SF:SE Orlando

What do you get when you take a bunch of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal and steampunk authors and throw them together in hotel conference rooms for a weekend? An extremely awesome writing convention, that’s what.

This weekend I attended Speculative Fiction: Southeast in Orlando, and it blew me away. I’ve not been to many conventions for anything so I didn’t know what to expect, but the entire weekend was a glorious vacation from the crappy world we live in to a bubble of literary love. Everything that happened while there, at least in my mind, was geared towards my writing and what I hope is my long career with it.

So I got there on Friday, after a somewhat taxing and emotional journey, and immediately went to my room to relax before the convention started. After a rough start to everything on Friday, the first panel I attended was incredible. Again, not really sure what to expect, but the small, intimate setting of the room I was in, where I was only a few feet away from authors who have movies and games based off their stories, was so cool. I set to making an impression right away.

The convention itself was live-tweeting throughout the entire event, and one of the ways I interacted with authors most was through the twitter-sphere. I’m not the biggest fan of le twitter, but it has its uses. Like making it easier for me to tell jokes to authors and get them to laugh.

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I attended many panels the next day, knocking out one after the other, and gathered a ton of tips for the trade. Also interacted with more NY times best-selling authors, making them laugh with my weirdness and connecting over a mutual love of Harry Potter(but who doesn’t love HP?). I would have attended more panels and walked around to booths and tables connecting with other authors, but alas, I dwell within a fragile body and needed rest throughout the day. Also, I fractured my hand and had to ice it after each panel, but that’s a whole different story.

I met some crazy cool authors who I’m now friends with(at least in my head). It’s so incredible to be able to say that I’m a writer, and then get accepted with open arms by other writers. Tom Lucas is one such crazy cool author who I met. Wearer of glorious fezzes and writer of bizzaro fiction, his style and personality resonated with me and he was really friendly. EJ Stevens is another author who was very accepting and friendly and had lots of really knowledgeable stuff to say about writing. She’s been doing it a long time and knows her stuff. And of course Ricardo Chevere, author of a sweet Dragon series and advocate of all things awesome. And because they are all cool people I know, I feel the need to link their stuff. Tom’s kickass site, readtomlucas.com. EJ’s seriously impressive blog, fromtheshadows.info. Seriously, she’s been doing it for years and it’s professional. And Ricardo’s dragon’s den, dragonsrc.com.

Though there were some downsides to the weekend, it was definitely a positive experience and I really wish I could go to more of them. There’s an even bigger one in two weeks that I want to head to, but dang, I’m still recovering from this one. Plus, I really want to get to writing! I didn’t get to finish my manuscript before I left, so I’m hell bent on finishing it now so I can run through to the next draft with the tips and tricks I’ve learned.

So that was my weekend, spectacular. Besides the swollen hand and painful body, spectacular. How was your weekend?

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