mer: (Nose Kiss (Farscape))
So, before I went to World Fantasy Con, I was like this:

OMG, WFC!

And after World Fantasy Con, I'm pretty much like this:

OMG, WFC! (and I'm tired)

I would tell you about all the huge-lots of people I saw, but you would probably be very bored by this unless you were one of them (or if you are [livejournal.com profile] secretcrush (ETA: Or [livejournal.com profile] secritcrush, even), I bet even then) and I would leave someone out, and someone else would feel bad. Also, on the way home, I tried to write down a list of all the people I met for the first time alone, and that list had gotten to seventeen people long before I almost fell asleep driving and had to pull off and catch some z's at a rest area. Let's keep in mind that compared to some of the networking fiends I know, meeting seventeen new people (and I just thought of three more, so, twenty) is probably not impressive, but shoot, those are the ones I can remember offhand.

Uhm. Have I mentioned the massive sleep deprivation?

The things of import that I shall report on:

I saw [livejournal.com profile] cristalia for the first time since 2004, when I was such a neophyte as to be larval. We have corresponded aplenty since then, and have shared a lot of similar experiences this year, and seeing each other was just so good, and I think also important for both of us.

I met with my agent--in snatches, I'm afraid--but I got some important reassurances about my career path, and she applauds my not quitting my dayjob, and--. Good stuff. What agents are for.

I fangirled Sharon Shinn at her signing. I know that [livejournal.com profile] aj and [livejournal.com profile] iuliamentis at the very least are jealous.

I did some of my due diligence, and attended the SFWA business meeting.

I had tapas!

I attended a panel and took notes! I used to feel kinda silly posting panel notes, but honestly, I love 'em, and I don't think people do them enough. Here's The Fairy Tale as a Specific Form. )

Old friends and new friends and rebonded friends! I am beYOND tired, because I stayed up too late every night. Losing my voice. Convinced that I caught a cold that's there, lurking. So glad to be home, safe and sound, and hope everyone else is home safe and sound, too.
mer: (Default)
It feels like about a hundred years since I updated, but it's only been a few days. Penguicon will do that to you, I guess.

At Penguicon, I was enpaneled. I noticed not-new truths about myself. Uncomfortable truths that I've known since the days I did children's theater.

Energy levels on panels, or rather, my personal perspective thereof. )

I saw the million people with the million usernames that one sees, but the highlights of the con were:

1) I petitioned Doselle Young to adopt me as his snarky sidekick after the Character Death panel. Also, the end of the panel was very typical of the level of fun we were having. Josh ([livejournal.com profile] defectivewookie) was moderating, and asked us for our final thoughts on character death. Doselle raised his hands to the heavens and shouted "KILLLLL!!!!" I looked at the crowd and said, "As necessary." We did get into the discussion of why one kills characters, but I doubt it was new material to the crowd. The best part was discussing characters that SHOULD be dead, because that was a much more interesting exercise than picking apart bad/good character deaths.

2) Mary Robinette and I talked actual writing, which never seems to happen to me at conventions, and by gum, I'm going to start a support group for writers who want to talk writing at conventions, or something. But it took her saying, "I talked shop!" for me to go "I want to talk shop, too!" and led to us staying awake even longer when we should've been asleep.

3) I proposed a relatively flaky panel idea (What makes a golden age? --specifically referencing the golden ages of YA and TV that we may or may not be in right now), and Sarah Monette made it work, and work well. (BTW, she pretty much answered the question all alone, and in a way that made me buy it: a golden age comes after the establishment of a genre, so that people who grow up loving the genre can take it seriously and begin a dialogue with the source materials; sometimes, so-called silver ages are much more interesting than golden ages, because there's even more interesting dialogue with the previous material; the modern modes of communication make it possible to have a golden age and a silver age sort of concurrently; there's a certain level of notoriety and/or popularity of a thing to have a golden age.)

4) [livejournal.com profile] daveamongus usually manages to remind me at conventions why he's one of my favorite people ever. This time was no exception. Dave Klecha: a man you want on your side. Not the other side. Not the dark side. YOUR side.

