[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