The Plan: Blogging from Balticon

Part of me says that this is kind of pitiful. After all, in an economic downturn I am still able to attend a convention. To someone like me this means that I have a sacred duty to suck the fun out of every, single second of this adventure, yet here I am blogging instead of drinking, gaming, cosplay, or going to a panel. In my defense all I can say is that I woke up at 6am, and —

See that’s what cons are like for me. I start at 6 am blogging in an IHOP, when a bunch of people I know walk in. I respectfully shut down the computer. I get up, and all the convention ladies demand hugs. The men shake hands (unless you are brothers in blood, the kind of bonds forged during an all night room-party crawl, discovering a new science fiction BBC series together, or braving the Temple of Elemental Evil) and then we all sit down. There’s the standard talk about troubles at home, cars failing, jobs gained and lost, new hobbies, new D&D characters, weight gain, weight loss, marriages and divorces, births and deaths. Still the question comes up- why do I care? I care because some of these people are my coworkers, others are peers in the industry, others are fans of my work, but all of them, ALL of them are my friends. We share experiences, even if we grew up on different continents. We understand one another, even if we speak different languages. We are nerds, and so we are joined by–

It’s Saturday… I was trying to finish the entry when I met Daniel Ross, not to be confused with James Daniel Ross (me). The panel I was waiting for was actually for him, causing some light laughter and making me somewhat thankful I could go to bed instead of stay up until 1am. Still, it was interesting to talk to him, since he had been casting about for a Science fiction property upon which to base a video game. We spoke a bit, traded information and parted ways. I was hopeful that we could make something happen. At the same time, I am always cautious. At any convention there are far more dreamers than there are do’ers, but he had the fire in the belly and the sharpness of wit that tells me he is bright and driven. Maybe we can get famous together.  But even as I’m telling myself to keep everything in perspective I —

And Sunday… I’ve got the launch party tonight, and it’s bound to be great. I am amazed at the number of fans who KNOW I will be there, and come to talk to me there. The ones that come in and praise my work are fantastic, and lord knows I couldn’t keep up with the pace I have set without their support. Still, though it is the ones that come and ask me questions that make my heart leap. These are not just ordinary readers – as wonderful as those people are – these are people who have absorbed my work. They have read and taken time to understand my work.  The feelings this brings are indescribable–

Wow, Monday. It’s a short one where I get to see one of the classiest men I have ever known: Yoji Kondo. It’s a discussion about Arthur C Clarke and —

See that’s what cons are like for me. I start at 6 am Friday blogging in an IHOP, and now it’s time to drive home. Yes, I’m skipping meeting old friends, a pretty significant argument with someone I love, inspiring a new writer to become an author, being inspired by stories of my first fan, signing books for three hours so the resellers would have stock… It happens too quickly for pictures, too fast for blogs. These are the moments where I feel compressed, stressed, and perfectly at peace with my whole life. It is at these moments that working for 8 hours a day, then writing for 6 more, before cooking, and THEN housework, come into focus.

I am an author, a novelist, and one day I am going to do this for a living.

And now I need some sleep.

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