The Virtue of Virtual Conventions

I’ve just been to my second virtual convention. I went to SFWA’s Nebula Convention and now World Fantasy Convention. I enjoyed both. The first is an industry convention, focused on writers as professionals–so the focus is on contracts, agents, as well as craft; the second more a fan-run, but fan and author centered convention more about what is being published, talking about great stories you’ve read, and working with themes of that particular convention.

I used to go to about three conventions a year— World Fantasy, Can-Con, SFWA/Nebulas, and maybe AWP, sometimes. I’ve been to one WorldCon, a couple of smaller local conventions–Confluence, and Philcon. I did this to see friends, but mostly I did them as a professional writer–someone wanting to get better at writing, meet other writers, get to know publications, publishers, editors and agents that I might like to work with. Friends are a benefit of going to the cons. They are often a lot of fun too. But fun is expensive too.

Sometimes it came from my own pocket. Sometimes I had department money (when I was a lecturer or sometimes as an adjunct teacher). Sometimes I was helped out by Yukon funding–through CITF (the Cultural Industries Training Fund, which allowed artists to go outside the Yukon [Territory in Canada] to receive training). Each of these conferences was expensive in its own way. Travel, hotel, food were all the same—near $1000 these days, but higher when I lived in the Yukon (travel to get out and back to the Yukon was $500–and that was only to 6 major cities at the time, so + more to get farther), and varied registration costs, some lower, which helped some of the smaller cons be more affordable.

I always had a great time, though! I always made new friends and had experiences and memories I will keep with me forever.

But there are virtues to Virtual Cons, and I want to talk about that.

Virtual cons are completely online, and have the same programming and panels–and many of the same features–as a F2F conference. They usually have spaces for panels, for readings, and bar/patio lingering. And John Scalzi has deejayed two dance parties for SFWA already. These cons are usually held on Zoom (or Crowdcast–which uses Zoom). They last as long as F2F conventions. So–much is very similar, content wise. How do they stack up to F2F conventions?

The Virtue of Virtual Conventions

Cost efficient (conventions are often $1000 with flights, hotels, meals, and registration) reduced to $150 or lower just to attend from your bedroom at home.

ADA accessible –those with mobility issues or accessibility needs can go to these conventions because they don’t have to face travel, hotels and convention spaces that are often not accommodating to their needs

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MY PATREON

Hairy Fairies in the gardens! The Gardens of the Mythbegotten, my current name for this little bit of joy and peace in the midst of 2020 chaos, is the Patreon place where I create small watercolor paintings of fairies playing and misbehaving and having a great time. Occasionally satyrs, Minotaurs, centaurs join them…. and it’s light hearted. I sell the paintings, and I also have really cool incentives to stay in the gardens for awhile.

Leaf-Surfing!

Here are some of the things you can get:

  • All the photos of my paintings as they are completed. You’ll see them first before I post them on Facebook or Squarespace or Redbubble so that if you want to buy one, you can. You get first choice.
  • Process photos—how I make them and what my thoughts were going into the painting.
  • Little meditations on art (famous art, but also my friends’ art because they deserve some cool essays AND you get to find out about art you might not know about that is deserving a look!
  • Weekly Tarot for Creators—a spread of cards for your week as a creator, with enough to inspire your work, OR to give you a head’s up about the week AS a creator. What energies are there for you as a creator?
  • At some levels you get a card mailed to you every month, a print, of one of the paintings.
  • Time-lapse videos of a painting
  • Stickers!
  • Stories about the Gardens with new illustrations
  • T-shirts, mugs, buttons!
  • Commissioned pieces!

These gardens are queer friendly, racially diverse, age diverse, and body diverse, and sex positive. While there are no depictions of sex happening—the often nude bodies and playfulness of characters suggest it happens. 

For $1 a month, you can have my pictures emailed to you, and the other tiers are affordable for so much garden goodies! Check out the Patreon and see what’s happening in the Garden!

Patreon.com/jeromestueart

Big Bear Tarot–a new gig

Summer 2020 has been difficult. With layoffs, festivals canceled, limited teaching, I’ve found it harder to make money, but I have been keeping busy. I’ve been learning new skills in watercolor painting, taken classes in figure drawing and fiction, painted acrylic paintings, started a work out program, ended a workout program, quit art school, started a new program at a different school, taught kids how to write online, watched a lot of great online discussions from authors, started doing small watercolor paintings, opened a patreon—and built about five websites! LOL.

