Sunday, September 12, 2010

Prototypical nonconformists

I returneth to the blogosphere with a new layout. My mum declares it 'very British' which I suppose it is, but then I like British things so what the hey. Change is nice, all the same.

It's been a mad scramble this week trying to get my creative work organised for workshopping, thus the lack of blogging. Was actually late for class on Thursday cause I was still finalising the last bits of the chapter - I take some comfort knowing that I can churn out 1,600 words in two hours when I absolutely have to. Not the best words in the world but still, according to my class(es) both tone, pace and style is nearly faultless. That's nice to if only I could get the damn story to behave itself and get on the paper the way it is in my head. It's so much better in my head. I was bemoaning this on Friday night and the words "my novel is trying to kill me" may have been uttered. Did I receive any sympathy for my mother? No. Only laughter and the quip, "You'd swear you've written hundreds of them before". Hmph.

Other than that, last Thursday I headed off to Aussiecon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon.) It was....not what I expected. I've been to a few cons now and mostly they are characterised by geeky people running about in various stages of flailing and lots of cosplaying awesomeness. Worldcon, on the other hand, is serious business. Emphasis on the serious. It is a literary convention more than anything, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I just felt it lacked that feeling of...well, fun and silliness that you find at those other cons. In fact, I found a lot of attendees to be quite unfriendly and taken with some form of superiority complex. I know a lot of people had an absolutely fabulous time, so I concede this may be my problem. I just thought the event was missing that spark that you can even find lining up for a gig all day - you know the spark I mean, the one that has you talking to people and acting like idiots and feeling like you're friends, bonded forever, with other people in that line. Also, I thought it was absolutely woefully organised. After waiting around Saturday night for the cosplay masquerade that ended up consisting of only seven costumes, I was getting seriously pissed off with the organisation. But c'est la guerre.

The panels, on the other hand, were extremely informative which made up for the other nonsense. I particularly enjoyed the franchise writing, professional writing for spec fic authors, and pitching panels. All very practical and useful. The panel I least enjoyed was one on immortality, I couldn't believe they managed to make it so dull. Blah. The most fun was however Paul Cornell's 'Just a minute' game show type panel on Saturday, pitting six other guests against each other in what was an utterly hilarious hour. It was also a prime example of how unorganised the con was however, as we spent twenty minutes standing outside the hall waiting for someone to unlock it. But this was also one of the few times I managed to engage others in a decent conversation - acquiring a very nice ribbon for my pass in the process.

A definite highlight was the Nightmare Masquerade Ball on Friday night. Give me an excuse to dress up and wear a mask, I will grab hold of it and never let go. I absolutely adore my costume, it's comfortable and looks pretty cool, if I do say so myself, and I kind of wish there are more opportunities to wear it. I got a fair few compliments on it, which is always nice as well. Lizzie and I had the dubious bright idea to start the night with wine - during dinner, and later in our hotel room. It really was both brilliant, and terrible, as these things always are. Especially since they kept giving us wine when we actually arrived as well. There was a less than fortunate incident with orange juice and I lost one of my satin elbow length gloves, but all the same, t'was a fun night.

Originally, my flight home on Sunday was only at 5.45 as there were quite a few Doctor Who related things I wanted to go to, but by the time I crawled into bed Saturday night I was completely over this con business. It really takes a lot out of you, it's overwhelming, draining, and just exhausting. Instead I headed to the airport at 8 to see if they could get me on an earlier flight. In the end I had to run to make the 9am flight since they were all booked until the afternoon (it was 8.45 when I reached the counter and the plane had already started boarding.) Of course by the time I got on the plane, all the overhead compartments were full and I had quite a fun time jostling things around to fit my bags and getting progressively more annoyed.
"Too much luggage?" the guy next to me enquired.
I wanted to smack him with the newspaper. That's the downside to flying business class, smug travel companions.

Overall, from a writing point of view, it was well worth going. I'd like to think I picked up some useful things and mainly I just got a firm kick to stop whining and start writing. Every day. No matter what. I'm doing my best, Cory Doctorow is incredibly intimidating and I don't want him to think I'm not serious *shifty eyes* Conclusion: Writing is hard. Even if you're good at it, it's still hard. But it's meant to be. So shut up and get on with it.

However as a convention that's meant to include new fans and so on, I felt it was a bit of a fail. But then again maybe I should just go to Comic Con and leave the serious business for the serious fans.

This week's agenda:
> Work:
Drama, downsizing, and forever chasing clients for material.
> Uni:
Last week before mid-semester break. TFG.
Reading and research.
> Social:
Uuuuh...can't remember.
> Other:
I need to DL updates for Sheldon
Back-up and clear hard drive
Book riding lesson, stuff.

There's always stuff.

And even though I'm meant to be reading Dune for class, I'm reading Neverwhere instead.

Music: Trash Unreal - Against Me!
Mood: Cold


  1. I felt a bit the same at Worldcon! I didn't find that there was that "Oh, and now we're chatting about something we love and now we're friends" aspect that I've noticed at other cons.

    And I got the same kick! I came away from that panel feeling a little guilty that I wrote once a week (or so) and complained I hadn't finished a novel yet ^_^ At least it got me writing every day. That sort of tough lovin' can be good.

  2. I guess it's just a different kind of community at World Con or something. Glad to hear it wasn't just me though!

    Tough love is sadly necessary with us writers, we're a disorganised, procrastinating lot!