This past weekend was the Locus Awards and the Locus Writers’ Workshop, hosted by sci-fi Grand Master Connie Willis and author Daryl Gregory. It was my second year attending, which included dragging my husband along (he complains until he’s there, and then he laughs himself silly, heckles Connie Willis, and enjoys himself).
The award’s ceremony was hysterical as always, with Connie serving as the MC. Nancy Kress, her official heckler, was absent this year but the audience did its best to fill in. Rather than wear a Hawaiian shirt (as required), my husband wore a Hawaiian Punch t-shirt (as seen to your left). Connie found it quite funny but declared that it was NOT a Hawaiian shirt. She gave my husband the normal sticky notating to the world that he didn’t adhere to the funtastic dress code.
After the luncheon, Connie told a story about how she was bitten by a bat while sleeping…just before the Awards weekend. She had to get rabies shots just in case and wait while they tested the bat. Had it come back positive, she would have missed the Locus weekend due to rounds 2 and 3 of the shots. Since it came back negative (thankfully), she was here. And reminded us of her near-death experience with bat and vampire jokes all afternoon.
During the ceremony, people with stickies were entered into contest to win a Hawaiian shirt. Some of the shirts weren’t half-bad looking, but some were pretty hideous. When the first person won a shirt, Connie asked if the guy needed his sticky because “someone is making a shirt out of all of these!” What’s funny is that the person she was referring to was my husband, Erik, who later won a Hawaiian shirt. Connie pointed out his Hawaiian Punch shirt to the attendees and signed his new shirt.
There was also a trivia game for prizes, with trivia about bats (of course), Hawaii, the Locus Awards, and science fiction. Winners received an arrangement of gag gifts, coconut bras, and autographed bananas (another tradition along with the Hawaiian shirts).
I sat at one of the best tables, along with many talented folks like authors Janine Southard, Jill Seidenstein, and G. G. Silverman, along with librarian Misha Stone, my husband, and another writer whose name I didn’t catch (back row, black shirt. Anyone recognize him?).
Besides the Awards’ Ceremony, the writing workshop was amazing as always. There is so much to learn from an author like Connie Willis, and she’s an amazing teacher. The main focus of the workshop was examining the use of characters and goals to drive the plot. Connie’s rules on character are simple, yet work.
Because Class-M Exile is the result of a Locus Writers’ Workshop and one Connie encouraged me to finish, I gave her a copy on Sunday, which she was happy to have. She ensured it was autographed as well. I hope she enjoyed it on the trip home from a great, bat-free weekend.