Archive for the ‘MythCon 41’ Category

Eighth Day Books in Wichita, Kansas has The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter for sale in their online store at this address: http://eighthdaybooks.com/products/The_Lord_of_the_Hallows_Christian_Symbolism_and_Themes_in_J_K_Rowling_s_Harry_Potter-59232-0.html. I discovered this wonderful bookseller at Mythcon 41 last month and was delighted with their selection of books by and about C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, George MacDonald, and even J. K. Rowling! (There’s a nice selection of books by “Hogwarts Professor” John Granger there, some of which were for sale at the Mythopoeic Society convention. Hmm, I wonder if John knows about this…) Eighth Day Books is a specialty store that primarily sells books on religion, philosophy, history, and literature, so if those topics interest you, please take the time to browse through their online catalog. 🙂

Those of you who know me or visit this blog regularly probably know that beisdes discussing the “deeper meaning” of the Harry Potter series with various Potter Pundits, my other favorite topic of discussion in the fandom is the Ron/Hermione pairing. I found this cute tumblr blog today which has lots of photos of and quotations about my favorite couple: http://omgronandhermione.tumblr.com/ If anyone knows of any other blogs like this one, please let me know. I’m slightly obsessed with Harry’s devoted sidekicks. 😉

Besides adding that R/Hr site to my blogroll, I also added the Hallows News blog to my list. You can visit it at http://hallowsnews.wordpress.com/ for Deathly Hallows movie news and other information about the Harry Potter fandom. Two other fandom news blogs that I enjoy are “Confessions of a Grown-up Fangirl” by Hanako M. Ricks, and the Hollywood News Harry Potter Blog. (Hanako is one of the bloggers there also.) Please see the sidebar for links. Of course, I’ll be posting new movie photos, spoilers, reviews, and other news about the film here as well. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please enter your e-mail address in the subscription box on the right and you will receive my latest posts in your e-mail. Thanks so much!


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Well, I’m back.

I’ve been away from this blog for a while due to the fact that I had two major conventions in July in the last two weeks, Mythcon 41 and Infinitus 2010. I’m glad I kept a journal during both of these amazing conferences, because I want to remember all of the interesting people I met and all of the wonderful presentations that I heard in the last two weeks.  This post will be devoted the Mythopoeic Society’s recent convention, Mythcon 41, which was held at The Crowne Plaza Suites in Dallas, Texas from July 9-12. The theme of this year’s event was “War in Heaven: Cosmological Conflict in Mythopoeic Fiction.”

Friday, July 9, 2010 After checking into my suite, I obtained my registration packet and badge, then made a quick visit to the vendor’s room to examine the vast selection of books by (and about) C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and others. Eighth Day Books had an especially fine selection of Christian and Inklings-related reading material. Later during the con I discovered that this store is also selling my book, The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. It will be featured in their fall catalog and is available from their website at www.eighthdaybooks.com. Wow!

3:00 p. m. I gave my presentation, “The Lord of the Horcruxes: The Immortal Soul and the Eternal War Between Good and Evil in the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien and J. K. Rowling,” which was very well received. I posted an excerpt from this paper on this blog over a month ago if you’d like to read it.

4:00 p. m. I attended the panel “Faith and Fantasy: How Authors’ Religious Views Affect Their Fiction.” This is, of course, a topic that is of great interest to me. My author friend M. B. Weston was on this panel. Her fantasy series, The Elysian Chronicles, is about a “War in Heaven,” which ties in nicely with the theme of this year’s Mythcon. Award-winning author Tim Powers was also on this panel. (More on Tim later.)

5:00 p.m. Panel: “Tolkien and Source Criticism: Rewards and Pitfalls.”

Dinner followed, then a much-needed rest. I left my home in southern Louisiana about 2:00 a. m. and arrived in Dallas about 11:00 a. m. that day, so I hadn’t had nearly enough sleep on the first day of the convention.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

9:00 a.m. Keynote breakfast with Janet Brennan Croft. Her speech was “The Thread on Which Doom Hangs: Free Will, Disobedience, and Eucatastrophe in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.” This was a brilliant presentation that Janet will (hopefully) publish in a future issue of Mythlore. It was truly outstanding!

