There is no feeling like the one you get when you experience a gathering, be it conference, revival or reunion, where everyone is excited about a topic and all the energy flows in one direction.
Can I get an Amen?
I had expected the Pennwriters shindig this weekend would be exciting; to be surrounded by so many others who love to do what you do is inspiring. But the serendipity of the particular blend of folk who were there went beyond into a real blessing. The fiction workshop was well-drawn and planned by Susan Meier, who read our opening chapters and tailored a session for us, even though most were not writing romance. Melanie Donovan was a delightful and gracious woman, open and friendly, who joined my traveling companion and I for meals and drinks in addition to the actual pitch session. Joyce Carol Oates was dark and mysterious as one might expect, but gave a wonderful presentation and answered questions on all topics from attendees.
I had two editors and two agents express interest in my work and won second place in the non-fiction contest. (Four of us traveled from my critique group, in addition to my award, one took first place in story beginnings, one took third in short fiction, and the other took first in the costume contest; we are a decorated bunch.)
So I’m pretty pumped.
I also scored an interview with SF writer Keith R.A. DeCandido on his series work, which I will do soon, as well as being published by a fellow Pennwriter at the AIR Equation site. That deserves an Amen!
It turns out autism is now becoming an issue in children’s fiction, according to Melanie Donovan. She said she has one book coming out soon about autism, and another where a character may or may not be autistic. So I’m on the cusp here. Let’s hope that these other authors use their characters to create better understanding of characters like our children, and not just as a token to latch onto the latest flavor of the month.
And on that note, one of the sweetest moments of the weekend was Saturday night when I called home to make sure the Cabana Boy was surviving the chaos. The boys were full of exploits to share; Captain Oblivious had gotten his cast off and was thrilled, Ditto Boy had the latest Lost in Space episode to tell me about. Little Miss, however, has never liked talking on the phone. She mumbles or speaks so quietly that she can’t be heard, and bolts as soon as she can.
Except Saturday, when she got on the phone to speak with me, told me about her field trip to the local historical site, her dinner with her brothers, and then said “I want you to come home.”
And for that blessing, my brothers and sisters, I will give witness any time. Amen! Amen! and Hallelujah!