I’ve become a regular at a few open mics, and my favorites are now available on Zoom. You can attend and read yourself (or just listen). These are friendly, supportive environments. If you’re up for competition, look for The Moth–sometimes we get to hear Moth practice material at our our meetups. I’m the tech person for the South Bay open mics, so I will always be there 🙂

What/WhenHow to Attend
South Bay First Fridays
7:30 – 9:30 pm (PDT/PST)
Join the Zoom via Meetup
Anyone can read anything that’s not NSFW, up to 10 minutes.
South Bay Third Fridays
7:30 – 9:30 pm (PDT/PST)
Join the Zoom via Meetup
Anyone can read anything (NSFW is rare, but OK), up to 10 minutes.
SF Peninsula Fourth Tuesdays
7:00 – 9:00 pm (PDT/PST)
Join the Zoom via Meetup
Anyone who wants to read gets 5-8 minutes, depending on how many participants there are.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with the inimitable Fairy Princess Lolly, the public face of Fae Productions, which in normal times produces fantastic in-person festival events. During Covid times, FPL has expanded her online presence, including adding an Author Reads program. It was super-fun! I read from my published book and from the one I’m querying— Lidian’s Promise—and we talked and talked about writing ideas, characters, all the good stuff. Plus, we had TWO giveaways!

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YouTube video from FaeProductions: Author Reads with Vanessa MacLaren-Wray

A screenshot showing a sand-dune scene with a blue sky, mostly hidden by the planned program of a BayCon mini-con, with Vanessa MacLaren-Wray and G. David Nordley at 12:45 pm, with Carrie Sessarego and Lilian Csernica presenting Romands in the time of COVID, Wanta Kurtcuand Bradford Lyau on A global approach to genre literature, Steve Libbey and Derek McCaw on Movie industry and streaming, Galen Dara, Cody Parcell, and Keliana on Cover art, Cory Doctorow and Howard Davidson on How do we survive social engineering, and M. Todd Gallowglas on In defense of Brevity in genre fiction.

I’m a regular participant at BayCon, our San Francisco Bay Area science fiction/fantasy convention. Usually, I get to take part in the science-y panels, because … I know stuff, I guess.

The BayCon crew launched a series of mini-cons to make up for having to cancel the convention last year and this year. The most-recent one had a technical track, so I had the opportunity to take part in a panel that I’d proposed for BayCon 2020! G. David Nordley and I discussed Who Is Going to Own Space?

With so many countries and private entities jumping into space activities, the topic has returned as to who has rights in space, what the constraints are, and where we may be falling behind in forming (and enforcing) international agreements. My launching point was how Elon Musk’s project to put up thousands satellites essentially gives him ownership of those orbits. We’re at 1:45 in the recording of the event. It’s a Zoom recording, so you need the passcode: v&L@oar7 and then the link.