9:00 am - 9:30 am = Hang in the Coffee Bar.
I got to the coffee bar about 8:45, grabbed a coffee and cinnamon roll, and waited for Jay. When 9:30 rolled around, I figured he had been feeling sick and wasn't going to make it. cscole strolled by and when I told her I was waiting for Jay she said "he's in the restaurant". It turns out Jay had said "Coffee Garden" (the name of the restaurant) and had been there since 8:30 am with Ken Scholes and Jen (Ken's wife). I was utterly embarrassed and mumbled severe apologies again and again.
9:30 - 10:00 am = Chat with Jay and Ken
Luckily, Jay and Ken were still willing to chat so we spent a good 30 minutes talking about "kitchen sink" adventure stories and how you still give them meaning and resonance inside the great plot and setting. In the end, it comes down to character, and to wants and needs. We talked about some specific "kitchen sink adventure" stories that Jay and Ken wrote and how they worked along these lines. I ended up with more to think about with respect to my "Inspector Naidu" story.
10:00 am - 10:45 am = More Chat with Ken
Jay had to run to another meeting, but Ken very kindly said that we should sit and talk some more. We talked about adventure stories and writing and plumbing the personal depths within your stories. This was a very good talk about writing and how you make your stories deeper and more meaningful and richer. Ken drew from his personal experiences while talking about some of his stories to show how they gained emotional depth. Ken is just a really great guy and very friendly and I enjoyed all of our interactions a lot.
Ken said that he thinks I'm in a good place with my writing, based on both what he's read of mine and how I talk about writing, and that I just need to be persistent and keep going and keep pushing and things have a good chance of working out. He recommended I apply to a short story workshop in Oregon later this year, and he'll send me a pointer. He also said I shouldn’t be surprised if I end up writing a novel one day. I'll disagree with that and will keep disagreeing until it happens!
After talking with Ken, I went back to the room to finish packing then did a quick checkout and stored my bags for a while.
11:15 am - 11:40 am = John Pitts Reading
John is a good friend of Ken and Jay who I met on Thursday so I went to hear him read a story about a blacksmith interacting with both gods and regular people while re-forging a sword. I only caught the last half and I wish I'd heard the whole thing as there was some good funny parts and the overall tone sounded interesting. Ken thinks John will sell the story, so perhaps I'll get to read it some day.
11:40 am - 12:15 am = Shopping
I hit the dealer room for a while and bought stuff for C, E, and A. After a while, all the cons have the same things and same vendors. This does make it easier to shop quickly by buying necklaces and earrings, but some day I want to spend more time in the dealer room and find something new and different for them.
12:15 pm = Go Home.
I went off to the airport, grabbed some lunch at Burger King (chicken sandwich and fries), read the Seattle paper, zoned for a while, then caught the flight home. By the time I got home I was really really worn out, but was re-energized by seeing the family again.
And thus endeth another fun, successful, and enjoyable Norwescon! I think it really is my favorite science fiction convention, both for the writing sessions and for the wide range of other crazy activities that occur. I will definitely go back next year, schedules allowing.