Orycon 40!

Just finishing up Orycon, the Oregon science fiction convention that we go to every year, down in Portland. Have had a marvelous time.

Was on five panels this year. The first was one we just volunteered for – they needed more people for the “Publishing Co-op or Small Press?” panel. Blaze talked of a third alternative, BundleRabbit – where you have a group of writers all invested in a single project and doing cooperative marketing.

My first official panel was “How I Marketed my Novel.” As there wasn’t a moderator, I volunteered to keep the panel running and on topic. The marvelous Frog Jones was there. He does things differently than Blaze and I do, so it was great to have an alternative opinion there. I wish him the best of luck on his anthology, “Well, It’s Your Cow.

On Saturday, my first panel was “Where do your crazy ideas come from?” Again, no moderator so I volunteered. I polled the audience, asking whether they wanted to hear how writers generated ideas versus war stories of crazy ideas. The audience really wanted ideas about generating ideas, so I kept the panel focused on that, with a few war stories thrown in.

Next, I was on “Are you doomed by your muse?” supremely moderated by Jennifer Brozek. She did a fantastic job directing the panel, asking questions, leading the conversation. It was a good panel with interesting panelists with lots to say. I really liked how Jennifer ended the panel, asking the panelists where they’d be next and where the audience could find them. I will have to start incorporating that into my closing statements and asking panelists that when I moderate.

My final panel was one that I suggested and was moderating, “Welcome to WordPress.” I had created a handout beforehand because I’m like that. It listed definitions of some terms, as well as lists of suggested web hosts, plugins, etc.

I will admit that I made a mistake and confused WordPress.com with WordPress.org. It is confusing, because you don’t want WordPress.com hosting your site, however, you will still need a WordPress.com login because of Jetpack, another plugin. Thank you to the attendees who took the time to email me! I’ve corrected it in the handout. (Will post a link to it in the comments, just be warned that it will disappear by the end of the month. This sort of information is always changing and the page will be out of date quickly, so I don’t want to leave it up.)

Then on Sunday, I had a reading scheduled. About half a dozen people showed up, which surprised me, and made me incredibly thankful as well.

However, I gave the audience a choice – did they really want to hear me read? Or did we want to discuss business for half an hour? The people there wanted to talk business instead, which I found gratifying.

Next year, if I can, I’ll set up a coffee klatche instead of a reading so that I can do the same. I find it much more interesting, personally.

In between panels there were meals with friends, parties, good hallway conversations, more learning and teaching. Plus, Sunday night we got together with some friends and talked even more business.

In many ways, this was one of the better cons I’d gone to in a while. Much of that was due to the fact that I’m now SO MUCH HEALTHIER than I’ve been in the past.

I’m not completely exhausted today. I’m not wiped out and looking at a week to recover. Instead, I’m a little tired, and I may take a nap this afternoon, or I may not. I actually woke up this morning thinking about the novel (still.) I actually wrote this weekend, on both Friday morning and Saturday morning, and I don’t usually write at a con.

I was not compliant with the diet this weekend. I didn’t go too crazy, but I did have sugar as well as extra carbs. It’s kind of amazing to me that I’m fine this morning. Not even inflamed. Will get back on it tomorrow (went out to eat for lunch today and chose to have a salad that has dried fruit and candied walnuts in it.)

On the drive back this morning I realized that I’m so happy. I’m content with where I’ve been and SO EXCITED about the things coming up. Life is good.

I hope that your Monday is going exceedingly well!

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