Con, Course, and Con Again

It’s been a busy, non-stop, couple of months, which is why it’s taken this long for me to finally post about Can-Con.
Can-Con was, as always, fantastic. First up, were the workshops. I took Creating Underwater Worlds for SF&F with Nina Munteaneau, with lots of threads to chase for potential story leads. Then was Mythic Worlds with Derek Newman-Stille, where we created our own gods (I made a modern trickster god of the internet and may share that later), partnered up to create pantheons and battles between our gods.
This year I was only on one panel: unarmed combat for dummies. I got to hang out with SM, Eric and Kris and chat about different fighting styles to help writers describe fight scenes. It can be a difficult balance to achieve, sharing some of the cool things we do in martial arts without getting too caught up in the mechanics, but we received some great feedback from people who enjoyed.
Going into Can-Con, it seemed a little strange only having one panel, but being fully entrenched in the planning committee for the first time this year I was glad to have a lighter load. It also meant that I didn’t get to attend as many of the awesome panels as I would have liked. Sadly the encore of Mark Robinson’s Extreme Weather Smackdown was canceled so he could go chase a tornado (figures). I did get to attend a fantastic panel on humour with locals Marie Bilodeau and Jay Odjick, plus agent guest of honour, Sam Morgan. Other highlights were meeting and hearing from a few other members of The Ed Greenwood Group and hanging out with Sam.
I also designed the RPG name badges and boss monsters that were a new feature this year. (I’ll go more into that in another post.)  Derek Newman-Stille became our secret boss monster, sharing hints of twitter about his identity. Less than ten people figured out he was the secret boss to challenge him to a battle.
The day after Can-Con ended I started a short fiction writing class run by C.S. Friedman, because I’m crazy. I was more worn out from Can-Con this year than I expected, so starting the course the next day was a little rough. But I loved Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy so I didn’t want to miss out the chance to take a class with her. The class was great. I’ll admit, it was a little strange though, submitting each week’s progress in a short story and getting feedback as you write. I’m definitely not used to that after getting it ingrained into me to finish the draft before you start editing. The feedback from Friedman and the other classmates was great though and it helped to catch a couple of things early on in the story and with our scene list (not a complete outline, just the major scenes) and adjust direction right away. It’s also encouraging to hear that people are enjoying your work in progress and urging you to finish it so they can read the rest. The wrapped up my story and the class last weekend and this weekend finished editing from Friedman’s and my classmates; notes.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies staff photo

And just before the final week of the writing course, the Can-Con crew, Derek, Marie, Brandon and I, drove down to the World Fantasy Convention (Oct 27-30) in Columbus Ohio. This was my second year attending. I took a pretty laid back approach to the con, mostly hanging out and meeting people in the bar and attending a couple of readings. I got to chat with my editor-in-chief Scott H Andrews and Dominik Parisien and get to know them both a bit better. I attended fantastic readings from Jerome Stuart, CSE Cooney (who won a World Fantasy Award this year for Bone Swans), and Tina Connolly, and got to meet them. I also met editors Jonathan Oliver (Solaris) and David Thomas Moore (Abaddon Books), and, upon David describing a project he had worked on, tell him about Monstrous Little Voices, an anthology of stories set in Shakespeare’s fantastical world featuring my friend Kate Heartfield, only to then learn that he was the editor and that was the project he was talking about. Potentially embarassing? Maybe. But he was delighted to discover he had fans and we geeked out about Chaucer and my Canterbury Tales tattoo, so all was well. editor of Monstruous Little Voices, an anthology set in Shakespeare’s fantastic world and which featured Ottawa’s own Kate Heartfield. And there was of course collecting autographs at the launch party for Into the Starlit Wood, which I’ve been dying to read since I heard about it at last year’s WFC.

Like I said, a little non-stop for the past couple of months, but at last I have a breather (ha!)… and now get to turn my attention back to my novel for The Ed Greenwood Group and start editing it. No rest for the wicked.