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down and safe - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
down and safe
We are home safe from another magnificent Shore Leave. I've been to this convention 16 times, including each of the past 15 of them (in 1992, and then from 2000 forward), and I've always had a great time.

I'm too tired to do a full con report, but the high points included:

A Boogie Knights concert that was pretty good despite the best efforts of Conventional Magic, who borked our sound yet again, including not adjusting the mics depending on who was singing lead (even though we provided them with a sound map so they could do that). That was one of many sound issues throughout the con, sadly. Still, we had fun and so did the audience, which is the important part. We even dragged out some songs we haven't done in ages, like "Lycanthrope in Love" and "One Small Ring."

A hugely successful Meet the Pros, in which I sold many many books (including all the copies of The Klingon Art of War that I brought -- the book dealer also sold out of their copies of KAOW) and signed many autographs and gave away a lot of Kickstarter cards and Sleepy Hollow business cards. Indeed, the general response over the weekend to both The Klingon Art of War (from people who'd bought and/or read it) and Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution (from people who either already knew it was coming and especially those who didn't know about it until they learned of it from me this weekend) was phenomenal. Very very gratifying and encouraging and stuff.

After MTP, a bunch of us got together and showed our baseball plumage:

Top row (l.-r.): Wrenn Simms (Phillies), Allyn Gibson (Nationals), Zan Rosin (Phillies), Ariel Vitali and Lisa Stuckey (Dodgers), and Phil Giunta (indeterminate).
Bottom row: me (Yankees) and Bob Greenberger (Mets).

A packed reading/Q&A in which I read from Children of the Revolution and took questions about various and sundry things. They scheduled it for Friday at 4pm, and I was worried no one would show. The opposite happened: I got my biggest crowd ever for one of those things, and one of the biggest audiences of the weekend.

A fun Match Game, in which they overbooked the contestants, so Steven H. Wilson, Bob Greenberger, and I were a three-headed monster taking turns as one of the contestants. We billed ourselves as the Marx Brothers: Groucho, Harpo, and Karl.

Lots of fun time hanging out with my fellow authors and friends and such. At one point, Wrenn and I sat in the lounge outside the bar and were joined at various times by about twenty different people (not all at the same time) just sitting and chatting and having a fantastic time.

Some excellent panels: me, Greg Cox, Aaron Rosenberg, and Jeff Lang espousing on the differences between an original tie-in novel and a novelization; me, Greg, and Peter David on why people still read movie novelizations; me, Jen Rosenberg, and Russ Colchamiro talked about social media for writers; me, Dave Mack, Kirsten Beyer, Mike McPhail, Christopher Bennett, and T. Eric Bakutis (who, BTW, is an excellent moderator) on writing action scenes; and me, Eric, Melissa Scott, and Jo Graham on fantasy without modern measurement.

A well attended self-defense workshop, in which everyone did very well. In particular one guy (a jiu-jitsu practitioner) complimented me afterward for being the first person he'd seen do one of these who actually gave useful self-defense techniques. I honestly think he went there expecting to trash me, and was pleasantly surprised when he couldn't. We had a good talk afterward.

Fine dinners with my fellow authors at Silver Spring and Andy Nelson's -- the latter a superb BBQ place (one that even midwesterners Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore liked) -- in which much joyous conversation and enjoyment was had. A high point was Kirsten Beyer telling me how much she loved writing President Nan Bacco.

I didn't see much of the actor guests -- I rarely do, honestly -- but I did get to talk a bit with Teryl Rothery (Dr. Frasier on Stargate SG-1), who is a delight. Also Eve Myles (Gwen on Torchwood) hugn out in the bar and in Ten Forward Saturday night (and was rather hung over for her Sunday Q&A).

Two other magnificent things this weekend:

In my author bio I wrote, "Keith R.A. DeCandido is surprised and appalled to realize that this is his 15th consecutive Shore Leave. He thinks he deserves some kind of prize, and urges the con com to get right on that."

I didn't think anybody actually read those things, but the con com (notably Inge Heyer, the guest liaison motherfucking con chair) did read it, and I was made the Shore Leave bunny for the weekend, an honor that was presented to me (in the form of bunny ears) right before the Boogie Knights concert.


And then there was Diane Bellomo, a Shore Leave regular and a fan of my work, who made a whole bunch of stickers of varying sizes with "STINKBURGER CHEF" on them. I put one on my name card and one on my badge. This also lead to me quoting the mighty Ed Zimmerman's review of V-Wars all weekend, of course.......

