by ebbierowe | Feb 14, 2022 | Activities, Engagement
Gamers, this one is for you! A weekend at JordanCon is great, but what if you need a quick D&D fix? Or have you been dying to show off your Magic the Gathering skills to people that will actually care? Maybe you aren’t a gamer, but you are curious about those strategy games that take hours and this weekend you just happen to have the time. Then trust me, the Gaming Track is the place for you!
The game room is an ideal place to meet new people with similar interests. It is a relaxed area where you are welcome to come, play, and have fun even if you have never played before. Game demos are great to try new games out or just revisit old favorites. There are a wide variety of games, and you are welcome to bring your own to share
If you like Magic the Gathering, they have a draft for you. D&D is a favorite for those who want to delve into a dark hole for gold, glory, and adventure. Check out the Open Gaming if you want to try some of the demo games yourself or with your friends.
More of an observer? Come see the winning module from our Gaming Module Writing Contest get played by your favorite authors; proceeds from the event go to the Mayo Clinic.
By the way, the Gaming Module Writing contest is still taking entries. The deadline is March 1st at noon. For more information on the rules and how to enter email email@example.com
Gaming is open not only during the regular programming day but also afterward until 11:30 pm. So you can have the best of both worlds. Keep an eye out for the Gaming Track schedule as we get closer to the con.
by ebbierowe | Feb 7, 2022 | Engagement, Uncategorized
As a new JordanCon Member, you will notice three things as you move through the convention space: ribbons, tiaras, and kilts. I am sure you have already heard talk of ribbons in the group so let’s get started with those.
Ribbons are fancy accouterments that are a must-have at JordanCon. Now there even seems to be an unspoken competition between some in the JordanCon family to see who can collect the most ribbons.
There are two kinds of ribbons:
- Official con ribbons (vendor, director, program participant, volunteer)
- Fun ribbons you can get from anyone from vendors to other Con-goers (and even a few select directors)
Anyone can create a “fun ribbon.” One of the more popular places to get ribbons is PC Nametag (please note: this is not an endorsement of this vendor).
Ribbons are placed on the bottom of your con badge using the adhesive on the top of the ribbon. Each additional ribbon is added to the bottom of the previous ribbon.
For some “fun ribbons,” the owner of the ribbons may ask you to complete a task. Sometimes it is simply reciting a phrase.… Other times it might be to pledge your soul to The Dark One, so use your own best judgment in these circumstances.
You will see many members adorned with a tiara or crown of some sort. While this is in no way required, it is certainly fun. Anyone who wishes to wear a tiara or crown is more than welcome to. In the past, we have coordinated a picture with everyone wearing their royal headpiece. I am sure we will probably make this happen again this year. Keep an eye out for more information on that. This wonderful tradition was started by our very own creator and con chair, Jenn Liang. To get the full story you can check out this blog post.
Not to be outdone by our tiara/crown-loving crowd, we have a contingent of con-goers that have brought kilts into the fold (and we are so grateful for that). On the Friday of JordanCon, you will find quite a few members sporting kilts. A couple of them will even have a crown on to complete their outfit. You can find out more about the origin of “On Friday We Wear Kilts!” in this blog post.
There are more shenanigans that exist at JordanCon, some from JordanCon One, some a little more recent. And undoubtedly you and you’re new family will create some of your own.
There is never any pressure for anyone to participate in any of these extracurricular activities. But know all are welcome to join if and when they feel comfortable.
by ebbierowe | Jan 17, 2022 | Engagement
It is January 2022, which means it is time for the much-anticipated blog series “New Member Mondays.”
Now, as a New Member, you may be wondering, “What under the Light is a ‘New Member Monday’?”
Well, it is a series of blog posts written by the New Member Services Team (Ebony Adomanis and Arthur Gibson) to inform our newest members (and maybe some of our more experienced members) about the different aspects of JordanCon to put them at ease and help them get super excited about attending.
As we all know, COVID has changed how many Cons operate, and JordanCon is no exception. However, along with those changes, JordanCon has also made changes to make the Con more efficient and enjoyable for all, so you JordanCon vets might want to take a gander at these posts also.
