With the release of my debut novel looming on the horizon, I’m hitting every local (and some not-so-local) convention I can. It’s exhausting, but I’m learning a lot and meeting hordes of like-minded people. I can’t wait until I can sell actual copies to interested people! At this point, I’m limited to an elevator pitch and a list of email addresses. Worldcon cannot arrive soon enough!

4th Street Fantasy is more of a writer convention than a fan-based or media convention. All of the attendees are writers or would-be writers. There’s no cosplay, no movies being shown – in fact, there’s only one programming track. The idea is to set one’s butt in a chair with a room full of smart, learned people and soak up information for three days. We had discussions on creating religions, inter-cultural texts, cultural appropriation, the heroin’s (vs the hero’s) journey, and even a loopy panel at the end of Sunday on cursing.

An extra bit of excitement: the con happened to fall on a weekend during which a big storm happened. The straight-line winds on Friday night knocked out power to the hotel for nearly an entire 24 hours and led to a rather hysterical dubbing of the con as “the world’s premier dark fantasy convention”. No one knows who started the phrase, but it was on everyone’s lips by the end of breakfast on Saturday.

High points included Scott Lynch’s Gollum impersonation, hanging out with Michael Merriam and his lovely wife Sherri, learning a bunch of literary dissection terms, and sitting behind Emma Bull during one panel, where my sneaky eyes learned how to pick the yarn of my knitting rather than throw it. When I exulted about it on Twitter and named-checked the con and Ms. Bull, she tweeted me back, full of joy, and told me to sit next to her next time so we could workshop. I jumped up and down about this and promptly told all my friends about it.

Next up: CONvergence!