Sunday, May 03, 2009

Penguicon 7.0

We're back from Penguicon, plus a long nap. Penguicon was fun--the hotel was large but not quite large enough, so apparently a bunch of people had to stay in neighboring hotels and the game rooms were smaller than people would have liked, but oh well. They had the consuite on the first floor, which was nice, but it wasn't as well-supplied as the Confusion one and closed before the con did, which annoyed us. And I never did get to the nitrogen ice cream. But there were interesting panels and interesting people, and a live performance of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (with a few scenes cut out, to dispense with characters, I think). The lead was fantastic--he sang well, he acted well, he interacted with the audience and rolled with technical goof-ups well. The woman who played Penny sang beautifully but didn't have any lines otherwise, and the man who played Captain Hammer did his best but didn't sing nearly as well as would have been nice. He did have the right attitude, though. Somebody in the row behind us commented about halfway through, "If this were better it wouldn't be nearly as good."

The workshop was most of what I did--nine to twelve-thirty on Saturday and ten to one-thirty on Sunday--and was interesting; I've never done an in-person writing workshop before. I now know that I need to write up my critiques differently, at least for presenting out loud--we each had about three minutes (supposedly) for talking about each piece we critiqued, and that called for a summary rather than a detailed description. I learned a lot from doing the critiques, and from hearing other people critique--especially the facilitators, Jim Hines and Catherynne Valente. I apparently have no confidence issues as a reader so it didn't bother me that my takes were different from other people's, but it was interesting to hear how we differed. I got some very useful feedback on my own story (the beginning of Shoelace), which, fortunately, doesn't seem to necessitate giving up or redoing the whole thing, which is nice since I should be very close to finishing the first draft. (Also learned that Festivus is something from Seinfeld? I used it as a name for a holiday but three or four people commented on it, so evidently I'm going to have to find something else. This is the problem with never watching TV: not knowing pop references.)

Tonight I'm unwinding (we ordered a pizza, despite an annoying bill from the OB/GYN, because I just don't have the energy to think of something to cook) and finishing up an article for the business journal I've been doing occasional freelance work for. The source for this article wouldn't do the interview unless I promised to send him the rough draft before sending it in, so I did, but he hasn't responded and it's due tomorrow, so he's out of luck.


Jim C. Hines said...

Glad the workshop was helpful! As for Festivus ... there's always going to be stuff like that. If we're lucky, our beta readers catch them before the story goes to print. But nobody can be expected to keep up on every single pop culture reference all by themselves.

Best of luck with it!

Jenny said...