I also took my interest in tarot cards to another level, training with classes from a well known, experienced Tarot Card Reader, The Tarot Lady, Theresa Reed.

And now I’ve started doing readings so that I can become better.

The official site is BIG BEAR TAROT and you can check it out at that link.

I will always find the cards fascinating. I love the symbols and the way the symbols create a narrative out of your situation. As a fiction writer and artist–the images and the narrative and symbols appeal to me. I find it fascinating that I can randomly draw three cards from a deck of 78 and be able to talk about the things that are really on my/your mind. I do draw them for myself too… and they help me have a conversation about things I need to think about. I think it is uncanny. I cannot explain it. But I trust it.

I do email readings right now, or I will give you a video if you prefer.

I’m especially hoping to reach out to the queer community, bears, etc. I’ve noticed a lot of my bear friends having it rough emotionally and psychologically. If I can help by being intuitive for them, I want to do that.

Original Art Available on Squarespace

I have put my available original artwork on Squarespace. All my watercolors of fairies in the garden, Gardens of the Mythbegotten, and all the Yukon Cornelius paintings as well as my more controversial paintings of police action in Columbus.

You can follow the link to Squarespace here.

Remember too, that if you want any of these images on magnets, buttons, aprons, pillows, journals, that you can follow my link to Redbubble here.

Fairies in the Garden, my newest painting series

I recently started a new series of paintings about fairies and gardens. This has been a breath of fresh air for me, as I can complete a painting in a couple of hours, and they bring me a lot of joy.

This summer has been a hard summer for everyone, and getting paint supplies and committing to a large painting has been a bigger endeavor than it usually has. But also, America’s MidLife Crisis, it’s 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War period (some call it America’s Pluto Return, as the planet Pluto comes back to the same place where it was during that time), and it is still dealing with some heavy karma from slavery and injustice to black people, as well as the xenophobic genocide of Native Americans/Indigenous peoples of North America. Protests and police brutality, a pandemic, rampant unemployment, and everyone in lockdown for months. It’s not life as usual, and so my painting took a different turn.

I took a break from the Yukon Cornelius paintings in May, and did a couple of paintings in response to the protests and police reaction. These felt good at the time–though I was scared of voicing my anger and disappointment., fearing reprisal. Frankly, those paintings were emotionally draining. I had to keep my anger and frustration at a roar to complete them, each over about a week. Columbus has been engulfed in police pushback. And I was afraid for weeks if I said anything (while that might have been wild to think, the police have been appearing at people’s homes to arrest them for participating in protests).

I have been doing little paintings and drawings for a penpal in Vegas, and one of those took a fairies in the garden turn:

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“Postlude to the Afternoon of a Faun” is a 2020 World Fantasy Finalist!

I was thrilled to discover Monday night, July 27, after my Twitter started rumbling with good news, that my little story about fauns and jazz and mentoring and hope was included on a fantabulous finalist list of authors for the World Fantasy Awards! Completely unexpected!

Here is the list for Short Fiction posted on Locus Online (where you can find the whole list of finalists!)

Best Short Fiction

  • “For He Can Creep”, Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com 7/10/19)
  • “Read After Burning”, Maria Dahvana Headley (A People’s Future of the United States)
  • “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 7-8/19)
  • “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger”, Rivers Solomon (Tor.com 7/24/19)
  • “Postlude to the Afternoon of a Faun”, Jerome Stueart (F&SF 3-4/19)
  • “Everyone Knows That They’re Dead. Do You?”, Genevieve Valentine (The Outcast Hours)

I was and still am overwhelmed by the fact that I’m on that list! And so grateful for the happy texts and good thoughts and congratulations that came from everyone! It was a wonderful time in the midst of America’s Midlife Crisis, and I am eternally grateful for the kindness and joy I received.

I congratulate all the finalists on the whole ballot! But especially my compatriots on the Short Fiction list: Siobhan Carroll, Maria Dahvana Headley, Sarah Pinsker, Rivers Solomon, Genevieve Valentine! It is a strong ballot and I am honored to be on it!

If you are interested in reading my story, the best place would be to buy a copy of F&SF straight from their site (or from Amazon!).

