The next chapter is available in time for the Victoria Day weekend. I will be going away with my family for a few days. Naturally, I’m taking along some reading, some notebooks, and freshly filled pens to get some work and some imaginings down. Hope everyone else enjoys the weekend.
I attended Scifi on the Rock last weekend. It was brilliant as always. While I have been battling mental illness over the last year or so, writing has been the one part of my life that has remained and actually acted as an anchor for me. Literature is me. At the very least, I know that. So this year I came to Scifi with my energy directed mostly into my passion.
Scifi on the Rock has become a wonderful supporter of writers and genre publishing in NL over the last few years. I know that is due to a number of reasons and people, which I won’t speculate on right now. Perhaps it was inadvertent, but Scifi really is the bastion for the growing community of genre writers here. I never expected to find something like that on The Rock, but I am very thankful it is here. The community is becoming far more solid after many years existing in whispers and the danger of strange looks. A chat with Maple Tree Designs reminded me of how not-so-far-away we are from those days.
This year Scifi had up to TEN panels and workshops around writers and writing. Two of these panels were even based out of their largest room. Furthermore, the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador had a table and participated this year. They joined in on panels with Engen Books. This made me an infinitely prouder member of the alliance. It is beyond pleasing to me to see them making some roads to bringing more options where genre fiction is concerned. I had some lovely chats at their table and was impressed with the hopes to kick-start some new directions. I know from speaking with other con attendees that seeing WANL listed was a draw for them. I applaud the alliance for their initiative and involvement. I hope all who attended and worked their table found it beneficial. I also hope that they will return next year. It’s a great opportunity for both the con and WANL.
Engen books continued their relationship with Scifi by releasing a new short story compilation. Their panels, as well as the relationships they foster among and between authors, serve as trusted bridges after all these years. Congratulations on ten years, Engen! They have really had a surge in the market over the last couple of years. So keep your eye on them because greater things are sure to come.
Members of the Romancing the Rock group were also present this year. At least, that’s where I knew them from first. JJ King and Candace Osmond took the leap with their lovely and very cool works on sale at their shared table. I hope that in the future they might host some panels. Both of them are very sweet and knowledgeable. I will never forget how empowered, capable, and supported I felt at the Romancing the Rock Expo. The Romancers, each and every one of them, to me, are the best and most welcoming group of writers. You’ll never know how much you all mean to so many people. Candace and JJ are experienced writers with endless information that they are happy to share and discuss. I was so pleased to get a chance to speak with them. By hanging around with them I also got to run into Kate Robbins who is also rather brilliant.
I was delighted to finally meet Amanda Labonté who has been a twitter buddy of mine for some time. We had some great chats and I hope we can find a time to hang out again. Talking to fellow writers is an indescribable experience. For all my anxieties, it felt completely natural to speak with each and every writer. As Amanda and I agreed, it’s nice to talk to another person who can talk about people who don’t exist in the physical realm and not give you weird looks for it.
There was talking to editors too! Erin Vance and I hit it off, talking about editing in NL and the uncharted path through education and continued skill-building. I really enjoyed just chatting about school and work, as well as comparing notes on editing process and experience. See her personal editing site here.
I’m sure he is probably too humble to agree, but I still like to say that Scott Bartlett is the champion of spec/genre fiction in NL. He is also a hero of indie/self-publishing. I am always proud of him, and proud to know him. He’s a success, now living the dream of being a full-time writer. Although it probably doesn’t always feel like a dream, and it is a lot of hard work. He is definitely important in the writing community of NL. Watching Scott’s growth over the years has been inspirational. As always, he’s very supportive of his fellow writers and happy to share his knowledge, as well as amaze us with the worlds he has created. Always a pleasure to speak with him.
Heather Reilly was brilliant in both her panels. Sometimes I forget that she is the same lady who is dressed as a cool pirate. I enjoy how she plays in-character at cons. I was blown away when I got her full story. She wears so many hats (beyond the pirate’s). She is incredibly accomplished! I also found her perspective to be unique with regards to finding one’s audience. As a teacher, she has a lot of experience and knowledge with approaching your audience and interacting with your readership. I’d like to get a chance to chat with her in-depth in the future. I have to admit, it must be very cool to be in her class and know that she is an author. I wish I’d had a teacher like her when I was in school.
