Monthly Archives: July 2013

Edgelit2 – Cupcakes and Bowie Knives

Last weekend I spent at Edgelit2, a SFF writing convention at Derby Quad. In the lead up to the event I was pleased to find fellow writer and fighter Jo Thomas would be there. She suggested we had a spar and I couldn’t resist (there died my attempt to travel light). On arrival I soon found the Fox Spirit skulk, er, skulking in the shade with cool drinks. It was great to meet up with everyone, some for the first time in the flesh. Tweetups are rather like your imaginary friends coming to life, wonderful.

Emma Newman‘s workshop: how to overcome your fear of writing, was great. In all honesty I didn’t think it applied to me all that much, I have no trouble throwing words down on paper. But it did get rather deep and interesting and I had my Damascus moment when I was in there. It was a real wake up call and has made me feel a lot better about my own writing process.

After this, with a full 4 hours of sleep, half day of travel and not enough to eat under my belt, I attended a joint launch: Spacewitch, an exciting new publishing project from Del Lakin-Smith, and also Fox Spirit’s booklaunch for Noir Carnival. There were two tantalising readings from Chloe Yates and James Bennet. I gorged on nibbles and some uh-may-zing cupcakes from Muthafudger. With my much-fondled contributor copy of Piracy in my hand I got some signatures, and was asked for mine on several occasions – a very pleasant trade.

The Fox Spirit Skulk – Photo courtesy of Geraldine Clark Hellery

Lunch was two bags of crisps and a pint of cider shandy (you can see the nutrition kind of going in a downward spiral, I didn’t want to miss anything), chewing the fat with Celyn Armstrong, Jen Williams, Andrew Reid, Adele Wearing, Jo Thomas and Adam Christopher. Soon after I attended a panel called Digital Age: How Has the Internet Changed Writing?
with Andrew Hook, Emma Newman, Adam Christopher and Jennifer Williams. The path of publication took up much of the discussion, mostly in emphasising that no two writers reach that stage in the same way. Emma, Jen and Adam all followed non-conventional routes that circumvented the slushpile. When the topic became Twitter, things got fascinating: by the degrees of separation involved and how social media has completely changed the way readers and writers interact. It was an interesting talk, but the room was very warm… and I hadn’t had a lot of sleep, and…

Photo courtesy of RJ Booth

When I woke up I went for a nice lunch with the Fox Spirit team. We later headed back for the rambunctious and raucous raffle hosted by Sarah Pinborough and Conrad Williams. I didn’t win anything but the prizes were all completely covetable, even if I will not be able to look at some of the titles in quite the same way ever again.

After some time to refresh at the bar, Ruth Booth and I then made our way to the quiz. All other times I’ve attended these things at cons I’ve been a poor team member, with little knowledge on the subject matter. We joined forces with Anne Lyle, Gaie Sebold and David Gullen to form ‘The Cardinals Blades’ (at Anne’s suggestion owing to our mutual preoccupation with sharp lengths of steel, David being our nominal Cardinal). Imagine my surprise when we came second, and divvied out a lovely set of signed books as our prizes.

Photo courtesy of RJ Booth

The rest of the evening was passed in the hotel bar, I would have stayed out later but I remembered that I had a fight in the morning and made my excuses. Carousing can go too far you know. Sunday morning Jo and I found a nice duelling ground by the canal and spent a while getting back in touch with our inner smallswordists. I’ve been on the bench for a while with tennis elbow so that’s about as much as I can bear on my right arm at the moment. We later switched to bowie knives (my preferred weapon of the two I have to say). I was thrilled when Ruth Booth came along to watch, and even agreed to an impromptu lesson. She picked up a lot very quickly and seemed to be enjoying herself, she’s looked into HEMA classes near where she lives so I wish her all the best if she chooses to pursue the practice.

Jo and I – Photo courtesy of RJ Booth

It’s a great con, just the right size and period of time. The venue was really comfortable and easy to navigate, within easy reach of the station and nearby hotels. Friendships were made and renewed, plus I got some fighting in for the first time in weeks so I was very happy.

Edgelit3? I certainly hope to be there.