Windycon 43 Day 2

What a fun day. What an EXHAUSTING day.

Guess who has two thumbs and has her books listed int the Internet Speculative Fiction Database? Me. (And a whole lot of other people, yes, including my Australian namesake Karen Herkes who is also an SF writer and published long before I did, which is one of many reasons I went with K. M.)

But anyway. One of my sales today was to a fine, upstanding, tech-talented gentleman who entered my offerings into that excellent listing  literary works. (for those interested, the site is

And that wasn’t my only sale, so yay. YAY I SAY. Another set of books went to someone who buys books for a review site & Facebook page. WHEE!  I’ll post the site name and links tomorrow, I promised I would spread word of their existence but left my memory somewhere and the data in the dealer booth. Oops.

But yeah, sales. More importantly I have given out most of my old bookmarks and postcards, so I can design new and better ones soon. Ditto for business cards. Woop-woop dance time. And there were other doings, too.

I received an invite to join some new-made friends for dinner during the 2 hour hiatus between end of daily programming and start of room parties. Alas there were missed connections, and so I hung out in the lobby to watch the con go by while waiting for parties to begin. That was probably healthier for me overall anyhow. Because I was determined to attend parties and needed that critical decompression downtime.

I know, I know. Parties? PARTIES?!  ME!  Yes. They are terrifying, but…but. Convention=Soul-stretching. Also, Important Professional Development. So I gave it a try.

And I survived.

The first one was low key, before most of the Real Parties ™  began. It was a Writers & Donuts gathering thrown by the Illinois Science Fiction in Chicago organization. (aka ISFIC, aka the organization behind WindyCon. Which has a tremendously long and storied history, which I read while hanging in the lobby today.)  Since I’m a writer in lllinois, near Chicago, and I write science fiction,  it felt like I really should attend that.

Plus they served baked goods. I’m a sucker for baked goods.

V. proud of myself, I managed semi-normal interaction as opposed to freaked-out mouse behavior. I talked again to several kind folk I’d met earlier at readings,  in the dealer room, and around, and I met even more fine souls at the party.  Enjoyable and informative talk was exchanged about first cons, the trials of finding  beta readers, the fringe benefits of working as a professional translator in Spain for more than ten years (like WorldCons in Europe being much less of a travel hassle) the joy and agony of plotting, and many other things.

Business cards were collected, plus names and contact emails for the group were recorded by the party host, and it was all good.  Hm. I seem to be regressing into passive tense. Ah, well. Distancing. It’s useful for de-stressing.


Second, over the course of the day I received official invitation to the Manticoran Royal Navy party not once, not twice, but three times. I am a big Honorverse fan,  so I was intrigued and made my way there. There was more chatting, more enjoyable re-meeting, story exchanging, and (on my part) admiring of the RMN costumes, ship flags and assorted decorating. I even participated in a Pod-Rolling session. That’s where a whole group launches “missile pods,” aka  beautifully constructed specialty shots–non-alcoholic for my part–down their throats in coordinated maneuver just like in a space battle. Only tastier. Sounds weird, confusing, and/or unfun? Maybe you had to be there.  I had  fun. It’s an interesting fan organization. (They do charity things, among other activities.)

By then it was 10 PM, and I’d had about enough of ALL THE PEOPLE plus I need to be back on the job at 10:30 AM Sunday. On the way home I stopped off at a local pizza & beer joint to say hello to a gathering of my Borders Family, because seeing them is always a stress-reliever, and because everyone including me needed some post-election consolation hugs.

Am now safely home again, home again, giggity-gig. WHEW.

Tomorrow is a shorter day. I’m hoping to take in the Dead Dog filk session after the closing ceremony, but timing depends on how long it takes to do load out.

I’ll report on the Final Outcome tomorrow.

Come to WindyCon 43!

No pressure!  It’s an invitation, not an order.(edited to add website info: ) 

Windy Con is one of several great local cons — local being Chicagoland, it’s currently residing in scenic Lombard IL — and I’m here for the second time this year. There are great panels and programs, and tons of interesting things to experience, but as usual I’ll be spending most of my time where I’m comfortable: in the Retail Zone. I’m helping at the Games Plus table in the Dealer Room.

I’d love to meet and say hello, if nothing else. You want to talk books? Movies? Gardening & baking? Fabulous and fantastic. Me, too!

I have physical real books at low-low-low convention pricing– THREE DIFFERENT TITLES!–I have a pen so I can sign them, and this year there are SIGNS and LABELS and other professional-type business swag scattered about the table.

I’m kinda proud of my display, meager as it is, and I am having a blast giving out bookmarks and postcards to all and sundry who pass by.

Day 1 highlight: chatting with someone who bought print books last year at the con,  then went out and bought the ebooks of all the stories in both series and was checking to see if I had anything new yet. (I know for sure because he was checking titles against his Kindle–I made sure he knew Weaving In the Ends is a compilation…)  So I promised I would finish Prodigals and then we talked about Heartwood, and other con attendee came by and we all chatted superpowers and society issues and epic fantasy, and it was <swoon> phenomenal.

Maybe someday I’ll be jaded and totally over learning that someone liked my wordings, but that someday is not now! So, yeah, I want to sell all the books this weekend, but my weekend is made. Yes, there are pics. Down there. At the bottom of the post.

My next goal, inspired by packing and prepping for this weekend’s adventure?  Committing to first designing and then coughing up the painfully large amount of cash for a Real Booth Banner. (I expected to have one ready for this year’s WindyCon, but like so many other plans this year, it’s been detoured and delayed by an assortment of alarms, excursions, and other traumas.)

Anyhow. Goals: Booth banner. Buy my own booth space. Get onto panels. That’s my trifecta for 2017. You saw it here first.

My big retail goal/dream? Be organized enough to invite OTHER AUTHORS to come to a con around here and share a table with me. Because that would be beyond fun. Baby steps, though. Baby steps.

And now, photographic evidence of MY EPIC SECOND CON TABLE (with Rich from Games Plus modeling his much larger gaming fun display) & MY FIRST FAN PIC.