Some years, you have a really great Con. This was one of the better ones for me. I think it was partly because I knew so many people here for once. It really added to the fun. The Doubletree is actually starting to feel homely and familiar to me, a good feeling. The writing panels Mae Empson organized were good, and over-attended. (We need bigger rooms for the writing track stuff) For me the best panels were Friday writing panels. Cat Rambo said something that really clicked with me, regarding establishing the rules of magic in fantasy stories. She said you need to understand the rules, not just for the limitations on the magic but so you know what can go wrong. That just lit up inside of me. Gardner Duzois was one of the guests of honor and I was delighted to be able to meet him and pick his brain a little, I was and am very grateful to him. He also edits damn good books, in fact his next anthology ‘Rogues’ is coming out sometime soon. Considering how much I enjoyed the ‘Warriors’ anthology, this should be truly great.
The publisher guest of honor this year was Baen Books. I’ve been a reader of their stuff for decades and they were the first people I sent my work to. Not only is the kind of stories they publish right up my alley, but they have a great attitude. Seriously, Tony Daniel is my kind of guy. I thought he was hilarious but also genuinely trying to be helpful to new writers. He was even kind enough to let me submit a short story to him for Baen.com, I’ve got just the story, now I just need to edit it into greatness. Or at least competent-ness. Tony Daniel is also working with David Drake to continue the ‘General’ series, which was one of my favorite fantasy series (at least the first three were), so that makes me happy as well. I really would love to publish my sci-fi stuff with Baen, they seem to really work with their writers. Special thanks to them for coming this far west and for hosting the party Saturday night. That was the highlight of the Con for me.
The Cloud City Wordslingers
The Wordslingers were really out there, representing. So damn proud of everyone. Feedback from most of the workshops was very positive, Stephanie Herman actually got an offer from one writer to have her novel reviewed by an agent. That is huge and excellent. She and her book deserve it. Andrew Rosenberg’s Girl/Alien book pitch attracted some attention in one ‘Pitch your novel’ panel. Luna has her book out in physical form and it looks great, hopefully she got some attention with her bookmarks and maybe some hand sells in the dealer’s room. Steve, Heather and Andrew Williams also had good writing feedback from their workshops, should be some sales from their workshopped pieces in their future. We also ‘crashed’ the Fairwood Social and the Baen books party as a group. It was really nice running into so many of us there and hearing other people talking about the group. That tickled me but I think everyone got attention because the quality of our writing has increased. That’s the great thing about this group, how we help each other improve.
I just had fun pretty much every panel and every reading I went to. It was really nice seeing people I’d met at the Rainforest Retreat or at the Cascade Writers workshop and being recognized by them. It’s nice to be remembered. I can’t think of anyone I spoke with that I didn’t enjoy talking with. Considering how sporadic my social skills can be, it was pretty effortless for me as compared to World Fantasy. The wife and I also got a room near the con this year. That made a big difference as well. So nice not to have to drive to and from Monroe each day and night.
Good news is I got three invitations to submit stories to anthologies or magazines. Whew. Very cool. And I need to be sure I write and edit stories worthy of them. Time to cross my fingers and get back to serious writing. In that vein, I’m going to be back on my daily schedule, writing or editing for at least two hours each night. Goodbye video games. I’ll beat Starcaft 2 later, once I have stuff written, edited and submitted.
I also got dissuaded (Thank you, Katie Cord) from what might have been an epic time sink. It occurred to me that there really isn’t a dedicated market for Military Sci-Fi. I thought maybe starting a magazine (online and kindle) would be cool. Well, it would be cool but it was pointed out to me that I couldn’t do that AND write. And I really, really love writing. If I could learn to love re-writing, I’d be all set…but that’s a different post for another day.
All in all, a very good four days. All that, and my birthday, too.