I am at a science fiction convention. I've probably been to three of these things in the three years I've been back and Michigan, which is the same number that I attended during the 13 years I was in New York (and they were never in New York proper: Boston, Baltimore, and ... someplace in Pennsylvania).
The "fan community" here seems to have a lot of pubished authors, and there are some writers workshops. I am always interested in learning to write better. As long as they have workshops, I will come to one or two a year.
This time, I am workshopping the first thirty pages of my current novel, which people have so far liked. Well, one person. The rest, I will find out about tomorrow.
Fifteen or twenty years ago, when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at conventions. At least three a year, sometimes four if I could convince someone to go out of state with me. I did a lot of my growing up at conventions and camping out with Viking re-enactors. More of my late nights and partying were in really fring-ey places like this. Forget the punk and goth clubs: for really strange stuff, I always came to Fandom.
An odd side effect of growing up at science fiction conventions is that I've become something of a hotel queen. It probably has to do with sleeping on the floor of so many of them, or scrunched under the table by the door, in order to keep costs down. The Troy Hilton, where I am, is nice. Attractive, good soaps and shampoos, not too harsh on the skin. Roomy. Not near much of anything, though, so your food choices are limited. I am spoiled, now, by Indianapolis, whose convention center is connected to a Mall as well as the hotels.
Many of the faces are the same, which is strange. In my memory, everyone is really fifteen years younger. It's a trade off, though. In their memory, I have hair down past my shoulders. And I'm fifteen years younger.
I have been listening to Charles Stross and Elizabeth Bear speak, as well as others. Everybody has been charming, and the bit Mr. Stross read of his next novel has made me a future reader. A very near future reader.