Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What I Learned at Boskone

Seen at Boskone. Pretty sure I saw it move.
One of the great things about being a writer is hanging out with writers like it's your job. And it is. I did this recently at  Boskone 51, and since it's my job, I even learned stuff.

New Word-- Heard in the bathroom. Two young women discussing their tattoos. One woman translating the Latin phrase she had tattooed on her arm. The second woman, “Oh, I’m so jelly.” That’s right. Tattoos are now so trendy you get to be “Jelly” of them.

Mind Control--James Patrick Kelly reading from his story. Really, JPK reading his own work will suck you out of your Universe and into his. The man should come with a warning label. Warning: You only think you’re in charge of where your mind goes. Now, listen and discover the truth.

Other New Word—Bronies. So in addition to getting to listen and develop a secret crush on Seanan McGuire, she also taught me about Bronies. Apparently, everyone knows about Bronies, and I am desperately out of the loop. But if you're out of the loop too, Bronies are men who are devoted to the animated series My Little Pony. Which is kind of cute. Except, some members of this group are sexually devoted. Not so cute. I’m not sure how you make a My Little Pony pr0n, but they are out there.

Stonecoast People are Cool—I’m not really including myself in this category. Yes, I went to SC, but I’m not cool. I’m dorky with a touch of squeamish. However, I was really impressed with the SC people at Boskone. Not only are our people out there helping to set up and run Boskone and making cool Futuredaze anthologies that has, among others, Neil Gaimon, Nancy Holder, Paolo Bacigalupi, Libby Bray, and Cassandra Claire in it, but they are also doing readings that make you want to dance a happy those-be-my-fellow-MFAers jig. Yes, there is a jig for that. It’s slightly pompous, so I tend not to break it out too often. Besides, you need lots of room for the feathers, strutting, and elbows. I am breaking it out now though, to cheer on the amazing readings done by Julie C. Day, Michael J. DeLuca, Mur Lafferty, Sean Robinson, Margaret Ronald, Hannah Strom-Martin, Scott Andrews, and Fran Wilde. Way to go kids! And yeah, not all the people on this list are from Stonecoast, but the others are from Viable Paradise and Odyssey--two cool writing workshops that deserve their own dance.

View from my Boskone hotel window. 
Snowstorms Don’t Matter--When you’re at Boskone enjoying the hell out of yourself and in a high-rise building, even though it’s snowing pretty badly, it doesn’t really matter. You kind of look down on all that snow and the streets and think—who cares? It’s not like I have to go anywhere. And if I do get stuck here, there are multiple bars and restaurants. Yep, I’m good with that.

I Can Get Tongue Tied—I rarely stopped talking at Boskone, though some of my sentences ended with me staring off into space. That’s the way I roll when I’m overly excited, haven’t had a lot of sleep, and have a drink in my hand. I have to admit though, I did get a little tongue tied when the amazing Nancy Holder—who I’m honored to have had as a writing instructor--came over and introduced our table to Charlaine Harris. She’s so cool! And she has the most adorable Southern accent. And I’m not sure how I’m ever going to get her to be my friend and share all her clever writing knowledge, if I can only wave lamely when she visits the table. Next time, Charlaine. Next time. (If she sees this post, she'll never return to Boskone.)

Boskone So Worth It—Boskone was so worth bypassing a hundred mile car crash, taking two trains—one of which was delayed again and again--and getting into Boston nine hours after I started my journey. Not just because of the cool people and great experiences, but because the cool people and great experiences revived my writerly spirit. Hanging out with old friends, meeting new people, and listening to fascinating individuals who all know the excruciating joy of writing has me pumped to be back at my desk and participating in this wacky craft we call writing. Thanks, Boskone, for another great year!


  1. I have been trying to get back to Boskone for several years now. It remains one of my favorites, probably because I get to see old friends there that I don't see otherwise, or haven't seen in years. Maybe next year!

    1. Terri-Lynne, I so missed not having you there! I hope you can make it next year!!

  2. Oh, now you make me wish I'd braved the weather. One becomes very cowardly about snow and ice when one has become a Floridian (there is an official blood test for Floridian-ness: when a pool heated to 80 is still too cold to swim in, you know you're blood has thinned to official Floridian viscosity).

    1. Ha! At least you admit your weakness! : D You would've had a great time, but would love to see you there next year!