Convention, Convocation, Conference & Me
To date, I’ve never been to a con, before. I always figured, things being what they are, that they’d be a bit out of reach for me: the cost of attendance, travel-time, possibly time off of work as they usually spill over from the weekend on Fridays or Mondays. Plus, of course, time away from the family. So, honestly… while I know the potential value of going to conventions (Or does “con” stand for “conference”? “Convocation”? Whatever, you know what I mean.) I’d almost written off my ability to go to them, at least in the near-term. Someday, I figured, I’d go to them, but it wouldn’t be soon. I hadn’t even mentioned the possibility to Dear Wife.
Well, I’m graduating soon, aren’t I, and it is a time of festivity!
Still, imagine my surprise when Dear Wife decides to give me, as a gift, attendance at an upcoming convention! I was so flabbergasted that, well, my excited face didn’t work right.
So, a week from today, I’ll be attending JordanCon, my first convention, ever. (Well, almost ever, but I don’t count that little one with about 15 attendees in 2003 back in the small town I lived in before moving to the city. They tried, bless their hearts, they really did. They took advice from those of us who came, but I don’t think they ever held another one.)
JordanCon has several advantages for me. It’s relatively local, in that I live in the general regional neighborhood of the host city. It’s dedicated to the late Robert Jordan, the author of one of my favorite fantasy series. It will have as a guest Brandon Sanderson, one of my new favorite authors, who is finishing Jordan’s Wheel of Time. And this year they’re bringing a group of regional genre authors, including David Coe, Eugie Foster, and several others.
Of course, I plan on attending the “Writer’s Track”. I do wish I had a current WIP to share during the peer-review session, but I’m nowhere near ready to share anything yet – and with only a week left to get something ready and plenty of school work between now and then, I’m unlikely to find the time to prepare anything. (My Secret Project isn’t appropriate material for this venue; I have contemplated bringing in my semi-trunked “PFTETD” novelette, and may decide to do just that, but I’m not sure that would be useful simply because I’m not sure how much better I can really make it if at all, but at the same time I don’t want to miss out.) But I do plan to pitch “Book of M” during the 30-second book pitch event. Since that’s only a few sentences, I’m confident I can find the time for that.
So, I’m excited. I’m hopeful that this will be the beginning of even more great writing relationships, and an opportunity to further hone my skills and prepare for an eventual career.
So, having never been to a convention, it’s time to turn it over to you guys. Have any of you ever been? Care to share some of your experiences? Any advice for a first-time con-goer?