And that’s a wrap on ConCoction 2019

The sequel did not disappoint. I had even more fun this year than last.

All my panels were a blast. So MANY great conversations on the role of creatures in stories, types of relationships besides romance and protagonists beyond the badass…wow. Excellent audience participation, and I met many cool new authors, too, which means of course  I have a huge list of titles to grab for my e-reader. And others to bump to the top of the To Be Read list.

I will attempt a list of all the cool authors who returned from last year and the new ones who joined in…but it will be later, when my brain is less mushy. If I try now, I would forget someone and feel horrible about it forever.

There was even an epic cool event called Prompt Joust, which is basically competitive impromptu storytelling. Two storytellers, one-minute time limit, story prompt/prop revealed just before the first person begins. It’s a web series by Story Medics (link here)  but this was a Special ConCoction edition RECORDED LIVE in front of the convention audience.

<gulp> I did it because the idea terrified me and I love doing scary things, and IT WAS A HOOT! I want to do it again! At some point the recordings will be posted on the Youtube Channel. Yes, I will let people know when mine is on. But I’ll also let you know about everyone else’s, because they were ALL great fun.

Other firsts. I did my first-ever reading from Controlled Descent! To my surprise and glee, it found some immediate fans. Readers grabbed all 5 copies I brought, and also some of Flight Plan, since it’s designed to be readable first. I found homes for a few copies of Rough Passages too. (That phrasing always makes me feel like I’m talking about orphaned kittens or something.)

ANYway.

Stickers were a hit again, people said complimentary things about the Unity Movement & Mercury Battalion support patches, and I even sent a couple of patches home with readers. Also, thanks to the great con organizers, I even had NEW bling to pass along!  I ordered a TON of awesome ribbons with Rough Passages-related messages on them. IT was a huge thrill to see people walking around wearing my ribbons.

(I may love book bling a whole lot.)

Post-con there was a scrumptious pub lunch with great friends I made last year and this one, and Sunday evening I hung out w/the ever-amazing Shannon Eichorn & new friend Abigail Delk for a post-con viewing of How to Train Your Dragon 2.

ON the emotions side, con crash came early with a minor anxiety freakout Saturday afternoon and other twitch sessions thereafter.  I’m getting better about spotting the symptoms early and fending off the worst effects. The most successful defense tactic appears to be regularly admitting to everyone I meet that I’ve gone fragile.

Now that I am fully in post-mode, I am certain I was accidentally rude to people, made someone feel left out, BORED them, or, y’know, just plain screwed up somehow.

But throughout the whole con, I felt included and welcomed and valued. So I’m clinging to those happy snapshots and can only hope I succeeded in my clumsy attempts to be socially supportive to others.

Next up in my life: laundry. Then it’s offline and back to revisions and drafting.

I made some things.

So today I decided to bake a bunch of things and cook other things that would make the kitchen steamy. OF COURSE I DID. The high today was 93 degrees, about 20 degrees above normal for late September, and the humidity was through the roof.  Baking and boiling things were an act of defiance.

(I also wrote a few hundred words the yesterday, read a couple of books,  dove deep in a bunch of other projects, and tackled the overgrown  garden before it produced triffids, but that’s another post. Whew. Just writing all that was tiring. No wonder I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck….)

ANYway.

I’ve been feeling the baking itch for a couple of weeks but had to wait until flour went on sale. Why, yes, I AM that much of a cheapskate, thanks for noticing. Spouseman was happily estivating in the basement with the air conditioning at Arctic Circle levels, so I pulled out the supplies and went to work.

The first batch of dough didn’t rise well, a common issue when I use fresh honey, old yeast and not enough of it, and impatiently mix all the ingredients up together instead of following the proper fussy rituals of Yeast Placation. No worries!  I whipped up a second batch of yogurt-boosted basic rolls and turned the honey dough into honey-cinnamon bread after it basked outdoors in the heat for a couple of hours.

I haven’t worried about bread “not coming out right” since the day I forgot to add yeast to the bread machine I used at the time… and the gaming group wolfed down the whole (flat, dense, chewy) loaf  before it even had a chance to cool.  If it bakes, it eats.

The apple sauce cooked down entirely without drama. I had a few too amny apples to safely boil down without boiling over, so I sliced ’em up, coated ’em in sweet batter and tossed them in to bake with the bread.

Total for the day: 3/4 of a gallon of applesauce. 8 pseudo-sourdough rolls. 1 loaf honey cinnamon bread. And a whole pan of apple pudding.

Here’s the official photo:IMG_2445

This will be breakfasts and desserts for a few days easy. For tonight  I’ll toss some romaine withdressing to go with the rolls, slice up some tasty Wisconsin cheese, pour myself a nice heffeweissen, and call it a day.