We will have New Member Monday blog posts about the following topics (in no particular order):
- Changes to JordanCon for 2022
- Ribbons, Tiaras, and Kilts
- Workshops & How to Sign Up
- The Amazing Art Show
- The Charity Auction
- How to Volunteer
- The Gaming Track
- The Dealer’s Hall
- Panels and Programming
While these are the topics we have planned, there is definitely room to add some, so let us know if you have a topic or area about which you would like more details!
In addition to our New Member Monday blog posts, we plan to do some live Q&A/Member Connect Sessions. We will share more information about those soon.
So sit back and get ready to learn about all things JordanCon. If you have any questions or suggestions, just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by pandrewfloyd | Dec 27, 2021 | Engagement, Uncategorized, Wheel of Time TV Show
Welcome to the Penultimate Mostly-Kind-Of-But-Not-Really Accurate WoT Show Meme Recap!
(Warning: Spoilers for Episodes 1-7)
Episode 7, titled “The Dark Along The Ways,” begins with a pregnant Aiel woman just trying to give birth in peace. But for some reason, a bunch of dudes in armor really don’t want her to. She is amazing, though, and proves Edna Mode correct in her assessment on capes. She beats the soldiers soundly so she can relax and give birth in the nice comfortable snow.
Back in the show’s present, our protagonists, with the help of nice Ogier Loial and some keen eyes from Perrin, navigate through the ways.
They find a navigation stone, but Loial, being as slow as an Ent, needs time to read it. He doesn’t get it, though, as Trollocs show up. Someone accidentally channels and Machin Shin comes running, so they sprint for the closest Way Gate. They make it, but Machin Shin overcomes them and reveals uncomfortable truths (lies?) to them.
They stumble out of the Way Gate at Fal Dara. But most of the crew has never left the Two Rivers and demand an explanation.
They enter the city and seek out its head to deliver a message, but Lord Agelmar does not want to hear it.
He apologizes and makes a generous offer.
Their business with Lord Agelmar complete, Moiraine takes the Two Rivers folks to a bar. But along the way, Perrin notices something suspicious…
In the bar, Moiraine meets with Min, a seer who glimpses imagery from the pattern around people. She tells the Aes Sedai what she sees around the Two Rivers folk.
Later that night, everyone has a big fight because the story gods demanded it and they split up. Nynaeve follows Lan to a group in the city he secretly knows.
Most everyone else attempts to get some rest, but Nynaeve stays with Lan and asks the important questions.
She’s not the only one who needs answers, though. Rand goes to Min and finds out that, yes, he does continue to look like a certain Jedi.
But apart from that, she also confirms he is the Dragon Reborn. With the assumption that all but the Dragon will die when he faces the Dark One, he sneaks off with Moiraine and the episode ends with them heading into the Blight.
Episode seven was my favorite yet! Or maybe it’s right behind four… They’re both pretty close. The opening with Tigraine was FANTASITC, and the rest of the episode really proved how the show could adapt the books without being exactly like it. The location was spot on and the character arcs were the right ones for our characters, just brought forward from later in the books, and the world building was great. It was great seeing Min and her visions and the Blight, though different than how I imagined, just looked right. I can’t wait to see what the finale brings!
Now it’s time for your free meme template! This one comes from the current episode, and it involves Moiraine’s warning about the Eye of the World.
Now let’s see what you’ve got! What weird or silly metaphors does Rand have?
Until next week, remember: the Wheel memes as the Wheel wills.
by Workshops Track | Jun 23, 2021 | Announcements, Engagement
History of the WoT Quilt:
On May 2, 2019 Christine Wessling posted in the JordanCon Costumers Facebook group asking if there was an interest in doing a group quilt for the Charity auction. She had experience with similar projects and wanted to give back to JordanCon after being embraced by the Con’s people. Within hours there was a flood of comments and interest. Three days later Christine and Natalie Gehling had developed a plan for the quilt. Each block was to be a book cover using the Tall Tales Quilt Block, but enlarged by 100%. By the end of the following week, all the blocks had been claimed by a JordanCon enthusiast and Joy Allen had agreed to take on the dauting task of quilting the blanket together.
