Archive for the ‘Fourth of July weekend of 2014’ 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 (ravendove922@yahoo.com)

 

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Poet At Large Reviews, Convention, CONduit 23   2 comments

This review is posted at this late date due to computer problems and health issues on the part of the writer. Sorry but lack of a five dollar piece of plastic can halt a multi-million dollar machine (let alone a typical home computer) and having injections in your spine will make you sick for up to a week after.

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This last Memorial Day Weekend saw The Dark Guilds of Conduit 23 descend on the Raddisson  Hotel in down town Salt Lake City, Utah. Geeks of all types come out to conventions to play and be themselves for a few days out of the year.  Costumes were of high caliber both in the hall and in the Masquerade Competition.  Gaming rooms saw play at all hours as everything from Dungeons and Dragons was played to The Artimis Bridge Simulator.  Which invited Trekkies to face the test of the Kobiyashi Maru, with video clips from a local Star Trek fan club to help set the stage.  Paul Genesse hosted a round of Mystwalker for a lucky few. Guests of Honor Larry Correia, Alexis Cruz, Heather Joseph-Witham and Paul Genesse all gave their fans great reasons to smile.  Panels ranging from robotics to writing and art to running a better Role Playing Game kept people busy and entertained. The art show was filled with breath-taking peaces of fine art. The crowd easy going and happy to make friends.

Sadly there were fewer attendees than last year and next year will see the convention joining with WesterCon 67 to be held on the Fourth of July weekend of 2014.  This change will not stop those dedicated to sci-fi  and fantasy from having their time to play. Hopefully the joining of conventions will bring local Geekdom closer together.

During my time at the convention I was able to get short interviews with Alexis Cruz and Heather Joseph-Witham.

DSCN0859This is a picture of me with Alexis Cruz.  Who is best known for his roles as Scarra in The “Star Gate” Movie and in the “Star Gate:SG1” TV show and for the role of Raphael in the series “Touched by an Angel”.  We briefly spoke of my time as an extra in an episode of “Touched by an Angel” and our shared memories of a certain mutual friend from the show’s crew. Then I asked him three questions for this blog.

Q: “What is the favorite roll you have ever played?”

A: “I Can’t choose a favorite because it would be like choosing between your own children, each one is special in it’s own way.”

Q: “I hear you are a gamer, which game is your favorite?”

A: “Anything by White Wolf”

Q: “Do you read Sci-Fi or Fantasy and if so who is your favorite author?”

A: “Yes, it’s a toss up between Ray Bradbury and Roger Zelazny.”

DSCN0860This is me with Folklorist Prof. Heather Joseph-Witham of “Mythbusters” fame after our quick three questions.  After her main address Where she related a stirring rendition of “Hans my Hedgehog” we talked more about my own experience with something called Hagging where a person is trapped in a dream state and feels as if something is attacking them in their sleep. This was used in the times of witch trials as spectral evidence but is actually what scientists today would diagnose as Night Terrors which have a legitimate medical cause.

Q: “What Got you interested in Folklore?”

A: “I was raised with magical influences in the home. The stories that I read and saw made me interested to know more.”

Q: “How did you get involved with the Mythbusters?”

A: “They contacted me and asked for clips and then they came to my house and started filming.”

Q: “Who is your favorite author?”

A: “Issac Asimov is a close tie with Tolkien.”

SAMSUNGPicture from the masquerade Contest.  Now it’s time for the top ten costumes I managed to catch on film.

SAMSUNGSAMSUNGSAMSUNGThese three get honorable mention.

SAMSUNGThis young Lady gets number 10.

SAMSUNGThen we have a very sparkly number 9.

SAMSUNGWe get a little Steem Punk’d for number 8.

SAMSUNGThe patchwork of Number 7 will leave us all in stitches.

SAMSUNGHoly Legos it’s Batman at Number 6.

SAMSUNGThis Weeping Angel Time Warps us to Number 5.

SAMSUNGWe Crossplay into the space core at Number 4.

SAMSUNG SAMSUNGA Magical lady takes us to Number 3.

SAMSUNGA Bajoran Maquis takes the number 2 slot.

And of course…………….

Front

Front

Back

Back

These two two life size paper dolls take us by surprise for Number 1.

My own part in the convention as a presenter and panelist aside I walked away with 3rd place as mascot loosing to Anastasia Green who is a young lady with a beaming personality and infectious smile. I took honorable mention in the adult Costume in the Hall for my Trill Ambassador from Star Trek Costume and I got a first place for the inanimate in the hall for my Sock Monkey in an original series Star Trek Ladies Uniform. I made both Monkey and uniform by hand, no sewing machine involved. My husband Floyd Dameron got first place for peoples choice in the art show with “Furry Ice Spider” and Iron Figure Painter.  I also got to take part in the monster games at Paul Genesse’s release party for “A Walk In The Abyss.”   The Anthology that finally tells the story of “No Tusk The Orc” in print for fans who have seen in read over the years.  (More on that in a later post.)

All in all one of my best conventions ever.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

You Can contact The Poet by e-mailing (ravendove922@yahoo.com)