Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Update Part 2

I had a great time at Pure Speculation, which I attended on the Friday night and Saturday. Many of my fellow Cultists were there, including Barb Geiger who now lives in southern Alberta, and who graciously agreed to give me some feedback on the horses in the book* I'm working on.

(*Speaking of the book, I wrote the first draft of it as my NaNoWriMo project last year, but this year I am not signing up for NaNo because I want to keep working on it rather than shifting gears to a new project for a month. I am getting really hopeful that this will be the second novel I finally finish!)

I had a chance to catch up with some non-cult friends as well, and my brother Ian. I don't see that much of him these days, but he is arguably even geekier than me*, and was there covering the convention for the website.

(*My husband told me, after outscoring me on a geekiness quiz, that the problem was that some of the geeky things I was interested in were just too far out in left field to have made it onto the questionaire, while he was unfairly marked up for computer knowledge that he only had because of his job.)

The panels were very interesting, although I think I am becoming something of a dinosaur before my time because I kept wishing panelists would just talk to me instead of fussing around with multimedia. At least Judith Graves, an up-and-coming writer of paranormal young adult fiction, thought to bring speakers. My hearing is good enough for general purposes, but understanding a clip played across the room on somebody's laptop is way beyond me. I was impressed with the GoH, Tanya Huff, and think I will be checking out one of her books soon. (She did not bring any multimedia stuff. At least not that I saw.)

Speaking of books, I added a couple books to my LibraryThing page last week. One was Tolkein's Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, which I enjoyed a great deal. I have always felt a bit disconnected with Norse myths and legends, but this book really managed to get me excited about them. I especially enjoyed all the background material. As a storyteller, I have often gone through the process of putting together a version of a story that I find satisfying, and it was fascinating to see how Tolkein had done the same thing. His great knowledge of and appreciation for the source material was obvious, and contagious.

I also added Dance of Knives, which I labelled at the time as 'currently reading.' Luckily, I don't have to update that yet because I have started reading it a second time. It is one of those books where you discover further in that what was going on back at the start wasn't quite what you thought. I also found that my sense of time in the book seemed to be distorted by the fact that I read the first third or so over several days, and the remainder in about a day and a half. It was not a confusing book, but definitely complex, and I enjoyed it so much that I have been thinking about the story a great deal and really wanting it straight in my head. I already flipped back to re-read a couple sections, and finally just decided to take it from the top.

The book has a common element with the one I am working on*: a character that has been isolated from physical contact with others. The characters are otherwise completely different, and the isolation is for completely different reasons, but the portrayal of her character has certainly made me think a bit about how I am handling my own.

(*There you go. I'm actually talking about my writing on my 'writer's blog.' Must be getting braver!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Update

I have a bit of time before heading over to Pure Speculation, and thought I would quickly post a bit about other things going on right now.

I will be telling nasty, awful, scary stories at Spooktacular again this year, on the 29th and 30th. I don't have any new stories, but am looking forward to spending a couple evenings with Marie Anne and the other tellers. I'm not sure who will be there exactly, but I am hoping David Haas will be back. His renditions of Ambrose Bierce stories last year were fascinating. And of course it would be great to see Jennie Frost too.

My husband, kids, and I took a trip down to Calgary about a week ago and visited Sentry Box. They do still have my book in stock, and I really appreciate their support! I bought two books there. One was The Stars as Seen from this Particular Angle of Night, which is an anthology of speculative poetry that I haven't finished reading yet, but am very much enjoying. The other was Dance of Knives by Donna McMahon, which I have finished, and which I thought was wonderful. I will be reading the second book in the series as soon as I get my hands on a copy. (Too bad Sentry Box is three hours away. . .)

I wrote a little article on homeschooling for the SHiNE (Society for the Homeschooled Network of Edmonton; no the 'i' doesn't stand for anything) newsletter, but used Jennifer Kennedy for my byline since I meet these people socially and want them to put a face to the name. It is a very dull article really, about scheduling in different subjects, but I figured it could be classed as writing news.

Time to be on my way. I'll try to post something about Pure Spec soon.