11:00 a.m. Artist Jef Murray’s presentation, “Fanning the Secret Fire: Subcreating as a Spiritual Voyage,” was quite beautiful, like his paintings. Jef said, “Return to God the talent he has given you. All that you do glorifies the creator.” Those are words to live by. You can view Jef’s artwork at www.JefMurray.com.

After a delicious lunch, I went back to my room to relax for a moment when suddenly I received a call on my cell phone. One of the panelists for the 1:00 discussion of self-publishing was absent and Jason Fisher wanted to know if I could fill in for the person who was absent. This was around 12:50 or so…

1:00 p. m. Panel: “No Publisher? No Problem! The Nuts and Bolts of Self-Publishing” with Mark Hooker, Diana Glyer, and , er, someone named Denise Roper (?). Moderated by Jason Fisher. This was a panel I wanted to attend. I didn’t know that I was going to be on it! It actually went very well: I do so love making things up as I go along. 😉 In truth, many people told me throughout the convention that they really enjoyed this panel. Well, I’m a musician. I’m used to improvisation. Thanks, Jason! (I really mean that.)

2:00 p.m. I went to Christine Barkley’s presentation entitled “Tolkien’s Creativity,” which was followed by a very interesting discussion session.

3:00-5:30 p.m. Panels and presentations continued. Authors had book signing time if they desired it. I did, and I shared a signing table with Jef Murray. He told me about the St. Austin Review, a magazine of Catholic culture, of which Jef is the Artist in Residence. I had actually thought about subscribing to this magazine before I met Jef because I really enjoy the writing of two of its main contributors, namely Joseph Pearce and Peter Kreeft. (I finally sent off my subscription today–July 20.)

After supper we had a very fine keynote presentation from John D. Rateliff, author of The History of the Hobbit. His presentation was entitled “She and Tolkien revisited.” This was followed by a play by Charles Williams, The Masque of the Manuscript.

Sunday, July 11, 2010 I attended the convention’s Episcopalian service at 8:00 a.m., and was intrigued by its similarities to the Catholic Mass, as well as the important differences. The second reading tied in perfectly with the theme of Mythcon 41:

War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah, for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death. Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short! (Revelation 12:7-12)

From now on when I read about Michael’s battle with the dragon, I will be reminded of Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings: “I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountainside where he smote it in his ruin.” (LotR 491)

I also loved this particular prayer of petition: “Remember Charles, Clive, John Ronald, and all who have died in the peace of Christ; remember those whose faith is known to you alone; and bring them all into the place of eternal joy and light.” I thought that it was so lovely that we prayed for the Inklings in this way, but I really think Clive would have liked it better if we had called him “Jack.”

9:00 Anne Collins Smith gave a great presentation on a Harry Potter villain: “Virtue’s Evil Twin: Draco Malfoy and the Acquisition of Vice.” Anne demonstrated how Draco does not fit into Aristotle’s moral hierarchy of the superhuman (Christ), morally strong (Harry), morally weak (Pettigrew), vicious (Voldemort), and subhuman (Crabbe & Goyle). I really enjoyed this paper and the lively discussion that followed it.

10:00 I attended Randy Hoyt’s excellent presentation “One Forbidden Thing: A Fairy Tale Motif in The Magician’s Nephew and Pan’s Labyrinth. This is another paper that I would love to see printed in Mythlore.

11:00 a.m. Panel: “Are Fantasy and Science Fiction Social Commentary in Disguise?” I say it depends on whose novel you are reading.

After lunch, I spent time in the vendor’s room. (The books were calling to me.) There were also many books that I bid on and won for $1 or $2 each in the Mythopoeic Society auction. So many books…

“What are you doing with all of those books anyway?” Ron asked…

“Just trying to decide which ones to take with us,” said Hermione. “When we’re looking for the Horcruxes.”

“Oh, of course,” said Ron, clapping a hand to his forehead. “I forgot we’ll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library.” ( Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 95)

I can relate to this passage so well. I must have my mobile library with me wherever I go. Horcruxes, beware!

I did another book signing on Sunday afternoon and shared a table with M. B. Weston. Unfortunately I missed some more presentations that I wanted to see, but I guess that happens at every convention.

