Keycon 30 – Report

Now that I’ve recovered….

Actually, I behaved myself this year – the whole flying thing makes me not want to wreck my body to the point where I’m staggering in to flying lessons, though I had a couple days between the con and my lesson today. I didn’t do a lot of drinking though – I had to drive, mind you. We don’t live walking distance from the hotel anymore 😛

It was an awesome Keycon – one of the best, IMHO, and that’s been echoed on twitter. My panels went well – the one of the science of flight – well, I started with two people, but when the masquerade let out, people trailed in and I ended up with fifteen or twenty, which is pretty good as panels go.

Then there was the Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk one on Sunday morning. Now, Sunday morning is a terrible time for a panel – it’s the earliest time slot of the day after two evenings of carousing, so getting around fifteen people in that one – that was shockingly good.

The last one was the movie screening of The Wars of Other Men, which I was put in charge of, and we showed the movie, and closed with a Q&A with Scott Norman, the lead actor in the short film. While there were some technical difficulties with the play – it was freezing, which it didn’t do the night before on the same computer, so I can only guess it was a problem with the computer communicating with the projector. It wasn’t too too bad though, and the film itself is pretty decent. Professional presentation, and it went over well. I plan on doing a review of it for http://www.thepunkettes.com as soon as I get the time. Probably after my flight test….

Other notable occurences: We summoned Cthulhu. The Con Chairs led a chant during opening ceremonies, and no sooner than that, Ambassador B had a sprinkler malfunction, flooding the room.

Blue Pencil sessions: We had them. An opportunity to make a published author or an editor guest read three pages of your work and give you feedback on it. I participated in a similar session at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, and had mentioned to Robert J. Sawyer that the author/editor I’d chosen had spent that time trying to convince me to self publish. Sawyer said I should have picked him, so for Keycon, I did. He read my three pages and marked them up with red pen, then told me aside from nitpicky line editing, it was good, and I should finish my revisions and get it to an editor. I had two other sessions, though, one with Anne Aguirre, who made some similar line editing marks, and that was most of it, and then J. M. Frey, who’s writing steampunk, and pointed out something I had not thought of. Someone else had once told me that the opening of The Eyelet Dove was not only a little overdone on the element of the main character masquerading as a man in order to take part in activities otherwise exclusive to men, but very similar to another book – Leviathan by Scott Westerfield, a premier Steampunk work of the century.

So then I realized, Damn it, I have to fix it! Fortunately, the main character, in the original version of my opening, Claire gets found out by the end of the scene, so the required rewrite didn’t extend past that. I scrambled that evening to rewrite at least the first page (the rest is done now) so that I’d have it fixed before presenting it at Writer Idol.

Writer Idol, same as at SIWC, is where opening pages are anonymously read by the moderator, and a panel of four to five (we had five) editors/agents/authors would raise their hands at the point where they would stop reading. When a set number of hands were raised, they would stop reading, and the panel would provide feedback. There were several manuscripts that the reader made it to the end – the panel was a fair bit kinder than they were at SIWC, but there were two that made it to the bottom of the page, and got no negative feedback at all. The authors were invited to take credit for their work and received an ovation from the audience. The first was a submission from Sherry Peters, and the second was, yes, yours truly!

That evening, I even came home to an email from one of those editors, inviting me to submit to him directly.

So now I’m all motivated to get some writing done, and finish the revisions I have planned for The Eyelet Dove. I still have a few scenes to write from Leon’s POV, and more to shfit over to his POV.

And I don’t have time. I’m busy with flying, and flying is my priority right now.

*le sigh*

I’ll work on it when I can. In the meantime, flight test coming up – I’ll try and make a post on test prep if I have a chance, but I’ve been crazy busy. Wish me luck.

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7 responses to “Keycon 30 – Report

  1. Flying or writing? Writing or flying? What are you going to do when there’s only 24 hours in the day 😉

    Seriously though, I’m pleased to hear you get a bit excited about writing, I know flying is your number one thing right now, and so it should be, but if someone gets you all enthuseda about putting stuff on paper (well a computer screen) I thin kthat’s great.

    I’d be really interested in seeing what you do with the start of ED.

    Glad the Keycon went well, and not too much alcohol was consumed.

    A

    • I’m planning on posting the new opening on my site where I had the old opening that I cut, so you’ll see it there, but all I changed was removing the woman-disguised-as-man element. Instead, she shows up simply as herself, ready to bull-head her way into the tryouts. Which is totally Claire, even more so than the original opening.

  2. Very sorry to have missed it this year. Congrats on making it to the end in Writer Idol! It can be maddening finding time to do all the writing and revising, but man, if you have editors and respected writers praising your work, that’s great. Good luck with your MS!

  3. Consider luck wished. Glad to see you at Bre-Axe and dissappointed I could not make your panels. It is settled. Next year Bre-Axe is no more.
    A Steam/DieselPunk bar will replace it. Not named as yet. (A contest in the making?)
    Awayway, may your loops be loopy, your twirls be (uh) twirly and your landings as routine as you can possibly make them!
    Dave.

    • Most of the stuff you had for Bre-axe would totally work for a dieselpunk motif – all you’d have to do is throw in some post apocalyptic sort of decorations. I’ll let you know if I think of a good name.

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