dragonmyst: Use the language your POV character would use. Try to avoid POV characters who would say things like "throbbing manhood," though. Unless you're going for a laugh.
dichroic: I started archery in high school. I only shoot once a week, and I kind of suck at consistency. I am considering taking lessons, because I need to work on my stance, and it's hard to do without help.
panjianlien: I would love to be able to write the kind of trenchant, humane, savage satire that a Vonnegut writes, or assume a voice like Burgess. I wish I were a poet, but I'm not. And I find it immensely frustrating, of course, that I'm not a supergenius. Because of course I want to be the best at everything. *g*
zanzjan: I still get rejections. I'm saving them up to wallpaper a bathroom, eventually.
avocadopx: I think it's balderbash. And also twaddle. The idea that any author has "one true voice" is just more of the Romantic mythologizing of art that doesn't do a damned thing to produce or improve art.
I mentioned Anthony Burgess above. Theodore Sturgeon also leaps to mind without trying.
And I should be doing some things at Boskone, yes.
And in answer to your third question, I have not read it. But I tend to think the division of narrative poetry/prose/playscript/graphic novel into hard categories is just as arbitrary a categorization as anything else. It's completely arbitrary to say that a short story ends at 7500 words or a novel begins at 40,000. So, honestly, I have no issue with it.
muneraven: It depends. Usually, there's at least a year's gestation, and often far more. For Pinion, I'm using ideas I was playing with as far back as 1993, and one of the characters, Gavin the Mechanical Albino Basilisk, is an idea I had in high school. My initial work on Blood and Iron dates back to at least when I was fourteen or fifteen, because I remember the house we lived in at the time and I have a clear memory of the flash of imagery that grew up to be Seeker.
The characters in my books tend to reflect people I know or knew, especially growing up. Which is to say, they're not modeled on those people, but... I think you write the world you see around you. My superintendent is Russian, my neighbors across the hall are Pakistani, I have friends and colleagues of many races and ages and ethnicities and creeds and persuasions. I dunno why the fictional world should be so much less diverse than the real one.
And yes, absolutely I've been tongue tied upon meeting other writers. I humiliate myself every time I'm in a room with Ursula Le Guin. She must think I'm an utter twit. And I burst into tears when I met Peter Beagle. I've met Chip Delany twice, and been completely unable to say anything coherent to him either time. Stood next to Neil Gaiman for fifteen minutes this one time and could not figure out how to introduce myself. And so on. (I was also completely tongue-tied upon meering ellen_kushner and skzbrust, but they appear to have forgiven me.) When somebody's work touches you, it's very hard to find the right words to say thank you with.
I'm pathetically shy. I just hide it under a wall of brass.