Worldcon 2018

I meant to have this post up earlier this evening, but my laptop ran out of juice and I wasn’t anywhere near an outlet.  I was out of power and I just couldn’t do the writing I wanted to do.

Looking ahead at what I’m about to write, that’s actually a pretty good segue into talking about Worldcon 2018.

As I’ve said before, Worldcon is special to me.  When I went to the Worldcon in Reno a few years ago with Michael Gallowglas, my life was changed.  Going to that event was like breaking the surface of a the water, coming up for air after so much time drowning.  I will always have a sentimental attachment to Worldcon, and I’ve tried to go to all of them since Reno.

This year, I attended Worldcon in San Jose one week after Melissa and I attended the New York Writer’s Digest conference.  I went to New York, had a fantastic time, but then came home and went right back to work, and kept working until we drove to San Jose.

Getting into the event, it felt more like Day 5 than Day 1, for me.  I was tired and cranky, the weather was hot, and it felt like a long walk between our hotel and the conference center.

Like my night writing tonight, I went in with the best of intentions, but I just didn’t have enough power to be effective.

This isn’t to say that Worldcon 2018 was terrible.  It was fine, I think.  I just had a hard time enjoying it, and it was my fault.  I spread myself a little too thin going into it.

There’d been some drama regarding the programming before Worldcon even started, and Mary Robinette Kowal had helped straighten things out.  The programming seemed fine, but I thought the panels were a little too short and the rooms too crowded.

I think I only attempted to attend four panels.  Half of those, my work called me and I had to step outside and take the calls.  Again, I think the event itself was fine, but external factors pulled me out of it.

That pretty much sums up the whole experience for me.  My body was there, but my mind off somewhere else most of the time.

This was also the first convention my kids have ever attended.  They’re 20 and 22, and I wanted to share this part of my life with them.

Bryanna had a great time.  There were several dancing events that she bravely attended.  She loves swing dancing, so she fit in perfectly.  Later, we found a steampunk hat in the dealer’s room that she loved.  We got it for her, and she received compliments on her hat the rest of the weekend.  She also attended a panel that was on contracts and said that she really enjoyed it.  Bryanna had a great Worlcon experience.

Chris didn’t have as great a time.  He tried to attend a couple of game related or craft related panels, but either the material didn’t work or the instructor wasn’t as prepared as they needed to be for the number of people attending.  Two days in a row, Chris went off to have fun and get into his element, only to return a short while later disappointed.  That was a little frustrating.  He didn’t complain, though.  I think he enjoyed what he was able to get into.  There just wasn’t much there for him.

That’s the thing about Worldcon.  It’s a fannish convention, but it doesn’t appear to offer that much for the younger crowd to draw them in and make them permanent fans.  Bryanna will happily come with me again, because she’s a writer, a voracious reader, and there were enough quirky things at this convention to please her.  Chris, who is more into video games and movies than books, isn’t going to want to go to another convention with me.

I enjoyed the kaffeeklatches.  I mostly enjoyed Barcon, though I had trouble socializing.  I would have liked to have bought Lee Harris a drink, but I didn’t see him much.  I met Sam Sykes, completing my Sam Sykes/Myke Cole/Chuck Wendig bingo card for the year.  I thought I learned what I needed to know about querying one of my stories, but in practice, probably picked up the wrong information.

Worldcon this year was just okay, for me, and I don’t blame the organizers.  One of the lessons I learned is to give myself a break between events when they’re scheduled so close together.

One of the best things that happened for me was that I got to meet my friend Michael Roberts (@inkandmagic on Twitter).  He’s a great guy!  I’m looking forward to meeting him again without the distraction of Worlcon around us.

Tomorrow, I’ll write about the New York Writer’s Digest conference, and the next night, I’ll write about the Writing Excuses Cruise.  I wanted to talk about Worldcon first because of the three writing-related events, it was the one that gave me the most underwhelming experience.

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