Monday, October 12, 2009


I went to my first con. It was held in Albany, NY, close to where I live and I knew people from my rwa chapter that was going. Oh and I was doing the PR for the con. Albacon its a sci/fi & fantasy con. With the added bonus of romance writers. It started 10/8 with a panel of agents/editors who deal with romance and urban fantasy. Mirian Kriss of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, Julie Tibbot of Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt, and David Pomerico of Bantam Spectra. It was  interesting and informative. Jackie Kessler moderated and did a wonderful job.

Friday morning there were workshops and panels  Jackie Kessler and Toni Andrews were great. I was on two panels myself . Debi Chowdhury, K.A. Laity, Susan Crowley, Biance D'Arc, Janice Dumas, plus the book signing with Jackie Kessler, Toni Andrews, Stella Price, Cat Johnson, K.A. Laity, C. Margery Kempe amd Rosemary DeCapria. Fanstay authors singing were Melissa Mead and Inanna Arthen, Author of the Vampires of New England Series. That was just Friday morning and afternoon.
Starting at 5:00 pm was the Sci/Fi & fanstay panels like Self Publishing Pros & Cons, The next monster trend, My Favorite Villian, Taking care of Business, Alternatives to Mundane Sexuality and Sex in SF: It doesn't Have to be Bad. I would have liked to have gone to that but I was so tired that I was falling asleep in my seat. I did make it for about 5 minutes to the Vampire Ball.  Music was going and there were a few people there but I had to bow out. I didn't sleep well Thursday night. I think I got about three hours of sleep. I drove back and forth Thursday night and back Friday morning. I was staying at the hotel Friday and Saturady. Friday night also brought on the ice cream social. It was nice. You had ice cream and you could add whatever was available to it. I had sprinkles and whip cream, a cherry and fudge. It was fun. There was also a concert by Igor's Egg. I heard it was pretty grand. Telling a story using music. Which is what music does, doesn't it? They sounded really good. Kudos to Igor's Egg.

Saturday we started at 10:00 AM with SF Films We Love, Favorite Aliens/Fantasy Creatures, Fans Association of Star Trek, Art  Guest of Honor Alan Beck, Hes great. My Favorite Heros, Creating Magic Systems, Nontraditional Fantasy Settings, Paranormal Romance Explosion, There Are No Guns in Fantasy, and more. We had a dinner and Elizabeth Hand was the guest of honor and a very gracious Guest of Honor she was. I enjoyed meeting her. There was a concert by Rebecca Angel which I was told was great. I wasdoing other things. Helping to get a room ready for readings. There was a erotic art demostration by Calkins  and still more. It was a busy Saturday night.
There were dealers selling books and art work, clothes and jewelry. I took out my credit card a few times and so did my husband when he came to meet me for the banquet.
The readings that night were fabulous.

Sunday we had a slew of panels starting at 10:00 am Do You Outline or Not. 1950's:  The Golden Age of SF Films, Twilight: the Mystique, Cover to Cover, Characters vs, Science, Is the Small Press Where It's Now, and a few more. I wish that some of the panels were run twice so I could be at all of the ones I wanted. But It doesn't work that way sometimes. There was a gaming room. a video room, a con room for the guests to go and get a drink and a bit to eat. People had parties in their rooms or went to parties in other peoples room.
I think everyone had a good time. The only negatives that I have are, for me the banquet food was not to my liking and the hotel gave a free breakfast if you were staying at the hotel and I didn't eat anything either morning. I became hungry, let me tell you. But hey, you can't have everything perfect and If the only complaints I have is the food then the con was very good. 

I look forward to my next con. I would love to go to Nationals in July with my cousin. If I have to go by myself I am sure I won't be alone for long. Writers are very friendly people from what I have seen and since I am writing and pretty friendly myself I shouldn't have a problem.  I would also like to go to the different events that the various chapters have that are open to the public. Again I would like to go with someone, split the gas and room cost. I am not rich. I would like to be but I won't be this year. So I have to see who would want to go. Hopefully Debi will want to go to some of them. I will check with her.