At 6:00 p.m. we had our annual Mythopoeic Society Awards Banquet, which was followed by a hilarious keynote presentation by author Tim Powers. He is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Mythopoeic Society Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and numerous other honors. He’s also a really great speaker and extremely witty. I read that the screenplay for the film Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will be based on Tim’s novel On Stranger Tides. I’m now combing the used book stores for Tim Powers’ numerous out-of-print novels.

Monday, July 12, 2010.

9:00 a. m.  Melody Green presented the third of the three Harry Potter-themed papers, “Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, and Harry: Types of Sacrifice in Fantasy Literature.” Melody was so kind as to give me a copy of her paper to keep. I appreciate that so much.

10:00 a. m. Valerie Frankel gave one of the last presentations of Mythcon 41: “Exploring Narnia: The Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys in Concert.” I enjoyed this paper very much and am looking forward to Valerie’s upcoming book From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend, which will be available from McFarland this Fall. See http://heroine.calithwain.com for more information.

Mythcon 41 ended with the annual Mythopoeic Society meeting, followed by the entire group singing “Chorea Magna,” “The Baby and the Bird,” and way too many choruses of “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Hobbit?” lol! Best conference ending ever.

It was a long drive back to Louisiana. I had only one night’s sleep before departing for Orlando, Florida for the Harry Potter conference Infinitus 2010….

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The Mythopoeic Society will be celebrating their 41st annual conference at the Crowne Plaza Suites Hotel in Dallas, Texas from July 9-12, 2010. I am delighted to announce that I will be attending this conference for the first time, and I will be presenting a paper that I wrote entitled “The Lord of the Horcruxes: The Immortal Soul and the Eternal War Between Good and Evil in the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien and J. K. Rowling” at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 9. Here is an excerpt from my paper:

          The ancient mythological concept of prolonging one’s life by placing one’s heart in an object for safekeeping has been made familiar to modern audiences through such films as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. In these fantasy adventure films, the villainous Davey Jones has prolonged his life by keeping his heart locked away in the Dead Man’s Chest. The protagonists in these high-seas adventures must find the key to unlock the magical chest in order to destroy the heart of Davey Jones, and thus end the villain’s physical immortality.

          Tolkien was very familiar with the type of folklore that inspired the Pirates films. He was intrigued by folk tales in which a character prolongs the span of human life by removing his “heart” (a metaphor for the human soul) and hiding it away in an object. Tolkien described this in his essay “On Fairy Stories.”

…the life or strength of a man may reside in some other place or thing; or in some part of the body (especially the heart) that can be detached and hidden in a bag, or under a stone, or in an egg. (The Tolkien Reader [Reader] 44)

The notion that the heart can be hidden away to prolong one’s life is alluded to in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Ron and Harry examine the locket Horcrux.

“Can you feel it, though?” Ron asked in a hushed voice, as he held it tight in his clenched fist.

“What d’you mean?”

Ron passed the Horcrux to Harry. After a moment or two, Harry thought he knew what Ron meant. Was it his own blood pulsing through his veins that he could feel, or was it something beating inside the locket, like a tiny metal heart? (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [Hallows] 276)

From time to time Harry thought, or perhaps imagined, that he could feel the tiny heartbeat ticking irregularly alongside his own. (Hallows  278)

The Locket of Slytherin

Rowling also made use of this fairy tale concept in “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart” from The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The villain of that tale, like the Immortal Kashchei and Lord Voldemort, locked his heart away inside an object to gain invulnerability. Dumbledore’s commentary on this tale says that, “The resemblance of this action to the creation of a Horcrux has been noted by many writers.” (TBB 58) One can only wonder if Dumbledore (or J. K. Rowling) has been reading Tolkien. It is significant that the passages from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows quoted above are from the chapter called “The Thief” in which Harry, through Voldemort’s eyes, sees Gregorovitch the wandmaker tortured for information about a thief. Remember what Tolkien said about the dangers of placing one’s heart or soul in an external object: it is “exposed to capture or destruction with disastrous results to oneself.” (Letters 279) The object may be stolen or destroyed; both Tolkien and Rowling emphasize this notion in their fiction.   

          Gollum (as Smeagol) stole Sauron’s ring from  Deagol, Bilbo Baggins took the ring from Gollum and eventually gave it to Frodo, who embarked on a quest to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom.

