[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.