Back from WotF, exhausted, bags lost by airline, but otherwise intact.
Executive summary: I won the big one. Grand Prize, 'Gold Award', best WotF story of the year, for "In the Flue." I'd like to thank the Academy...
I had intended to update LJ during the week, but things were just too hectic. Most of our time was accounted for. Days were taken up by the writing workshop by Kathy Wentworth and Tim Powers, and guest speakers. Jet lag didn't help; I tended to crash out early for most of the week. Probably gorging Chinese food and drinking girly fruit-flavored martinis with Sidra Vitale and Cat Sparks didn't help. Speaking of Cat, Sean Williams became a WotF judge this year. The Aussies are an increasing presence in our field. Also the Wordos. Ken Scholes, a Wordo, was a winner this year, and I got to hang out with Ken and jaylake, got to hear the orange bicycle story, and Jay's tales of horseradish misadventure. [Note to self: send Hawaiian shirts to thrift shop, that shtick is covered.]
Also got to hang out and nosh with an amazing number of Immortal Names in sff, whose novels I have been buying for decades, and whose hard disks I am not fit to defrag. Had my awards handed to me by Jerry Pournelle, Anne McCaffrey, and Frederick Pohl. *faints* Only stumble-tongued once in my acceptance speech, although I was shaking.
Hours and hours of book-signing afterward. It's a pleasant shock when a multimillion-copy-selling author asks you to sign a book for him.
Special shout-out to Alex Quintero, one of the Illustrators of the Future winners, who did the illos for my story and Sidra's. Nice, nice. I got a personal copy of the illo, and will scan it and upload it soon.
Also extra special thanks to Nina Kiriki Hoffman, who liked my story, and told me so, both when it was a Clarion 2004 submission story, and as a WotF contender. Nina, I owe you a lot.
WotF cover for this year (No. 21) is a classic Frazetta image. Frank Frazetta has apparently had a stroke, which I didn't know. So sad. It affected his dominant arm, and he has just finished training his non-dominant arm sufficiently to complete a painting using it. (Not our cover, though.)
There was a marathon writing session on Wednesday: everyone wrote a story in 24 hours. Mine was 5,000 words, which is, I think, more words in a shorter time than I have ever done before. It has serious first-draft, printer's-devil-at-the-door problems—plot holes, continuity singularities, lots of white-room, wandering POV, obscure character motivation, toilet stopped up with infodump, etc.—but I think there's a fixable story in there somewhere.
Cameras were everywhere, constantly, all week long, both still and video. If I get some photos of the week and the ceremony, I'll post them. There will also be stuff in Locus, Charles Brown was there with camera, snapping away.
I took a lot of notes on Kathy Wentworth's and Tim Powers' teaching, but in longhand, and they have to be transcribed. Also some notes on what guest speakers said. I'll post them in a day or two.
Airlines don't really 'lose' bags, you know. Any more than doctors 'lose' patients. (The doctor knows exactly where the patient is: he's tits up in the morgue.) My bag finally made it back to Philadelphia this morning, minus the lock, which had been bashed off by the Transportation Security Administration.
That's never happened before, and the bag managed to make to Seattle without being molested. I have to think it's the two awards that were packed. Both are large Lucite pylons, with metal inclusions (a stylized star and a quill). The x-ray image of them must have puzzled the TSA lock-bashers.
Those things are heavy, btw. I complained bitterly about having to lug them both around, but got surprisingly little sympathy from my fellow winners. Arrr.
真剣== shinken == (noun, adjective taking な)
|Right radical is one of the radical forms of 'sword'. Left radical is 'combine/judge', used here phonetically to express 'tapered'. This character originally referred to a short sword; it is now used more generally. Henshall suggests taking the bottom elements of the left radical as a variant of 'elder brother' (兄), the top elements as a 'cap', and as a mnemonic: 'Elder brother puts cover on sword.'|