          Likewise, Dumbledore was able to obtain the ring Horcrux from Marvolo Gaunt’s home and destroy it. Regulus Black was able to steal the locket Horcrux from the cave of the Inferi. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were able to break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s Gringott’s vault to steal the cup Horcrux. And finally, the trio gained access to the Room of Hidden Things to search for the diadem Horcrux, which was then destroyed in the fire conjured by Vincent Crabbe.

"The Seven Horcruxes" fanart by JBWolfer

           J. K. Rowling said in a 2007 interview that the two Bible quotations found in the graveyard scene in Godric’s Hollow “sum up—they almost epitomize the whole series.” (Adler, 2) With reference to the Horcruxes, let’s examine the Bible quotation on the Dumbledore family tomb:

                  Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Hallows 325)

"Godric's Hollow" fanart by Gold Seven

This quotation is from Matthew’s gospel, from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. To put the quote in context, this is what Jesus Christ had to say about earthly treasures:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21, NRSV)

There is a lesson in this that Dumbledore learned but Voldemort did not: do not put your heart and soul in the material wealth and pleasures of this world, because these treasures do not last and can be taken from you. They are temporal pleasures, finite like life itself. Rather, store up treasures in Heaven, which, like your soul, is eternal. Unfortunately, the sinful nature of human beings often prevents them from doing this.

          When young Tom Riddle asked how a Horcrux is made, Slughorn explained that this is done by splitting one’s soul and hiding part of it in an object outside of the body. Then, said Slughorn, “Even if one’s body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged.” (Prince 497) When Riddle seeks the knowledge of how to split one’s soul, Slughorn’s response is chilling.

You must understand that the soul is to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature. [And it is done] by an act of evil—the supreme act of evil: By committing murder. Killing rips the soul apart. (Prince 497-498)

A Judeo-Christian explanation of the effects of evil (sin) upon the soul is essential to fully understanding this passage. A Biblical Hebrew lexicon reveals that the word ra’a means “to be evil,” and one definition of this term translates as “to break, shatter; to be broken in pieces.” To do evil, to sin against God, means literally to ruin one’s soul by breaking it into pieces. This is exactly what Voldemort has done by creating his Horcruxes. But once a soul is broken, can it be mended? Harry, Ron, and Hermione discussed this in Chapter Six of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

“Isn’t there any way of putting yourself back together?” Ron asked.

“Yes,” said Hermione with a hollow smile, “but it would be excruciatingly painful.”

“Why? How do you do it?” asked Harry.

“Remorse,” said Hermione. “You’ve got to really feel what you’ve done. There’s a footnote. Apparently the pain of it can destroy you. I can’t see Voldemort attempting it somehow, can you?” (Hallows 103)

Rowling has demonstrated in this passage that she has a clear understanding of how difficult repentance can be. To be truly repentant for one’s sins is to be destroyed, to allow the old self to die in order to be born again in Christ. This is what the sinner must do in order to make his or her broken soul whole again. There are no temporal earthly pleasures or possessions worth more than the human person’s immortal soul. Not only has Dumbledore learned this lesson, he also sees that Harry is living proof of the value of living free from the temptations of physical longevity and earthly treasures.

In spite of all the temptations you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart’s desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. (Prince 511)

This passage refers back to Dumbledore’s earlier quote in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in which he explained how humans usually choose “as much money and life as you can want,” that is, they choose what’s worst for them. This is a Biblical lesson:

What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)

During the folly of his youth, Dumbledore learned of the fatal weaknesses of evil. Evil embraces power, pride, pleasure, materialism, self-centeredness, and hate. Evil cannot comprehend the value of weakness, humility, suffering, death, selflessness, and love. Once again Dumbledore shares his keen understanding of Voldemort’s folly:

I do not think he understands why, Harry, but then he was in such a hurry to mutilate his own soul, he never paused to understand the incomparable power of a soul that is untarnished and whole. (Prince  511)

This excerpt will probably be familiar to those of you who have read The Lord of the Hallows or those who went to my presentation at Azkatraz 2009. There’s a great deal more to the paper that I haven’t posted here, of course. Comments are welcome.

