When Words Collide 2016 – Debrief

It’s been almost a week, but I’ve been back in the Seminole, working on IFR stuff, cramming two flights a day in, every day since I got back from Calgary. The last two days I’ve been hand-flying entire lessons, or at least until my instructor can tell I’m getting saturated and tells me to turn the auto-pilot on so I can absorb the last bit of the lesson. It’s exhausting, but the hand-flying has improved – even I can tell.

Where was I… right – When Words Collide!

It was awesome. I had such a great time, so much crammed into three days, very little sleep.

Friday I caught up with friends, went to panels, and kind of got my bearings. Stopped by the Tyche books table in the merchants room and said hi to Margaret Curelas, who, years ago when the press was just starting up, had sent me an ARC of their first published novel. I was tickled that she remembered me, and took some time away later in the weekend to let me pitch to her. They’ve come a long way since that first novel, and had a table full of different books. I picked up E. C. Bell’s second novel (I haven’t gotten to reading the first yet, but my husband said it was very good) and a second one, Tantamount, by Thomas J. Radford.

Saturday was more panels. I love that it’s a convention for writers, and all the panel tracks were writing related, but some spots, I agonized over which panel to attend. On the other hand, some of the panels were actually duplicates of others, just with different authors, and I’m not sure why they didn’t just combine them. Some of the YA panels were pretty good though, and while there was more than one YA panel, they were each different, one more general, one on YA and sexuality, another on how much gritty horrible reality you can put in your YA fiction, another on language (mainly how much foul language you can get away with) so they weren’t duplicates, and I think in that case, lumping them all together would have caused them to run out of time to talk about all the things to be discussed.

Both evenings there was room parties. Now, I’m usually not a big party person, being an Aspie and having a hard time with sensory overload with too many people, but you know what takes the edge off of sensory overload? Scotch. Friday night there was a Scotch and absinthe tasting party hosted by Tyche books, and I stopped there before hanging out at Rob Sawyer’s room party the rest of the evening before bed. The second night, they were finishing the scotch from the Tyche party the night before, and then when I got to the Bundoran press party, Gerald Brandt brought another bottle to share, and it was awesome.

And this is the spot where I have to fake quote some wise person who once said “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that if there are two pilots at an event, they will find each other.”

I was at the Bundoran party and found Bev Geddes chatting with a group, including author guest of honour, Julie Czerneda. Bev was kind enough to introduce me as a fellow writer and added that I was also a pilot. And Julie was like, “Oh, you need to meet my husband!” And she called her husband, Roger, over and introduced us. He and I then proceeded to drink more, and talked about aeroplanes for two or three hours, at least, until the party shut down. I had a fantastic time.

Sunday was more panels, and I fit in a pitch session with Robert Runte, of Five Rivers Press, the one my fellow critique group member, Timothy Gwyn is getting published with. I got an invitation to submit from him and from Margaret Curelas, though both are currently closed to submissions.

I also caught up with Roger Czerneda again, since Julie was on one of the live action slush panels, where first pages of stories are read, and feedback is given from the panelists. When time ran short and my submission turned out to be on the bottom of the pile, Roger informed Julie and Julie was kind enough to offer to give me feedback on it later after the convention. I had the whole opening scene on me, and she took the whole thing – both of those two are super nice, and I’m so pleased to have got to meet them!

It was pretty much back home after that, but I wouldn’t be telling the whole story if I didn’t mention that on the flight back, the guy I was seated next to on the plane looked familiar. And when I said it, he said he was fairly sure he’d met me before too, at which point, I was sure it was the guy who had signed off on my float rating last November. See the paragraph above about pilots finding each other. So I had another two hour chat with a fellow pilot on the plane home.

All said, I’m really glad I went. It was a successful trip and for an aspie that really sucks at networking, I met some awesome new people and I hope to make it out to more conventions elsewhere in the country again in the future, as well as coming back to When Words Collide again if possible. Though, from talk, it sounds like CanCon is a good one to go to, so whenever I have the money to travel again, I think I will make that one my next goal.

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When Words Collide 2016

Aside from going to Keycon every year since I moved to Winnipeg, except this summer, the only big writing do I’ve been to is the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, and that was the last trip anywhere I went on since I started flying.

So, I passed on Keycon this year and decided this year would be the year I attend When Words Collide instead. I’ve got plane tickets booked and hotel room and membership all taken care of on time and I’m set to go months ago, which is good because the last two months I’ve been very much focused on getting my multi engine rating.

I booked vacation a long time ago for this, so I have three weeks off in august, and am looking forward to being able to dick off and indulge in writing related endeavors for a few days in between working on my IFR rating.

It’s going to be weird. It’s going to be the first time since I got my private licence that I’ll be on a commercial flight. I remember the last time I was on a commercial flight and how a felt on takeoff, when I realized I actually really do love flying more than normal people. The flight to the Surrey International Writer’s Conference was a triggering event on the road to me pursuing a pilot’s license, and for that, I thank Rebecca Sky and Erin Latimer for pushing me to come. Especially when I’d at first said no, Lindsay doesn’t do scary things like travel alone.

Lol.

Anyway, I’m going into this convention pretty blind, so if anyone has recommendations, I’m happy to hear if there’s a particular editor who’s open to dieselpunk aviation related novels that I should track down and pitch to, or panels I shouldn’t miss.

Or for that matter, as has happened before, if I have blog followers I have not met, if you see me and recognize me, I’m usually open to people saying hi in the hallway, just be prepared for me to be an Aspie level of socially awkward as I try and figure out if I should know you or not. I’m really just stumbling into this con completely unfamiliar and ready to have a good time with whatever friends I know will be there.