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So. An entire conference devoted to Diana Wynne Jones and, improbably (because of the topic), I gave a paper.

It was a lovely conference, by and large, around 50 people most of the time, although a total of about 70 were pre-registered. We were in a conference bubble for the weekend, staying and working at a semi-rural university in greater Bristol and - due to lack of appropriate tech support from the university - generally without internet access for the duration. I was planning on being offline; most people were not. There was a full program of papers, double tracked on Saturday, a handful of plenaries (including Sharyn November channelling DWJ), a HarperCollins-sponsored drinks reception, and a showing of the 1992 BBC six-parter of Archer's Goon. Despite the threatened heavy rain, the weather was almost entirely good. intertext, heleninwales, gillo were there. steepholm and fjm organized it. I have now met lady_schrapnell, among a great many other engaging people who may or may not have weblogs.

That there are a great many interesting things to say about our author was evident from how, at the end of the weekend, it felt as if we'd barely scratched the surface. Many books weren't mentioned at all in any paper I attended, or mentioned only transiently, especially her early work and her short stories. No one spoke about Dogsbody, for example, which would have made a good pairing with the two papers on The Game. The Howl series was - as expected - ever-popular. Dalemark was only occasionally attended to.

I'm happy to say that my paper went well. I boiled it down to a reasonable subset for twenty minutes, and had a good discussion about it with the audience afterwards. I also didn't feel as out-of-my-depth as I was expecting to, given it was a conference so far removed from my usual ones. Best of all, mine was part of a session of really well-presented papers. It was a real pleasure to listen to the others in it.



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I really wish I'd been able to afford to attend. It sounds fascinating - really, really interesting.

Do you know if another one will be planned at some point?
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
There was a great deal of enthusiasm for holding one again. The organizers suggested 2011 at the earliest for a repeat, however.
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
By then I might have enough spare cash to afford it :-) Do you know if the papers will be available online at all at any point? I'd be really interested to read them.
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
They will not all be online, no. The hope is that a volume of proceedings might come out of the conference, whether in printed, e-book, or in another online format. If there's a particular paper or two you're interested in, contact the speaker for a copy.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
Possibly. There are hopes for a book of proceedings to come of out of it, whether in e-book or paper format.

Contact Jenni about getting a copy of her paper? If you can't find her online, you should be able to ask for her email address from the organizers. It was a well-done one, and, via discussion afterward, left the audience pretty well convinced that Diana had read Lewis at some point.
Jul. 6th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
I think she needed to take quantum probability more into account, though. I am certain Diana is familiar with the basics of Schroedinger's cat at least. Indeed, the cat is probably called Throckmorton!
Jul. 6th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
Also, it occurs to me that she gave her talk in the room which was being recorded for possible posting to YouTube or the like. I'll let you know if it gets put up and then you can watch it.
Jul. 6th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
I adore her books!
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
It was a great weekend, though sorry I missed your paper!
Jul. 6th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
It was lovely to meet you!
Jul. 6th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
It was great to see you, and your paper was terrific! Here's hoping for a repeat, and another chance to get together before too much more time goes by.
Jul. 6th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was good to see you too, and have a proper visit over several days. Looking forward to next time, whereever or whenever it is. Have fun in Penzance!
Jul. 6th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
The stew paper! Is there any chance you could share it with us?
Jul. 6th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
I can edit/chop out the footnotes so they aren't such a mess at post them at some point in the next week. Thanks for asking - I might not have thought to otherwise.
Jul. 7th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
Hurrah, thanks!
Jul. 6th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
my paper went well. I boiled it down

I think stew is normally better if you simmer it. (And add bread.)

I'd have liked more on Homeward Bounders too. Hell, I'd have liked more on a lot of things. But it was a terrific weekend for all that. Especially the hanging out with people like you and intertext!
Jul. 7th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
I was just going to ask if anyone had spoken much (or at all) about The Homeward Bounders. Which remains my favourite of all her books...
Jul. 11th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Still working my way through last week's LJ posts! It was a great talk (as well as a great pleasure to meet you), and you'll be relieved to hear that the first night in Lampeter we were offered our choice of TWO stews. (Beef and vegetable, and I nearly caused total meltdown in the poor woman serving by asking if I could have half a spoon of each. Settled for beef.)
Jul. 16th, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
Just to say hello
I just realized that I've known you for years under your lj-name! You comment a lot in other livejournals I read.

Weird! There were other people at the conference whose livejournals I read and I had no idea until I started going through the write-ups. I wish I had known before.

Cheers, Helgard

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )