zombie from the same movie. Sorry that it's a little blurry.

Costume Number 1 “Hocus Pocus” Replicas of the 3 Witches from the Disney Movie “Hocus Pocus” and a Cross play of the zombie from the same movie. Sorry that it’s a little blurry.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and that you will read more of my blog in the future.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

You may contact The Poet and her friends by e-mailing (



Poet At Large Reviews, Book, A Walk In The Abyss   Leave a comment

Last month a CONduit I attended the release party for ‘A Walk In The Abyss’.  ‘A Walk In The Abyss’ is a collection of stories that take place in Shane Moore’s Abyss Walker world.  The stories are ‘No-Tusk’ by Paul Genesse which tells the tale of a small but very devious Orc. ‘A Kudekah to Remember’ by Paul Genesse and Shane Moore which tells the tale of a young Sasquatch coming of age. ‘Mungo The Undying’ by Patrick M. Tracy, the story of a Giant in servitude to a Wizard. ‘Unerring’ by Patrick S. Tomlinson, a flash fiction from an arrows point of view. As well as ‘The Wererat’s Tale: The Collar of Perdition an Excerpt from An Abyss Walker Novella’ by Patrick S. Tomlinson. All stories that are full of action, humor and wonder for any fan of Fantasy. I recommend ‘A Walk In The Abyss’ highly and would like to thank the authors of it for the very fun ‘Monster Games’ release party they threw.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

You can contact The Poet and her friends by e-mail at (

Poet At Large Reviews, Convention, CONduit22, Article Part 3, The costumes   Leave a comment

Mary Ellen Smith was the CONduit Costuming Guest of Honor this year and she wore several outstanding costumes for us to admire.   I was able to catch them all on film and present them here for you to admire.

Mary Ellen Smith Friday Night.

Mary Ellen Saturday Afternoon

Mary Ellen Saturday night

Mary Ellen Saturday Night

Mary Ellen Sunday Morning.

She is said to have lent her time and talents to over 3,000 costumes and was able to judge the Masquerade that I mentioned in the first part of my Convention in review.  The best I can put it is that the lady knows her stuff.

I have promised that I would list my favorite choices for costume in the hall.  I list them for you here.  I begin with the honorable mentions.  those who took the Time Lords seriously and came in the honorable Doctor’s guise.

Now for the count down…

All Children can be monsters some times but for this ankle biter it really shows.

Number 10 “The Cub”

I know not from where this costume comes but I had to take her picture.

Number 9 “Lovely Lady”

It’s been a while since I saw The Princess Bride but I knew this one at a glance.

Number 8 “Beware The Dred Pirate Roberts”

I really have to admire this one.

Number 7 “It’s Tony Stark”

Trying to be an individual when you have several thousand clones is hard, but this guy does it with style.

Number 6 “The Clone Trouper”

Few people have experienced a moment of insanity as colorful as number 5.

Number 5 “Gingham Rimmer”

Number four had to have spent hours painting his armor.

Number 4 “Battle Damaged Bounty Hunter”

This young lady had any Hercules at his knees.

Number 3 “Megara”

The detail of this costume was enough to keep you looking.

Number 2 “Steam Punk Pirate”

This lady who comes in at number 1 has the right idea and some wonderful finishing stitches.

Number 1 “The Humans form of The Living TARDIS”

Number 1 “It’s Bigger on The inside”

Number 1 “The Living TARDIS”

I loved all of the costumes and do wish that I could have listed all of the ones I liked.  There is so much in the world to love and I challenge each of you to seek it every day as I do.

From The Poet’s Mouth

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Convention, CONduit 22, Article Part 2, Tim Russ   Leave a comment

Guest of Honor Tim Russ singing for CONduit goers on Sunday Morning.

CONduit’s Guest of Honor this year was Tim Russ.  The actor best know fro his role as Mr. Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager.  Tim Russ is a very versatile actor with a keen mind and a wicked sense of humor.  In his life he has acted Shakespeare to modern Sci-Fi and released an album where he both sings and plays guitar.  He has made guess appearances on many regular tv series, voiced for children’s cartoons, taken on the directors hat and become infamous for a one line appearance in the Mel Brooks film Space Balls.

I was able to ask Mr. Russ 3 questions in my short time at his autograph table.

Q: Is there any Sci-Fi or Fantasy that inspired you as a child?

A: War of the Worlds and The Time Machine all that H.G. Wells stuff.

Q: What is your favorite Non Star Trek role?

A: a Scientist on Freddie’s Nightmares, because it was a blast.

Q: What is your favorite Voyager Episode?

A: Future’s End One and Two.

Shortly after my asking these questions Mr. Russ gave a commentary on the Voyager episode Living Witness which was his first chance to be the director.  The episode gives a prospective of revisionist history.  A social problem that we face today with the Native Americans.  The actors of Voyager enjoyed the episode as a chance to play with extremes and be a darker version of the characters that we all love so much.

Mr. Russ gave several presentations and addresses to the crowds at the convention most of them packed.  He told stories of practical jokes he set up during the 7 years he portrayed the stern Vulcan character.  He explained it as a release of his own emotions so he could better control them for the camera.  When setting up one of his pranks he would often not tell anyone but the camera man.  Trying to insure that the high jinx was caught on film.  Some of these pranks can now be found on the internet sight YouTube.

For those who came early Sunday it was possible to catch a short concert by Mr. Russ and later a series of shorts called Frame of Mind which were directed by Mr. Russ and stared by many actors from the various Star Trek series’s were screened for those who wished to see them.  I have now purchased a copy of his album Then and Now and at some point in the future plan on buying the shorts.

Those who were able to be there for Mr. Russ’s time at the convention all feel very grateful to have met him.

Lyda Mae Dameron with Tim Russ after getting Autographs.

More on the Costumes of CONduit 22 tomorrow.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, Lost At The Con   Leave a comment

Lost at The Con by Bryan Young is an entertaining story.  It is however not for the easily offended as it has very adult situations and language.  The premiss that a political reporter could be sent to report on a Science Fiction Convention against his will is full of humor.  The fact that the main character is a very soused jerk that could use a wake up call makes the story in and of itself.  I have been to many Sci-Fi Conventions and I have seen all of the situations described in the book though I have not necessarily taken part in some of the seedier ones.   The story is written with a poetic though foul mouthed point of view that I found easy to enjoy even if I am a church going person.  I would recommend this book to all Science Fiction Fans and Convention Goers, though most definitely not to my favorite aunt who blushes at words that even rhyme with naughty ones.

For More on Bryan Young visit

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Upcoming Events:

I plan to be at the CONduit Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, This coming Friday the 25th though Sunday the 27th of May.  On Saturday at noon I will be on a panel called World Builders Syndrome Anonymous.  I plan to be dressed as a Neko with a Lavender wig and Black Tail and Ears for anyone who will be a t the convention and wishes to find me.