So as you all know last weekend was the Ad Astra convention and I have to say it was an absolute blast. I hope to get some pictures soon, but for the moment you are all just going to have to settle for the narrative.
I started out Saturday morning as the lovely Julie Czerneda's assistant teaching a writing workshop for young people. I have to say it was really cool. I've taught a fair bit of drama to kids, but I have never really taught writing. Julie on the other hand has. And she rocks it. We had around 8 teenagers show up, and they were so enthusiastic about writing and SF/Fantasy and it was just so special. They did some group work where they chose an object and had to brainstorm story ideas. Then they chose one to elaborate on. And then Julie made them keep the same story idea, but gave them a new genre. Very interesting to see what they came up with. Winged Rats From Outer Space is my new favourite title!
After that I reprised my prize girl role for the Sunburst Awards Auction with the ever lovely Lesley Livingston (who has a very lovely new website designed by my very lovely other friend Joanna - check it out!). We of course looked fabulous, more glamorous this time I think. Oh and we raised a fair bit of money for the auction as well!
The rest of the day was chatting and hanging out with folks in the bar. I met up with authors Scott Bakker, Robert J. Sawyer, Caitlin Sweet, Steve Perry and Jim C Hines again this year and went to the book launch of the latter's third book, Goblin War. He had this game going where we had to collect goblins (drawings of goblins on paper) from different people at the convention. I only got 7 points. But I still got a prize! So I was happy. Not so happy as the kid who won first prize who got a GORGEOUS signed print of the cover art.
I actually wound up interviewing Jim for a podcast for a website that the sensational Mr. Jonathan Llyr is launching May 1st called Hardcore Nerdity (another awesome title, man this blog is filled with them today). Side track on Hardcore Nerdity for a second:
Some of you may know John in his former role as an on air personality for the Space Network. He's since moved on from the channel but now he and several colleagues are starting this amazing website, and if you have any nerdish leanings this will be the site to check out. The man has serious nerd connections. It will begin as a feeder site off of Angryrobot.ca, and then when the content builds up, it will take the training wheels off as it were and be on its own.
Anyway, I'm going to be a part of the whole thing, as I must confess to having quite nerdish tendencies myself. And that's why I got to interview Jim! And it was my very first time being an interviewer and I was super nervous, but I think I actually did okay! Besides Jim and I get on really well, so we really just had fun with it. Well you can judge for yourself sometime in May (and you'd better believe I'll be promoting me).
Back to Ad Astra:
I interviewed Jim in the afternoon on Sunday. In the morning though, Lesley, Julie, Rebecca Moesta and I had a panel of writing for young people. At first I was sad because there were all of two people in the audience, but after we began it started to fill up nicely until it was quite well attended. I think we did pretty well, and after a slow start we got some good banter going. It was a lot of fun, and I always find it very interesting to listen to other authors talk of their experiences.
Almost right after was the book launch for Misspelled, an anthology that several characters from this blog post were involved in. Both Lesley and Jim had short stories in it, and Julie was the editor. It was great fun, and they added a theatrical bit to it that is a bit to complicated to explain so I won't. Then they had cupcakes. And I like cupcakes.
But it was also really special because, okay, now Lesley is this big time two book deal Harper Collins author, but her story in the anthology was her first official sale. Not only that but it is the lead story in the book. So it was really special seeing her sign books (she signed mine!), and I dunno, it was cool.
And then the weekend was over and I was pooped.
All and all, a good time. Gots to say. A good time.