A few people have asked me where I’ve been lately since I haven’t been in my usual online haunts. The truth is that it’s been a seriously stressful week from a personal perspective with a family member in and out of the hospital. Plus a pile of tasks and deadlines. And, like everyone else, I am eyeing the world nervously and hoping we get through this to the other side and that there will be peace and justice for everyone.

It’s been busy in a good way too. The Virtual Nebula convention was held this last weekend and it was amazing. It really set a standard for Zoom cons that I seriously doubt any other con will ever meet. The panels were excellent, covering a range of useful topics. They created a honeycomb network of breakout rooms to allow people to gather and talk.

Highlight of the convention for me was getting to spend time in a small group with Lois McMaster Bujold, my very favorite writer. I was seriously tongue-tied, but I finally managed to get out a question on her process of writing. Bujold is basically a discovery writer, but she starts with a thick, rich setting and a few characters. Then she takes off from there. She had a fascinating discussion of how she created Miles Vorkosigan and Cordelia.

Also of note was a panel on sword fighting with disabled characters and a panel on how to balance multiple projects and deadlines. The panels were recorded and will be available until next April for half-price. The money goes to support people dealing with Covid19. Check the SFWA website for more. BTW, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a SFWA member before this, but after the conference I changed my mind. I want to earn my right to spend more time with people like the writers I met. I don’t know if I will as an Indie writer, but we’ll see.

I’m jittering between novel ideas, even though I thought I had settled on something. Today is my deadline to begin writing a novel. I guess I’m just going to hand the keys over the inner writer and have her decide as she writes. If there is one thing I learned from writing a short story a week, it’s that I’m never ready to begin writing. I just need to start.

I hope everyone stays safe. Be well friends!

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