Sunday, May 30, 2010

You CON duit!

Have you ever played the game Jenga? It's a game where you remove blocks one at a time, and the tower stands precariously, wobbling and threatening to fall with every move. Such was the cleavage of the pirate wench who took my registration for CONduit on Saturday. At one point she leaned over, bending to reach the paper on the table. "No!" I shouted with too much enthusiasm. "I've got it."

For some people, CONduit is a conference to imagine being a Jedi, flying aboard the Starship Enterprise, or dressing up like a space pirate. For the rest of us "non-believers," it's another conference to network and learn the craft of writing. I got to hang with the King of Awesome, Graham, so despite all the weirdness, I had a great time.

I didn't stay too long (really, how many pirate wenches can one woman take?) but I did glean a few tidbits that I thought I'd share.

On a panel, hosted by James Dashner and Jessica Day George, they talked about how young adult fiction has become a lot edgier, to the point of nearly anything goes. Then some creepy guy in the audience talked about his book where a 13 year old girl is intimate with a 40 year old man. They both told him that doesn't fit into the anything goes realm.

Graham and I had lunch with Dashner (along with a group of very lovely people) and after lunch we enjoyed a great story told by Jessica. Fabulous story. In fact, if you ever see her, make sure you ask about "Dom Con."

My favorite part of the conference was the Writing Excuses podcasts that I got to sit in on. I particularly enjoyed the episode titled, "Mating Plumage" inspired by Dan Wells. It was about book covers, titles and first lines, and what grabs a readers interest. Very good stuff.

While I can't necessarily recommend the conference for everyone, if you have a high capacity for weird, than it's worth your time!


  1. My only thought is that I watched a grown man play reverse Jenga building a fire with 2x4 scraps and marshmallow-roasting sticks. It was funny, but then again it was after midnight.

    Glad you had fun. :)

  2. It sounds just about as weird as I thought it would be. Still, I'm sad I missed a chance to hang with you guys.

  3. I have a very high capacity for weird, as long as it's not touching me.