Norwescon 35 has come and gone. By the time Sunday arrived my feet were swollen, and I felt myself dragging a bit. Yet, I kept going until it was time to take down the booth and pack up the gear. What an incredible experience of learning about the “con life,” short for conference and nothing to do with illegal behavior of course. I spent most of my time working in the dealer’s room, doing what I do best — talk to people. The finest part of the weekend was chatting and getting to know people. Anyone who knows me well understands how much I enjoy a conversation.
Meeting guest writers, their spouses, and artists from many different mediums to share their knowledge at panels was a delight. Even better was the opportunity to mingle at the DAW party in the Penthouse. Wow, what a treat! Especially to meet Bruce Taylor, Mr. Magical Realism, who writes the genre within Science Fiction and Fantasy of Magical Realism, a term I have identified my writing style. I’ve become inspired by his enthusiasm for the genre and had the most mind expanding and deep discussions with him. Bruce Taylor has taken science fiction to a new “heightened reality.” He explains it as writing through “a symbolic structure, giving us a new way of perceiving the world, as if through a child looking at the world for the first time.” Movies in this genre include “Like Water for Chocolate, the Postman, What Dreams May Come, the Truman Show, Pleasantville, American Beauty,” and I would add my favorite movies such as Avatar and my new screenplay, The Light Warrior.
At the party, I picked up a copy of the new anthology of the co-edited book by Bruce Taylor and Elton Elliott “Like Water for Quarks: The Intersection of Magic Realism and Science Fiction.” It features such authors as Ray Bradbury, Ursala K. Leguin, Brian Herbert, Jay Lake, William F. Nolan, Patrick Swenson and of course Bruce Taylor. The included bonus was the personalized autograph of Bruce Taylor and Patrick Swenson. I still need Jay Lake’s autograph. I forgot to ask him before I left the party. I hope to have a chance soon to get it for the book and memories of my time at Norwescon 35.
I was fortunate enough to listen to a reading by my fellow NIWA member and comrade, Lizzy Shannon. Her story, “Time Travel at the Legananny Dolmen” brought tears to my eyes as she read it. I’m not sure if it was the combination of her Irish accent and the gripping artistry of her words, or the fact that it touched me deeply as I could identify to the subject so closely. Regardless, it was beautiful.
It was hard to find time to attend a panel. I probably went to four total since my time was needed at the booth in the dealer’s room as we were a little short handed due to members not able to attend. We had a great time overall. Thank you Robert, James, Amanda, Annie, and anyone else I may have missed but not forgotten, for your support of Indie writers.
Each day after standing in heels, I went back to my room for a quick rest to regain blood flow in my toes, and then it was back in the shuttle to the Doubletree to celebrate and have fun with my NIWA comrades and explore the “con” nightlife!
I’m now preparing for my third con in July — Westercon. Hopefully, I’ve learned a sufficient amount and might not be such a “con virgin” as the expert devotee’s call it. Overall, the conference gave me an enthusiasm to continue my writing career for love of the art. I have so much more to learn and hope that this path leads to imparting more magical realist stories.