Sorry to be posting so late, but I only returned home last night from a week-long vacation that culminated in a terrific weekend at ConCarolinas, and I’ve been scrambling to deal with everything from getting our daughter ready for sleep away camp (she left this morning at 6:00) to retrieving our accumulated mail.
Thing is, all I really want to do is write.
The week off with my family was wonderful. Sunshine most days, spectacular thunderstorms over the sea on a couple. We swam in the ocean, took walks on the beach, found shells and sharks’ teeth, read and did puzzles and watched movies. Mostly we didn’t work. Although in a way, I did. But more on that later.
ConCarolinas was wonderful. The con committee put together a terrific convention. It ran smoothly and was staffed by the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. The con has a strong literary track; I’d enjoy attending it no matter what. But what makes ConCarolinas so special is that it’s the one con that all of us here at Magical Words attend. Stuart could only come on Saturday, but for that one day Faith, Misty, A.J., Stuart, and I were together, hawking books, talking shop, and chatting with the many other authors and MW readers who also attended the con. We spoke on panels about Alternate History and Creating Religions, about Censorship and Writer’s Block, about Writing Collaboratively and Reading Harry Potter. We had a wonderful Magical Words lunch at Boardwalk Billy’s during which Faith ate what appeared to be a miniature Kraken soaking in a tumbler of Tequila. Seriously.
I’m not going to try to name everyone we saw at the con — other writers, artists, friends of this site. I might remember most of you, but I’ll surely forget someone, and I don’t want to do that. Suffice it to say that seeing you all at our panels, at the lunch, in the hallway where we had our book tables set up, was wonderful. You made a fun weekend even better. You know who are.
I said before that I didn’t work while at the beach. That’s not entirely true. As the wonderful Allen Wold mentioned on one of the panels I sat in on, when a writer stares off into space, or (extrapolating now) out at breakers rolling over a shell-strewn beach, he is working. After finishing Robin Hood and the first Thieftaker book, I was tired, creatively spent. I didn’t want to write at all. And that feeling lasted several weeks. I did other stuff, including, most notably, revamping my web page. But I didn’t write a thing. I didn’t want to, which is rare for me. While at the beach, I got the bug again. I started writing in my journal, I found myself playing with book ideas; I began to feel excited about my work again. The convention energized me even more. I plan to start the next Thieftaker book on September 1. Between now and then, I have yet another book that I want to write. I’ll keep you posted.
As it happens, Magical Words was reinvigorated by the convention as well. In the evenings, after we were done with con stuff, the MW writers and a few of our family and friends, including friend of the site Edmund Schubert, went off on our own and did some brainstorming. I’m not going to reveal too much of what we discussed, at least not yet. Much of it needs more planning, more foundational work. I will say, though, that we as a group are thrilled at the prospect of making the site even better, and of making Magical Words into something more than just a blog. I can also tell you that some of the changes could begin manifesting themselves much sooner. So stay tuned.
Again, thanks to all of you for helping to make this past weekend so special. And now to work. I have some creative energy to expend.David B. Coe