Can-Con 2017

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

This weekend was Can-Con. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you’ll know that we’re big fans.

It’s a fantastic convention for two reasons. The first being how attentive and open the organizers are and the second because of everyone who participates.

I spent more time chatting in the dealer’s room than attending panels this year. There are a few panels I wish I had been able to attend, but was either too burnt out or doing something else.

Highlights from Can-Con 2017

Waiting to sign books. Picture from Lesley Donaldson‏

  • The Ottawa Writers community being awesome as usual
  • Listening to Steven Erikson being interview by Black Gate
  • My first signing session (didn’t sign anything but I was sitting next to S. M. Carrière, Steven Erikson, and Robert Sawyer, so I was in fantastic company.)
  • Watching S. M. Carrière geek out about Steven Erikson
  • The Renaissance reading that had a whole lot of people in it.
  • Getting to Pitch Everdome to Kim-Mei Kirtland
  • Having Kim-Mei Kirtland like my pitch for Everdome
  • The Asexuality panel which was so full I had to tuck myself into a corner. It was really interesting and illuminating.
  • The look of pure joy on an audience member when they learnt that Keladry (the Protector of the Small, not the Baby Dragon) was confirmed by Tamora Pierce to be Asexual.
  • Watching Keladry walking around smiling at everyone
  • Learning that Tanya Huff really likes our coffee
  • Meeting people that I’ve only ever interacted with online

Conclusion

Can-Con, for me, is about basking in the love this community has for genre writing and stories. I’m still a fledgling author and I never feel like anyone is judging. They are supportive, loving, and so kind.

 

Thank you to everyone who was there!

Éric

This Weekend is CAN-CON YAY!

JenEric Designs, JenEric Coffee, Blush, and Éric Desmarais will all be at CAN-CON: Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature this weekend.

The dealer’s room is open to the public all three days.

Both Jen and Éric will be available Saturday and Sunday in the dealer’s room. (We will be at a wedding on Friday.)

Dealers Room Hours

Friday: 17:00-19:00

Saturday: 10:00-17:00

Sunday: 10:00-15:00

Éric Desmarais’s Schedule

Saturday 2:00-2:30: Signing in the Dealer’s Room

Saturday 21:00-22:00: Panel Spam Meet Salon D

Sunday 10:00-10:50: Renaissance Press Readings Salon B

 

See you there!

Éric

Aurora Awards Nominations

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Allow me to be completely shameless. This year I have a book, a short story, and a few projects that are eligible for the Aurora Awards.

Aurora Awards

aurora

The Aurora Awards are awards, “for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy works and activities.” They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

It’s a fan voted award in the vein of the Hugo’s, but with way more awesome people.

You’ll have to join the CSFFA for a pittance of $10 before you can nominate anyone. Once you’ve paid, you can nominate 5 works in each category. You can nominate works from now until May 6th.

The extra bonus of joining the CSFFA is you’ll get a voters package that includes most of the works that make the ballot. That’s 8-10 novels plus a bunch of other awesome stuff.

What do I have that’s eligible

study ebook cover

My debut novel, A Study in Aether is eligible in the YA category and my short story Gladiators in SPACE!  is eligible for Short Story.

Recommendations

Now that I’ve been shameless, here are a few works that I think are truly worth an award this year:

Novels

YA Novels

Related Work

Fan Writing and Publication

Fan Organizational

Other Options

The Aurora’s website has a section that lets you see eligible works. I like to think of it as a shopping list.

 

Go Nominate Works and enjoy the amazing science fiction and fantasy that came out last year.

Éric

 

Éric Desmarais

At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Éric Desmarais (FacebookTwitter, website) is one of those. He is a young adult urban fantasy/mystery author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet him at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Blush Guest Post: Sexy and disabled. Yes, you can be both.

Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ‘Cosm, a comedy sci-fi with love, adventure, and an unusual amount of dessert. You can find her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter, and can meet her at the Massive Mega Multi Author Launch on October 29, 2016. Both her book Life in the ‘Cosm and Blush will be officially launched on that day, so come out (in costume if you wish!) and enjoy the party!


A shout-out to Jen Desmarais for asking me to contribute as a guest blogger. Thank you so much for including me in the discussion. It’s really important for non-disabled folks to remember that people with disabilities can and want to get it on, too. (Cue the slow jam of choice.)

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Drawing by Cait Gordon.

