MisCon 32 2018 Takeaway
It’s been almost a month since I attended my hometown’s science fiction and fantasy convention in Missoula. It was my first con where my debut novel, The Falling Dawn, was available for sale at the Fairwood Press table run by Patrick Swenson (and I’m so happy that Fairwood Press offered this opportunity, otherwise I would’ve been up the creek without a paddle).
I’d brought an overabundance of novels, anticipating I’d sell every single copy (I sold one, thank you very much, and I’m not even ashamed at how many times I walked by the table checking to see if they needed to be restocked). I had tee-shirts made up—and this was an ordeal in and of itself—with the book cover on the front and tasteful text across the shoulders. On the spur of the moment, I got my hair done up Viking-style with side braids and a huge epic braid poofed on top. My soon-to-be sister-in-law and make-up extraordinaire gave me a makeover with awesome peacock colors.
Last year’s MisCon had been inspirational and I expected this year’s to be no different. Then, most of the panels I attended had been full of useful tips of the trade that I remember to this day. It felt like a serious affair—I attended panels, dutifully took notes, and had a beautiful multi-colored schedule telling me where I had to be at the top of each hour.
This time, I was determined to have more fun. Not that panels and notes aren’t fun. Just intersperse it with hanging at the bar and attending things like villains’ trivia.
I couldn’t change my stripes completely though, and I followed Brandon Sanderson from one panel to the other, managing to learn about the three laws of magic and how to retrofit structure into a first draft. He was one of the better presenters I’d seen in a while—leading discussions, talking quickly enough that there wasn’t time to drift off, and also left time for questions.
The other panel I was excited about, but which ultimately got canceled, was a rated R panel about writing convincing sex. Curse you, time restrictions and overlapping which made the floor vendors need the room and the authors not willing to do the discussion outside! It’s okay, I found free wizard staffs and obtained a magical stick of power with seashells and a teal and gold leather handle. I have a color theme, okay??
Otherwise, it was a long weekend full of local strawberry wheat beer and tossing my newly made business cards into every table, nook, and cranny of the Con’s establishment, and getting the rush of selling one whole book to a newly-made friend.