More Dragon Con

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Dragon Con has left an indelible impression on me. The crowds were impossible – I heard from one source (possibly unreliable) that 60,000+ people attended. The noise from the crowd was a continuous horrible roar. The AC couldn’t keep up with the body heat generated by the crowds. The elevators were always behind and required a lengthy wait unless you were up at 6 a.m. when it was quiet and pretty much deserted. If you wanted anything (except at 6 in the morning, when even Starbucks was empty) you stood in line.

I was overwhelmed by all of the above. I am a small-town-gal at heart and the din-crush-smell was not pleasant. At one particularly difficult moment, I heard one MW-er say, “This is not for me. I’m not coming back.” And at that moment, I totally agreed. But now? Not so much. At this point in my career, Dragon Con was an overall positive experience. I would love to be asked back next year. And I think we all felt the same, once it was over and we had the perspective of being home and looking back.

Why? Because so much happened in so few days.

  1. A dear friend made a connection that will lead to an agent.
  2. Another dear friend got a book deal.
  3. I had a chance to network in ways that I might not see the fruits of for some time.
  4. I had a chance to visit with old friends. (Not enough, sadly.)
  5. I had a chance to visit with my agent and the head of the agency. I discovered all over again why I am so happy to be signed where I am.
  6. I grew a lot. (Emotionally and career-wise. I’m still a smidge less than 5’ 3”)
  7. I made foot-in-mouth mistakes that will teach me and which I won’t make next time. Over teh last few eyars, I’ve learned to not beat myself up for my stupidities. :-)
  8. I refined my professional image and liked what I saw me becoming.
  9. There were people in costumes. Okay – I know that isn’t really important. But when I was a kid, I loved playing dress-up! At the Con, I adored seeing people who remembered what it was to be a kid. Who had not gotten so oppressed and miserable being grown-ups that they could still be children, creative, fun-loving, and joyful.
  10. Despite the crowds, most people were polite and nice. Where else in the world can you have 60,000 people and most are patient and polite and helpful?
  11. I got an idea for a short story. 

I hope you can see all the pics (which show all the good things about Dragon Con, from networking to panels to costumes to fun). I’ll be back. I will.
Faith

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13 comments to More Dragon Con

  • As the MWer quoted above, I can say that I had a similar experience (I’ll post more about it next week). Yes, the crush of bodies was, at times, too much. And when I said that I wasn’t going to go back, I meant it. But looking back on the weekend, I realize that the momentary inconveniences were nothing when compared with the overall experience. I saw so many people, made so many new connections — it is an amazing convention with larger-than-life benefits and drawbacks of similar proportion. But I WILL be back next year if I have anything to say about it. And I’m glad I was there this year.

  • One of the best things about D*C was seeing you and all the other MW-ers. Next year, we’ll advertize a meeting place and time for MW-ers who want to come and visit! And I’ll stay up later and sleep in longer so I can visit with you and the other boys! (The men-folk were night owls at D*C.)

  • I’m glad you guys had such a good experience, even if it was in retrospect. I do wish I had made it 60,001. I’m definitely going next year, and I think it will be a blast! I actually kind of like crowds and stuff–though the year I went the press of folks was a bit scary at times. I know that next year it coincides with World Fantasy (I think? The one in Chicago that gives out the Hugos) so it may not be as crowded next year… Anyway, I can’t wait to hear the stories from the con!

  • Faith, great post and pics (I love Star Wars). Glad all the good things happened like the book deals and agent meeting.

    I’m heading to NY Comic Con in October and already started mental preparation for the masses. I’m going to go Friday during the day, so that Saturday is optional and I can leave early if the masses get to me. Unfortunately, I don’t anticipate big publishing contracts or agents at NYCC.

    As for the 2012 con season, I might skip Boskone in favor of something I haven’t been to like Balticon or ConCarolinas. It sounds like ConCarolinas is a better time to meet MWers and visit, as opposed to D*C. Plus, World Fantasy is in Toronto next year, and barring unforeseen miracle of green cards, we’ll be back up north by October.

    Cheers,
    NGD

  • Faith, D*C, is definitely an experience! I’m so glad you attended this year. I do believe it will do wonders for your career, as it will for the other MWers.

    Next year, we’ll have you hawking Rogue Mage games with your novels. :)

  • Pea Emily, if you like crowds, then you would be in heaven at D*C. I checked and World Fantasy Con is in Nov in 2012. So Dragon Con is is a go for me!

    NGDave, we’d love to see you at ConCarolinas. We have a blast! :)

    Christina, unless my brain had fritzed out totally (which it may have) I did get in a plug for the RPG in the big event, with LKH on one side of me and SK on the other! Whoot!

  • Faith, selecting topics of interest, I coincidentally attended three of your panels and can say my friend and I were impressed with your professionalism. We’re both newly-pubbed authors and you left an impression on us as a role model in that regard. Thank you much for some great panel discussions!

  • I should have my steampunk bellydance garb complete by next D*Con! I’ve already looked at a skirt I adore…now to figure out if I can make it myself.

  • Marsha, confession time. I’ve been doing panels for 20 years, and have been panels with big names in the mystery/thriller busienss. But I was so nervous on the panels at D*C, I could hardly breathe. So your kind words brought tears to my eyes.

    Misty, we will both be fully decked out next D*Con. As soon as I finish this line edit that was waiting for me when I got home (4-day-turnaround time) I’m buying cloth for more con-clothes. Whoot!

  • I see both the storm trooperette and the elf had powerful looking guns. :)

  • Yes, John, big guns were everywhere. And of course the writer in me was seeing how easy it would be to decorate a real gun and get it inside and start shooting. But then I started out writing thrillers, so maybe it’s just me. :)

    The very best guns were the geared ones made up by the steampunkers. Loved them!

  • DragonCon sounds like so much fun! I doubt I’ll make it anytime soon, just because of the timing and the distance. The DH and I went to PAX in Seattle the weekend before. Not *quite* as big (there were just 35,000), but large enough that I understand the lines. It is great to hear about it, though. One day … :)

    For now, count me in for ConCarolinas again!

  • In the end, I opted not to attend Dragon*Con, despite the fact that it was in my own backyard… It was still to expensive to justify the cost, and I realized that at this point in my career I’m not really in a position to gain much value out of it.

    Next year, we’ll see. I’m hopeful… by then I hope to have a novel finished (at least in first draft) so at least I’d have something to talk about.

    I did however, make it to the Parade, and visited a few panels at the also-nearby Decatur Book Festival.

    http://undiscoveredauthor.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/dragoncon-decatur-book-festival-and-parade-pics/