Worlds & Time

Monday, October 08, 2007

Changes

I'm home from Viable Paradise. It was a lovely time, although I wish I'd stayed a little longer on the island. I woke up late my last day because I thought I was staying an extra night, and so I never did get around to swimming in the ocean.

I think I got a lot of good advice. Not only on Colony, the short story that I submitted, but on my book as well.

One of the best parts of the conference though was meeting the staff and listening to their stories. I "studied up" by reading a few volumes of "The Year's Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy" edited by a few different editors. I'm not exceedingly well read in Spec Fiction, but I definitely try, and I recognized more names than I thought I would.

It helps that a lot of the craziest stories were about Steve Brust, who I've found out is not only one of today's legendary genre writers, but a really awesome and crazy guy.

A few of my reactions to the instructors:

TNH: Hilarious. And super nice. And I'm her slave. She knows why. I worship at your awesome feet.

PNH: Someone told me not to be taken aback by Patrick, and not to think that he didn't like me if he was quiet. I didn't find him off-putting at all, he was always very nice to me. He's got this really interesting accent, a drawl of some kind. I've been thinking about it, but I haven't yet figured out where it comes from.

Laura Mixon: I need to read your book, but I also think that your storytron project looks very interesting, and I can't wait to see what comes out of it.

Steve Gould: Only a few days after the conference, and I have now read everything that he's written. Reflex is so good that I want more. The movie based on Jumper also looks good (although he says that they've changed the premise of the movie so completely that it's a completely different work).

Cory Doctrow: Okay, okay, I'd never heard of him before VP. Here's a funny story though. Traveling back through New York City, I went out to a party at a bar in downtown Manhattan with some friends. I just so happened to run into a gay geek at this party, and his name helped me get his phone number. Awesomeness. And he had a British accent. More awesomeness. I am in debt to him for the geek cred that your presence at VP has gifted me with.

James McDonald & Debra Doyle: The two of them have some of the most interesting writing anecdotes that I've ever heard. I could listen to them talk for hours.

Elizabeth Bear: What to say about Bear? She's got so much energy that it's hard to understand how it's contained in just one human figure. I have the feeling that if I poked her with a pin she would explode with creativity, leaving little bits of characterization and plot all over the walls. That description doesn't even do her justice because despite her geekiness I think she was one of the coolest people at the conference.

The only problem that I had with the conference is that I was sick for most of it. When you're only getting five hours of sleep every night, it's nearly impossible to get over a cold.

One of the highlights of the conference for me was the reading of Shakespeare's Richard III (I was Edward IV and the Duchess of York, incidentally). I'm trying to post some YouTube videos of the end (I'm not in it, unfortunately), but I'm having some trouble. If I get them up, I'll add a link here. (Note: February 08 and the video's still aren't up. I tried, and tried, and failed.)

I return home, and what's waiting for me in my inbox? An invitation to join the IIDB Administrative staff. I accepted, of course, and spent two days trying to get caught up on the new workload, and it's immense. The changes between being a moderator and being an administrator are significant. I still think they should divide up some of the responsibilities so that no one person has to cover quite so much terrain.

Still, this is a position that I've been working toward for a long time, and I'm very much excited by it. Hopefully I can make a positive difference to the site.

Incidentally, in his "How to blog" lecture, Cory mentioned that you should give blog posts more descriptive names, so I'm considering being more expressive about my post titles. No more one word titles . . . er, after this post, that is.

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