A list, if you hadn’t guessed.
1. Virtual friendships made real: I met quite a few people I’d only known on twitter up until this weekend. Uniformly an awesome group, I’m happy and better to have met them all.
2. More new friendships than I’m going to try counting. See point number 1, but also people that I met randomly or was introduced to by other people.
3. Tonnes of awesome experiences. In the bar, restaurants, panels, hallways. And all about the people.
4. Two (or maybe three) semi-crystallized ideas of potential novel scope and I don’t know how many short story possibilities, all rubbing up against each other inside my head.
5. Eight (8!) signatures in my contributor’s copy of Rigor Amortis. I am strangely, still inordinately pleased with “And Yet In Death”, my sonnet opening the book, even more so after one of the other authors, the awesome Renée Bennett, confessed to me that she’d nominated it for an Aurora. Stunned does not begin to describe my reaction to that compliment.
6. Signatures in both of my Sarantine Mosaic hardcovers by Guy Gavriel Kay (plus the memories of cornering him at the Tor party and keeping my inner fanboy under enough control that I didn’t gush too much).
7. This pile of (mostly) books:
9. A hippocampus, sketched in 7 minutes on the table of a Korean barbeque restaurant a few blocks from the con by the talented Rebecca Blain. She felt bad for me that I’d promised not to buy any art and resolved to make sure I had something to take home.
10. A hole in the wall of my shyness in unfamiliar group situations. People who know me will be surprised at that statement, and I’m fine once I get through the initial barrier, but going into an unfamiliar environment with a large group of people I don’t know and expect/hope to interact with makes me anxious and a bit withdrawn. I get through it, but it’s not easy. A little assistance there from Tanya, Stefon Mears, and Andy Taylor.
11. Some awesome conversations with Brian and Anita Hades (of Edge Publishing, Brian wearing the mantle of publisher and Anita being, at the very least, in the running for sweetest lady on the planet).
12. The desire to start it all over again.
Happy World Fantasy weekend, everyone.by
So World Fantasy Convention, the Toronto 2012 edition, starts on Thursday (ack, the day after tomorrow!), and as I’ve expressed several times, I’m both excited and nervous.
When someone (that’s you, Wendy) talked me off the fence last year, I was nearly at the mental low point of the “my life is far more difficult than I think it needs to be”, and not too far off of when I started shutting off sources of stress and distraction (which ended up being most of the world) to focus my attention on kids and family. I looked at it from a writing career perspective: potential contacts and networking with some awesome panels thrown in.
My writing career, publicly speaking, isn’t really any different than it was a year ago. I haven’t submitted that many stories this year, though I’m working to change that right now, and didn’t send out any last year. But I’m feeling much better about myself and my life these days and I’m making plans for indie publishing and podcasting in a big way. I’m writing every day again, recording some fiction for release into the wild, and plotting out a three year plan for independent publishing of novels and short fiction collections.
But I’m not going to WFC with any networking agenda in mind. People and panels. This is going to be a social/informational convention for me. I’m going for the fun, and I think that’s the way I should have been thinking about it all the way along. I’m going to meet a few people I know only on Twitter and hopefully a bunch of other people, too. I’m going to sit in, and probably record, a whole bunch of panels. I’m going to experience some new food and new places. My hotel is, deliberately, about a 15 minute walk from the convention. It’s a bigger, more comfortable room, and I need to stretch my legs a little since I probably won’t manage anything remotely like the exercise routine I’ve gradually built for myself.
Oh, and panels. There are 21 I want to go to, but surprisingly only 5 conflicts, leaving me with a few tough choices and possibly16 attended. Maybe 16 attended. You see, there are also readings I’d really like to go to, plus the Autograph Reception, the Art show, the Dealer’s room, and a late night open flash fiction reading. It’s going to be a crowded weekend.
But believe it or not, I am a little shy in completely new situations, which this is, being my first literary convention. Someone pull me off the wall, please. I’m pretty friendly after that initial barrier is tossed aside.
Be well, everyone.by