Sunday, August 9, 2009

On the road again: Worldcon, Montreal, day 4

I was sleepy enough this morning that I pushed my wake-up time to 11:18--which may sound luxuriously late but is far less so when you go to bed close to six in the morning. (The good part of staying up so late is that I was fully prepared for the writers' workshop session that Elizabeth Bear and I were leading.)

That two-hour affair went pretty well, with critiques that I believe delivered real value to the writers. I wish all three of them the best of luck with their future writing.

Other highlights of the day include some work, the masquerade, which was surprisingly strong, and then the fireworks show. As fortune would have it, the South African entry in the international fireworks competition was tonight at 10:00, so the convention arranged for a viewing from the rooftop cafe of the convention center. The show was beautiful and magical and included colors I've never seen in fireworks: multiple shades of orange, including a pumpkin-colored burst, raspberry, and several others. Sitting on a rooftop on a cool summer night watching fireworks is quite a treat indeed.

In the Hotel Intercontinental's bar tonight, Chesley winner, Hugo nominee, and friend, John Picacio, and I were discussing the way external forces can mess with your head. You can come to a convention as an artist or writer and never be recognized, and you can also come and have fans praise your work, win awards, and so on. The former end of the spectrum of recognition is brutally hard on your ego, and the latter can inflate it. In the end, though, neither matters, because you go home, and then you have to go to work. If you let any of that noise touch your work, then the work--and thus, you--will suffer for the distraction. The work is the thing, and I like never to forget that fact.

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