About MaxFunCon East, but not about MaxFunCon.

So, listen. I want to write something about MaxFunCon East, which was my first of these events, with a community I’m quite new to and where I really don’t (didn’t) know anyone at all. Even though it only just ended earlier today and normally I’d wait longer to process it, I just want to jump straight in. I’m not going to talk about the experience per se, but rather what I thought was the most important thing I got out of it (beyond the precious commodity that is just being able to have fun with interesting, kind people).

On the surface, it was a very impulsive decision. In reality, I’d had back catalog podcasts quietly whispering to me late at night for quite a while, via ads, that it was a Very Good Idea. This, of course, is the job of an ad. But they were so in earnest about it being special, being inspiring, being a profound creative experience. The dream that we all have about what a “convention” means, which is simply that it does mean something.

I haven’t really talked about being in creative crisis, because that’s Unprofessional and probably bad for Business. Doubt doesn’t sell; even though I’m sure a little is a prerequisite of the creative lifestyle. But you also have to recognize when it’s not doubting what you CAN do, but what you ARE doing. That’s an especially private and challenging kind of grief because it looks too similar to something else. It’s not just the tide of doubt that ebbs, it’s a rip current. It felt like someone throwing me a rope when I was desperate for one.

So I bought a ticket to MaxFunCon, and packed myself off alone to the Poconos and into the unknown, because I believe if you’re not afraid you’re not doing anything worthwhile. Continue reading

VanCon 2015 and carrying your words like a torch

At one of my colleges (long story), a professor told me that I didn’t say much but that when I did speak, people listened. I once forgot to do the reading and faked my way through a roundtable discussion on medieval Japanese court poetry, so I hope he was talking about another time. But I’ve always hoped he was right, in spite of assuming 99% of what I say is nonsense and no one is paying attention.

Most people already know that aside from having a fabulous VanCon, I went Supernatural set stalking on Monday. Because apparently we couldn’t think of anything better to do in the pouring rain than take a taxi to the far suburbs and walk for half an hour on residential roads with no clue where we were going. To our credit, we laughed the entire way. We stayed for several hours after everyone else left and there was little to see – but just before wrap, Jared waved us across the street onto the set and showed us around the Impala. He had us sit in the actual Impala. And Jensen heard him rev the engine and came out to check on his “Baby”, and I briefly thought Dean Winchester had manifested into reality to kick my ass. Look, I left “speechless” weeks ago. You all know, details or not, that we were incredibly fortunate and fans could not dare to dream of anything better. Last VanCon was my first Supernatural convention; I knew no one. To have come to that place in a year was, and continues to be, simply staggering.

But I’m not sure that was the most unbelievable thing that happened while I was in Vancouver.

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SDCC Badge Pre-reg and the “Vegas Effect”

Comic-con has been putting out a slow trickle of information on badge sales for 2014, and as the actual convention creeps closer the anticipation and stress level for the actual sale has only built exponentially. For me, aside from its other perks Comic-con is where I see (and in some cases met) the majority of my friends and the only convention I still go to for fun. I’m pretty dang invested in getting a badge (and I really wish I’d tried for Pro). The year they put the next year’s badges on sale at the con, I stood in an obscene line and got shut out of Preview Night – only to have friends breeze through a painless online reg later on. I’ve been through tough times with Comic-con. But they continue to give me a series of small heart attacks, like the announcement today that the badge registration waiting room will be randomized.


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