This was a very busy convention, busier than I remember from last year. I felt like I was counterprogrammed against a lot of cool panels, which is a sign of a well–programmed convention.
A lot of it is already a blur that first night, what with meeting friends, enjoying a first swing through the dealer and art rooms, and dinner in the bar. My first panel was on “What they didn’t know then we know now,” or what predictions science fiction writers failed to make. Interesting discussion, and I discovered there were two people in the audience who had read the same obscure Ann McCaffrey anthology as I had (Get Off The Unicorn, if you are interested). The panel went into Heinlein a lot. We could have gone all night; well, other people could have gone all night. I was in bed by midnight.
Up early the next morning for the writers workshop. Everyone gave and received excellent feedback on their stories. I think the workshoppers got a lot out of it.
The other writing panel I was on, Writers Boot Camp, or No Excuses! Panel, was also a blast. We talked about how to make room for writing in your life by making it a priority, not an afterthought. A lot of it is time management as well as managing the expectations of the people around you, who may not understand how important your work is. Good stuff for everyone to think about.
I was on the Civil Rights panel as well, but these never get as in-depth as they should and I can’t help but feel we’re asking (and answering) the wrong questions.
Plenty of fun at the masquerade, lots of excellent parties as well. I got to catch up with Kimberly Frost, my partner in Robert Earl Keen appreciation (and an all around fun person and talented writer), and it was over all too quickly.
By the way, driving home there was a massive traffic jam on 290, but I managed to make a U-turn and go out 21 through Bastrop and thence home. Wow, that was a pretty drive. Even though it takes me out of my way, I may go that way all the time. It’s a lovely drive, through tree-lined streets that hardly feel like Texas at all.