When Alix turned up on LJ a few days ago, he'd just posted his answers to someone's five questions (they're really interesting -- go read!). I commented on that post, and as we re-met, he offered to ask me questions, as well. I thought it would be a good exercise to try, and he's been patient with me.
(heavily filtered so as to avoid stirring up WC ancient history...)
1. What are your five best memories of WriterCon? (Not to include my presence there; even if it qualifies — yeah, right — I’m seeking information rather than positive strokes.)
In no particular order:
Meeting and briefly talking with Jane E. was big, and the moment when the concom gave me the autographed door sign from Jane's Q&A literally brought me to tears, as I'd missed most of her talk.
The overall experience of working so closely with several really great friends -- we hadn't seen each other in over a year, and it was truly mind-blowing to work on a big project with real friends. If I have to isolate it to one single bit, I think it was the way registration accidentally started 8 hours early and we managed to handle it regardless. Looking up to see Jen S's smiling face for the first time and the relief I felt at the computer part she'd snagged for me stands out as the real beginning of the con for me.
The Magic Box. I spend a good chunk of time up in Ops and the Magic Box, and as a result got to have some amazing conversations with our guests and other vendors. If you told me I had to limit this list to a single memory, this one would be the one to survive.
The generalized experience of seeing so *many* people connecting. Not being involved in it, just watching it happen. It was exactly what we'd hoped for, and so much more than I ever expected. I know there were flaws in the programming, hotel, location, etc., but watching folks interact told me all I needed to know about success vs failure.
Meeting so many wonderful people. There was one person, in particular who really affected me. Someone whose work I'd read before and who I admired quite a bit actually wrote part of a story for me right there on the spot. There were more moments like that than I can count during WC 04, but that's illustrative. My greatest hope for next WC is to get a broader balance of fans and writers there -- last time was partially built on our original connections in Spike fendom, which created an attendee balance that was out of whack with the overall balance of fandom. I'm hopeful that this time around, enough of the different corners of fandom will have had a good time that that will change.
2. You read, you write, you demonstrate the requisite modesty regarding the quality of your own work. What is the story you most wish you could write … and may yet, but you’re just not up to it at this point?
In original fiction terms, there is at least one "love story" and one fantasy novel in me, both partially written and hardly professionally attended to, but the one that tugs at me the most is more a coming of age story. I have characters and worlds, but right now, the plotting is where things fall apart for me. I do better at this stage with short stories and poetry than I do with the novel form. But I'm working my way (slowly) where I want to go. I regularly open a blank document and plug away at outlining this one, until I hit a roadblock. Sometimes, I do it two or three times from scratch before I decide it's time to put it away and work on something that I can finish. There's no particular hurry, and as long as I remember that, I'll get there eventually.
In fic terms, I have left a story unfinished that had a lot of merit in Buffy fandom. The stuff I cut my teeth on was...mediocre S/B fic. I'd evolved both as a fan and a writer by the time Carthage came along, and I just couldn't keep going with it unless I could do it right. The first few chapters and the concept were fairly distinctive, and fairlly well done, but I took a wrong turn in one particular spot (more like I rushed to a point that shouldn't have been rushed), and I never found a way to fix it and get things back on track. Maybe someday, I will. I've thought about it at any rate.
3. What is the greatest upside, followed by the greatest downside, of hosting a fan convention rather than just attending one? And the greatest upside/downside of attending rather than hosting?
Hosting rather than attending: Upside: having access to *everything* and the warm fuzzies that come when guests (attendees) are happy. Downside: the need to be constantly "on" -- very, very taxing for an introvert.
Attending rather than hosting: Upside: Freedom to do what you want, whenever you want. Downside: Hmm. Well, at more traditional media type conventions (not sff cons), I often feel like I'm viewing a sideshow, and the real meat of the event for me is the folks I came with or met there, so it can feel a little wasteful. Obviously that doesn't really happen when you're the one hosting ;-)
4. If you could have one of the actual Buffy/Angel CHARACTERS (not the person playing that character) at WriterCon II, which one do you think would provide the biggest reward in ratio to the number of blood sacrifices you’d have to perform to make it happen? What function(s) would you want the character to perform in the convention: panel, lecture, Q&A, what? (No private recreation.)
Oh you made that hard by insisting on a character. My answer wants to be Joss Whedon. Seriously, the blood sacrifices and sins I would commit to collar that man into a Q&A would shame Angelus. None of the actors themselves feature on my personal fantasy guest list (honest!). But since that doesn't count, I think I have to go with Buffy. I think she's the one character who every writer who's a fan of the shows wants to know more about, one way or another. I supposed we'd have to have heavy duty security, what with so many folks with "Buffy issues" in the fandom, but I think offering writers a chance for insight into the reasons why she did the things she did (or didn't do the things she didn't do) might just be the most useful Q&A we writers could get. She might make a great moderator for some of the more contentious panels, too ;-)
5. In regard to the infamous “unattended drink” incident, did no one ever seriously consider the possibility (which honestly didn’t occur to me until weeks afterward) that the guy who was hanging around you through most of the evening just might have been a likely suspect?
Not really. It never once occurred to me, but the police *did* ask about you. Very quickly, the pattern of when/where both of our memories went completely blank and the places other witnesses were able to verify we'd been ruled you out completely. Personally, I believe that your presence may well have been what saved our drugged female butts. Security and the police agreed.