In The Middle

Tried to catch some a few zzz’s between panels at Ad Astra but my brain just won’t shut off – in the good way. As someone with a mind that can latch on to bad things and spend the the night just turning them around and around, having my brain hamster-wheel something interesting is, while tiring, always welcome. Just getting off my feet is a blessing. It took a lot of willpower to not book every single minute of my day with panels. Something I do, really, over-book myself out of a fear of missing something. But as I get older (not that I’m that old now, sheesh, but I can feel the difference in what I was able to do at 20 that I can at 36)) I’m better able to predict what I can and can’t handle. Pushing the limit just means I’ll be tired, miserable, and more likely to miss out on even more.

And I need time to process all that I’ve heard today. Lots of good stuff. Many pages of notes. A fair split between writing-oriented panels and science/discussion panels. Still too many things that I did miss out on, but I can’t physically be in more then one place at time.

Holy cats, I can barely type. Now my brain is getting sleepy. Maybe I just needed to write something down from my own brain, not just what I was hearing all day.

I did sign up for the Writing Workshop, although I did it with a great deal of trepidation. It will be Tamora Pierce giving the workshop and while she won’t be reading anything of ours (so, in a way, my chicken-shit reputation is still intact!) it will be a smaller group, more intimate, lots of questions. She’s one of those writers who I’d heard over and over that I must read and listening to her at the panel she seems very grounded, very intelligent, and very committed to her readers and to the genre as a whole. Because much of her work is classified as YA, I didn’t actively seek her out up until now, but after reading some of the genre, a little by accident, I think I’m turning around.

Now, I’m not jumping onto the Twilight bandwagon – thank you gods no – but there is a lot of really well done YA that’s marketed as YA simply because the protagonist is young. And I’m thinking that my style, the more I read of YA, is more what I end up writing. Pierce also made the point that the greying of the audience for genre fiction is mostly due to the writers not creating material for YA readers to get hooked into – and it’s true. As a young reader I went from kid books to adult books very quickly, but I can trace it back to a writer that made that transition for me – Monica Hughes. (Pierce even mentioned her in the YA forum today!) I read these science fiction novels geared to a YA audience and, while I enjoyed reading before then, all of sudden everything clicked for me – I was hooked. When I couldn’t find other genre YA titles I switched right over into adult genre books around the age of 11.

Gotta book it. Have to get ready for the Masquerade and the remaining panels for the night. I’d like to check out the dance, but Todd is not likely to return to the hotel tonight (he’s having out with Toronto friends) so more than likely after the last panel I’ll cozy upstairs and get some shut eye so I’ll be well-rested for the workshop.

Then again, if this chicken Caeser salad refuses to sit well, I may be making an early night of it after all.


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