If you are interested in purchasing my book, The Lord of the Hallows, it is available at www.outskirtspress.com/thelordofthehallows. For more information about MythCon 41, please visit www.mythsoc.org. The complete schedule of events can be found at http://www.mythsoc.org/assets/mythcon-41-schedule.pdf.

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The programming schedule for Mythcon 41 is now available. I will present my paper, “The Lord of the Horcruxes: The Immortal Soul and the Eternal War Between Good and Evil in the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien and J. K. Rowling,” at 3:00 on Friday, July 9, 2010. 🙂

In other news….

These new photos are from www.snitchseeker.com. You can see photos of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Bathilda Bagshot on the covers of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One poster book…

…and on the cover of the Mini Sticker Book.

These items are available from the UK amazon.com. 🙂

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Here’s a preview of  some of the papers that will be presented at Mythcon 41 in Dallas from June 9-12, 2010. I obtained this information from the Mythopoeic Society’s website at www.mythsoc.org. Please visit their website for a complete listing. This list includes only some of the presentations that I hope to see.

Christine Barkley: Tolkien’s Creativity

Robert Black: Many Meetings in Fangorn: Tolkien’s Ecological Mythopoesis of Gender

Brian Cambra: The Augustinian Subordination of Friendship in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Kelly Cowling: Lessons from the Perilous Realm: Mythopoeic Literature as Deautomatizing Practice

Janet Brennan Croft: Psyche in New York: The Devil Wears Prada Updates the Myth

Valerie Frankel: Exploring Narnia: The Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys in Concert

Melody Green: Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn and Harry: Types of Sacrifice in Fantasy Literature

Brian Melton: Into the Trenches of Narnia: C.S. Lewis the Soldier and the Narnian Way of War

Michael Milburn: Art according to Romantic Theology: Charles Williams’ Analysis of Dante Adapted to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle”

Jef Murray: Fanning the Secret Fire: Sub-Creation as a Spiritual Voyage

Jef Murray: A Journey Through Middle-earth: Sketches and Paintings of Tolkien’s World

Denise Roper: The Lord of the Horcruxes: The Immortal Soul and the Eternal War Between Good and Evil in the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling

Anne Collins Smith: Virtue’s Evil Twin: Draco Malfoy and the Acquisition of Vice

Donald Williams: A Tryst with the Transcendentals: C.S. Lewis on Beauty, Truth, and Goodness


Heavenly Battles in the Tolkien Classroom (A Paper Session Panel with Leslie Donovan and Friends)

Are Fantasy and Science-Fiction Social Commentary in Disguise?

Appropriating Divinity: Gods and Other Mythological Beings in Fantasy Literature

Faith and Fantasy: How Authors’ Religious Views Affect Their Fiction

This is going to be a wonderful conference. I am really looking forward to meeting all of the members of the society and hearing their lectures. The names Valerie Frankel and Denise Roper (that’s me!) should be familiar to Harry Potter fans who have attended the Harry Potter Education Fanon conferences. Valerie and I were both presenters at Azkatraz last year, and she told me about her interest in the theories of comparative mythology expert Joseph Campbell and her own writings on the “Hero’s and Heroine’s Journey” inspired by Campbell’s works. I am hoping to talk with her again about this fascinating subject. I am also curious about what Melody Green has to say about the topic of sacrifice in fantasy literature. I have already written on this subject in The Lord of the Hallows, in which I examined Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, and Harry as Christ figures. I would certainly like to hear Melody’s perspective on my analysis.

Comments are welcome! 🙂

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I had lots of fun at the second annual Con du Lac Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, which was held at the Lake Charles Civic Center on June 12-13, 2010. I gave two Harry-Potter themed presentations at the event. The first was at 12:00 noon on Saturday in the Mystic Realm Room. It was called “Sneaking Past the Watchful Dragons: Christian Themes in Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia.” The second presentation was at 12:00 noon on Sunday in Room 23: “Hallows, Hobbits, and Horcruxes: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien and J. K. Rowling.” I also had an author table at the convention to sign copies of my book The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.

Here I am holding a copy of the book.

If you wanted to buy the book at Con du Lac and missed your opportunity, please see the sidebar for a link to my online bookstore, Silver Unicorn Books, and a link to the publisher’s website.

I met several other authors at this convention. I’m including links in this post if you are interested in finding out more about their works.

