Folks, it's that time again -- the time when downtown San Jose is suddenly flooded with bizarre people descending onto the Convention Center to engage their weird hobby. The volleyball girls are back! Oh, and also Further Confusion is coming up this weekend.
Of course I'll be there -- just look for the portly black dude probably wearing a sweater vest and a backpack and some sort of jackalope badge. I'm really looking forward to meeting lots of you coming from all around the country, or hooking up again with friends I haven't gotten to see for a while, or chatting with fans about the things that we love and care about. It should be a blast!
One of the best things about Further Confusion is the robust slate of panels, seminars and events that encompass almost every aspect of the furry fandom -- art, writing, music, performance, science, spirituality and crafts are all well-represented there. As a writer, I'll be on a few panels this time and I wanted to tell you about them, just in case you were interested!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 14TH
OUT OF POSITION Release Party (Marriott: Almaden) - 7 PM
My good friend Kyell Gold will be releasing the latest novel in his Out of Position series -- Over Time -- at the convention! His release party will be pretty awesome, and one of the best ways to kick off a weekend-long party is by celebrating a friend's success. The book won't be available for sale there, alas, but he'll be there to chat and sign things, so it really is the next best thing.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15TH
Power and Privilege in an Anthropomorphic World (Hilton: Santa Clara) - 1 PM
I'll be talking about how to illustrate the societal effects of different species co-existing within the same world with Chipotle and my husband, NotTube. I'm really excited about this topic; it's not necessarily all about how power dynamics from the real world translate into our fictionalized furry ones, but what a whole different set of dynamics borne from the traits of vastly different species might look like. Would carnivores really dominate the power structure? How would physical characteristics shape the world? And what advantages would humans have once we lose opposable thumbs and sapience?
Write Now! (Hilton: Santa Clara) - 3 PM
Kyell Gold and I will be talking about ways to think about the shape of your short story with an eye towards finally sitting down and banging it out! We'll break down the basic elements of your story -- what you'll need to get started, most of the time -- and then providing 30 minutes to work on it using the tools you have at your disposal. How generous!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16TH
Mindfulness and Transformation in Action (Marriott: Almaden) - 11 AM
Kannik and I will be discussing the transformative power of bringing mindfulness into your life. We'll talk a bit about our perspective and background working with it, discuss examples illustrating exactly how clear and present thinking can redirect negative experiences, and engage in a brief meditation session and a few exercises to give folks a feel for using it. This is always one of my favorite times at the convention; I look forward to it every year.
Furries and the "Other" (Hilton: Santa Clara) - 4:30 PM
Here we'll be discussing how the concept of "otherness" applies to furry -- or if it even does! Mapping real-life social and political differences to furry fiction is an interesting thing; there's often not a direct parallel, but what can we learn from the way divisions are drawn? What does that say about us as creators and readers? I'll be talking about this with Mary Lowd and Chandra al-Alkani.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 17TH
Brainstorming in Real Time (Hilton: Santa Clara) - 11 AM
One of the biggest things I've learned in writing last year is to always try out multiple answers to the question "And then what?" Your first answer is going to be the most common one, and the further out you go with ideas the more creative opportunities open up! Even ideas you instinctively discount can be the best ideas you have for really pushing your story into new territory. My writing group -- Chipotle, Kyell Gold, NotTube and myself -- will be hosting this panel detailing the brainstorming process and how you can use it to your benefit.
Unsheathed Live (Hilton: Santa Clara) - 10 PM
To close out the convention, the adult writing podcast is all set to go for another year! Kyell, KM Hirosaki and NotTube will talk about furry writing for adults, take audience questions and probably have a lot of wine. This is always a blast, and I'm really looking forward to going out on a high note with FC 2016!
So that's my schedule! Feel free to join me at any of these panels or say hello if you see me bumming around the convention. I'll even have business cards for the Jackalope Serial Company! Whoo!!
See you at the San Jose Convention Center this weekend, folks. It's going to be legendary!