5) Traveling sans posse is both sad and ridiculously freeing.

6) Anne Harris and I had a very intense conversation about good agents and bad, and the future of m/m and erotic fiction examined from a purely mercenary standpoint. My takeaway is: you probably could make a living at writing short stories, if they were erotic male/male pieces put out by publishers like Loose Id. Given that I stumble across a "can you make a living at short fiction?" conversations every so often, and the answer always seems to be, "No, YOU can't, and no one has since pretty much Harlan Ellison." But there is a plausibly different answer to this in the m/m erotic genre, or could be. Of course, I do not have the slightest interest in delving into that genre, so that's right out, but it's still food for thought. (Also, I am doing better with books than I dreamed possible, so I'm gonna leave "making a living at short stories" for someone else to dream.)

And about a million other things, really.

I've been two days writing this post, and it's never going to get done if I try to include everything. I had SUCH a good time this year.
mer: (Alice in Wonderland)
Or, rather, just one convention: WindyCon.

The theme this year is steampunk, and the costumes are pretty fantabulous. I'm going to just go on a tour with my camera at some point, should I ever achieve any real downtime. Of course, my perceived lack of downtime has absolutely nothing to do with my schedule. It's personal choice, and shiny people.

Unfortunately, I haven't been to a single panel yet. There is an interesting one I'm missing right now, in fact, but the lure of the internet was too strong to allow me to go see if Baen really is for boys and if DAW is really for girls. (I think I know the answer, see, so watching other people debate it is slightly less interesting to me than it would otherwise be. Plus, we sort of pre-had the panel last night, hanging out in the lobby.)

This is not unrelated to the fact that I frequently find myself at panels and having the rude awakening that not everyone realized that my corner of the internet reached a consensus on something a few years ago, so why are we even debating this? And this is simple stuff, like how to deal with some minute technical aspect of writing, and not important stuff like how to be a socially responsible writer/fan with regard to feminism, violence against women, women in the military, racism, anti-racism, etc. But I also run into that, too. "How can you be so uninformed?" I marvel. "Don't you read [livejournal.com profile] ktempest? Or [livejournal.com profile] jimhines? Or at least Scalzi's blog, which I thought everyone read?"

But, in fact, my tendency to frequent saner places on the internet means that I forget there's a lot of insanity out there. And because I have a modicum of awareness on certain topics, I forget that there are people out there who don't even really know what the implications of colonialism really are. And don't care how you're problematizing post-colonialism in your alien invaders story. Which is also a rude thing to realize, in a way, even though you freaking knew that when you wrote the story, because that's why you put that entertaining stuff in it. You know. The Story part.

Anyway.

Ran into Rich Horton in the Green Room while getting my panelist sticker and ribbon, and offered to buy him a drink. We'll see if he takes me up on that. I thanked him profusely for liking my fiction, which is a strange thing to thank someone for, because it's essentially a visceral reaction, isn't it? But nonetheless. He swears Unplugged is coming out by the first of December, and I have to decide on the politics of giving anthologies containing one's own work out for presents.

I found [livejournal.com profile] dendrophilous, and had dinner with her and Erika... Found some really nice Thai. Remembered that I love coconut milk because it's like milk, but no lactose intolerance! I mean, I had that visceral "uh, oh, and me without my lactaid" reaction to the sauce on my Pa-naeng, but then remembered nothing bad was going to happen. Happy day.

Spent some good time in the lobby chatting with Elizabeth ([livejournal.com profile] dendrophilous and [livejournal.com profile] jimhines, and everyone who passed by. Jim knows a lot of people. I'm not surprised, I guess, since he's been doing this for a while. Met the archivist for SFWA, Lynne Thomas, and her daughter Katie, and her husband who I am ashamed to admit that I don't remember the name of. (Chris? But there was another Chris (Gerrib) last night, so clearly, there can't have been two! These things Just Don't Happen.) Also met Kerrie Hughes and John Helfers, which was cool. I learned an incredible amount about anthologizing just from random asides they both made.

