World Fantasy Con, 2010

If I ever get out of a con without at least one case of serious foot-in-mouth, I shall be shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you.

But hell, I avoided trying to walk into the wrong room. That’s something, right? Because I’ve done it at more than one con, and it is rather…embarrassing might be an understatement! I’ve taken to writing the room number down and always double-checking.

Now then, how was WFC?

Thursday

Get a nice enough hotel, and the staff is either smothering or snooty. I tweeted a bitchy message about being smothered, and promptly got a return tweet: ‘Can we help you?’ Missing the point, we are. Room snafus left me homeless for the afternoon. Not the most promising start, but being kidnapped by the Canadians was a remarkable restorative.

The surprise birthday dinner for Christie Yant went beautifully, although there were moments of awkwardness when she tried to figure out what our plans were. But a great group showed up, and the evening was capped off with a communal sundae.

I never had a chance to slow down, the entire weekend! Friday was filled with running around, meeting up with everyone from Black Gate, Hades Publications, Apex, Rogue Blades and, forgive the fan-girl squeal here, Rigor Amortis! I got to meet my co-editor and FIVE of my authors!!! Such an amazing feeling.

Saturday was our official Rigor Amortis launch party, and a surprise birthday serenade at said party. John Annealio and R. Schuyler Devin also wrote us a WONDERFUL Rigor Amortis theme song. I can’t wait for that to go online!

I really cannot say how much this weekend meant to me. I can’t even begin to name all of the awesome people I met, or all of the things that just left me stunned, amused or happy. It was a much-needed shot of faith, encouragement and inspiration. The people, friends both new and old, professional idols and newbies like myself, seriously made this just about the best weekend of the year. Yes, it was work, but this was about as good as it gets for a birthday present.

A few particular shout-outs, in which I KNOW I will forget many, many people who were awesome:

Christie Yant, for knowing, and for reminding me that it’s ok to take risks.

Erika Holt for being such a wonderful co-editor. Andy Romine, John Remy, Sarah Goslee, Jacob Bear and Steven Scearce for being wonderful authors, wonderful readers and wonderful friends.

John Klima for a delicious dinner…and Mark Teppo and Jason Waltz for being gentlemen when faced with a vegetarian menu dominated by squash.

Blake Charlton, James Sutter, Rajan Khanna, Simon Larter, Ryan McFaden, Adam Israel, Tracie Welser and Frank Ard, along with many others, for great company, discussions and amusement.

John Joseph Adams for phenomenal, priceless advice.

John O’Neill, Howard Jones, Jason Waltz, Bill Ward, Ryan Harvey, John Fultz, Alex Bledsoe, James Enge, Patrick Hester and Sam Sykes for the amazing Sword and Sorcery podcast we put together, as well as the usual just-plain-wonderful-people-syndrome. (I’m missing one name, so who wants to jog my memory until I have the thing to listen to?)

Carrie, Emily and Sandra for sharing room space with me.

Barry for the laugh, the best foot-in-mouth moment (mine) of the con, and a beautiful ARC to read on the way home.

And last, but so, so far from least: My publisher, Brian Hades, and his wife/assistant/overlord Anita, and Edge’s PR Queen, Janice, who adopted me into the family and took ruthless care of me over the weekend.

And yes, that’s just skimming the surface. There were many more people there who are not named here, mostly because my brain has just ceased working.

But it all comes down to: thanks for being you, and being awesome, and letting me be me. Because, really, that’s the biggest gift anyone could ever give me.

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