I spent my weekend at the Speculative Fiction Southeast convention, which I found out about just a couple of weeks ago.

I think this was the first year for this convention, but I hope it won’t be the last. It was tiny, but I loved the focus. After spending a decade going to many, many conferences/conventions — I usually did between 3-6 a year, ranging from the enormous (Macworld, SXSW) to the tight knit — I’m a little cynical about them. It’s so easy to go to a con and get all inspired and equally exhausted and then a week later, life’s back to normal and everything that you were inspired to do is just a distant memory. Although, ha, I just remembered that I started this blog at a conference one year. SXSW, I think it was. Oi, that was a long time ago.

At any rate, this con was fun. Interesting people, good conversations, and sessions on subjects that I am actually interested in. I did find one session on publishing modes to be acutely painful — it is surprisingly close to torture for me to sit still in a room where someone is giving information that is (IMO) horrendously bad. I had to put my hands over my mouth at one point to stop myself from objecting and I finally did raise my hand and say something, but it was frustrating that the panel didn’t have a good representative of indie publishing on it.

Also frustrating — if you’re going to change the rooms where people are presenting, why not put a sign up? Sure, technical difficulties happen, but tape, paper, a marker, and you don’t have people sitting around wondering why no one is showing up.

But I don’t want to complain too much. It was fun, a worthwhile investment of both time and money (although I’m going to guess that they’re horrifyingly in the red — there’s no way they had enough attendees to cover the expenses of so many conferences rooms, even if they got a great deal), and I do hope they come back next year.

Favorite info: Orson Scott Card’s rant about first person narration, which completely validated my own feelings about first person pov.

Favorite experience: Funnily enough, Maria Snyder’s sister shares my sister’s name and birthday! That was an extraordinarily random connection, but it will make a very nice story when I give my sister her birthday present next week. (And yeah, it’s a little complacent of me to assume that she’s not going to read this post and have her present spoiled, but I feel safe.)

I wish I could say that the conference inspired me writing-wise, but… not so much. I did not come home with story ideas pouring out of my ears. I wrote a couple paragraphs last night just to keep the story going, but I don’t think that’s going to happen tonight. So it goes.