*Oh come on, that’s funny, and you know it*

Well, whew. Sunday marked the end of Orycon , which was my fifth, and as far as I know, final convention for the year. As with most cons it was a lot of fun, I learned a little bit, and I met some great people. I do have to say though that two cons in two weeks was pretty tiring. So as sad as I am that the rest of the year will be empty of any other conventions, I’m also looking forward to some free weekends.

Fatigue aside, which was really just geeky overload, every con I went to this year was great in its own way. Gearcon and Steamcon were quite dapper and well dressed through, and through; I felt quite slovenly bumming around in jeans and fleece afterwards. Rose City Comic Con was over the top with amazing artwork, and outrageous outfits everywhere I looked. While Wordstock and Orycon definitely had more of a literary air, the former perhaps more serious than the latter, but still a bit more focused on getting words on the page. At least with the panels I attended.

This was my first year really attending a bunch of cons, and I did enjoy myself. There’s nothing to get you recharged and motivated like being around so many enthusiastic, creative people for a few days. I left each event with more drive to get back on the page and keep cranking away. I’m already sure I’ll try to attend a bunch of conventions next year if life permits.

A few highlights from the year.

Playing Smash Up with the Game’s Creator

I’m a huge fan of the game Smash Up. I think it finds a great balance between having a lot of replayability and strategy, while also being casual enough than you can pick it up and start playing in a few minutes. At Rose City Comic Con I was lucky enough to get to play a game with a bunch of cool people including the game’s designer Paul Peterson. Sure it was super geeky, but it was still awesome. Just like the game.

Tesla Coil Demonstration

I posted before about the Tesla Coil demo following Gearcon, but I have to say again that it was a pretty amazing sight to behold. There’s nothing like a ton of volts jumping around and roasting bananas, and frying CDs to get your juices flowing. SCIENCE!

Professional Critique

One of the great features offered by Orycon is the ability to sign-up for a Writers Workshop. This is basically a professional critique of a story or the opening of a novel. Two professionals are assigned who will pre-read and critique your work before the convention and will then spend a dedicated hour going over their thoughts with you during the event. I participated in a workshop this year and I found the professionals to be just that while also offering a great level of insight and advice into the work I submitted. If I have anything that needs polishing again next year I’ll definitely consider doing this again, and would recommend the same to anyone who’ll be around Portland in November. In case you’re wondering for next year, the submission window is typically May – July. Here’s a link to the past year’s details.

My thanks go out to Jonathon Burgess for letting me tag along to most of the cons, or thanks to him tagging along with me… The tagging got muddled somewhere around the 4th con, but in any case it was fun hanging out. Oh, and you should go buy his books, because they are excellent, and if you get in now you’ll be all primed when the third book comes out next year.

And that I think is a wrap, at least for now.