History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek


This weekend, I went to RustyCon with my husband, who was on several panels about writing and gaming. I ended up tagging along to all of the panels he was on, and then found some other panels that we were both interested in as well.

I didn’t actually head down until mid-afternoon on Saturday, because I wanted to get some writing done and also the laundry. This meant I had to bus and then take the light rail, but this worked out to my advantage. I got an idea while on the light rail, and was able to write a nearly 500 word prologue for a story I’ve been fighting with recently. As it turns out, I think it’s meant to be a book, not a short story. So it was a serendipitous decision to not ride down with Jeremy on Saturday morning!

We went to a panel on gaming on Saturday night, that Jeremy was on. It ended up slightly derailed by a vocal audience member, but Jeremy was able to rein in the discussion somewhat by asking the other panelist some good questions. Overall, though, I found it frustrating, because my idea of a good game was NOT the same as the vocal audience member, but I didn’t really have a chance to get a word in edgewise. Ah well.

After that, we headed to another panel that Jeremy was on, which ended up being a combined panel. The self-publishing and indie publishing panels had been scheduled for the same slot, and the panelists decided to merge them. This was a good choice, as it ended up being one of the better attended panels.

On Sunday, we went down a lot earlier, because there were a number of panels related to YA that I was interested in. We went to one on getting teenagers interested in sci-fi that ended up being more about popular media to interest teenagers, but we got some good book recommendations for Jeremy’s niece from the 16 year old who was on the panel. We went to a Weird West panel that ended up talking a lot about the history of Seattle, but hey, it’s kind of weird, and definitely in the west!

We also went to a panel on being a “real” writer, which ended up being pretty heavily skewed toward “real” meaning “professional.” Interestingly enough, though, I came away from that panel with the opinion that even if someone could qualify for SFWA, thereby being “professional,” writing would probably not be their sole source of income. Perhaps discouraging to some, but I took it to mean that I should keep on doing what I’m doing, and if I end up getting enough pro sales to qualify for SFWA, woo hoo!

The panel after that was one on morality in YA, which ended up being a sort of round table discussion because most of the attendees were YA writers. It was interesting to hear what other people thought in terms of what writers should and shouldn’t include in a YA novel in terms of language and violence. I suspect that all of my YA stuff is far more tame than some YA (especially since I really write middle reader as opposed to YA), but it’s good to hear that I’m probably not going to offend anyone with what I do include!

After that, Jeremy was supposed to be on one more panel, but after 20 minutes, the other panelist had not appeared, and I was the only one in the audience. So we headed out.

Overall, RustyCon is a nice, small convention. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by too many people around me as I have at some other cons. The panels had rather low attendance, especially in comparison to something like NorWesCon. But I met some cool people, picked up a couple of books and some gorgeous artwork, and generally didn’t feel like I had made a bad decision in taking a day and a half off from writing to attend!

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