We had a blast!
I met samhenderson early Saturday morning at her home in Covina where we carpooled to San Diego. As we got out of the car in the Handlery Hotel parking lot, we spotted fellow poet Kendall Evans doing the same. (There is an odd phenomenon in the universe that ensures that Kendall and Sam will arrive in the same place at the same time regardless of where they both drove from. After some study of this, I can only confirm that it happens, but not why.).
(We heard later that Jules spotted us in the parking lot and the vision of the three of us together was so terrifying that she disappeared into panels before we could spot her!)
The con had given us a fan table right outside the dealer room where we were able to set out free flyers and some giveaway issues of Dreams & Nightmares, The Shantytown Anomaly, Dwarf Stars, Scifaikuest, and a couple of my chapbooks. I also put out sample copies of Star*Line, The Rhysling Anthology, Alchemy of Stars, Mythic 2, and Mythic Delirium. (These I kept with me when the table was unmanned, although I did end up giving away a copy of Mythic 2 to the daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley). I also made commemorative bookmarks related to the convention theme “Worlds of Magic” using one of my scifaiku from The Shantytown Anomaly.
We had a two hour window of time in the afternoon for a 3:00 workshop and a 4:00 poetry reading. samhenderson was the emcee for both.
For the workshop, we had prepared some poetry prompts out of the cardstock leftovers from my bookmarks. Each participant had the choice of choosing from one of three stacks of card prompts.
One stack contained words from “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. The assignment was to write a poem using the Jabberwocky word.
A second assignment was based on two stacks of prompts, the first with a name of a planet, the second with a name of a fairy tale. The poet was to write a poem using the planet and the fairy tale.
The third choice was a wild-card stack of random poetry prompts thought up by Kendall.
After handing out the prompts, I gave a five-minute speech about scifaiku while the participants reflected upon their prompts. We then gave them some time to write and afterwards, poets were given the opportunity to read what they wrote. Some wonderful poems were written in this session. Hopefully, they will start appearing in journals near you.
The workshop was followed by the poetry reading and afterwards a group of us (Sam, Kendall, Terrie Relf, Scott Virtes and his wife Carmen, Kevin Murphy, Deborah Flores, and me) went out to dinner. I’m looking forward to next year.
Debbie and Sam are very surprised to find a poem by Albert Goldbarth in the 2006 Rhysling Anthology.
Kendall and Sam man the SFPA fan table.
(back, left to right): Debbie Kolodji, J.C. Runolfson, Samantha Henderson, Kevin Murphy, Deborah Flores
(front) Kendall Evans
Carmen and Scott Virtes with Terrie Leigh Relf behind them.