conventions, goals

Context 25 in Review

Context was this past weekend. I drove down with certain expectations, certain goals. I met my goals (yay!) and Context exceeded my expectations.

One goal was simply meeting up with my WriteShop group members in person, since I haven’t seen some as much since I moved. While not all were there, a good number were (Hey, all! It was great seeing you!), and we got to re-connect. I also got to ask a question of Mike Resnick (wow, did that take some working up of the nerve, let me tell you!). Then I blew it when L.E. Modesitt Jr asked me, as we waited outside the room the next panel was to be in, if I was to be on this panel with him. Well, I got the giggles and probably looked like an idiot. Sigh. I know he was being extremely nice and polite, but the thought of ‘lil ole’ me’ being on a panel and not in the audience hit my funny bone hard. (In my defense, it was late in the day and I was somewhat sleep-deprived.) So much for looking and acting like a professional.

I learned plenty of new things, had some ‘old’ things underscored by the pros and wrote notes like crazy. What kinds of things? In no particular order:

  • A.J. Scudiere has the absolute coolest audiobook sales techniques–the audio files come on flash drives hidden in bracelets or other jewelry.
  • At Mary Turzillo’s book release party for Lovers and Killers, some people read their poems. No, don’t roll your eyes. One young woman named  Leslie Anderson read her poem ‘Ponies and Rocketships.’ It was absolutely awesome. She, too, will be having a poetry book released soon, probably titled An Inheritance of Stone, so look for it. Really.
  • Classic writing advice from Elmore Leonard: Leave out the parts readers will skip.
  • Patience is a virtue in the publishing world. Get ready for it.
  • Without the writing, nothing else matters. So: Write. Submit. Repeat.
  • Rooms were either pleasantly cool or downright freezing! Layers, people–layers will make your life much more bearable at cons.
  • Gary Braunbeck is Ohio’s Steven King (not my metaphor, but apt nonetheless).

OK, here are some random quotes (that I managed to write down) that struck me as funny:

  • “He’s the boy who lived, not the boy who learned.”
  • “Vampire LARPers ruined my life!” This is even funnier when there was confusion over whether the speaker said ‘LARPers’ or ‘lepers.’
  • question: “Do you need ‘the thing,’ Dave? Do you like ‘the thing?'”
  • answer: “I have the thing first. I needed ‘the thing.'”
  • “I always thought opossum look like zombies.”

Ugh. Now it’s Monday; I’m home, but still thoroughly exhausted. I don’t think I’m recovered enough for new writing today, so it’s a day of editing instead. Which is fine, since I have so much of it to get through! Ack, deadlines! Which means…I’m off to edit.

Did I mention it’s only a month until World Fantasy Con?

3 thoughts on “Context 25 in Review”

  1. Oh, I’m so happy you’re going to WFC, and so sad I won’t get to see you this time! WFC is easily my favorite con. There are plenty of other nice ones, don’t get me wrong, but this one just shares the most criteria with my “perfect convention” list. 🙂

  2. Just a note. You didn’t “blow it,” and I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t posted it. All too often all of us are certain “everyone” has noticed some goof we made. Most people don’t. A few do, and most of those will be knd enough not to say anything, at least in F&SF [but not in politics, where the slightest gaffe is endlessly repeated and replayed, which is one reason why I much prefer the F&SF community].

    1. Thank you. I’m relieved to know I didn’t look as foolish as I later assumed. You’re right, we almost always assume “everyone” notices our mistakes, and that “no one” notices when we manage to do something right, or even when we just look competent.

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