Tag Archives: Thank You

Can*Con 2018

This past weekend was Can*Con 2018, the SFF convention in Ottawa that I help to organize. As ever, it was a great deal of fun, it was tremendously inspiring to be around so many passionate readers and writers of the stories I take joy in, and it left me absolutely exhausted. Still recharging the batteries, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Each year I feel as though I’m growing into my role as an organizer a little more and figuring out the best way to be of use to the convention, to make the convention useful to me, and then also have some fun. I enjoyed Can*Con 2018 the most out of any that I’ve been to so far, and aside from a few minor glitches, really had a great weekend. A lot of that is because we have such a great group of people who all pitch in and bust their butts to make the convention work. Marie Bilodeau, Derek Kunsken, Jaggy Sue, Kate Heartfield, Cortni Fernandez, Lisa Toohey, Tyler Goodier, Marco Cultera, Dario, MP, and a great crowd of other volunteers whose names I am shamefully forgetting all put their hearts into making the con work and it is truly inspirational to be a part of that. Most important of all for me is my programming wingman Brandon Crilly, who I maintain does most of the work and who I cannot imagine doing all this without. Can*Con is a great community that, in a lot of ways, keeps going all year long, and it has become tremendously special to me.

This year’s con was also special because it was the formal launch of my friend Derek Kunsken’s first novel, The Quantum Magician. It was Derek who drafted me on to the Can*Con team, and since then he has been a great encouragement about my writing at the same time as he has pushed me to try harder and to aim a little higher. He’s become a good friend and it was an absolute delight to see that he had a packed house for his launch. Derek is a great person, a wonderful writer, and he has given so much to the Ottawa SFF community. It’s tremendously satisfying to see all of that rewarded.

I also had a chance to make what I hope may be a valuable connection for the fate of Heretic Blood; I was able to have a talk about the book with our agent Guest of Honor, Kurestin Armada, and she was kind enough to make a partial request on it. I am now furiously polishing the first pages of the manuscript so that I can send them off to her. These things are super stressful and hard to do (for me, anyway) but I’m (usually) confident that if I can get someone to read my writing, they’ll like it. Even if Kurestin turns out not to be interested in the book, this was valuable practice for how to reach out to the person who will be.

As much as I always end Can*Con profoundly tired, I know that I am extremely fortunate to be part of the team that puts it together each year. I have met amazing people who have become good friends, I have grown as a writer, and I have made connections that I know I would not have made any other way. It’s a lot of work, but it’s absolutely worth it.

I’m almost ready to get started on 2019.

Just these 50 pages to edit first.

Thanks for reading.

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The Breaks

I feel as though I moan a lot on here, so I thought this time I would acknowledge some good fortune.

I’ve mentioned several times that I help with the programming side of Can*Con, our local SFF readers’ and writers’ convention here in Ottawa. It is great fun, it is a lot of work a lot of the time, and it’s a tremendous opportunity to meet other writers and professionals in the field. I also find it a significant responsibility: we’re choosing which discussions get to happen and who gets the biggest platform in them, which is a not insignificant series of decisions in a world and a field where there are lots of voices struggling to be heard. I take it seriously and on the whole I enjoy it very much.

Working for Can*Con has also had a bunch of knock-on benefits. I have been welcomed into a wonderful community of writers and fans of speculative fiction, many of whom have become friends who mean a lot to me. I think I have already become a better writer because of it, and I have contacts that I don’t know that I would have ever made otherwise. So this is all great.

None of it would have happened if I hadn’t been invited to join the team, and I’m still more than a little hazy as to exactly why that happened. I attended Can*Con to pitch King in Darkness, had a good time, and although I don’t remember ever having a recruitment type of conversation, the following winter I got ‘drafted’. It has worked out pretty nice, and I can only look at it as a quite sizeable chunk of good luck.

I’ve heard it said by lots of people that a big part of success is just showing up; just being in the right place to get opportunities. I guess I did that by attending that first Can*Con and getting tapped to be part of the team going forward, so to some extent it’s true. I showed up, I went to the thing and made it possible that I would get selected. A lot of times, staying home is sure as shit a lot easier. So show up to places, is my advice.

At the same time, I still really can’t say that it was anything other than pure good luck that things worked out as they have. Everyone works very hard and most success flows from that, I think, but sometimes you do just get a break, and in my opinion you don’t apologize for it, you take the good luck because of all those times when you did everything you possibly could have done and things just didn’t settle out your way.

