tcastleb: (Default)
( Nov. 5th, 2006 06:15 pm)
It's rather sad to know that the con is over. Hard to see everyone hauling their suitcases out of the hotel. Worse to know that I still have to get up early (though not as early as some) to get to the airport. Ick.

Went to a Fantasy Crossover panel, featuring S.M. Stirling (very funny man,) Ellen Kushner, Gordon Van Gelder (whom we almost didn't recognize, because he SHAVED!) and Glen Cook. The bottom line of that panel was that all fiction is fantasy, and that if you're going to try and blend together two very different elements (i.e., from S.M., one's a pope, one's an alien, and they're cops!) there's got to be a reason behind doing it, and it's much better if it comes naturally rather than being forced (i.e. Hollywood deciding that if X is popular, and Y is popular, then a blend of XY should be twice as popular and they tell someone to write it. Doesn't always work.)

Then I stayed for a YA panel featuring Charles de Lint, Mark London Williams, Freitag, Goldblatt (a YA editor) and Holly Black. It was an all right panel; it sort of devolved into several audience members telling horror stories about how parents are often overzealous about restricting what their kids read, and how much kids already know, and if parents ban it, the kids are going to read it anyway. The most interesting observation was the diversity of the sexes in reading, that boys will read middle grade, but just stop when they get to teen books, or will skip to adult because reading isn't "cool" or encouraged in boys.

Anyway, here's Charles trying to take a picture of some little figure on the table.

After that, I hung in the lobby for a while and chatted with Walter John Williams and met Chelsea Quinn Yarboro (another Californian!) and other folks stopped by, including Judi from SHU who was also waiting for Maria to get back from lunch. David Drake, sitting in a nearby chair, felt sorry for me because "you look lonely and the rest of us have a book" so he signed a bookmark for me. :>) Then Maria got back, and Judi and I helped her pack books, then Judi left and Maria and I went to the mall looking for Texas souvenirs, and I finally made it to Cavender's, the real cowboy store.

And look what I got! It's a Stetson! Had to be black. I wanted to be a bad guy cowboy. And I wore it while Maria went in the bookstore to sign some books, and then to Burger King where the nice guy behind the counter said I looked good in the hat--and without it, too. :>)

But now I get to pack, and hopefully I'll get a chance to get some crits done that I owe [profile] devilwrites and [profile] digitalclone as well as one for my San Diego writing group. Arrrrghh. I suppose, if anything, coming to the con makes me want to write more, and sort of reemphasizes that you have to write the story you need to tell. Makes me more determined. I suppose it's sort of like the "Inner Game of Music" (or tennis, or golf, or whatever) that uses a lot of visualization. If you can "see" your book on the shelves, then it makes it more real and easier to get to. If writing is ever easy. :>) But theoretically, it should work--like, "I see myself getting X number of pages done by Thursday" or whatever.

I want my book done and rewritten by the end of the year, so I can get it to my new mentor at the SHU residency. It'll happen. I can "see" it.

Now I have to pack. *sigh* Gosh darn books.
tcastleb: (Default)
( Nov. 4th, 2006 11:27 pm)
Umm. Went to the Rules of Fantasy panel, featuring Tor founder Tom Doherty, Tim Powers, Glen Cook, Kate Elliott and Robin Hobb. Definitely the most entertaining panel so far. Basically, they tried to define the rules for fantasy--Tim suggested one-inch margins, legible type, etc. :>) Then someone quoted someone else and said all rules were meant to be broken, and later, Robin Hobb said that the one rule you can't break is that *someone* has to change by the end of the book; don't leave the character exactly where he was when he started.

The other cool thing Robin said, in reference to the subject of why so many authors would use the same ideas or storylines or even character types over and over in their books is that each author has a question, and the books are their way of trying to find answers to that question.

