Ad Astra Convention

My friend John Mierau and I arrived Saturday morning at the convention after 9am. Registered and after some confusion confirmed the time and location for the reading we were giving. We collected a number of friends to attend as well as meeting up with Liz, who came separately.

The reading went well enough. I read from Windigo. I felt nervous starting off and felt I should have prepared better, but ran out of time through the week. I sweated as though I had just run a race, and this produced a feedback loop where sweating embarrassed me and that made me sweat more and so one and so on. Still, I had fun doing it and Monique was well-behaved, giving me an occasional Da da. Liz assured me I was fine. John’s reading was fun as always.

JanaPaniccia’s reading was shortly after that and we were treated to a reading of her forthcoming story in the Fantasy Gone Wrong anthology. She’s also editing an anthology. I’m envious.

At noon was the second official launch for Mythspring. I met up with my parents in the lobby and shortly afterwards with my aunt and uncle as well as my cousins. It was great to see them all.

At the Mythspring launch, Julie Czerneda told us we’d be reading from our stories. Well, she told the crowd, which is how I found out. Sitting on the end of the table meant I got to go first. Surprisingly, though the crowd was much larger than at my reading, the second reading of the day went better than the first. I was much more comfortable. It was great that Genevieve Kiernans was able to attend again.

We went over our time, but Guy Gavriel Kay generously let us cut into his reading block by ten minutes. We signed books for the people that lined up, and again I thought, this is so cool. Ran into fellow writer, Mike Rimar, who’s signing I’d attended at the Guelph Chapters store. He had a story published in the most recent Writers of the Future anthology.

From the launch, I went to lunch with my family. We had a good time despite the restaurant being understaffed. My uncle is looking to get Mythspring into the Essex library system, so I’m sending him an order form. It had been a while since I’d seen my aunt, uncle and cousins, and I enjoyed catching up with them.

Went through the dealer’s room and picked up a new book, talked with more friends and then went off to Karina Sumner-Smith’s reading from her story in the Children of Magic anthology. Karina’s an amazing writer and I have to say I envy her.

At six was Julie’s newsgroup party. I was only able to spend a short time there, but it was nice to catch up with more people.

From one party to another. I left Ad Astra for a few hours to drive to Waterloo to attend a party for a very good friend who’s just graduated from the police academy. It’s a major career change and I’m really happy he’s been able to do it. I stayed for a few hours and caught with a former university roommate, whom I hadn’t seen in ten years.

Back to the convention by eleven that night, in time to catch up with John in the green room for some beer and on to Julie and Roger’s room for some drinks with Jana, Lorne Kates, Morgan S. Brilliant and eventually Ruth Stuart, Karina and Sarah Jane Elliott. After that a quick side trip to the dance, in time to tease my friend Lara (always fun).

Sunday we caught breakfast in the green room. From there a number of us collected in the lounge just off the lobby. Starting at noon I had four panels in a row.

First one was why genre films dominated the box office with Terry Green and Herb Kauderer. Terry Green moderated and it was nice to catch up with him. He’s always easy to talk to and said that he’s going to start writing again now that his son’s old enough to be in school full-time. I’m looking forward to reading the result of his work. I enjoyed the panel itself. It’s the first one I’d ever been on.

Second panel was 10 Ways to Sabotage your Writing. My fellow panelists were Karina Sumner-Smith, Carol Soles, and Herb again. My worst way to sabotage my writing was video games. I was also able to air other grievances against myself, such as writing what I thought others would like, something I now hold to be the second biggest way I sabotaged myself.

For the third panel, I was moderator and the other panelists were Lyla Miklos, Brett Savory, and David Shtogryn. We talked about the TV show Lost. I really enjoyed discussing theories surrounding the show’s events as well as favourite characters and least favourite characters. Lots of audience participation on this one.

The last panel of the day was one that John drafted me onto at the last minute. He moderated and Stephanie Bedwell-Grime was on as well. She had recruited Kelly Armstrong to join us. We talked about how cross-genre work finally seems to be coming into its own.

After the panels it was time to go. John and I said goodbye to the friends that were there and headed home.

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