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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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Boskone 46

I'll write more later, but I just wanted to say what a great convention this has been. If you've ever thought about attending a regional science fiction convention, consider coming to Boskone 47 in February 2010. Spending time with friends, fans, fellow authors and others connected to the reading world has recharged my batteries!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I'm here at the Westin Waterfront in Boston after a hair-raising and stomach churning flight into New York last night. I'm not a nervous flier, but that was the most turbulent flight I've ever been on--and it was a huge 757.

The train ride up here was much calmer, and I'm getting ready for my first panel tonight. Be sure to say hello if you see me.

Oh, and my hubby sent me lovely flowers since I'm not home with him on Valentine's Day. What a sweetie!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

I Don't Hate You, I Hate Bad Grammar

I saw a note today about stopping hate crimes on Facebook. The group mentioned had a tongue-in-cheek name/purpose that might offend some people. I got that. For the record, I just want to say that because I'm a member of "If You Can't Differentiate Between 'Your' and 'You're' You Deserve To Die", it doesn't mean I truly think you deserve to die.

For cryin' out loud though, learn the difference! It's a simple fix! You're driving me crazy when you do that, and so are your friends!

I'm not always 100% perfect. I still have problems on occasion with "who" and "whom", "might" and "may", "that" and "which", though it seems simple enough. Sometimes I write "towards" rather than "toward", 'cause I'm a Southerner. But I'm trying to get better! I want to be corrected when I make an error! I want good editors to proof my work! I need the tough love.
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Sunday, February 08, 2009

{{Potd/2006-04-2 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

My first year at Boskone I got snowed in. That wasn't so bad. I remember standing on the 15th floor of the Sheraton at the Pru, sipping single malts in a nice, warm hotel room with other refugees, knowing that the attached mall had everything a human being could want (other than a flight home).

However, it made me conscious of the risks of February travel in the NE. That's when you're likely to get the heavy, wet snowstorms that shut things down. I plan accordingly now. I pack overnight gear in my carry-on, and make sure that I don't have anything important scheduled the day after I'm supposed to be home. Just in case.

This year's weather report looks good though. Cold (by my standards), but no big storms in the forecast. And the cold is tolerable, as long as it's in the pluses and not the minuses.

Of course, now that I've blogged about it I've put a curse on it and I'll get snowed in.
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Monday, February 02, 2009

An MBTA sign at the Chinatown stop.Image via Wikipedia

Boskone 46 Schedule

Here, as promised, is my schedule for Boskone 46. The convention is February 13-15 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston. As you can see, it's a full schedule, but that suits me. Especially when it's too cold to go outside and sight see.[g]

My reading on Saturday morning will be from my recently completed manuscript for Sea Change.

Friday 6pm Foreshadowing and How to Do It
Greer Gilman
Alexander Jablokov (M)
Darlene Marshall
Mary A. Turzillo
What works....what doesn't? Besides having mysterious runic poems,
intriguing omens, palsied prophets, or other such fantastic
expository tricks, how can you pre-set the stage for what is coming
next? Is it sometimes better just not to foreshadow? When?

Friday 7pm Myths of Fandom
Astrid Anderson Bear
Edward James
Darlene Marshall (M)
Margaret Organ-Kean
Joe Siclari
Fans are slans. All fans want to become pros. No filkers can sing
well. Fans are anti-religion. Fans accept everyone. Etc. What are
some more such myths (assuming the aforesaid *are* myths, that is!)?
How did these myths come into being -- why does the fannish
community create and foster this mythology anyway?

Saturday10am Reading
Darlene Marshall

Saturday12noon New Publishing/Marketing Technologies
Chris Howard
James Patrick Kelly
Eytan Kollin
Dani Kollin
Darlene Marshall (M)
Shane Tourtellotte
Ebooks. Print-on-demand. Podcasts. What else? A discussion of what
kinds of new technological break-throughs are available to authors
today, their advantages and disadvantages -- and why bother with

Saturday 4pm Books of Love
Nina Harper
Darlene Marshall
Paul Park
Jennifer Pelland (M)
Wen Spencer
Today is Valentine s Day. Would you rather get chocolate, flowers,
or (hint hint) the latest NESFA Press book? (If Loverlips doesn t
get your favorite, is the relationship over?) More generally, what
genre works should one bestow, with hope and trembling, on a new or
prospective sweetheart? Must the content or themes of these stories
be explicitly romantic? In fact, is there a future for romantic
love.....and, if so, what is it?

Sunday 11am Writing the First-Person Point of View
Debra Doyle
Darlene Marshall
Joshua B. Palmatier (M)
Paul G. Tremblay
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
What are the pluses and minuses of writing in the first person?
Sure, you may gain a sense of immediacy, but what might you lose?
How is it done well? Badly?

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