As this post appears, I’m throwing the last of my stuff in a suitcase and heading out to catch a flight to Madison, Wisconsin, for my annual trip to WisCon.
Writers go to science fiction cons to meet their fans, network with agents and editors, and hang out with other writers. But I suspect I’d go to WisCon even if I didn’t write, because it gives me something that I never get enough of in my life: Great conversations. Some of these conversations start with panels; others come from chance encounters in the hall or sitting down next to someone at a party.
I’m talking about conversations about ideas. Good gossip and the occasional political rant are fine, but what I hunger for is a good meaty discussion that changes the way I look at the world. I never get enough of those.
Sherwood had an interesting post about wit earlier in the week, in which she made this observation:
The old art of conversation seems as rare as that Classical education. People seldom gather to talk, either as friends or when courting–they get together and do things, whether it’s watch the tube together, go to sports events together, or go shopping just to be doing something.
When I read it, I realized why it is my favorite form of socializing is to go to dinner with one friend at a time. I like to sit down and have a conversation.
This is also why my favorite sporting event is baseball — there’s plenty of time to talk between pitches and innings. But I digress.
I try on this blog to come up with ideas that would make good conversation starters. And in looking at my WisCon schedule, I suddenly realized that the things I’m doing at WisCon are directly related to the two subjects I’ve been primarily blogging about over the past year: Warriorship, and the changing world of publishing.
On Saturday night, at 10:30 PM (an hour that really should be reserved for drinking at parties), I’m doing a panel called Internet Publishing: The Graduate Seminar. Obviously I’m going to talk about Book View Cafe, but I’ll also work in some of the ideas that I’ve covered in the Brave New (Writing) World series of posts.
Sunday morning, at 8:30 AM (an hour I consider unholy, even if it is Sunday) I’m doing a presentation called “A Path to Ending Women’s Fear of Men,” which is about self defense, warriorship, and stories about women warriors. To make sure we don’t all stay in that early morning fog, it’ll even include a little bit of physical movement.
And of course, I’m also reading with my fellow members of Book View Cafe — that’s on Sunday afternoon at 1 PM, in the bar at the Inn on the Park hotel. Fiction, after all, is what we do here on Book View Cafe. I’ll be reading from a story that’ll be out in September on Futurismic. Come to think of it, it’s got warriors in it and I’m publishing it online. Everything really is connected.
Nancy Jane’s novella, Changeling, is now being serialized on Book View Cafe. You can start at Chapter 1 here; a new chapter will be posted every Sunday. An e-book edition of the whole book will soon be available for a modest price.