Posts Tagged Balticon

Report from Balticon

It would be entirely too easy for me to write a nice long woe-is-me post regarding my experiences with doing one day of Balticon.  However, I’m trying to avoid woe-is-me posts, because I don’t like reading them when other people do them, so instead I’m just going to do some lessons learned.

Lesson one.  One day is not enough to do a convention.  Sure, it lets you attend some panels and wander around the dealers room, but it means you’re there as a casual fan rather than someone who is serious about getting some networking done.  The two big problems?  Networking largely happens after hours, and an hour spent in a panel is an hour where you’re not getting to talk with people.

Lesson two.  If you can’t network, stick with people who can.  It’s an art, it’s a skill, it’s not something everyone was born to do, or can even learn to do.  That’s why having friends who are better at it than you can be a benefit.  Though remember, they’re often trying to do some networking as well, so don’t cramp their style.  But don’t be completely out of touch either.  Networking is about knowing people who know people, and anyone you know at a convention who you’re not staying in at least some contact with while there is an opportunity lost.

Lesson three.  Plot ideas can come out of the strangest panels.  Deep brain stimulation.  It’s like hooking a pacemaker up to the brain, and is being explored as a possible treatment for depression that isn’t responding to typical treatments.  Oh yes, there’s a hell of a plotline there that’s churning over in my head.  Hopefully that alone will end up worth the price of the one day admission.

So next year?  I’ll probably do Balticon again, with the unquestionable goal of doing it better.

Tomorrow is June 1, so look for State of the Writer, and the day after is a Fortnightcap day.

, , , ,

No Comments

Comments and Balticon

Some administrative notes.

First: I have scaled back the tight grip that I held on comments.  I had a few blogs that descended into spam, so I’ve likely over reacted in the way I hate when other people do it (punish a few by making things nearly impossible for everyone).  Akismet is patrolling, and into every blog a little spam will fall.  Hopefully it doesn’t go too crazy.  (I’m also hoping that by saying spam three times, this is where they’ll land, spambots are weird that way).

Second: I’m going to be hitting Balticon on Saturday.  It’ll be my first time at a con with my writing name, rather than my regular name, on my badge.  Find me!  Ask me for a networking card!  Gawk at how many times my fantastic wife was able to get “DL” and “Thurston” onto a 3″x5″ piece of card stock (hint: 5 and 4).

Third: The Rust experiment has been closed.  I love the story, I love the book, I love that it taught me I could write novel-length fiction.  I love that anyone supported it.  But it is what it is: written quickly by a novice, edited by an amateur, and slung together into ePub formats by someone who was learning as he went.  Going forward, it’s not what I want to be the face of my fiction.  I thank everyone who read it, even (hell: especially) the guy who gave it two stars on Amazon.  He taught me I’ve reached a point where I can let negative critiques roll off my back and just keep right on going.  There’s a time where that wasn’t true.  To everyone who read it and liked it, I’m thrilled, for everyone who read it and didn’t, thanks for at least giving me a try.  One day it might be back in some format, but I can’t say when or how.

That is all.

, , , , ,

No Comments

The year that wasn’t, the year that will be

Over on Unleaded, I took a look ahead at 2011 today.  So here I’m going to take a look back on 2010.

I had two main goals this past year.  I wanted to get Capsule finished by Balticon, and I wanted to start the search for literary representation.  Unfortunately as many who know me are aware, this ended up being the year that I battled a few months of health issues in the form of a rather drawn out case of GERD.  It created a lot of insomnia, which left me tired, and which in the end left me not writing.  By the time I started feeling better my momentum on Capsule was dead in the water, and I’m still trying to get it back now, almost exactly a year after the condition started.

So yeah.  Cry cry cry woe is me.  I recognize that I failed to meet a lot of my 2010 goals, and I can blame that on anything I want and look back in despair, or I can look ahead to 2011 and what I hope to accomplish.  For this purpose, I have outlined a set of four goals that I hope aren’t too lofty, but are still enough of a stretch that I have to work at achieving them.

1)  Finish the first draft of Capsule.  I could give myself any number of deadlines for this.  Balticon, Capclave, Ravencon, but really I’ll be happy if by this time next year I’ve started the editing process.  I don’t want to rush it, but I don’t want the momentum to carry me into the doldrums any further than it already has.

2)  Have at least three short stories out for consideration at all times.  I currently have four that I really consider submission ready: Sleep, Rustler, Div 0, and Queen of Belmeth.  With the Queen getting passed over for the Commonplace Book of Lovecraft, that mean I currently have just two stories out.  This goal includes having more stories that I feel could be submitted as well as keeping a constant eye on target markets for those stories.  I can’t sell any story that I don’t actively try to sell, and I need to be a hell of a lot better about that than I currently am.

3)  Find at least six anthologies that I would have to write a story for scratch for, and do so.  I’m going to count Primogeniture as the first of those six, because it’s my goal, damn it, and I can do what I want with it.  There are several that have already come and gone that I meant to work up stories for.  Historical Lovecraft’s deadline is just 5 days away, too soon for me to finish anything at this point, and that upsets me.  Plus this will help my goal #2.

4)  Start my Fortnight Caps project.  This will be a every-other-week posting of a flash piece, either one that I’ve already written or one that I’m freshly inspired to write, here on the blog.  It’s an effort to increase eyeballs and maybe, just maybe, my profile as a writer.  Even if just a tiny bit.

An ancillary goal that needs to be included with both #2 and #3 is to better track where my short stories are and have been.  I realized the other day I couldn’t remember the name of the audio anthology I’d sent Sleep off to, for example.  That’s something I really should be able to look up.  Also, I’m going to stop using my Hotmail to send submissions and switch over to my @DLThurston.com email addresses.

So best of luck to everyone with the new year, with your writing if you choose to write, or any other venture you choose to undertake.

, , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

%d bloggers like this: