Monday, June 5, 2017

Miscon 31

Over the long Memorial weekend, the family and I attended Miscon 31.  We have tried to do this every year, but due to a lot of issues, this year was only our third time.  Jerry and Madelle have quite a bit of fun.  They spend the weekend relaxing and playing games.  The two of them get some good father, daughter time.  This year Jerry's brother joined them on Sunday afternoon.

So, what is Miscon?  Missoula Comic Convention is a long weekend of art, role playing games, regular games, art, writing, film, costuming, and strange happenings in the genres of fantasy and science-fiction with the subgenres also represented.  In other words, the weekend is for all of those with a geek side.  The first year I felt completely outside my comfort zone.  Now, I just feel awkward being around a bunch of people I don't know.

While Madelle and Jerry entertain themselves, I go to writing panels.  This year's honored guest was David Farland.  I have followed his blog for quite a few years.  Someday, I will attend one of his week long classes.  I sat in on a number of his talks and other fantasy, steampunk, and science-fiction writers.  Because of following him and a few others, I am finding the general information at the convention are things I have heard in the writing arena.  I also branched out a bit.  I did learn a few tidbits and came to a discovery.

The workshop for marketing left me feeling extremely lacking.  They, of course, talked about networking.  I hate networking.  I am supposed to go to these things and meet people.  Instead, I go to panels, sit off to the side, and take breaks writing or reading in either my room or at a table by myself.  I won't tell my husband yet, but I might try a game next year.  MIGHT!  I also thought more about platforms and joining a Toastmasters group.  Right, with all that free time I have.  We will see.

Writing about faeries also got me to thinking.  One panelist is an expert in all types of faeries from around the world.  A few of the writers talked about knowing how to write well about the way they have been represented in the tales from olden days.  Sure, a writer can do something new, but know the original enough to know why you are changing them.  Explain the change in your story in how people in the past have been wrong all these years or the race has evolved.  I might have stuck with the Twilight series longer if the sparkling vampires would have been explained.

I attended a panel about art being sold.  All the speakers worked in the field of sewing, forging, painting, and glass blowing.  They all attend different events and shows to sell their products.  I have played with the idea of selling my books at Farmer's Markets and the like, but I don't have enough of a variety of my books.  I have thought of also selling my photography.  Unfortunately, I get all nervous about putting myself out there.  I was amazed by one man's advice.  As he said, most of us are introverts.  This can cause problems selling and promoting ourselves.  He said to have a project to work on while you sell.  This gives you and your customer somewhere to start the conversation.  He takes his leatherwork.  The rest of the speakers agreed.  I like the idea, but I can't write, read, or snap pictures while in a booth selling product.

Marketing, networking, selling, promoting, and faeries floated around in my head all weekend.  All the information spoke to me, but I had to figure out what it was saying and what I needed to do.  Saturday night I googled Norwegian crafts.  I found beautifully designed Saami (people from far Northern Scandinavia) bracelets, hardanger, rosemaling, and wood chipping.  Sunday, after talking about faeries, I came up with a plan.  I am going to work the majority of my writing in the culture and mythology of Scandinavia, primarily Norway.  My first series is about trolls with food and terms spicing the writing that all derive from the land of Icordia.  Mjod is one of my favorite drinks, mead.  Bestemor means grandmother and my own grandfather called his grandmother by this endearment. 

Monday I ordered a book on how to make the Saami bracelets.  I can sell these along with my books and photos.  Best of all, I can create them while working with customers.  I want to try my hand at the other crafts as time goes by, mainly for writing purposes unless I get good at the work.  Of course, I believe it is time to start making more Scandinavian foods.  I have also looked for a place to buy the old dresses.  I might have to talk a friend into helping me with that project.

All in all, I am happy with the direction I want to work.  While still raising a teenager, I believe all of this will take quite a lot of time, but I am okay with that for the moment.  Soon enough, I will have all the time in the world.  So, stay tuned for new happening in the life and times of Lisa Nixon Richard barnebarn (granddaughter) to Alton Everett Hedahl, miss you Farfar (Grandfather.

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