Welcome Columbus Arts Festival Lovers! How to Find My Art

THANK YOU FOR COMING TO MY WEBSITE! This is just my blogsite, but a link is below to go to where I sell my art.

I’m so very honored to have been selected as an Emerging Artist this year at the Columbus Arts Festival. While we are all sad that we can’t be physically together, I have created a site to sell my art, and to take commissions.

If you want to view my original art for sale, follow this link:

Jerome Stueart Art at Squarespace —use the password “yukon” (no quotation marks) to get in.

If you would rather have a print, a mug, a phone case, or were just thinking of more affordable purchases, please see my Redbubble site, where some of the designs are available right now. I hope to have more designs up soon.

Thank you again for coming! If you want to come back and check out my blog—I am a writer and artist —feel free to come again.

Awards Eligibility Post, 2019

I only published one thing this year, 2019, but it was a big publication for me. “Postlude to the Afternoon of a Faun” was a novelette (8000 words) published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the March/April 2019 issue and is eligible for Canadian and American writing awards. It is Fantasy. It’s about the power of music, music mentoring, about the courage to go on after loss, and features jazz-playing fauns. The character is queer and disabled. He stays queer and disabled and alive through the whole story.

Below you’ll find a link to the whole story here online, or you can read an excerpt from it.

*I am a Canadian and American writer, holding dual citizenship.

Thank you for visiting my 2019 year round up page, and I hope you enjoy my story.

Excerpt:

________________

Postlude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Mr. Dance couldn’t keep his eyes off Eric’s clarinet. From the moment the young football player opened the black case and revealed the instrument, Mr. Dance knew that what he thought had been broken– as his legs were– or lost–as he felt–had instead been hidden for a hundred years.

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Clarion Write-A-Thon 10, June 23-Aug 3

Alumni and friends of Clarion come together every summer now online to participate in a 6 week writing spree—to see what we can get written, while the new Clarionites are in San Diego (La Jolla) with professional writers teaching them how to be the writers they want to be.

Our job–as alumni and friends–is just to write alongside them at home and help raise money for Clarion’s scholarships for next year.

I’m working on two projects that need to be finished. You can help writers by donating per word to their word goals. Someone has funded me at .000010 a word already! Which will net Clarion a grand total of $40 from that person—but it helps us push ourselves to raise as much money for Clarion as we can.

I’ve written about my Clarion experience, (and Nostalgia, thy name is Clarion,) which changed my life in 2007. It started me on the road to being the science fiction/fantasy writer I wanted to be. It was also the same year I drove up to the Yukon to move there! So lots of changes at once.

Clarion has helped a lot of writers. You might recognize the names of graduates: Kim Stanley Robinson, Jeff Vandermeer, Cory Doctorow, Octavia Butler, Carmen Maria Machado, Vonda McIntyre, Kelly Link, Nalo Hopkinson, Robert Crais, Bruce Sterling… the list is long. These 2019 writers—you’re going to read their stuff soon too.

Come drop by Clarion Write-A-Thon and choose some writers to pledge along their way, help push them to meet their goals! Clarion gets all the money–actually, the students get the money through scholarships. But we get the encouragement of someone rooting us along!

I’d love to have you come by and sponsor me per word for .00001 or more or less. Come by and see what people are writing!

UFO Sightings in the Yukon Territory

Look! It’s a young ME!

Everyone got excited about a light in the sky after sunset tonight, here in Dayton, OH.

We all went outside and it looked to my eye like it was moving, drifting, changing its brightness. Someone said it might be Mercury or Jupiter, so we all looked—and sure enough, that was where Mercury was supposed to be (though a little high). I’m sure now it was probably a weather balloon… shiny and drifting in the breeze… so bright.

We had a debate online about what it was, and it reminded me of this article I wrote about 10 years ago when I lived in the Yukon Territory (Spring, 2010 issue of Yukon North of Ordinary).

It was probably the best article I ever wrote–certainly one of the most fun–and it was for the magazine Yukon North of Ordinary, the in-flight magazine of Air North. I was asked to write it as a science fiction writer looking into sightings of UFOs. Everyone who commissioned this article thought it would be funny, light-hearted, and that I would have a great time talking aliens with folks, but that I would know the difference between fact and fiction.

Well. That didn’t go as anyone planned.

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