But I’m very grateful for getting the opportunity to work for Can*Con, and everything that has come out of it, and so I would like to publicly thank Derek Kunsken for taking what certainly seems as though it was a complete flier on me. It has certainly worked out for me, and I hope it continues to work out from the con’s point of view as well.

That’s it for this week, except to say that you should come join us this fall; we’re still putting the full program together but there’s already lots that I’m very excited about. Check out the Can*Con website here.

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Can*Con 2017

Can*Con is over for another year and we are all getting some rest. (for ‘rest’, read ‘back at our “real” jobs’) Notwithstanding a few minor crises, the weekend went really well and it was truly very gratifying to hear from so many people that they had a good time at the con and enjoyed what we had to offer on the program. I was personally very proud of some of the panels we put together, and it was wonderful to hear that people liked them and to see that so many of them went well.

I think the whole Can*Con team is doing a fantastic job not just running an entertaining, compelling SFF convention for readers and writers, but also reflecting the diversity of the fans and creators of the stories we love in the people we have as guests and the programming we do. It’s still very much a work in progress, but I think every year gets a bit better and it meant a lot to hear people say they were happy with what we had for them this time.

I always come away from Can*Con excited about writing and about my writing in general; it’s very affirming to be surrounded by people who thing that fantastic stories are important and valuable, and that writing is important and valuable. What I need to do now is make sure that I convert that excitement into words on the page/screen, but it’s an invaluable boost right at a time when I feel like I’ve cleared a major obstacle on the current WIP.

The only other thing I want to say is of a more personal nature. I think a lot of times we can feel like we’ve got roughly a billion connections to people through all our technology, and perhaps naturally, since they light up and/or make our devices make noise, they demand a lot of attention, and it’s hard to tell which are the connections that matter. I was reminded this weekend that the people who even at a moment when they’re super tired and have their own things they should be focusing their last reserves of energy on, will take some time to sit down with you and help you get your ship righted and feeling better about yourself, those are the connections that matter. Those are the people who are really ‘with’ you in a sense that has some significance, and those are the connections where our energy should go rather than some other stuff that isn’t anything.

Some people did that for me this weekend and I am truly very grateful. Perhaps I’ll pay my debt some day.

Thank you to everyone who came out to Can*Con and made the weekend a great success. It was great to spend time with everyone that I got to spend time with, and for those that I didn’t cross paths with, my apologies and we’ll do a better job of it next year. We’re already kind of excited about 2018. You should join us if you can.

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George Romero

Today we had some really exciting news (that I’m gonna write about for the regular Tuesday blog) and some sad news with the passing of George Romero. Romero will always be best known for his zombie films, and it’s safe to say that without those movies, and the people who loved them, we wouldn’t have had Walking Dead and Shaun of the Dead and all of the many zombie-themed video games, books, comics and shows that many of us have spent way too much time on. Even if you’re getting a little tired of zombie-everything, anyone who has had a hand in bringing so much enjoyment to such a wide range of people did pretty damned well as a creator.

I remember that I *heard* a lot about Romero’s _____ of the Dead movies long before I watched them, and in large part because of that I had assumed they were stupid. It was my loss. When I finally came to watch them – through my love of the work of John Carpenter, who was influenced by and greatly admired Romero – I was very pleasantly surprised.

Because yes, there are zombies, and yes they’re looking to eat brains, and yes there’s a lot of people getting killed. But there’s consistently *more than that*, too. Romero was using his zombies to talk about issues he saw in society, and did it very well. To me the most persistent theme in his zombie films is that the real problem isn’t the zombies. Most of the time, the real problem, the real threat to the protagonists and their survival, is other humans, and their selfishness or stupidity or intolerance.  That one point, made over and over again, probably influenced the way I think about monsters and the horrific in my own writing about as much as anything else.

Anyway, most of the time, if you want to find the real monster in a Romero zombie movie, it’s the people. The zombies are more a force of nature. By Land of the Dead, the zombies and the human protagonists even reach a kind of resigned tolerance. The zombies destroy the specific people who had been trying to wipe them out, and the (now-ex) zombie hunters let them walk away: “They’re just looking for a place to go. Same as us.”

