Monday, June 3, 2013

Con Carolinas 2013

So Con Carolinas in Charlotte, NC is a great SF/F convention. Seriously. I recommend it to anyone at all, especially if you are remotely close. Great people, interesting panels, and a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.

I've been going to this Con since 2008, I think. It was the first con I ever went to, and it will be on my list for a long, long time. I'm really a big fan of it.

In 2010, I think, I met John G. Hartness, author of The Black Knight Chronicles and the Bubba the Monster Hunter stories. And it was through the con and meeting him that I got to work on my first big publication: The Big Bad: an Anthology of Evil from Dark Oak Press. I'm co-editor of the volume, and I also have a short story, "The Wicked Witch and the White Knight" in it. 

In other posts ('cause I've decided to keep up this blog a bit better) I'll talk about editing and what it means to edit on both the large scale (how do you set up an anthology? how do you pick pieces?) to the small scale (how do editors and writers work together?), but for now, I just want to be excited about the book.

This weekend I got to autograph my publication for the first time. It was way cool and I hope to get to do it again! Though we weren't able to have a traditional launch party (the books didn't arrive), a bunch of the authors got to hang out and share the excitement of having published something awesome.

The Big Bad is a lot of fun. The stories in it a great. The theme--all the stories have a villain for the protagonist--produced a ton of great material.  I couldn't be happier with what John and I have done (and what the authors have done!) 

We're gearing up to start Volume II of the Big Bad, and I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On Age and Subject Matter...

I had the privledge of participating in a workshop with Dasan Ahanu this past weekend at the Methodist University Southern Writer's Symposium.  The workshop was fun and interesting for me as a writer, butI found myself facinated by the student response. There were several students there--most grateful to have been lured by the promise of extra-credit from their various teachers--and several willingly, even excitedly, participating. 

After we would do an exercize, Dasan would ask people to volunteer to read. Or, as we prepared to do an exercise, he'd ask people for images or things or ideas.  I was thrilled by how very much the students responded. And I was facinated by what they had to say. When I was their age (in high school or early college so many years ago I hate to even think it) and I thought about writing, I found writing profound. I thought that people should write about IMPORTANT THINGS like justice, women's rights, poverty, love, philosophy, God ... you know, stuff that important, long-dead people have written about. And this was one of the reasons I thought I probably couldn't be a writer. The thought of writing about my own life, the little things in it, seemed trivial and silly and not particularly worthwhile. 

As the students read their work, I noticed that they seemed interested in the things that I had been interested in then, too. One student wrote about God and his (the student's) own perfection and imperfection. Another wrote about the power of the written word.

I wrote about cold wood floors, warm blankets, and the DVR remote.

I wrote about the little things that reminded me, in the space I loved, of the people I loved. And it was small and sweet and utterly, utterly personal. But now, I didn't think it was trivial anymore. It filled me with emotion that I couldn't work up, but wanted to, when I was younger about big, philosophical things. 

And it occured to me that maybe this is normal. Maybe as I'm not getting any younger (I hesitate to say getting older, 'cause it scares me), it's the here and now that I find most facinating.

I think this does translate into my own writing of fiction. I'm more facinated by the small moments that fill our lives--the little evils we do to each other or the little graces we give to each other--than by the big events. Sure, the big events (and the Big Bads) are so necessary in Urban Fantasy, and they're fun, too.  But the story is so much more than that big event.

It's the small things, the seemingly mundane, that make all the difference, both in my life, and, I think, in my fiction.