One of the strengths, and sources of frustration, of SAS is the Saturday schedule of panels. In every time slot, there were at least two panels I wanted to go to, and sometimes I also had a friend doing a reading during that time. Choosing wasn't easy.
My only slightly grumpy complaint is the lack of a real lunch break. It was hard finding places to serve a quick meal, and most of them didn't open until much later in the day. They simply don't have enough workers to stay open that many hours. Lunch of champions: diet coke and a package of peanut butter crackers.
First schedule conundrum: How to Impress an Editor, or Short Stories as Literary Sprints? Short stories won out. While I still wish I could have gone to the other, I had gone to a master class on the subject the day before, and I'm getting the idea that the best way to impress an editor is to act like a professional business person. Period.
Next conflict: Writing about Spirituality and Queerness or Diversity Among Today's Erotica Writers. You'd think that would be an obvious choice, but a lot of my writing examines spirituality. Religion is endlessly fascinating. Plus I am now catching on to Skian Maguire's work and feel a real connection to his themes of spirituality. However, since I work mostly in erotica, and because I not-so-secretly worship Ian Philips, the erotica panel won out. (And doesn't Ian look spiffy in his silky shirt?)
What Makes a Book Gay or Writing Across Genres? While Dan Boyle is possibly the most charismatic writer I've ever met, I couldn't pass up a chance to hear Poppy Z. Brite speak. She said, "I've written gay characters, but I've never thought of the books themselves as being gay. Do they have an orientation?" Besides, I love to hear Joe Pittman, David Rosen, Steven Saylor and Michelle Tea talk on any subject.
And the last panels of the day: The New Flavor of Gay and Lesbian Romance, Dealing with Writer's Block, or a reading? I promised fellow ERWA writer Ellen Tevault that I would be there for her reading. She was nervous and wanted a friendly face in the crowd. I hated giving up either one of the other panels, but hey, I promised. Yes, even I can act like an adult.
(Sometimes that requires steadfastly refusing to glance in Greg Herren's direction despite the almost overwhelming temptation. I don't know what it is about him, but he draws out my gleefully wicked side. Worse, I seem to bring it out in him too. I haven't figured out if he's the bad influence or if I am.) I also got to hear Poppy Z. Brite read her story that will be included in the Love Bourbon Street anthology, as well as Greg Herren, Dan Boyle, Caro Soles, and Robert Taylor.
There was just enough time for a quick nap before the evening started. Next up: Drag Kings and Tainted Love!!!