So last week I went up to visit my friends Sam and Dori Koogler in the Shenandoah Valley near Roanoke, Va. Friday, I headed up to Roanoke itself, to attend the city’s Mysticon as a guest.
It was my first time there which took a little adjustment. Fewer people I know than at Illogicon, and I don’t know the area anywhere near as well. It wasn’t until Saturday I found a place down the road where I could get some tea (decent though), and a sub/pizza place. The hotel’s restaurant/bar was good enough, but it only had one vegetarian lunch/dinner dish.
I sat in the movie room for a couple of hours (details this weekend) and participated in four panels: Time Travel in fiction; Sherlock Holmes (needless to say I loved that one); writing fantasy in contemporary settings (I realized at the last minute I was moderating that one, but I did fine anyway); and using non-Western cultures as a background. I think they all went well and audience turnout was good. I also sat in on a couple of panels, prioritizing ones that relate to indie publishing, marketing and such.
I wandered around the dealer room and bought some gifts for TYG, a T-shirt for me, Liz Long’s novel Supernova and of all things a fancy pocketwatch. That was an impulse purchase using some of Dad’s Christmas money, but I figure that would appeal to him more than me just buying books (not that I’m obligated to buy things he likes, but it still pleased me). I’d have bought more stuff, but I’d taken along some of my own books to sell (I didn’t, not even Now and Then We Time Travel at the Time Travel panel. Sigh). That made the luggage quite heavy and quite full.
Unfortunately I suffered the same problem I run into on trips to FWB: my return flight options are a)arrive in the evening, which leaves me in poor shape to start work the next day; b)get up at the crack of dawn; c)pay a lot extra to get a better time. As usual I picked b, so I missed the last day. Next year (assuming I make it back), I’ll have to avoid that, it was fun.
I did have one special moment. I asked this pup’s owner if I could pet her and as we talked it turned out the dog’s name was Dixie and she’s a chihuahua/rat terrier hybrid. That’s so close to Trixie (cairn terrier/chihuahua) and so physically similar, I was completely taken with Dixie. And got a nose lick to boot.
#SFWApro. Photos are mine, rights to copyright images remain with the current holder.