This weekend I attended ArmadilloCon, Austin's annual sci-fi/fantasy literary conference. I'm still something of a conference newbie, since I only ever go to ArmadilloCon (it being the only one I can, at this juncture, financially justify), but from what I hear from other people, it really is one of the better literary-minded conferences out there. And it really is more about books than any other media of geek entertainment.
The first part of it was the Writers' Workshop, which I have participated in for several years now. I really have to say, this workshop is a fantastic opportunity for fledgling writers. If you have the means and the time in the coming years, I highly recommend it. Not only did I get my piece (the opening chapter to Maradaine Constabulary) read by Stina Leicht (whose "Of Blood and Honey" comes out in March 2011) and Anne Sowards (Senior Editor at Roc and Ace), I got the chance to meet and talk to Ilona Andrews, Rachel Caine, Julie Kenner and many others.
On a side note-- doing said Workshop several years in a row has given me rather definitive insight into how my writing has improved over the past five years. I've looked back at what I submitted back in 2005 and 2006, and I'm kind of embarrassed. Not by the writing itself-- though it is poor, don't get me wrong-- but by the amount of ego I remember I was walking in with at the time, in comparison to the quality of the work. I honestly thought at the time that not only was what I wrote awesome, but I was going to get a pat on the back and be told how awesome I was. This was definitely not the case, and I'm better now for it.
As for the rest of the convention, it's something of a whirlwind in my head. A lot of interesting panels, a lot of shaking hands of people I've known for a bit, and other people that I just met. A lot of information to process, certainly.
And it was such a busy weekend, I didn't even get a chance to see my play, which also just opened this weekend. I heard it went well, and looking at the write-ups from audience members on NowPlayingAustin, it looks like it was well-received. Can't wait to catch it next week.
Marshall! I happened on your blog here, and I am thrilled that you are achieving the success that I could see even as early as your second grade experience with me as your teacher. Your brilliance, your understanding of the most complex subjects, and your constant questioning made teaching you a challenge - but it was a wonderful challenge! Thanks for that...I grew that year too. Do you recall going next door to Wellwood to be with a math mentor there? And to the F-M High School to assist Mr. Flood in the planetarium?
I am also happy to see you mention that your mother pointed you toward a help for your writing. I think her first name is Nancy, am I right? She was also a very bright woman, as I remember, and she encouraged you in all the "right" ways as a youngster. Please give her my warmest regards.
I was spellbound by the accounts of the Muses presentations in Austin...wish I lived closer than New York State. I would love to attend a production like that - very creative.
May your writing endeavors continue to fill your life with challenge, fun, and creativity, Marshall. You truly are one of a kind!
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