May 4th, 2010

if I were me

Penguicon Download

It feels like about a hundred years since I updated, but it's only been a few days. Penguicon will do that to you, I guess.

At Penguicon, I was enpaneled. I noticed not-new truths about myself. Uncomfortable truths that I've known since the days I did children's theater.

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I saw the million people with the million usernames that one sees, but the highlights of the con were:

1) I petitioned Doselle Young to adopt me as his snarky sidekick after the Character Death panel. Also, the end of the panel was very typical of the level of fun we were having. Josh (defectivewookie) was moderating, and asked us for our final thoughts on character death. Doselle raised his hands to the heavens and shouted "KILLLLL!!!!" I looked at the crowd and said, "As necessary." We did get into the discussion of why one kills characters, but I doubt it was new material to the crowd. The best part was discussing characters that SHOULD be dead, because that was a much more interesting exercise than picking apart bad/good character deaths.

2) Mary Robinette and I talked actual writing, which never seems to happen to me at conventions, and by gum, I'm going to start a support group for writers who want to talk writing at conventions, or something. But it took her saying, "I talked shop!" for me to go "I want to talk shop, too!" and led to us staying awake even longer when we should've been asleep.

3) I proposed a relatively flaky panel idea (What makes a golden age? --specifically referencing the golden ages of YA and TV that we may or may not be in right now), and Sarah Monette made it work, and work well. (BTW, she pretty much answered the question all alone, and in a way that made me buy it: a golden age comes after the establishment of a genre, so that people who grow up loving the genre can take it seriously and begin a dialogue with the source materials; sometimes, so-called silver ages are much more interesting than golden ages, because there's even more interesting dialogue with the previous material; the modern modes of communication make it possible to have a golden age and a silver age sort of concurrently; there's a certain level of notoriety and/or popularity of a thing to have a golden age.)

4) daveamongus usually manages to remind me at conventions why he's one of my favorite people ever. This time was no exception. Dave Klecha: a man you want on your side. Not the other side. Not the dark side. YOUR side.

5) Traveling sans posse is both sad and ridiculously freeing.

6) Anne Harris and I had a very intense conversation about good agents and bad, and the future of m/m and erotic fiction examined from a purely mercenary standpoint. My takeaway is: you probably could make a living at writing short stories, if they were erotic male/male pieces put out by publishers like Loose Id. Given that I stumble across a "can you make a living at short fiction?" conversations every so often, and the answer always seems to be, "No, YOU can't, and no one has since pretty much Harlan Ellison." But there is a plausibly different answer to this in the m/m erotic genre, or could be. Of course, I do not have the slightest interest in delving into that genre, so that's right out, but it's still food for thought. (Also, I am doing better with books than I dreamed possible, so I'm gonna leave "making a living at short stories" for someone else to dream.)

And about a million other things, really.

I've been two days writing this post, and it's never going to get done if I try to include everything. I had SUCH a good time this year.