This past weekend I took part in the virtual convention Flights of Foundry. It was put on by The Dream Foundry, and it was the first really, truly international writer’s conference that I’ve take part in. Programming was basically around the clock and that’s kind of amazing. Weirdly, that around-the-clockness helped ease my FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). There just wasn’t any chance that I could do everything. I am not built staying up around the clock. But the whole convention was chock-full of diversity, in topics, in presenters, and in the audience as well. It was such a good time that I know I will be joining next year as well. Especially if it’s online again.
The programming started lightly on Friday, which was really good for me because I had not managed to prepare for the actual convention over the course of the week. So I took Friday to prepare my notes and get the Savonian Gothic novel to a point that I could use it in the Letting the I Ching Write Your Story for You – workshop. The one panel I did attend, Narrative Poetry, was interesting and the panelists clearly very knowledgeable about poetry.
Saturday was a very full day indeed. I was either watching or participating in activities pretty much from 10 AM to 3AM. Reminder, I am over 40. I very much felt this day on Sunday. Somewhere in there, I moderated a panel about BookTube which was fun. My panelists (Claire Rousseau, Emily Lau, and Kitty G) were all freaking brilliant and I really would have loved to keep on asking questions for another hour. Out of the panels that I attended as audience, “What Makes Your Skin Crawl: Modern Horror Beyond Borders” is a definite standout. I know this is like every panel I attended, but it really could have gone on for another hour at least.
After midnight, I did a workshop with Henry Lien “Letting the I Ching Write Your Story for You”. I’ll do a blog post about this workshop next week so I won’t talk more about it here. After that, I had the very first reading of my own work! I’ve done a reading once before at World Fantasy Convention in… 2014? Probably. There was a mix up and my partner wound up with a reading he didn’t want. When we went to take care of it, the program office asked if I wanted it. I had nothing published, so I read from Emmi Itäranta’s Memory of water. But Saturday I finally read words that I put together! It felt great! And people seemed to like it! And then I went to bed. Because it was 2:30 and I am old.
Sunday was TIRED. The con was still excellent, don’t get me wrong. But I was dead on my feet all day. Well, on my ass more like, since I was mostly sitting. I did a panel with C.D Covington, Anna Martino, Aliette de Bodard, and Sofía Rhei about multilingual creativity. It was so much fun and the conversation that followed on the discord was also lively and almost ran over the next panel as well. And that would have been a shame because that panel was Making Your Reader Hungry: Food in SFF, which was the standout for me from this day. It was such a good panel! And then I went to the sauna. And the convention was (mostly) over for me.
I cannot describe how good it felt to have a convention that had a) panels and talks extremely relevant to my interests. And also b) happening in my time zone. I don’t think I went to a single 101 level panel, although I’m sure there were those as well. This was what I’ve always wanted out of my writer conventions. The convention was super well organized, the discussions on discord were interesting and as cool as the panels. The panelists were all knowledgeable on their topic and the reading recommendations from the panelists as well as on the discord were on fire. I will definitely attend this convention as long as it is being put on. I will probably be watching the panels and presentations I missed for weeks. It is going to be a good time.