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World Fantasy Report and NaNoWriMo Woes

November 7, 2011

So today is the day I fell behind on NaNoWriMo. I was able to maintain a 2000 word buffer for four days. For me, that is amazing. However, NaNo started on my “on week” at work so I was totally exhausted and had a minor depressive episode. So I took today off. Which was a smart move. Got to relax and hang out with my family on my only day off in my eleven day stretch at work. It also started while I was home sick with strep and could barely breath, let alone swallow.

But enough about that. I’m sure I’ll bore you with more of that later on in the month.

I went to World Fantasy! I met Neil Gaiman! I had strep the entire time! It was actually pretty horrible being sick, since at one point I had to take an afternoon nap and missed Neil Gaiman’s guest of honor interview.  :( He still signed all of my books which I will gladly show you if you come to visit me.

I’ve decided to approach this differently than my WorldCon review. The panels at WorldCon were full of useful information for writers. The panels at World Fantasy, not so much. They were interesting conversations but not helpful in application as a writer. To be honest, I mostly just author stalked the whole time.


I met/stalked Patrick Rothfus and heard him speak on a panel about faries.

The man is obsessed. It was delightful.

Other heroes I met include Tamora Pierce, Holly Black, Peter S. Beagle, Garth Nix, and did I mention NEIL GAIMAN? I took the advice of another aspiring writer I met at WorldCon and asked for these authors to sign my books and add any advice or encouragement they had for an aspiring writer. That was a long sentence. Forgive me. NaNo syndrome.



That advice is perhaps the best thing I can share with you without making you green with envy that you were not there to meet Neil Gaiman. Here it is:

Follow your obsessions. – Tamora Pierce

Show up to work. – Peter S. Beagle

Don’t give up. – Garth Nix

Also, never give up. – Connie Willis

Follow Heinlein’s Rules of Writing. – Neil Gaiman

Connie and Neil’s advice was actually given in person during their on stage conversation. At the end they took questions and mine was the very last. Connie told a story about how for Christmas she thought she was picking up a present at the post office. Instead, it was all eight manuscripts she had out. Rejected. Eight. She almost gave up that day. I’m very glad she didn’t.

Neil’s advice was of course utterly practical. I have heard of Heinlein’s Rules for Writer’s before but they really are simply the only rules you must follow to become a published writer and stay that way:

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you write.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
  4. You must put the work on the market.
  5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

If you haven’t heard it before, I hope you enjoy it and follow it. And that’s it for now! Go write something. Or possibly read something by Neil Gaiman. His books are lovely and magical.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2011 4:30 pm

    Cool write-up. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like, in spite of being sick, you had a good time. :)

  2. Cassandra Arnold permalink
    November 25, 2011 2:59 pm

    love it! Thanks for sharing. I might get to go in future now youhave me all excited by the event

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