Looking for the full slide set for my “Alternate History: Creating Stories by Changing the Past” presentation? See below!

Usually I try to have my convention reports posted on the Wednesday after the con, but this month I had the crazy idea that I could do two events in a row. So because I traveled straight from Starbase Indy to the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit in Houston, you’re getting it today. Better than not at all, I suppose!


It is significantly cheaper to fly on Thanksgiving than the day after Thanksgiving, so I sacrificed delicious dinner with my extended local family for a delicious Friendsgiving meal at the hotel that evening. It was lovely to have an evening to recover from travel rather than jumping straight into convention shenanigans.


Which is what happened promptly on Friday. I was invited to this convention to be part of the Writers Workshop hosted by Rook Creek Books, so I helped set up the suite and spent the afternoon participating in the excellent workshops and panels held there.

In the evening, the suite switched from SERIOUS WRITER BUSINESS (aka writing) to SERIOUS WRITER BUSINESS (aka drinking). Rook Creek Books is also known for their “Books & Beer” evening events, and I’m so glad I got to participate in one! I also finally got to see the full Ghosts in the Yew LEGO movie, which I got to see Blake work so hard on when I visited Chicago last summer.


I always say that I’m going to get work done at conventions. That has NEVER happened–until now. There’s something to this dedicated writer space at a convention concept, because I was able to prep my monthly blog post, my monthly newsletter, and catch up on writing six book reviews. This was all interspersed with more writing activities such as sprints, plotting activities, and world-building exercises (I’m so pleased with a major idea I came up with for the UFO book, too).

I was scheduled to participate/lead a few of the activities, so I was more than pleased to discuss writing and editing with anyone who showed up with questions. I especially had a lovely time brainstorming ideas for someone who wanted to write a non-fiction book!

That night, Rook Creek Books partied hard again, this time to count down to the end of author Deanna Sjolander’s Kickstarter supporting her atom-punk/noir serial, beginning with Sophie and the G-Man. I was honored to support this project for such a good friend, and I’m thrilled to report that she concluded the night at 120% funded!

With Deanna Sjolander and Blake Hausladen of Rook Creek Books


The weather threatened to be scary on the final day of the convention, which led to a lot of people leaving early. A few brave souls stuck around for my afternoon alternate history presentation. This convention, our nexus point creation was “What if the Internet never left the realm of academic engineering programs?” This led to some fascinating discussions of how the world would be technologically, economically, AND socially different. For our true alternate history, we played with the oldie-but-goodie “What if all the gods were real?” idea.

Will there ever be a good picture of me talking in front of a group? Probably not.

Since I wasn’t heading out until the next day, I enjoyed a lovely, chill evening alternately reading a book and chatting with my lovely roommate, editor Anna LaVoie. Looking for a developmental editor for your current project? I can’t recommend her highly enough.


Did you know that there’s a Doctor Who museum right outside Indianapolis? Neither did I, until Deanna suggested a visit when I complained about not having anything to do before I headed to the airport. It was worth the trip to see over 50 years of official Doctor Who merchandise collected in one place, especially the older stuff. It’s very cool to think that I’m part of such a long-lasting global fandom. My own purchasing was limited by what I could still fit in the suitcase, but I managed to snag some neat stuff.

The less said about the travel shenanigans to Houston that night, the better (7 hour delay, anyone?). But it was nice to spend two days in a warmer climate before returning to Baltimore late Wednesday night. I’m happy to be home with no travel plans until March.


From the dealers room:

  • “J.L. Gribble” + “Steel Empires” in Gallifreyan & holiday tree Ornament by Mary J. Winters-Meyer of Tangitude Artworks
  • TARDIS enamel pin & Sabine Wren (Masked) Funko Pop from The Zocalo Connection

From the charity auction:

  • Solar system socks, Mars pendant, and handcrafted penguin ornaments by Deanna Sjolander

From Who North America:

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