Most people post about their convention experience within a few days of returning home, but I have a great excuse. I got really sick at the convention and have been in full recovery mode for the last several days. It’s not fair to call it con crud, since I think it was something I brought with me to the con (yes, you’re all welcome) and it just didn’t hit me until a day after getting there. I haven’t been that sick in a long time, longer than I can remember. But I faked my way through the convention because I didn’t want to miss anything and I truly hope I didn’t infect anyone else. (picture: Pablo Defendini, Lou Anders, Shaun Farrell)
Though it was difficult to find people at this convention without a single “the bar” to meet up in, I did have a chance to run into some of my favourite people, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells, Tee Morris, Philippa Ballantine, Jennifer Brozek, Dave Bara,Ken Scholes, Carrie Vaughn, and Lou Anders. I also got to spend some quality real life time with until then an online friend only, Shaun Farrell of Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing. We hit it off and I even convinced him to let me interview one of my favourite authors for his podcast. (stay tuned…) I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention more. I was thrilled to get to interview Carrie Vaughn for my Sound Bites podcast series for Bitten By Books. She’s a wealth of knowledge and experience, I’ll let you know when that goes live. (picture: me and Carrie Vaughn) Of course, rooming with my mentor and friend Diana Rowland was a great opportunity, since she is a constant source of pep talks and advice. That stuff just oozes out of her.
I had plenty of time to hang out with my tribe, the infamous Inkpunks, Christie Yant, John Remy, Erika Holt, Wendy Wagner, Morgan Dempsey, Andy Romine, Jaym Gates, MIA-Adam Israel plus a new inductee. One of the highlights of the
convention was Christie Yant’s wedding! She and John Joseph Adams got married in the most geektastic ceremony and reception I’ve ever been to. Unfortunately, I don’t have any wedding pictures to post, but trust me when I say the bride and groom looked spectacular, as did all the Inkpunks and other guests! We also inaugurated Galen Smith into our Inkpunks, making us a happy tribe of ten. Fellow Inkpunk and Booze Nerd, Andy, made us a signature drink and appropriately named it, “Inkpunch.” Watch for our signature drink at a convention party near you.
Another highlight of the convention was getting to watch the cast from Writing Excuses record several episodes for their podcast. I’ve been a fan of the podcast for a long time now (or so it seems) and to see them in action was fantastic.
I went to a lot of readings by writers I look up to, Mary Robinette Kowal, Philippa Ballantine, George R R Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Ken Scholes, Dan Wells, Carrie Vaughn and Pat Rothfuss. While I’m inspired by hearing each of these authors read from their work, in the back of my head, a wee voice is saying, “my writing sucks, my new novel sucks!!” Luckily I had Diana Rowland to slap me upside the head and set me straight. I just need time to develop my writing skills and to continue to write like me, not like anyone else. See, I told you she’s full of good advice.
I also enjoyed attending the Hugo Awards. I’d never been before and I love the excitement at award ceremonies, the speeches and just knowing the amount of talent in one room was exhilarating. I don’t have ambitions to win a Hugo, or a World Fantasy Award, I’d just love to give an acceptance speech some day. Maybe they’ll make a category for best story written by an IFFB Fitness Pro and I’ll get my chance.
I also got to read part of my story from Evolve2, which I’ve found is a great piece to read aloud since it’s written in the first person and there’s a great cliff hanger to leave off on about half way into the story. I’m looking forward to reading it again at VCon and World Fantasy.
I can’t really convey the warm fuzzy feeling I get at every convention I’ve attended and this one was no different. There’s something fabulous about being surrounded by great friends, amazingly talented and supportive people that makes me blessed to be a part of this new world of writing.