Tag Archives: DragonCon

What should I do #10: Jonathan Coulton

I just got an e-mail asking the now-familiar question: “What am I supposed to do while I’m waiting for your second book to come out?!?”

So let me throw out a new answer: Check out Jonathan Coulton.

I’m guessing many of you already know about Coulton. He strides the world like a colossus. He mocks. He’s funny. He has a pretty good beard….

Mostly though, Coulton does music. Smart, funny, wonderful music.

It’s possible that you might know Coulton’s work even if you don’t know his name. If you’ve finished Portal, for example, you’ve heard his stuff. “Still Alive” the song that plays during the end credits is his.

And if you went to PAX this year, you got to see him onstage. Not that I’m bitter that I missed it because I was at Dragoncon that weekend. Not that I’m bitter that I missed the chance to hang out with Felicia Day of Dr. Horrible fame at PAX too. Not that I’m bitter that apparently Felicia got up and sang on stage with Coulton at the concert….

Yeah. Okay. I’m a little bitter.

For those of you out of the loop, a couple years back Jonathan Coulton started something he called thing a week. As the name suggests, he wrote a new song each week and released it for free on the internet.

As you might guess, some of the songs were a little forced. But what’s far more important is how often he struck gold. A lot of his songs are pure, distilled brilliance.

How good are they? Well…. imagine if someone unspeakably hot person came to your house. Imagine whoever you like: Brad Pitt. Alyson Hannigan, Bea Arthur. Whatever turns your crank.

So. This person shows up at your house and gives you a really good backrub. Then they make you an ice cream sundae. Your favorite kind. Then, and this is the key part, they sex you up while you’re eating the sundae….

Okay. Honestly, his songs aren’t quite as awesome as that. But they’re maybe…. seventy percent that awesome. Which you have to admit, is pretty amazing.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s a few Youtube samples from an acoustic show he did in LA a couple years back.

Here’s one of his more popular ones called Code Monkey:

 

And another called: I Feel Fantastic.

One more, possibly my favorite song of his: I Crush Everything.

Enjoy,

pat

Posted in cool things, Felicia Day, recommendations | By Pat18 Responses

Podcast – Liquid Wierd

I’m planning a blog about the wierd world of fanfic, but it’s taking a while.

So to tide you over, here’s a podcast that I did while I was off at Dragoncon.

Later,

pat

Posted in Interviews | By Pat23 Responses

What happens at DragonCon….

Okay, a lot of you asked about the picture I posted up about a week ago:

True, the vast majority of the questions were variations on the theme of “what the hell?” But I still figure it could do with a little explanation.

While cruising around DragonCon, I tried to find a good present for Sarah, my girlfriend. I picked up the catgirl hat for her because I figured she would get a kick out of it.

About half an hour later I wander by a bookseller, and who do I see sitting at the autographing table but John Scalzi and Tobias Bucknell. Both authors, bloggers, and acquaintances of mine, it’s safe to say that the sheer awesome manliness radiating out from the two of them combined was overwhelming.

Perhaps I exaggerate slightly. I can’t honestly say it was overwhelming. Truth be told, it was just whelming. I was whelmed.

Anyway, I started to wander over to chat with them, then realized a golden opportunity lay in front of me….

Needless to say, they were horrified and amused. Scalzi actually borrowed my camera and took this picture of me, while Toby snapped his own.

That picture Toby posted up on his own website, offering a prize to the person who posted the funniest caption. There were over 80 of them there last time I looked, and I have to say, it’s been a long time since I laughed that hard.

You should go check it out.

Later all,

pat

Posted in conventions, meeting famous people, my dumbness | By Pat22 Responses

How to be Cool – A Primer.

As I’ve mentioned before, due to angering some fickle deity, I only had one scheduled event at DragonCon: a reading.

When I showed up to the con, the programming staff were nice enough to schedule me a signing too. Then, using my not inconsiderable charm, I sweet-talked my way onto a couple of the writing track panels.

The panels went pretty well. Since they were already on the schedule, they had good audiences. I gave a few good pieces of advice, got a few laughs, and avoided – for the most part – making an ass of myself. If I can do all three of those things, it’s a good panel.

My signing was another matter entirely. Since it wasn’t on the schedule, nobody knew about it. You could hear crickets. Two people showed up, and I was surprised to have that many.

Rest assured that my ego did not suffer any permanent trauma due to low attendance. Why is that? Well… mostly because of the signings I used to do back when my first story appeared in an anthology….

They were brutal. Most signings are when you’re a new writer. Typically you spend two hours sitting at a card table in front of a Waldenbooks at the local mall. Then everyone ignores you. Pointedly ignores you. Ignores you as if they fear making eye contact will give them herpes.

