Memorial Day Weekend always goes hand in hand with the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS) annual convention: ConQuestT. I didn't get to go last year, but this year I had someone to go with, and to add to the fun, it was also his birthday weekend.
Overall, it was a fun, long, sobering, exhausting, and informative weekend filled with not great food, sickening elevator rides, uncomfortable chairs, a minor panic attack in a parking garage, an obnoxious kids concert that caused detours both on foot and in vehicles. We had a fabulous, luxurious hotel room, I met an adorable (cadaver) dog, I received lots of new book recommendations, and came home with a spark of motivation for writing and a certificate of excellence for winning a writing contest.
Between Friday and Sunday, I went to over a dozen panels led by writers, editors, publishers, game designers, and artists. Some were informative, some were hilarious, and some were boring and uncomfortable. I always feel equally motivated and discouraged after listening to published writers and small press editors talk. I realize that I share my dream of being a writer with thousands of other writers, and that even getting something published doesn't mean I'll get to quit my day job. Maybe ever. And how lucky I would be to get a break at all and make a little extra money.
But it also gets me excited to try.
Each year they do a Story-in-a-Bag contest, where you are given five index cards from different categories (plot, character, object, setting, first line) and you have an hour to craft a story using all of the elements. I burned through my story and thought it was crap when I was done, but I threw on a clever last line and decided I might as well submit it. I took the time to write it, after all, so what did I have to lose?
Apparently nothing, because I won in the amateur fantasy category!
Well, it was a three way tie. But still. I'm claiming it as a victory.
So my confidence in my writing is restored, I'm starting to take my search for short story markets more seriously, and I'm participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month.
Overall, it was a great getaway birthday weekend with Jack. The experience just reaffirmed my belief that I have found the perfect guy for me. The Con was fun, but the time spent with him made everything else icing on the cake.
Although I made him birthday muffins, not birthday cake.