Remember this name ALBACAON and make plans to come next year. Oh FYI the date may change to Labor Day. There are so many thngs going on and next year the Jewish High Holidays fall on the dates that Albacon would normally run. So if you have any comments, questions or suggestions for future Albacons than please let me know or write to We want to hear from you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Albacon Oct.8-11 in Albany NY

Hi All
Great News; Albacon is coming to town. It is the Sci/Fi-Fantasy conference with guest of honor Elizabeth Hand.
Author of ten books and winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Generation Lost. Ms. Hand has also been honored with three World Fantast Awards, two Nebulas, two International Horror Guild Awards, the James M Tiptree Jr. Award and the Mythopeoic Society Award.
Ms. Hand is a regular reviewer for the Washington Post, Village Voice, Salon Boston Globe and DownEast magazine. She also writes a regular column for Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.
Currently she is working on a sequel to Generation Loss titled Available Dark. Ms. Hand has a YA novel about poet Arthur Rimbaud coming out in 2011 published by Viking.
Artist guest of honor is Alan F. Beck, Fan guest of honor is D. Cameron Calkins With Igors Egg as our Musical  Guest.

Writers, readers and fans will enjoy movies, games, readings, workships, and panels. Plus a book signing. There is an art show, a fabulous dealers room, debates, conversations, and socializing with people who share the same interests. There will be a Vampire/Steampunk Ball so come with your best costume. Be ready to share your knowledge and party with your fellow Albaconers.

Thursday starting at 6:30 PM there will be a Editor/Agent/Publisher/Writer gathering.
Industry professionals talk about the realities of today's market, what authors should be doing to get and remain published. Q&A after panel discussion.
panelish include Miriam Kriss, Goodman Literary Agency; Julie Tibbott, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; David Pomerico, Bantam Spectra; to name a few. Panel will  be moderated by jackie kessler.

Friday: all-day workshops and panel discussions. Presented by Dr. Kathryn Laity, Susan Crowley, Janice Duman, Stella Price, Biance D'Arc, Toni Andrews, Jackie Kessler, Roberta DiCaprio, Debi Chowdhury, C. Margery Kempe, Jo Anne Benware (that's me)  and too many to name.
Fridays workshops to include The Five Fixes 2 hr. workshop by Toni Andrews, Using mythology in Stories by Jessica Andersen Cat johnson, K.A. laity, Bianca D'Arc andJanice Dumas (panel) Promotions for the Author on A Budget by Stella Price (workshop)  Urban FAsntasy, The Great Love Story, Creating Worlds,
What are the pros and cons of self-publishing or on-line publishing one's own works? Frederick Huston, Mirabelli Strock. Readings, The next monster trend; Vampires and Zombies are hot. But what comes next?
Taking care of business; What business skills do writers need? Officers and tazes. Can dragon food be considered deductable? More workshops and panels are listed for Friday. Also on Friday we an ice cream social, a concert by Igors Eggs and then the Vampire Ball.

Saturday there are more workshops and panel discusions. Just to name a few,  Science Fiction Films we love, My Favorite Aliens and Fantasy Creatures, Science Fiction from Star Trek, The Paranormal Romance Explosion and what it means for Fastasy, Low Budget Podcasting 101,  presenters Edgill, Hubbell, Kessler, And Rothman to name a very few.
Saturday is also the Banquet and a concert by Rebecca Angel. There will be an Erotic Art Demonstration by D.Cameron Calkins  with assistance from model Oscula.

We finish out the conference on Sunday with more workshops and panels; Apocalyse When?, The 1950's:The Golden Age of SF Film? How does a novelist break in these days? Other panels and workshops will be presented by Rogow, Hartwell, Palmatier and Mead, again just to name a few.

Its going to be a great confernce. It is being held at the Best Western on Western Ave.  Check the Albacon website for more information on price, childcare and more workshops and panels and the authors who will be there.
Here is  the website 
Come and Enjoy. Share your knowledgel

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I need to write and I am not feeling it. I don't know what is going on with me. I know what I want to write but sitting down and doing it is like beyond me right now. I don't know why. We are going on vacation this Saturday. I just can't wait. Maybe this is what I need. Gloversville is really not that,what is the word I am looking for...its so bad here I can't even think of a word to describe what its like living here. Oh boy.

I want to be creative. I want to seat down and write that book. But there is so much going on. My brother-in-law got arrested and we are going to court tomorrow night. Nothing will happen tomorrow. but come August his lawyer wants him to come up with $1400.00 or there abouts. He's not working. He has no money. We are going on vacation there is no money to give him. Besides we had to pay bail and that was a nice chunk of change. He has to leave. I don't want him here any more. Its just to much.

The son needs to move on too. He is supposed to move to his cousins house downstate. But he has to know how to drive. He never asks to go driving. I don't know what we are going to do with him. He will come with us when we move, I guess unless some miracle happens. Ha on that.

