This is waaaaay late, but I finally have time to gather my thoughts and do a quick recap of my adventures while at Balticon 45 in Hunt Valley, MD 27-30 May.
You can check out my panels schedule in an earlier post. You can also check out the pocket program on Balticon’s site.
So here goes:
DAY ONE – FRIDAY
Flash and I rolled out around 1pm, I want to say. Can’t really remember. Traffic on 695 was backed up for miles so we got off the highway and decided to take York Rd to the convention hotel. BIG MISTAKE.
We got stuck about a mile away from the hotel by a state trooper funeral procession. It went on for about an hour, possibly an hour and a half. I have never seen so many cop cars at once in my life. Marked, unmarked, big, small — you name it, they were there. At first, we thought there was something up with the traffic light and then we saw all the cops and figured out the deal.
Flash hopped out of the car (after turning it off, of course) and went to the gas station we stopped in front of to get drinks. I sat on the car door and watched the whole thing go by.
Thankfully, my first panel didn’t start until 5pm. We arrived with plenty of time to pick up our badges, yap with a few friends, and peruse the dealers’ room.
My first panel was Paranormal/Vampires TV Shows. None of us (including the moderator) really knew what the panel should be about so we basically touched on why paranormal TV shows are on the rise and which ones interested us. Very fun panel.
7pm was the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. That’s when several ladies from the Broad Universe group (of which I am part) get together and do a quick 5-minute reading of some of their works. I did ERIS — the part featuring Stephanie Burke. Everyone got a good laugh out of that, including Flash.
10pm was the ‘Why We Love Anime’ panel which had a great turn out and was a ton of fun. I’m a HUGE anime fan so I was really happy to get this panel. I even learned some stuff about the distribution of anime and how it’s changing thanks to the issues with the economy and the prevalence of online fan-subbers.
Around midnight, Flash and I headed for the room where I was to have a second reading. Before me was Jhada Rogue Addams, who read a spicy excerpt from her book (sorry, I can’t remember the name though I do remember some chick being done against the side of a pick-up truck). While I was supposed to do my reading immediately following hers, the group of us started discussing sex and talked straight through my half hour. That was something I didn’t mind since I didn’t feel like doing another reading.
Jhada cut out around 1am and was replaced with the next author doing a reading – J-P Bibeau. He’s such a cutie. We sat around jawing through his session too since we figured (and were correct) that no one would show up for a reading at 1am.
After that, Flash and I took our tired butts home to get some rest.
DAY TWO – SATURDAY
This was my lazy day. I had no panels so I followed Flash around to hers. Flash’s niece Connie came with us as well. For the most part, I caught up on some emails and visited with the people around me. I even got a little writing done.
The highlight of the day was that one woman who had attended the Broad Universe RFR got intrigued with my book and bought a copy. I was very happy about that.
Saturday was also the masquerade. That got Flash very frazzled since there were issues with the music and various costume malfunctions. All in all, we had fun and that’s what matters. My favorite was the green lantern corp. That was hilarious.
After the masquerade, Flash had another panel while we waited for judging. Connie and I stood for photo ops and sat around talking until we were allowed to change back. Once judging was over, we dragged our tired bodies home for some much needed sleep.
DAY THREE – SUNDAY
This was my day. 10am was the panel I REALLY wanted to be on — Shadow of the Torturer: Authors who abuse their characters. The moderator for this panel was FANTASTIC. He asked pertinent questions and kept the discussion flowing. All of the writers present had a great time.
3pm was the ‘Did We Win?’ panel to discuss whether sci-fi/fantasy has been truly accepted in the mainstream or not. The general consensus was no, it hasn’t. Sure there are a lot of sci-fi/fantasy TV shows and movies out, but most of those are watered down so as not to scare off the mundanes who make up the majority of the ratings pool. I mean, even Syfy channel changed it’s name to attract a broader audience. So what does that tell you?
I had a lot more fun on this panel than I thought I would. I thought for sure I would be eclipsed by my fellow panelists who were older and more well-read of the hard sci-fi genre than myself. I got my shots in where I could and brought in a younger perspective, as well as the perspective of the movie-goer. After the panel ended one audience member came up to me and said he really enjoyed the panel thanks to me. That had me all happy. 😀
5pm was the round table discussion about Small Press and Small Press authors. This had the potential to be a very informative panel, however the moderator turned it into Big 6 NY Traditional Pubs versus Small Press discussion with Small Press being painted with a very black brush. It should have never been that way, and it still ticks me off that he did that. The man actually looked at me and asked me specifically why I had given up on my career by choosing small press. It’s a good thing I think before I talk (most of the time) because I would have told him off otherwise.
ANYWAY… the other panelists and I were more than a little pissed at the end of this panel. Just remembering it is ticking me off while I type so I will drop this and move on before I say something I shouldn’t.
The rest of the day was spent sitting around and jawing with passersby. Flash had one or two panels late in the day, so we parted ways since I had an autograph session that clashed with one of her panels. We met up again in an after-hours party in someone’s room. You know, I’m still not sure whose room that was.
I got to taste Crackin’ Rum. Really smooth and yummy. The hubby would like it. The party ended when one of the neighbors complained. Flash and I didn’t get home until 2am.
DAY FOUR – MONDAY
Flash and Dennis went out to the last day of Balticon. I did not. I sat in a fatigued, semi-stupor trying to recuperate. I had planned to get some work done for the next convention but I couldn’t do more than sit and stare at my computer.
All in all, the whole thing was fun. There were lots of complaints about the scheduling being a little stupid (okay, a lot stupid) but I was happy with what I got. I’m going to miss Balticon while I’m in Hawaii. When the hubby and I come back this way, I’ll be sure to put it on my to-do list.