Monday, November 5, 2012

Emerald City Steampunk Expo!

Enormous black circles lurk under my eyes, my blood sugar is raging with the force of a hundred Tootsie Rolls, my head is throbbing with a dull headache, and assorted costumes are scattered about my house. Yes, it was an awesome con, the best con I have ever attended. The good folks of Wichita put on a great show for Emerald City Steampunk Expo, and I am so glad I was able to attend.

You are welcome to see pictures on my Facebook page and if you happen to see yourself, please tag away. I am terrible with names and I contented myself with handing out my cards and hoping all the awesome people I met find me on Facebook.

The absolute best part of the con was Abney Park - we had a terrific meet and greet on Saturday and I got some pictures with them. Every single person in the group was gracious, personable, and polite, and I had some lovely conversations with the band members. They put on a phenomenal show and the only drawback was that it did not last fifteen hours as I would have happily stayed for and danced until I dropped.

That was, however, after a quick costume change. Lack of foresight on my part did not help me realize that a padded jacket was not quite the best attire to wear in the middle of a packed room full of sweaty bodies. I was somewhere in the middle of the dance floor with a few ladies and we were bellydancing our hearts out until extreme heat exhaustion demanded a change of attire. I waited until a song came on that was not one of my favorites and ran for it. The venue was tucked away in the back of the hotel, so I ended up sprinting frantically through the hallways in full River Song mode: gun belt flapping against my thigh, hair flying, boots clacking like mad. I made it up to my room, swapped out shirts, and ran back, only missing about 1 1/2 songs and was thus able to dance madly in the front row for the rest of the night without collapsing. Abney Park is awesome for belly dancing, and I had a pack of other ladies to twill and shimmy around with as we had the concert of our lives. 

Also amazing was meeting authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris whom to my chagrin I had never heard of before. A great panel lead to two separate conversations with this dynamic duo, and they had an abundance of excellent advice to offer me as a new writer. One thing I was convicted about is my need to drastically increase the writing I do each day. Pip told me that she can bang out 10,000 words a day, which is far below what I create. It also came to my mind that several years ago during NANOWRIMO, I was cranking out ten pages a day while I was working full-time. Granted, during this time I was not writing anything that required research and was not spending a lot of time increasing my presences on social networking, but still: I came to the conclusion that I have been far too lax as a writer and it is time to drastically increase my output. 

Another thing Tee and Pip helped me determine, along with the encouragement of other friends, is that I need to write a lot more short stories for Amazon and Smashwords: either offering them for free or at 99 cents a pop. What I thought about doing is offering short stories that are prequels or back stories to Steam on the Horizon: these can investigate side stories that my book could not detail and provide insight into characters. So, find your reading glasses, you are going to be seeing a lot more of my writing and getting some of it for free!

I told Tee and Pip that even if the entire con was a complete flop, just meeting them and hearing their words of advice would have made the whole con a smashing success. I am very energized and encouraged because of this new friendship, and I look forward to working with them more in the future. 

Speaking of friendship and encouragement, a huge shout out to Kristine and Charles who are amazing friends. They happily paid for expensive tickets so we could go to the con and meet Abney Park, carted me down to Wichita, paid for the hotel room and listened to me snore, put up with my crabbiness and fed me when I was too broke to do it myself. They have been my biggest supporters and fans, and I am so unbelievably blessed to have them in my life. Thanks, you guys!

My River Song costume got some major kudos from the Whovian Society of Wichita, and for much of Saturday and Sunday, I was addressed as "Hey River!" It was fun showing off my costume, and I very much appreciated the fact that I spent all day Saturday sans a corset. Much more comfortable!

Okay, I am deliriously happy and exhausted and have a ton of work that I am now very motivated to do. However, I am still the starving artist, so please check out my Indiegogo project to see what you can do to earn great prizes and support a starving artist!

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  1. That short story idea sounds like a very good one, especially if they can be 'micro-purchases'. A great way for people to cheaply get an idea if they like the style and characters and stuff. Amazing how technology has changed publishing!