Courtesy of Julia Rios, you too can use your phone to do amazing things.
It’s been 3 days since I started this post. I had a faboo weekend with my family of choice, but yeah, my extrovert battery got hit pretty hard, so I’m only just getting back into the swing of extrovert things.
And work today…well, after a week’s vacation, I really couldn’t expect any better than 31 phone messages and 147 emails. Because that’s just the way the English department rolls.
So…anyway, let’s get back to the subject at hand, which is rethinking that Con thing.
Readercon was fun. It was a con. I saw some friends and enjoyed seeing others from afar. I attended valuable panels, and I burned out and skipped panels I hoped to see. It was a pretty typical con experience for me–highs, low, and the impossibility of doing it all, but enjoying most of what I did.
Except there was something unusual that has never happened to me at a convention before.
And if you don’t want to read on, I’ll cut this here. But if you do, especially as regards writer’s retreats and VP XIII-ness, you may want to click.
One of the things that had me really jazzed about Readercon was the high friend meet up ratio that this con offered. Not only excellent writer friends, but also my best friend from Japanese language school, and one of my best costuming buddies were people I was going to meet up with. The convention gave me an awesome excuse to see cool people.
You know that I got to see lots of VP buddies. Six of us were there: George, Julia, Kat, Miranda, Lisa, and me. On Friday we had a lovely dinner. We kept hanging out and running into each other at the convention. We would talk about our writing, our rejections, and our hopes.
The pattern for me went something like this: meet up with VP folks. Go to convention. Go back to room to rest/recharge. Rest/recharge AND have a writing break through. Write like a maniac. Find VP folks again. Repeat.
I began to notice that I was not the only person cycling through this pattern. Many of us were plotting new stories, having breakthroughs on novels, or scoping out places in our busy lives to write.
It was really cool.
And it made me think. I love conventions. I’ve been to lots of them, all flavors. There are certain conventions you can count on me to go to, based on proximity and long-term love (ie unless I’m in Russia on a Fulbright, I don’t miss Wiscon). But after the World Fantasy and Readercon experiences, I find myself wondering about attending writer conventions at this point in my career.
They are cool. They are awesome. But Readercon seemed to have an underlying message: right now what you need to do is to write. You write best around writers who are interested in what you’re doing and you are interested in. In an ideal world, it would be best to spend money on both writer conventions and writing retreats, but since your funds are limited, does it make sense at this fledgling stage to spend your precious $$$ on writer’s retreats?
I had a fantasy about having a writer’s retreat. VP XIII buddies, we could have a yearly retreat somewhere, a long weekend, and hole up and write. That would be really cool. Miranda and I are going to toss around the idea in the fall. Would you be interested in that sort of thing? We’d move it around, so that different people could go different years.
I’m hoping for a research trip to Norway next summer. That doesn’t necessarily preclude this retreat for me next year, but it might. However, I think we should toss this idea around. I think that the gift of writer time at this point in my life is more what I need. The kibbitz at conventions is wonderful, but having something to kibbitz about with other writers is wonderful-er.
I would like to produce work that makes me less of a wannabe, and more of a…you know, a published writer. This is a very attractive option. And I was just astounded at how productive we all were that I can’t ignore that getting together worked.
Do any of you (not just VP’ers) have experience with this sort of thing? How does it work for you?
Oh, so much to write about, and so little time! I think I’d better do the anniversary post ASAP. Yesterday was 23 years. Stay tuned.