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MIDSOUTHCON 2003: MidSouthCon Index || Friday || Saturday || SUNDAY

MidSouthCon: A Multi-Part Story (With Pictures!)

Part III:  Sunday, March 30, 2003



Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for!

Dragged ourselves out of bed at 8am, because the kaffeklatch was at 9. Showered. Coffeed up. Made our way to the Garden Court (a big open space where we'd had supper the night before) to await The Moment. Several others arrived, including a pleasant gentleman in the business of making jewelry. He didn't give us a blank look when we explained the baji-najis. (I really should have asked about that plural, now that I think about it!) There was some sort of unseen signal--unseen by me, anyway--and we all stood up and went into the "Garden Room" and sat. Jane advised us to get the buffet if we were going to order any food, given their previous experience with the restaurant. We all followed that advice and sat down. There were a few mishaps--two of us (not me or Dramliza!) mistook the butter for ice cream (there were belgian waffles). But once that was sorted out, we settled in for a nice breakfast and conversation.

Okay. Here's the dope--the next Hammerfall book is written and was (I think) what CJC read from at the reading. I can't be sure about that, though, since we had to check out at that time, and that was it's own fiasco. But anyway.

So far as I understand, she is currently engaged in outlining the next three Foreigner books. She has titles, but didn't remember them off the top of her head. I think Sabina should send an email.....

The sequel to Cyteen is also in the future, she didn't have a chance to write it this year, which has been understandably hectic for her.

It was at this event that the Giving of the Buttons took place, as described in Perplexed.

Then Dramliza asked The Question--who killed Ari? She laughed, and said wasn't it time to go? We assured her it wasn't, but somehow the topic never came up again. Make of that what you will.


I did forget one thing. Sabina had asked about fanart/fanfic type things. Fanfic is definitely out.

Dang! I know what else I forgot! There's another Fortress book in the works, Fortress of Ice. [Edit: Added it to the Big Book List.  Woohoo!  ---CKTC]

Haut's Cool Sound Files
Yes, I brought a tape recorder. Yes, Mr. Haut transferred it to computer. And yes, I have spent hours and hours slaving away over the wav editor to get the pertinent information out of the 60 MB file he presented me with.

Vanye and Niun: It's a biggish file, because she discusses three names.

Jago: This is a longish file, because, well, that J is pretty flexible. And I can't help but giggle every time I hear it--we all had exactly the same reaction to it, and it's captured on tape for posterity.

Cenedi: She and Jane emphasized that it was like Canadian without the -an.

Brominandi was one CJC came up with spontaneously, as we were trying to remember names.

Vowels: he commented that in most of her work the vowels were the standard ah, eh, ih, oh, oo you get in most European languages. Here's the file. It's longish.

Later I realized I should have asked about Geigi, but I think given the others that's not too hard to figure out.


breakfast CJ was quite a contrast to the two friends that came with her---she was so different. She is nothing like Selina (it's hard to imagine anyone else like Selina), and Jane Fancher is somewhere in the middle, talkative and funny and extremely nice, but not crazy-outrageous, either. CJ seemed just as happy to sit and say nothing as to speak. During the panels she never spoke first, but waited her turn, then made several excellent, well-worded points and fell silent again. If someone interrupted her, she simply stopped talking and picked it up again at the next opportunity, or when the interrupter apologized and turned the floor back over to her. She never tried to speak over anyone or get a word in edgewise---sometimes there was stiff competition for that---and she spoke clearly in perfectly formed thoughts. Jane also many good points and explained her position well, but other than that, IMHO, CJ spoke less and said more than most of the other panelists---not that I’m biased! I didn't happen to see Selina in any panels because she wasn't in any of the ones with CJ that I attended; she was usually doing a different one.

During breakfast someone asked CJ if her brother, David, had the same temperament as she. She said no, that he was the exact opposite. Then she explained that she was so immobile as a child that she would simply sit in one place until all the major parts were numb (or asleep---I wish I could remember her exact words). She also commented that if she had known Jane at a younger age she would have had to kill her (for being so hyper). Jane agreed and said she had calmed down quite a bit, but also added, “The leg still goes,” and demonstrated how she nervously bounces her leg up and down with her foot.

Here are more pics I found at the convention site. These must have been taken by a dealer because the first quarter or so are concentrated in the dealer's room. If you scroll down a bit you'll find two nice ones of CJ with Robert Sawyer (#25, #26), a couple more of her at the banquet (#55, #56, #61), and one of Selina (#66) being funny---the woman behind her looks like she's about to spit out her food.

For my last $.02, here are a few things I remember from the rest of breakfast. Disclaimer: what I have put in quotation marks are only quotes only as far as I remember them.