All blocks were turned in by December 31, 2019 so the quilt could be ready for the April 2020 convention. Some blocks were claimed by new people as life hit others. Thankfully all the books were claimed, and a piece was finished for each in time. Then 2020 hit everyone. Allen had finished the quilt, but it was decided the quilt should be held for the 2021 convention when more of the participants would have a chance of seeing the finished work in-person.
Now everyone can enjoy seeing the finished quilt as a preview prior to the July convention. The makers hope many people will appreciate the work put into creating the piece. It was a labor of love by many different people.
Good luck to the winner of the Wheel of Time quilt auction! May it bring you much joy and comfort as you read many books curled up under the quilt.
The bidding will be on Friday and Saturday of JordanCon 2021.
Note on the care of the quilt: Machine wash cold, delicate cycle. Line or lay flat to dry. DO NOT put this in a dryer!!
Full Quilt in all its glory:
Full front of the WoT Quilt.
Full back of WoT Quilt
Below are words written by the creators about what inspired their blocks and a close up image of each.
Please note, there are spoilers for the whole Wheel of Time series in the block descriptions.
Inspiration for the WoT quilt blocks:
Given by those who helped make each block and put the entire quilt together, they share what inspired them to make their portions in the way they did. Minor changes to grammar were made.
New Spring, block by Antoinette Goosetree
New Spring, Antoinette Goosetree: I chose New Spring because I am a Blue Aes Sedai. As I see New Spring is about Moiraine’s journey, I made an excellent, more blue background with her head jewel and the crest of Lan as her bond mate.
Eye of the World, block by Alix Panayotopulos
Eye of the World, Alix Panayotopulos: Because I have always loved the green man.
The Great Hunt, block by Stephanie Jackson
The Great Hunt, Stephanie Jackson: (Did not respond in time.)
Description: Silhouette of three fighters inside a golden horn.
The Dragon Reborn, block by Heather Nathanson
The Dragon Reborn, Heather Nathanson: (Per Facebook post) Inspired to make a gold Callandor against red dragon scales. Was nervous to not mess it up.
The Shadow Rising, block by David Reynolds-Grier
The Shadow Rising, David Reynolds-Grier: (Did not respond in time.)
Description: Nine “Glass Columns” made of beads around a Chora tree at sunrise.
The Fires of Heaven, block by Kate Larson
The Fires of Heaven, Kate Larson:
I really enjoyed how this installment let us learn so much more of Tel’aran’rhiod and its workings. It brought Birgitte, one of my favorite characters, into the spotlight. Her iconic golden braid was something that always fascinated me, so I focused on trying to recreate its complexity in my quilt square.
Lord of Chaos, block by Natalie Gheling
Lord of Chaos, Natalie Gheling: I chose a black Asha’man coat with a Dedicated’s silver sword pin because Rand founded the Black Tower in Lord of Chaos. I chose red with gold flecks for my background to represent the flames and destruction at Dumai’s Wells.
A Crown of Swords, block by Brenna Goode
A Crown of Swords, Brenna Goode: I was asked, as a substitute, to step in and do the block for A Crown of Swords. I had read the books years ago and loved them so was happy to help. Unfortunately, since I’d stepped in late, I didn’t have time to do a more detailed cover, so elected to try some new-to-me techniques to make the block, including printing on the fabric. I chose an image that was a fairly literal representation of the title, trying to make it stylistically appropriate to the books themselves and the rest of the quilt. It was a pleasure to be part of this collaboration!
