Philcon 2011: 3 Things I Learned

Philcon actually happened November 18-20th, but I’m only just getting around to my report!

I had quite a good time, despite my lingering cold, which I soothed with hot tea and cough suppressants. I met several new people (without really meaning to!) and had fun chats with them, as well as talking with people I already knew, and even doing some business (I met with my tax preparer, and was invited to speak at an event next June).

Here are the things I learned from this year’s convention:

1. If you meet someone new, and would like to remember them, and they don’t have a business card, write down their name and contact information in your notebook or your program guide or somewhere. If you’re me, you won’t remember it, otherwise.

I gave four people my card. One of them had a bookmark with her name; none of the others had cards or anything. Of the four, how many names did I remember the next day? Two. One because I had a bookmark, the second because I misheard her name at first, which made us both laugh, which made it stick in my memory.

2. There is a point, when you are moderating a panel, in which moderation just isn’t going to happen.

When it’s getting on for 10 pm, and there’s a large enthusiastic crowd, and the moderator is losing her voice, and then two of the panelists start giggling and can’t stop…just let it go, and don’t hate yourself the next day. Everybody appeared to be having fun. That’s the point.

3. Sometimes you’re better off skipping the parties.

Yes, networking, yes, fun, yes, free booze…but if you’re recovering from a cold, and the subsequent lack of sleep? Finish your panels, and go sit quietly in your room, and then get some sleep. You’ll be happier the next day.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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