When a professional convention in your field is literally in your back yard (or at least 2 blocks away from where you used to work for 12 years), there’s really no excuse not to go. And I’m so glad that I attended World Fantasy 2018 in Baltimore, MD!
I worked from home on Thursday morning, and then my mother-in-law was nice enough to drive me up to the convention hotel, where I stayed for the weekend. I could have commuted, but sharing a room was literally the same cost as I would have paid in parking fees over the course of 4 days.
After checking in, a friend dragged me to a small workshop on using Tarot cards to help prompt story ideas. While I don’t disbelieve in using Tarot for more personal means, I adore the concept as a storytelling exercise.
Following that, my afternoon workshop on Working with Editors went well. Scott H. Andrews, of Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine, was a great presenter and very knowledgeable about the subject. I was pretty much there to speak from the novel perspective, and help wrangle one of the small Q&A groups we held with other editors — and I am totally okay with that!
I joined the three lovely ladies I shared a hotel room with for dinner at the Irish pub across the street. All of us are former students from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, but the best part of that is how many of those former students are now my friends and colleagues.
Everyone was tired from traveling (or working) that day, so we headed to bed early.
I was pleased and honored to be selected to be a panelist at this convention. Even better, I already knew everyone on the panel! Friday morning, we spoke about “writing as sanctuary,” following the bigger theme of the convention, to a fairly full room of aspiring (and current!) writers.
I spent the afternoon catching up with friends from near and far, then accompanied a gaggle of more SHU friends to dinner (Italian, this time).
Despite some earlier miscommunication, I had a great time at the mass author signing held in the evening. I’ll never get tired of seeing four books spread on a table, especially when even publishing one still sometimes feels like a wacky dream.
I had no official events on the schedule for Saturday, and I’m pretty sure that I spent the entire day wandering around and talking with friends, new and old. I had a few vague thoughts that I should check out the NaNoWriMo room and get some writing done, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with networking at a professional convention.
Special shout-out again to Scott and Beneath Ceaseless Skies for celebrating their tenth anniversary in the evening with delicious homemade beer!
Apparently, the trick to both being on a panel and having an individual author reading at World Fantasy is knowing someone on programming. Luckily, the head of programming is a good friend, which explains my epic luck.
What’s even more lovely is that since this was a local convention, my mom sneaked into the hotel to attend my reading! She drove me home afterward, where I promptly passed out for two hours with my cats and the beginning of con crud sickness.
If World Fantasy is ever in your neck of the woods, I highly recommend attending!
Instead of my usual convention haul post (which honestly just consists of the bazillion free books that you get as part of the convention membership), I’d like to thank the following:
- Deanna Sjolander, head of programming
- Ian Randal Strock of Fantastic Books, for selling my books in the dealers room
- Cara McKinnon, Anna La Voie, and Erin Bales, for being fabulous friends and roommates!