Capclave, Clyde’s, and Crappy Contact Lenses

How’s THAT for alliteration?

For those of you unaware, I am conferencing this weekend. And so conveniently, too! The hotel is just a half mile from here.

Capclave is a writing conference centered around science fiction and fantasy, which means I love it and hold it to my bosom without further provocation.

This year’s Guests of Honour are John Scalzi and Nick Mamatas, and next year they boast the bearded character-killer himself, George R.R. Martin. Sound snazzy? It’s snazzy. I met Mr. John Scalzi tonight and was rather awkward. Me + people can be an interesting social experiment. If we ever meet in person, consider yourself warned.

I glued my arse to one chair for a whopping FOUR panels in a row, gentle viewers. I think I deserve a medal for that. Four hours. One chair. And sadly, one arse. I think I need a spare for tomorrow.

Those panels were…

Comic Relief, in which the panelists discussed the use of humour in serious fiction. And they managed it without ONCE mentioning Joss’s infinite wisdom, “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of god, tell a joke.” But then, I like Joss’s style. Some don’t.

Popular Dystopias, in which panelists and the audience discussed the draw of dystopian fiction. Specifically, why teens like it so durn much. One author, Diana Peterfreund, mentioned that she feels like young women in particular are drawn to the genre, and I can’t help but wonder if that says something deeper about how young women feel about the world at large. Possibly a blog post in there, knowing me.

So you want to be a writer, eh?

So You Want to Be a Writer? In this panel, five authors discussed the difficulties (and successes) of authordom. From rejection to teensy pay and all the rollercoastery goodness of the business, they covered the bases pretty well. Brenda Clough in particular was very entertaining and engaging, as was Nick Mamatas. He also speaks at an incredible speed, leading me to think that if he ever throws up his hands at the writing world, he could make a living as an auctioneer or a racetrack announcer. However, seeing how he loves writing because he can do it at home away from people (a kindred spirit!), those might not be the best career paths. He should just stick with writing. I hear he’s good at it.

Horror — More Than Scary Stories? This panel was…interesting. We tried to define horror (emotion? feeling? genre? supernatural elements or none? both?) and I got to hear a guy with a really bushy moustache and a Hawaiian shirt say “splatterpunk,” which still makes me happy.

Then came a MUCH needed and severely overpriced dinner in the hotel restaurant, followed by my good friend Brian E. Shaw and his reading of his AWESOME short story (his first sale, WOOHOO!) that was just published in Cucurbital 3, an anthology by Paper Golem Press. Zombie-fighting drag queen. Need I say more?

Cucurbital 3 isn’t yet up for sale on the website, but when it is, is out, and you must can buy it here! (Scroll to the very bottom, and you’ll find links!) Brian’s story alone is worth it.

Here’s a picture of Brian reading like a BOSS.

Among other “like a BOSS” moments of the day, a large group of us had lunch at Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville before the con started. Brian knows the chef, who surprised us all with our OWN surf n’ turf appetisers which consisted of puff pastry, ahi tuna, lobster, and steak tartare. Erm…amazing. Delicious. Our group consisted of writers, both published and pre-published (I’m published, yay! Even if it’s non-fiction, I’m claiming it. Heh.), spouses, Lawrence Schoen of Paper Golem, and a lot of Emmie staring around trying to keep up with conversations. Let it never be said that I talk too much in large groups of mostly strangers.

*Initiate Introvert Sequence in 3….2……1….*

Anyhoo, Day One was a success, and I look forward to more from tomorrow!

OH. I almost forgot the Most Depressing Bit (no, that was not my awkwardness meeting John Scalzi). My contact lenses decided to crap out on me! Two hours into the night, they went all hazy and blurred. Not only were they horribly painful, but I could barely see by the time Spouse picked me up. Maybe I’ll blame my awkwardness on that. Yeah. That’s what I’ll do.


About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on October 13, 2012, in Capclave 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. It sounds awesome. I’m jealous. Enjoy yourself and happy learning!

  2. Sounds like you’re having a great conference in Rockville (except for the contacts). *waves from just a few miles up the road.*

  3. Emmie, CUCURBITAL 3 is out, it’s the website that’s messed up (I’m switching over, and the pointers aren’t in place yet). Here’s the URL:

    Scroll to the bottom and you’ll find links to buy the book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, in trade paper or hard cover, and even Kindle formats.

  1. Pingback: Ketchup, Carcassonne, and Cornbread « Emmie Mears

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