We need to get this house in shape too. This is the last vacation for a while. Money will now be going on the house. Fixing the bathroom floors and the kitchen floor. We need to redo our bathroom. I want to make it really nice. Get a new vanity for the main bathroom and then carpets upstairs and down. The husband started painting the dinning room when I was at my cousins in May. Its not finished yet. But I can't talk, I haven't finished the downstairs bathroom yet. Shame on me. LOL

So I was thinking that writing my story out, like I was telling it and put in the conversations later. I think the easiest way is for me to do it in first person. Maybe while we are away I will feel motivated and start writing. A new place, new people, new perspective for the story. I'm still trying to think of that word. It will come to me I am sure.

I've been feeling kind of tired, just not feeling myself. Don't know what is going on with me lately. I just don't feel like me. Not sick or anything like that just not feeling myself.

I have so much ironing to do and then to pack. Of course things will get wrinkled in the suitcase and I will have to touch them up but that is better than ironing it out, if you know what I mean.

Almost midnight, I should get to bed. But I am not feeling that tired. I hate just laying there so I think I will watch a little more TV and then sleep.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


So much to do. So much writing to do. I have the idea for my story. I know where it is set. I know who the main character is and there is a few friends to go with that but I have to murder someone. I have to have a reason to murder this person. I also want to make it a supernatural. Now there are so many different ways to go with this, a witch, a demon, faerie or psychic. Hey it could even be a straight mystery.
I have the how to books and NewNovelist and I bought another one called Writers Dream Kit. Now its just sitting down, doing the research I will need to do and then write.
While I do this the house will be getting a make over, my brother-in-law will be going to court and I will be with him since my husband has to work. The usual stuff that goes on during the day besides.

There has been some sadness the past 12 months. I've lost three family members. Its been hard dealing with that. Life goes on though and the best I can do is to remember them with love. That way they are never really gone. My family is getting smaller and smaller. Funny, when I was a kid I thought I was so lucky with my family and extended family. Actually there were a few marriages between the two sides so we are kind of closely related. So when a cousin dies its like losing a sibling. That's how close we were and are. The older generation is gone, my aunt was the last. Now I still have an aunt and an uncle, siblings left but they are so much younger than the rest that they are between the older gen and my gen. My aunt has asked me to be her beneficiary, meaning that I will take care of all the details when she dies or if God forbid needs to go to a home. I'm against nursing homes, I worked in a few of them. They are not all bad, some are very good. But I don't want anyone to feel lost or forgotten in one of those. It happens more than I liked when I worked in them. But I digress, I do that a lot. So family wise we are very small.

I know I need to get my butt in the chair and start writing or I will never get it done. I want to do this. This is something I always wanted to do. I will do my outline so I have an idea of where I am going with my story. I know that I will not stick to it word for word but it gives me an idea of where I should be.

My husband and I are going to go on vacation this year. Our last was in 2001 and it was fantastic. This year we are going north up to Maine and Nova Scotia. I am really looking forward to the trip. I have my little laptop to take with me so I can write and he will take his so he can play Texas hold'em. This is if we have time from traveling and sightseeing. I am so looking forward to this.

Next year we will head south and start house hunting somewhere in N.C. I am really looking forward to that. I want to get out of the cold and while I have some family and good friends here they can come visit us.

So that is the plan for now. Of course always subject to change, because you just never know.

I need to be more diligent with my blogs. I don't think I will blog on myspace anymore. I still like to check it and read the other blogs from the authors I like. Here I feel much freer and can write what I want.

So tonight I will do a little reading and tomorrow after I finish my housework, (what a terrible word) I will get this butt in to the chair and start on my story. Here's to "Tumbling Down".

Monday, March 16, 2009

Building A Better Novel: A Writers Toolkit

Hi All
I am going to blog about the fantastic conference that my chapter is putting on in June. It is our annual Full Day Workshop with an added bonus for Friday night.

June 12 and 13th at the Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY
Award Winning and Bestselling Autor Annette Blair and Award Winning and
New York Times Bestselling Author Angela Knight
Building a Better Novel:
A Writers Toolkit
Annette Blair will present Story Mapping and Painting Colorful Characters
Angela Knight will present Heating up the Romance in Your Novel
Ready! Set! Go! Writing Action Scenes
Friday Night will be a very special night for all of us.
There is going to be a Agent/Editor Panel
and to top off the night there will be a Wine and Cheese get together
For more information
Sign up for future announcements by contacting

Saturday, January 17, 2009