Sunday, November 9, 2008

Toulouse Goes to World Fantasy Convention, Calgary—2008: Part 2—Being There

The Collective Conscious

Cars…they move us all
To the place that becomes a much larger motif.
All of us.
Cars move us all but we, we are the engine
Fuel for the creative firefight
Fuel for the fire of the mind.
The thought that drives us to look up,
To look forward.
To move in the experience together.
Connecting. Moving together.
Fast cars parked and idling fast.
For now…
— Steph Thevideoguy (written on a piece of scrap paper in a five-minute break during supper at the World Fantasy Convention)

And there was a response…

…Steph wrote a poem about cars and conscious
Was it a collection of the synergetic mind ****?
Or was it a matter of a single point
Of focus
Tapping into only the personal wealth of the soul?
An unexpected moment of light
Following a period of unfocused obliqueness.
An unexpected moment, a jewel of
A wrench
Pulling on the heart, a push
To the creative mind.
A consciousness
Open to the collective.
—Virginia O’Dine (written in a five minute break after)

The World Fantasy Convention in Calgary drew a collective force of creative minds to one place. It was a singularity. We couldn’t help but surge with the energy that sparked through us all like the elegant arc of an epic story. It was everywhere…the surrealistic discussions in the hallways about the role of the artist: “it is the artist’s responsibility to be conscious.” … “the artist produces an unforgiving mirror to our souls.” …The energetic sharing of creative works, such as readings from stories and discussions about writing … The laughter of old friends greeting and new friends being made … The clinking of glasses in the bar, toasting achievements in all manners of artistic expression … And the cheerful gurgling of the mysteriously emptying hot tub—ah, but that’s another blog post…

The convention was a personal success for me on several notes. I already mentioned that meeting all my good friends and chilling with them was a highlight. The science fiction and fantasy community is like a huge family, supporting one another in our art and expression and sharing. I am honored to be included in it. Other highlights included:

  • Meeting Heidi Lampietti, of Redjack Books, who has kindly agreed to publish a collection of my short stories.
  • Doing several readings to an appreciative audience. I want to particularly thank Broad Universe for arranging a wonderful roster of readers and Edge Books for hosting another cool reading.
  • Eating very well (thanks to the incredible hospitality suite) and
  • Sharing drinks with great friends (a given)

    Photo Legend:
1. The Dragon Moon authors, editors and publisher (Gwen Gades) celebrate a good year
2. Steph Thevideoguy and cool poet contemplates whether the world is flat…or is it the beer?

3. Kay Kenyon, SF author, meets Toulouse (that sly rascal!)
4. Author Jay Lake buys Nina a drink (and makes her happy!)
5. Robert J. Sawyer meets an ecstatic fan (and gets a free desert!)
6. Bruce Taylor, Mr. Magic Realism, charms Toulouse (purring in contentment)
7. Heidi Lampietti of Redjack Books hosts a cool book launch (see Mr. Magic Realism in the mirror?)

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit Visit for more about her writing.


Virginia said...

DAMN! That's some good stuff!

SF Girl said...

LOL! It is, isn't it?... Someone should publish it. :)

Steph said...

Very cool Nina. The only pic of me ever being pensive. heh.

It was a wonderful con. Iºm so glad you came.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

What a great Convention that looks like. So many fab people around.

SF Girl said...

LOL! Yeah, Steph! I thought I should balance all those wild shots on Facebook with something a little more serious... :) (the artist in "the moment")

It was lots of fun, Jean-Luc. So many cool people were there...

blackburn1 said...

Looks like a great time! Some schmoozn, a little networking, and great nosh. =]

I'd keep my eye on Toulouse. Could be one of those covert agents... you never know.

SF Girl said...

LOL! Blackburn, I wouldn't put it past that rascal Toulouse to be one, Blackburn (the nature of how I acquired him is intriguing... he was found in a truck stop)... But I think he's too much of a jet-setting dilitant to be a serious spy... still... I better keep an eye on him... :)

Toulouse LeTrek said...

Of course I'm not telling... but I do like it shaken, not stirred...

Toulouse :-3