I had a great time in Portsmouth, NH this past weekend attending the Anthology 2012 Conference (aka AnthoCon). It is a labor of love created by The Four Horsemen (Tim Deal, Danny Evarts, Johnny Morse, and Mark Wholley) and has a growing, enthusiastic attendee base of writers, editors, illustrators, film makers, fans, and more. Here’s my recap:
- I finally met lots of members of New England Horror Writers in person. Made some new friends, which makes attending conventions worthwhile before anything else even happens.
- Gary Braunbeck gave the keynote and, not surprisingly, was great. “Don’t just be, become. And don’t just become, transcend,” he said, urging us to be bold and ignore supposed boundaries and limitations.
- I attended a fistful of panel discussions which, in typical fashion, ran the gamut from lively and productive to…well, the other kind. The “Writing for Video Games, RPGs, Comics and Other Formats” one and the “Art in Fiction” panels were especially interesting, partly because they shed light on portions of the industry I know little about.
- I read my story, “Aftershocks”, during an open session on Saturday. It was well received. Stories were also read by Roxanne Dent, Karen Dent, Vlad Vaslyn, P. Gardner Goldsmith (who also read one of Michael Bailey’s at Michael’s request) and others.
- I sold some copies of Lifted Veils, which was exciting and fun each and every time it happened.
- Lastly, (firstly in some ways) I wound up with a gorgeous piece of art for my office wall. One of the many things happening at AnthoCon was an ongoing fundraiser to assist Tom Piccirilli. I don’t know Tom, but a number of people I know do. He is an award winning writer who is, by all accounts, an even better human being. Tom was diagnosed with a brain tumor and recently had surgery. He came through that alright, but is now enduring chemo and radiation therapy. He has no health insurance…. Right, you’ve got it. So, a lot of people are doing what they can to help. One of the things done at AnthoCon was a silent auction. And one of the items happened to be a large print of Steven C. Gilberts‘ “Mechanics of Autumn Discourse”, which I’ve loved since I saw it in 2010 as the cover image for Shroud Magazine’s Halloween issue. I bid. I was outbid. I bid again. I was outbid again. I bid a final time…and got it. It looks like this:
So Tom gets some financial support and I get a gorgeous piece of visual whimsy to inspire me daily.
Good. Very good indeed.