Saturday saw me exploring Brisol's bus system, and finding the Mariott Hotel remarkably easily. Once inside, I was able to wear my Senninha baseball cap (it's a classic -- I'm not going to expose it to weather, now am I?) in the hope of being more easily spotted by Melandra aka M.A. Ford.
The Meet was opened by charliecochrane, who welcomed us to the place where we're all free to be ourselves and encouraged us to Buy More Raffle Tickets. That led nicely into the Novel Openings panel, in which my group were all very careful to stay within the 150-word limit and we were treated to a diverse range of genres and types of opening paragraphs from both groups (plus a presentation by Tab Kimpton of the first few panels from on of his graphic novels). The readings led into lots of discussion about voice and whether a good first paragraph automatically leads into a good book (mostly yes -- and the first paragraph needs to set up the book's main theme or problem that needs to be overcome). There was also a request for a cover art panel at the next Meet.
After coffee, cake and lots of chatting (including with Melandra), I went off to the other room for Murder at the Sci-Fi Convention – LGBTQ Subgenres. We came up with a massive list, and I got very heated about the correct definitions of Space Opera and Steampunk (although I spared the audience a full brakdown of clockpunk, dieselpunk, etc). There was debate about whether some genres are easier to write than others (NO -- and the bigger/more popular the genre, the more important it is to be a good writer in order to stand out).
Next up was my panel with Serena Yates: Whose Review Is It Anyway? in which we had a bit of confusion over how to define the ownership of reviews but then had a very lively discussion about who reviews should be for.
Following a smashing lunch, we got to collect our tote bags full of swag, and then I ran the Buffet of Banter table for The Full QUILTBAG. We had two very good discussion sessions, including one in which I was very much outnumbered by the asexual delegates. Which was fun and gave me lots of ideas both for what I should write at some point and for books to look out for.
After more coffee, cake and chatting, we were entertained by the first of our keynote speakers Belinda McBride, who gave us lots of encouraging words on creativity under pressure and what to do when the words won'gt flow.
There was just time for a quick Daft Prize Draw (in which I won a mug) before the Spotlight Book Fair, where I was reasonably restrained (although I did buy the box set of Tab's comics).
View from the main room:
After all that, I met up with spacefall again and we had a long wander around Bristol looking for street art (more on which later and/or elsewhere).
Our first find:
There was also vegan cake, and we bought a small stack of remaindered books, before heading back to spacefall's house where we divided up my swag (Love Hearts are vegan and so belonged to them, while other sweets weren't and so belonged to me, etc).