This is my first weekend home in a month — each of the last four weekends was spent at a convention. First there was MegaCon in Orlando, then there was Balticon 53 in Baltimore, then GalaxyCon in Richmond, and finally Indy PopCon in Indianapolis.
Holy crap do I not want to do that again…..
At least the cons were generally good and productive. MegaCon and GalaxyCon were both well attended cons at which I sold tons of books at the Bard’s Tower booth. At the former, I also got to do a nifty panel with Sherrilyn Kenyon and Karen Chance, which was a huge hit, and which got people to come to the table.
Balticon was as it always is, which is a good thing: a fine mostly literary genre convention full of writers and readers and artists and craftspeople and agents and editors and podcasters and all sorts of other folks taking joy in the nerdy. I did several excellent panels and readings and things, including great discussions on solving crimes in fantasy settings, Captain Marvel, freelancing, economics in fantasy settings, and Marvel’s Netflix series.
This was a special weekend, as it was the tenth anniversary of the Balticon where Hugh Casey introduced me to this cute redhead and we hit it off so well that we’ve now been living together for nine years and married for two.
But the big thing that happened Balticon was the eSpec Books launch party, which included the official launch of Mermaid Precinct, which officially went on sale on the 1st of June, shortly after the convention. The folks at eSpec have a deserved reputation for throwing good book launch parties, and this was no exception, as lots of people came to eat, drink, and be merry — and buy books! Not just my new release, but also Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Eternal Wanderings, Bud Sparhawk’s Shattered Dreams, and Anna Kashina’s Shadowblade, plus eSpec’s reissues of Danielle’s The Redcaps’ Queen and James Chambers’s Three Chords of Chaos.
The one con of the four that didn’t work out great as a con was still fun for me, that being Indy PopCon. Business was not great. Attendance was way lower than anticipated, down from last year, and apparently done in partly by the Pride Parade being Saturday. (Though lots of folks were wearing rainbows all weekend…) On top of that, our booth was right next to a stage where panels were held parts of Friday and Sunday and all fucking day Saturday, the noise and crowds interfering with our ability to do commerce.
Having said that, I had a great time in Indy anyhow, because I have a ton of friends there. I got to spend time with three of them, which was wonderful, and also saw several more at the con. (I did miss two, sadly, as we couldn’t make the schedules mesh.)
This week has been recovery, though there’s been less of that than we’d like because a good friend of ours, Paul Pelkonen, died suddenly of a heart attack this week. Last night, a bunch of Paul’s friends, including me and Wrenn, gathered at the very same apartment where we met Paul and his partner Emily to remember him. There’ll be a more formal memorial down the line.
Also this week was the promotion for my afterschool kids, and I gotta say, they were fantastic. They all performed beautifully. Shuseki Shihan was very impressed, and I’m very grateful to my kids — who don’t always behave themselves — for being disciplined and strong and talented when it mattered. (It helped that their families were all there watching…)
Today is laundry, making tomato sauce, and writing, with a brief detour to our favorite restaurant for Father’s Day dinner. (The picture above is from our Father’s Day dinner at that same restaurant two years ago, me flanked by my two fathers, Robert DeCandido, who sired me, and John Peters, who helped raise me when he joined our household in the early 1970s.)
Happy Father’s Day, all!