Okay, so things that went well:
- New ghost story was an audience hit (twice, even!)
- Victorian Women Horror Writers and the Dark Fantasy of Angela Carter and Tanith Lee panels were easily some of the best panels I've ever been on - excellent co-panelists, good info, good audience engagement. Great stuff!
- Other panels mostly went well
- Lovely friends showed up to support me and I had an excellent guest liaison
- Proximity to the terrific Nelson's Deli in St. Paul
- Lots of prior convention experience (mine)
- Some really fun and jolly conversations on Saturday afternoon
- Met interesting new people
- Friday night programming w/ the author guest of honor. Not because he did anything wrong but because the dynamics opened up some culture clash fannish stuff. I think I would have had a pretty rough time dealing with the difference between the squee that he got and the meh I got, if I had run into it earlier in my career. Being a published writer/editor/etc. and doing the con circuit requires a fair amount of ego, after all, and no one likes feeling like an afterthought. As it was, I was both cranky and amused but survived without having a tantrum (though there was a near miss about getting edited off the con website to put in more about him on Saturday, especially since I was the only one who'd made an attempt to publicize and promote the con to begin with. Okay, so maybe more bitter than I thought). In any case, he was gone the rest of the weekend due to another engagement so I got my star time too and things got better after Friday night. I think this was likely true for both of us as he was having a rough weekend and I think he also requires a larger playing field than this particular con could provide. I, on the other hand, needed to demonstrate that I could handle myself in the spotlight and that was much easier to do at a smaller con.
- Sleep, hydration and well-maintained blood sugar are your friends. I didn't tank once all weekend, which was very nice.
- Recruit a support network. In this case, I requested a guest liaison who I knew and liked and invited some of my friends to come and do panels. Other folks dropped by because they were in town or were interested in dark fantasy and/or horror. And that made it much better time.
Here's a nice write-up from local author and musician Conrad Zero, who had a fine time there too.
My fabulous Goth corsage, made by author Monica Valentinelli. :-)))
And Werewolf Ginger Beer, courtesy of Nelson's Deli: