Adventures in Hal-Con-land (my prelude to Adventures in NaNo-land)

November 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm (fantasy, writing) (, , , , , , , , , )

Since my “Favourite Monsters” postings have come to an end, and I’m entering the 30 days of harried writing that is NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d take a pause to talk about the one and only fantasy and science fiction convention in my area. I got to attend Hal-Con this year (thanks to my self-sacrificing hubby) and this time I wasn’t tied to a table so I actually got to explore all the nooks and crannies of the convention. There were drawbacks to that. I’m a horrible schmoozer so unless it’s a forced thing (like standing on exhibit where people will ogle, poke and prod you – like last Hal-Con) I generally don’t do it. I did hand out a few business cards, but honestly, in the shadow of folks like Brandon Sanderson, R.A. Salvatore and Rachel Caine, I didn’t have the gumption to talk myself up. I just can’t deal with the vacant “why-would-I-care?” stares, or the “talk-to-me-when-you-are-somebody-I-might-have-heard-of” grimaces.

Nevertheless, I had a blast at the con, and I went with an unplanned “wing it” mentality. There was a panel starting just as I arrived, one on gothic and superhero themes in the history of science fiction and fantasy, a great lecture with some interesting Q & A. I sat drawing my way through the lecture – but that’s the way I get the most out of talks, and how I aced several of my classes in university. I did a quick tour of the society booths and artists’ row before bumping into a friend who invited me along to the costume contest. It was incredible, and the winner of the Master category, a working replica of Dr. Lovelace from Wild, Wild West was almost beyond belief. You’ll see my artwork from that event on tomorrow’s post.

A round of the lower floor merchant area brought me to another friend, who was headed to an X-files discussion panel. I tagged along, and I was glad I did, because in addition to an amusing discussion, a writing lecture followed presented by Brandon Sanderson. He’s an excellent speaker, and I definitely recommend him to any and all of my writer friends. The drawing I finished during these talks is above.

That was day one for me (day two of the con), and well worth the early bird fee. I had just as much fun the second day, but with a different spin. I attended a wonderful lecture on astronomy at the start of the day and then spent the rest of my time, after a short jaunt around the con again, playing Agricola and Furstenfeld in the gaming room (I was beaten by one point at Agricola and I won Furstenfeld.) It was fun, relaxing and just what a stressed-out accountant/author wannabe needed. Oh, and I finished this drawing here.

I’m grateful for all of the volunteers who make the con both entertaining and time well-spent (a learning experience too.) While I didn’t spend much attention on the celebrities, I got to spend twenty minutes talking to Rachel Caine about writing and indulged in Sanderson’s wisdom. I also got within spitting distance of John Rhys Davies and Rene Auberjenois (sp?) – don’t worry, I didn’t spit. Considering location and our limited population, Hal-Con was very impressive, as I know the hosts from the Space channel would agree. Next year, I hope to bring my daughter along for the ride (she’ll be twelve.) I hope to see you there. J


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