Monday, March 31, 2008

Ad Astra

A fun event every year, this weekend was no exception. There were some excellent panels, a few book launches, and lots of advice and encouragement for the aspiring writer.

Kevin J. Anderson, as a guest of honour, had some ideas I thought were great. The man writes a prodigious amount and now I know how he does it. He goes for a hike and dictates each chapter into a recorder. Why didn't I think of that? I love walking and I find it helps me get ideas. The problem is remembering the ideas when I get home or writing the passage out while the scene is progressing in my head. Either way, I always lose a lot of what I have come up with. But as I can think and speak much faster than I can type or write... The problem of course is you then have to transcribe it, or pay someone else to. Still, I think it's worth a try. If it helps me write more and get exercise and fresh air at the same time it's worth the experimentation.

Saturday night I forwent listening to the Filk in order to sit with Tony Pi (an aurora nominee and WotF contest winner) and Jim Hines (author of Goblin Quest, Hero and War) whom I met at Ad Astra last year. As the night wore on we were joined by Rob St. Martin (who sold his first story to the anthology Misspelled). A little later Stephen Kotowych (last year's WotF grand prize winner and a current aurora nominee) and Michael McPherson (who has published several short stories). Not long after that, Rob left and Kevin J. Anderson took his chair! He reached over the table to shake Michael's hand and accidently knocked over an empty wineglass, which shattered and shot glass everywhere. (One of those things you'll never forget, simply because of the privilege of being in such company.) After the glass was cleaned up we chatted about various things and were joined by Robert J. Sawyer and Carolyn Clink (a poet and editor). Unfortunately I had to leave around 11pm. Still, it was quite something to be sitting and listening to two top SF authors and several new talents discuss the field.

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