My adventure

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Yep. BH and I spent a long weekend at the 2007 World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY.

“But Laurie,” you say. “You don’t write fantasy. You don’t write science fiction. You write contemporary YA and dabble in historical fiction. What on earth were you doing there?”

For years, whenever teen audiences would ask what I read when I was in high school, I’d blush and confess that I wouldn’t touch realistic stories back then with a ten-foot pole. I would only read sci-fi and fantasy. I don’t know that I will ever write in those genres, but I love them, and I adore many of the practitioners of the art. So I decided to treat myself and attend a conference as a fan instead of a speaker, to sit in the audience, to be nameless and faceless and perfectly content.

It was a blast. We saw Sharyn November () who was nominated for the Anthology award, and Theo and Holly Black . I sat in on panels exploring ghost stories, fantasy worlds, Australian writers, female fantasy authors from the last two hundred years, archetypes, and then some more ghosts.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Plus I got to fangrrl over a few heroes, like Tamora Pierce (who gave a wonderful reading)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic and Garth Nix.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic We loved the city of Saratoga Springs. We ate (and drank) a lot at Saratoga Coffee Traders, chatted up Dale the Cheese/Meat Guy at Putnam Market, and barely escaped spending every last dime on yarn at Saratoga Needle Arts.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic We stayed at a terrific B&B, The Mansion, outside of town.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic They serve a killer breakfast there.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This lady stared at us while we slept. That was a little creepy, I admit.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic We also took several trips out to the Saratoga National Battlefield. On Saturday we snuck in a run through a good portion of it. This is the view looking southeast from Bemis Heights. Definitely need to go back.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Before heading home, we wandered north into the Adirondacks to visit the graves of my grandparents and this, their last home. Shed some good tears, held them in my heart, and was very, very filled with happy memories.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Then I introduced my husband to Oscar’s Smokehouse, close to Grandpa’s. We stocked up on nitrate-laden fatty animal products and headed home.

For those who have heard one of my recent speeches, this was a weekend of well-filling. Will anything I saw or experienced turn up in a story? I dunno. That wasn’t the point. The point was to stretch myself, to do something new, to laugh and eat and have fun.

Mission accomplished. My muse is fat and happy and the well is filled to the brim.

28 Replies to “My adventure”

  1. Hee! Isn’t it fun to be a fangirl? I’m jealous as you saw some of my favourite authors – but it sure sounds like you had a great time. Tamora Pierce has never failed to impress me any time I’ve seen her present.

    What a great opportunity also to visit your grandparents graves and home. My grandmother passed away last week at 97! I wasn’t able to get back for the funeral (I live a couple thousand miles away in a semi isolated spot and there wasn’t time to get there by the time I knew the time and date). I’m happy for you.

  2. Creepy Photo, and other things

    Hi, there!
    I heard about your post from ladyhawk on another list. I was at the World Fantasy Con myself, and had a great time, too! I regret I didn’t have time to wander around the town and see the sights, though. You took great pictures. LOVE that B&B!

    One thing, though. I’m pretty sure that creepy photo you posted is of a man, not a woman. That person has a white beard and I’m pretty sure the person is wearing a man’s jacket with lapels. Doesn’t make it any less creepy-looking, though! 🙂



    *cries over wasted opportunity for shared geekery*

    Seriously, though, I’m glad you had such a great time! I would love to go to one of those big cons someday, too.

  4. You’ve made me homesick! Bob and I drove to Oscars often! And we shopped at Putnam Market – Saratoga was our Sunday activity in the fall and spring (and the races in the summer). Thanks for sharing!

  5. Woah so cool~!! You just became that much more awesome in my book because you’re an SF/Fantasy fan! 😀 I’ll try not to barrage you with a long list of my recent favorites (*ahem* Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones!).

    And Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce — you’re so lucky!!

  6. I love Oscars! I have a weekend place in Bolton Landing, NY and go there all the time… So many friends secretly surfaced in Saratoga this weekend. I wish I had known and I would have set up an evening excursion!!!


  7. This sounds like a fantastic weekend! I’m in Saratoga this week for the NYS Reading Association, so I’ll definitely check out Saratoga Coffee Traders.

  8. Re: Creepy Photo, and other things

    We studied it hard…. what appears to be a beard is actually a fuzzy scarf. But I suspect it is there to hide chin hairs.

    She was an amusing companion.

  9. relating to Twisted

    I want to thank you for your work. My son is,right now,reading Twisted. I have not read any of your books, honestly I have never heard of you, but I will be reading it as soon as he finishes.
    He shared with me the paragraph about the student taking 4 AP classes,failing calculus and wanting to drop it. My son is in the exact same situation. We have been dealing with it all week- grading period really. He was finally able to laugh, realizing that he is not alone, and that we are not either.
    Just a moment ago, and what prompted this contact, he came to the mention of Hargrave Military Academy. He has attended HMA for 6 years as a day student!
    We would like to know your connection to the school. Thanks again for writing something that he is obviously enjoying.
    I have no idea what the book is about at this moment. I am looking forward to reading it soon.

  10. Re: relating to Twisted

    I feel your son’s pain about the overwhelming course load, and yours as a parent who is trying to help him find the right path. And I am honored that he is sharing TWISTED with you, and that he’s enjoying it. (Please write back and let me know what you think of it, too.)

    I chose Hargrave because it seemed the kind of place that Tyler’s parents would consider for him, and I liked the sound of the name.

  11. Laurie, Did you know that Tammy is going to speak at our Syracuse SCBWI conference in January? Now that she’s local it seemed a good time to snag her.

  12. I can’t believe I didn’t see this yesterday. You took my breath away with the picture of the yellow house. I can remember Mom and Dad saying it was built so well you could heat it with a match. And OSCAR’S! We stopped up there on our last visit through the area too. You’ve made my day! I’m so glad you went over there. Next time, go antiquing. You meet the most interesting people in there. You’ll leave with a basket full of stories.

  13. sorry, I have to plug here…

    I think next year (in mid to late October, or possibly early Nov – I don’t know the date off the top of my head) you should journey back to the exact place for the NYLA Annual Conference. Spend a few days there with a large group of New York State Librarians from academic, school and public libraries – what is not to love?

    Its one of our more popular conference locales! And we are a very friendly bunch!

  14. Not that I’m busting on the whole neck hair thing, but that lady really needs a shave. No, wait, it’s some sort of ascot/shag carpet/choker, not overactive follicles.

    Never mind.

  15. Re: Creepy Photo, and other things

    Did you happen to ask the Inn staff about the inhabitant of the photo? Did you name her?

  16. I need to get away for a few days. I haven’t left Western New York since spring 2005. I’m going to my dad’s in England this summer, which is nice since I haven’t been since Spring 2004 and I’m homesick. But still, that’s more than 6 months away. If I had a car and some cash, I’d wait ’til January (when I always think I can’t take anymore snow) and grab a friend and a CCR album and drive south until it was warm enough to roll down the windows.

  17. Re: Creepy Photo, and other things

    Really? A woman? But s/he’s wearing a suit jacket, isn’t s/he? Sorry to harp on this, but sure looks like a man over the web.

  18. It’s rare if I don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep. I’m very good at balancing my work load and my fun!

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