on May 31st, 2012 at 10:22 pm
Wiscon was so awesoooome. Tiring – I made it to almost no parties, after spending every day talking to people, and also because of timezones – but really awesome.
I am finding that what I love most about cons is the conversations: talking to all the excellent people I know, usually over delicious food. I got to chat to some people I’ve known for a while online, as well as meeting some entirely new people, and people I’ve met in person before. So many people. :3 Parties – especially the ones with loudness – aren’t something I feel sad for missing, except that I would have liked to go to the Genderfloomp. But nooo, I had a 10pm panel, and after that I needed sleep before getting up at 5am to fly to NY. Next year! (I am determined to go next year. Be right back, writing all the stories.)
I’ve come to like being on panels even more than I thought I would. I was on three, my favourite of which was the one about writing historical SFF: all of the panellists came from different historical backgrounds and researched different eras. Ellen Klages talked about finding decades-old postcards and conducting interviews and reading old magazines – and then I talked about researching a story set 16,000 years ago and how slightly different that is. =D Lucy Adlington’s focus is quite recent too, while Elizabeth Bear’s is more like 500 years ago. Vylar Kaftan moderated the panel brilliantly and we all got to say many good things. There was a moment of fail, but no argument about it after I pointed out the fail, which almost never happens. We had a big audience and I heard afterwards that people really liked the panel – it was certainly an excellent one to be on, so I’m glad the audience felt similarly. I definitely want to do allll the panels in future.
I attended a couple of really good panels, too, especially the Asian Ancestresses panel, which was 5 Asian women (Jaymee Goh, Annie Chen, Saira Ali, Angeli Primlani, Emily Jiang) of varied backgrounds talking about how they’ve engaged with the various women of history/folklore. There was another that was basically just an interesting natter about Baba Yaga, and got especially good when a Russian member of the audience was invited to join the panel.
And then there were readings!
Rose Lemberg hosted a reading for The Moment of Change and Here, We Cross, where many poems were read. If you think Sofia Samatar’s “Girl Hours” is fantastic on your computer screen, then know that hearing it out loud is even better; that rhyming couplet is an emotional punch to the chest. Other awesome readers included Emily Jiang, Shira Lipkin, Na’amen Tilahun, Lisa Bradley, Rose herself and more. And I read two poems: “Most Beautiful in Death” (which recently sold to Cascadia Subduction Zone) and “Sister” (which was newly edited that morning, newly titled just today and sold in only a few hours to the inaugural issue of the new poetry zine Through the Gate). (Would that I could sell stories as easily as I am selling poetry at the moment!)
My other reading was my first prose reading ever, with Patty Templeton, Rose and Shira, whose readings I all enjoyed. (Patty, get that novel finished! I want it all.) I read from “Feed Me The Bones Of Our Saints”, which is due out in Strange Horizons in July. Rose liked it so much she begged the full printed manuscript off me and read the rest of it on her flight home; John O’Neill blogged about his liking of it and many other people’s read work here; other people have told me how much they enjoyed my reading and want to read the whole story. (July! Not too much longer! =D) Though I’m a shaky mess inside whenever I read, my voice seems to carry the strength I want it to.
I also attended one reading, the highlight of which was Sofia Samatar reading from her forthcoming novel A Stranger in Olondria, which I want to read even more than I already did. I believe it’s due out in August or thereabouts; the publisher is Small Beer Press.
And I spent $lol in the dealers room and ate wonderful food and didn’t entirely want to leave, despite being quite tired by the end, and after a lot of public transport (and one pervy old train employee who said I could sit in his lap when I asked whether the train had assigned seats or free-for-all, eughhh) I got to Nicole’s house and will go to Shveta’s house tomorrow (sans creepy fucks, I hope) and then, sadly, I will have to return to the UK and the dayjob early next week.
In the meantime, writing. I’m 1,800 words into the prehistorical story about foxes and people set 16,000 years ago. Hoping to finish it soon so I can return to the SF novella. Feeling energised and excited and creative.