Jul 30 2016

I keep doing this!

Rosemary

I keep waiting until the end of my day to write a blog post…

La-di-da, I say to myself, about time to go home, oh, I think I’ll just knock off a quick blog post...

Hours later:

Well, hours later it’s hours later.

Because there I am, tweaking the pics, checking on the links I’m using, looking up cool things, researching that last snappy bit of wisdom, to make sure I don’t make a total idiot of myself as I impart it. (You cannot make a paper airplane hover between two fans.  Can Not.)

Let’s see if I can do this in under an hour, shall we?

General news: I got my preliminary schedule for the panels at MidAmeriCon, this year’s Worldcon:

Writing Major Minor Characters

Do you ever read a book and come across a character that is so wonderful you want to know everything about them, yet you know you never will because they aren’t the main character? Such characters add immeasurably to our reading experience and yet they are very hard to write. This session discusses how to do just that.

Time – Wednesday 16.00

 

Hard Fantasy – Does it Exist?

“I’m going to write about what Tove Jansson called “the lonely and the rum,” the unschoolable and ungroupable, those strange and shaggy literary creatures that have no ilk or kin and that mathematically can be contained in no set smaller than the set of all sets contained in no other sets’.  (Micheal Swanwick).  Does Hard Fantasy have a place in fantasy literature, and how should we approach it?

Friday, 19.00. 2206

 

“Transcending” the Genre

Critics still use the term “transcending the genre,” but what does that really mean? And what does that mean for fandom – have we gone mainstream? Or are we experiencing snobbish reactions rooted in fannish history? What happens to the discourse when Zadie Smith talks about reading Octavia Butler, or Marlon James says his next novel will be “an African Game of Thrones”? At the end of the day, do we really want all the genre walls to disappear? Do we want to completely transcend genre?

Time – Sunday 13.00

Of the above, I think I’ll have the most to say about the Major Minor characters.  It’s something I love doing.

In addition to those, I’ll also be on an panel about living with cancer (if you’re just joining us, I spent 2014 and most of 2015 being treated for breast cancer, with great success).   I don’t know yet what time that will take place.

I think I also requested a Kaffeeklatsch, but I can’t recall if I requested a reading!  Ack!  It would be good to know, as I have to decide what to read!

Although Worldcon itself is over two weeks away, I’ll be traveling or otherwise occupied for much of the run-up to it, so I’m already having little stress-fits about the prep.  Well.  All will work out, in the end, I’m sure.

Last weekend I spent some time visiting pal and fellow Genrette Laurie J. Marks and her wife Deb Mensinger, in their vintage bungalow, which they are in the process of lovingly restoring to its early-20th-century glory.  Deb knows what she’s about, being a professionally trained preservation carpenter.

Ravens figure largely in Laurie's Elemental Logic series.

Ravens figure largely in Laurie’s Elemental Logic series.

Laurie also knows what she’s about, as couple of hours of conversation about our respective current projects resulted in me helping her solve one of her plot problems, and her helping to solve the basic major problem I was wrestling with in Book 5 –  so that now I am currently mostly wrapped up in solidifying that central fix, and setting the book onto the path of righteousness, AMEN.    After which will merely remain the writing of it.   Which sounds like the hard part, but trust me, it’s not.

Other news:

Hey, look, Ada Palmer was interviewed by Scientific Amercian about her novel, Too Like the Lightning.  Holy smokes.

Meanwhile, I’m in the middle of reading Jo Walton’s, Necessity, which takes some unexpected and rather fun turns.   But I do occasionally want to kick certain gods in their butts.  Not namin’ any names, here.

 

Oh, look, I found some orange roses.

Oh, look, I found some orange roses.

See that guitar?  Been practicing.

 


May 5 2016

Worldcon wants me!

Rosemary

Hooray!

I was worried that I’d waited too long sending in my request to be a program participant — but nope, I just got confirmation that they want me.  So happy!  It’s been a few years since I’ve been on the program at a Worldcon.

Do you not know what Worldcon is?  I know that my longtime readers do know, but I think I acquired a slew of new readers in the last year  — at least, that’s what my sales figures suggest.  (Unless some of you are buying multiple copies of the books, which would be nice, but odd…)

It’s the World Science Fiction Convention, science fiction and fantasy’s annual meet & schmooze & learn-new-stuff-about-SF&F & party & shop & greet event.  It’s a blast.  It’s also the event at which the Hugo Awards are given out, always exciting.  Well, to me.   Some people skip the awards ceremony and just party instead.

This year it’s being held in Kansas City, Missouri, a place I have never been.   An awful lot of my travels have been centered around Worldcon.   I’ve been to Boston, Chicago, San Antonio.   Toronto, Winnipeg!   Atlanta, San Jose, Orlando, Philadelphia, Denver.  And Glasgow!  I missed London, alas, couldn’t be helped.  Last year in Spokane, I didn’t get on the program, so I was there purely as an attendee (which did serve to remind me that it’s especially enjoyable to be at Worldcon when you have no responsibilities).

If you’ve never been, you should really try it.   And if you’re local to Kansas City, Missouri, you can pop in for a day (easier on the budget).   At least once in your lifetime, go to a Worldcon.  And if it turns out that you like it — there’s one every year.

Also, people who have signed up as members get to vote on the Hugo Awards.   The finalists have been selected, and the voting starts May 15th.

You can check out the list of finalists at the Worldcon website here.

(Last year there was a certain amount of — how shall I put it — fuss and bother about the Hugo voting.   And some of that has spilled over into this year.   But the simple thing to do is read the nominated works and vote for the ones you think actually deserve an award. )

In other news:  This weekend there’s a reunion of my former writer’s group, The Fabulous Genrettes.   Can’t wait!