Fabulous news first: My story “Where You Get Your Ideas” is live right now for any ears to hear at Cast of Wonders!
The host A. Merc Rustad had so many nice words about my story (and I totally fangirled while listening because I have been a fan of their work for a while), and Dani Daly did such a wonderful job with J_’s voice! Please give it a listen. I can promise blood forged swords and banshee skulls, but There’s no fighting in the ideas shop!
All other news second: I went to NorWesCon41! It was big, and frightening, and I managed to talk to people before the convention is over. In previous years, I was an awkward specter so overwhelmed with human contact that I forgot to tell Tina Connolly how much I loved Iron Skin until we had already parted for the elevator. (Very glad I ran back to tell her, because she’s wonderful and Toasted Cake is now a delicious part of my weekly story diet.)
Leaving my routine is difficult, even for things I really love. Like story telling, and learning more about story telling, and lavish costumes derived from a communal love for story telling. NorWesCon is something I have been to before, but it only happens one week out of the year, and it changes in small ways that can’t be foreseen. It’s difficult to make it routine, and so I plan myself around it. I use some magical thinking to keep grounded; clothes I’ve made, favorite boots, calming objects in my purse. And I have my schedule on my phone so I know what to expect.
Still, the biggest obstacle for me is the number of people. But that number drops dramatically when you hold out your hand to people you’ve only met briefly online and say “Hi, I’m Megan!” Then you only have to worry about the people standing with you! And they do cool things, make cool things, travel to places you don’t know much about and oh my goodness it is so wonderful to meet people.
This might seem obvious. This was not obvious to me in 2016. I had only brushed with it at the end of NorWesCon 2017. This year I managed on the first day. It might have been the “everything is fine” code I knit into the fabric of my sweater, but I think it has more to do with the incredibly welcoming community of science fiction and fantasy writers that will bring you in and ask what you’re working on.
I am having a harder time writing this than I thought I would. Admitting my anxieties is still something I’m getting used to, and it takes a lot more strength to acknowledge them than it does to suffer them in silence.
Highlights of NorWesCon:
A hotel beer with TJ Berry who shared my woes over working retail at a bookstore, and has a book coming soon called Space Unicorn Blues.
The Fairwood Writer’s workshop read the first three chapters of my novella, and gave me suggestions to revamp it in a way that could make it traditionally marketable. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but it’s worth it to get this book into a trad publisher.
The readings. Always the readings are wonderful.
Putting off anxiety in big ways manifested in a small strange sensation that my toe had come detached from my foot inside my boot, and it got so strong that I missed a YA writing panel I wanted to see. My toe is still attached, and there are no bloodstains on my boot, but I definitely had to spend some time in the bathroom massaging my foot to ensure my body was working.