Monday, July 20, 2015
NECON 35 (2015)
NECON 35 did not disappoint. This year my goal was to spread out, chat with more people, discuss writing craft along with the random topics that come up in conversation. (Last year I was a transient wallflower.)
The convention opened on Thursday afternoon. Thursday is usually a quiet half day, nothing really official happens except guests arriving and newbie orientation. I was fine with that. It would mean more time for conversation.
Things kicked off with a bang - I received a story acceptance email during dinner. (More on that once the contracts are signed and I'm at liberty to announce.) The food was delicious, too. The Lobster Pot cooks a mean lobster roll.
After dinner everyone gathered at various locales - the lobby, the bar, the new lounge room. The courtyard is the biggest evening destination, with "saugies" roasted, drinks consumed and conversation long into the night.
Last year, the conference center's pool was closed and we thought it was under construction. In fact, it was on its way out. It has been replaced with a large lounge space with plenty of seating. This was a great feature and the room was used for the Friday morning kaffeeklatsches. People used the room all weekend. In fact, it is so large Brian Keene used one area to record interviews for his Horror Show podcasts while other folks were in the room, too. So, be sure to listen to upcoming episodes.
One corner of that room became the morning rendezvous spot for some of us. Friday morning, I was one of the early risers. I looked up the local Dunkin Donuts and made a coffee & munchkin run, because the breakfast didn't start for another 2 hours. Great time just chatting with Charles Rutledge, Brian Keene, Jim Moore and others who came by.
The panels started after lunch and the nice thing about NECON is that they keep things simple and small. There is only one panel track. Nothing gets out of hand with over-scheduling. They were all great panels and worth the time.
I had a great Friday night dinner chatting with Errick Nunnally, Dan Foley and artist guest of honor, Duncan Eagleson.
Friday night there was the NECON toast and update. Funny, funny, funny wonderful time. After that - again to the courtyard for socializing late into the night. If you're not a social creature, NECON will make you one.
I had to leave Saturday afternoon, so I missed the evening roast. Considering just how darn funny the Friday night festivities had been, I can only imagine how hilarious that evening must have been.
I came home with too many books (both in my goodie bag and more that I bought.)
On a personal note that made me smile; ospreys took care of my raptor fix. Two had territorial squabbling over the very top of the nearest cell tower. This happened each morning. I enjoyed watching them for a few minutes each morning until they winged away.
Without actually having "writers' bootcamp" writing sessions or anything like that, somehow NECON still manages to be one hell of a writers' pep rally. I can't imagine anyone heading home not being excited about getting words on paper. I mean, excited and scared of Jim Moore ;) who has certain methods of persuasion.
Though I came home early, I did stay two evenings this time rather than a day trip. I hope to stay the entire length of the convention next year. It is a great, great time.