Now, I'm spending my last nine minutes before [livejournal.com profile] kelly_swails comes to find me. I have had to drop the logline for my book on people about three times, which makes me glad I finally figured it out, even though I think the hook is too much of a spoiler. The logline, btw, is "An herbalist's apprentice in 15th century Romania becomes queen of the Underworld." This is a semi-problematic logline--there was no actual Romania in 1489--and at least one person asked if I meant the criminal underwold, and not, you know, Hades. But it works. Everyone looks vaguely intrigued when they hear it. Good enough.

In completely un-convention news, I got to visit my friends Elena and Stefano yesterday, and meet their little boy, Luca. They live in faculty housing for University of Chicago in Hyde Park, and their apartment is absolutely fantastic. Location, size, general niceness... all just wonderful. Elena and Stefano took a cat that [livejournal.com profile] dannimal and I rescued at the cottage a few years ago, and with them, the cat (Tina) has lived in Ann Arbor, Santa Barbara, and now Chicago. Tina is plump and happy, and absolutely adores Luca (and vice versa). I love a happy ending. Anyway, it's really nice to have my friends so much closer than California.

ConFusion

Jan. 21st, 2009 11:01 pm
mer: (Awesome/Crabman (My Name is Earl))
I'm terrible sleepsity right now, but I must post my ConFusion schedule (ConFusion: http://www.stilyagi.org/cons/confusion.html), where I anticipate meeting [livejournal.com profile] catrambo and buying [livejournal.com profile] jimhines some sort of beverage to say, "Thanks for being The Awesome Guy on the Internets Who Gives Me Hope for Humanity." And such things of that nature.

I will also be there with the usual suspects... the [livejournal.com profile] splash_the_cat, the [livejournal.com profile] daveamongus, the [livejournal.com profile] vidensadastra, the [livejournal.com profile] iuliamentis, of course (three of these come with the hotel room!), and hope to see the becoming-usual [livejournal.com profile] steve_buchheit, [livejournal.com profile] jeffreyab... and many more! (Is this a [livejournal.com profile] tappu year? I will find out shortly!)

My panels this year:

Smut and Nothing but Smut 10:00 PM Friday Dennison III
David Rozian, Kelley Armstrong, Anne Harris, Merrie Haskell, and Violette Malan
A discussion of sex scenes in genre fiction and whether they have any redeeming literary value or are they just inserted for prurient interest to sell the book.
I'm not afraid of this one. I have... Opinions.

The Short Story 12:00 PM Saturday Salon E
Cat Rambo, William Jones, Merrie Haskell, Jim Hines [M], and Steve Buchheit
The best of these are an art form unto themselves. Where can we find them? How has the electronic age affected them? Selling short stories -- aimed at telling people how to submit short stories, how to get started and keep it up.
Can do this one in my sleep at this point, which is fortunate, because I'm going to need sleep.

Paranormal Romance: Meet the New Boss 3:00 PM Saturday Salon H
Kelley Armstrong, Melody Barker, Merrie Haskell [M], Steven Harper Piziks
Meet the New Boss about love, vampires and werewolves is the new economic engine of the genre. Where did it come from? Who writes it? Who reads it?
I'm glad I'm moderating, because the sudden appearance of Kelley Armstrong has sort of awed me. Shockingly, I'm much less opinionated in front of persons with more experience and authority than me. However, if you have any advice--or better, questions--about Paranormal Romance, comment with them! I'll attempt to write a semi-decent panel report in return.

Gadgetering 12:00 PM Sunday Dennison I/II
Cory Doctorow, David Rozian, Merrie Haskell, Philip Edward Kaldon and Freon
Creating gadgets in SCIENCE fiction
I'm not sure why SCIENCE is all capitalized like that? But I'm not sure that this is a *hard* topic? Just writers saying, "Well, I do thus and such?" and "Boy howdy, I like Q." Am I underthinking this? Why am I the only woman? Am I doing gadgets wrong in my fiction? Am I undergadgety to be on this panel, or am I overgadgety for my gender? I'll let you know next week, I guess.

Anyway, I'll be around. Comment if you want to meet up. Pop me an email if you want my cell number. (mythos (at) merrie haskell (dot) com)

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