At Rustycon 27

Next weekend, I’ll be at Rustycon — the science fiction convention held here in Seattle — and as more than one of the crowd.

The Rustycon folks were kind enough to invite me to participate as an attending professional.  And so, I will be appearing in six panel discussions — moderating one of them — and reading some of my work.

I’m looking forward to it.

I have a new acquaintance to thank for the connection; two new acquaintances, actually.  I’ve come to think of them as my Amtrak friends.

I met Fred and Johanna McLain on the train to Portland at the end of November, on the way to Orycon.  They were across the aisle, we struck up a conversation when Fred asked me about a book I was reading, and it turned out that they were on their way to Orycon, too.

Fred’s been active in the Pacific Northwest science convention scene for years and he seems to know everybody.  And he mentioned me to some of them.  And that lead to an invitation to Rustycon.

Thank you, Fred.  New friends are a joy of discovery.

Anyway, I’ve got one panel Friday night, five on Saturday, on everything from world-building to sex scenes in science fiction.  They’re spread throughout the day so I’ll be hopping.  And I will present a thirty-minute reading Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.

If you’re going to be at Rustycon, come introduce yourself; I’d love to say hello and talk writing for a bit.

And stop by to hear me read, if you can.  My voice echoes something awful in an empty room.

Home again, home again

Ignore the ransom demands. I’m home from Orycon and what a great time I had. Lots to process, but here’s a few high points:

  • chatting with Michael Ehart, one of my favorite flash fiction writers and author of The Servant of the Manthycore and the upcoming The Tears of Ishtar.
  • watching author and anthology editor Lou Anders and Mary-Robinette Kowal, author of the heart-rending 2009 Hugo nominee Evil Robot Monkey (which is flash fiction BTW), pace the center lane at the Building a Balanced Mythos panel.
  • Saturday dinner with Tom Crosshill and Alex Black, the other two 1st Quarter 2009 Writers of the Future winners.
  • seeing Kevin Shamel again. Kevin was at Orycon selling his new book, Rotten Little Animals from Eraserhead Press. (The Mohawk is cool beans, Kev.)
  • Saturday drinks with author and teacher Mary Rosenblum (who has been enormously supportive of 10Flash. Thanks again, Mary. I can’t say that too often.), Dale Smith and Shawna Reppert, whose flash fiction (respectively) Dead Wife Waiting and A Knight’s Vow will appear in the January 2010 and April 2010 issues of 10Flash. (Wait ’til you read them. Great stuff.)
  • the late Sunday afternoon chat with Camille Alexa, author of Push the Sky, a short fiction collection from Hadley Rille Books, and flash fiction editor for Abyss & Apex magazine.  Smart and funny lady.

I hope to talk more about Orycon later. Right now (it’s a bit after midnight), I’m going to bed. I am usually a night writer but at this moment, I’m exhausted.

At Orycon

Got into Portland just before two p.m. yesterday, after a great trip down via Amtrak. The only negative part of the journey was trying to figure out how to get into Union Station in Seattle. I swear they don’t want people to use the place.

Seating aboard the Coach Starlight was fantastic. The first time I’ve ever traveled anywhere by public transportation when I was able to stretch my legs out in front of me. Lunch in the dining car was tasty — a nicely cooked burger and a slice of peanut butter and chocolate pie.

I had a chance to chat with people on the train. A couple nearby — Fred and Johanna — were on their way to Orycon, too. Nice folks. The three of us rode the street car to the Double Tree hotel.

My room is spacious and I had a great night’s sleep. Unfortunately, I crashed early because I stayed up all night Thursday night, working on a story, and by six p.m., I was stumbling and incoherent.

I did have a chance to take in a couple of panel discussions before I crumpled. Also said hello to Michael Ehart, who wrote Without Napier , one of my favorite stories at Every Day Fiction, to Mary Rosenblum, of Long Ridge Writers Group, and to my old traveling buddy, Kevin Shamel, who is here to promote his new book, Rotten Little Animals.

I was up at four a.m. this morning, for a couple hours of writing.  It’s almost seven a.m. now.  Time to get ready and go down to face the day.

More later.

On the road again

I’m headed south Friday morning.

Going to catch Amtrak’s 9:45 a.m. Coach Starlight run to Portland for a three-day stay to attend OryCon 31, the science fiction convention.

Amtrak's Coach Starlight

I’m a bit excited and nervous. A couple of firsts for me, don’t you see? The first time I’ve traveled by train — anywhere — and my first major SF convention.

You would think, at my age, that I would have managed to tick both off my list of things to do.

Sure, I attended Foolscap 11 in late September, but it was a pretty intimate affair. Fun, but not a lot of folks, not a lot of hubbub. And I only was able to stop by for one day.

Anyway, if you’re around the Portland Doubletree this weekend, look for me. I’ll be the silly fool with the goofy grin on her face. Thank God they’ll give us name tags, so I won’t forget who I am.

Jeez! Sometimes I wounder if I’m ever going to grow up.

Tomorrow at Foolscap 11

Foolscap 11, the SF convention devouted to the discussion of written science fiction and fantasy, started a three-day run today at the Marriott Town Center in Redmond.

Novelist Peter David and artist Jeff Sturgeon are featured guests.  A ton of other local writers, including two of my favorites, Jay Lake and David Levine, will be there, too.

I’m going to drop by tomorrow (Saturday).

It’s my first time at a convention devouted only to written SF and I’m looking forward to it.