Back from the Convention
Shore Leave 36 was another wonderful set of experiences. While the Hunt Valley Inn is in the process of morphing from a Marriott to a Wyndham, the usual assortment of friends and fans arrived for three days of merriment.
There were more writers in attendance than usual which meant a few things: we were crammed into tighter than normal spaces for the Meet the Pros event and there was not enough time to see one another. Some made their Shore Leave debuts and I saw them in the distance, never having a chance to meet in person. There were the usual brief snatches of conversation with old pals making me regret there wasn’t some way to prolong the experiences.
Things kicked off with Steven H. Wilson, Keith R.A. DeCandido and I sharing a space during the Match Game, billing ourselves as the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, and Karl). We had plenty of fun playing with the cards.
My other panel appearances were fine despite a crushing schedule that spread the fans out throughout the hotel. We had our 3rd anniversary Crazy 8 Press panel which went over well and we gave away one of our brand, spanking new polo shirts which were quite well received. We also had one of our business meetings that re-energized me for some writing in the little time I have l left before I revert to a fulltime teacher.
One of my duties is to play emcee so I try and frame each guest for the fans, setting a tone for the following hour. I’ve done this often enough that I find I get into a zone. Apparently, this year I was at the top of my game as Eve Myles, Teryl Rothery, and Richard Dean Anderson all went out of their way to complement me to thank me for the kind words once we were backstage. While I missed both of Eve’s talks, I gather she was the highlight of the con in her amusing, bawdy, and off-the-cuff manner.
Mystery Trekkie Theater had a dynamite opening skit while we stuck it to the Voyager episode “Tsunkatse”. The audience seemed to appreciate it although many of my contributions seemed to fall flat. It’s always hard to tell from behind the screen.
I sold some books, made some new acquaintances, and generally had one of my more relaxed Shore Leaves making me miss it already.
I’ve been to 32 (out of 36) of these shows and it’s nice to see familiar faces although it’s also tough to watch some age and grow increasingly infirm. But I am also delighted to see some bring their children or grandchildren to the show, demonstrating this fan-run show’s enduring appeal.