Those early signings, while grueling, did a great job of setting my expectations low. These days, if I have a signing and two or three people talk to me, I consider it a win. Everything beyond that is gravy.

The other reason my ego wasn’t bruised by the low turn-out is that earlier this month at Worldcon, when my signing *was* on the schedule, I got a turnout that surprised so much that I took a picture of the line:

By comparison, my DragonCon signing is pretty relaxing. I talk to the two people who stop by, drink my coffee, and read the program book making plans to stalk Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin, and Jewel Staite.

Then I pack up and head over to my reading. My expectations understandably low.

Imagine my surprise when I see that the room is pretty much full. It’s surprising to me that all these people, in the middle of all the glamour and weird of DragonCon, have chosen to show up and listen to me read. What’s more, they all started to applaud when I came in the door.

It was a good feeling. I felt cool. Really cool. I was a hoopy frood. I was about .8 of a Gaiman on the cool-o-meter, which is pretty cool.

I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom – as I said, it was exciting – then did my reading. They laughed at my jokes, asked good questions, and didn’t hassle me too much about book two. In brief, it was a great crowd.

When my hour was up, so many people wanted me to sign that, after a half hour, I needed to move the remainder into the hallway because the next reading was scheduled to begin. Then I signed in the hallway for another half hour.

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then I realized that my zipper was down. Which means that it had been down since I used the bathroom right before the reading.

Thank you, oh universe, for reminding me of the truth. While I may be all that and a bag of chips, I’m usually all that and a bag of chips who doesn’t know his zipper is open.

I learned my lesson though. Later that night, in order to prevent any further zipper-related embarrassment, I changed into my kilt before I went out to dinner with some of the folks who had participated in the photo contest a couple months back:

And a good time was had by all….

pat

Posted in conventions, my dumbness, my rockstar life, Neil Gaiman | By Pat40 Responses

DragonCon in a Nutshell.

How was DragonCon, you ask?

In summary:

Yeah. That’s pretty much it.

Stories forthcoming,

pat

Posted in conventions, my dumbness | By Pat30 Responses

DragonCon

In less than ten hours I’ll be leaving for DragonCon. I’m trying to look forward to it, but honestly, right now it’s hard for me to see the convention as anything other than a pain in the ass.

Part of the problem is that I over-scheduled myself this month. Four conventions and a family vacation in August means that I’ve spent 9 days at home this month, everything else has been travel.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some good times, (more stories will be forthcoming) but it’s easy to have too much of a good thing.

Adding to my lack of enthusiasm about the con is the fact that I’m not going to be on any of the programming. One of the main reasons I go to conventions is so I can sit on panels and discuss writing, worldbuilding, and stuff like that. At Worldcon I did 6 or 7 hours of panels, autographings etc. At Gencon, I did 11 hours, not counting a reading and signing at the nearby Indianapolis library.

Dragoncon? 1 hour. I have a reading at 1:00 on Saturday and that’s it. (So if you’re looking to catch me at the con to get your book signed, that would be the easiest place to do it.)

And now, looking at the Dragoncon page, I see that for some reason I’ve actually been removed from the list of official guest authors. Oh totem spirits of the con, what have I done to anger you? Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves, and instead use our combined powers to usher in an age of peace, enlightenment, and fluffy bunnies.

That said, angry spirits, if you chose to stand against me, be aware that I have terrible powers at my disposal. Should conflict arise, I will destroy you as easily as Optimus Prime would tear the stuffing from a one-armed Muppet with a learning disability.

Humorous hyperbole aside, I am looking forward to the con. This will be my first Dragoncon, and I hear it’s a hoot. It will be nice to just be able to stroll around and look at things, as opposed to rushing from one panel to another.

Plus, I’m thinking of wearing a kilt. That might be tricky, if I was doing a lot of panels. Panelists tend to sit up in front of the audience, and I’m not used to keeping my knees together….

For those of you who are going to be in the neighborhood, but don’t want to brave the convention crowd. I’m going to be making a stop at the Decatur book festival while I’m in town. I’ll be on a panel about Fantasy with Peter S. Beagle from 12:00 – 1:00 at the Decatur Library Stage, wherever that is.

Yeah. That’s going to be cool. I’m also hoping to hang around a bit with Peter at bit at the convention. Now that we’ve already met once, hopefully I can be a little more relaxed.

If you happen to see me at the con, feel free to come up and say howdy and ask me to sign a book if you have one with you. I’m down with that.

That’s all for now folks. Wish me luck,

pat

Posted in appearances, conventions, my terrible wrath | By Pat20 Responses
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