Thursday, November 1, 2012

World Fantasy 2012: Day One

Last year I attended my first professional writers' conference. I had noticed author Sean Williams post that he'd bought a ticket to San Diego for World Fantasy. I'd heard of both World Fantasy and World Con, but didn't know much about them. I couldn't pass up the chance to attend a major conference in my own backyard, so I picked up a ticket in January for the con in October. Good thing I did, too, because with Neil Gaiman as guest of honor, it sold out quickly. It was--hands down--one of the best weekends of my life. It was like the names on my father's bookshelf had come to life. I not only met dozens of fascinating people--including my now dear friends John Perkins and Todd Lockwood--the theme had been Sailing the Seas of Imagination. Panels involved developing underwater cultures, monsters and conflicts, which enthralled my marine biologist to no end.

My brain has been buried under non-creative pressures for the last few months. Just the idea of coming to another World Fantasy jump-started my imagination on the flight here and I'm looking forward to the familiar rush of energy I get after any writers' con. This year's theme is Northern Gothic and Urban Fantasy and includes some of my favorite authors, Charles de Lint, Scott Lynch and Mercedes Lackey.

Last year's World Fantasy had such a profound effect on me, though, that I've had a hard time keeping my expectations in check. I want this experience to be whatever it needs to be.

Todd Lockwood and me at World Fantasy 2011
My flight arrived around 9 (6 SD time) last night. A woman sitting behind me on the plane was wearing a World Fantasy shirt from 2011 so I asked her if she and her husband knew how to get to the hotel. Turns out she had been the board chair for WF in San Diego (and is involved with Condor, Conjecture and a number of other conventions in SD John has been telling me about). The three of us shared a cab to the hotel and had a wonderful conversation. I'm looking forward to plugging into the local con scene and, perhaps, getting my feet wet on some panels.

I checked into the Best Western and headed down to the bar (of course), where Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, L.E. Modesitt, Sean Williams and Garth Nix were milling about. Todd and I closed out the bar talking about life, the universe and everything (not difficult to do since we're both on West Coast time), then crashed.

My friend Mary Thompson, who you may know as the cofounder of the Eclipse Writers' Group, is now a full time author living in New York. She arrives later this morning. Though I've been following her success, we've only seen each other once in the last few years, so it will be great to catch up. She even has a reading for her new book this afternoon.

Time to check in and grab some food.

To be continued...


Additional photos of WFC 2012 can be found here.

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