papersky on I forget which panel: "You can tell if something is real if it sometimes makes things worse."
Robert Charles Wilson on the Fixing Novels panel: ask yourself what kind of pleasure the story is to be giving people and if it's doing so. I wonder how much this is something most writers can do well without help. I know some writers are a great deal better at identifying what people might like about their work than others.
I don't have one simple rule for whether a panel is good or not -- but if I've written down a bunch of titles to request from the library, that's a good sign, and the panel that got me that way was the "Honorary SF" panel, the one about works that aren't SF but are much beloved by SF readers anyway. The panelists got past Patrick O'Brian and on to things I hadn't read in fairly short order, much appreciated. (Not that I have any objection to discussions of Patrick O'Brian, of course.)
When we went to Maple Delight for ice cream and papersky and rysmiel said that the cafe and the maple museum downstairs were founded for the promotion of the use of maple syrup, maple sugar, etc., I got this mental sort of translation to a couple of generations of Vorkosigans later, having a Bug Butter Delight shop in Vorbarr Sultana. This pleased me, and I can't remember whether I said it out loud.
I am still obsessed with spinach, and when in Montreal I can feed this obsession with crispy spinach. Three nights in a row for one part of the trip. Oh so fine. Good plain. Good with squids. Good in peanut sauce. So versatile!
Every time I came out of the hotel changing rooms from swimming to get in the elevator and go upstairs to get showered and dressed, the hotel staff was showing someone around the event facilities. Every single time. I got the urge to say, "Women in string bikinis do not come with the conference rooms! You have to bring your own if you want some!" Only I'm not sure how to say that in French. (My French is, however, up for, "Is that also peach-blueberry like the other? Great, I'll take it, too," and, "In Minnesota, we love hockey. It's the State of Hockey, in the U.S." If anyone can tell me what the French for curling is, I'd appreciate it. The sport curling, not the thing hair does.)
Suite 88 is still my chocolate source of choice near the hotel, but seabream and I made it to Juliette et Chocolat (after trying and failing with redbird, cattitude, and timprov), and it is certainly worth attention. I have no idea how long it would take me to try everything interesting on that chocolate menu. Awhile, let's say. More time than I'm likely to get to spend in Montreal. My land. Such an abundance of chocolate.
I really do like Montreal.