The Path of Daggers, block by Billie Pierce
The Path of Daggers, Billie Pierce:
Aside from the Bowl of the Winds, there is no great triumph for the Light in The Path of Daggers. However, Rand’s failure to use Callandor against the Seanchan army was a pivotal moment for me as a reader, and I believe he needed this defeat to overcome his hubris and realize that he cannot wield tremendous power without the help and support of others. Ultimately, I decided on a detailed appliqué of Rand’s dragon banner, inspired by the original Darrell K Sweet cover, as an homage to this battle and a symbol of the united sense of purpose that begins to emerge in the series as key players take their first steps toward becoming the powerful people who will defeat the Dark One at the last battle.
Winter’s Heart, block by Christine Wessling
Winter’s Heart, Christine Wessling: I picked book nine because it was actually the first book of the series I found… AND it has the cleansing of Saidin, which is just a phenomenal turning point for the men of the series.
Crossroads of Twilight, block by Tina Pierce
Crossroads of Twilight, Tina Pierce: I chose to recreate the ebook cover, majestically created by Greg Ruth. Perrin has always been a favorite of mine. His crossroad shown on the cover is a major point in his character’s growth. This was his first paper piece work I had done, and it was a great learning experience.
Knife of Dreams, block by Maureen Carr
Knife of Dreams, Maureen Carr: My name is Maureen, but I also go by Mashiara and am an administrator for Dragonmount.com. As my chosen name implies, Land and Nynaeve are my favorite characters within the Wheel of Time series. I first read the novels in 1999 as a sophomore in high school, and Lan’s cool calm and amazing abilities won me over instantly. Once it became clear that Nynaeve was his love interest, I latched onto her as well.
When picking a book within the series to sum up my love of Lan and Nynaeve, there were several contenders. The most notable, though, came in Knife of Dreams. I don’t think any fan had dry eyes after reading about Nynaeve’s trek to the borderlands to secure her husband an army. Hearing the phrase, “The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai’don,” is enough to make me weepy still!
I chose to represent this cry to battle by showing the golden crane and lance on a field of blue, like the Malkier flag. For the spine fabric, I chose the fabric I used to construct my own Warder’s cloak. I put so much of myself into this series and into this quilt piece. I am so happy to be included with so many other fans in this amazing project!
The Gathering Storm, block by Edward Pena
The Gathering Storm, Edward Pena: I chose the scene from the Seanchan attack on the White Tower. I feel like it is a pivotal moment in the Wheel of Time, not only for Egwene and the White Tower, but also for the whole world in the lead up to the Last Battle. Plus, it’s just a kick butt scene!
Towers of Midnight, block by Drew Osburn
Towers of Midnight, Drew Osburn: Hi! I chose the imagery based loosely on the cover of the book where we can see Mat drawing the triangle on the tower to enter. To jazz it up a little I chose to embroider the chapter art from the chapters set in the tower rather than just the plain triangle. It’s my favorite piece of chapter art, so much so that I have it as a tattoo.
A Memory of Light, block by Deana Whitney
A Memory of Light, Deana Whitney: I picked late and was rather nervous about having to represent the final book in the series. There are so many moments worthy of depiction; some, to be honest, were beyond my ability to represent in a quilt block. However, the moment Moraine walks into the tent—causing Rand and Egwene to stop fighting—is a pivotal early moment. I remember crying when reading the scene for the first time. I wanted to show the moment from the outside so I could show the trees. I love the Ogier and felt showing the great trees returning to the land honored them as well.
Fang and Flame, block by Natalie Gheling
Fang and Flame, Natalie Gheling: The ancient Aes Sedai symbol was fun to create, with its sinuous line separating the white and black halves. Surrounding the symbol each blade represents an ajah color of the White Tower. The math to figure out each blade’s angle was a challenge!
Quilt top assembly, Natalie Gheling: My favorite part of being involved in this project was getting to see the blocks in person as each maker mailed their creation to me. I got to hand embroider six other blocks’ titles, and it was fun to use different fonts and colors based on each block. I had the pleasure of sewing the blocks to one another to assemble the face of the quilt, and I am so blessed that everyone involved trusted me with their hard work.
