I’m back from Worldcon, hosted in Chicago, and my mind is ablaze with the possibilities.
This is all real.
Writing is a real career that real people can choose.
I mean, logically, I understood that all along, but now I’ve seen it. I saw in the flesh many folks who were just pixels before. And I discovered I belong there.
The convention is huge by my standards, though small compared to, say, Dragon*Con or especially ComicCon. Still, the number of attendees at the hotel is comparable to the population of my town. At first, I stood in dumbfounded shock and awe as the sheer mass of it overwhelmed me.
Fortunately, I was not alone. My ever-supporting wife (@HStoffel), who worked hard to ensure this trip would happen, stayed by my side and gave me the occasional push (read: kick) when necessary.
Also, I had a friend: the energetic, charismatic M. Todd Gallowglas (@mgallowglas) initially urged me to attend Worldcon and, I’d say, went well out of his way to ensure I had the best, most frenetic experience possible at my first con ever. The man is truly passionate, and I look forward to seeing where he goes with his career. (Check out his blog here.)
|The inimitable Todd Gallowglas at
his reading for Halloween Jack
I met many who I follow on Twitter and conversed with them, and for the first time in my life truly felt like I was in the right community. I have developed the ability to adapt to social situations, as many do, but ‘coping’ is not the same as ‘fitting in,’ and I now know where I fit. I am a writer. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to open up and share a bit of their time and lives with me.
Sure, there’s that lingering doubt that eventually I’ll be discovered as a fraud. Someday, the Real Life Authorities will halt me and insist I give a reckoning for deigning to live my life in such a ‘frivolous’ manner.
But as I now cruise down the highway at six over the speed limit and see all of these other crazy people passing me, I feel fairly confident the reality cops will pull them over before noticing me slipping by.
Time to push the pedal a little harder.