Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Radcon 2013 - Part 1

    Back from Radcon 2013 and boy was it a hoot. 3 days of panels and hob-nobbing with a few pros. At the end I was tired and bleary eyed, but happy. So worth the trip and expense. Travel went off without a hitch & while there was a small snafu with the hotel room, it was a minor thing. Along the way we listened to Professor Drout give lectures on writing, which might seem boring but are endlessly fascinating in terms of information and presentation. This is a long review, so I'm going to be breaking it up into multiple posts. I'll be adding a few links that might catch people's interest. Without further ado, here's how things went.

    I had noticed on the schedule that John Dalmas was giving a talk on sci-fi at 3 pm panel. It was one of the first ones, so we got in with an hour to spare, snagged badges, tossed our bags in the room, and booked it over to the panel. It was early enough that it wasn't crowded and John decided to go off track to read from a current WIP that wasn't sci-fi. Not that we cared, since it was cool to listen to him read and give little bits of commentary about life back in the depression. For those that don't know, John is in his 80's and has some big health issues, but man, he's still got that drive to write. He didn't sell his first book until he was 45, so there's always time. Next was a "Characters with character" panel that was mediocre at best.
    After that was the "Help! I Need an Editor!" panel given by a professional editor [Andrea Howe] and a self-published author [Jason Andrew Bond] that employed an editor. I was the only one to show up at first, which was a bit disconcerting, though by the end we had a handful of people. That panel should have been standing-room-only. No writer is perfect the first time out. Revision and editing is needed on pretty much all  manuscripts. Beta readers that can go over your prose and tell you where it fails is absolutely needed. I try to be good, but I know that I'm just vomiting out words when I write and stuff happens. I noted that I have an issue with leaving out small words or changing thought in mid-stream. Andrea said that sort of information needs to be passed along to any editor that is employed so they know what to look out for. As I was the first one to show up, I got a signed copy of Mr. Bond's book. Score #1 of the weekend.
    Last panel was "The Privilege of a Lifetime". The description was this: Mythologist Joseph Campbell was quoted as saying “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” Just like many of our favorite characters in science fiction and fantasy novels, we are all potentially on our own Hero\'s Journey in life. Are you being true to yourself, making the most of your unique talents and passions? How can we encourage creativity, independent thinking, and personal empowerment in our children? What role does education play, and what can be done to prevent, as Sir Ken Robinson states, \"educating people out of their creative capacities\"? Looking back. I think this was a panel setup by one of the participants and was mostly a pitch on how crippled and stunted the current school system is. While I think it was a bit of an overstatement, I did agree with the idea the our current school system does crush creativity in the name of "practicality". From personal experience, I can attest at least that much is true and I admire the moderator's initiative to create an on-line school that personalizes education for each student.


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