So Romero wasn’t just (or even at all) making gorefests. He made horror movies that were supposed to scare you and thrill you, but he was thinking as he did it and wanted you to think too. I thought it was really impressive to have a guy who made monster movies encouraging his audience to see the monsters as the same as them, rather than just enemies to fight. That’s what I always think about when I write my own stuff, and that’s what I’m gonna think about the next time I watch one of George Romero’s movies.

Thanks for the tales, Mr. Romero. You had a lot to say, and you said it with zombies.

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In Praise of Readers

Late last week I sent out another (by which I really mean ‘the second’) chunk of the current WIP to some Eager Volunteers to see what they thought. I’ve been finding the writing hard going of late and I hoped this might help.

It did.

The Volunteers emailed back almost right away, one having read the piece while plagued by insomnia (which is a decision that’s possible to read in a couple ways, but never mind) and sent back their usual thoughtful response, which included some useful criticism, some questions, and some compliments.

On some level the praise is most obviously useful to me in my current situation. Everyone likes a pat on the head and having someone whose opinion I respect say that they’re enjoying what I’m working on will probably always feel good. So that’s a nice shot of positivity to encourage me to keep working away. It also helps to hear that someone wants to learn more about a particular character, or to know what’s going to happen; I guess obviously a writer is always hoping to generate interest and it’s both pleasing and a relief to know that in at least a couple of cases, I’m setting the hook okay.

The criticism is very nearly as useful, though, because concrete areas where the story needs work are better than a sense of generalized unease where I know there are things that aren’t right but not exactly what they are, much less how to fix them. It’s always easier to have something like a bullet list (har) of things that need to be taken care of than a vague idea that Stuff needs to be Fixed. Having people where there’s a strong enough trust that they tell me what they really think, and they know that I really do want to know what they really think, and not just get a pat on the head, is (as I am discovering) both rare and incredibly valuable.

The questions never cease to fascinate me, because the things readers are intrigued by and want to know more about seem always to include things that I never anticipated. I wrote a while ago about how a character in The King in Darkness that I didn’t think anyone would have any particular interest in ended up getting a scene added to the final draft to finish their story, because readers kept asking about it. So it already is with this piece, and what it mostly does is make me happy that what I’m writing can be interpreted and understood in a variety of ways (because if a reader understood it exactly the same way as I do, writing it, they wouldn’t have some of these questions), which is something I always enjoy when I’m reading and very much want to create when I’m writing. It also gives me ideas for things to do next, which is also very valuable.

All of which to say that the responses I get from my Eager Volunteers is a treasure to me as a writer, and makes my task in creating the story so much easier and the final project immeasurably better. I have had a good number of genuinely well-meaning people offer to take on the task and had it not work out (which I completely understand – if nothing else, it’s not easy to devote some of one’s precious store of free time to reading something they may not even like), so that makes the people who are willing to put in the time struggling through a rough-hewn story and then also take the time to share their responses and reactions to it with me a very special breed.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank them once again, because I appreciate what they do more than I can say. Perhaps I’ll pay my debt some day. Thank you very much indeed.

I am also aware that I owe a similar debt to each and every one of my readers, without whom my stories would be silent words on the page and none of my characters, who I love very much, would ever have a chance to live. If you’ve read one of my stories, and thereby given some of my made-up people a home in your imagination, at least for a while, I thank you as well.

It is, of course, a truism that without readers there are really no writers in a meaningful sense, but sometimes it’s the obviously true facts that need to be acknowledged. I’m grateful to everyone who has ever taken the time to read one of my stories; I can think of few better compliments for a writer than ‘I would like to spend some time with your imagination’. I am especially grateful to the readers who let me know what they thought about what they read. A lot of it makes me better, and all of it helps me want to write more. Without writers, people have nothing to read, and without readers, it would be the next thing to impossible to call oneself a writer.

So once again, I thank my readers.

Now to try to do some more of my half of the bargain.

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Review

Ottawa author Brandon Crilly has posted a wonderful review of The King in Darkness over at Black Gate.  Black Gate publishes an amazing array of articles on things related to fantasy fiction, and you should check them out if you haven’t already.

Read Brandon’s review here.

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Leonard Cohen

Tonight, at the end of a week that has already been a pretty rough ride, we got the news that Leonard Cohen has died.  For a lot of us this is another blow, although I’m trying not to be too sad as I write this tonight.