Author Judith Leger writes romance novels which include fantasy elements such as elves, dragons, and magic. Her website can be found at www.judithleger.weebly.com.

Science fiction writer Craig Callais, a native of my hometown of Houma, Louisiana, has published his first novel entitled Warlord: The Ordeal, which is available at www.amazon.com. Here’s a photo of Craig at his author table:

Science Fiction Author Craig Callais

 D. B. Grady of Baton Rouge has published his first science fiction novel, a murder mystery set on Mars. It’s called Red Planet Noir. You can visit http://www.dbgrady.com to learn more.

Author D. B. Grady

David Grady has a great sense of humor. It was his idea that various costumed sci-fi and fantasy characters pose for his series of photos called “Down and Out in Con du Lac.” lol! 🙂

D. B. Grady and my friend Wayne (Anakin Skywalker) are "Down and Out in Con du Lac."

D. B. Grady is "Down and Out in Con du Lac" with Hermione (that's me!), a Klingon, and Batman.

My friend Randy Richards, author of Dreadmire, took this one. As you could see we had a hard time keeping a straight face for the "Down and Out" photos.

Don’t let the photos deceive you. We were having a good time! 🙂

Author M. B. Weston was also at the convention promoting her fantasy series about angelic warfare called The Elysian Chronicles. I’ve read the first book A Prophecy Forgotten, and I’m currently reading the second book Out of the Shadows. If you like military fiction and epic fantasy, this series may appeal to you. Visit www.elysianchronicles.com to learn more. Michelle Weston is a non-denominational Christian author who is a huge fan of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling, so you know we got along really well. Michelle is also a terrific guest speaker and panelist. She and her assistant Rachel Stevens were having fun at the convention:

Author M. B. Weston and Rachel Stevens

M. B. Weston and her assistant at the Elysian Chronicles table.

Louisiana’s 501st Legion, the Bast Alpha Squadron, is the New Orleans-based chapter of the international organization. They are Star Wars costumers who do lots of charity work in our state and have a great time while doing it. The 501st had a fan table along with the Baton Rouge-based Star Wars club Red Stick Rebellion (of which I am a member). Here are some photos of their table.

Star Wars fan table


The Bast Alpha Squadron’s mascot is an alligator–how appropriate for south Louisiana!


My friends Karen and Wayne pose for a photos as Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker.

 Finally, I am posting a photo of an art print that I received from Jean Alexander. Jean is a talented artist that I met at ImagiCon in Birminghmam, Alabama last month. I’ve already blogged about the Snape painting that she did at ImagiCon. This is an art print of the first painting of Severus Snape that she did, and it’s my favorite of the two. 🙂

“Severus Snape” by Jean Alexander

 My next book signing will be June 26 at a Writers Conference in Ponchatoula, which will be followed by two convention appearances in July: MythCon 41 in Dallas and Infinitus 2010 in Orlando. Please look at the sidebar for link to the Mythopoeic Society’s website to find out more about MythCon 41. You will also find a link to the Infinitus 2010 website there as well.

Several of the authors that I met this weekend at Con du Lac  are on Twitter. I’m at www.twitter.com/DeniseRoper. You can also find David Grady at www.twitter.com/dbgrady. Michelle Weston is at www.twitter.com/mbweston. And Judith Leger is can be found at www.twitter.com/judithleger.

I recently added a link to the Imagicopter website to the sidebar of this blog. Imagicopter is an organization that promotes various writers and their works. I am one of their newest members. Visit their site to find out more about Imagicopter’s upcoming events.


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Updated on February 19, 2010.

This is a schedule of my 2010 convention appearances and book signings. I will update this information as I find out more about each event.

March 19 Art Walk: A Celebration of the Arts in downtown Thibodaux, LA. I will be signing copies of The Lord of the Hallows at “Author’s Row” which will be set up next to Fremin’s Restaurant across from the Lafourche Parish Couthouse.

March 20-21 Babel Con 4.5 @ the L. S. U. Cook Hotel in Baton Rouge, LA. I will be giving two presentations and will be doing a book signing.

April 10 Jubilee Jambalaya Writers’ Conference @ the Terrebonne Parish Public Library in Houma, LA. I’ll be doing a book signing at this event.

