Here I Go Again (On My Own)
Posted by aahabershaw
In about two weeks time, I’ll be hopping in a rental car and driving out to Saratoga Springs, NY, to attend the World Fantasy Convention. I will be going alone. I barely know anybody who will be there (I think). I have no idea what to expect. Well, that’s not entirely true – I imagine there’s going to be a lot of sitting in Samsonite chairs in convention halls. Beyond that, though, I’m stumped.
I’ve done this before. Some years ago, I attended Readercon (a scifi convention local to the Boston scene). I went in, I sat through a few panels, I bought a couple books, ate dinner, and went home. Afterwards, I wondered what I had spent my ticket money on, exactly. I hadn’t learned anything worthwhile, per se, and I didn’t meet anyone (hard to do that when you don’t talk to anybody), and I had no idea what to do. The whole experience put me off conventions for a good long while.
Here I am, though, doing it again. This time, though, I can’t just hop in my car and drive home for dinner. I’m there from Friday to Sunday, folks, and there’s no turning back. I plan on making this convention experience count. My advantages?
- I am a published author with a major publishing house (albeit the least well known author in that imprint). As my editor stressed to me when I met her, I have something to talk about.
- I know some people who will be there (my editor, and by “know” I mean “met exactly once and have corresponded via e-mail,” as well as some other Harper Voyager folks) and I will, therefore, not drift through the crowds entirely aloof and alone. I have been promised a “seat at the table,” though what table and who, exactly, I’ll be sitting next to is unknown.
- I have an actual goal. I’m looking for an agent who might be willing to take me on when I get around to pitching parts 3 and 4 (or 4 and 5, depending on how you count) of the Saga of the Redeemed. In order to achieve this goal, I will have to be social.
- Scott Lynch will be doing a reading there. As he is my Spirit Animal, I will try and get him to sign one of his books for me. That will be awesome.
Thusly armed, I shall journey forth in the snowy wilds of northern New York State and see if I can, through wit or will, advance my craft and my career in some way.
Either that or I’ll spend a significant portion of my time grading papers in my hotel room.
Assuming that isn’t the case, then maybe I’ll see you there! Drop me a note here if you plan to attend the WFC and, if so, what you hope to do or accomplish.
About aahabershawWriter, teacher, gaming enthusiast, and storyteller. I write stories, novels, and occasional rants.
Posted on October 23, 2015, in Critiques, Theories, and Random Thoughts, Events and tagged conventions, socializing, World Fantasy Convention, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
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You are lucky. Attending memberships had sold out by the time I knew the Con would be so close (relatively) to me, or I would have met you (well, stay in the shadow of your greatness). Saratoga Springs is a lovely community. My wife’s brother lives there (and nearby Lake George), we’ve visited every summer for the past three decades. While more is happening in the summer when the famous race track is open and the SPAC has wonderful concerts, I still recommend taking a walk down Broadway. There are wonderful restaurants, bars, and shops, including the Lyrical Ballad used bookseller off of Broadway on Phila Street. I have had a similar experience as you described when I attended my first sf convention by myself–even if I had no goals other than to enjoy the experience with people who share a similar passion. I think a smaller con would welcome you as a panelist, and that would provide more opportunities for inter-action with fellow panelists as well as attendees. For a World Con…go with the flow, Auston. Say “hi”, ask questions, have fun. And fill us in when you get back.
Thanks for the tips! And will do!
I got in as a surprise, really. I put myself on the waiting list way back in April or May and didn’t think I would go. They shot me an e-mail about two weeks ago telling me I was in.
Home of my alma mater, Skidmore! A great town in the summer months, it loses a lot in cold weather, but as Dr. Bob says above, it’s always nice to walk down Broadway. Even though you don’t drink, The Parting Glass is still a pub worth checking out, I think. I don’t remember any of the names of any of the other bars, for reasons that are probably obvious, but Parting Glass was always a good place for a more relaxed and cerebral evening. If you for some reason need a slice of pizza at 2:00 AM, there’s Pope’s, but other than that fact there’s not much to recommend it as an eatery. Anyway – have fun!
Will do! Thanks!