Cohen lived, I think by any standard, an incredible life and from an interview he gave not long ago it sounded like he was at peace with nearing the end of it. He sounded to me like a person looking back at work well done, and I hope that’s true. I also like, and admire, that he kept producing his art right up until the end. Although a lot of his work was melancholy in tone (to say the least), my impression (not having met him, of course) is that the art was essential to him and a joy to him and I’m glad he never stopped doing it.

I’m not in any way qualified to comment on Cohen as a musician, but the man had a gift with words. He wrote lyrics, or poetry, or both, that stick with you and appealed to such a wide range of people. Other artists love them and want to make them their own. His audience has been massive, and it’s bigger than is frequently recognized. It’s kind of similar to Shakespeare – even if they don’t necessarily realize it, just about everyone knows a Leonard Cohen song, or part of one.  It’s hard to do much better than that.

As a writer, I am deeply awed by his skill with words and his ability to reach into you with language and yank a reaction out of your heart and soul. If I ever write something that is one tenth as good as a Leonard Cohen lyric, I will have done about as well as I could ever hope to do.

As a fan, I’m glad we had him with us as long as we did and that his art will live on.

It’s a great loss that there won’t be any more of it, but he leaves us a great treasure of words.

Thank you, Mr. Cohen.

Rest well.

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Word on the Street

This past Sunday was Word on the Street in Toronto, and I was there for the first time as an author, and for the first time at all in a very long while. The last time I went, the festival still took place on Queen Street, turning a segment of a major downtown road into a literary pedestrian mall. At the time, I also thought I wanted to be a journalist and that if I was going to write fiction, it would be cyberpunk. A lot has changed.

I don’t know all the circumstances (or, as one friend who visited me discovered, really any of the circumstances) that led to Word on the Street moving not once but (at least) twice, but to me the new location (sort of new – this was the second year on the site) at Harbourfront is pretty great. There’s lots of interesting spaces to wander around while meeting authors and sampling books from publishers large and small, and plenty of book-related events went on throughout the day. If it was a little brisk in the shade with the wind off the lake, it seemed a lovely day to walk in the sunshine and immerse oneself in books.

We were busy at the Renaissance Press table through much of the day, and it was great fun (as it always is) to have people come up and talk about our books and their own writing and things we both like to read. Some people took my book home with them and that is always a wonderful feeling. Some people picked it up, read the back, and put it back down again – I haven’t quite immunized myself to the little pang of rejection when they decide my story isn’t for them, or the desire to ask ‘WHY DON’T YOU LOVE IT’ like a crazy person. Of course that’s unfair, but I guess it shows something of how much of ourselves we pour into our creations, as artists. The King in Darkness, whatever strengths and flaws it has as a story, does have a little fragment of my soul in there. I doubt that having created it will keep me alive for all eternity, and there’s a little bit of vulnerability in putting yourself out before the public eye in such a way, but I don’t know another way to write. I imagine a lot of artists feel the same.

That got heavy.

In all seriousness it was a great day of meeting new people and seeing some old friends and playing the part of a Writer for a little while again, that I wrote about after Can*Con. So that was good. In some ways though that wasn’t the best part. Also that weekend, I ran into Hayden Trenholm from Bundoran Press on our way down to the big city, and we had as nice a chat as it is possible to have in a 401 rest stop. Maaja Wentz stopped by the booth to say hello. Peter Halasz of the Sunburst Awards and font of SFF knowledge came by and very nearly stole my sandwich. All of these people, and (to my great wonderment) an increasing number of others are genuinely interested in my writing (well, writing in general) and encouraging and supportive about the whole process of creation and dissemination of the written word. It is wonderful to be gradually becoming part of a network of amazingly talented individuals who really get why I feel like I have to write, want other writers to do well, and to help if they can. I hope I’m able to give a little of that back, and very glad to have these chances to be surrounded by these very supportive people.

Even if they do have designs on my sandwich.

Anyway, that’s not a feeling I had really had before this Word on the Street, so for that reason alone I’m very glad I made the trip down. If I can, I’ll be back next year, possibly more warmly dressed.

Thanks for reading.

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Farewell to The Hip

I had what I was going to write about this week all planned out and mostly written in my head. Then I watched the Tragically Hip’s farewell concert last night and even though I already wrote about Gord Downie a while ago, I’m gonna do it again this time too. I wrote some of these thoughts on Twitter, but as my long-suffering editors will know, my natural tendency is to write a *lot*, so getting things down to 140 characters is basically agonizing for me. This is my chance to do things more my way. (Sorry?)

