I don't have my Safety Committee schedule yet, so I can't make plans to see people, but if you're going and I don't already know, please tell me!
Friday July 10 - 2:00 PM - ENL - The Parental Undertones of Fannishness.
Toni Kelner, Kate Nepveu, Jennifer Pelland, Diane Weinstein (leader).
After the first Peter Capaldi episode of Doctor Who aired, Jet Cuthbertson (@Jet_Heather) tweeted, "Hard to sum up my feelings towards #DrWho- at once completely critical, but protective & adoring. Condemning, but desperate for another fix." This summarizes the conflicting urges that drive many fans to create fanfiction and fan art with the goal of improving a book or show that they find simultaneously appealing and insufficient. But it also sounds like a description of parenting: protective and loving, eager to see achievement that matches potential, critical of shortcomings, concerned about conflicts between the parent's goals for the child and the child's own ambitions. What leads fans to take on this parental role with the works they love? Is it appropriate and respectful, or literally paternalistic? How does it mesh with the parental feelings that creators often have for their own works? And what can fans learn from the struggles and successes of parents?
Friday July 10 - 7:00 PM - ENL - Recent Fiction Book Club: Persona.
Victoria Janssen, Kate Nepveu (leader), Fran Wilde.
In a world where diplomacy has become celebrity, a young ambassador survives an assassination attempt and must join with an undercover paparazzo in a race to save her life, spin the story, and secure the future of her young country in this near-future political thriller. For author Genevieve Valentine, restraint is a mode of composition, both in the beautifully understated sparsity of her prose and in her protagonists' taut, tense stillness. In Persona, where the degree to which one has or has not smiled reveals or conceals a wealth of information, restraint is crucial to a Face's survival. Persona brings up questions of identity and celebrity, managing to be a tense, carefully wrought thriller while still nodding and winking at the camera. You'll never look at a red carpet the same way again.
Saturday July 11 - 10:00 AM - F - Successfully Writing About Horrible Things.
Mike Allen, Catt Kingsgrave, Shira Lipkin, Kate Nepveu (leader), Patty Templeton.
If you're not writing horror but your plot calls for something horrific to happen to a character, how do you handle it? You might go overboard and be detailed to the point of undermining or derailing the narrative, or might be so vague that the horrific event has little effect on the reader or the story. A reader who's been through a similar experience might be offended or distressed by a description of awfulness that's lurid, gratuitous, clichéd, or bland. What strategies can writers use to help readers empathize with the characters' suffering and build stories that respectfully handle the consequences of terrible events, without falling into these traps?
Sunday July 12 - 12:00 PM - ENL - Fandom and Rebellion.
Gemma Files, Catt Kingsgrave, Kate Nepveu (leader), A. J. Odasso, Ann Tonsor Zeddies.
ifeelbetterer on Tumblr writes, "No one is more critical of art than fandom. No one is more capable of investigating the nuances of expression than fandom—because it's a vast multitude pooling resources and ideas. Fandom is about correcting the flaws and vices of the original. It's about protest and rebellion, essentially.... Fandom is not worshipping at the alter of canon. Fandom is re-building it because they can do better." Our panel of creators and fans will dig into the notion of when, why, how, and whether fan works and remixes are "better" than the original, especially when they come from a place of protest and challenge.
Sunday July 12 1:00 PM - CO - A Visit from the Context Fairy.
Kythryne Aisling, Stacey Friedberg, Gwynne Garfinkle, Kate Nepveu, Sonya Taaffe.
In a blog post at Book View Café, Sherwood Smith writes about the opposite of visits from the "Suck Fairy": going back to a book you disliked and finding that the "Win Fairy" (to coin a term) improved it when you weren't looking. Are the Suck Fairy and the Win Fairy really two faces of a unified Context Fairy? If context is so crucial to loving or hating a work, how does acknowledging that affect the way a reader approaches reading, or a writer approaches writing? How does one's hope for or dread of the Context Fairy influence decisions to reread, rewrite, revise or otherwise revisit a written work?
Thoughts on these? Comment, do, I always find it helpful and interesting!