Topic the First:
4th Street was a great experience this year–a great and glorious disproving of my usual silly pre-con anxiety of “This time no one will acknowledge my existence.” For me, the most wonderful parts are between and/or triggered by the scheduled events. It’s the conversations about why some authors successfully cross genre lines, examining creeping biases, opening publishing opportunities, determining themes, working with and as a beta reader, and and and… Truly, I LOVE those free-ranging conversations. I love even more that I can share them with folks who equally love them.
Part of me would be just fine with a con that had a mere three conversation-launching panels a day, and that’s the fault of fascinating people who are willing to share their thoughts and experience outside the panels.
As always, there is never enough time to talk at length with every person I’d like to. That’s the downside to knowing a small handful of really cool people; they keep introducing you to other cool people! And though I did make an effort to be more deliberate in spending time with a variety of folks this year, I missed a couple folks I deeply wanted to chat with. (I’m looking at you, John Wiswell!) Alas, I think this is an unfixable thing for me, for even if the con were a day or two longer, I tend to hit the Wall of Introvert Overload at around 72 hours. I simply lose the ability to be intelligently sociable with more than one person at a time at that point.
Topic the Second:
Sirens Conference! My afternoon class proposal was accepted!
I’ll be presenting The Movement You Don’t See. The (still unofficial) description is:
Fight scenes require more than cool choreography, but not everyone has years to invest in fight-training before writing their epic adventure! Here’s your chance to learn lesser-known physical details of fighting through the practices of kata–the martial arts training tool of choreographed techniques.
In this movement-filled workshop, you’ll discover the internal landscape of a fighter–the grounding, power generation, body awareness, and exertion your fighting characters experience in action. Whether writing a training montage, or an experienced fighter’s battle, having the “insider” experience will add depth and realism.
Physical activity is included, but not required. Observers and listeners are welcome.
Yes, it’s exciting to present at Sirens, but it’s also exciting to share why kata is such an effective training tool for mind-body awareness and self-defense. (Check out The Purpose of Kata for a preview on that.) It’s the little things that matter, and I’m so looking forward to passing a few of those things along. How a pelvic tilt affects the strength of a block, how the angle of the back foot affects the strength of a strike, how the lift of the shoulder affects stamina… All these things and more.
Honestly, I wish I could get a two-hour block of time. 🙂
Topic the Third:
I’m in the process of putting reader feedback together with writerly goals to determine my upcoming project schedule. For me, determining a schedule that is both satisfying and realistic (and it’s the latter I fail at, alas) required breaking down the projects by wordcount. The process revealed I’ve an estimated 1,135,000 words to write if I want to complete everything on my list.
This is exciting and comforting! Truly, I could fail to generate a new idea for about three years before running out of material. I’m set for the near future. 🙂
Topic the Last:
That hip dysplasia thing.
Remember when I fell down the stairs a couple months ago? Yeah. Well, I just assumed it happened because my left knee and ankle have always been weaker and more prone to injury. Come to find out that is true… but the reason it’s true matters. When the left hip suffers from inflammation, it puts pressure on the nerve running down the front of my thigh, and the nerve doesn’t then function properly, which causes the left leg to collapse. It’s like trying to do push-ups with one arm having “fallen asleep.”
The fact the nerve pressure isn’t causing pain is actually a bad thing, in my opinion. If I felt pain, I’d know to take it easy. Instead, my “warning” that something is wrong usually comes in the form of the leg collapsing. That fall down the stairs isn’t the first time it has happened, but it was the first in a series. Even now, as I’m sitting in a restaurant to write this, the front of my left thigh is getting that “falling asleep” sensation because I’ve sat in one position too long.
But here is the COOL thing. Someone introduced me to a physician who also has a martial arts background, and who understood in a heartbeat my internal crumbling over this whole thing.* I’m still not at all ready to roll into surgery (not only for personal reasons, but financial and logistical ones), but her quiet words and empathy carefully tunneled through a wall others have beaten upon for quite some time.
She’s one of those folks I wish I would have had more and more and more time with, truly. Medical stuff aside, she’s a cool person.
So there’s the lesson I can pass along today: One way to get someone to do something they don’t want to do is to understand fully and deeply why they don’t want to do it, and share that understanding without judgment.
There is no Topic the Fourth. I’ll see what I can come with another time. 🙂
*Yes, I hid out to cry after our conversation. Truly, if you ever want to see my cry, don’t try to insult or hurt me. Be nice and kind and empathetic. Does the trick every time.