Another great workshop I attended was the early morning Speculative Fiction Write-In. It was the first thing on Sunday morning, so naturally, it drew a smaller than usual crowd. The intimacy was nice, though. Since it was upstairs away from the main events it was also a nice, quiet breather. I have always found short stories to be impossible. I simply couldn’t write them. The things I wrote always turned into novels or even epic series length. However, there are so many more avenues with regards to short stories and I have yearned to partake. We did some writing prompts and chatted throughout the workshop. In the midst of it all, it dawned on me, there had been a story I had struggled to outline completely as a novel. Perhaps it wasn’t in need of time to ferment. Maybe it was better suited to being a short story. Then it occurred to me that it may even be a good piece to submit to Engen’s next short story compilation!
The workshop was run by con regular Jennifer Konieczny. Her husband, Andrew, was in attendance as well. The fun part about going to conventions is that you eventually get to know the people that go to the same things you do. You learn that you share similar interests and all sorts of avenues can open up. I got a lot out of this workshop, far more than the resting time-out I had been expecting. It opened a new door for me, helped me to get to know some more writers and publishing buffs, and gave me some short stories to complete.
Charles O’Keefe ran the last panel/workshop of the weekend. I managed to speak with him briefly at his table. We also discussed short stories. I admitted to him that I was in awe of anyone who could manage to create a short story, and he was happy to explain his views and process to me. He helped to set the stage for my personal breakthrough with short stories by assuaging my fears and issues with my stiff definition of what a short story ought to be.
His panel was also a great place for meeting fellow writers and writing enthusiasts. By this point in the weekend, we recognized each other from all the other panels and events we had attended together and exchanged backgrounds and stories. With a little friendliness, you can discover writers that have yet to sell from tables. I met a young woman who was about to launch her first novel online in a couple weeks (which reminds me, I have to search it out). I’ll definitely post about it here once I find it available. Again, I was excited and inspired to meet someone at this stage of the journey.
Charles presented a very warm and welcoming panel to those who write but are standing off from going further, or are deterred by the obstacles. I think it would have been beneficial to more folks earlier in the convention. I hope his presentation is made more available by being earlier at another con. I understand it’s a lot of work to organize the schedules and someone has to close out the weekend.
Overall, Scifi on the Rock did another wonderful job. Their work in supporting and helping the local authors, as well as welcoming such a large representation for genre fiction, in my opinion, makes them a champion of the community. I look forward to seeing the relationship grow and have hope for such future growth. I hear ‘word that other conventions in the province are beginning to add more weight to the literary side of fandom as well. I can’t wait to see where the community goes from here. It definitely gives me hope that I never expected to find when I returned from Toronto several years back.
While I am still completing my con wrap-up post, I wanted to let you know of another update.
Last night Telekinetic was updated with an extra tale that fits in just after Chapter 1 of Kinetic. It’s a bit of behind the scenes on what happened some time after the testing along with extra background on the family. It edges right up against the real secrets in the family. Can you guess?
Did you know I’m a fan of tabletop gaming? I’ve participated in Dungeons and dragons in college and with my lifelong friends. I also played dungeon world with my friends when we did a regular board games night for a year. Now we play Ryuutama on Roll20 since we all live in different countries.
I’ve participated in Dungeons and Dragons in college and with my lifelong friends. I also played Dungeon World with my friends when we did a regular board games night for a year. Now we play Ryuutama on Roll20 since we live in different countries.
This is a sketch from our last game. My hunter Yve, plotting to destroy all Neko Goblins. No mercy, Yve.
So it turns out that chapter two was set to private. I discovered with Wattpad there is a silly little rule that once you select private, it will always be private. For them, private means only your followers can have access. I suppose that’s fine enough for readership rewards, but not for my current plans.