Lots of panels! What’s trending in YA (I wish I knew, right?), how to maintain belief when you write SFF, building UF worlds rather than secondary worlds, etc.
One useful thing: I was reminded that not everyone knows the terms “secondary world” or, with contemporary UF settings, “open” vs “closed” worlds. Next time this stuff comes up, I’ll be sure to define terms right up front so the whole audience can definitely follow the conversation. Heck, I remember when *I* didn’t know those terms — not so very long ago, really. We had a nice conversation about how it can be easier for the writer if you have a world which just “opened” recently but used to be “closed.” Believability certainly comes into it either way: why is the world so similar to ours if there are vampires, whether people know about the vampires or not?
A small convention really does give most or all panels a conversational feel, which is nice, though of course bigger conventions have their charms, too. I was also happy because a lot more people attended readings this year than last. Sharon’s reading of her new book ROYAL AIRS definitely makes me want the book, because I really want to know what happens next. I don’t usually do readings, but Sharon said my BLACK DOG excerpt sounded fine and the audience said nice things about the bit I read. So that was good.
Also, in smaller conventions? Some of the venders that are there every year will recognize you! It was entertaining how a couple of venders visibly perked up when they saw me coming! (Yes, I bought stuff from them both — very cool copper-and-cloisonne earrings from one woman, and music cds from a guy). Plus, the only real book dealer there recognized me and pointed out his copies of HOUSE OF SHADOWS for me to sign, which was nice. I’m not shy about volunteering to sign books for dealers, but I didn’t see he had those copies until he pointed to them.
I was sorry, though, that Donato’s print of The Cartographer sold before I could buy it. I was pretty sure I was going to get it, but no. It’s a snazzy piece, which I hope he doesn’t mind if I borrow from his website:
I guess I could get a copy from his website, and in fact that is tempting.
I only bought three books, which may be a record — but I picked up quite a few lest month. One of those was INDA by Sherwood Smith, so I bought all three sequels even though I haven’t read INDA yet. I’m totally trusting my commenters here that I will love this series. Seems like a pretty safe bet since you all have excellent taste.
Then, since I didn’t happen to have anything scheduled on Sunday, I wound up staying home that day. Staying home was exhausting, since I spent a lot of the morning tearing a huge haystack of weeds out of my front garden. I’m going to be redoing that whole area next spring — the rugosa roses were great for several years, then gradually and mysteriously died, so the whole area looks terrible now. I’m going to try some small viburnums, some of the new ever-flowering sterile buddleias, maybe some tough miscanthus grasses, maybe crape myrtles — very tough plants that should (I hope) do well with minimal upkeep. I will tear my hair and gnash my teeth if those plants also slowly and mysteriously die. I will also suspect some horrible chemical or gas leak is under the ground somewhere, since the area seems fine as far as I can tell.
Tonight: staying home so I can carefully go over this one 30 pp. chunk of BLACK DOG according to my editor’s comments. She feels the pacing is slow through that section at the moment (she is right, too). Then I will be done with it and can send it back. Not bad, really — two multiple-paragraph chunks needed a bit of work, and then this one large section needs work, but everything else was just removing repeated words and small stuff like that.