Shore Leave 39 After Action Report

I’m tired, plain and simple.

We were away in Italy for a pilgrimage, returning on July 4 and then on the 7th, it was the Shore Leave marathon. As a result, the late nights required by the con and a special event Sunday has left me worn out.

But the con was good.

Shore Leave remains a fun fan-run event which has enjoyed a reputation among celebrities and fans alike. It was a little lighter in attendance than the last year or two but that just meant more time for interactions.

I had a full slate of emcee and panel duties on Saturday that had me running back and forth across the Hunt Valley Inn. But, I really enjoyed my Crazy 8 Press Workshop, talking plotting with a group of young adults. Mike Friedman, Aaron Rosenberg and I  spent half the time talking plotting then actually put them to work taking a notion and spinning into a theme, setting, and conflict.

At the Crazy 8 Press panel, we introduced Mary Fan as our latest inmate. She’s going to inject some extra energy into the team. We didn’t know each other well before the con but spent some time chatting, and even got to judge the Masquerade together.

The Masquerade was overstuffed with judges when Mike Dopud, Marc Bendavid, and Luciana Carro insisted Jodelle Ferland join the party. They were having a good time, make up scores and passing notes but got serious when we adjourned to select winners.

The other panels were good, too. I sat in on a Batman panel where moderator John Coffren asked some excellent questions that forced us to actually think about our answers, sparking a fun conversation. On Sunday, I moderated a panel on gods and mythology that also ignited a broad discussion. I was in awe of the depth of knowledge my panelists brought to the party.

I barely saw my usual gang of writing pals, making me all the happier I saw most of them in May. I also got to meet some newcomers including Amy Imhoff and Kelli Fitzpatrick.

And then we performed our final Mystery Trekkie Theater to close the show. We opened with a well-assembled series of clips from previous opening skits, took the stage and interacted with a video of Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater, asking us to stop our event. We got the movie sign and concluded by rewatching and mocking anew “Turnabout Intruder”, the episode we did way back in 1992 when this journey began.

That evening, Peter David, his wife Kathleen and daughter Caroline, took me with them to see a live performance of the new MST3K in Washington. Figures, after never seeing an episode, I finally watched one after MTT ended its run. Afterwards, we got to meet the cast and personally thank Joel for inspiring and playing with us.

Now it’s back to the desk as I work through my editor’s notes on November’s Captain America novel.

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