Nice, over the holidays, to have a few quiet days–finished three and a half scenes out of the next (four-scene) chapter. That’s fourteen! January may be a less productive month as I have my own grant applications (just one, this year, though I should check to see what grant applications I am missing) as well as those for When Words Collide (three). Also, I am teaching eight half-days as an artist-in-residence–in a French school! Have to brush up on my French. And, start letting people know I am eligible for the Aurora, Hugo and Nebula awards. At least I already updated my website with access to all the stories I can. Oh, and–this just in–I made it past the first cut of the Green Man Anthology! Yay! (And if I find a little time, I have an idea for a series of watercolour paintings…) Oh, and did I just volunteer for positions on the Robin Herrington Short Story Contest committee, and maybe SFWA? Hmm.
And, the day after I got home from the motorcycle trip to Washington, I hopped a plane for Chicago. Chicon was wonderful. I got my “Analog Mafia” pin, and was there to congratulate Stan on his retirement and Trevor on his new position. Got to meet the author I work with as an editor for Edge, in person. Sat on two panels (moderated one) and had a reading and a workshop–some good stories, there. Met new people and explored a bit of downtown Chicago, the edge of Lake Michigan and the Chicago Institute of Art with old friends. Good times!
So, the con was awesome. Connected with great people, picked up good tips and accomplished the business I went to accomplish, all the while having a great time. I found the whole milieu inspiring. The panel I presented on was entitled, “Writing In Spite of Your Environment,” and for me Denvention was a part of that — or perhaps I wrote because of my environment. On the drive to Denver I did a little bit of writing; the first couple of days I managed to squeeze in maybe 2 hours a day of writing. Saturday and Sunday, as well as in the car both days driving back I wrote almost non-stop (well, I had to stop a bit Saturday night to see the Hugos). Very productive, and I am very pleased with where my writing is going right now.
Would have posted earlier, but I only just today got Internet.
I’m very much enjoying Denvention. Sessions have been interesting and informative with lots of big name authors, agents and editors providing advice. One thing about advice is that once you hear it, it often makes so much sense you think, “Why didn’t I realize that before? It’s so simple!” John Scalzi, Michael Kabongo (agent) and Mary Robinette Kowal (Nebula nominee) gave a really funny panel on schmoozing that included, “What is a great elevator pitch?” Mary’s pitch for one of her current novels is “Jane Austin — with magic!” Just having a couple of examples like that is really helpful. So instead of the one I thought of earlier for my novel (“an adventure fantasy in which a journeyman thief is politically manipulated into. . . “) I’m thinking of, “adventure fantasy with thieves and con men.” Maybe I can still work on it (my daughter, Heather — a wonderful writer in her own right — could probably make it better), but at least it’s shorter and hopefully gets to the cool part sooner. Let’s hope I get a chance to try it out.
As for shmoozing, I’ve done a little. I had dinner last night with Edge Press publisher Brian Hades, and up-and-coming authors Ed Willett and Adrian (KA) Bedford. The day before, our table included L.E. Modesitt. Yesterday, I was on hand when friend, writer and OnSpec editor, Barb Galler-Smith learned that her first book has been picked up by Edge Press and will likely see its launch at Anticipation World Con in Montreal next summer. Very exciting news!! I also touched base with Analog editor Stanley Schmidt (who suggested I sit on a few panels — which I will be doing tomorrow), good friend Rob Sawyer, and generous mentor, Mike Resnick. Today, I signed copies of Tesseracts Ten and Tesseracts Eleven with Randy McCharles, a wonderful SF humorist whose stories appear in Tess Eleven and upcoming in Tesseracts Twelve. Afterwards, I volunteered at the SFWA table.
Tomorrow I sit on a panel on “Writing in Spite of Your Environment,” followed, of course, by the Hugo Awards (keeping fingers crossed for Rob’s book, Rollback). Looking forward to it!