Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Worldcon (Denvention3) was fantastic. I arrived Wednesday in plenty of time for my 4:00 panel, Survival Tips for New Writers. The other panelists were David Coe and this year's Campbell Award winner, Mary Robinette Kowal, and along with the audience I picked up tips from them on how to improve my work habits.

On Thursday I had a full day of panels. How do Ebooks Change Writing--an Ebook Writing Primer was intriguing, and moderator Dave Howell worked hard to keep us focused on the topic and not wandering off into weird ebook stories. We talked about interactive ebooks with hyperlinks, but also about how many readers seem content with ebooks simply being an exact copy of a print book delivered through different media.

Aaaargh! The Pirate Panel was just what you might expect from the title, an exploration of why we like pirates so much, and where pirate history and mythology collide. The other panelists--David Riley, MistyMassey and Linda Donohue all had piratical connectiThe flag of 18th century pirate Calico Jack.ons to their fantasy and sf stories, but I was the only one working strictly in the real-world universe of historical romance rather than speculative fiction. It made for some lively discussion, and the audience seemed to like it.

I wasn't thrilled to have another similar panel three hours later, but I understand the difficulties of juggling program schedules, so when we had Swashbucklers in Space later that day I just rolled with it. I ended up as moderator on that one since a couple of our people dropped off the panel prior to the convention, but Chris Roberson, S M Stirling and I held down the fort, and based on audience questions and participation, we did OK. This was a fun panel as we explored the "swashbuckler" in movie and literature, moving on to the modern day SF icons--Dominic Flandry and Han Solo being two notable examples.

My last panel was Friday morning, and I was again the moderator on SF Fans who Write in Other Genres with Christine Merrill, Kat Richardson, Nancy Atherton and Susan Krinard. This was the classic "herding cats" situation for me as moderator, with all of us panelists being lively and talkative, and an audience that was ready to leap in with their own points. We had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the interaction with the other authors.

I was on the program, but I also worked in Program Operations and the Hugo Ceremonies at Worldcon. Program Operations handles the scheduling conflicts and issues at the convention, and it's a job I've done before. One of the best things about being involved in Worldcon as a volunteer is meeting people and knowing who you want to work with in the future. Worldcon is all staffed by volunteers, so getting involved is vital and in my opinion, the best way to meet people and enjoy the convention.

I was also tapped to be the "Voice of Ghod" at the Hugo Awards. The "Voice of Ghod" is the person who does the opening and closing announcements, says if an acceptator is taking the award, that sort of thing. It was my first year at this, and I realized I was the first woman to be Ghod, so I enjoyed writing my own footnote to fannish feminist lore.

The Hugo Ceremonies went well, and while I was backstage being Ghod and didn't get to see it, I caught glimpses on the director's video monitor. And naturally, I had a script. This was the first time ever I knew who the Hugo winners were in advance, and it was a strange feeling but an exciting one too. Afterwards I got to enjoy the Hugo Nominees party sponsored by Anticipation, the 2009 Montreal Worldcon.

I didn't get to see much of Denver, but what I did see downtown I liked. It struck me as a vibrant city center with a community making a concentrated effort towards recycling and conservation, and I enjoyed my visit. Even if I was constantly slathering on lip moisturizer and hydrating myself. Coming from Florida's moist sea-level climate was a bit of an adjustment, and I'm glad I was warned about the intensified effects of alcohol at that altitude. Talk about more bang for the buck!

We ate in some fantastic restaurants, partied and chatted with friends old and new, and overall had a wonderful Worldcon experience. As always, it was a great way to spend my vacation and I'm looking forward to next year in Montreal.
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Tara Parker said...

Any chance of convincing you to run through your "Survival Tips for New Writers" on the forum? (g)

Glad that it went well! Do you go to Surrey?

Darlene said...

I haven't been to Surrey 'cause the timing never works out right for me. Fall's a busy time in our household.

I started to write you a note here on the tips, but it got so long I decided to do another blog entry and share the wealth.[g]

Tara Parker said...

You rock! (g)

This year is my first time going to Surrey - it will be great to meet some of the people from the forum.

I guess I'll have to take a trip back to the homeland (g) in order to meet you - or do you ever do book signings in NC?

Darlene said...

I haven't had occasion yet to do a signing in North Carolina, but I would cheerfully head up there if the opportunity arose.[g]

Tara Parker said...

Just tell me what I can do to help, and I'll do it.

I'm not sure my husband would go for a trip back to Florida. (g) He doesn't have the best impression of our home state!

Darlene said...

Maybe when my next book is published I can do an East coast tour, driving up towards your area.

When that happens, I'll let you know!

Tara Parker said...

That would be great, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Given that, like you, I missed the Hugo ceremony due to being backstage, I'm looking forward to getting the Hugo Ceremony DVD that will supposedly be out in October