Romance and Academia

So, I mentioned in my last blogpost that I was getting ready to go to the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association meeting in San Antonio…

I was sitting here thinking, “Gee, no wonder I’m not posting much on my blog. I can’t ever think of anything to blog about.” And then I remembered that I had not ever blogged about the trip to San Antonio.

Oh, and hey–I did a workshop last night for “BAWL” (also known as the Bay Area Writer’s League–as in “Houston Bay Area”–except it isn’t Houston Bay, it’s Galveston Bay, but the Bay goes way up to Houston, and a long way from Galveston, which is where it starts, so it’s usually called the Houston Bay Area, because it’s the area of Houston around the Bay…). Anyway–

So I was hanging around on Twitter one day, and made the comment that “Oh, the PCA is meeting in San Antonio. I like San Antonio. It’s a cool city.” And up pops Sarah Franz, one of the academics behind Teach Me Tonight and the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance, who says “Want to come to PCA?” And I said–“Ooooh cool! I’ve always wanted to listen to smart people talk about romance like it was Important Litrachur.” So I did.

I went to the meeting, dear readers, and I even took the spouse. We got a room in a “boutique hotel,” or a B&B–however you want to define it–a couple of blocks from the conference hotel, and across the street from the River Walk, called the Riverwalk Vista. A seriously cool place to stay. It’s an old, converted warehouse. I will put up pictures when I get home to the computer that has the pictures on it.

We ate Mexican food. We went by the Alamo. (We’ve been inside many times before–my grandparents lived in San Antonio.) We hung out with smart romance people. I went to several of the panels where graduate students and professors and others presented papers. It was very cool. I enjoyed hearing people talk about the link between romance novels and poetry, or how romance is used in advertising (romance, as opposed to sex).

Occasionally, I had trouble following what a presenter was trying to say–more because some of the academic language was unfamiliar, and some of these people talked Really Fast, than because I really didn’t understand what they were saying. I didn’t know what the words meant. And sometimes, I didn’t know what the word WAS, because holy crap! some of those people talked fast. Yes, I realize I’m a Southerner, but not all of us talk slow. Still…

But it was FUN. It was totally cool listening to these guys talk about stuff. And I got to hang with my friend Theresa, and I got to meet Sarah face to face, and Eric Selinger and some of the other academics whose blogs and papers and things I’ve been reading online. I was just kinda blown away.

I also got to meet Sherry Thomas, and Louisa Edwards, and Skyler White, and Tracy Wolff–I did not know they were all from AUSTIN. Just up the road. (Or, well, as up the road as anything is in Texas…) I need to get them down here to talk to our RWA chapter.

And then, on Saturday, the fella and I strolled the River Walk, and rode on the boat tour, and had lunch next to the water, and then drove home again. It was lots of fun.

Then I came home and finally got all the revisions done on the ms and shipped it out. And I did the workshop for BAWL. It was on “Worldbuilding 101.” I talked a little bit about building the worlds for a contemporary or a historical, but mostly I talked about how to do it for spec fic. (It gets tiring, saying fantasy/science fiction/paranormal/steampunk….) I think it went pretty well. I enjoyed it, anyway. :)

I probably ought to get my brain into the writing of a new book sometime soon. Maybe I’ll clean my office first…

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