Wow! What a weekend! I have no idea where to start or what, even, to say about ConNooga. It was an incredibly, incredibly positive experience, I can say that for certain right here. Everyone was so nice! Everyone was super friendly and more than happy to have their picture taken, which was nice. I guess I’ll just have to break this up into several smaller topics so I can wrap my head around it.
First, as a first-time con goer.
I was quite surprised, even having known that cons existed and that people put together great costumes for cons, at all the great costumes. Weird, right? Still, again, everyone was so nice to let me take their picture and grab a few pictures with them as well. The passion and love of the different fans was just so awesome to see. It really made me proud to have my own booth at the convention, and proud to think of myself as a fellow fan and nerd. There’s no way to describe the first time you see someone in full Stormtrooper armor, for instance. I’ve seen it on the silver screen, played Stormtroopers in games, blown them away in other games, played them as miniatures, and so on. Yet, here there were several troopers in dynamite looking armor acting and playing the part. And for charity! Who knew? I sure didn’t.
And beyond that, the fans of different media who made their own costumes as well. The attention to detail and the effort and passion, again, humbling, and thrilling. And how cool it was to be amongst people who loved so many of the things that I love! Not to disparage my coworkers, but fellow nerds are hard to come by in law enforcement. You spend a lot of time with very serious people. I got to have fun with people just like me, with interests just like mine, and we got to celebrate that without any shame whatsoever. How, freaking, cool!
As an author!
Man, I wish I had come to a con with my fellow authors a long time ago. I learned so much at this convention it’s not even funny. I learned tons about my craft, about the management and business side of it (because let’s face it, I’m selling a product, here,) and so much more. I honestly cannot express how much I got out of this just from a professional development side of things. I got to meet a lot of great men and women who are living the life I want to live. It’s so uplifting and encouraging to see people doing what you want to do. They were all so friendly and absolutely brimming with advice! Humbling, again. The whole weekend was humbling, and exciting.
Now that I’ve met people who are making it happen, I feel even more than ever that writing is my calling and I know it’s my passion. One day I will be doing this for a living and supporting myself by doing so. I’ll get to go to cons as a professional where people know me and want to hear me talk about it. They’ll want to see what I’m doing with my work and where I’m headed! Man. Man! Too cool.
I know I’m gushing, but I have to be honest, I was plagued with doubts before the convention. It’s hard to get feedback, it’s hard to break into the industry at all. I was really feeling down. Now, I feel much more confidence than I’ve had in the past. I feel like I can do it, and moreso, I want to do it! This is the life for me, yo ho!
Speaking of pirates…
The after parties were spectacular. The convention rented out the whole first floor of a hotel and everyone basically had an open bar. I think the pictures will mostly speak for themselves.
So, while I take away a ton of professional development and fond memories, what I take away the most is the experience and interaction with the people there. I’ve done eight hours and twelve hours in customer oriented professions before, and it was okay. This was like the most powerful feel-good drug imaginable. Being amongst my new friends, the fans, the hobbies…too cool, my friends, too cool. I’m looking forward to going next year, and the years following. I have to say, it’s because of you, the people who went and talked to me and dressed up. You made everything the way it was, and it was spectacular. Thank you!
Updates for the month of March:
My first rejection since the last bout of submissions. Writ of Possession did not get accepted, but it DID receive a lot of very useful feedback. I think a rewrite or two will see it placed this year.
I am working on a part of the Tiger of Mysore series, starring returning female thief and heroin Lakshmi. The first story in the series is out for consideration with a publisher, hopefully I’ll be hearing back from them soon. In the mean time, I hope to get Sea of Glass done and ready to be sent out.
I plan on starting the series of pulp shorts Deliver Me, from E.V.I.L. About robot assassin Falston. We’ll see if I’ve got the chops for that particular idea for a sci-fi short story series.
I’ll also throw out the tenuous goals of writing two one page stories for hand outs: a one page sci-fi story and a fantasy. That way I’ll have something representative of all three genres to hand out at conventions. I have ideas for both, so we’ll see how that goes.
Other than that, I’ll stick to my ongoing goal of selling a story this month and adding a chapter to my third novel Men of Gods.
Phew! A good update! I’ll sign off for now, and hope y’all enjoy the coming weekend!
Last, I just want to close by thanking everyone involved. The organizers, Robby who ran the literary track events, my booth buddy Rocky Perry, and all the authors who made me feel welcome. Thank you, thank you!