Of Cons and Retreats...and Pie!
Wyvacon is a new convention in Wytheville, Virginia that I had the pleasure of attending the last weekend in July. I really enjoyed my fellow panelists and the audience members. While we occasionally just had two people attending, their passion and enthusiasm were very heartening. I always feel that if I can reach just one reader or aspiring writer, then I’ve hopefully done my job. And there is little more validating than to have someone come up to you afterwards with tears in their eyes and say that what you said has really helped them move forward and that it would’ve taken them years to figure all that out. I really do believe in paying it forward, perhaps even more so than most, because there were so many years when I struggled alone. Every single bit of help or hope I got along the way I really, truly cherished. So, that was a very nice thing.
And it was always nice to hang out with World Fantasy Award-winning editor and friend Mike Allen of Mythic Delirium fame for a while!
After the con, I took a very short retreat up to Michigan to stay with fabulous author-friends Stephanie Burgis, Patrick Samphire, and Ying Lee (aka Y.S. Lee). I’d not seen Steph and Patrick in the flesh in a decade, and I’d never met Ying. I honestly think I spent 36 hours with the nicest people on the planet, and it’s lovely to find that your best suspicions about someone you met online are absolutely true.
We had a great time talking, thinking, and working. There was also pie. (Which I thought I'd gotten a picture of, but it appears I did not. For shame. It was gorgeous and delicious!) I was in writerly paradise!
My work mostly consisted of a lot of reading and thinking about the two novels I’m working on in tandem and how they mesh together. For ease of reference, the first is #gaydragons (a moniker bestowed by my former co-workers, one of whom I also got to have lunch with while in Michigan--such a treat!) and the second I’ll call #dragonracers. #gaydragons comes before #dragonracers chronologically, and the knowledge bestowed by this novel has really changed many things for me. There are still many layers to parse out, but I was able to take a lot of good voice notes during my drive. Long drives alone always help me to think. Sometimes I get a little too into the zone, as when a state trooper yelled at me because I didn’t see him trying to pull a car over in front of me. (In my defense, they were behind and to the left of me, so I didn’t see them until they were practically on top of me, and I was really deep in my thoughts!)
All in all, a very good time! I'm looking forward to the next event in October--more details on that soon!