Can-Con & Writing Update…

… and is it mid-October already?

Can-Con was awesome, but feels like a bit of blur now to be honest. There was so much going on and so many great panels and people and also so much running around it was a challenge just keeping on top of it all. I didn’t get to attend half of the panels I would have liked to; Derek doesn’t make it easy when he liked to schedule three kick-ass panels all at the same time.

Slush Readers panel. Left to right: Gabrielle Harbowy, myself, Mike Rimar and Sean Moreland.

Shaking our heads, or laughing, at the errors of the slush piles. Left to right: Gabrielle Harbowy, myself, Mike Rimar and Sean Moreland. photo credit: Rob Olsen of Geek Inked Magazine

The panels I did attend were fantastic and I had a chance to meet some wonderful new people. I attended my first kaffeeklatch with Editor Guest of Honour Gabrielle Harbowy. Sadly I had to miss Julie Czerneda‘s workshop, though I heard great things from those who attended (lucky bastards 😉 ). The Chocolate Fountain party Marie and I hosted was a hit, particularly the fountain. One workshop I attended really surprised me though. Maybe I never properly read the description for the Fantastic Weather Slapdown but I was expecting perhaps some picking apart of weather mistakes in fiction (how do adventurers travel for weeks on end without hitting some nasty weather?). What we got was a hilarious display of improvised story mastery. Mark Robinson would throw out some crazy bit of weather, like hypercanes or acid fog (both real!), and Julie Czerneda, Erik Buchanan and David Nickle each came up with wild stories on the spot for their respective genres. And it was a whirlwind of fiction. They made quick work of the weather scenarios Mark had prepared ahead and put him on the spot coming up with new things to challenge their minds. The panel was a blast. Hopefully we’ll get to see Round Two at Can-Con 2015. It will be an event not to be missed!

As for the promised writing update, especially as I am overdue for a report on September. I finished draft 4 of the novel a little after Can-Con and have passed it on to my critiquers. It is now off my plate until at least December when we are scheduled to meet to discuss it. So, what does one do after completing a few months of intense editing on a novel? Good question. In my experience you start by spending a few minutes (at least) staring dumfounded that it (one phase of it, anyways) is done and ponder that very question. As for how I’ll distract myself for the next couple months from nervous nail-biting about impending novel critiques? I’ll be dipping back into older stories to do some further revisions, and start working towards some new pieces. NaNoWriMo is coming up in a couple more weeks. Normally this would inspire mixtures of panic, dread and excitement, but I will be taking it easy this year. I have passed on the torch to a new batch of MLs and I’ll putter away on some short stories, new and old, but I’m leaving the frenzy to others this time.

Dueling Hats

September 23 was another fantastic evening at the Ottawa ChiSeries and we were graced with the presence of authors David Nickle and Madeline Ashby from Toronto to do readings. If you’re familiar with the Ottawa ChiSeries, then you know that we do things a little differently here than at other locations. Typically Marie Bilodeau tells a short tale about a hat, which is then passed around to collect donations. I’ve told the hat story once before when Marie couldn’t be there. This time though, we decided to something even more different than usual. A DUEL! *dun dun DUN*

As usual, Rob of Geek Inked Magazine was there to record the event. So if you missed out, you can still watch David Nickle and Madeline Ashby‘s readings. He also recorded our Chapeaux-à-la-mort. This was quite different than my usual tellings, and a lot of fun to put together with Marie. 🙂