Dragoncon: Denouement

Angelia woke me up again Monday. I fired her again. I got to my panel on time and rehired her.

The morning panel was on horror and comedy, starring Lee Martindale as moderator and several other fine folks. I barely remember this panel, as I neglected to consume caffeine before it, so hopefully I didn't say anything too stupid. Death is easy; comedy is hard.

Then began the mad dash. Angelia and I returned to the room to pack up and pack out; most of our roommates had already vacated the premises. First we had to haul my six boxes of books down to the booth, then my suitcase, cooler and bag o' food to luggage storage. The only upside was that I checked out on the in-room TV, which was a nice bit of the future and saved me standing in that line.

Thus I bid farewell to Angelia with my soberest gratitude for manhandling me through the convention. When talking to her father, Angelia said the best part of being my flunky was access to the VIP greenroom. I snarked that I thought the best part would be carrying the Rolling Red Bag of Doom (full of books) around to panels. She snarked back, "No, the best part is watching you wake up." There may or may not have been a rude hand gesture tossed about.

I am not a morning person.

At any rate, off to the last panel, which was about doomsday cults and the apocalypse. I spent so much time talking about the apocalypse that I was about to join the bleary-eyed stare off the Marriott balcony, but I managed to get through this one since nobody got around to blaming the media. We blamed Christianity instead! Heh. Still, it was a lively and intelligent discussion - in fact, all my panels were way above standard this year, enough that I frequently felt outmatched. We really have some of the smartest people in the nation at this show.

The end! Not quite. I had a little time to kill, so I caught lunch with Parish and then meandered over to the Walk of Fame - which was nearly deserted - and bumped into Selina Rosen. I had to get in a few more digs about the carrot-based economy, and she responded with her usual profanity. She was chatting with Eddie McClintock, the actor who plays Pete on WAREHOUSE 13. Now, that just happens to be my son's favorite show that doesn't have the word CHUCK in its name. And he ADORES Pete. I did not have the money for an autograph, having sold like shit all weekend, but McClintock dashed off a signature and gave it to me anyway.

You may have heard the squee on Tuesday evening when I presented it to my spawn. It now resides in his small autograph album beside Jonathan Frakes, John DeLancie, David Prowse and Michael Rosenbaum (who hit on me when I got that one, I'm just saying, it's a long story). At any rate, thank you to Mr. McClintock. My son adores autographs and I can only afford one per year, so I was very glad not to have to return empty-handed.

Then a quick cruise through the dealer's room to whimper over shiny things I can't afford - and bribing someone to take a picture of me next to a Tardis - before packing out the booth. David came to assist me in my flight, helping to haul not only my luggage but all those damn books out to my car and load them up for the drive. Many thanks to David, who helped make it all possible.

But wait! There's more!

The tire held all the way back to Nashville, thank you God, and in time to make the author dinner that Stephen had set up among some readers in the Murfreesboro area. We had a lovely dinner at TGI Friday's, and I met some wonderful folks who really liked my work. (I got carded! It was beautiful.) They had lots of questions, including the ever-present "Will you write any more Nocturnal Urges books?"

Um. Well. It's complicated. Shorthand: I want to.

BUT. I can announce this. New Babel Books and I have decided to do another collection of short stories. New Babel, as you might recall, is the wonderful small press that published my first book, SETTING SUNS. This new collection will be tentatively titled MOONLIGHT SONATA, and it will include some stories that are written and some yet to be written.

At least one will be from the Sanctuary universe.
At least three will be from the Nocturnal Urges universe.
At least two will feature Sgt. Shane Moore, the cop from the as-yet unpublished YELLOW ROSES who sees dead people.
And look for other recurring faces.

I'm doing this in part because I love short stories and I hear from you guys that you like my shorts. Pardon the expression. But really, I'm doing it because I hear all the time from readers that they want more in my serieses (is that a word?). You want to know what's been going on with the NU crowd since the end of ABADDON. You want more SANCTUARY - always with the SANCTUARY!

So I'm doing it for you.

It'll be out sometime next year, particularly if I get off my ass and work on it. I'm looking forward to working with New Babel again, as those folks are really top-notch and put together a good product.

All right, enough about me and my massive ego. Let's talk about you.

Yeah, YOU.

This was a rough trip, not the least of which was because that one bad tire turned out to be FOUR bad tires and a front-rear alignment, not to mention the aforementioned starvation plan that didn't work out so well.

But if there was ever a time for me to re-learn what I had unlearned, it was this trip. Five days in four states and three lodgings (and a partridge in a pear tree), with nothing but forty bucks in my wallet and a bag full of canned goods balanced on a leaky tire. But I got through because I had a friend who woke me up at yuck-thirty, a friend who bought me lunch, a friend who bought me tires, a friend who bought my books.

A friend who told me, "Why do you make it so hard for people to help you, when you know that the only way any of us are going to make it through this terrible time is by helping each other?" When the only response I could give was "pride?" I knew I needed to relearn a few lessons.

I am reminded of Clarence's Law: No man is a failure who has friends. I am truly blessed in friendship, far beyond my fair share. I am not very good at showing this, but I am deeply grateful for my friends, my readers, my fans and all those who support me in my twisted little imaginings - including the track directors and volunteers in marching legions who organize and plan and put on this gigantic circus.

Thank you all, and I'll see you next year. May we all be in a better place by then.


  1. Hey. I enjoyed your presence at DC a great deal. I was at that first panel and I'm devastated that you don't recall much about it because I'm trying to find out something that was said. I was busy writing down another bit of wisdom that was mentioned and missed the next tidbit, something I realized was important due to the reaction of the panel.

    After the tidbit was mentioned, Mr. Edwards (editor at TOR) threw his arms out and said "THANK YOU" It was apparently something about information that should be in the start of a story. If you recall, please tell me. I had thought my friend got it, but she didn't. TIA.

    Looking forward to seeing you next year.


Post a Comment