Thursday, August 25, 2016

WorldCon

Last week, I ventured east across the Great Plains to Kansas City for MidAmeriCon II, my first WorldCon since 2008 in Denver. This was the first one since then that I could drive to, though Kansas City isn't an easy drive. Those Kansas winds are killer.

My traveling companion was my dad, who packed boxes of books into the back of my Corolla to get them signed by his favorite authors. It's my dad's influence that got me interested in science fiction and fantasy. I grew up surrounded by shelves full of the genre's classics, and even read a few of them.

We arrived at our hotel late Tuesday, and the con started the next morning. I wasn't a participant, which is to say I didn't sit on any panels or do any readings. Instead, I wandered the dealers room, watched panels, hung out in the SFWA suite, met up with friends and generally had a fantastic time.

The Hugo Awards ceremony was a highlight. I first learned such a thing as a Hugo existed as a kid, when my dad handed me his paperback copy of "Ender's Game" and it said on the cover that this book was a Hugo winner. Ever since, I've wanted to participate in the voting and be in the room when the winners were announced. I was happy with the winners, considering the behind-the-scenes controversy (Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about). Achievement unlocked!

Dad and I drove home Sunday, and I got back to work Monday morning with renewed energy and excitement.

Next year's WorldCon will be in Helsinki. Yeah. I'm not getting to that one. But I might be able to attend the one in San Jose in 2018.

Monday, August 8, 2016

John Oliver on journalism

On the most recent episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver explained better than I have ever seen the importance of local newspapers, why they're in trouble and why you shouldn't shy away from paying for your news. Also, he's really funny, as evidenced by the trailer for the movie "Stoplight" toward the end of the segment. Please take 20 minutes out of your day to watch this instead of (or in addition to) videos of cats, and thank you.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Writing, job hunt and Olympics

Flyby post today.

The novel is coming along. I'm at 48,000-plus words and hope to hit the 50,000 mark today, which also will mark the three-fourths point in my outline. I don't know whether I'll have a draft done before WorldCon, which starts in two weeks, but that's still my goal.

I had an interview yesterday for what looks like a great position in government communications. I'm one of three finalists and will find out next week whether they want me, with my extensive media background, or want to go in another direction. I hope for the former. The people are nice, the work is varied, and I would have an actual office for the first time in my career. I also know a rejection doesn't mean I'm not qualified or wouldn't do a great job. (Because I am qualified and would do a great job, of course!) It only means they would want an extensive PR background, or marketing, or something else. The hard part now is waiting.

At least I have the Olympics to distract me this weekend. Summer games, Rio, Zika fears. Go Team USA! This is the only time I watch sports on television. I've already watched some women's soccer, which I love because I played soccer for years when I was a kid.

That's about it. Told you this would be short. Time to go write.