Since my last missive, I’ve traveled a few thousand miles, consumed many excellent drinks (gin Old Fashioned! Mind blown! Who knew? Thank you, Nate.) Received invitations to a couple anthologies, and moved a step closer toward a collaboration. I’m currently typing at you from many thousands of foots in the air (feel my thought beams from high up in the sky!) I’ve also stayed up far too late, not eaten nearly enough (probably) and slept not nearly enough. (Can you tell?) I spent a prolonged weekend making, renewing, and strengthening friendships.
I’ve been humbled and honored by my friends throughout, and I really kinda want to go back and do it all again. I’m not sure I could, though, even had I the opportunity. I may need about a month to recover. It’s bad enough my fingers are mixing up letters as I type. Thank Ghu for editing. Many thanks to Brandy, the rest of the LC concom, Johnny Minion and the rest of the con staff, to Vonn, Crystal, and Ginger, and everybody else who made what could have been a slapdash affair into every bit the LibertyCon we’ve come to know and love. You are all amazing, and I’ll miss you until we get to party again.
Panels were … well, panels are what they are. LibertyCon has some of the most interesting ones. Human Augmentation with Speaker, Docfather, EP, and the Insectress (as well as Ken Roy and Bill Thomasson, whom I don’t know.) Baen Wives Live, featuring Dan Hoyt and Bill Fawcett. Terminal Ballistics for Writers. Industry in Space. The ever-popular Mad Scientist Round-Up. I was personally on panels on working sea stories into your narration as a means of developing verisimilitude, and on the nature of space opera and how to make yours distinctive.
More and more, though, while I enjoy listening to my friends do their schtick on the panels, I find simply being with all my thoroughly peculiar to themselves, slightly (or more than slightly) crazy, wonderfully honest clan-of-choice to be the most rewarding part of a con. And that’ll be true right up until some publisher hands me a check for all the moneys. (I’m waiting. Patiently.)
Anyway, it was kinda fun, and I kinda hate everybody who gets to go to DragonCon and do it again in a couple months. A little. Not much. (So. Much. *sob*)
So. Writingy thingies. And stuff. (I might be a little tired. Not operating on all cylinders, etc.) Fortunately, I have caffeine, a bluetooth keyboard, and five hours of enforced idleness at 35k.
Okay, okay, okay: I’ve got something I can talk about. Get a group of writerly types. Mentors are awesome: I have one myself. (Hi, Mum!) That said, see about getting a group of writerly friends together. It doesn’t have to be in person, though that helps. Online works, too. There are options, these days, like Evil Hangouts, or Skype. You can set up a discord server if you don’t mind lack of video (that way, you could have your group meetings without the annoying reality of wearing pants.) However you do it, spend time interacting with other writers, at least some of whom are at or slightly ahead of you in both skill and career progression. Talk to each other. Listen to each other. Bounce ideas off of each other, and pick each other’s ideas apart. Brutally. But nicely. These should be friends, after all.
Honestly, this one is hard. Especially when you can’t meet in meatspace. Arranging schedules is almost certainly going to be difficult. (I’ve two littles who don’t often conform to any schedule, let alone one that allows me time to make virtual meet-ups.) Time zones are a consideration, as are day jobs. For those of us with connections to the military, training schedules and deployment schedules are always an issue. Life is never simple. Still the result will be worth it.