Month: August 2010

ArmadilloCon Wrap-up

As I mentioned in my previous post, this past weekend was ArmadilloCon here in Austin.  After three days of hanging out with published authors, not-yet-published authors, and fans, I can definitely say this:  These are my people and my people are weird.  Falling into both the software engineering and writing worlds myself, I am somewhat of an authority on weird, so take my word for it.  :)

Friday was the Writers’ Workshop.  Before the workshop started, I sat and talked to Rachel Caine for probably ten minutes before I introduced myself.  When she said her name was Rachel, it finally clicked on why she looked familiar–she was the guest of honor.  I then had that “I’m sitting next to someone famous” moment, but she was very cool when I turned all fangirl on her for a couple minutes.  I’ve read the first two books in her YA Morganville Vampire series and they were fun, fast reads.

The writers’ workshop was awesome.  There were four other aspiring authors in my group, and the group was led by Gordon and Ilona Andrews.  Gordon and Ilona are very nice, very cool people.  They gave me great feedback on the story I submitted.  Some of it was critical, but it’s what I needed to hear to be able to see the story through their eyes.  They also said some very, very nice things about my ability, so that was awesome.  I even got a mini shout-out on their blog.  The Jessie in the second paragraph… totally me.  ::dies::

Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday were mostly panels.  I took a bunch of notes but haven’t even started to process everything yet.  All I know is that my To Be Read list just got a whole lot longer.  The con was smallish, but it was a nice size because it felt intimate, like a group of friends getting together to talk books.  I guess I was basing my perspective on A-Kon, which is freaking huge, but I was expecting more people.

Sunday afternoon, thanks to the urging of the greatest husband on the planet, we got to hang out and have a drink with Gordon, Ilona, their friend Reece, and Stina Leicht (who also organized the workshop).  I totally wouldn’t have went over to talk to Gordon without Dustin’s urging, because I never want to be “that girl” that bothers people.  That fear coupled with my seriously introverted nature almost guarantees I avoid talking to strangers, almost-strangers, and especially almost-strangers-that-I-really-admire.   However, Dustin talked me into it, and I compromised by saying I’d just go say thank you and then leave.  A couple hours of chatting later, I realized it was getting late and we really should leave this time.  It was amazing!

Terrified + Excited = Terricited?

At the end of the month, I’m attending a writers’ workshop at ArmadilloCon with Whitney.  I submitted a short story that barely squeaked under the 5,000 word limit.  It was based on Day Thirteen of my Days of Genius.  Thirteen is my lucky number.  I think it helped me out.

When I emailed my submission, I very politely asked to be in a group with Whitney. Then, I ultra politely asked to be in a group led by one of my favorite authors, Ilona Andrews.

I was told that I might be able to be grouped with Whitney, but that all guest of honor groups were chosen by a jury process. I didn’t think anything of it and figured it hadn’t hurt to ask. At least Whitney and I might be grouped together.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email a couple days ago, letting me know I was in Ilona and Gordon’s group. I almost died. I don’t know if it’s because I asked politely or because my story was good (or bad?) enough, but I’m now a combination of excited and terrified.

I was already slightly worried about the critiques, as this will be my debut sharing my work with people who aren’t friends (or the few people who read the blog), but now an author whose writing I totally adore is going to be reading my story.  Gah!  ::breathes in a bag::

The good news is that I get to read the stories/first chapters of the four other people in my group.  I’m super excited to see where their imagination takes mine, because the scifi/fantasy world is so varied.