The talking thing is necessary, at least for me. I'm a social critter and I'm not good at keeping news, concerns and ideas to myself. Maybe that's part of my writer-psyche-profile. This irrational, arrogant, persistent and psychotic need to express myself with the hope that others will actually want to hear what I have to say, even if it's pure fiction.
I'm all set for OryCon 30, or as ready as I'll ever be, except for one thing. I haven't decided what I'm going to read for the Broad Universe reading yet. This has not been good for my nerves. My practice time is rapidly dissolving away.
On my list (and I'm still expanding the list)
"Calling In" A humor flash.
Appeal--I'll be able to read the whole thing. It's (hopefully) funny. I've heard many times that humor goes over well at readings. I'll fit in with the tone of the others who are likely also reading humor.
Doubts--It's trite and not really representative of what I usually write. I rarely write humor. And humor is hard, so I'm uncomfortable about reading something that I haven't practiced extensively.
"Neighbors" A fantasy flash
Appeal--It's new and punchy and I'll be able to read the whole thing with time to spare.
Doubts--It's new and may be rougher than I realize since I haven't let it sit for long.
"The Egret Prince" A dark, sensual fantasy
Appeal--It's moody, sexy (and I've been working on making it even sexier) and I worked on making it as lush an experience as I could. It's a Lace and Blade swashbuckling sort of setting without the actual swashbuckling.
Doubts--I've recently disassembled this story in order to deal with a dual-plot issue. It's literally in pieces. Also, I'm not sure how well a small section of this would read without the context of the rest of the piece. It's a complex, weird world with odd magic rules. Assuming I can find a piece of it long enough to read, it still may make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
"Masks" A political fantasy
Appeal--I've put a lot of time into this and I think it has some very strong sections. I feel very close with the pov character and enjoy his boy-trying-to-be-a-man struggles. I really relate to him and I think there's a natural artfulness in the world of jesters that may appeal to listeners.
Doubts--I have no friggin' idea what part to read. There's the opening, which I think may have too much going on and too little resolution/revelation to satisfy a listener. Yeah yeah, leave 'em wanting more, but this may leave 'em thinking 'huh?' And there's the whole rest of the novel, where I have too many choices. It seems like a massive undertaking just to find what I'd read out of this.
"Thistles and Barley" A fantasy short which will appear in Beneath Ceaseless Skies online magazine
Appeal--I'll be able to provide a teaser for the magazine, and this one obviously was publishing quality because it made the cut, so I can have fewer doubts about whether it's sound of mind and body. And the characters are fun.
Doubts--This is a very quiet story that may be underwhelming when only a portion of it is read.
"Hide and Seek" A dark fantasy
Appeal--I love the creepy horror that lies at the core of this story. And I'll probably be able to read the whole thing.
Doubts--This one is newish and may be rougher than I realize. And if everyone else reads humor, this is beyond a dark note. Child abuse, death ... yeah.
"Strangers Think They Know Me" A fantasy short
Appeal--I love this story about a sorceress reaching the end of her life, trying to act as if she's as strong as ever.
Doubts--It's an unreliable pov and that doesn't come out until quite late. Not sure I could find a section that works without the rest to build it or put it into context.
"Mayhem" A fantasy novel
Appeal--Yay first person! Yay strong opening! Yay strong characters!
Doubts--Boo, this is still in early draft form thanks to me switching to first person recently. Boo, it's what I submitted for the writer's workshop and I haven't gotten feedback on it yet, except at Flogging the Quill.
"The Belief" An SF novel
Appeal--I love the characters even more than the Thistles and Barley and Mayhem combined. There's a hard-hitting antagonism that makes for great dialogue in this novel. There's all kinds of sections I could read that would have lots of punch.
Doubts--This novel isn't finished. It's never been vetted by anyone. It was written quickly, has remained in the dark, and hasn't been edited at all because I don't edit first drafts. Ugh.
These are the top contenders.