As haut already reported, CJC is working on outlining the next Foreigner trilogy. CJ couldn’t remember the titles and laughed---since they’re on the computer, she said she has "no responsibility to remember them."

Ms. Cherryh said she only outlines before she writes when she knows the characters well. With new characters, she writes down about 10 plot points and goes from there because she has no idea what will happen. She said she once found an old plot lying in her drawer and thought, "that looks like a good idea, maybe I'll write that." Later she realized it was her original outline to Downbelow Station. (I suggested she go ahead and write that one, too!)

I had to ask if there would be any more appearances of Signy Mallory. She said, "Maybe. It depends if I get an idea."

Someone at the table asked if she works on more than one book at a time. The answer was a definite no, because each book takes too much concentration. CJ said she and Jane Fancher read to each other during trips in the car and discuss their writing as they go---this is their “writer’s workshop.” She also said when she‘s at a certain point in writing, she gets so caught up she can't be trusted to drive through intersections safely. Jane said she knows when it's time to take the wheel. :D

The subject of gamers came up and their relatively new role in attending conventions. CJ said she finds it troubling that they come and disappear for the weekend into the gaming rooms. They add numbers and money and so you can do more at conventions, but she felt that they are missing the most important part---talking to people and making friends.


Anyway, we had a lovely chat, and two hours later it was time for CJC to do her reading, and for us to check out. Now, my friend and I weren't smart enough (or awake enough) to check out beforehand, so we were rushing to make the deadline. Finally I told my friend that we should put everything in the hall, she should check out, and then we would get everything to the car. Which we did. Got to the car, with all of our stuff (except the cooler, which wouldn't have been a big loss if stolen, since all that was in it now was a few bottles of warm soda). My friend couldn't find her car keys. So I went back to get the cooler while she looked.


On the way back to the car with the cooler I was accosted by a reporter who exclaimed, "You're a girl, at the con!" I smiled my waitress smile and said, why yes, I was. It was my first and I was having a lovely time, and I had happened to notice a few others of my gender around, what a shock. He asked if I'd like to be interviewed, but my hands were full of cooler, and he said he'd catch me later. He never did. Oh, well.

My friend had left the keys in the hotel room. That was easily fixed--but after all that, we'd missed the reading, and the chance to catch CJC with her computer and no excuse for not telling us the new titles.

Dramliza left. *sigh* My friend decided to check out the Tolkien panel, which turned out to be very poorly attended, by panelists and audience alike. Jane came with us, and managed to rope CJC into being on the panel. It wasn't very well moderated, and sort of meandered along despite the expertise and intelligence of the panelists. We ducked out (unfortunately not unobtrusively, given how small it was) after an hour to hit the Writing the First Novel panel. That was pretty interesting--the panel was all first novelists, and they explained how they'd done it, and how they worked. They all said, basically, put your butt in the chair and just write, every single day, or whatever schedule, and just keep doing it. The published are the persistent. Well, except for Mitch Graham, who seems to have had the experience they always tell you you won't have--he read a novel his son brought home, decided he could do better (never having written anything before), the thing won a contest and the next thing he knew Dreamworks was optioning the movie rights and he was talking to Spielberg. I'm not joking. The other panelists said they hated him.

From two to three, I sat listlessly in the hotel lobby wishing I had an ibuprofen and trying to rest my eyes without falling asleep.

At three was the Bossy Sassy Bitchy and Sexy panel, with Selina, Jane, CJC, Beverly (also on the education panel, as Dramliza mentioned) and Laura J. Underwood and Lee Martindale. This panel was moderated by Cullen Jackson, who did a fairly good job. Let's see, high points. Cullen asked the panelists who the first really strong SF heroine they'd run into was who'd fit the panel's description. Lee Martindale said "any Heinlein heroine," and every other panelist (except CJC) said "Morgaine." CJC somehow didn't answer the question. That I remember anyway.

There was a lot of animated discussion, from audience and panel both. Michael Sheard came in and sat quietly at the end of the table, listening. At one point, someone asked what SF movie heroines would fit the bill, and the entire room said, in unison, "Ripley!"

I was sitting right up front, and commented (during a discussion of villains) that the easy way to make a female villain was to make her a bitch. CJ asked the room if anyone could think of a villain who wasn't just evil because she was a bitch. A few names came up, but I don't remember them. Selina averred that we were getting very rowdy and pretty soon we'd all break out belching and farting. There was some discussion of whether it was important to a reader to know the gender of a character, and why that might (or might not) be. It was the liveliest panel I'd been to all weekend.

When it was over, it was time for the closing ceremony, but it was time for us to go. I wanted to get home and to bed. Which I eventually did. And that's all there is, unless (extremely likely) Dramliza remembers something I've forgotten.

And that's it.  Again, much thanks to Hautdesert & Dramliza for this wonderful report! --CKTC