Sunday, February 22, 2009

Boskone 46

I had a fabulous time at Boskone 46. Saw a lot of old friends, made some new ones, and participated in wonderful panels. The Westin Hotel had a new Irish pub this year that offered some food options unavailable in past years, and it was greatly appreciated. We celebrated Jane Yolen's birthday, I drooled over an incredible bookcase for sale in the art show, and drank single malts with a fine group of fanatics during a tasting party that made me appreciate being able to walk to my room afterward.

My program items started on Friday with "Foreshadowing and How To Do It". Our panel was a mixed bag, which always makes for the most interesting discussions. I learned some tips on why foreshadowing can be a great adjunct to your plot, when you don't bludgeon the reader with it.

Immediately after came the "Myths of Fandom" panel, and I was the moderator on that one. It was intriguing, discussing how our mythology, if we ever had one, has changed as the common experiences of fandom have changed. For example, the growth of manga and anime fans vs. fans who were there because they'd read a common canon of SF literature.

Friday night was the Yolen birthday party followed by the Art Show reception. Both were in the new common space shared by the dealers, con suite, Ops and Art Show, and it worked out well. The conversation and people flowed along with the goodies overseen by Gay Ellen and her hard working staff. I can always count on the NESFA/Boskone crew to make sure people not only don't go away hungry, but that the food served is finest kind.

As usual I was up early Saturday morning, got breakfast (for me it is the most important meal of the day) and was ready for my 10 a.m. reading. I read a passage from Sea Change, and it was well received. In hindsight I might have better chosen a funny scene rather than the grim amputation scene, but what the heck--it seemed appropriate at what's the crack of dawn by fannish standards.

I had two panels Saturday afternoon. The first was "New Publishing/Marketing Technologies" with six panelists and myself as moderator. It was a real juggling act to make sure everyone participated and got his or her $.02 in, but again, it went well and the audience had some interesting questions for the panelists.

Later that afternoon was, in honor of Valentine's Day, "Books of Love". I was prepared for this one. My dear husband had sent me flowers for Valentine's Day since we were apart. Yes, there's a reason I write romance and not horror. I took the vase down to my panel so I could brag on my sweetie and show everyone what he'd done, and it made a great prop for our panel. Two of our panelists kept insisting they didn't have a single romantic bone in their make-up, one looked slightly bemused, and one was Wen Spencer, author of the amazingly romantic "A Brother's Price", so we were vocal, opinionated, and having a great deal of fun as we discussed books that do relationships well, and those that miss the mark.

Saturday night a group of us walked to dinner at Legal Seafoods Test Kitchen, always an interesting experiment in what my favorite chain is doing before they change their regular menu. When we returned there were more bid parties and room parties, and I didn't get to bed until after 2 a.m., which for me is astounding.

Of course, my eyes popped open at 6:15 a.m., just as they always do. Fortunately, I only had one panel on Sunday. It was a good one though and I took away a lot from it--"Writing the First Person Point of View". I don't write that way, at least not yet, but it was intriguing to talk with the experts about when that works and when it doesn't.

I found Boskone, as usual, had outstanding programming and was well worth my time as a writer. I always return feeling recharged and refreshed, and I have my membership for Boskone 47. I hope I'll see some of you there!

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