Yesterday (the day before? All the days are going together) I posted a rundown on this year’s Dragon*Con, which was superfun and the best yet. But, in between that time and now, I drove 12 hours from North Caroline to New Jersey and as such had some time to think. So I thought of a few more things, and decided to put them here, because this is my blog, and I can do that.
First, I was thinking about feminism and allies, and how great it was to see that in action on the Violence in UF panel. Not only did Richard Kadrey do his thing, but the panelists, majority of men, felt comfortable talking about their approaches to sexual violence in nuanced ways, all of which made me feel that they had taken time to listen to women talking about their experiences and actually believed them, and incorporated women’s viewpoints into their work. Which is awesome, and not something you see in every writer’s stuff.
But, there came a counterpoint to that on the Humor in UF Fantasy panel (or it could have been a different UF panel, but it was really funny). One of the women authors, whose name is escaping me but she had shoulder-length brown hair and was super funny, mentioned in passing that she had been groped while watching the Dragon*Con parade. She explained she had turned around, given the guy a WTF? look, and he melted away in the crowd.
It made me think about some stuff, like how we handle inappropriate behavior, how someone could think that was acceptable to do to a stranger, and the fact that I have one daughter and another on the way, and even though I want them to come and join in on all the geeky, nerdy fan fun, I also am going to have to figure out how to teach them how to navigate a world that contains assholes. Right now, I’m considering muay thai and Brazilian jiu jitsu, with a side of krav maga and sabre fencing …
Some other stuff I thought about mostly had to do with writing, and how I should be doing more of it. I tried to go to some of the writing panels, but during the first one I went to, I found the participants to be more concentrating on pushing their books they had written on the topic, than on discussing in depth the topic of the panel. Afterwards, I was expressing dissatisfaction to Rob, who remarked: You always go to those writing panels, and you never really seem to find them helpful.
By contrast, when I attended the panels in my favorite genre, UF, I got excited about writing and motivated to sit down and put words in document. I even actually walked up to a publisher and asked if they accepted unsolicited manuscripts. (They did, and I really need to get STB into the “currently doing revisions” status.)
I don’t know if this means my creative process is changing, or if it just requires more discipline, or if Dragon*Con is the place for me to go and have fun and not necessarily network and think about work. But if I want to write successfully in the spec fic genre, I need to be treating the event more as the former and less as the latter. And also, I should be writing now, instead of blogging. Or surfing Facebook.
Anyway, I am hopefully entering the end of my time as an Army Reserve company commander, which will help immensely in being able to direct my mental and creative energies toward writing. Right now, when I sit down at my computer to write, I immediately feel guilty that I haven’t checked my Army computer or email or solved all of the problems that I know are waiting for me. Knowing myself and how I work, I will not be able to overcome that until I leave command, and so I have made some progress toward that end.
In the meantime, I’m going to get back to opening up STB, getting some more words in, and hopefully getting ever nearer the time when it’s ready to be pushed out into the world.
TGIF, and happy writing!