Monday, September 9, 2013

World Con 2013 Report

I could get used to being Queen
I went to two cons in as many weeks over the past month, which felt an awful lot like I was being a greedy goose. I spent several days at Lone Star Con in San Antonio, the site of this year's World Science Fiction convention. I met up with old friends as well as making new friends and meeting people I had only known via the Internet. I went to panels, a reading, I ate, I workshopped some stories, I partied, and I gave a podcast interview for the first time ever. My introverted self did well, holding on for the post-con trip to the beach where I unwound from the con's frantic days and nights.

Reproductive technology panel
The first panel I attended was on reproductive technology, medical ethics, and the law. That's a topic that could entail an entire convention, so fitting pertinent information into an hour felt much like trying to cram all the books and legos I bought (that's right, legos... for my son, of course, and not for me) into the suitcase at the end of the convention. Lois McMaster Bujold brought up several good points. With every new technological advance, new questions are raised. Every little advance means one more decision for the primary caregiver(s) to make. What it comes down to (for Bujold) is, how do we choose for someone who cannot choose for themselves?

I also went to a panel on the future of small presses. Since I'm published through a small press, I thought it would be in my best interest to hear what others had to say. Much of it was along the lines of my own thoughts, and it seemed that all the panelists thought small presses would be around for the long haul, for a variety of reasons.

On a whim, I went to a panel on making shadow puppets, given by professional puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal. She gave a darling performance and then instructed us on making our own shadow puppets. By the end of the hour, I felt like a little kid again, and I was glad I stopped in and had the chance to play.

I went to a reading given by Vylar Kaftan. She read two of her short stories, one of which just came out in the Glitter and Mayhem anthology. The stories rocked, and I found myself thinking, "I wish I could write like that."

I also gave an interview, which will appear on the SF Signal Podcast. I'll be sure to let you all know when it airs so you can hear how scratchy my voice had become by that point.

South Padre Island, perfect for unwinding
Perhaps the awesomest thing about the con, however, was hanging out with other writers. I get such a buzz when I'm around all those creative people. I come away feeling like I want to do all the things, like, right now. I'm glad I had time to get away for a couple of days before coming back home so I could simply breathe and remind myself that I don't have to do it all at this very moment.

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