It’s the Wednesday after ArmadilloCon. It’s not the most relaxing week ever, but I’m getting there.
No fan run convention is created equal – heck no convention PERIOD is created equal. They all have their unique strengths and things that make us love them. Kind of like people. Where some could be more for the fan-building or social networking, others are more writer-centric business leaning. ArmadilloCon is that business side of things for me.
It’s been one of my favorites for years for going and meeting and doing. I get to hang with my professional buddies and get inspired, industry info, and just be around my creative fellows. In many ways, it’s totally recharging and motivating. I don’t sell a lot of books there, but there are other trade offs for me personally (in the constant struggle of expense/time : return on investment ratio). This year seemed bigger and YOUNGER than years past (GOOD THING) probably thanks to Tamora Pearce (whom I didn’t get to meet, darn it!)
This year I did a pretty even mix of fandom topics – Sidekicks and why we love them and Star Trek:TNG a generation later; to writing topics – morning pages and flavors of flash fiction. I missed being part of Fannish Feud, but it is what it is. The panels were packed – my smallest audience was SIX PEOPLE, and that was my reading at 5:30 pm on Saturday. And a 6:1 ration is nothing to sneeze at – they’re my motivators, too. Those six people come to all my readings – they keep me on my toes in a “Holy crap, what NEW THING can I read to them? They’ve heard all my stuff!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!”. The 10 am Saturday Morning Pages panel? TWENTY people at 10 am! but that was part of the kick butt writers’ workshop track that ArmadilloCon is kinda famous for.
All the panels were significantly full – which is a mixed blessing in some ways. We heard lots of people talking about how they wanted to go to such and such panel but there were FOUR MORE awesome ones AT THE SAME TIME. Good problem to have for PANELS, not so good for dealer’s room and art show. When are people supposed to shop when they’re ALWAYS at panels? Randomly weird Catch 22.
The other logistical issue is the fact – to this day – some moderators don’t get that an hour-long panel really ISN’T an hour long. It’s 50 minutes so people have time to travel to their next panel or go to the bathroom or both (but not in that order), and then, if not careful CAN (but doesn’t have to) create a cascade effect in the schedule. Part of that can be fixed by having the schedule SAY X:00 AM – X:50 AM – and not just having that “rule” hidden in the moderator notes THAT (let’s face it) no one reads.
This ArmadilloCon resulted in some business being done for me. A good butt-kicking that I’ve needed after a few months of Real Life Getting In the Way with some deadlines and accountability being hurled at my head with Superhero Strength and Velocity. Sometimes we all need it, just like I need ArmadilloCon. If you have the opportunity, we’ll see you next year end of July/beginning of August.
Next up: SmallCon!