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Back and busy

It's been a busy month in my world, and now that I've fully gotten into the swing of the fall semester I'm finally getting the chance to get back and deliver my (long awaited?) report on workshop and conference doings over the past few weeks, starting with...

1.  GenCon.  Yes, my favorite convention of the year has come and gone, and was somehow better than it's ever been.  Attendance for the Writers Symposium hit an all-time high, as the regular attendees were joined by a bunch of new and eager folks wanting to talk shop--which I always love to do--and discussions in the panels were thought-provoking and a lot of fun, both among Symposium members and the audience.  I managed to get some serious work done on the author list for the anthology I'm co-editing (about which I hope to say much more soon), too, so in general it was a great professional experience.  And the personal aspect of GenCon is always great; not only did I get the chance to playtest some new games with family and friends, I was even able to find time to play a few oldies but goodies.  Ask Paul Genesse, for instance, how one simple decision can lead to him wandering the wide oceans as an abject, poverty-stricken, blind and wounded bum, and he might tell you something about Tales of the Arabian Nights.  He might.  GenCon often wraps up my summer, but this year it was only the prelude to...

2.  Wellspring.  For the second year in a row I attended the novel-writing workshop in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and for the second year in a row it was an absolute blast.  Not only did I get to bask in the phenomenal writing talents of Chris Cevasco, Holly McDowell, Brenda Cooper, Stephen Gaskell, Kelly Swails, Brad Beaulieu, E.C. Myers, Gra Linnaea, Vince Jorgensen, Kameron Hurley, and Debbie Daughetee, going through a series of intense critique sessions and getting incredibly helpful and detailed feedback on my work, I got to enjoy the sense of community and common purpose only writers can provide.  (This means we played Werewolf a lot.)  Brad does a great job coordinating this workshop, and I'm already looking forward to next year.  But I had no time to be sad about leaving when it was over, because I was already on my way to...

3.  Worldcon.  This was my third go-round for the grandaddy of all fantasy and science fiction conventions, and was professionally one of the best of the lot.  I was on a couple of great panels, these mostly focused on the intersections between teaching and writing, and had fun doing another writers' workshop (this time from the other side of the table) with Martha Wells.  But it was the non-convention related stuff, including pitch sessions with publishers, other meetings and a bunch of informal conversations with industry professionals, which really made this productive.  Having it in Chicago didn't hurt either, especially since I was able to stay in town one extra day for...

4.  Tuesday Funk.  This was my second appearance in Bill Shunn and Sara Ross Witt's reading series at the venerable Hopleaf, and once again it was a great experience: a great room, great turnout (with luminaries like Rose Fox, Gary Wolfe, Jim Minz and many others in attendance!), and incredible stories from fellow readers Daryl Gregory, Rae Carson, Rajan Khanna and Adam Rakunas.  Plus Bill brought down the house channeling Jay-Z in an epic sff poem which was...well...epic.  You need to check it out for yourself, which you can do right here (and incidentally, it is very much NOT safe for work).  I'll be putting up links to my own reading shortly.

Then it was off for home, and I have to say after that kind of schedule I wasn't sorry...I was missing my family, and I needed to get back into a normal routine.  But in general, I couldn't have had a better close to a very productive summer.  Next up (and my final convention of the year) is World Fantasy in Toronto in a few weeks; I'll have my schedule up for that soon.  Beyond that I'm busy with revision on my work in progress, two manuscripts out on submission, a short story for an Origins anthology, the anthology I'm co-editing, Speculate!, and of course my academic work for the fall semester.  So as usual I've got a full plate, but as usual it's mostly enjoyable stuff, and I'm moving through it reasonably smoothly.

I'll probably next update shortly before heading off to WFC in a couple of weeks, but I'll make sure to get links to panel recordings and videos up on my Media page as soon as I can.  Thanks as always for checking in, and until we next speak, stay well!

Greg