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How to avoid me at Conflux

Conflux this year is easy. There’s a day and a half you can enjoy without me being near. That’s relief, because this warning is late because I have 7 types of food to bring for tasting tomorrow afternoon and I had to finish them first. My hands are stained green and red and all of the food has tested edible.

Friday
10 am I’m running a two hour workshop on Questions of Culture (enrolments are open right up to the last minute, so sleep in or go to a panel – you’ll be fine). Let me give you the official description of what you’ll be avoiding:
“This workshop provides a practical approach for writers in recognising how they use their own culture in their writing, especially in novels, and how to recognise stereotypes. Participants will develop tools to open doors to new ways of thinking, to looking at their own work from new perspectives and to think and research in new directions. It is based on Gillian’s own extensive academic research and writing on these subjects. Rather than talking academic shop, however, Gillian will cover what writers can do with their writing, in their genres and with their own cultural background informing their work.”

1.30-2 pm The program says there’s a book launch, but actually there’s a celebration. There are seven types of food, including feminist biscuits (from Wizardry), teengoth biscuits and homemade gingerbread (from Time of the Ghosts) and some experimental food to show you what is to come, since it’s for a novel I’ve not yet written. Oh, and there’s challah.
I’ve promised a reading and to answer questions, but this is me in celebration mode, so of course it’s about the food. And the door prizes. Over a dozen of them. Some great and some silly. Because I felt like it. It’s been a very tough couple of years with some amazing things happening and I have paper copies of Wizardry for sale and… it’s time to stop and smell the gingerbread. (You may want to BYO drinks – one of the bottles of wine I was going to serve is now a door prize for the celebration and the rest are door prizes for Monday.)

And the rest of Friday there’s no avoidance, because I go home to be virtuous and very Jewish.

You don’t have to avoid me on Saturday because I’m being virtuous and very Jewish.

Sunday
3.30 pm I’m joining the Fairy Tale Ring for an hour. They’re a great group who have much knowledge and some very good tellers of tales, so be thankful I can’t be there for the second half. This means even if you’re avoiding me, you can go.

4.30 pm I’m on a panel about “Magical practices beyond the fairy tale” It asks how fairy tales have borrowed from real-world magic systems? Me, I’m wondering if I get to talk about gematria. We’ll see.

6 pm GUFF Auction – with much good stuff, some of which I have in a bag right now. A couple of us have been collecting material to raise money for the fan fund and some of this stuff is amazing and… you won’t want to miss it. Just pretend I’m not there.

Monday
10 am Meet Book View Café, meet Irene Radford via Skype, and meet me (except you already know me). We have bunches to talk about, including books and writers, of course. We have giveaways. Amazingly cool ones. Plus a couple of bottle of wine and a mug for those who look as if they need just a bit more.

1.30 pm Writing across cultures without @#!!*#@ing it up
Look at the harmony in my programming! I start with one aspect of the subject and end on another aspect. Anyone would think I’m researching stuff like this as part of my cultural analyses. This is, of course, because I am. I will talk about my own writing if people ask. To ask, though, you’ll have to give up on avoiding me.

Sad note: I made a terrible error when buying chocolate and we have sweets instead. To make up for this, we have enough sugar to send a spaceship into low orbit. Ask me for a sugar hit anytime you need one. The best ones, will, of course, be at my workshop and celebration on Friday. I’m only bringing the more common ones on Sunday and Monday.

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