ConCarolinas Report

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[Pointedly ignoring Ed and Faith…]

Well, I’m back after a fun weekend in Charlotte for ConCarolinas. My apologies for not getting this posted earlier. I had a long drive (did you know that there is a place in South Carolina called “Townville.” Isn’t that a little like naming something “Lake Body-of-Water”?) and came home to a house full of visitors.

First, let me say that we missed Todd and Misty terribly. They couldn’t attend the con because their son was graduating from high school this weekend (Congratulations Bleys!), which is a pretty good excuse. We also missed our beloved minion, Beatriz, who also had other commitments. The weekend would have been even more fun had they been there. Still, we had a terrific Magical Words turnout. Faith, A.J., Stuart, and Ed were there, as were Carrie and Kalayna, and several of our past special guests, including James Maxey, Jeremy Lewis, and Gail Martin. And we were delighted to see so many of our regular readers/commenters. I’m not going to try to mention all of you, because I know that I’ll forget at least one, and that would be bad. But I want to give a special shout-out to Sarah, who was visiting the States from Germany, and took the time to stop in at the con, and a very special salute to Laura, who came all the way from Vancouver just for the con, and who battled hostile customs officials and the Canadian passport bureaucracy to make the trip! It was great seeing both of you. I also want to thank Emily and Sarah (different Sarah — she came all the way from Seattle!) for throwing the Saturday night party. Great fun, great food, great conversation. Thanks so much for making that happen. I know I speak for all of us when I say that we had a blast.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who came to Boardwalk Billy’s for the Magical Words lunch on Saturday. For those who weren’t there, it was quite a sight. We took over the restaurant — a party of at least 35. Our group table was lllooonnggg! Lots of good discussions and much fun.

Those of us who run Magical Words also had some conversations about the future of the site. They were all very preliminary — without Misty there we weren’t about to make any important decisions. But last year at ConCarolinas, our group discussions led to the publication of the Magical Words How-To. We’re not sure yet what this year’s late night talks will yield, but I assure you it’ll be exciting, and that we will let all of you know as soon as we can.

Our panels were . . . well, they were interesting. Some were, I would say, more enlightening than others. The highlights for me were the Magical Words panel at midday on Saturday, the “Don’t-Quit-Your-Day-Job” panel on Sunday morning, and the Harry Potter panel on Saturday evening, at which A.J. vainly tried the Avada Kedavra spell against me at least three times . . .

On a more personal note, I went into the weekend unsure of where my own work and career were headed. I have many projects in the works right now, but nothing that is likely to see light of day any time soon. That can be discouraging and frustrating. Thieftaker won’t be out for another year and though I have high hopes for it, I also have to keep writing other things. In short, I came to the convention needing to be re-energized. Thanks to Faith and A.J., Ed and Stuart, and everyone else I had the good fortune to speak to during the course of the weekend, I came home feeling excited about my work, determined to challenge myself, and grateful for this crazy, maddening, but ultimately deeply satisfying career path I’ve chosen.

There’s not much more to tell. Or rather, there is, but it’s really hard to convey the essence of a convention in a blog post. To those of you who were there, thank you for a memorable weekend. For those of you who weren’t, I hope that we’ll get a chance to meet all of you at some other con in the not-too-distant future. And to my fellow MWers, I don’t know where I would be without you, but I do know that it wouldn’t be nearly as fun as this place we’re in together.

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26 comments to ConCarolinas Report

  • Not much of a con report? I think it’s probably the best one you’ve ever written… ;-p

  • Trying to figure out what to say and what will get you in trouble?

  • Unicorn

    Townville? In South Africa, we have a town named Tweebuffelsmeteenskootdoodgeskietfontein. It translates into “the fountain where two buffaloes were shot dead with just one bullet”. Weird, I know.
    A. J.: He critiqued the opening of my WIP! Expelliarmus! πŸ˜€
    Thanks for the post, David.
    Unicorn

  • Wayne McCalla

    Once again had a great time with everyone from Magical Words and the whole con in general, that it makes the 10 hour drive there and back to Indiana seem worth it.

    This was my third time to this convention and the people in this group is a main reason why I have kept on coming.

    Only complaint was that the time went by so quickly for everything. Seems like just getting around seeing everyone and talking to them and…oops… already Sunday and everyone already packing up and getting ready to head back to their “everyday” lives…

    I, unlike most of you on here, do not write but love to hear all about the process and the ins and outs of the business thatis writing.

  • Unicorn, that’s the best town name ever. Truly. Thanks for the comment!

    Wayne, it was great to see you again. Sorry we didn’t have more time to chat. As you say, the con weekends go by so quickly, and it seemed as though every moment was filled. I actually had planned to get a nap on Saturday. And a sit-down dinner. I didn’t have time for either. Glad you got home safely. Looking forward to seeing you amid the hordes at Dragon*Con.

  • Unicorn

    David, I don’t need to look for a fantasy land, I live in one! Our greatest mountain range is called the Drakensberg – it translates to Dragon Mountains. One mountain/pillar of rock thingy in the Drakensberg is called Giant’s Castle. Closer to home, our neighbours have a farm called Swaelkrans, translating to “Rock of the Swallows”. Only Wales beats S. A. for place names.
    Unicorn

  • As I said on another post, it was great to finally meet you all, even though it did go by fast. Hope you all can get to Columbus, Ohio for Marcon (which is a whole lot like ConCarolinas) or Origins sometime. I’ll cook some food, even cart it to the hotel if I gotta. πŸ˜‰

  • Aw, thanks, David!

