This weekend, I'm heading north, through the snow, slush, and ice, up to Boston. I will be a program participant at Boskone, the annual Boston fantasy and science fiction convention, held this year at the Westin Waterfront hotel from February 16-18.
For those of you outside of my brain, here is why this is incredibly cool:
1. Boskone is my favorite convention ever. Fabulous authors and editors always attend; the schedule usually includes several panels on YA and children's literature (my passion); and there are kaffeeklatsches. Kaffeeklatsches are awesome. At a kaffeklatsch, you and up to 10 other people get to simply hang out and chat with an author or editor.
2. I have been attending Boskone since 1999. It is now 2007. This is the first year that I will be a program participant. You do the math. I have been waiting for this for a loooong time.
3. Just look at my schedule. Look, look, look!
Sarah's Boskone Schedule:
Sat. Feb 17, 11am - Panel - Sarah Beth Durst, Daniel Kimmel, Priscilla Olson - "Should Harry Die? Speculations on the final Harry Potter novel"
Sat. Feb 17, 1pm - Panel - Bruce Coville, Sarah Beth Durst, Kate Laity, Tamora Pierce, Jane Yolen - "The Many Genres of Young Adult Fiction"
Sat. Feb 17, 2pm - Kaffeeklatsch - Sarah Beth Durst
Sun. Feb 18, 11:30am - Reading - Sarah Beth Durst
I love my schedule. First, how cool is the topic of my first panel? Very fun. Second, look at that list of panelists for my second panel! Bruce Coville, Tamora Pierce, Jane Yolen... *gasp*, *wheeze*, *gasp again*. Third, I have my very own kaffeeklatsch! Fourth, I'll be doing a reading from INTO THE WILD! (And if you look at the complete schedule, you'll see that my reading directly follows Bruce Coville's reading, in the same room! Eeeee!!!)
Here is my one itsy bitsy teeny weeny little worry: I don't want to cluck like a chicken.
I've never been on a panel before, and I have this little (okay, not so little) fear that my brain will simply freeze as I sit up there between not just one but several of my all-time favorite writers ever. What if I forget how to speak? What if I remember how to speak and only say drivel? What if I suddenly start clucking like a chicken?
Help me out here, guys. If you have thoughts on either of my panel topics -- Harry Potter #7 or subgenres in YA fiction -- please leave a comment so that I can steal your ideas and avoid looking like an idiot. And even if you don't have suggestions, please just think un-chicken-like thoughts sometime on Saturday, and hopefully I'll absorb some of the good non-poultry vibe. :)