I have a disability that causes widespread nerve pain, chronic fatigue, and mobility impairment. My turn-ons include fresh sheets, kisses during walks in the sunset, and cupcakes. Like a shocking amount of people I enjoy having sex, and I don’t mind saying so. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Well, according to an article I read on the Disabled World website: “Sex and disability tends to be a taboo area for many abled bodied persons and is rarely discussed in the same sentence. As a result more than 50% of disabled people do not have any form of a regular sex life.” (Disability Sexuality: Information on Sex & Disabled Sexual Issues, Disabled Word)

I reckon that just because half of people with disabilities aren’t having sex, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their preferred choice. They are mostly-likely the victims of incorrect assumptions and ignorance.

At Can*Con 2016, I attended a candid panel about sex led by Canadian author Angela S. Stone. In my opinion the panellists created a safe space for us not only to talk about how we can write about sex as authors, but also to discuss how we have sex in real life. When Angela spoke about there being ways other than the missionary position, I agreed wholeheartedly. My hand shot up and I said, “I have a disability. That’s why my husband and I created the Gordon Sutra.” I meant no disrespect to the actual Kama Sutra, but it was my way of describing how as a married couple, we figured out there was more than one way to do the magical it. I also added, addressing the other authors, “Please make sure to write about disabled people having sex, because we have sex, too!” We really do, you know.

Several years ago a young person in my life, who understood how acute my chronic pain was, asked me, “So, sex. Do you still have it?” I replied, “Yup, it’s my anti-inflammatory medicine!” For me—and I am talking about my personal experience only—having sex increased my circulation and loosened my overly-stiff connective tissues. The endorphins reduced my awareness of pain, and the orgasm relaxed me all over. This special connection with my spouse did many things I cannot even explain scientifically. It was a natural therapy while remaining a delicious way of expressing love with my partner.

Things went merrily along with my sex life until I developed chronic severe nerve pain in my pelvis. It lasted four years and was so acute, it even hurt to sit down on a firm chair. Intercourse was mind-numbingly painful. Eventually, everything came to a full-stop in the bedroom. Gone were the lovely anti-inflammatory benefits, replaced with the fear of having sex. I sought medical help for years, without finding a solution. In fact, my pain became much worse and debilitating. Even though my spouse remained remarkably understanding and extremely affectionate, I missed being with him in that way.

Finally, a gynecologist who I’ll name Doctor Awesomesauce explained that my nerve pain was preventing her from examining me. She said it was the equivalent to being poked in the eye. Yowch! Doctor Awesomesauce diagnosed me with pelvic myalgia, which had been triggered by extremely weakened pelvic floor muscles. The prognosis showed I had a good chance that pelvic-floor physiotherapy would work for me. I tried it. Even after the first two weeks, I noticed some pain reduction. I couldn’t wait to have sex again!

It was still difficult to do right away, though. Then it hit me—the heck with intercourse for now. Let’s try outercourse!

Why do we underplay sexual touching? Or am I the only one who thinks we do? I nickname it, “Going to the Petting Zoo.” It’s so sexy all by itself and I wish I had thought of it earlier. Happy sighs were emitted and regular love-making was back in our lives again. After several more sessions the pelvic-floor physiotherapy was successful and now I have a whole arsenal of options to choose from whenever we bring sexy back in our homestead.

You see, lovely non-disabled peeps, I never once thought for even a fleeting moment to accept my disability as a reason for not having sex. As with everything in my life, I just try to find a workaround that makes sense for my body. My libido is quite healthy, so I have the desire to nurture it like anyone else does, and often. Woof!

To readers with disabilities, I salute you, and hope you find the best solution that works for you, medical help with listening ears, and a partner who is enthusiastic to help you in your quest. I even wish you a method that does the job you when you’re all by yourself! It can sometimes be a bit of a maze to discover the how-to’s, but it’s well worth the journey.

May your sexy days be too numerous to count!

Jen Desmarais

At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Jen Desmarais (website) is…well, me. (This is incredibly weird to write.) I am a card game designer for the sexual education/communication game Blush, published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website)! You can meet me at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Cait Gordon

At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Cait (pronounced Cat) Gordon (FacebookTwitter, website) is one of those. She is a science fiction/fantasy author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and she seriously loves desserts! She’s a fantastic person to talk to, and has a great Irish accent that gets more pronounced when she’s excited. You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Madona Skaff-Koren

At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Madona Skaff-Koren (Twitter, website) is one of those. She is a mystery author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Melissa Yi

At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had to opportunity the meet some incredible people. Melissa Yi (Twitter, website) is one of those. She is an M.D. and author, and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Derek Newman-Stille

At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had to opportunity to meet some incredible people. Derek Newman-Stille (Twitter) is one of those. On top of being a bad-ass secret monster, a PhD candidate, reviewer, editor, and artist, he runs the five-time Aurora Award winning website Speculating Canada!

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