Greetings from Calgary: Post-Con Report


Greetings from Calgary, Alberta!  I am writing this Sunday afternoon, after a wonderful week of work at WhenWordsCollide and the pre-convention writer’s workshop.

Yes, that’s right:  I said “work.”  John’s post from the other day, on which I didn’t comment, but which I have read, is spot on.  Conventions are work.  They are super fun — I love meeting fans, working with other professionals, renewing old friendships and beginning new ones.  And after 16 years as a published author I am nowhere close to being tired of having people ask if I’ll sign their copies of my books.  To be honest, I’m always shocked when people apologize for approaching me, as if it’s an imposition.

But right now, after leading the workshop for two days and being one of the con’s guests of honor, I’m exhausted.  It’s not that talking about writing or doing readings is that tiring.  But I’ve been “on” for days now, greeting people, being friendly, making conversation, thinking on my feet when people ask me questions.  That probably doesn’t sound all that tiring either, but it is. Trust me.

It’s also energizing.  I’ve met fantastic people this week.  Some are aspiring writers; some are professionals; some are devoted readers.  But all of us have one thing in common:  We are passionate about the written word.  And for me, that is really the attraction of attending conventions.  Not only do conventions offer me the chance to hang out with people I like (I can’t wait for Dragon Con, where I will get to see Faith, John, James, Lucienne, A.J., and so many other friends), they also allow me to talk shop.  I have spent the last several days talking about craft, about research, about the business, and while I have little energy left, I’m not even close to sick of those conversations.

I love my family and our friends at home.  But I would never dream of talking about my work for hours on end with them.  They’d be bored, and I’d feel like a jerk for monopolizing the conversations.  But here — and at Dragon Con or ConCarolinas — everyone wants to talk about that stuff.  I LOVE that.

So, I’m about to go out to dinner with Patricia Briggs and her husband and friends.  And then tonight I’ll be hanging out with the con organizers, all of whom are also writers.  I can’t wait.

Tomorrow, I will go going to Royal Tyrell Museum, one of the finest museums of palaeontology in the world.  So if I don’t respond to comments during the day, that’s why.  I’ll try to check in tomorrow night.

David B. Coe

6 comments to Greetings from Calgary: Post-Con Report

  • To be honest, I’m always shocked when people apologize for approaching me, as if it’s an imposition.

    … You were in Canada and surprised that people were saying “sorry”? That’s kinda our thing. 😉

    Glad to hear you had a great time! I love getting the chance to talk craft with our people, but I totally hear you about the strain of being “on” for so long. Hope you get a chance to relax now! Enjoy the dinos.

  • I am soooo green with envy at you having DINNER WITH PB! Soooo green.
    Glad you had fun and feel energized. Hope you took a lot of pics.

  • sagablessed

    Patricia Briggs of the “Mercy Thompson/Alpha-Omega’ books? I am so jealous!!
    I have never been to Canada. I want to go. PB, Tanya Huff…so may others. There must be something in the water to have so many authors there.
    Glad you are having fun. 🙂

  • Laura, that’s a good point. I’ve been here a week, and I’m finding myself apologizing more than usual. But I have noticed this in the States, too. I’ve had a great time here, and the dinos were very, very cool.

    Faith, she is SO nice — amazing. Meeting her and her husband (and her wonderful assistant) was one of the highlights of my week.

    Donald, yes: That Patricia Briggs. Yes, there are so many talented Canadian authors. I want to move here.

  • NewGuyDave

    It was great seeing you again. I’m also tired and energized. It was a great conference and workshop.

    I just wanted to pop in and say hi AND thank you and all the gang here at MW for all the great posts about the craft, the camaraderie, and support. I participated in a workshop this week and the senior acquisition editor from Penguin Canada said some really nice things about my writing sample, such as, “If this had come across my desk from an agent, I’d ask for a full manuscript,” among discussing covers and ways to pitch this to the publisher. I owe part of this success to the great group of people on this site, presenters and commenters. Some of you I’ve met in person and the rest I still hope to meet.

    I’ll always be NewGuyDave on MW, but some day I might just be PublishedGuyDave. Thanks again for everything!

  • Dave, it was great seeing you, too. And I’m so glad to hear that your workshop with Adrienne went so well. Congrats!