Note: Natalie put a huge amount of time into finishing up the quilt top. As in, at least two full weeks of her quilt business was donated to this process. The hand stitching is gorgeous, and her piecing is literally perfect. I’m actually devastated that she can’t see the final work in person; she put SO much time into it. -Joy
Hand quilting, binding, Joy Allen: This project was a huge undertaking. I didn’t actually do any work on it until after everyone else had finished. I felt like a cheerleader for about 6 months, encouraging, giving advice, and sending out so many reminders. From pictures, I could tell that many of the contributors had put an amazing amount of skill and labor into this project, and when I finally got to see the top with my own eyes, I was still blown away. Literal tears of amazement came at being able to add to what so many had already given. I have never been part of a quilt making like this, and I feel very blessed and honored to have been able to work on it.
Chapter headings: Mat’s Dice, Rand’s first Fang, Perrin’s Wolf
For the quilting, I did a minimal amount within each block to highlight the best features of each. And in the generous amount of white space Natalie gave me, I added in my own favorite chapter icons from the books. Each main group/character is represented, Aes Sedai and Asha’man, Andor, Cairhein, Aiel, Sea Folk, and more, along with the main icons for the major characters. Trying to get the details right and convey the meanings in a different medium was a huge challenge and, to be honest, I was afraid every day that I would mess the whole thing up and it would be ruined. I think, though, that the entire quilt came together more perfectly than any of us could have imagined. And I had a dozen or more cheerleaders encouraging me every step of the 6 weeks that I worked on the quilt.
Chapter headings: Aiel Spears, The Great Serpent, The Seanchan
The binding in ajah colors really ties the entire quilt together and the quilt reverse (where you can see the stitching the best) might be my favorite part. The binding is machine stitched on the front and hand stitched on the back. The finished look is nice and clean.
If you want to learn some of the hand quilting techniques Joy Allen used on the WoT Quilt, join her workshop at the July 2021 convention on Saturday.
Care instructions for quilt: Machine wash cold, delicate cycle. Line or lay flat to dry.
DO NOT put this in a dryer!! It will damage some of the special threads and 3D pieces on the quilt.
Article Compiled by Joy Allen and Deana Whitney
Photos: Copyright by Calista Perazzo Photography, 2021
by Workshops Track | Jun 11, 2021 | Engagement, Programming
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent
Written by Marie Brennan
In July JordanCon is hosting Marie Brennan as the author Guest of Honor for 2021. For those who are not familiar with her work, she’s currently best known as the author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent, a six book series with multiple short stories set in the world. Brennan has written other novels and over sixty short stories. Her newest novel, Driftwood, is a collection of short stories set within a frame story that came out in 2020. Her series The Onyx Court was released as audible books just this year. They mash historical events in London with faerie enchantment. Find out more about our next guest of honor by visiting her website.
In anticipation of her visit to JordanCon, I finally moved her books to the top of my “to read/listen” pile. The good side of waiting so long is that I was able to rush through the whole Lady Trent series in less than two weeks. The downside is that I just meet Isabella, and it seems like her journey is finished for now. I don’t have more from this world to anticipate reading. As of now. No telling what might happen in the future with the Camhersts.
Before Brennan visits JordanCon in July, I hope to entice more of our family to become acquainted with her work. Over the next two months, I’ll be reviewing the first three Memoirs of Lady Trent books. Let us begin with A Natural History of Dragons, first published in 2013.
The Todd Lockwood cover showing an anatomical study of a walking dragon sets the tone the story delivers. The covers Lockwood created for the entire series are a feast for the eyes. I knew of the series for years due to the covers always catching my eye. A delightful surprise was the interior illustrations and maps. This is a story that cries for a map to anchor the reader. The maps help reader understand the world and the places of interest.
Anthiope by Rhys Davies ©2012
Before discussing the story, I must address the audiobook, which is how I first experienced Lady Trent’s voice. The wonderful Kate Reading does her best impression of the Dowager Countess of Grantham to convey the voice of Lady Trent. Reading’s performances are routinely delightful, but the upper crust edge she gives Isabella makes the character come alive in my mind. The audiobook takes a touch over 10 hours to complete. With Reading’s voice the story flows smoothly until the book ends, leaving me, at least, going “No, I want more!” Thankfully, more is available in the remaining books of the series.