April 17 Art After Dark @ the Whitney Bank located on Main Street in downtown Houma, LA. This is the second time I’ll be signing at this event.

May 22-23 ImagiCon in Birmingham, AL. I will be giving two presentations and will be doing a book signing.

June 11-13 Con du Lac II in Lake Charles, LA. I will be giving two presentations and will be doing a book signing.

July 9-12 MythCon 41 @ Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. This is the convention of the Mythopoeic Society, an organization dedicated to the study of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.

July 15-18 Infinitus 2010 in Orlando, FL. Hopefully, I will be presenting and doing another book signing at the 2010 Harry Potter symposium.

In other news…

Orthodox Christian author Logospilgrim gave The Lord of the Hallows a five-star review at amazon.com! Here it is:

5 out of 5 stars Informative and engaging, November 19, 2009

This wonderful book will delight not only Christians, but all students of spirituality and mythology. It is filled with fascinating arcane information, yet the author’s engaging and descriptive style results in a text that never feels weighed down by its rich content matter. I learned quite a few intriguing facts about a variety of Christian legends; Ms. Roper’s knowledge of symbolic lore and Christian history is impressive (I was particularly enchanted by her chapter about the Deathly Hallows, or holy relics -I loved the parallel she drew between The Elder Wand and The Spear of Destiny, that is, the spear reputed to have been used to pierce Christ’s side). Anyone interested in literature and religion will find this volume to be a valuable addition to their library.

Logospilgrim is the author of two excellent books about Professor Snape which I would like to recommend: Bring forth the best robes: a spiritual understanding of Severus Snape and The flawed master: lessons Professor Snape taught me.  Here are my reviews of these first two volumes of The Quiet Professor’s Snape Trilogy:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Profound Meditation on the Redemptive Power of Love, November 24, 2009

Logospilgrim’s Bring Forth the Best Robes: A Spiritual Understanding of Severus Snape is a profound and beautiful meditation on the redemptive power of love, written by an Orthodox Christian author whose insight into the character of Severus Snape is both unique and enlightening. I would highly recommend this book for spiritual seekers who are fans of the Harry Potter series’ most complex and controversial character, as well as recommending it for those readers who wish to explore the Christian dimension of J. K. Rowling’s enthralling series of novels. Logospilgrim, the quiet professor, has painted a portrait of the Potions Master that is tender and deeply moving. In this book, the author’s writing style has seamlessly woven threads of saintly Christian wisdom into her own silken narrative of the life of Severus Snape. From this fine material, Logospilgrim has clad the repentant sinner, the misunderstood outcast Severus Snape, in the robes of the Prodigal Son of Christ’s famous parable.

5.0 out of 5 stars There is hope for us all., January 12, 2010

The flawed master: lessons Professor Snape taught me is author logospilgrim’s second collection of theological and mystical essays on Professor Severus Snape. Snape is, perhaps, the most complex character in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and logospilgrim has much to say about his transformation from antagonist to hero in this second volume of her “Snape Trilogy.” The flawed master is a follow-up to Bring forth the best robes: a spiritual understanding of Severus Snape, but it may stand alone as a volume of Christian spiritual wisdom, inspiration, and guidance for all Harry Potter fans, who, like logospilgrim and myself, read Rowling’s seven-part series with an overwhelming desire to see the redemption of Professor Snape–a bitter and broken man who had renounced his allegiance to the Dark Lord and pledged his service to one who would defeat him, not by violence, but through love and self-sacrifice. Snape, the flawed master, was proud, angry, sarcastic, and sometimes cruel, and yet he rose above his many flaws to become Harry’s secret protector and Dumbledore’s most trusted accomplice. He was the spy whose bravery and self-sacrifice contributed to Harry’s ultimate triumph over the evil Lord Voldemort. Logospilgrim’s insightful essays are a balm to soothe our wounded hearts. If a man as flawed as Severus Snape can find redemption, then there is hope for us all, even the greatest of sinners. This is an inspiring book for those who seek the deeper meaning that is to be found in the Harry Potter series. The spiritual treasures within it are not merely lessons learned from a flawed master; they are the great moral truths of the Gospels, lessons taught by the One True Master, the one who was without sin, the one who died to redeem us all.

To find out more about The Quiet Professor and her works, please visit http://logospilgrim.com.

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