Then I stayed for one about Horror and Dark Fantasy and where it was going. Mostly they talked about horror, and how horror isn't dead and various markets you can submit to and what they're looking for. I was hoping for a good definition of dark fantasy, since I sort of called my book a dark fantasy in the blurb because it's rather grim, but I don't know if it is dark fantasy, exactly. Oh well. This panel featured Stephen Jones from the U.K., A. Vandermeer, Tina Jens, Nancy Holder (from San Diego!) and Laird Barron (whose story we pried apart at Clarion last year.)

Then I followed JJA and some ladies (including a WOTF winner and an Illustrators winner who both won last year) to Mexican for lunch. Then I wandered and went back to the hotel for a much-needed nap (I got lost. Again.) And then I came back around 7:20 and hooked up with Maria Snyder and chatted with her for a while and then joined some Clarion '04's (Hi Andy!) and chatted until the banquet was over. Don't ask me who won. I don't know.

And then it was up to the "Toreador" party hosted by Jay Lake et al, and then up to Jenny Rappaport's "Congrats on selling your first book this summer" party, which was a bit less crowded with nice people and yummy brownies and chocolate covered pretzels.

Then it was back downstairs near the bar, which looked something like this. (View from the 4th floor.)

So, overall a nice day. Except I got called the Quiet One again. And I suck at networking because I can never think of enough stuff to keep a conversation going. Like, going up to an author and saying, "I really like your book!" or "I went to your panel!" and then we stare at each other for a bit. Aaarrrggh. I'm not really nervous about talking to folks. I just can't think of stuff to say. But I did meet plenty more writer wannabe's or newbies that were nervous, and had just as hard of a time talking, so I don't feel quite so bad.

And look, Austin has wildlife right next to a busy street. Saw her while walking to McDonald's yesterday.

tcastleb: (Turniphead)
( Nov. 3rd, 2006 10:11 pm)
Tired as heck.

Went to see Maria Snyder read.

Went to a panel on Supporting Characters, featuring: (?), David Duncan, Moore, Wendy Wheeler, and Melanie Rawn.

Walked to McDonald's and grabbed an M&M McFlurry for lunch. Went to a panel on dark forests in urban fantasy, featuring: Robin Hobb, Jane Lindskold, David B. Coe, and Kelly Link.

Went to see a Paranormal Romance reading, and met Judi from SHU. Went to another panel on Blogging and Social Networking, featuring: Andrew Wheeler, Lynn Flewelling, [personal profile] matociquala and David Levine.

Found some Clarion O4's and went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with them, and then it was back to the con hotel for the autograph session. Here's Maria listening to all the good things a fan has to say about her books.

I got all the books signed I brought, including Charles DeLint (very nice guy,) Nina Kiriki Hoffman (who has the most elaborate autograph ever--half a dozen colors and a nifty design,) Tim Waggoner (another Ohioan!) Lynn Flewelling (another SoCal person!) Robin Hobb (who meant the Farseer series to end where it was--but then had the ideas for the Fool series) Elizabeth Moon (whose agent brought her a cake to celebrate their twenty years together) and I got Glen Cook to sign a book for my friend A who now has to come visit me in order to get it, bwa ha ha ha ha.

Then it was a stop at the noisy and crowded Tor party, and getting lost on the way back to my hotel. And now it's bedtime, hence the abruptness of this blog. Actually, a few little things--it's a nice, cozy con because it has more serious fans and writers. But there's a few odd quirks to this one--everyone agrees that the program could have been put together in a better way (it's listed event by event, and doesn't have the day on each page so it's hard to find stuff) and the badges don't have individual numbers, which makes it hard to bid on art and auctions. And once in a while it does sort of suck being a wannabe rather than a published writer, because there's little groups of folks going out on invite-only dinners. Then again, there were plenty of folks who weren't, and when I waited long enough I did find folks to eat dinner with. But it's fun, I'm glad I came.

Anyhoo. I'm going to bed now. Really.


tcastleb: (Default)


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