I am returning home from Toronto, having spent a pleasant five nights here for World Fantasy 2012.
I enjoyed catching up with friends and socializing with other writers and industry folks I had not met before. The disaster which struck New York and New Jersey prevented many people coming; about one hundred and forty, according to one count. I, personally, missed them all the more because I am almost certain I will not be able to attend WFC 2013 in Brighton (my budget will not bear travel costs to the UK).
One of the better things about WFC is the opportunity to talk to other writers who appear to be in a similar position to oneself and use their experience as a sounding board for perceptions I might have about where I am and where I should go.
The convention also presents opportunities to speak with individuals who are more experienced and get their sage advice, when offered. I add "when offered" because a WFC attending membership is not a license to pump near-strangers for information, but rather a chance to talk with people who might know a great deal more than you do about the many aspects of the business and craft of writing. One must tread lightly, be someone others want to socialize with, and then set the mind and ears to record what is said by the company you keep.
It is not often, at least in my daily life, that I find I am fully engaged by the people and ideas around me. When full engagement happens for me, it's like being hooked to a power source that hums through the mind, making me restless and eager to write something, anything. The difficulty is, that, while WFC can be enlightening, inspiring, and engaging, it is also exhausting.
I call this time, the return trip home and the first few days back, "limbo". Too tired to process it all, I take a few days to let the experience settle, then the excitement of that 'full engagement' returns and I generally produce a great deal of material in a very short time.
I cannot wait, yet I have some other things I must consider in the meantime: I have the oral board of the sergeant's exam to take, something I do not relish doing for a number of reasons; most of them concerning where I thought to be at this moment. Regardless, I will do my best, and having done that, hope for full engagement to carry me through a feast of fine writing.
So, in the meantime, some research regarding the Mughal Empire and its dynasty's most famous daughter, Jahanara.