What I like about going to cons

I’m back home for something like three full days, having spent the past two weeks in glorious California. Every time we head West, coming back East seems like a let-down. Maybe it’s a grass-is-greener thing (though the drought in California has done a number to said grass), but more likely, it’s just an attitude thing. Folks there really are friendlier, it seems.

But I’m about to head south to another friendly place — DragonCon. This will be my first repeat con, and there’s a reason for that. DragonCon is one giant celebration of all things geeky, and the positivity is contagious. (So is con-crud, but that’s a different story.)

Naturally, the biggest reason I go to conventions is to help make people aware that I’ve written books, and that they might like reading them. So I do a bunch of panels (and a reading) and talk about the geeky stuff we all love to packed rooms. It’s a deep-dive into geek with folks who appreciate that — and often out-geek me. I always learn something new from panels, no matter what the topic.

But the thing I love the most is community. Away from the Internet — which enables snark and cruelty like nothing else — folks are just generally awesome. Yes, there will always be a few bad apples, though the wave of anti-harassment policies and general behavior improvement has helped. Overall, people are just excited to share what they love with others, and celebrate creativity.

The other thing is the joy of hanging out with other creators. Writers are really a fun bunch, and most hangouts have left me smiling and laughing so much my face hurts the next day. I don’t get to do a lot of cons and other writerly gatherings — day-job, y’all — so it makes hanging out with my fellow scribes all the more awesome.

There’s been a lot of crap around fandom lately, what with the Hugos and all. That’s a very specific sub-set of SF/F fans overall, though. The tens of thousands of fans at big conventions like DragonCon have interests that range from anime to movies to D&D to comics and, yes, books. It all cross-pollenates into a big festival of fans loving what they love, without a lot of judgement.

Those are the cons I’ve enjoyed attending, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.

See you in Atlanta!


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