Saturday, September 4, 2010

A visit to ConText and other adventures...

Last week I had another excellent Columbus experience up at ConText, a fantastic literary convention that has an impressive array of guests. I ended up having a fairly light load of panels, doing just one urban fantasy panel as well as a Kaffeeklatsch, an hour long meet-and-greet type session in the morning, at which ConText generously provided Starbuck's coffee and fresh cookies, etc. for those attending.

I really did not know what you expect at a Kaffeklatsch before, but now I absolutely love them. It was a great, casual way to hang out and just talk with reader friends, as well as get a little extra caffeine to start the day.

I spent a great deal of my time in the dealer's room, running an exhibit, but I did get to catch up with many friends on the Con circuit. Michael West, Steven Shrewsbury, Jason Sizemore, Maurice Broaddus, Janet and Elie Harriet, Scott Sandridge, Maura Heaphy, Travis Clemmons, and many friends were on hand, and I also got to meet many news ones, such as Frank Hall, a bookstore owner from Indiana, Greg Carter, Cat Barth, and Rhonda Wilson (who I've seen at many events and had not met yet, despite the fact that we have many mutual friends!)

Here's a few pics from the Con...

me with Maurice Broaddus

me with Michael West

me with Maura Heaphy (and her book!)

I did finally get my Apex t-shirt, which you can see me proudly wearing in the photos on this page.

(me, with Jason Sizemore of Apex, with me wearing my new Apex shirt!)

The weekend did not pass by without one particular adventure. Friday evening, after having a nice dinner with Steven Shrewsbury, Michael West, Brady Allen, and Michael Knost, I headed on the 3 mile drive to my hotel. I was having a little trouble seeing the street signs, as trees were obscuring them in a neighborhood area. Therefore, I was slowing down and speeding up in between streets. I attracted some attention, evidently, as blue lights showed up in my rear view mirror.

I pulled over, and kind of got the idea that the officer suspected that I may have been drinking. I explained that I was a guest at a convention, and that I was having a hard time finding the left hand turn I was looking for. The officer checked my license and registration, and indicated that he was going to let me off with a warning.

But on the way back, shining his light in the car, he asked me about the "large bladed weapon in the back". I had forgot that I had a large, sheathed blade that we had used the previous week for one of the Kel in Swordbearer still in the car. It had been covered by some of the material I had brought up for the exhibition. To my mind, it is a prop, to the officer's, it was a weapon, and being that it was a functional blade, his assessment was more accurate than mine!haha

Fortunately, I was able to explain this as well, and the blade was sheathed, in plain view, in the back seat, so it did not violate any statutes outright. The officer advised me to put it in the trunk so someone didn't smash my window and try to steal it. He then helped me find the left hand turn I was looking for.

Needless to say, I was highly relieved that the officer was of the reasonable sort, as the situation could have been made out to be a whole lot worse. I am going to have to remember that not all "props" in my mind are seen by the general public as props!

Since I did not get locked up, I was able to see my first live Steven Shrewsbury read on Saturday night, and it was everything that I had hoped for! I had always been told that Steven delivers one of the most entertaining reads you can see anywhere, and he did not disappoint. He has a true flare and style, which including a loud outcry to Odin as well as a thunderous whomp on the table to punctuate the end. Michael West was brave enough to sit right by Steven during the read, which was commendable!

The Con did go very well, and ended with me having a nice dinner with Janet and Elie Harriet, two of my favorites in the Columbus area. Janet has a busy slate coming up in 2010, and will be one of our panelists at FandomFest in Louisville, KY.

(Janet and Elie, with me)

The rest of the week has been a blur, doing work for the new Fires in Eden book, spending a great deal of time on my duties for FandomFest and Duckon (doing programming for the Author's Track and Writer's Track respectively), as well as continued preparations for the next round of shoots for Swordbearer.

I am glad to report that the fight choreography sesssion between Al Snow, Benjamin Wood, and Allan Gilbreath was a success. Held in Louisville during my trip to ConText, they met in a park and put in several hours, a bunch of which was recorded by Matt Perry and Justin Powell, who were on hand. All parties reported a great day, and the genesis of a fight scene that is promising to look absolutely wonderful on screen.

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