I'm back from FOGcon, where I had a ton of fun and not much sleep. This was the third year the con was held and the third year I attended. I had such a great time in 2011 and 2012 that it's hard to say for sure, but I think this was my best FOGcon yet.
FOGcon is mainly about participating in and listening to in-depth discussions of stories, fictional worlds, and the things these lead us to consider about our own world. I love getting to geek out about these topics for three days. I also love meeting and hanging out with other people who find this an enjoyable way to spend a weekend. This year most of my outstanding con experiences were informal conversations at meals or in the hotel bar, rather than official programming sessions.
I did attend some great panels, though, and I had my first experiences as a panel moderator, which went well. My panel about dystopias was a lively discussion of what elements are necessary parts of dystopian stories, why these stories are perennially interesting to readers, how they reflect the era they were written in, and so on. We had a good-sized audience that contributed helpful comments and questions.
My other panel was a book club-type discussion of SLOW RIVER by Nicola Griffith. We selected the book and announced it a month in advance, but unfortunately we only had three audience members show up, one of whom hadn't read it. However, the five of us on the panel were so excited to talk to each other about the book that we didn't mind too much. We pulled our chairs into a circle to include our few attendees, and we had a fabulous conversation.
FOGcon isn't a writing conference, but because the set of people who care this much about fiction includes many people who also write, there are numerous panels about the craft and business of writing, plus writing workshops run by professionals. This year I only attended a couple of the writing panels, but I got the notes from some other ones I didn't make it to, and it seems like it was a particularly strong year for writing-related offerings.
And there was karaoke. I don't attend FOGcon merely for the karaoke, but it's always a highlight.
Tomorrow night I'm off on another adventure, flying to Florida to spend a long weekend with family. I made this trip at the same time last year and it was more of an adventure than I'd planned, since I ended up stranded overnight at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. (That post from a year ago turns out to be incredibly cringe-inducing, because I talk about how impatient I am to finish the revision that I still haven't finished now.)
This time my layover is somewhere else, and the weather forecast is nonthreatening, so maybe I can have a pleasantly uneventful journey, but you never know. Whenever I make it home, I'll be getting back to my normal writing schedule, and I'm really looking forward to that. I'll also resume blogging more regularly. I have lots of books to recommend and writing thoughts to share soon.
Good Stuff Out There:
→ Jennifer R. Hubbard shares her advice on common places to cut back a manuscript: "In real life, we exchange hellos and how-are-yous; we comment on the weather and the traffic and the fact that the coffee machine is broken again. But nobody wants to read those exchanges, unless the weather or the traffic or the coffee machine are directly involved in the murder/love affair/political plot that is the subject of the book."