Paradise Lost III: Reporting Live (ish) from San Antonio

The last time I was sick at a convention, I left. My logic? Cons aren’t fun when you’re sick.

So…here I am in San Antonio at Paradise Lost III, ostensibly resting, except now I’ve taken so much Robitussin I’m kind of antsy. This is the point where the bottle tells me to stop taking Robitussin and consult my doctor. 🙂 Sure, I’ll do that.

I’m having a pretty good time here, in spite of my being low key. Yesterday, after things being so hectic earlier in the week, I actually LIKED being able to sleep in airport chairs and on planes. It felt like dipping tired feet in cool, delicious water. My ears really hurt for some of the flight, but I got over that. I really had some moments of delusion yesterday, when I thought I might actually be getting better. But then I would do something silly, like walk, and cough a lot, and incur the pity/wrath/horror of fellow travelers.

I have this I can’t breath trick right now. I do get my breath back, but I gasp for it in the middle of a kind of whooping cough. And unfortunately, I can’t tell when it’s going to happen. Let me tell you, if you really want to break up the flow of a return to the hotel conversation, this is the way to do it. Although you will feel like a freak later.

Yes, kids, I do see my doctor next week anyway, and if I need to, I’ll get somewhere here. I think I’ll be all right. The faboo Chris Cornell helped me find a Walgreens this morning, and I bought some maximum strength Robitussin that has been addressing my symptoms, if it hasn’t been, you know a faith healers hands or anything. I am both antsy and tired. Love medicine.

Blah, blah, blah, am sick.

BUT let me tell you something–this is a pretty well run little affair here.

So, there was this guy, Sean Kelley, and he liked him some Viable Paradise. And I guess he thought, “Well, why couldn’t we do some more writer stuff?” He did a two year focus study and found that a lot of writers from VP were concerned with a chance to retreat, to critique, and to continue their education. So, he’s found this spiffy old-fashioned bank converted into a hotel in downtown San Antonio, enlisted the help of his wife Michelle who is also an event coordinator, invited a set of different pros each year, and voila! Paradise Lost.

In spite of the sleepiness and illness, I am taking something away from the lectures. Mary Robinette Kowal gave a good talk this morning on readings, and while I knew a lot of that from teaching, theater, and linguistics, there were some things I didn’t know that I thought were just spiffy. Lynne Thomas talked about editing for Apex and gave some pretty sound, savvy editor advice. Stina Leicht talked about her immersion experience writing her novel, and the impressive amount of material she garnered over 3 years of research. Jay Lake has been interjecting his wit and wisdom throughout the events, formal and informal.

I am enjoying seeing old friends and new. From VP XIII, we are George Galuschak, Chris Cornell, Eric Kelly, Miranda Suri, and myself. I know Sean Kelley from his help in organizing Paradise Icon, and Jake Kerr from his wonderful posts on Codex. I am getting to know Janice Smith better, although I’ve been reading her blog for a bit. And I’m rooming with the classically trained energetic Fade Manley.

I am also meeting some new folks, and appreciating some new writers, sort of extending the web of VP. It’s a good group of writers who clearly care about working more on their skills and supporting each others works. The balance is about perfect. I’d recommend it.

Maybe I’ll have to come back when I’m not sick. If I’m enjoying myself now, I can’t imagine what kind of time I’ll have then.

Oh–troll stuff! Nah, I get a second set of critiques tomorrow. You can so wait for that.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

One thought on “Paradise Lost III: Reporting Live (ish) from San Antonio”

  1. Yay! I’m energetic! (I typed that as “interjetic” the first time, which might be accurate as well.)

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