I worked from home in the morning, then packed and headed for Rockville. I was able to check into the hotel first, then it was off to my first panel (of eight!) for the weekend. The discussions I had with my fellow panelists on such a variety of things, from writing workshops to the fantasy genre to editing, were absolutely fascinating, and we had fantastic audience participation at each. For my reading in between, I shared a few scenes from the beginning of Steel Time, which was received well.
I wrapped up the evening by spending time at the convention’s official author table, which drew a group of night owls. We continued the conversation in the hotel lobby late into the night. I finally crashed at about 2 AM.
I had to be up early for a 10 AM panel — and I discovered I was moderating the panel at approximately 9:58 AM! Luckily, genre blending and bending is a topic I’ve discussed on multiple panels over the years, and I led a great conversation and got some excellent book recommendations from my fellow panelists.
The rest of the day involved two more panels in between wandering the halls of the convention and chatting with people. I also attending the afternoon meet & greet hosted by the Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction (DWASF), which is a group whose mission I support thoroughly. The evening concluded with a mass author signing, where I got to share a table with my fantastic publisher.
Over the course of the day, I managed to talk myself into attending both StokerCon 2019 and WorldCon 2020 — which is in New Zealand! I’ve already registered for StokerCon, and my fingers are crossed that I manage to get the details for WorldCon figured out.
My final two panels of the weekend ended with a discussion of topics that are taboo in writing, which devolved into people trying to find my limits for reading about cannibalism. I really appreciated that everyone was respectful of discussing a topic that might have severe emotional triggers for someone who claims a hard line against a subject, but luckily my boundaries are varied and this is something I’m able to have an intellectual discussion about. I hope the experience was useful in showing the panel attendees that they have absolutely no control over their audience, no matter how well or creatively they include a topic in their fiction!
I did my bit to support the geek economy before heading home, including some early holiday shopping! My first weekend as an official Capclave participant was a great success, and I hope to be invited back next year.
The final haul: