Thursday, May 04, 2017


Last weekend I attended RavenCon in Williamsburg, Virginia, with my husband and youngest son. This was our first experience of that convention:


Weather was excellent. The location gave us special pleasure because we graduated from the College of William and Mary (as a married couple with small children, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth). On Friday night we had dinner at the historic King's Arms Tavern, one of our favorite places.

The guests of honor were Mercedes Lackey and her husband, author/artist Larry Dixon. Since Lackey is one of my favorite authors, and I'd never seen her in person before, this was a great thrill for me. Unfortunately, she had a bad cold. Friday night she introduced herself with, "I will be your disease vector for this weekend." However, she seemed to have recovered a bit by Saturday. I watched her appearance on a panel about using mythology in fantasy fiction, her author reading session, and an interview of her and her husband. The latter event included, among other topics, much discussion of wild bird rehab, which I found fascinating, and car racing, which I must admit left me rather cold.

I participated in the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading—ten authors with a four-minute slot each—in which I read an action sequence from the recently re-published fantasy romance LEGACY OF MAGIC by my husband (Leslie Roy Carter) and me. It wasn't a very big gathering, but chocolate was provided. For an hour I sat at the Horror Writers Association Virginia chapter's table and sold one copy of my Lovecraft-themed paranormal romance, SEALING THE DARK PORTAL.

Among other panels, I listened to discussions of world-building, "writing about horrible things," female heroes in contemporary media, the TV series SUPERGIRL, and looking "beyond the binary gaze" to consider people who don't fall into the typical masculine-feminine dichotomy, whether straight or gay. I also saw the second hour of a very detailed presentation, with slides, on what happens to dead bodies. The part I attended covered embalming, funeral, and cremation procedures. Saturday night featured a lively costume contest hosted by a stand-up-comedy pair of men. The half-time show (while waiting for the judges' verdicts) starred a singer of romantic-Gothic style music. Around twenty entrants appeared in the masquerade, I think. The youngest was a toddler dressed as a baby kraken on a leash held by his mother, costumed as a pirate. The winning multi-person presentation showcased the "Food Group Fairies," consisting of such personae as the bacon group and the cheese snack group. Best in show, a zombie nurse (from a series I'm not familiar with) brandishing a knife and garbed all in white aside from a blood spot over one eye on her white-shrouded face, was truly creepy. She moved in a weirdly jerky undead manner that produced a deeply uncanny effect.

We'll probably go to this con again, especially since it's only an easy half-day's drive from home (my approximate cut-off time for willingness to drive anywhere).

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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