    What Daniel said – it was fantastic to meet all of you in person and well worth the sleep deprivation and unfortunate passport adventure. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

  • Mikaela

    I wish I had been there :(. But I couldn’t afford it. But I am going to Eurocon June 17-19th, which will be fun. And I plan to attend WFC 2013 in Bristol (Europe=more affordable than US).

  • It was *great* meeting, seeing again, lunching with, partying with everyone! We are a loud, boisterous, outgoing, energetic group.

    And it was also wonderful seeing the total political turnaround of AJ and David. (ducks and runs)

  • Thanks David! and thank you all for coming and making the party such a blast! I promise we’ll have plates and more cups next year.

    Also, if any of you are on the west coast and going to LosCon I live in LA and would love to meet up. It’s always held Thanksgiving weekend.

  • Tremendous meeting so many MW fans, and so grateful to so many who went above and beyond the call of duty. Organizing parties, making reservations for lunch, bringing tiger butter 3,000 miles. And I had no idea so many of you came from so far away; it’s really quite humbling.

    David, I know what you mean about feeling re-energized; I commented on the way home (to Katrina, my fifteen yr-old daughter who came to the con with me) that one of the best parts of any con where I can see my fellow MWers is that I always come home not just ready to get back to work, but excited to get back to work. I could use one of those every month.

  • mudepoz

    Gosh, it seems like it was a lot of fun! Wish I’d been…oh, I was? Damn, went by too fast, sort of like my life. The panels were wonderful and I’ve learned more about cantaloupe than I ever wanted to. Oh, and Klingon and zombiesm. THAT’S why I can’t remember anything, I was zombified and they ate my brain.

    My iPod has recordings of bits of a couple of panels as well as notes about references. When I get a chance to defrag, I’ll try to grok everything. In the interim I’m going to just enjoy the pictures of all the people I hadn’t met before, yet knew many of their deep dark secrets :)

  • Well put, David. It was a real treat to meet so many MW readers and to hang out with you all. Like David, I came back with a renewed sense of why we do this… Thanks all, and see you (and more, I hope) next year.

  • Wayne McCalla

    David,

    Yeah got back safely… Should have stayed out of town. A fender bender today, hopefully car will be fixable…

    But had a wonderful time at lunch to meet people and the party also… Thanks to everyone that put it on. Next year when calling ahead I guess I will figure more… Told them at least 20 on Sat…

  • Sounds like I missed out on a ton of fun! I’m so jealous!
    And now I’m wondering why David is, “pointedly ignoring Ed and Faith,” and…
    What Faith meant by, ” the total political turnaround of AJ and David.”
    Those two comments are just so tantalizing!!

  • I learned that evidently, AJ and David are married… πŸ˜‰ And that all writers need two spouses. That was a fun panel. πŸ˜€

  • CC was fabulous, and it went by too fast. Thanks for everyone who came to the party, and thanks to all the MW authors for being so generous with your time and being so entertaining! I do wish that we could do this much more often! I, too, am all re-energized. And amazingly happy that my drive home was uneventful.

  • I missed you guys, too! Saturday night after Bleys had graduated, dinner was eaten and all the company had gone to bed, I was sorely tempted to call you guys. Luckily I didn’t, because I was so tired it would have been a very bizarre conversation. πŸ˜€

  • While we’re all being mushy-mushy with praise for each other, I have to add that after this last CC, I’m thinking all cons I go to should have the whole MW gang. It’s always the most energizing, fun, friendly, and interesting time I have at a con. I’ve said it many times this weekend, but to all our readers, your turnout and enthusiasm for what we do here floored us. It just makes us want to make MW better and better for all of you. Thank you so much for coming out to see us.

  • I am de-lurking after spending a great CC weekend stalking getting to know the MW crew. The energy when you’re together is addictive and you were all so friendly with your stalkers fans.

    It was great to meet the other regular visitors. I felt like part of the family. I, too, am energized. Now I’m off to channel that energy into story production! -Scott

  • Sarah Naumann

    I can only agree and say that meeting all of you in person was definitely worth every mile travelled. I am still amazed by the whole experience and am itching to get back to my writing too. A big THANK YOU for the great weekend at ConCarolinas. :)

  • Sorry I didn’t get to spend much time with you guys. I did get to speak to David and Faith for a few minutes and got some hugs, but I was busy running and talking about Rogue Mage the RPG. I was beat after running the two games, but I had excellent (and full) tables! It was truly a blast!!!!

    I also finally met Daniel Davis in person; we’ve talked online for many, many years now. And, I briefly talked to Mud at the luncheon, but I had to leave to go back to the room and do game prep.

  • Nice to know that all of you had as good a time as we did. Looking forward to the next event that brings us all together.

  • I had a great time. Thanks for letting me join you at lunch and at your party even though I’m not a writer. Hope to see you all at goodreads. I started the group “All things Dragon*Con” over there if anyone is interested in joining.

  • Bill Hause

    I have returned as promised. It was indeed great to see you and chat with you guys. I appreciate all of the advice. I am feeling the energy also…I have written 2000 words since concarolinas…