Let’s consider some non-spoiler matters:
In the vein of most memoirs, the story is told from the point of view of Isabella, Lady Trent, addressing readers as she summarizes the highlights of her life and the major episodes that made her famous. The book doesn’t break the 4th wall, but she does instruct her readers to go find more information in publications available in their world that are not in ours. Book one covers her early life and her first major journey into becoming a dragon naturalist. The preface hints at many more adventures, which readers don’t understand fully until much later in the series. The tone and setting share many similarities with stories set in the English Regency era or a Jane Austen novel. The elder Lady Trent does not spare herself or her society in highlighting how foolish many aspects of her life were in retrospect. This book has action and drama but is not driven by action scenes. It is driven by Isabella’s love of discovery and research. Her passion for the subject is infectious and draws the readers in as all make discoveries together.
If you do not want any spoilers, stop reading this article now. Go pick up a copy of the story in your preferred format and location. Come back once you are done.
A Sparkling. Todd Lockwood ©2012
Drustanev and environs. Rhys Davies ©2012
Now for a franker, spoiler-filled discussion of details from the book:
The worldbuilding – I commend Brennan’s choices in her worldbuilding. The world is mostly Earth, with the geography rearranged, new names, and of course a whole hierarchy of dragons in the animal kingdom. And dragon-like beings, but we only learn about sparklings and wolf-drakes for now. These changes allow western audiences, at least, to be more focused on the cool factor of the dragons, and less about the “well that’s different” when it comes to the world. Many things are familiar to readers, with some serial numbers filed off and some changes made. Lady Trent comes from Scirland, which is equivalent to England. The bulk of the story takes place in Vystranna, which is roughly similar to Imperial Russia. One of the major differences from many fantasy books is that both cultures follow a faith loosely based on Jewish traditions, though different branches of the faith, which creates some tension. There is classism and sexism in abundance—unconscious and conscious. The characters grow but are often not aware of their bias until their views are shoved into their faces.
One advantage of the memoir style of storytelling is the ability to time skip and for self-reflection. Brennan uses these strengths to her advantage by allowing Isabella to focus on the narrative of her story. She hints at other matters, but only shows the relevant situations. Another strength is the way Brennan addresses depression in the story, it feels real. The coping mechanisms Isabella uses are highly relatable to me.
The downside of the memoir style is that many of the other characters feel less than fully developed, which can happen in any storytelling format. Yet beyond Jacob Camherst, few of the other characters come alive as Isabella does in this first installment. Most characters are interesting and have things that set them apart, but I’m not engaged by them in the same way as Isabella.
The story unfolds in four parts, with the first two being the most focused on Isabella’s early life and her interest in dragons, but almost no dragons actually appear. Part one is her childhood adventures and the trouble they cause, along with a Regency-style romance on fast-forward, early married life, and the study of sparklings. Readers meet Jacob Camherst, Thomas Wilker, and Maxwell Oscott, the Earl of Hilford. Each man is important for the narrative of the story, but each in distinctive ways.
Part two begins their expedition to Vystrana to study dragons. Communication difficulties and the lack of a local guide at first hamper the expedition. Readers learn more about Thomas Wilker, Lord Hilford’s assistant. Mr. Wilker is a man born to working-class parents from Niddey who Isabella looks down upon. Conflicts between him and Isabella generate tension in the small party, but they are small background irritation. It’s hard to study dragons when you can’t find dragons to study. Culture clashes and conflicting priorities set the stage for the last third of the story. In part three, Isabella and the readers are finally able to study a Vystrani rock-wyrm in full detail (added by more interior art by Lockwood). Readers are also introduced to the ancient Draconean civilization, which once dominated the Anthiopen landmass. What seems like a side trip at first, sets off a chain of events that leads to the action-packed conclusion in part four.
While this may be a spoiler review, I don’t want to give away the ending. I’ll just say that tears were shed even while justice was served.