Wednesday, 23 April 2014

You, sir, are a rumplefyke.

It was Eastercon at the weekend and, before the happy memories fade, I'll try to get a few of them down.

1) Being very busy.
      This was certainly one of the most jam-packed conventions I've been to. There were many points on the programme where I would have happily gone to multiple items. I missed things like the Falsetto Socks and my dinner because there was simply to much good stuff on.
       Thanks to all who organised and ran items.

2) Running things.
      I ran items. More than I've run since Confounding Tales. They were something stupid involving flying Mars Bars, something stupid involving a spinning torch and impossible questions and something stupid involving Thirties serials. The last was referred to on Twitter as "the most random thing I've been to all week" which I take as a compliment.

3) Writerly things.
      I spent a large part of the weekend at the "Writer's table" in the main bar. Talking too much to some and not enough to others. But boring them all. It was great fun and I thank them all for putting up with me. But I also put myself out there under the name of writer.
    This happened in two ways. Firstly, in a fit of drink fuelled pique I signed up for the open mic reading on Saturday night. Then, on seeing the calibre of people on it, panicked. But I overcame my fear, read a bit from Maukit and had some nice feedback afterwards. So thanks to those there, sorry if it wasn't your thing and apologies to anyone who wanted to come but I didn't tell out of fear.
  The second way was that, just before the con, Christine mailed me to say she needed a space on a quiz filled. I said yes without thinking and so, on Monday lunchtime, was on a team of Writers against a team of Scientists. The other writers were John Meaney, Charlie Stross and Juliet McKenna making me a quivering mess at the introductions. I declared myself a fraud and hid behind the laughter.
    Other than that the quiz went not badly and I helped keep the team in the hunt even if we eventually lost.
   As karmic balance to this proclamation of writer-ness I did get two rejections over the weekend so I'm not doing that again.

4) Beer Humphing
     Sha, my bidey in, was in charge of supplying the beer for the weekend. She did an excellent job of it but I did find myself lifting more barrels of beer than is normal in a weekend.

5) Books
      I picked up plenty of books but of note were La Femme, an anthology from Newcon, The Moon King by Neil Williamson and Hal Duncan's collection, Scruffians. Looking forward to them all.

All in it was a cracker of a convention and a fitting marker to the, I've just realised, twenty years of cons I have now been going to since Albacon '94.
Thanks to all involved. I am now really looking forward to Worldcon in August.

Incidentally, I learned the best insult on Sunday night. It is an old Scots word which Andrew J. Wilson taught us and is rumplefyke, an itchy bum. I will treasure it.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Eastercon Of Doing Things

It has been a while since I last posted and, with Eastercon fast gambolling towards me I felt I really ought to do an update.

Not much to say on the writing front. Much writing is ongoing but no new acceptances. I am building up a nice pile of stories which are either out for consideration or awaiting a fresh tweak after a rejection which hopefully means that I can build a momentum behind me.

The one writing type item of note was that last week Caledonia Dreamin' had a launch/pimping session at The Dick Institute in Kilmarnock, where Chris Kelso, one of the editors, works. It was a very nice wee night with the all important free wine and where I did my first public reading. A very nerve wracking five minutes where I read out the first few sections of my wee story and, I'm pleased to say, no one complained.

Next up on the horizon is Eastercon, which this year is in Glasgow. This makes it much easier to get to but also means I have fallen into the trap of volunteering to do things. Especially foolish as they appear to have pulled together a good programme with plenty I would have enjoyed going to.
Satellite 4 Eastercon Programme

Myself I am running three daft things, Mars Attacks on Friday evening (opposite a Women in Science and Writer's Group panels I would like to see), Spin The Pulsar (opposite a Guest of Honour talk) and How do the get out of that? on the Sunday evening (opposite the BSFA awards and a cocktail tasting).
I also hope to attend the Newcon Book (opposite an interesting sounding panel on Sherlock Holmes) launch to celebrate several people getting published (and cadge free wine) and Planet Scotland (opposite the Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre) a reading by some local writers of note.

I may also go to the bar.

This is more planning in advance of an Eastercon than I have done in quite some time and hopefully indicative of a fine convention.

Anyhoos, I hope I shall post again soon, and not about conservatory maintenance woes. Perhaps I will see you in the Eastercon bar. Drink the Real Ale, it is lovely.