Tut, tut. Been lax lately in keeping this blog. But not in writing, critiquing, reading and generally celebrating writing and writers.
VCon 31 was lovely--kudos and thanks to the organizers and volunteers for putting together an A1 convention. There was more good panelling than I could possibly attend, and I enjoyed everything I did see. For details on who was there and what they were up to, see the con website and Ahmed Khan's lovely and detailed report. (Rather alarming, though, is that when I commented on his blog I found my name called up a link to a high-priced "model" in New York. Oh, dear!)
Highlights of the con for me were:
- Hanging out with my nephews, who are all SF fans and avid readers of nonfiction, too. They are getting interested in the programming now, so we actually see each other a lot more than in earlier years. (I'm not much of a gamer, which used to be what most interested them at the con.)
- the Turkey Readings--what a hoot! We read lurid passages from old pulp novels and the audience gets to come up and act them out. An auction runs to get us to read--or stop!
- Visiting with a number of people--Brian and Anita Hades of Edge/Tesseracts Books, Bruce Taylor, Jennifer Taylor (no known relationship), Ahmed Khan, Randy Barnhart, Linda DeMeulemeester and many more.
- Readings--given and attended. Particularly liked Barbara Hambly's reading. Very personable GoH, and a wonderful writer.
- Singing with the Filkers (my convention singing debut). Sang NaCl (McGarrigle Sisters) and The Last Unicorn (Jimmy Webb).
- The video room, with it's stock of old movies and teevee, presided over by the inimitable R. Graeme Cameron.
- A gallant young man I walked down the hall with who offered me a back rub when I mentioned I was in pain. Naturally, I accepted. Thank you, kind sir!
I have written several stories lately, despite the long break in my routine caused by travel. I am just finishing an "idealistic youth" type story set in 1965 in Winnipeg: "The MagniCharisma Machine", and have sent off "The Ziz", a biblical, well, story, really, and "These Old Bones", set in the dinosaur bonebeads of Alberta. I have been so focussed on writing, though, that I have once again let the marketting slide. Oopsies. Honest, Ma. I'll get to it...
Here is a small taste from "These Old Bones":
Andrea walked out into the hills. The earth crumbled under her running shoes.
She stayed as close to the path as possible, alert for splinters of stony bone and petrified, pebbled eggshell, Cretaceous litter uplifting through the weathered earth. Soft clay interspersed among the sandier soil—kaolinite, if she remembered, used in toothpaste. Glancing up at the dolmen-shaped hoodoos, she took a great soft breath. The desert was magical. The museum, too. Thanh Sullivan was a twit, but God, this place!
Andrea turned at the crest of the hill and looked down. Below lay the shrubby desert, shaped by erosion and tinted with age. Above, all around her, spread bald prairie, and an immensity of sky beyond it. Prairie and sky together were a vast tableau, and she stood solitary upon it, while hidden beneath her—that incomprehensible land. A place where enormous bones were even now shrugging from the soil. Where the first people might have run bison to their deaths, necks broken at the bases of these cliffs. Where time has wound so slowly that what happens there now is out of step with all the rest of the world.
The sky contracted and folded and streaked itself with paint. Stretching out wide and flat it hungered for night. Andrea felt it, the dimming of the heat and slow resurrection of the wild. She sank down onto the ground and placed her palms against it, feeling the fine grains of clay against her skin, lifting them and rubbing them softly on her face.
Andrea stayed there a moment, smelling the earth and the grasses, feeling the cooling air as it played about her. She began her slow descent from the prairie to the badlands before the sky drew its shade to a sudden close.