Another Bubonicon has come and gone. This year the con was relatively quiet, probably mostly due to George R. R. Martin not being there. Since he's a local author, he's usually in attendance. Last year, the line for his signing was as long as the line for every other author combined. He might kind of be a big deal.
At any rate, I found some lovely artwork from Elizabeth Legget. Her work is fantastic, and I feel very fortunate to have picked up the piece I did. Her work has appeared in Lightspeed and in Women Destroy Science Fiction.
I went to a few good panels, including one given by Connie Willis on where she gets her ideas. It's a question every writer gets (and often) and it's actually one of the hardest questions for a writer to answer. Ideas come from everywhere, and they get all mashed up in our brains, and they eventually come out in a story filled with characters, plot, conflict, etc. It's a mysterious process (cue eerie music). She talked about one of her stories, "Even the Queen," and how multiple ideas converged into its creation.
I went to another panel in which the SFWA president, Steven Gould, gave a demonstration of Japanese swords. All I can say is… don't mess with the guy if there's a sharp object around.
Another panel, given primarily by Robert Vardeman, offered a lot of great information on self publishing. This link essentially has all the same information he gave at the panel.
I went to a couple of other panels, one on horror and one on YA dystopias. At the horror panel I discovered that an inordinately large number of people fear centipedes. The YA panel presented some good theories as to why there are so many YA dystopias right now, and why the pendulum might eventually swing back the other way.