Kirkwood was kind enough to pay for a trip to a writing convention this year, and I ran off to Canada to Can Con. I knew a couple of great people who would be attending the convention, (looking at you, Rati Mehrotra and Kate Heartfield), and I have heard great things about the education track at the con.
Can-Con exceeded my expectations and then some. On a purely social level, I had a chance to get to know people better, spending some quality time with the people I went to see, and meeting many new and truly interesting people. I talked to some people about writing articles for Fantastic History, and I talked to other people about their writing projects past, present, and future. I came away with awesome reference books and a list of things to buy in the future. I did karaoke. More cons need karaoke.
I love Wiscon, which I have attended for years with close and wonderful friends, and I love CONvergence, where I get to be both an author and a fan, plus go to a con with the love of my life. Viable Paradise was an awakening. Taos Toolbox was studying at the feet of Buddhist Monks. Paradise Icon feels like reuniting with old friends you see once a year, and you pick up where you left off.
Can-Con was the case of me coming in as a stranger, but being accepted into the conversation about writing with so much ease. We talked about everything: the different kinds of publishing, art, projects, research, trends. What we were writing. Hopes and fears and dreams and all the things writers think. I didn’t feel hierarchy as much as I have at some cons. I was strangely reminded of where I work. Yes, there are levels, but there’s an effort to be accessible and a sincere feeling we were all in it together. Or I could have been inventing a fiction. We do that. I loved it, though, and I want to go back.
Thank you, Canada. Thank you, writers. Thank you, new friends. My gratitude is Maple.