So Steve and I attended Ravencon this past weekend (the 20th-22nd) in Williamsburg, VA, at the Doubletree by Hilton. We had a great time overall and here are a few of my takeaways from the event.
1 – I met Chuck Wendig about 8 years ago. He was a generous, funny, sharing human being then, and success has not changed him. He was the Guest of Honor at the con and was always around to talk with people and offer support, encouragement, and a friendly word. The panels on which he was a guest he attended with amusing stories, useful advice, and a generous dose of laughter. He is a truly wonderful human being who deserves all his success.
2 – On the flipside, there are some people who take both themselves and our little corner of the world (that being sci-fi fantasy geekdom) way too seriously. We attended one panel and left after ten minutes when the panelists took what was essentially a nonsense subject and tried to imbue it with all the gravitas of a discussion on global warming or a seminar on childhood cancer. It’s all make-believe, folks. Treat it as such and have fun with it.
3 – Overall, the con continues to be a small, friendly affair. The one panel aside, everyone was there for a good time and to learn and celebrate their fandom. We picked up several good tips with regards to writing, editing, and promotion. So from that standpoint, it was well worth it.
4 – If you’re a panelist, you’re always going to be on a panel that conflicts with one you wanted to attend. This happened only once this time because I wasn’t on many panels, but it happened. Fortunately, Steve was able to go and take notes, so all was well.
5 – Having a Starbucks and several good restaurants near the hotel is a great thing.
6 – The Misbehavin’ Maidens seem like a good group of ladies and I hate that I couldn’t make it to their concert (again, a panel interfered)
7 – I’m getting too old to drink a lot at cons.
8 – For the most part, sci-fi and fantasy authors are a great group of people who are happy to pay it forward by offering advice, encouragement, and general goodwill toward their fellow writers.
9 – I wish I could have been on more panels and I wish my reading hadn’t been on a Sunday afternoon. That’s when everybody is pretty much ready to leave.
10 – A special shout out to Edward McKeown, Michael Hanson, and Michael A Ventrella for being cool people who are a lot of fun to converse with.
11 – I definitely hope I’m invited back again next year and that I get a chance to do more.
So there you go. Ravencon 2018 in a 500-word nutshell. Next up for me is OutlantaCon in Atlanta. Steve won’t be attending, but I’ll be there with bells on, things to say, and books to sell. Hope to see some of you there.