I am finally home. After Wiscon there was family, and then more family. There were several planes. I was perpetually wrinkled. The keyboard and second journal I had brought with me came back unused.
I am always irrationally optimistic about writing on vacation.
Here are some things that I learned at Wiscon:
- a great deal about being an ally
- the titles of a dozen books that I need to read RIGHT NOW
- some ideas for retooling this website
- a shit-ton of story ideas
- that I am still utterly incapable of talking about my work on the fly
- how to properly read aloud
The last is something that I knew once, but had forgotten in these intervening years, and big thanks to Ms. S. for the refresher course.
If they’re out there at all, you should try and find videos of the GoH speeches. I am getting tingles from them still. They were worth the money and the rigamarole of traveling, hands down—and while the Jemisin was the more fiery of the two, they were also of a piece, calling for voices, for the act of speaking, for action.
Yes. Tingling, still.
I left the conference all fired up and I went . . . straight on to family stuff, and now half my notes aren’t ringing any bells. Another lesson learned: to carve out enough time afterwards to process all my impressions into something more clear and useful.
Because this is the thing about conference panels: they are brilliant for helping you to see what is wrong and for exposing you to different points of view, but they spend less time moving forward into ideas for making it right. Perhaps that’s the point of many panels, to put the onus on you to try and do better. But it’s hard to distill an hour and a half of don’ts into possible dos, and even harder two weeks later.
Overall, I found the convention fun, invigorating, and overwhelming in the best possible way. (Though I know now that as a newbie I was blissfully ignorant of some unpleasantries that were happening.)
Many, many thanks to Crossed Genres, Rose Fox, and Daniel José Older for letting me participate in Long Hidden. The reading was a perfect capstone to that wonderful project.
In other news: “Clotho” is now getting a second airing (and a better edit this time) in Niteblade, “The Queen of Lakes” will be out in July in Fae, and I have two more stories forthcoming that I cannot announce until later in the year. I am also participating in the second of Rhonda Parrish’s alphabetical anthologies, B is for Broken, and I have a couple of other stories in various stages of roughed-out. I have been stewing over the pacing problem in Talassio during this break, and starting to take notes on a possible little standalone novel. It feels very weird to be contemplating a separate book in the middle of this trilogy, and the more I think about it the more I get in a muddle of what I should be writing, what I want to write, what I could write in terms of trying to sell a book . . .
. . . and then I come down to the hard fact that I have decided to dip into the savings and take some months off from working to try to get all of this stuff written. There are many other reasons for this break, which have to do with matters such as health and family and so on. But I will have time this fall. Real writing time. I suspect the next three months will be full of planning, the better to manage this precious gift once it begins.