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Saturday, August 20, 2011

WorldCon in Reno - Day 2

Thursday was my busiest day at the con - non-stop from 9am to 2am. I was scheduled for two panels, a kaffeeklatsch, my publisher's presentation, plus I wanted to attend two of my friends' debut readings, their book launch party, and a couple more parties where I might run into people I knew.

Well I ran into people I knew all day, as it happened. Writer friends, readers, convention acquaintances from Montana, Seattle, and other WorldCons. That's the part I love about conventions, running into all these people, when I used to know no one. Then I can introduce them to each other. Still a lot of folks I don't know. In the cafe at breakfast time were George RR Martin, Joe Haldeman, and Robert Silverberg. Well, I've been introduced, but...

The panels were interesting...
The first one was on how to make it as a full time writer. Interesting perspectives from a delightful Bud Sparhawk, Dean Wesley Smith, Christina York, and Tom Negrino, who writes mostly non-fiction. We concluded that there was a great deal of difference between those who have to support a family as a full time writer and those, like me, who graduate to being a full time writer after a decently paying day job. Also talked about how many writers find it either more stimulating or less stressful to intentionally pursue their day jobs, even when they could probably make it on writing alone. Full time writing is not always the glamor job aspiring writers imagine. But we all agreed writing was the best job in the world.

After a fine hour kaffeeklatsching with five questioning readers, I moderated a panel on creating non-human characters. We had a big audience, and it became clear that this was a huge topic, when one considered everything from enhanced humans (Kathleen Anne Goonan) to lizard or cyber intelligences (Robert Sawyer) to fantastic creatures (Martha Wells and me). Another panelist, Amy Thomson, stirred things up a bit speculating on why it is so hard to get stories with entirely non-human characters published. And we talked about the problems of getting readers to identify and sympathize with characters so entirely alien.

My friends Courtney Schafer and Brad Beaulieu did beautifully on their first WorldCon readings. Both have debut novels just out from Nightshade Books. Saw far too many books I want to read at the Ace/Roc "What's coming up?" presentation. Party-hopped with my agent, Lucienne Diver, best-bud/fine author Diana Pharaoh Francis, and friend Kendra from MisCon who was soaking in her first WorldCon. Mostly very hot and noisy, so after an hour or two, Di, Kendra, and I grabbed Sue Bolich and retreated to a quiet, smoke-free lounge area and talked and people-watched until about 1:30am. Now THAT is the best of convention life!

1 comment:

Kathy Amen said...

Glad you have so much stamina!