World Fantasy Convention Day One (also my short and go buy my friend’s book)

I’ve been meaning to post about the World Fantasy Convention for over two weeks now and I just haven’t. I’ve tried. I’ve tried many times even. I think the main problem has been that I wasn’t sure exactly how to post about it. Do I post a day-by-day thing? Do I post a series of out-of-order events that meant something to me? In the end, I think I’ve decided that I will put a separate post about each day. That will stop the posts from running to 3000 words and it means you get more blog posts from me. Exciting, no?

BUT, before I get into that I have two announcements to make. The first is to point you all in the direction of my very good friend and most excellent author Julie Elizabeth Hill. Julie has just launched her first ebook, entitled Bound. I’ve read it, it’s great, go buy it and tell her I sent you. It should soon also be available in print format as well.

The second announcement which is probably far less exciting, but still pretty exciting to me, is that I finished a short story. And I even like it! I managed to keep it under 10K – it’s currently sitting at 9110 and I’m in the midst of trying to tighten it up as much as I can. This is a big deal to me because, as I’ve stated in a previous post (that I have no idea how to link back to) I find short stories to be daunting at best. Anyhow, I’m quite pleased with how this one turned out and – get this – I even like my ending.

Okay, now that that is all out of the way, let me FINALLY tell you all about…



Day One did not start off as planned. First of all, I had the wrong hotel. Yep, you read that right. Wrong. Hotel. It was a total genius move too: I saw on the website that it was at the Sheraton, thought I know where that is and didn’t for a moment consider that Toronto, being a fairly large city, might, in fact, have more than one Sheraton Hotel. So I got there, later than I wanted to begin with and there was, of course, no fantasy convention. And then I found out that not only was it not in the downtown Sheraton, it was in a Sheraton that was barely in Toronto at all! Thankfully, I caught my husband before he drove too far off and we took another hour getting me to the right location. I did make it in time for the opening ceremonies, but I missed the first panel I’d been hoping to get to. This also thwarted my various downtown Toronto plans which included having dinner with one of my best friends and having countless options for meals and shopping if there was a lull in the programming.

Upon arrival, I immediately saw my favourite author (Carol Berg) in the lounge, but as she was surrounded by twenty-odd people, I wasn’t exactly comfortable approaching. Anyhow, I had plans to have a drink with her the next day. (more on that in the next post! Oooo…teasers!) So instead I went into the dealer room and wandered about, waiting for the opening ceremonies to start. It was here that I started to really notice that this was the first event of this nature that I’d ever attended entirely by myself. I’m pretty shy and the more I walked around, the more it became clear to me that there were a lot of people here that I didn’t know…but they all seemed to know someone. This made me a little uncomfortable. Anyhow, I watched the very short opening ceremonies and then attended a fascinating panel on Fantasy in the Wilderness. During this panel, I began to come around to an author I’d previously not been terribly fond of (his books, he’s fine). He was very witty and humourous and I decided I’d attend his reading later in the convention just to see if maybe I’d give his books another shot.

I almost forgot to mention that on this day I was also given an 800 pound bag of free books that I had to come back and get at the end because I didn’t have a hotel room to go dump them in. (I should add that this had nothing to do with being at the wrong hotel originally – we live close enough to Toronto that my original plan was to GO train in every day though we wound up driving because of the actual location).

Anyhow, dinnertime was rolling around and I had no one to eat with and no Eaton Centre to provide me with options. I figured I would go to the lounge and see if anyone sat down to chat when I ran into a girl from Algonkian last year. I had dinner with her and her roommates, one of whom I wound up getting along with fabulously. We came back, grabbed some starbucks and attended a final panel (this one on music, featuring the brilliant Charles de Lint), and then went our separate ways, me with an 800 pound bag of books on my shoulder. It was like being back in university. 😉

And that wraps up Day One. I’ve made a promise to myself to update this blog at least once a week, but I’m going to try to get the convention covered this week, so you may even hear from me again sooner!


5 thoughts on “World Fantasy Convention Day One (also my short and go buy my friend’s book)

  1. Great post Em. Congrats on the short story and the conference. We should chat about shyness….been there lots, but have learned to overcome, especially at conferences.

    • Thanks Linda. I’d be happy to chat about it…glad you’ve learned to overcome it, it’s not an easy thing especially in that sort of a setting. There’ll be more about it when I cover the other days as well. 🙂

  2. Next time you’ll just have to come with me.

    And no worries. Expect me to push you in front of people in general from now on. “This is Julie. She’s awesome. Buy her book!” 😉

    • Um… *quakes with fear* I know, I’ll hide behind you (easy since I’m so short). Either that or I’ll get you back by dragging you over to agents when we go to this con together, pointing out that their client list is incomplete without you in it and that they should just sign you on the spot. 🙂

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