I know this is late in coming. I had started trying to write a post for each day: what went on, who I saw, and any silly anecdotes that were created–which there was a good number of, especially Sunday night–a typical writer’s recounting of a con. But this one was different me in a number of ways, so those posts just didn’t get to what was great about it. For me it was about going home.
It’s been 10 years since my family moved to NJ as I went off to college. Since then, I’ve only made the trip back to NH a few times, fewer to the around the area I grew up in. For me, everything I am all starts in NH. My love of music and stories, my passion to learn everything, my personal outlook on life, all of it shaped from the granite I lived on for my formative years. But they always say, “You can never go home.” It’s a funny saying, since you do it all the time; everyday if you have a full-time job. I know, I know, that’s not what they mean by “home.” They are saying you can never go back to the way things were. But I contest that notion. If you think that “home” will never change and be there for you to retreat or escape to, yes, you can’t go back home. But, if you realize that “home” is constantly changing, but it’s history, and the aspects of life and living tied to that history, are still there and have not changed, then you can go home again.
Since my transplant, I’ve never gotten back into the headspace I was in even the night before I went into the coma. My going to Anthocon was not just to see writer friends and begin to re-introduce myself after a 2 year absence in the business, but it was to try and get that spark you can only get with having a bunch of creative people together. That happened and more. The whole weekend was kind of like a refresher of my last 23 years of life.
Thursday night and friday morning to afternoon, not much happened. I went out with Danny Evarts, Scott Christian Carr, Thom and Michelle Erb, Dan and Jackie Gamber, and Salena Bargsly for dinner. We had a good time, though in a pub, only so much conversation can be had. We took the group back to Danny’s suite to chill and relax since all of us got in that day. Someone thought we should try out the jacuzzi tub, though it being a bathtub and nearly all of us had nothing to “swim” in, it just ended up us sitting around the edge and getting dumbly hot. I felt bad for those that drank, cause I have seen what drink plus moist heat can do to a person the next day. It’s not a pretty sight and always makes me glad I don’t drink. After a thorough foot soaking, people started to filter out to crash in their own beds.
When I woke up Friday, the con was the furthest thing from my mind. That night I was going to spend as much time as I could with my best friend, who I can’t remember the last time I saw in person, but could have been long as 7 years. I helped out where I could to get things set for when registration opened and many of the other writers came in. Then I said my “hi’s” to those I knew for a bit, picked up my missing issues of Shock Totem and the last Hiram Grange novella. Then I rested till until my friend and his fiance picked me up. I’ve known this guy since we were in first grade, a lot of the big things in our lives happened with the other not to far away. And like I said, it’s been around 7 years that I’ve seen him. Now, other than the long man hug in the hotel lobby, it was like I had just seen him yesterday. A lot of stuff has happened to both of us in those intervening years. A lot. Enough to significantly change us as people. And here we are just taking it back as if we were never separated. We spent most of the night going over stories from our younger days. Also, me assuring his fiance that yes, in fact he has always been like his is and that, no, I can’t make him stop cause I’m just as bad as him. I tried Start a conversation about Dawson’s Creek early on, cause I didn’t want his fiance to feel left out. Apparently, that was a bad move on my part. Unbeknownst to my friend–unless he reads this–the next time we meet up, there will be a Dawson’s Creek talk to even the night out.
Saturday was like my whole college career in a day. Working on the two panels was a lot like being in class again: debating issues and ideas, learning from others experience and point of view. Spending a lot of time just walking around a talking to people. I lucked out that a number of Necon people were there and I got to catch up with them and tell them I will be doing everything to be there in July. I also started to get back in and learning what was the current state of publishing on all levels. I a lot of ways there was an information overload. It needs to filter back into my head over time. But most important was that spark I’ve been waiting for for so long finally hit. I wanted to write again, not just write cause I knew I should. Writing, and I think any art, is a hard thing to do alone. And while places like Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and other places and tools, may connect us better, there is nothing like that feeding of the physical energy and presence of other writers or artists to stoke the flames creativity. No high-def web cam can help you that, or a Like button.
Which brings us to Sunday. The day that was like that year between graduating and the liver failure. It was the year that I got “The Tethering” published and got word of “January” being accepted for the later dropped anthology, Dead Bells. The year that I started to start learning the business and start my career as a writer. Sunday, bolstered by the inspiration of Saturday, went a spent time in the dealer room talking to publishers and writers. I didn’t get to talk to everyone I wanted to. But I did get to meet some great guys: John Edward Lawson of Raw Dog Screaming Press and Charles Day of Evil Jester Press. Both really great guys. Great conversations about horror, publishing, writing, and somethings they got going on that I can’t say to much about.
But the great thing that came out of Sunday’s dealer room stroll was that someone asked for the first three chapters of Scavenger.
Yeah, that novel I wrote at Seton Hill that I kept putting off doing something with, that Scavenger.
So, I will now spend all my time devoted to not only getting a polished three chapters, but a whole book, as soon as possible. Now we just have to wait and see if it’s fate will be that of “The Tethering” or of “January” to see where I shall start the rest of this journey post-transplant, post-con, post-rebirth.