It was, first of all, an amazing national moment. Obviously there are lots of people in Canada who aren’t fans of the Tragically Hip, but a big chunk of the country (I am now informed it was around a third of the nation’s TV sets) was gathered around watching one last show from a band they love Saturday night, which is a pretty amazing thing to think about. It was also very cool that most of the country (you needed a TV or an internet connection) could be a part of it, more or less free (see above) and without commercials. As lots of people pointed out, that’s why it’s good to have a public broadcaster. Thanks to the CBC.

It was the last time we’ll see the Tragically Hip perform. I wrote in my other Downie-inspired column that the Hip have been the soundtrack for big important chunks of my life, which has been wonderful and is a wonder to look back on. The band has been a great gift to me at times; perhaps most of all when I spent a year studying in England and Music@Work was my little piece of Canada that I could turn on whenever I needed to. And now they’re done. I’m too old to think about my youth ending (that happened, quietly, some time ago) but something has ended now that the Hip have finished their last tour. I got to see them live three times, I wish it had been more, and I’m grateful to have had the luxury.

Any band, and any artist, performing live is always a treat because you get to see an ongoing act of creation. I think artists never look more alive that when they are creating their art, and a concert is a chance to sit (and/or stand) and watch that go on. Downie is a special joy to watch because he loves to perform as much as he sings. He dances and fights with the mic stand and generally makes the stage his own. I have a tremendous respect and (as someone who constantly second-guesses whether I should say a thing or do a thing, until the moment has passed forever) envy for his confidence and his joy in performance that let him do whatever the hell he feels in a particular moment. It’s tremendous fun to watch.

I also loved that the Hip took a couple moments to share a message that is obviously important to them. Some people complained about ‘getting political’, (and it is jarring if you discover someone you doesn’t share your views on something) but I figure when you’ve reached the point where the attention is on you nation-wide, and this is your last moment in the spotlight, you’ve earned the right to say what you want to say. Downie chose to say something pretty powerful, too, calling out the Prime Minister and the nation as a whole to make things better for the First Nations communities that have been marginalized and ignored and kept in horrible conditions for far too long. As causes to give a signal boost too, that’s a pretty awesome one, and I thought it was great that the Hip used their moment to do that. (After I wrote this, a First Nations writer and artist I admire a lot, Jay Odjick, pointed out that Downie’s statement is really only a beginning and the next step is to listen to First Nations people about why things are bad for them and the solutions they need. I think it’s a great point and maybe having someone like Downie draw attention to things will put more people in a position where they’re willing to listen. I hope so. You can check out Jay’s comments starting here.)

I also thought it was great what an essentially optimistic conclusion Downie left about it. “You’re gonna figure it out.” Their songs have always showed a great love for their country, and I think Downie showed it again there, believing that this is a problem that will be solved. Now it’s up to us to prove him right, for all kinds of reasons. Among them now is that these artists who we chose to make into our voice expect it of us. I thought it was a very Canadian way of talking about this problem they care about. There was another nice moment later when Downie talked about the band’s beginnings and said, “Our idea was just that everyone’s invited.” If we ever want to change the motto on the Canadian coat of arms, we could do a lot worse than ‘Everyone’s Invited’. Now let’s make it true, every day.

Not long ago someone asked me which one of the characters from King in Darkness was ‘me’; that actually comes up reasonably often. (For some reason a lot of people assume I’m the grumpy professor) As always my answer is ‘none of them, and all of them’ because none of the characters are self-inserts, but every character I write has a piece of me in there somewhere. (Yes, even the bad ones) I doubt I’m unique in that, and watching Downie on the stage I can’t help but feel the same is true for him and his songs, the emotion and life that’s in the performance can’t mean anything else. He had a teleprompter on stage last night, apparently because one of the effects of his cancer is that his memory fails him sometimes. The idea of Gord Downie forgetting the wonderful words to his own songs is intensely sad. Fortunately he rarely seemed to glance at it last night. I’m very glad he got to do all the shows of this farewell tour more or less on his terms.

