Travels and Triumphs

My travels so far this year have been mostly writing-related. I’m incredibly grateful to have a community of support around me, encouraging me to create.

I attended Rainforest Writers’ Village for the seventh(!) year in a row this February. I managed to finish a bothersome short story draft, revise two stories, AND I made a brainy breakthrough on a third story with which I’ve been struggling. Nancy Kress presented a great talk on endings, which gave me food for writerly thought. A lovely snowfall graced the second day of the retreat. But for me, the feature was the chance to spend time with wonderful people, like these folks.

For the month of March, I’m pleased to report my first-ever visit to FogCon (Friends of Genre), and what a welcoming, inclusive experience it was. FogCon is by far the most intentionally accessible writers’ convention I’ve attended. Kudos to the organizers! The theme of this year’s gathering was “Interstitial Spaces.” I stretched myself professionally and volunteered to moderate a panel (“The Gaze”), an opportunity that provided space for an excellent conversation about what all of us could be doing better as writers in genre. I owe a huge thank you to panelists Emily Jiang, Ian K. Hagemann, Guy W. Thomas and Montse Cordero for sharing their insights. I also attended a few thought-provoking panels (“Writing Between Genres,” “Looking Forward/Looking in the Mirror,” “The Writer as Resistor”) and took copious notes that I hope to share in later posts.

The best part of FogCon for me was being comfortable in my own skin as a writer, stepping out in a way that maximized my “extroverted-introvert” personality and energy. In case you’re wondering, moderating a panel (and all the social interaction of con-going generally) can be exhausting. Modulating between high levels of interaction and napping worked well for me, and the relative intimacy of the convention and its cozy hotel made that possible.

A lovely con overall. Also, karaoke.

In short, if you haven’t considered Rainforest Writers’ Village or FogCon, I can’t recommend them enough. Both offer small group opportunities and great community.