Monday, February 17, 2014

Boskone 2014 Recap - Part 2 (Saturday)

Trying to be a good convention-goer, I silenced the sound on my cell phone. I didn't remember that I did that when I set the alarm on my cell phone Friday night. It probably would have been okay except that 1) I kept waking up in the night with leg cramps from walking back and forth, and 2) I didn't even think of going to bed until 1:00 am because I was engaged in a great conversation with sister Broad Universe member Justine Graykin.

Add to that the fact that the Westin hotel has this great green/conservation program of allowing you to opt out of daily room cleaning (thereby saving water from linens and towels being washed when they really don't need to) and you have a recipe for wakeup failure. If I had opted for the normal housekeeping, a knock on the door would have woken me by, say, 9:00. Unfortunately, there was no knock, and I slept until 10:03.  I missed the Writers' Warmup by E. C. Ambrose, author of the Dark Apostle series, and Writing Fan Fiction for Kids with Mur Lafferty and Max Gladstone.

"Morven," you say, the shock evident in the look on your face and the low tone of voice, "You don't write for kids. You don't have kids..." True that, as they say. But I do listen to the "I Should be Writing" podcast and I believe there was an episode with Max and I thought they were fantastically intelligent and funny. Since Mur lives in North Carolina, I don't have the opportunity to see her at cons, so I was a little upset with myself for oversleeping and missing the panel.

The Writers' Warmup is a mini-workshop I've attended before and loved it. If it was the same this year, writer E.C. Ambrose sets you a writing prompt and you free-write for a set amount of minutes. Sounds tame, right? Maybe it's the writing vibes from the other writers around the table, but it was really productive and fun. Sorry I missed it this year.

I did, however, make it to the Broad Universe table at 11 to do the first of my one-hour shifts. One of the benefits for paid members of the organization is that you get to sell your books at the table, but you must put in two hours staffing the table during the convention. There are always two people staffing at a time, so even if traffic is a little slow, you get the opportunity to know another member of Broad Universe. My buddy for my first shift was Roberta Rogow, author and filker.

After my shift, I did finally get to see Mur Lafferty in a panel. Urban Fantasy in Transition, which was moderated by Leigh Perry, included Melinda Snodgrass, Mur Lafferty, and Max Gladstone.  This well-moderated panel had me wondering if my own work was more urban fantasy and gave me a better understanding of the genre (or is it category?) One high point was hearing Max Gladstone describe the bankruptcy process as a form of necromancy (Chapter 11 is like a circle of mystical wards, and bankruptcy court raises the dead. Think about it.)

Later that day I attended an interview with special guest Ginjer Buchanan, who, after 30 years as an editor, has just announced her retirement. The interview was conducted by urban fantasy writer/editor Leigh Perry (aka Toni Kelner), who is an excellent moderator and interviewer. Speaking of Urban Fantasy, in the Boskone program there's a pull quote that says, "Ginjer can partly claim responsibility for the rise of the subgenre known as urban fantasy." We were lucky to have her.

One of the great (bad?) things about Boskone is that I kept running into people I knew and having hall conversations. That meant I would be late for the next panel, and since I was late anyway, I might as well stop at the Broad Universe table and make sure they had coverage and see if I could cover if someone needed a quick break.

I was really late for the panel The Pleasures of Parasites, moderated by Priscilla Olson and including Jill Shultz, Frank Wu, and Joan Slonczewski. In high school, I found biology fascinating, so I was disappointed that I was able to sit in for about only 20 minutes. Still, what I heard was excellent. You could tell that the panelists not only knew their stuff, but were really fascinated by the adaptations and life cycles of parasites. Again, an excellent panel!

I know we're still on Saturday, but let me stop here and continue later. There's so much to talk about!

No comments: