Spent much of the weekend at Eastercon near London's Heathrow airport. I don't go to many conventions or conferences - or almost any, if I'm honest. Used to be a requirement of my job as a comics editor, and that gave me an aversion to spending my free time in mediocre hotels and conference centres. Pay me and I'm happily bounce along. Otherwise, I'd rather be somewhere else.
But Eastercon offers the chance to mingle with lots of other writers and editors, most of whom I know. So we get to catch up on life, work and the marketplace. It coincides with the new series of Doctor Who, and getting to see a new episode in the company of 600+ plus eager people all crammed into one room is a rare treat. [Stellar job by Moffat and company, by the way.]
I went to Eastercon in Bradford last year as a way of marketing the new Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University. I hadn't intended to go again so soon, but legendary 2000AD artist Carlos Ezquerra was a guest of honour and I offered to interview him on stage. Sadly, family illness prevented Carlos from attending [fingers crossed for a quick recovery by Conchita].
Nevertheless I went along, did my panels and spent the rest of my time standing on hard marble floors in shoes built for style, not comfort. Ouch. Most of Eastercon was spent in an atrium with next to no seats, never an ideal plan. I was grateful to be staying down the road in a considerably better designed Marriott, it provided a welcome retreat from con madness.
Got back home very late Sunday, spent much of yesterday doing the writing I didn't get done while at the con. Sigh. I persist in dragging my ten-tonne laptop to distant hotels and never using it, most learn to trust pen and paper more. Back teaching at uni this Thursday and Friday, so I've plenty to get done before then. Onwards!