The holidays are over, and that means the start of Convention Season. For all you Mundanes out there, this is the flip side of the coin in a writer’s life, where we turn from our preferred pastime of reveling in glorious solitude, building our worlds and pacing about the room in our underwear ranting and raving in an assortment of voices, and instead gird our loins to go forth blinking into the sunlight to meet our fans. For me, this begins with a trip to Boston for Arisia, hauling luggage and boxes of books into the lobby of the Westin Waterfront Hotel, surrounded by Klingons, Stormtroopers, Steampunks, and various incarnations of Dr. Who. My own contribution to the cosplay (translation: “Costume Play”) will be to go about with my Winged Snake from Archimedes Nesselrode draped about my person.
I’ve got four panels at Arisia: Saturday morning I’ll be joining Axel Steele, Coder Brony, and two other folks for a discussion of the My Little Pony fandom. Why did I get tapped for this? Here’s the answer. Saturday afternoon I’ll be recording the Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading for broadcast on the BroadPod. I won’t be reading myself — that happens at 7 pm on Sunday. In the meantime, I’ll have the pleasure of talking about “Writing the Self” with Gordon Linzner, Steve Sawicki, et al. Then I slide just a tad out of my depth to discuss constructing languages with James Shapiro (J. S. Hailer), Rose Mambert, Greer Gilman, and John Chu.
Then bright and early on Monday morning, I get to debate the merits of Time Travel with John Chu (encore!), fellow Broad Ellen Larson, John McDaid, and Heather Albano. I have this thing about Time Travel, namely that it is 1.) Utterly ludicrous from a scientific standpoint, and 2.) Everybody tries to do it and mostly fails to make it believable (for me, anyway). Doesn’t stop me from being a Dr. Who fan, though.
In between all this fun and excitement I’ll be minding the Broad Universe table in the Dealer’s Room, talking up fans and selling books. Of course, there are also the parties, where much of the real work of conventions takes place. Friday night is the Broad Universe party, and Saturday night, we hope, the UBS Shameless pulls into port and we all attend Barfleet. Alas, the good Captain Bhagczech won’t be there, as he has gone upriver to spawn (and a cute little mite it is, too!).
Also on my Arisia schedule is the Pie Party, meeting up with the organizers of 8Pi-Con. That convention will be happening in June instead of August this year, and Yours Truly will be the Guest of Awesome (along with Guest of Honor, SF author Allen Steele — no relation to Axel, I presume). More on that later.
Okay, that’s Arisia, from Friday, January 17 to Monday the 20th. Then, on Friday, January 31, I have a gig at Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown, NH for the New England Author’s Expo.
I’m just going for the wine. [Change of plan; won't be going after all.] Sometime around the first of February will be the launch party for NH Pulp’s Love Free or Die anthology, in which I have a modest contribution (no, seriously, it’s actually a whopping grand tale of a strange romance in the North Country). And on February 12 I’ll be doing a thing at Portsmouth Public Library in beautiful downtown Portsmouth, NH with a group of my fellow authors from the New England Chapter of Broad Universe (are you getting all this down?).
Which brings us to the next big Boston convention, Boskone, from February 14th to the 16th. But I can’t even think about that yet. Just somehow pile my luggage and my (now, hopefully, depleted) box of books into a vehicle and get myself there. I know that I’ll be running the Broad Universe table in the Hawker’s Room with Elaine Isaak. Beyond that, who knows? There’s always a convention happening somewhere on any given weekend, often more than one. Such is the lucrative enthusiasm of fandom. The only limitations on attendance are financial and psychological. With books to sell, I’ll be attending as many as the aforementioned limitations allow.
Yes, that’s a modern writer’s life, folks. Traveling, speaking, partying, peddling. Sometimes we even can make time to, um, write.