Ad Astra – my con cherrie has been popped

The great thing about going to a small con for my first con is that I got to learn the ropes.  Theirs not too much that I was be completely overwhelmed by, just minorly overwhelmed by.  I concentrated on picking what panels I went to based on subject rather than panelist.  My theory being that I wanted to learn, and the teacher didn’t so much matter.  Man was I wrong.  But… but… I wouldn’t have gotten to see certain people and fall in love with their paneling style and put them on my stocker list for next year if it weren’t for the way I paneled this year.

For example, turns out I like smart sassy chicks with witty comments and snarky remarks.  Who knew?  (stop laughing).  Also it turns out that pushing your books can make you look like a douche bag.  Rather let your talent and knowledge on the subject and your own personality speak for itself.  Not everything has to come back to the “in my novel” bit.  I went looking for authors who I liked their personality so I could support them, at the book booths.  In fact I have on my radar some soon to be pubbed new voices because I liked their paneling style.

Next year though, next year, I am going to try and hit up more of the big names.  I want to see them in action.  It will be more about who’s on the panels, than the content.  Content is uber important, don’t get me wrong, but things I might have crossed off my list as not for me, will go on it if the right people are talking about it.

As a matter of fact their where several panels that I went to instead of ones I had planned on, because my fellow writer groupies (shout out to Sylvie and Steph my partners in crime for the weekend) where going to them.  I didn’t think that editing a novel would be viable to me as I was not yet at that stage, yet I fully enjoyed the panel content and delivery.  I was going to skip the Publishing from the other side to go hang out with the Toronto Steampunk society, but decided to sign up for the panel with my fellow writer groupies.  It was awesome.  It also strongly strongly reinforced some of my opinions regarding publishing.  Also, slushpile readers are my new super heroes.

And the highlight of it all.  The writers I did socialize with, in wee tinny bits, when I wasn’t too terrified to not fangirl it up too severely.

  • Howard Taylor is absolutely so very nice in person and wickedly funny.  He drew on the back of my name tag for me, and while my camera crapped out, someone else got these for us and emailed them to me (please see below or above somewhere).
  • Marie Biladaue is an amazing storyteller and so very very humble in person.  I went to her reading on Friday night and she has this amazing rhythm with words.  Also talked to her a bit on Saturday.  But backed away for fear of becoming too clingy (literally backed away – maybe next time I’ll add a curtsy as I am fleeing the scene).
  • I bought all of the Leslie Livingston books and had them signed.  She was super nice and asked me to use her iphone to take a picture of their table members.  (added bonus her books are about theatre and fairies – how could I not buy them).  Sadly though I never got to see her panel it up.
  • Adrienne Kress – MG author breaking into YA.  I first saw her on Saturday at the same signing table as Leslie and had her books been available, I would have bought them too and had them signed (Sylvie, said they were good, and I trust her, plus I like supporting authors, even more so when I have met them and they are so very nice).  I went to the getting your first novel published on Sunday (another panel I didn’t originally have on my radar) and Adrienne was an absolute doll on the panel.  Also very funny.

Notes for next time:

Be more social.  No really.  Get out there and talk to the authors.  Also read their books before the con, so I can fangirl in an appropriate manner.  Also have a book, hopefully several finished by then, so in the off chance someone asks what I am writing about, I don’t flounder and sound silly (avoided floundering by staying in my writer pack this weekend).

But not just the authors, socialize with the other con people too.  I had a conversation with a women waiting outside one of the rooms for the panels, without even realizing that she was on said panel.  It was comfortable and she was awesome, however when I did realize that she was on the panel I was at first mortified for daring to socialize above my station.  But then I kind of felt better as things did not explode and she was awesome and I didn’t say anything too outrageously stupid.  Awesome!

Also the whole encounter with Panel Girl (isn’t that a kick ass sounding undercover super hero name?) was initiated upon complementation of her boots and cool hair accessory.  Therefore, find some common ground.  In my case costumes; it’s really not hard to tell people that I like varying bits and bobbles of what they are wearing.  As it is a con, trust me people are wearing awesome bits and bobbles.  And then after that all I need to do is keep a level head and try not to back away and curtsy


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