Tag Archives: wiscon

My SFWA Dilemma

100_2471I’ve a decision to make—multiple decisions, in truth—about where and when I want to devote my non-writing energies as a professional writer. It might seem easy, choosing to join or not join SFWA. It would indeed be so if I’d opted against self-publishing, if I didn’t tend to plow into organizational upheavals, if I didn’t have strong opinions, and if I didn’t think it questionable to join an organization that presently excludes self-published writers who are far more successful and prolific than I am.

So. Matter the first.

I qualify for active membership in SFWA. My three qualifying sales—Speculon, Writers of the Future, and Cicada—all happened before 2007. I didn’t join at the time for reasons I can’t even clearly remember, but that quickly became irrelevant when life fell into a pot of reeking muck and shattered glass for four years. The contracts got lost along the way, but it’ll be fairly simple to get copies from WotF and Cicada. But the Speculon contract? From a dozen years ago? From a market currently closed?

Continue reading My SFWA Dilemma

I’m Making Progress AND Sense

Yes! I’ve been at Wiscon — hanging out with folks I know, getting to know those folks better, and meeting new people I hope to see more of in the future.

My panels went well! I had fun answering questions and comments from the audience, and learned quite a bit from my fellow panelists, and managed to speak my ideas without (as far as I can tell) being obnoxious or too chatty.*

Later I attended a panel on SFWA and decided to share my opinions.  Things seemed to be decently received by some and more enthusiastically by others.  Now I have a few decisions to make on that front.  I’m currently intrigued enough to consider trying to track down the possibility a copy of a decade-old contract with Speculon might yet exist somewhere…  (That would be proof of my third qualifying sale.)

And why would I want to join now, after I’ve made it pretty darn clear I’d decided against it?  Good question. I’ve a multi-hour drive e tomorrow during which I can think it through and decide if I’m wishful thinking or if there was actual interest in that room.   Suffice it to say the SFWA panelists gave me just enough encouragement to think of possibilities and what part I might be willing to play.

I’ll share more about that later.

We Shall See.

*When I teach, I teach by myself, and thus had to remind myself the things are panels not solos. 🙂

Pictures Because I Have Little Brain To Spare For Words

I’m revising. And teaching karate and overseeing Dev’s school and scheduling another visit from my folks and coordinating meetings and getting the rest of the garden in and battling ants that seem immune to anything and everything I’ve used to be rid of them before.  And it’s less than ten days to Wiscon!

Hence, pictures!

Gambit and Ty in front of my lovely lilac bush.



Gambit wondering why Ty ran away when Mommy was saying, “Staaaaaaaaaay!” (Hint: rhymes with “funny.”)



And the view from my front yard this morning.   The mustard bloomed suddenly on the riverside field. I’m guessing it’ll be mostly under water by late tomorrow, of forecasts are correct.


My Wiscon Schedule!

Just a little less than three weeks to Wiscon! I’m so excited to see folks I know and meet folks I don’t.

I’m on a couple panels this year.

Taking Care of the Writer’s Body
Saturday 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Writing is usually not considered to be a physically demanding occupation, but it does take its toll. Eye strain, aching backs, and repetitive motion disorders are common complaints. What can we do to keep our bodies healthy while we write? How can we adapt our workspaces to accommodate injuries or disabilities? Ergonomic keyboards? Voice recognition software? Treadmill desks?

The Joys of Failure
Sunday 10:00am – 11:15am

All too often, we treat failure as a bad thing that stops us rather than a feedback mechanism to help us be more awesome if we try again—especially those of us who are targeted by oppression. The inner statistician might keep track of all the shots that we miss while playing basketball and the inner critic might fill us with regret for trying, guilt for failing, or shame for being the kind of person who does so, but nobody can ever know how many shots we might have made if we had tried again. Some of these ideas were expressed recently in the Failure Club series on Yahoo Screen, which featured the trials and failures of eight brave New Yorkers who dared to hope for extraordinary results. This panel is an opportunity to look at failures through a more empowering lens.

I opted into the first panel because of my background in wellness. I chose the second one because I’ve researched failure, and have even delivered a couple keynote addresses on the topic of failure and resilience. I’m hoping I can be a good panelist, and helpful to those who come with questions.

Why no writing panels? Because I’d still rather listen to others put forth their ideas than listen to my own. 🙂

I’ll also be volunteering for a bit at the Broad Universe table in the Dealer’s Room (schedule unknown at this time).

Wiscon Bound!

I registered today for Wiscon!  I even put in to be on a panel!  Yeah, the panel isn’t related to writing craft and such, but I still think there is a multitude of writers out there who know much more than I do about any and all of those panel topics.  I’d rather listen to them than myself.

Ya know what else is cool?  There are panels specific to self-publishing, and I didn’t see a single one with a title akin to, “Is it real?” or “Is it a good choice?” or “Will it ruin your career?”  It simply is.  Nice.

I mentioned on Twitter that I didn’t do much in the way of connecting with folks when I went to Wiscon years ago, and I mentioned that result was deliberate.  And then I realized why I like traveling alone.

I am an outgoing introvert.  Sounds like a contradiction, yes?  It is.  I can quite easily spend a few days on my own, with minimal small-talk conversation undertaken with strangers.  I can easily show up to teach an all-day seminar, and interact with the attendees for a few hours after.  The first is natural, the second was a learned ability, but I do enjoy both.

But that first part–spending days alone–is almost impossible to come by in real life.  I’m a mother.  I teach.  I have friends who deserve interaction.  I’ve community responsibilities.  If I want to spend a day hiding in my home, or if I don’t seem to be chatty, people start to worry, assume I’m depressed, or think I’m upset.

But when I go somewhere else, no one gives a damn if I don’t say a single word for days.  No one gets concerned.  No one wants a reason.  And if someone thinks I’m acting all strange, they’ll tell their own friends rather than ask me to explain.

Before Dev came along, I’d take myself camping somewhere in the California mountains or deserts.  There was nothing so wonderful as that aloneness.

Travelling by myself is my ultimate introvert indulgence.

But this time!  I’m meeting up with Viable Paradise folks (some of whom already experienced my “sometimes I’ll disappear at the end of the day” tendencies), and am looking forward to it more than you can imagine.

Even introvert-travel doesn’t sound so wonderful as that–likely because I’ve felt so creatively-lonely for so very long in this town.  (And there’s a topic I might write of someday: How Small Town Folks Tend To Think You’re Stupid If You Don’t Have A “Normal” Job.)

If you’re going to Wiscon, let me know!