First, the wonderful Eliot Schrefer visited Seattle and gave a presentation at the school where I teach. It was awesome. My kids are now fascinated with bonobos, more knowledgable about the Congo, and more inspired to write and read. All good things.
Eliot was also kind enough to sit with me for a while and discuss the writerly life. The good, the troubling, and how it all clicks into place, or doesn't. It isn't often that I get to have an extended conversation with another writer, one-on-one. My soul was refueled.
Eliot's book, Endangered, was a finalist for the National Book Award for YA. If you haven't read it, do. It is smart, important, and exciting.
Then yesterday I ventured to my first convention! Technically, it was two cons in one: Potlatch & Foolscap. Both are smallish fantasy/sci-fi fan gatherings in Redmond and this year the two groups decided to share a weekend. I could only attend a tiny portion, because I'm a mom of small kids, and so I chose carefully which event I would attend. Then I accidentally went to the wrong event.
But it was great! Nancy Pearl facilitated a fascinating conversation that included such topics as publishing trends in fantasy and sci-fi, the future of libraries, gender and reading, and the ways that librarians make book suggestions. Pearl is charming, smart, and seems to have similar taste to me in reading.... or at least she mentioned both Jeanette Winterson and Arundhati Roy as examples of good reads. I'm crazy about both of these authors.
Sadly, I wasn't there long enough to make any real connections, but I did leave feeling inspired and hopeful about other conventions I am planning to attend in the next year.
Lastly, I've decided on a direction for my next novel. Lots and lots more planning to do before I can reveal anything, but I am excited to move forward on something new, while still working to find The One the Empress Hunts a home. Onward!