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2023 - Week 41

Monday was taken up traveling back to Ottawa from spooky vacay, playing a little Diablo IV, and getting to bed early after such a full weekend.

It was hard to focus on work on Tuesday, but I got some good news about an issue at least. Not that there is a resolution on the horizon exactly, but I now know I'm not alone in facing it, which is helpful. I'm being deliberately vague as it's day job related. I was a little tired at GSL Curling, but I learned some advanced things about sweeping related to who should sweep closest to the rock. I told a former teammate who has far more experience and he was pretty surprised.

On Wednesday, I needed a little lie down after work before my stream. I was still recovering from the late night curling. But I don't need to attend the Wednesday morning meeting anymore, so I can sleep in and flex my day going forward. This is a relief as the learner curling program is a 2-year program and the second level group is on the ice at the same time as us. Stream was fun after I changed my world tier and learned how to play my necromancer better. As I've said before, I play games more for the story than the challenge as my life is often challenging enough and I just want to know what happens to the characters. Am I truly a gamer if I play them on easy mode? I don't really care anymore. If it's not fun, there's no point for me as I have no esports career aspirations.

Thursday was productive. I got all my tasks either completed or made progress. I handed off anything that seemed to need extra support. After work, I made my exchanges at Home Depot. I also got two loads of dishes and a load of laundry done before finishing and publishing last week's blog post. Then I watched Friday the 13th Part II and III. I wanted to fit at least one of the movies in as Can-Con would begin on Friday the 13th. While prepping dinner, I injured some toes as I slid down my stepladder. The joys of momentary inattentiveness! So I was walking around all weekend with bruised toes. Thankfully, they didn't hurt and were just colourful, but my shoulder was a bit sore and that had me worried for Sunday's curling game (1).

Can-Con 2023

Day 1 started with prepping books to sell in case anyone asked about my work. Then I promptly missed the bus, but knowing our transit system, I had left with extra time on the extra time I left for this. I made it on-time to a world-building workshop held by award-winning author Julie Czerneda, whose name I've been misspelling for years, apparently. I paid extra to be able to attend that. Julie is someone I've been following for several years now, but have rarely had a chance to actually speak to. It was an excellent workshop and I had fun. I'm thankful Julie had some handouts as there wasn't time to write a lot of notes outside of the little story we put together in our groups. I have to say that I was a bit scared of that because group work is often painful, but I ended up with two other creative women and we found our groove and had fun with it.

The plan for the rest of the evening was:

1. Story Generators
2. The Journey to Publication ... and Beyond!
3. These Violent Ends

The first panel on story generators was interesting and we learned about ways to use story generators as a tool that helps guide parts of a story, but not write it for you. These included things like memes, picking a number that corresponds to lists of categories (genre, character 1, character 2, problem, etc), help with names, or just help with a block. I had already been doing a lot of the techniques mentioned, but sometimes it's nice to have some affirmation that I'm on a path that is useful. I also learned about some generator options that I didn't know about.

Panel two was immensely helpful for me. I had long been wondering which path to take once I'm done the edits I'm currently doing on my novel and I got the information I needed to make that decision.

The third panel was interesting despite getting a bit fixated on one type of violence, but it left me thinking about how I use various kinds of violence in my work and whether I should or not.

The plan for Day 2 was:

1. Fantastical Verse: Writing Speculative Poetry
2. Spinning Your Hyperfixations into Gold
3. Lunch/Once the Book is Finished/Renaissance Party
4. Climate, Infrastructure, and Gentrification/Renaissance Party
5. Reader Expectations and Crossing Genres
6. That's Not Queerbaiting, Actually 
7. Good for Her! In Defense of Final Girls

I enjoyed the first panel of the day. I particularly liked that some of them agreed that there is a lot of similarity between poetry and song since I have interest in both areas. Two things that stuck with me is that poems often make arguments and they can more easily cross genres.

The second panel was interesting, but I could tell they didn't really get the difference between a short-term passion and a hyperfixation. When I'm hyperfixated, I want my whole life to revolve around the thing. I'll want everything in the world that exists that involves it, such as owning all the merch and to learn every related thing in the world. It's rather an obsessive level and I'll often soon feel like I never want to have anything to do with the thing anymore. This may all happen in the span of a week. It's quite different than being into something for several years and then wanting a new challenge.

I next took off with a friend for a quick bite to eat before the panel on what often happens procedurally with a book after it's written. I learned there are a lot of discussions at every stage including what it needs editiorially, how to market it, what the cover should look like, the editing process with the author, and how the relationships evolve after book one. Fundamentally, a book is a product and a lot of decisions need to be made into marketing it that may not be exactly what the author wants as in the cover design because a lot goes into the saleability that authors don't really understand at the level needed.

I dropped into the Renaissance Press Party for a bit where I listened to some authors read from their work before heading to the climate related panel, which I was slightly late to. For perspective, I went from the Penthouse to the bar on the ground floor and back to the Penthouse, which involves some stairs from the top elevator-connected floor. The climate panel gave me other things to think about like how some people don't care about climate issues because they are wealthy enough to not have to deal with its impact.

After that, I went back to the Renaissance Press Party and heard about the exciting changes happening over there. I have a number of friends who are involved with Renaissance and I'm excited for them!

Attending the panel related to multi-genre work has me wondering if I'm writing in more than one genre or if I simply have a subplot that is romantic plus the main dark urban fantasy plot that features some technological elements. A lot of things like this don't have a set answer, so one has to be rather open when it comes to marketing the end product to the consumer.

The queer panel was a fun one. I learned that I have had queer elements in my writing long before I figured out my sexuality. Am I surprised? Nope.

The last panel I went to on final girls was another enjoyable one and has me wanting to catch up on some horror films I missed along the way.

Then I attended the Glitter party for a bit before heading home. We were told absolutely no free roaming glitter was allowed as the hotel was not cleaning that up, which is fair. I didn't mingle all that much as I was quite mentally and socially exhausted by this point.

One of the things I truly enjoyed hearing was about the relationships between authors and their editors and agents. I heard from more than one editor and an agent that editors are there to improve your work, but it is ultimately still yours. One of my previous experiences with an editor did not feel like that and I'm glad there are a lot of editors out there who feel they aren't there to be in the way of the story you are telling because it isn't their work. And the agent is there to help you access markets, get contracts, etc.

Sunday was my first Rainbow Rockers (RR) curling draw and I found it a bit hard to switch my mindset as I had a list of changes I wanted to make to my book partly from the learnings at Can-Con and partly from the lovely spooky weekend away I had with friends the previous weekend. It was a bit tough to play after all the walking at Can-Con. We lost, but only by three points and that's pretty good for the level of experience we have. We were learning and adjusting on the fly, which is hectic, but it's also part of the fun at this level. I really need to learn the scoring better and to ensure I can enter the score when we win someday. It was odd playing third after a season of lead, but I enjoyed it!

After all that, I was glad I took Monday off to catch up around the house, do groceries, and rest. My brain feels like meaty mush after all the information it took in, but I have so much that I want to do!

(1) Technically, a curling game is called a draw, but we also have a shot that is a draw (to the button), and then there is a draw meaning a tie, so a lot of people just call them games to save some confusion.


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