In two days, I pack up and head out for WisCon 37. This will be the second time I've gone to this convention and I'm looking forward to fanboi'ing at least one author and maybe meeting a few new people.
There is going to be a few interesting things I'm planning on doing during the convention, plus one fear.
As I mentioned before, I'm doing three panels. I've never done a panel before, but I've wanted to for a while but never had the courage. At some point, I realized I will never do it if I'm still afraid, so I just took the risk and signed up for.
Sadly, I'm apparently incapable of using their websites because they have both panels I suggested (including the descriptions)… but, I'm not on them. Apparently, I checked the wrong box so I'm actually not on the two topics I'm really interested in (time management being the biggest one). I feel kind of stupid, actually, but obviously I didn't understand the form.
I was worried about the science-fiction and fantasy women in military roles panel, but after the last few weeks of reading and watching, I think I can fake just about everything else. The other two (improv world building and Glitch), I felt pretty comfortable.
I submitted the first five chapters of Sand and Love to the writing group. This is the sequel to Sand and Blood. As the title implies, it's going to be a romance (of sorts), and will be the second book of the The Life of Shimusogo Rutejìmo, which is the current series name. My current thinking is that I'll just put some keywords on the cover for the books (Action/Coming of Age for Sand and Blood, Action/Romance for Sand and Love).
The writing group has a couple peer critiques and one professional. The peer critiques I'm not worried about, we used the same format at the Noble Pen. The professional opinion is a bit more nerve-wracking, mainly becase they are going to look at it in terms of publishability and with a more critical eye.
But, in many ways, I'm not worried about that. I'm not a professional writer and I probably don't write good enough to get published properly. I'm still going to do it, mainly to get over my fear, but also because I think it is a good story. And, I have to start somewhere. I'll be glad for the advice; when I did the same thing at ICON a few years ago, it was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot.
The strangest thing about conventions is that while I love going to them, I also get really depressed. I'm reminded, as I sit in a bank of chairs, that I haven't done the things I wanted to for the last five years. I consider my only published book to be a failure and most of my works published in magazines to be obscure. I'm still working on one novel I started in 1997 though I've finished a bunch since then.
I get this feeling of worthlessness when I'm sitting on the panel because I remember sitting in the same chair one, two, five years ago thinking the same thing.
I'm hoping that this year will be better. I'm planning on putting Sand and Blood out at the end of the year. I already have the contingency cover done so that won't stop me if I can't make my own cover. I already have the backup fonts if that glorious plan fails. I've already done the typography for the book. I have an editor lined up (hopefully in the next few weeks) to do a development and line edit, which will put me in a good shape.
I'm hoping that "I will" will override the "I'm useless" feeling I get as I sit on that chair.