Con Report: ChessieCon 2018

chessielogoGoing to a convention after a major holiday would be pretty crazy, but luckily this convention is local, chill, and a chance to visit with friends. So it’s easy to treat it as an extension of the holiday, and I had a lovely time at ChessieCon this year.

FRIDAY

Friday started with how all days after Thanksgiving should start, with a massive lunch of leftovers. We ate at my mother-in-law’s house, where my parents also dropped by, so by the time I headed home to prepare for the convention, pretty much no NaNoWriMo writing got done. I was not super upset about that. Instead, I made sure my con bags were sorted and that I had questions prepared for the panel I was moderating on Saturday afternoon. Even though my first scheduled event was not until 9:15 that night, I headed up to Baltimore around 5 PM so that I had time to greet friends.

As has become my pattern at ChessieCon, the easiest place to find me was at the Prison Dad table with fellow authors Cristin Kist and Jeff Gritman. Then it was off to the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, where I read from a short scene in Steel Time. I finished out the night at a fun panel where we discussed how our favorite cancelled television shows SHOULD have ended.

SATURDAY

I got home very late on Friday night and arrived back at the convention early Saturday morning, latte in hand. The first event up was a panel on time management for the over-achieving creative, which is certainly one way to describe me. The take-away points from the panel included:

  • Determine your priorities
  • Your priorities can change
  • Spend time on things with intention

During some time spent chatting with friends after the panel, mentally moaning to myself that I should have been working on NaNoWriMo, I had a bit of an epiphany. I didn’t sign up for NaNoWriMo this year to write 50 thousand words in 30 days. That would have been nice, but it wasn’t the main point. The main point was to kick myself in the pants and actually get some words written on my the next book. I started the month with 8 thousand words. I now have 40 thousand. I’m going to call that a win in my book and keep writing at a pace that is comfortable for me.

Later that afternoon, I moderated a lovely panel on the young adult genre. For once, I got to ask the questions and be interested in a subject that I don’t know much about. I learned a lot, and I hope the audience did as well.

I participated in the mass author signing in the evening, sharing a table with the lovely folks from eSpec Books. Then, I closed out the evening with diner breakfast with friends. A great middle convention day.

SUNDAY

Only one thing on the agenda for Sunday morning, which was my early morning reading. Afterward, I listened to Ruthanna Emrys read from Winter Tide and a very cool near-future SF work-in-progress.

I closed out the morning with some shopping in the dealer’s room, doing my part to support small business and the local geek economy for holiday gifts (alas, not shown below). Then I headed home for an epic nap and a movie date with my husband.

All in all, a fantastic holiday weekend. Can’t wait to do it again next year.


The final haul:

ChessieCon haul 2018

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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