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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

DemiCon 30 • After Action Report

We’re finally (mostly) recovered from spending the weekend at DemiCon 30, the Des Moines SF/F convention. This was sort of a trial run for us. Karen and I have been off the con circuit for quite a few years and are now beginning to ease back into it, starting with a few small regional cons. Many thanks to Amanda for inviting us and Amanda (the other one) for finding some nice slots for us in the programming!

I haven’t been to a DemiCon since—oh, before you were born. Given that this was “30,” my last DemiCon must have been one in the low single digits. Still, it was really nice to spend a little time with Joe and Gay Haldeman again. It’s been far too long.

All in all, we had a lot of fun. We made some new friends, I signed a few books, we gave away a few hundred books and recovered some valuable storage space, and as always, Henry Vogel’s “Heart of Dorkness” stole the show. We did a couple of panels on the writing business that drew good, active, and involved audiences, and could have continued the conversations for far longer than the allotted times. Ergo I’ve come back with a whole load of fresh motivation, and in the weeks to come will have a lot more to say about the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and how to go from I want to write to I am a published author.

After all, that was why we launched Stupefying Stories in the first place: to be an entry- to journeyman-level market that would help people launch and build their writing careers. I’d kind of forgotten that in recent years.

One last comment, and then back to work. I’d forgotten how relentlessly flat Iowa is, and just how straight Interstate 35 is once you get close to the border. The stretch from Albert Lea to Des Moines, in particular: I was tempted to lash down the steering wheel, set the cruise control, and take a nap. If you’re looking for a place to test your Tesla’s self-driving function, I’ve got the perfect road for you.


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