JordanCon 2018

Posted on 24 April 2018

Seems I only ever post after a convention now. That’ll change one day? Who knows. I’ve realized that I’m not a “blogger” per se. But, it is a rainy day, I have the day off to recover from my vacation, so: Post-Con stuff!

JordanCon 10 was amazing, and I have to say that having an assistant director for the Writers Track has made all the difference. I have time to breathe, to relax, and to enjoy the con outside of my track room. Some highlights of the convention:

  1. We had 850ish attendees this weekend, with the vast majority showing up on Friday (Badge 700 was printed on the first day)
  2. Even on Friday, my panels had good attendance, and in what I observed (again, I thankfully was able to get out of the room for several panels), the numbers only kept going up on how many we had sitting in the room. We even had a 3/4 full room Saturday Night during the dance party and first thing Sunday Morning. Impressive achievements, if I say so myself.
  3. People like hands-on workshopy type things. We had 3 panels that directly engaged with attendees work: a 1000 word pre-submitted workshop, a 600 word pre-submitted “Slush” panel, and a Flash Fiction Writing workshop/panel. Now I have to try and decide how to balance that.

Deeper thoughts  below the break.

So… in the realm of the traditional panels, as always I try to include some laser-focused topics instead of broad generalities, and thus I can offer “new” panel topics quite often (although I’ll recycle popular topics with new panelists, no doubt).

Here are some things I learned:

  1. On the “Hidden Worlds of YA” panel, I both learned how to actually have a good YA panel, and I think I have finally wrapped my head around “YA” as a topic of discussion in general. Not that I’m about to start writing YA now, but I feel that if I wanted to, I have a better grip on what I’d be doing, so that’s nice. Also had a great world-building panel in general, which is always good.
  2. We did our first ever “After Hours”.  It was a wonderfully insightful panel with great questions and discussion… and also a lot of dick jokes and flasks needing passed around by panelists… Everything I hoped it would.
  3. Writing is not a solitary act. Yes, there are moments of isolation when at the keyboard, but it takes support, and Brandon’s question (and comments in response) about needing not only to have a supportive life partner, but to not let writing oust and isolate that partner, were incredibly poignant.
  4. Dungeon/Game Mastering is black-tar heroin for hyper-creatives.

On that last point: I’ve been part of a D&D group for the last 2 years, with about 1.5 years of that as the DM. And creating that campaign, running the game and world and seeing my players faces as I work with them to tell this story… it is amazing. It also “scratches” the creative itch, and because of that, I’ve not been writing my novels. Obviously, I’m not going to stop DMing, but I need to engage the craftsman, to carve out “writing time” everyday. That’ll be hard. I’ll need support. I want to start today, but oh all the distractions, and “need-to-dos”, and and and…

No one said it would be easy.

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