Monthly Archives: March 2012
Okay, I’ll admit it. If you mention Pulp Fiction to me, I immediately think of the movie with John Travolta and some other people. To be honest, I fall in the I hate it category. I couldn’t watch it – not because of some moralistic stand, but because it jumped around and didn’t hold my attention or make me care about the characters. So, if you say Pulp Fiction, I often tune out. However, I learned some things this past weekend at MidSouthCon. One of the things I learned about was Pulp Fiction – true Pulp Fiction.
At it’s earliest, Pulp Fiction referred to the type of paper the fiction was printed on. Pulp paper was the paper that was left over after you made high quality paper. It was cheap, the ink often smeared, and the pages were a bit yellow. And on those yellowed pages, what was considered the dross of the literary world was printed. However, you would be surprised at the names you hear mentioned in the world of Pulp: H.P Lovecraft, Ian Fleming, and Louis L’Amour to name a few. Today the idea of Pulp Fiction has morphed from meaning things printed on low quality paper to representing a style of story that is fast-paced with larger-than-life characters – a style reminiscent of that found in those yellowed pages.
If you’d like to learn more about Pulp Fiction you can go to Pro Se Press, where you will find information on New Pulp that is being published and a Pulp Obscura page to help you learn about some of the old characters that have been lost to today’s culture.
Imagine being in a crowded hallway. You dodge medieval knights, nobility, and peasants. All of a sudden you find yourself facing a couple of stormtroopers weapons at the ready as a Wookiee quickly darts down another hall. Slipping past the stormtroopers, you find yourself encircled by nubile dancers clothed in ornate flowing robes eyes peering at you from their veil covered faces. And as you are suddenly shanghaied by a pirate, you realize that this is not a dream. You are in fact at MidSouthCon, a regional Science Fiction, Fantasy, Science, Comics, Costuming, Anime, and Gaming convention held annually.
I had the privilege of attending for the first time this year. The writers’ conference was my reason for attending, and my friend Lisa Collins is the
instigator person who convinced me to attend. Imagine my joy knowing that I would be surrounded by writers like Michael Stackpole, Cat Rambo, and Glenn Cook!
One of the first things I attended was a panel on Con Etiquette. As a newbie and someone that loves to know what to expect, this was the ideal first panel. What I learned was pretty much everything I had thought or planned was wrong. This was not the place to go and try showing my work, but was a place to learn from others and make some friends in the writing community. The only thing I needed was a friendly attitude, listening ears, and business cards. Fortunately, I did think to print a few at the last minute. (See I got something right. ) I also learned that stalking the authors is bad. Okay, well, you might think this one is obvious; but, apparently, not everyone finds it as obvious. I was horrified to hear what some people have done and felt bad for the authors who had to figure their way out of awkward situations.
Well, progress the weekend and it seems that every corner, panel, and meal seemed to lead us into the path of Cat Rambo. Try as we might to avoid the magnetic pull of Cat, we continued to find her whether she was speaking, on the panel, or just listening. Finally, the confrontation happened. Lisa walked onto the elevator to take her to our room and onto the same elevator walks Cat. Lisa turned and asked directly, “Are you stalking me?” The irony and hilarity of the comment sent Cat into a fit of laughter. It is our claim to fame this weekend that we were stalked by Cat Rambo. How many of you can say that?
Today, I am going to MidSouth Con to attend the writers conference. To say I’m scared would be understating things greatly. I am also very excited by it. Thanks to my wonderful friend, Lisa M. Collins, I am on my way. So, what do I hope to accomplish. I hope to rid myself of a lot of my fears by really learning from the authors and editors what I need to do in order to give myself a chance in the writing market.
I go with the hopes of being inspired. And I go with the hopes of making new contacts and friends who will also encourage me in my literary endeavors. It’s all part of putting my feet to the pavement. I must learn more about this craft and actively pursue it if it is my dream. And it is.
So, stay tuned my friends. There should be some changes a’ comin’!
If you’re new to the Little Rock area, you may not know about beautiful Wye Mountain. At Wye Mountain, there is a gorgeous field of daffodils, which are at their peak. That means you need to head out there soon if you’d like to take family or children’s pictures there. The flowers don’t last long. If you miss them, you’ll have to wait until next year. The field of daffodils is owned by a little church there.
Take a picnic lunch, your camera, and family and have a great time. To get to Wye Mountain take Arkansas Highway 113, north of Arkansas Highway 10 (travel west on Highway 10 from Little Rock and turn north on 113 at the upper end of Lake Maumelle) and follow the signs.