Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My CONtraflow Panel Schedule etc.

Just as a reminder, I'll be a guest at CONtraflow this weekend. Here's a list of the panels I'll be on:

How to Write Your First Novel, Friday, 1pm, Event 1
The Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Saturday, 11am, Panel Room 4
American South as a Setting in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Sunday, 10am Event 2
Skeptics vs. Believers, Sunday, 2pm, Panel Room 2

Or you could also find it here. I really like that feature, nice job by the con organizers.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Who the fuck am I to be giving writing advice? But you know what? I wrote two of 'em. Two and a half if you count the novella. I've run into so many people at these things who haven't even written one. And that's fine. Maybe I'm just trying to remind myself that these are actually achievements of a sort. I have a problem with that.

I also read a great face book post by Tim Powers on, of all things, going to conventions. He had some useful tips and thoughts:

  • "[C]onventions are social. If they have any benefit for one's writing career, that's accidental and uncertain."
  • "[P]ropping up your books in front of you is ... a bit amateur!"
  • "The main reason to write books is to show off, but you must never seem to be showing off."

Bam! It's all right there -- everything I had thought or had half-baked unformed thoughts about conventions since I've started doing them. I like these because they form kind of a sandwich -- two big thoughts with a little, very practical one in the middle. I always felt stupid putting up my book in front of me, but everyone else did it so I did as well. I was worried people wouldn't know who I was, that I had written a book, etc etc. and of course I wanted to show it off and sell some. I think I am going to leave that out this time. I'm right up there on the website, I'm in the program, I'm theoretically easy to remember visually. I'll try this and see how it feels.

Then again, I am an amateur. Tim Powers doesn't have to put up his books on the table when he does a panel because he's Tim "Fucking" Powers. You may look at him and say "oh, who's that guy" and then someone else is like "That's Tim Fucking Powers, dude" and you're like "OH SHIT". So maybe I need to know my role and set up my fucking book. I'll probably end up doing both this weekend.

As for the other two thoughts -- well this post is getting a bit long. I think they mainly speak for themselves.

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