As ever a great show. I'm sure I left something out, but that's only because I'm overwhelmed by the awesome. We should totally do this again next year!!!!!!!

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "I Need a Man" by Eurythmics

12 comments or Please comment
bonnie_rocks From: bonnie_rocks Date: August 4th, 2014 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like you had a really great time!! :)

Lorraine Anderson From: Lorraine Anderson Date: August 4th, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you want a copy of the pictures I took of the "Stinkburger Chef" stickers?
kradical From: kradical Date: August 4th, 2014 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, please! E-mail them to krad at whysper dot net!
jslinder From: jslinder Date: August 4th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do need to point out that Inge is not the author liason - she's the bloomin Con Chair :)

Just saying..

kradical From: kradical Date: August 4th, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
She is? Holy shit -- somehow I totally missed that memo. Yay, Inge!
jslinder From: jslinder Date: August 5th, 2014 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Two years now. Kinda in the program book too :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 5th, 2014 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Shore Leave

Glad you had fun. It was great to see you as always. You are always a fun guest.
kradical From: kradical Date: August 5th, 2014 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Shore Leave


(BTW, who is this?)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 5th, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)


So thrilled for you to have had such a good time, turnout of your fans, and selling of your books! I want to go to Ten Forward..especially with Teryl Rothery! :) Maybe I can make it next year! -Journey
woofiegrrl From: woofiegrrl Date: August 6th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
As usual, I don't get to see most of what you do at the cons, because I am always with the actors! But it's always wonderful to see you, work alongside you, and peek at your set list.

I wish I had known about the baseball gear party, I would have worn my Ichiro shirt! (Which never gets to see the light of day here in Natsville.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 11th, 2014 11:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Shore Leave 36

Hey Keith,

My name is Larry Kozek. We have known each other for quite some time. I feel that I must respond to some comments that you made in your blog concerning Conventional Magic. For those of your readers that are not familiar with us, We handle all the audio visual events that take place at Shore Leave as well as FarPoint. I am referring specifically to some comments concerning "A Boogie Knights concert that was pretty good despite the best efforts of Conventional Magic, who borked our sound yet again, including not adjusting the mics depending on who was singing lead ...."
There was also a comment about" many sound issues throughout the con ..."

First off: Concerning the Boogie Knights:
It was the microphones that you provided us that were not functioning. As a courtesy, we let the talent use their own equipment whenever they want to. We get very little time, if at all, for a proper sound check. As you know, you only have 1 hour to get setup and perform. From now on we will be insisting on a full sound check to make sure that all equipment is operating correctly. In the interest of saving some time maybe you should use our mics instead. Maybe you should also provide your own sound person as you feel that we have "borked: you. There were some other issues with sound at the con. Performers and patrons that that were turning the switches on and off of the microphones when they should not have. A really crappy Internet connection during the Nimoy Skype session, despite us telling them that we needed a high speed dedicated connection.

At Conventional Magic, we all take our jobs very seriously. We are all volunteers working very long hours for very little pay to give both the talent and the convention patrons the best audio visual experience possible. I feel that your comments concerning our organization were both unjustified and unfair !!

Just sayin'

Larry Kozek
woofiegrrl From: woofiegrrl Date: October 17th, 2014 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Shore Leave 36

Hello there, happened to notice this comment was made just a couple of days ago. As it's anonymous, perhaps you've no way to check back, but I figure I'll say this anyway - I've spent a lot of time trying get in touch with Conventional Magic over the years, without success except in person.

I'm one of the sign language interpreters for Farpoint and Shore Leave. I've been doing them since 2002 or so. It would totally rock my world if we could have a monitor for all events. The interpreters frequently struggle to hear what is going on, as of course all sound is pointed at the audience; as you might imagine, it's a bit awkward being an interpreter who cannot hear the speaker. I would imagine the musical groups (Boogie Knights, Chromatics, et al) would appreciate a monitor too; I've been told they don't always have one.

If you don't have the equipment, tell me what I should get in order to connect it to the system, but I suspect you have something since you know more about it than I do. It took about 8 years for Conventional Magic to solve the full blackout issue for the Masquerade - I'm sure we can solve the monitor issue much more quickly, don't you think? :)

Many thanks,

Edited at 2014-10-17 06:02 pm (UTC)
12 comments or Please comment