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When at Wiscon, do as the Wisconians do

Day Two, the Panels

The first panel I attended at Wiscon was... well, it was... *sigh* Boring. It was boring, okay? All of the members of the panel seemed like nice people, but only two of the four were *interesting* people, at least in that context. I took notes on the subject of "Women Authors You Probably Never Heard Of (But Should Read!)" but wasn't particularly moved to dive into reading any of the ones I'd never heard of. I began to worry about the next panel I was planning to attend, since it was a similar topic.

I ran out of there as soon as it ended and took a walk to the Farmers' Market for lunch, and found a cheese-laden empanada from Stella's Bakery, an individual-sized version of their cheesy bread. When I got back to the hotel, I discovered that fullygoldy had been looking for me, since there were some earrings she thought I'd like in the dealers' room. She was right! There were some excellent dangly bead earrings at one table. I was more blown away by the pendants and some nearby necklaces, though, because they were beyond my ability to make myself. That's a telling thing about my personality right there. If it's something I can do myself, it's no big deal. If it's something I *can't* do, that's impressive!

One thing that I'm going to do regarding next year's Wiscon (and oh, yes, I'm going) is to set aside a guilt-free jewelry budget. Oh-Em-Gee were there ever tons of things I wanted to buy in that room. I decided to wait and see what would stand out in my memory enough to bring me back the next day, and went over to the Art Show. The things that stood out for me there were the few pieces by Terri Windling; her art is soft, subtle, and mostly in neutral colors, and it has a magical presence. I could feel ideas for stories emerging just from looking at her paintings for a few minutes.

I thought about changing my plans for the next panel, but the one I'd chosen still seemed like the most useful one to attend, so off I went to, "Short Fiction Markets You Should Know." This one showed me the value of having the right blend of personalities on a panel. Although the idea was similar to the first panel I'd attended, it was much more fun to hear about short fiction magazines I didn't know about when Jennifer Pelland, Gavin J. Grant, Susan Marie Groppi, Nick Mamatas, and Michael Merriam were doing the talking. Spunky people! And a Scottish accent from the amusing Gavin Grant! I now have a HUGE list of magazines to check out, which is both exciting and daunting since I'll have to find the time to read them... I'm planning another post about the year's worth of homework I'll want to do in order to be halfway prepared for Wiscon in 2008.

My last panel of the day was "Around the Writer’s Block," a well-attended gathering featuring Heidi Lampietti, Eileen Gunn, Rosemary Kirstein, Jennifer Pelland, Caroline Stevermer, and a woman whose name I didn't catch, a creativity coach who turned out to have the most useful information and advice; she isn't on the schedule because she was a late addition. Maybe I'm a bit twisted, but the very most helpful thing about the panel, for me, was being reminded that all of these published writers and others aspiring to be published have exactly the same problems with keeping themselves motivated as I have, and are just as eager to find ways to talk themselves into getting their writing done. That gives me that "I'm not a total loser" feeling, and I appreciate that.

Aaaannnndddd... I could probably go on for another couple of hours, but the wee Felix says it's time for Mommy to get up off the chair and get him a gorram drink!

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