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.
Plus I got to fangrrl over a few heroes, like Tamora Pierce (who gave a wonderful reading)
and Garth Nix.
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.
We stayed at a terrific B&B, The Mansion, outside of town.
They serve a killer breakfast there.
This lady stared at us while we slept. That was a little creepy, I admit.
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.
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.
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.