I am psyched for this year’s Southern California Writer’s Conference. I attended it as a completely unpublished writer several years ago, when I was still a pre-marital Justine Wilson, and workshopped the first pages of the first draft of my book BLOODANGEL in a ‘rogue workshop’ headed by the fine horror writer (and awesome person) Mark Clements. (Rogue workshops start around 8 or so and go until people call it quits, usually past midnight. Intense, hardcore. Loved it. Want to do it again.) At the banquet dinner at the conference’s end I was presented with the ‘Outstanding Fiction’ award, based on stuff I’d read aloud in various sessions, and it was a great confidence boost at a point when I needed it the most. All in all, an incredibly positive experience and if you can go, and want to go, then for the love of the pagan gods you should go.
I’m attending the LA branch of SCWC this fall and leading a workshop of my own; it will be called something along the lines of Dark Weavings: Braiding the Paranormal into Everyday Reality. What that means exactly I’m not entirely sure, although ideas are beginning to come to me, and now I have an excuse to rewatch favorite episodes of Buffy and Angel — it’s research, baby, research! You can never underestimate the power of pretending to know what you’re doing. I was scanning the still-forming schedule and noting several workshops I’d like to sneak into — as well as any rogue workshop headed again by Mark. (And if he had a website of his own, I would link to it, but he doesn’t and I am irked).
I keep mulling over a conversation I had with my eloquent editor Liz Scheier when I was in NYC a few weeks ago. We were both jet-lagged and drinking (the next day she emailed me, I called [a friend] on the way home and she said, “You just had dinner with an author? Honey, you’re totally incoherent. That was a bad idea”), so we were not at our intellectual finest. But we were talking about the difference between ‘horror’ and ‘dark fantasy’. Liz rattled off a definition that I thought was actually pretty good. But instead of relaying what she said just yet — because I’m tired and I need to wrap this up, put the dogs in the kitchen and go to wondrous bed — I thought I’d take this opportunity to pose A Question For Those Inclined To Answer:
Do you see a difference?
Is there a difference?