Today is brought to you by the Santa Cruz Mountains rain and no tea, strangely enough. I may have to remedy that: I have caught a cold. (Lemon ginger sounds good.)
2009 has been remarkably healthy for me, much more healthy than I've been in years past. But I still have this cold -- I suspect I had it coming.
I attended World Fantasy Convention 2009 in nearby San Jose this weekend, my first big con. I paid for the con by writing articles about how to adjust watches.
I attended no panels, I attended only Terry Bisson's reading. Mostly I met people I've corresponded with online for years, or authors and editors I admire, some of them absolute favorites of mine. I spent time with Clarion West cohorts, old friends, new friends and Paul Park, my Clarion West Week 1 instructor, and Connie Willis, who taught Week 4. I learned about writing and being a writer in the current publishing climate. It's scary, but when I step back and think about it, it's thrilling, too.
And I caught a cold.
But that's okay; it was certainly worth it.
One of my favorite moments of the con was when Margo Lanagan won
the World Fantasy Award for best novel. (Along with Jeffrey Ford, which just rocked -- I adore Jeff Ford.)
Margo Lanagan's win was a personal thing for me, proving how powerful boundary busting YA can be, and that that's okay, and can be accepted and appreciated when it's done well
, when there's a point to the transgressions. This is something I've struggled with for years, that I'm finally getting over. I've consistently censored myself and my stories because of fear, fear of what people would think, react, say. How it would affect my fiction writing career. How it would affect my life in Idaho, and my family's life.
Partially this was because I had written stories in the past that bothered people, stories that people took personal offense to. I hadn't intended to hurt anyone when I wrote what I did; I thought I was writing a story I was interested in writing.
It's a process, but I'm learning not to be afraid.
I think I'm going to write Margo Lanagan a letter. Do you all remember that? When I used to write people letters? (I think I once wrote something to the effect of, "Harlan Ellison sues people; I write people letters.") I need to start writing letters again. I used to be a decent correspondent; now I'm awful.
The best part of the whole experience, however, was that I felt I was back with my tribe, something I have missed since coming home from Clarion West.
Tonight I am chilled, but it's only because I'm sick. The writing is flooding across my screen, I am surrounded by people I love, and there are a plethora of wonderful books to be read.
It's not all perfect -- I'm still trying to work on getting a big person job, for example -- but it's really, really good. It's wonderful. And if everything was perfect, what else would there be to work for?