View Full Version : Conestoga

Delilah Rehm
07-28-2008, 03:33 PM
It was a last minute decision, Thursday night to be exact, but I’m really glad I went to Conestoga (http://www.sftulsa.org/conestoga/) this past weekend in Tulsa Oklahoma. I had a wonderful time. I even took notes where I can always find them, in my pocket program!

The first note is a list of short story ideas, many from things Bill Ledbetter (http://www.williamledbetter.com/) and I talked about on the drive up. We also talked about the half novel I wrote last NaNo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/), worked out some of the problems I had in the second half (hence why I stopped working on it), and now I’m feeling pretty good about it. We talked about his work too, but I’m not sure I was as helpful to him. Of course just talking about writing is energizing.

I went to many panels, but I’m only going talk about a few of them. Gordon Van Gelder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Van_Gelder), the editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine (http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/)had some very interesting panels. His assistant, John Adams (http://www.johnjosephadams.com/) sorts through around 500-700 submissions every month. They only accept two submissions a month! Adding onto those sad figures, they publish many stories from professional authors with lots of published books. Basically, it’s a hard magazine to get into, even if you have a good story. It’s a good thing I like a challenge.

Some of my friends didn’t believe I’d do it, but I asked Gordon Van Gelder to lunch with me and some people in our writers group. He agreed, but since no one believed I’d ask him, they’d all disappeared! I was embarrassed. Gordon and I headed over to a nearby restaurant, and there we found Bill. Yay!

Gordon is a pretty cool guy. Yes, he’s rejected everyone and their dog, but see the above bit about how many stories he needs verses how many are submitted. I talked a bit about other stuff, but the conversation kept returning to writing, which was cool to hear things from Gordon’s perspective and experience. Still, I felt more pressure than I did talking with Tor editor Paul Stevens (http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_comprofiler&user=2466) or agent Lucienne Diver (http://luciennediver.com/). I wish I’d had more time to get to know Gordon with less shop talk, but things didn’t swing that way. It was a very busy Con with lots to do.

If you’re a writer and you ever get the chance to go to one of Shanna Swendson’s (http://www.shannaswendson.com/) panel on Mythology and Psychology of Characterization, DO IT! This was one of the best panels I’ve ever been to. She has lots of information on her website (http://www.shannaswendson.com/articles.html) also. Good stuff.

Another fun panel was The Art of Slush with Gordon Van Gelder and K. D. Wentworth (http://www.kdwentworth.com/). Many funny, over the top metaphors were where K. D. stopped reading various submissions. If you’re trying to get into (and perhaps even win) the Writers of the Future (http://www.writersofthefuture.com/) contest, do not, I repeat, DO NOT use the word “orb.” Got it? Just call it what it is, eye, sun, whatever.

I’m not a big filk (folk fan music) fan, but I love Firefly (http://www.tv.com/firefly/show/7097/summary.html) filk, especially the stuff from the Bedlem Bards (http://www.bedlambards.com/) (The song “Leaf on the Wind” still makes me cry). It seems to me almost the whole crew of Serenity has a song, except for my favorite character, Zoey! I meant to mention this, but forgot. If anyone happens to run into Cedric or Halk, please ask them for a Zoey song.

The parties were good, all two of them, Yard Dog (http://www.yarddogpress.com/)and FenCon (http://www.fencon.org/). I spent time with Cat Conrad (http://www.artistsinresidence.com/) and Rachel Caine (http://www.rachelcaine.com/), two super nice people. Rachel finally has use of both arms again after what seems like a year of recovery for two broken bones. It was good to see her out of the sling. She has a contest (http://rachelcaine.livejournal.com/113487.html) going for anyone buying her latest Weather Warden book this week(I love this series). Check it out!

Home again! My desk is a mess and I’m really tired. I just don’t get enough sleep at cons! Still…. Back to writing! :)