This past weekend I had the honor of being a guest at Capclave, DC area science fiction and fantasy literary convention run by the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) (pronounced wuss-fah). I like to hold the fah for an uncomfortably long time during conversation with strangers.
The highlight of the weekend was George R.R. Martin, of course. Who am I to disagree? I mean huge throngs of people were there solely to see him thanks to local news coverage and an io9 article. It’s cool.. Actually, I didn’t do much Martin flavored activity. I enjoy Game of Thrones tv series and the books are high on my “to read” list but have not yet crested the coveted top spot known I refer to as “the book I read right now even if my leg is on fire” and is currently holding Harry Potter IV: A New Hope.
I’m Martin-curious and decided that the Martin-obsessives should have first crack at the space in his readings and signings and meandering talks. Besides, I might have had to raise my hand and ask about Lost. As you might know, in the ongoing war between Damon Lindelof and Mr. Martin concerning the final episode of Lost, I follow General Lindelof in our hopeless battle to convince people to watch the show.
Still, I like what I’ve read of his work and kind of wish I’d pushed a little harder to get in that line. But what I really want to stress is that as much fun the novelty of shaking hands with a literary rock star would have been, hearing authors and publishers like Steven H. Wilson, Judi Fleming, and Jean Marie Ward tell “how I did it” stories about crafting characterization, indie publishing, and shoe choice.
I walked out of a panel on dragons excited to read a book someone else had written about dragons for the first time in years. I love dragons but I’d tired of them and it’s always been hard for me to top these old Laurence Yep and Patricia Wrede books I’d read as a child. Besides myself, the panel had Iver Cooper, Mariannce Mancusi, James Maxy, and Lawrence Watt-Evans all with very detailed opinions on what the dragon has been throughout history and can be today in fiction- and in genetic engineering.
When I walk in to a convention, I know the thing I want more than anything is to walk out inspired. If I meet cool people, learn cool stuff, and maybe make a few literary contacts or get a new listener to the podcast, that’s great, but the inspiration is why I go to cons. At Capclave, all of that happened. I quite enjoyed myself. Now comes the fun part, when I have to take the inspiration, sit down, and put it to use.