J.L. Gribble Online

Con Report: ChessieCon 2017

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The curtain has closed on my final convention of 2017. For all the other drama of the year, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every convention (new and old) I’ve attended this year, and I can’t wait to do it all again in 2018.

FRIDAY

Since ChessieCon is held less than half an hour away from my house, I commuted instead of staying at the hotel. After seeing Coco with my husband and mother-in-law in the afternoon, I ate a quick dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers and headed north. The first thing I did was reunite with my friends Cristin Kist and Jeff Grittman, of the science-fiction comedy Prison Dad series and Silly Talks About Science Fiction podcast.

My two events that evening where the rapid-fire reading with Broad Universe, where I read the prologue to Steel Blood. Then, I participated in a panel on “What We’re Watching on TV.” I plugged my current favorite shows, such as The MagiciansThe Expanse, and The Good Place, and learned about some other awesome series to check out. The conversation didn’t just stick to the usual sources of television shows, but also branched out into YouTube series and short discussion about why SF/F has had a bit of a renaissance on television in the past decade. 

Photo credit: Cristin Kist

SATURDAY

Early Saturday afternoon, I brushed off my college improv skills and participated in “PowerPoint Improv.” The moderator selected me as the sacrificial first player, and I presented a 5-minute talk on the myth of coffee, including it’s feline source, it’s flight capabilities, and why we no longer have access to this legendary beverage. Other presentations including the iguana invasion, Florence Nightingale’s lies, current robotic capabilities, and three-dimensional landscapes. All of the players were hysterical, and each built on the previous presentation to create a truly fantastical world. I hope I get to play again next year.

Later that night, I joined an author meet & greet in the main area of the hotel, where I had some lovely chats with other con-goers. That’s easily my favorite part of conventions, especially since much of this community is so welcome and opening to all.

SUNDAY

My final event of the convention was time to do a reading, so I selected a scene from Steel Blood that the audience seemed to appreciate. Since this is such a local convention, my husband, mother, and mother-in-law even came out to support me!

(Side note: Steel Blood is dedicated to my mother, stepmother, and mother-in-law, so I’m glad two of them were able to hear me read from it!)

My family shared a nice lunch afterward, and I spent the rest of the afternoon reading on the couch surrounded my cats. It was a lovely way to close out the holiday weekend.


I supported Small Business Saturday by making purchases from independent vendors in the ChessieCon dealers room! The final haul:

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