Back From WorldCon

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[Stepping into virtual “Magical Words Room” and putting down bags….]

Well, I’m back.  It’s good to be home.

I’m tanned, rested, and, most recently, energized by five days at WorldCon in Denver.  (Faith and Misty were there, too — Catie, we missed you hugely.)

The tanned and rested part came first.  We started in northern New Mexico, where we visited friends, strolled through the streets and markets of Santa Fe, and hiked in the mountains.  Then Nancy, the girls, and I went to southeastern Utah where we camped and hiked for several days.  Dead Horse Point State Park, Arches National Park, and the Needles area in Canyonlands National Park.  Simply spectacular; my favorite part of the world.  Finally, we went to southwestern Idaho, where we visited Nancy’s parents and family and again spent some time with old friends. 

Nancy and the girls flew home and I went on to Denver where I reconnected with lots of my old writer friends, forged some new friendships, and took care of some business with my editor and my agent.  I sat in on several (seven?) discussion panels, read from my forthcoming book, The Horsemen’s Gambit, and signed a few books.  Mostly though, I hung out with writers and talked shop. 

Who?  You want names?  Well, there was Stephen Leigh, my roomie for the weekend, who is my artistic and spiritual doppelganger; Faith and Misty, of course; Alethea Kontis, who guest-blogged here a few months back; Alis Rasmussen, aka Kate Elliott, who is even older than I am (Sorry, inside joke); Glenda Larke, Donna Hanson, Sean Williams, Karen Miller, and editor Jonathan Strahan, all of whom hail from Australia, my second home; Mary Robinette Kowal, who has quickly become one of my favorite people in the world, and who won this year’s John W. Campbell Award as speculative fiction’s best new author (Yay Mary!!!); Lynn Hardy, who Faith, Misty, and I first met at ConCarolinas; David Louis Edelman, one of my friends from SFNovelists.com who I finally got to meet in person; Doselle Young, Jim Bailey, Lou Anders, Chris Roberson, and several other people who I’m forgetting but will remember as soon as I hit the “post” button.

So where does the energized part come in?  Well, hopefully in the days, weeks, and months to come as I write the last third of the final book in my Blood of the Southlands trilogy and begin work on my next project.  Writing is a lonely profession.  Most of us, unless we’re engaged in some sort of collaboration, work in solitude much of the time.  It’s just the nature of the business, and usually I don’t mind it at all.  I have plenty of characters running around in my brain, clamoring for my attention, doing everything they can to subvert my outline.  It’s not like I’m really alone….

But occasionally I need more.  Sometimes I need to hear that others are struggling with their current works in progress or are worrying about the state of the sf/fantasy market.  Sometimes it’s helpful to bounce ideas for new stories off of fellow writers; sometimes it’s fun to sit in a corner with a friend and play with the idea of editing our own anthology.  I think people in other professions take this kind of interaction for granted.  Some writers do as well, particularly those who live in communities with others in our field.  But I live in a rural area far away from others in the genre.  Conventions, particularly WorldCon and World Fantasy Convention, give me the opportunity to connect with people who truly understand my work and the issues I face as an author of speculative fiction.  I got my fix of this in Denver.

So now I’m ready to write.  I REALLY want to work on my new project — my shiny new toy.  But first I need to finish up (and find a title for) my work in progress.  So that’s where I’ll begin.  I have some unpacking to do, a few emails that need replies.  And then to work….

Good to see y’all again. 

Today’s music:  Counting Crows

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15 comments to Back From WorldCon

  • I had the time of my life…seeing you every five minutes in a crowd of thousands was a big part of that.

    And thank you for sharing your Tim Tams. That’s love, my friend. True love.

  • Hanging out with you was so much fun. I’m fairly pining now. I’ll let you know next time I’m in TN.

  • Wayne

    David,

    Glad you had a good time.
    Wish I would have been able to make it…
    Of course I would have most likely been behind the tables working for Larry and Sally many of the hours there.
    Of course not during the times of yours’, Faith’s and Misty’s readings.
    Reading Faith’s series now…And enjoying it very much.

    Wayne

  • I’ve missed the daily banter on this blog, now you’re back you’ll have to get writing again… can’t party all the time David (sound a bit like your mum don’t I?)
    Nat

  • Last night while I was waiting for the standby gods to smile on me and let me fly away from New York, I discovered a Tim Tam in my bag. Did you put that there, David?

    You’re a total hero if you did. That was my breakfast!

  • First off, Misty — No, that wasn’t me. I’d love to take credit, but I think you must have been touched by the Tim Tam Fairy, that quixotic and slightly eccentric Aussie pixie of lore….

    Natalie, thanks. Good to be back. Yes, I have to be an adult again. Not really looking forward to that….

    Missed you, too, Wayne. Next year, I hope.

    Mary and Alethea, it was wonderful seeing you both. That sushi dinner we had with Misty, Doselle, David, and the others was as much fun as any meal I’ve had at a WorldCon. Ever.

  • Judy

    Hi David,

    The southwest is also one of our favorite places in the world!

    Have you ever been to Capitol Reef National Park? It is wedged between Zion and Canyonlands and is one of the least visited National Parks in Utah. We’ve been there 8-10 times over the last 10 years and still haven’t made a dent in what there is to see.

    The sweet thing is that there is hardly anyone there. We’ve gone on 3-day back country hikes and not seen anyone the whole time. Photographically, it is amazing and the lack of people is a bonus, no one in your pictures!

    Another bonus is that you are less than a days drive from Escalante, Goblin Valley(goblins,mushrooms and hoodoos), San Rafael Swell(awesome slot canyons) and the Henry Mountains(last mountains surveyed in the US, sometime around 1948).

    If you haven’t been out there, it’s worth the trip. We’re thinking about heading out in the fall, the Aspens are glorious!

    ~Judy

  • It’s amazing where the Tim Tams turn up, I think they’re actually bent on world domination. That’s why us Aussies keep sending them out there, we’ll take over the world one tim tam at a time.

  • Beatriz

    Missed y’all tons and tons and tons– but glad a good time was had!!!

  • Judy, I’ve only driven through Capitol Reef, though I’ve spent LOTS of time in Zion and a bit in Bryce. I’m eager to explore Cap Reef eventually.

    Natalie — the TimTams came from the Aussie Melbourne 2010 bid party. I just don’t know how that one got into Misty’s bag. But you should have seen Alis (aka Kate Elliott) eating hers. That cookie was a revelation to her….

    We missed you, too, Minion! Hope to see you soon.

  • It was great to meet you, David!
    And I look forward to meeting up again, somewhere, sometime.

    Cheers,
    Glenda

  • Okay, so there’s a Tim Tam fairy who takes pity on women stranded in airports….is there also a Cadbury fairy? And if so, how do I lure it to drop surprise Cadbury bars in my bag?

    *laughs*

  • Beatriz

    There *is* a Cadbury Fairy, although she’s partial to passing out Carmello bars to wonderful authors.

    She also keeps lists of treats on a spreadsheet. 😉

  • Great meeting you, too, Glenda. I enjoyed are chats very much. I’ll see you in Melbourne if not before.

    A Cadbury fairy? Hmmmm. Does this pixie hang out with the Single-Malt Fairy by chance….?

  • Donna Hanson

    Hi David

    It was so great to catch up with you. Thanks for coming to the Aussie bid parties. Glad the TimTams came in handy. Next time I will be more organised and book time with you ahead…you were one of the great things about World con and I’m looking forward to reading you new book. Jim said good things about it. Regards to Nancy and the girls.