While there were a few moments where a little frailty peeked through – and honestly, the sight of his bandmates supporting him as he went down the steps off the stage was more touching than anything else – on the whole he gave a vibrant, powerful performance that went far beyond what I think anyone would have expected from someone dying of brain cancer. He stood up there and lived the idea of ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’, and I admire the heck out of it. I imagine it helps him to do what he loves, but it was also a huge, courageous gift to his fans that I will always appreciate.

Downie always looks so very full of life when he performs, and full of the love of doing what he does. It seems impossible that he won’t be that way forever. He will be in our dreams, and I think all the Hip’s fans are profoundly grateful that he gave us one last glorious goodbye at a time when no-one would have blamed him, or them, for wanting to just worry about himself. I like to think it was good for Gord as well and I hope maybe they can draw some strength from all the emotion their farewell tour generated across the nation.

To reiterate a thought I tried to cram into 140 characters on Twitter: Downie’s talent for making words do cool, unexpected and memorable things is spectacular. In another age he would have been a poet who wrote for kings. His words would have been the ones furiously and meticulously copied with quill pens for audiences desperate to read and hear them. I’m so glad we got him in ours. Thanks for the words, Gord. I’ll treasure them.

All right that’s it – I got a little of what I was originally going to write about in there and hopefully there was some of it you enjoyed. If you want to kick some support towards the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer research, it’s a great cause and you can do so here.

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Limestone Genre Expo

I spent this past weekend at the Limestone Genre Expo in Kingston, and I thought I’d write a little about that today. Limestone is a very young convention for readers and writers of ‘genre fiction’ (which is one of those tricky terms I feel like I should write about sometime), in this case SF, fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance. By ‘very young’ I mean this was the second one, and to my somewhat untutored eye they’re doing very well indeed.

It was a really fun two days of excellent programming on writing and ideas I enjoy, as well as a chance to pick up some new reading material (which of course I did) and even engage in the dreaded Networking, at which I am awful but know I must persist at attempting. It’s a little concerning to be utterly useless at a skill (or set of skills) that we are constantly told is essential to our survival in modern society, but fortunately at conventions like Limestone everyone is fairly relaxed and many people are just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them. So I was glad to make some new connections and renew some previously-made ones.

I was also pleased at the opportunity to hone my conventioning (I just invented the heck out of that word) skills. What I mean by this is that when you watch certain people they know exactly how to be a good panelist – to contribute energy to a discussion without taking it over, and to talk about their ideas without talking excessively about themselves – or to be a good moderator, which seems to be mostly getting out of the way but knowing when to provide the occasional deft nudge to a conversation. (Unless you’re Derek Kunsken, in which case you rule with a mighty fist of iron) It’s subtly but significantly different from the world of academic conferences, and I’m still learning how to fill both roles as well as I might. It’s great that events like Limestone are there as proving grounds.

It was also great to see many people who are even younger in their craft as writers than I am getting inspiration and encouragement and advice in a welcoming environment. I hadn’t really thought about it much before Can*Con last year and now Limestone, but it is so wonderful to have events like these to help bring along fresh cohorts of writers. We will all benefit from their stories and I think smaller-scale events like Limestone are excellent places to start getting engaged with the wider literary world. I hope I may have been of some assistance to someone who is starting to find their way with their art.

I should also say that I also just relish the opportunity to participate in energetic, excited discussions about reading and writing with people who are just as into these things as I am. The cliche of writing as a very solitary, sometimes isolating pursuit is true, and it is good (for me, anyway) to get into a situation where I am surrounded by lots of other people who are excited about writing – both their own and other people’s – and to soak up (I guess) some reinforcement about the things that I am passionate about. There is a very battery-recharging effect from spending a day or several days immersed in a situation like this; despite some rather early mornings and a lot of driving I came away from Limestone vibrating with writerly energy. Now I need to take advantage of this…

So overall it was a really enjoyable weekend of superheros, monsters, readers, writers, and discussions of the merits of a Pokemon Go safari, and I’m very grateful to have been able to attend and for the opportunity to participate in the programming. I enjoyed meeting many new people and I thank everyone I spent time with for the energy top-up. Thank you in particular, of course, to Liz Strange and everyone who worked with her to make the Limestone Genre Expo a really superb weekend. I am already looking forward to the next one and looking forward to seeing this convention grow. Next year I think I won’t drive back and forth to Kingston from home like a maniac though.13692852_1313487415343258_7244713152967431233_o

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