Life’s been pretty crazy lately, so it was as if a great weight lifted from my shoulders as I drove up the hill for Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind 2016 this year. It was a short weekend, Friday to Sunday, and I feel like I packed a lot into it!
Skulls! (Photo Credit: Deanna Sjolander)
Arrived on campus, dropped my Steel Magic raffle basket off at registration, and spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with friends and attending classes. I was joined by Deanna Sjolander and Anna La Voie for a reprise of my freelance editing panel, where I moderated a discussion that covered things like the different types of editing available to authors and how to jump-start your own freelance editing career. I was towed along in the wake of my much more exuberant friends afterward and somehow ended up at dinner with all of the professional guests. It’s always fun to meet people in the industry and get a different perspective on things.
That evening was the annual mass book signing, where a few lucky people were able to snag pre-release copies of Steel Magic! I stayed up way too late that night, including the requisite post-midnight campus walkabout, and enjoyed sleeping in the next morning.
Two books to my name now! (Photo Credit: Jennifer Barnes)
I’m so used to spending the Saturdays of this event helping set up for the annual costume ball in the evenings that I found myself a bit at loose ends for most of the day. I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind for sitting through classes, so I spent a lot of time being social with good friends instead, interspersed with quieter moments of working on my book 3 line edits. I got the requisite homage to Steak n Shake out of the way for lunch, and finally experienced the joy that is a restaurant called “Smokey Bones” for dinner with another group of friends (complete with amazing sangria).
The costume ball was held on a restaurant just off-campus. The theme this year was “Trope Your Genre,” so I bought myself a cheap plastic sword last Halloween and showed up in my regular Renaissance Festival gear, topped off by a cute diadem I bought at a con ages ago. I was a badass warrior princess ready to adventure in thoroughly impractical adventuring gear (my coin belt was super stealthy). This was apparently enough to win an award in the fantasy category!
Attempting to use magic to retrieve my sword from the Spartan who stole it! (Photo Credit: Jay Smith)
Next year’s theme is “International Persons of Mystery.” Costume ideas would be appreciated, because the only thing I can think of right now is something involving a cocktail dress, which won’t stand me out enough to win an award for the third year in a row.
After another night of staying up super-late again, playing Werewolf, and just talking with cool people, I enjoyed sleeping in again. Met up with friends for a late breakfast and then headed back to campus. I wish I could have stayed for graduation this year, but at that point I was operating on about 8 hours of sleep total and knew I had to be up early Monday morning. It was a good thing I did leave early, because I had to stop for coffee twice and still have to force myself to scream along to loud music for the last 30 minutes of the drive.
Took a nap when I got home, woke up for Game of Thrones, and then went back to sleep. It was a blast to see everyone and get inspired to throw myself into the next book in the series. Being reminded that other people are excited to keep reading my books is pretty much the best thing ever.
Final book haul, topped by my diadem and costume award: