David and I (and 600 of our closest friends!) spent last weekend at Ravencon, in Virginia. It was my first time at this delightful gathering and I had a blast. I saw old friends, met new ones and made lots of good professional connections. A number of the writers and editors who were there with us will be guest bloggers this summer, right here on Magical Words, so keep your eyes peeled!
During one of my panels, I mentioned that when I was a book-crazy kid, I had trouble believing that authors were honest-to-goodness people who ate dinner and lived in houses. Somehow they had to be godlike entities who created the books I loved with a wave of their mighty hands. The audience laughed (as I hoped they would), but I have to admit that feeling has never really gone away. It’s transferred to editors and publishers instead. The people who buy what we write, who make it a job instead of a hobby.
On Friday night, we’d trooped upstairs to attend the Capclave Party. Most of the time the parties are open to all congoers, and that’s the place in which all the authors, editors, agents and publishers are relaxed and having a good time. As long as you make yourself memorable with your sparkling conversation (and not with your low alcohol tolerance or pushy behavior), you’ve made a good connection. Anyway, I had just walked in to the party, when David called me over to meet Val Griswold-Ford, a writer and editor who is working on an anthology about pirates and magic. Val is a delightful woman with a smile that lights up a room, and she invited me to submit a story to her anthology.
I don’t remember the conversation much past that point. I was caught between elation (She likes me! She likes me!), terror (Oh God, I don’t have the slightest idea what to write about and I know I’ll never have another idea again!), and awe (She’s heard of me? Wow.) It wasn’t until morning that I calmed down and recognized that this is one of those good professional connections we want to make when we attend cons and conferences. Faith, David and I are appearing at ConCarolinas the last week in May, and I’m so excited about the connections we’ll make there!
So in addition to the last few pages of the Bloody Book II and the New Shiny that keeps tapping on my shoulder, I have at least one short story to create over the summer. (I have another I want to submit to another editor, one that’s finally tight enough to be worthy.) Now I know that editors are artists just like me, coming at the creativity from a different angle. They couldn’t do what they do without writers to fill the pages, so they need us like we need them. Maybe editors aren’t such godlike beings after all.
But don’t tell them I said so. *grin*