Norwescon 37 Post-Game Film

Authorial Essentials
Authorial Essentials

The title of this post is somewhat of a misnomer in that there is no actual game film to speak of. Though I sincerely wish there was as I might then be able to identify the truck that ran me down.

Who am I kidding? We all know what truck that was. A truck by the name of Norwescon 37, that left me broken, sore, and exhausted by the side of the road, thankful to be alive.

And it really should have come as no surprise.

I saw the lineup of panels weeks in advance and knew this was going to be a packed weekend.

If memory serves, this was the first time I’ve attended Norwescon as a tourist in a few years rather than a panelist. That meant I could while away the hours doing whatever I wanted. And boy were there a lot of options. So many, in fact, that there were frequent overlaps and hard decisions had to be made.

Panel highlights included (but was by no means limited to): maps in fantasy novels, invisible disabilities, writing vivid scenes, tracking details, diversity in the genre (both of character and setting), and some great panels on horror cinema. I’ve got pages of notes, and new projects are sure to spin out of those…a process which is already starting. And until Sunday, I didn’t have any real experiences with people trying to hijack the panel to discuss their 80th level paladin or the end of the gold standard

One of the regular highlights of the convention is the chance to touch base with peers who I just don’t see often enough. Many excited and insightful conversations about current projects, the state of the industry, and comic books were had. I got to meet some new people who are, if not outstanding, at least incredibly entertaining. Through it all, I came away energized to be working on new and existing projects. And I feel reassured with my place in the genre, and the direction I’m going.

There were people I wish I had more opportunity to hang out with, but the convention was so packed I don’t know how that would have happened. As it was, I was there until after midnight both Friday and Saturday and back at road to the con by 9am the next morning, leaving a hard 6 hours to sleep in between. As I told a few people, I slept like I was trying to cure cancer, like the lives depended on me sleeping. It was dark. Dreamless. And when my alarm went off on Saturday morning I stared at it a long time trying to figure out what it was.

The convention wrecked me. It’s taken almost 24 hours since leaving to be able to write about it. That’s how fantastic it was.

Despite saying I didn’t need anything, I still ended up acquiring certain artifacts. Inventory accrued over the weekend include:

  • The Hole Behind Midnight by Clinton J. Boomer and published by Broken Eye Books, and if it’s half as entertaining as its author, it promises to be riotous.
  • Bless Your Mechanical Heart edited by Jennifer Brozek and published by Evil Girlfriend Media which has an astounding lineup. I wish I had been able to come up with a story to pitch to this, but I couldn’t squeeze an idea out of my brain. Instead, I’ll just enjoy reading the heck out of it.
  • Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail: Tales of Love, Crime, and Rebellion from PM Press which is entirely within my bailiwick.
  • Report from Planet Midnight by Nalo Hopkinson which is a slim volume that I’ve already finished. Excellent, and worth picking up for the title piece alone, but the other features, including the short story “Message in a Bottle” are brilliant.
  • A photo from the art show by artist Amber Clark that was used for the cover of Coins of Chaos. I’m partial to collecting cover art for books I’ve been in, and this marks my second from her. It’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to hang it.
  • Two crocheted eyeballs stuffed with catnip from a friend and fellow author to placate both my cat Shiva and the demon cats across the street.
  • Two DC Comics shot glasses: one Nightwing and one Green Lantern, largely because reading DC Comics lately makes me want to drink.

It was a great few days. I’m sure I’ll even recover in time for next year.

In the meantime, I’m excited to return to my projects with the stuff I learned over the weekend.

And sleep. Sleep would be good.

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