Dragon*Con Rundown

I’ve been back from Dragon*Con for about a day and a half, and still have a stack of things that need to be done, some of which really should not be waiting for me to write a rambling blog post, but what the heck. I’m on vacation.

So, how was Con? Con was amazing, awesome, frustrating, enervating, energizing, and a thousand other adjectives tucked away inside. Rob and I headed down on Friday and by that evening we were sipping mojitos, shooting the breeze with some old friends from my NYU days, Tea and Absinthe, and basically having a blast. That ended until the fact that we are used to going to bed early and waking up at the butt crack of dawn finally hit us. So, we excused ourselves, stumbled back to our hotel and fell asleep. Big flaming balls of excitement, we are.

Saturday morning, we awoke and headed back downtown. We got to the area in time to catch the Dragon*Con parade, which was filled with people who have amazing costumes. The Periodic Table of the Elements walked by chanting “Science! Science!” Ernie Hudson drove by in a white convertible, causing Rob to have a small fanboy moment. He was followed by two tricked-out Ghostbuster-mobiles and a small platoon of Ghostbuster-costumed folk who looked like they had stepped straight out of the 1980s.

I wore my Sarah Connor Charm School shirt, and hoped to maybe see one or two T1 or T2 cosplayers, but it was not to be. I did get some compliments on my shirt as Rob and I perused the vendor hall. Or should I say, as Rob bought a kilt and headed off to find the Atlanta Hash House Harriers group and left me to my own devices. This is a dangerous thing to do when I’ve just been paid and there are all these writers and artists hawking their wares. Although I told myself I was ON VACATION, DAMMIT, I found myself buying books and comic books, taking a photo of the author/artist, and chanting: “Hi, I have a blog, it has this feature called: “Characters and Conversations” would you be interested??” So now I have a pretty good chunk of contacts that I need to get in touch with and start sending out questions, etc.

I also met up with a friend that I met at the last Con. He and his buddy (who was a friend of a friend, and is now a friend, but a deployed-to-the-sandbox friend) were at last Dragon*Con. We met up outside the vendor hall and shot the breeze for about half an hour. Yes, he’s one of those friends who you keep in touch with on Facebook, but when you finally meet face to face you start conversating at full tilt and just keep going as if you had just left off yesterday. We went to grab a beer and wait for Rob to catch up, having newly showered and dressed to the nines in his kilt and Captain America hat.

That night was an early night as well, and we told ourselves that EVENTUALLY we would stay up late. Maybe Sunday night. Sunday morning, we were up somewhat early, grabbed breakfast, and headed downtown. I went to a “Victorian self-defense” panel that turned out to be basic white-belt karate moves with steampunk costumes and humorous prattle. After the jokes got stale, I went in search of Rob, who had been at Ernie Hudson’s talk. We decided to try a “Guns, and More Guns,” panel, which I thought would be a discussion of guns in SF/F, but turned out to be a “Guns 101” for writers, which was kind of redundant for Rob and I, so we split.

After meeting up with another friend-a fellow writer and awesome editor of novels with whom we spent a few pleasant hours at a local Irish pub-I checked out a reading by author and fellow SCCS Alum Elizabeth Donald. I was sold on the first story she read, so watch this space for some upcoming C&C action goodness. After that, it was a discussion of Dystopian futures (in YA, although I hadn’t realized it was on the YA track). Then a meet up with my friend and Rob for another drink and conversation, and then Rob and I headed back for a disco nap.

Sunday night, we attended a panel called “Global Hot Spots” which was presented by a company that games military simulations, which was very interesting. Rob and I asked a few questions, although eventually the conversation was bogarted by a gentleman who was more paranoid than I am, and another gentleman whose conversational goals were apparently to talk about how awesome he was and how much IT experience he had. Okay….

After that, it was time to meet up with all friends on deck. We ended up at a concert by Voltaire, who sings funny songs for geeks, and then stayed for the first couple of songs by Crüxshadows. They were pretty awesome, and I could have stayed for a while, it being the first industrial/goth/metal concert I’ve been to in years and I was digging it. But, Rob reminded me, we had to drive back in the morning, so we went home and went to bed about 3 in the morning.

The next morning, our NY friends texted us to see if we wanted to do breakfast, but it was about 10 am and neither of us had yet gotten out of bed. Don’t judge. We’re in our 30s… We headed for a breakfast-food lunch at the diner down the street (yay, diner food) and then had time to hit up a panel which topic I forget, but Jim Butcher was on it. He didn’t say much, and eventually I had to get going.

Rob and I bid farewell to Dragon*Con, and the meeting with lots of friends from NY, Boston, and Atlanta. We made some new friends, bought some new books (OKAY A CRAPLOAD OF NEW BOOKS GEEZ ROB), have some contacts for future C&C features, and, as we drove back home, Rob outlined his idea for a post-apocalyptic, dystopian military science fiction novel. Not bad, Rob, not bad. It was a great Con, and although the Con/Crud/Comedown is always sad, the thoughts of next year are exciting. I will have some pictures later, and of course, some conversations with the writers and authors we met there. And now, back to work!


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