This year at FenCon I took the lyric writing workshop held by Bill and Brenda Sutton. I have been wanting to explore songwriting for a while, but as I have no musical background or experience, that had to wait. FenCon offered the perfect opportunity to get into writing lyrics, which are similar to writing poetry but with cool things like refrains and bridges. None of which I actually used in my finished song, as you will see.

The class brainstormed an idea — Vikings — and concepts and then with a bit of background information we were sent forth to create. The idea was to return the same time the next day with a refrain, or a bridge, or a lyric or two.

Y’all, there are some talented people out there. Maybe the songs were imperfect, but they had lines of true beauty or comedy, depending. So here’s mine (and as always, all words copyright Patrice Sarath):

Gray is the whale road, Cold is the sea,

Brave is my lady, Handfast to me.

Eager the longships, Icy the sails,

Stiff is the scabbard, Heavy the mail.

None can withstand us. They flee when we come,

Our swords bite and render, To the ominous drums.

Dark is the shaman, Who curses my line,

Cold is the shudder, That runs up my spine.

Blazing the starlight, Black are the waves,

Uneasy the Viking, Who sails to his grave.

Grey is the whale road, Grey is the sea.

Cold is my lady, ‘Twas handfast to me.

My FenCon Schedule

I will be at FenCon in Dallas on 2015.

I will be autographing at 5 pm on Friday, and reading at 6:30 pm that evening. I will happily bribe all listeners who come to my reading with chocolates and other goodies. And I’ll sign autographs at any time; just ask.

On Saturday, I will be on the Fantasy Trends panel at 2 pm in Trinity V (ooh, Trinity), on the Crossing Genres panel at 5 pm in Chinaberry, and the I Survived the Apocalypse panel at 7:30  in Red Oak.

Nothing on Sunday. Looks like a fantastic convention and I’m looking forward to it, to seeing friends and hanging out, and fanning deliriously over S.M. Stirling. I will have a couple of books for him to sign — The Change anthology, and his latest, The Desert and the Blade.

Of all the visions of apocalypse that sf writers have been conjuring over the decades, his is the most appealing, to be honest. Brutal yet hopeful, optimistic without being rosy,altogether ripping yarns, and the glimpses of the world existing outside of the main characters’ experience give it a full immersion experience. Compared to the sensationalism of Game of Thrones, for instance, or the seams-showing machinations of The Hunger Games, Stirling’s Emberverse as the series is officially called works on a lot of levels. It’s deeply satisfying.

So. That’s in a couple of weeks. I’m flying up from Austin this time, rather than driving. The reason being that the con hotel is at the airport this year, making the drive even more arduous than usual (DFW is on the other side of Dallas from Austin). I hate arriving at cons all travel-jagged and unhappy from driving, and the drive home takes forever.