I’m going to write more focused AnomalyCon blog entries as soon as my squirrel brain calms down, but in the meantime, here’s a handful of memories. I’m still catching up on all the sleeps and figuring out how to get back into the routine of life in Michigan.
And I also arrived home with an entire outline for a new novel, to follow directly on the heels of Down The Tubes. Its completely inspired by the California Zephyr and Blue Water trains that Ken and I took to and from Denver for the con. Ken and I brainstormed like mad as our Blue Water train hurtled towards East Lansing. And hurtled is not an exaggeration, good cog, we were moving. The tentative title right now is Off The Rails, and that’s all you get to know for the moment! It’s weird to be telling you about this when at this time yesterday, it didn’t exist whatsoever. I’m excited! I also have a lot of research ahead of me, but that’s okay. Research is fun and makes my brain get bigger.
Before the con, I was asked to submit a short story, about 400 words, for a con trading card project. Those of us who submitted stories saw them come to life, as the stories had been handed over to artists who then illustrated them. My artist, Dylan Edwards, was fantastic! He didn’t simply dash off an illustration, but instead took the time to think about my story. Due to the type of drink my main character was enjoying and her overall attitude, he decided this was a girl of the 1920s, and created a very clever illustration. I loved it so much I purchased the original artwork for myself.
And those AnomalyCon trading cards gave me another wonderful moment! I’d been away from my book table for some hours, as I had a few panel discussions to participate in. When I returned, Jennifer (a marvelous woman who helped watch over the table for me and Aaron Michael Ritchey when we had to be elsewhere), told me that a gent had come over and was exclaiming how much he enjoyed my trading card story. Once they cleared up the confusion that Jennifer was not me, she promised to get us together when I returned, and she did. I nearly cried listening to this wonderful guy tell me that of all the trading card stories, mine was his favorite—the opening line had grabbed him strongly—and he’d been searching all over the hotel trying to find me so he could tell me how much he enjoyed it.
I never want to forget that moment.
Another moment I will never forget, though I will always have bouts of wanting to forget it, was being given the opportunity to go it alone in the spotlight for an hour of “The Mad Science of Victorian Cooking”. I totally blew it. I’m not a public speaker by nature or training, yet somehow… somehow… everyone had fun, no one sneered as I flailed, and we all took away enough entertainment and knowledge to make the hour not be a total waste. Later, I was given good advice from various trustworthy people, specifically tailored to help me avoid con-speaker-flail in the future, and I will use that advice and make it a part of me. Thanks! I’ll also share all my research notes from that event right here at the website very soon.
Last random thought. I loved feeling at home among colleagues on the “Saving The World After 50” panel alongside Shelley Adina and Vivian Caethe. I’d worried my inner fangirl might burst out unexpectedly, but before that could happen, my heroes had already welcomed me as their friend.
We’re still sorting through pictures, but here’s some fun media coverage if you want a glimpse at the magic. (I may add more links as they are discovered. I keep up this blog for my own reference, too!)
Westword’s AnomalyCon 2016 Photo Gallery
Really Amazing YouTube Video – WATCH!
Sounds like a heck of a lot of fun!
So much fun! If you ever find the means to get to AnomalyCon, do it. DO IT. I believe it is one of the best run, most well-thought-out cons in the US. Totally a class act.
Your opening line was fantastic!
Awww thanky my dear! And really, opening lines for stories are HARD. They have to have grabby fingers, and be instantly addictive. I struggle with them. But for this short story, it just seemed to work out on its own. I can’t explain it any more than that. I loved the writing of it.
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