Bubonicon 49 – Day Two

And now continuing my Bubonicon adventures, #Bubonicon49 – Day Two.

I started off with one of the two opening panels; Fancy Pants: Idea Strategy with Susan R. Matthews, Robert E. Vardeman, David Lee Summers, Betsy James & Brenda Drake. I got some good notes from the one; ranging from some ways of generating ideas (walking is good, so is hanging about in cemeteries apparently) to free association or think aloud writing to how to filter or pick through the ideas you end up with. Oh, and a recommended article to read, The Neural Lyre.

Here was where I ran into the first of three conflicts. My short list was to go to either a reading by Stephen R. Donaldson or another panel. Since I’d attended a reading a year or two ago, I opted for the panel.

Moderated by Loretta Hall and featuring Cathy Plesko, Daniel Abraham, Kathleen Kitts, Weston Ochse & Lauren Teffeau; ‘Hey, You got your science in my fiction” focused mostly on how much science fact you want to put into your writing. Generally, enough to make it plausible but not so much that your average reader gets lost. And it helps if you can have a scientist on call to help you out with questions you might have when writing.

The second conflict of the day and again, a reading vs a panel. In this case, the reader was Diana Gabaldon, who I have not seen/heard before. But I honestly thought I’d get more benefit from the panel on World Building: Creation from Nothing so I stayed where I was.

Again I got some good notes including a suggestion from each panellist about what questions you can ask to help you first begin building your world.

Darynda Jones – What is your character’s job? What else do they do?

Sage Walker – What sort of world produced this character?

C.J. Cherryh – Picture a stream bank. Now picture someone standing beside it. Now picture someone else coming towards them. Who are they and what do they want?

Susan R. Matthews – What kind of world created the situation your characters are in?

Yvonne Coats – “What if?”

Finally, I have a note, ‘Canyons of the Mind”. I’m not sure what it was supposed to refer to or if it was just a random comment, but it would make a good title, wouldn’t it?

Next up was the Kill Your Lit’l Darlings: Revision Agonies and Pleasures, with Pari Noskin, Jeffe Kennedy, Yvonne Navarro, Sarena Ulibarri and Caroline Spector. I figured this would be useful since I keep putting off revisiting books 1 & 2. I made some notes on various ways to help you spot your mistakes (reading out loud, changing fonts or formats) as well as on the actual process of writing & revision.

By this time it was 2 pm and I actually had a little bit of a gap. I had a whole fifteen minutes to check out the tables in the dealer’s room before heading to the reading by C.J Cherryh, from her new book Emergence which is expected to be released in January. I enjoyed the reading although I had to leave just as the Q&A part was starting since I wanted to attend the next panel, Snack Writes.


SnackReads, organised by our moderator, Josh Gentry, is an online venture providing people with inexpensive reading material for those who don’t have a lot of time. In a similar manner, they have recently launched Snack Writes, writing exercises to be done in 5-15 minute segments, for those who sometimes struggle to find time to write. Jane Lindsold, M.T. Reiten & Robert E. Vardeman all took part in three of these exercises (done in 5 minutes each) and read their results out, then asked if anyone in the audience taking part would like to read theirs. I wasn’t brave enough after the first exercise but I took the plunge after the second, which I think may be the first time I’ve read something I wrote in front of people I don’t know. I also put myself into a drawing to do the last exercise up at the front with the panel but I wasn’t chosen. Which was probably just as well, since the person who was chosen produced a piece far better than the one I came up with.

Next up was a reading by Jeffe Kennedy, from her new book, The Shift of The Tide, which just came out today. After getting the first chapter, we got a little Q&A session, covering her previous career, characters who ended up being more than was intended and where things might go next.


My last event for the day, since I wasn’t in costume, was the signing. Over the past couple months, I’d accumulated one or two books to get signed (and I picked up a couple more from the dealer’s room).

Like I said, just one or two. I managed to get all of them signed and talked with a few of the authors into the bargain. Everyone also kindly agreed to sign the general autograph book I’d brought with me, even if I didn’t have one of their owns books. Then, with my haul, I decided to head on home.

In case you missed it, my description of day one is here. I expect to have day three written up tomorrow.

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