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My therapist tells me that I am good at attracting friends. Well, not only at attracting them, but engendering warmth and generosity from them. I’m sure this is all survival mechanisms from my childhood, mixed with a fierce streak of loyalty to those who treat me with love. But I remain eternally surprised when one of my friends makes some insanely generous gesture out of the blue.

Such as offering me and my beau tickets to a 3 day scifi/gaming convention, and a hotel room, and gets us in to the celeb stuffed banquet.

I-Con is a… well, it’s a sci-fi/anime/gaming/living la vida nerda convention. There’s a bit of everything. It’s been going on in Long Island for 31 years now, and this was only my second time attending. But we had a blast.

Friday night was mostly spent trying to get our shit together. We got a lay of the land and headed to our first event. It turned out to be the only event we hit that night, but it was well worth it.

Cosplay Burlesque is… well just that. Cosplayers dancing and taking off their clothes. The dancing ranges from glorified stripping to obviously well trained and highly choreographed pieces. And I love that the girls range from stick thin to curvy fertility goddess. Sadly, all the boys (at least in the show I saw) were on the thin side. But EVERYONE had the best attitude and showmanship.

CAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO SEE BORED STRIPPING.

And how can one be bored when you are dressed as Daryl from Walking Dead, combining fighting zombies and getting naked? A blood covered, wonderfully gyrating Cassie Hack from Hack/Slash was another favorite. And their Amy Pond did some amazing gymnastics using a chair for counterweight.

Saturday was our panel day. There are so many panels at I-Con that I could not get to everything I wanted. In fact, I think we sat through perhaps a third of what I wanted to see. There just wasn’t enough time for everything. We managed to get to two panels on publishing, and one on world building.

There was a lot of valuable insight into getting published, tons of good advice. And it was interesting to hear perspectives ranging from small co-op publishers to large publishing houses like Macmillan. But hearing from actual authors was my favorite.

Confession time: I am not a hard sci-fi reader. Nor am I fantasy reader. I read tons just… I’ve usually been a bit of a snob about my lit. So when I read the names on the World Building panel nothing really stuck. It was just… people I’d never heard of.

The names David Weber and Charles Gannon did not yet mean anything to me. They were two of the most engaging people on the panel. And a lot of what Dr. Ganon had to say about writing and academia resonated with my husband’s experiences. And I think it is impossible to be in the same room with David Weber and not feel that you are in the presence of a powerful and interesting mind.

So when we showed up at the banquet that night, John pointed to their table and said… why don’t we sit with them?

Awesome #1: They did not mind a couple of strangers sharing the table with them at a convention where they were not only special guests… but Mr. Weber was receiving an award for being awesome.

Awesome #2: We only stopped talking when they were breaking down tables around us. Dinner was long over and Weber was misty eyed as he recounted stories of the Bolos, a line of sentient tanks.

Awesome #3: Babylon 5. I got to discuss the merits of my favorite sci-fi series of all time with two sci-fi authors. I squeed a little in my pants. I got to have an intelligent discussion about the merits of particular plot lines without having to have that long discussion where I end up apologizing for the acting in season one and keep stressing, “But the story! The story is amazing!”. They already knew.

Awesome #4: As we were finally leaving, John let some smartass comment about his writing aspirations slip to Dr. Gannon. This led to a brand new discussion, filled with life changing insight and a healthy dose of mentoring.

We had planned to attend the masquerade ball later that night and get stinking drunk. Instead… we curled up on the bed in our hotel room and reworked the general plan for the rest of our life. We made sure our priorities were still lining up. We discussed writing and children and ate crackers in bed.

Well, wheat thins.

All because a writer took the time to offer some of his experience and insight to the aspiring writer that is my husband. Well, the life assessing was because of him. The wheat thins were my fault.

Over the course of the weekend, I set two little goals for myself.

First, to finally start this blog. To just shut up and do it. I’ve been thinking about it and not doing it for too long.

Second, to begin putting together a seriously badass steampunk outfit. I do not want to go to another con without some righteous costume to wear.

So here we go. On with my little experiment to get me writing again. To keep me writing. And to help me put some of those things from my inside voice on the outside.

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