Monday, September 26, 2011

By the end of Rainfurrest: I met all kinds of amazing people and had the most fun I've ever had at a con.

I got to be on two panels with Alan Dean Foster, which was a real highlight. And, according to the feedback I got, I was actually good at being on writing panels! (Given my painful shyness and fear of public speaking, that was not something I actually expected.) I really enjoyed telling people about my experiences as a writer and teaching what I know about writing, and a number of people told me that they found my comments on the panels to be insightful and interesting. One man even told me that he liked what he'd seen of my sense of humor on one panel enough that he went right to the dealers' room and bought my book.

Which brings us to "Otters In Space"... After selling a couple copies of it at WorldCon, I was almost out of the box I ordered last summer. So, in a fit of optimism, I ordered an entire second box, and the people at the FurPlanet table were kind enough to agree to carry them for me in the dealers' room. I figured I'd probably sell better than at WorldCon, since Rainfurrest is a much more targeted audience for a book about talking cats, dogs, and otters. However, I never imagined I would actually sell out during the weekend! By the end, I had to find a way to clip a ballpoint pen to my badge, because it was just too inconvenient to keep digging it out to sign copies of "Otters In Space" and the Rainfurrest anthology (which had two of my stories in it) all the time. I'm pretty sure that this is the best problem I've ever had.

On top of all the writerly goodness, though, I really just love going to Rainfurrest. I like wearing my ears and tail; I like carrying around a plush otter or My Little Pony without getting strange looks; I like all the giant, friendly animals who wave at you and give you hugs and bounce around playing. This year, I brought my four-year-old daughter and my mother to keep track of her, and they had a great time too. Elaine chased around fursuiters -- especially a green unicorn and a raptor who had a My Little Pony in his mouth. (She had to inform him that "ponies are not tasty!"; I'm told that he replied that they taste like ice cream.)

The whole weekend was fun and fantastic and I can't wait to do it again next year. I guess, I'll just have to make it all the way down for Further Confusion again this January to make it not quite so long until the next convention. I hope I'll get to see some of the new friends I've made there.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Let the season of make-believe begin!

We start the fall every year with our annual Talk Like a Pirate Day party. It's mainly an excuse to dress up like pirates and say "Arrrr!" a lot. I mean, sure, we could do that on Halloween, but then we wouldn't have a day for dressing up like The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland or the fairy story centered on a young girl that we've chosen for this year... Anyway, this weekend was especially intense in the make-believe department, because we also went to Fairyworlds Harvest. I wasn't really planning to do costumes for it, but my friend Sarina discovered that she had some child-sized fairy wings and gave them to Elaine. Then, while I was searching Goodwill for Halloween costumes, I found a pair of amazing butterfly wings. Thus, Elaine and I got to spend the day, dressed as fairies, traipsing through the woods. Elaine was given no less than two free wands -- one with crystals and pink rocks on it and the other made from balloons. She was invited to a tea party where she sat on a giant red toadstool and drank mint tea served by a fairy. It was a delightful way to spend the day.

Then, we had our pirate party! Arrr! And we even managed to capture a mermaid and make her dance for us. Arrrr!

Next up in make-believe land: I head north to Rainfurrest this weekend. I will be on nine panels, including a Furry Writers' Guild Meet & Greet and a reading from my own "Otters In Space." The rest of the panels are about the craft of writing. And I will, of course, be wearing my fluffy Sheltie ears and tail the whole time. I'm almost tempted to wear my butterfly wings as well and be a fairy cat, but I think that might be a bit much.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Apparently, when I get stuck -- as in, make negligible progress for most of a year stuck -- on "Otters In Space," my solution ends up being to stick the main character in a box. Maybe when I'm writing OiS3 and get stuck around the 30,000 word mark, instead of banging my head uselessly against it for a year, I can skip straight to having Kipper hide in a box and keep writing.