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September 06, 2004

Monday, and Final Thoughts: Or, What I Learned from Noreascon 4

Monday I head in to the con to visit the dealers for a final time, go to a kaffeeklatsch with Laura Anne Gilman (a fine time, and you should all buy her book, Staying Dead, which I've read and which is excellent). I also go to a couple more panels. My final panel of the con is on SF Chick Flicks, with MaryAnn Johanson, John Pomeranz, and John Scalzi, whose weblog I read. As the panel starts, John Scalzi admits to having a massive secret online crush on MaryAnn Johanson. I'm very amused and wonder if it's going to get mentioned on his weblog. Blogging about a blogger: somehow, I feel almost meta. The panel's good, too.

On to Things I Learned at Noreascon 4. Number two piece of information about being a writer: self-promotion is good. Number one: don't spend the advance. Number zero: don't be a writer. (But if you're going to write anyway, you might as well be good and get people to pay you.)

I discovered that the panels I knew least about were the most interesting. I'm not making any statement about how interesting they were overall, but they were the most interesting to me personally. Two of the programming items I enjoyed the most were things I knew nothing about. This afternoon's panel on costuming disasters was a case in point. I know perhaps too much about writing disasters, but I knew nothing about costuming, and it was great to get a look into what makes other people bang their heads in frustration. Another example: I wandered into something else I knew nothing about on Thursday night, when I showed up for the slash panel at the correct spatial coordinates but with the temporal coordinates off by twenty-four hours-- and wound up at an audience discussion of John Myers Myers' Silverlock, which I'd never read. It was a great time, and I wound up getting the book in the dealer's room. (I also learned that I should keep myself out of the dealer's room, but that's another story.)

One of the things I was looking to find at this con was whether the SF community was one I would feel comfortable as a part of. As someone in my fifth year of working with the IgNobels-- which have a differently focused but not dissimilar community as compared to fandom-- I had a feeling it was, but I hadn't been in the larger world of fandom before. I've been a part of other communities of those interested in writing and the English language, and I found that none of them can top the kind of joy that people at this convention found in the art of writing and in the experience of reading. After this weekend, I can say that if I'm going to be a writer, this is the community I want to be a writer in. Now: off to start submitting!

This has been Gen Jules Reynolds, blogging live and without a net from Noreascon 4. I'm too tired to come up with anything original to tie this together, so I'm stealing from the best: Jerry Springer. Until next time, take care of yourselves-- and each other.

Posted by Gen Jules Reynolds at 07:19 PM in 7-Monday | Permalink


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