It’s been a week since the end of Can*Con 2017, and I think I’m still a little tired.
No joke, for three days after the conference I had a solid headache that wouldn’t go away, and slept about 11 hours a night after spending most of the evening on my couch. Driving into work on Wednesday with one of my best friends (and fellow teacher), she commented off hand about “her friend” coming in that day, and I legitimately had no idea what she was talking about. After several agonizing minutes of desperately wracking my brain, she reminded me that she was referring to her student teacher. Who has been coming in every Wednesday since the semester started. And who I was working with directly on this year’s Remembrance Day service.
Oh yeah. There’s con fatigue, and then there’s con fatigue.
The short version is that I basically spent the entire weekend of Can*Con living off adrenaline and caffeine and maybe a little booze, after weeks of restless nights worrying about programming details and panelist requests and a bunch of other things, because more than anything else I wanted the weekend to go well. (I’m one of the programming coordinators). Which is in no way a complaint, because a) I knew what I was signing up for; and b) Can*Con was SUCH AN AMAZING TIME.
Describing in detail how much fun I had last weekend would take far too much time and effort, and I’m not a fan of reminiscing in detail about a con as a blog post. Just a few highlights doesn’t even scratch the surface: I got to work registration Friday night, which was awesome because that meant I met panelists face-to-face as they were coming in. I paneled with my friend Jay Odjick for the first time (alongside Waubgeshig Rice from the CBC) and interviewed Steven Erikson, who I’ve been a fan of since I was in university. We launched 49th Parallels, which includes a short story of mine, to a packed con suite. I got to hunt Julie Czerneda like wild game (not literally, it’s just a joke). And on and on. I don’t think I’ve had this much fun at a writing event ever. But the thing that really made it was seeing everyone from the writing community, and getting to hang out and/or talk business with people I see once a month, and people I see once in a while, and people I haven’t seen since last year, and a host of new people who I hope will remain friends and contacts.
Writing is often an isolating profession, but Can*Con is the environment that reminds me that it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a writer, or an editor, or an artist, or you just like books and you’ve never been to a conference before: go to one. It doesn’t even have to be Can*Con (although you really should come out). And if you don’t believe me, check out the photos below, which are just a few captured by me and others.
I’ve said this online a bunch of times already, but a huge thank you to everyone who came out to Can*Con this year, and especially my friends on the con-com and the volunteers who helped us keep things running. You are what makes the con great, and the reason why I do what I do. Which this week was mostly sleeping (although I think I went to work all five days). And next week … will be writing!