So Monday was the snap-back from my return to Richmond â€” RavenCon. It was a great weekend with an additional bonus of Pip and myself hijacking award-winner Elizabeth BearÂ to show her a few sights from my hometown. We left the con at 2 oâ€™clock and didnâ€™t return her until 6:15.
What did we do in four hours?
- Proper Pie Company
- The Poe Museum
- The Main Street Station
- Blue Bee Cidery (Tasting and Tour)
It was not only quality time with a friend, but a good sampling of what Richmond had to offer.
I planÂ to write about the weekend â€” especially onÂ the exceptional KidsTrackÂ which followed a S.H.I.E.L.D. Training theme â€” but presently I am looking ahead to this coming weekend: the Silver Edition of DemiCon. Iâ€™m feeling the butterflies kick as Iâ€™ll be reuniting with old friends, meeting new ones for the first time, and fulfilling a role Iâ€™ve never held before at a convention.
At DemiCon 25, I am being welcomed as the eventâ€™s Guest of Honor, or GoH.
Following my first year experiencing the con scene, I made the GoH distinction one of those â€œThat would be coolâ€¦â€ goals in my career. Why? It would have been an indication that to the organizers and staff of a particular convention, my stories held a special place. Not a bad benchmark to reach for, I figured. After a few years of con-hopping, I assumed my first GoHÂ would beÂ an event I frequented. Maybe? Then, on going full time in writing, the notion fell to the bottom of my priorities list, beaten out by other items like new titleÂ development and paying bills.
Imagine my surprise when it was DemiCon, an event I attended only once, that would be the first to extend this distinctionÂ to me. Imagine my surprise growing when I found out it would be for their 25th anniversary.
No pressure there, Morris.
If you are attending, here is where you can find me, Pip, and friends of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrencesâ€¦
6 – 8 p.m., Barnes & Noble at 4550 University Avenue, West Des Moines
Meet Author Guest of Honor Tee Morris, his Co-Author Pip Ballantine, and Hall of Fame Guest of Honor Joe Haldeman at Barnes and Noble, 4550 University Avenue, West Des Moines.Â Purchase and have Tee and Pip sign their latest book Dawnâ€™s Early Light: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel as well as Joe’s latest Work Done for Hire. Also we encourage all who would like to wear their steampunk finery in celebration of DemiCon 25 Anniversary Steampunk Theme.
Meet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
9 -10 p.m., Nebraska – Lower Level
At DemiCon 25, four writersâ€”two of which, Parsec Winners for Best Short Storyâ€”are in attendance, so with GoH Tee Morris at the helm, you are invited to met assorted members of the award-winning Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. (Pip Ballentine, P.C. Haring, Alyson Grauer, Tee Morris)
True Detective: The Unexpected Hit with SF/F Geeks
10 -11 p.m., Nebraska – Lower Level
The HBO series True Detective may have been just another cop procedural, but Science Fiction and Fantasy geeks LOST THEIR MINDS over this series? What was it? The Lovecraftian influences? The imagery from The Yellow King? Warning: Spoilers Ahead as the panel goes into the gritty details of this Southern Gothic tale. (Tee Morris & Pip Ballantine)
Collaborating with Friends
10 – 11 a.m., Missouri – Lower Level
Come discuss the ins and outs of what happens when friendships and business partnerships collide and mix. We’d discuss the good things, the bad things, the potential pit falls, the potential rewards, and offer insight on how to make sure it’s a good experience or to help minimize the risk that if either the business or personal relationship goes bad, it doesn’t take the other relationship with it. (Pip Ballantine, P.C. Haring, Tee Morris)
GOH and Pro Book Signing
11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Stage Programming – Main floorÂ
(Rachel Aukes, Pip Ballentine, P.C. Haring, Lettie Prell, Kathryn Sullivan, Joe Haldeman, Glen Cook, Daniel Heck, Adam Whitlatch, Tee Morris)
1 – 2 p.m., Nebraska – Lower Level
A discussion panel honoring our Ghost of Honor, Nikola Tesla. (Mitch Thompson, Kathryn Sullivan, Brad Fleener, Bill Davis, Tee Morris)
Epic Tea Time with Alan Rickman*
2 – 3 p.m., ConSuite (5th floor)
Sadly, Alan Rickman had a scheduling conflict and was unable to attend. Also, his risk of overturning the setting made the event a health hazard. Instead, we offer GoH Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, and Aly Grauer to entertain you all with tea etiquette, legends and lore, what to serve with tea, and steampunk goodness. Also, people are welcome to bring knitting, needlepoint, and other genteel activities. (Alyson Grauer, Pip Ballentine, Tee Morris)
4 – 5 p.m., Stage Programming – Main floor
(Kevin Roche, Joe Haldeman, Gay Haldeman, Andrew Trembley, Lojo Russo, Susan Leabhart, Tee Morris)
Reading from The Diamond Conspiracy
9 – 10 p.m., T.B.A.
(Tee Morris & Pip Ballantine)
Podcasting â€” Where to Begin
9 – 10 a.m., Kansas – Lower Level
You want to launch your own podcast? Podcasters experienced and new guide you through all that you need to get started and how to plan your content. (Tee Morris)
What Are You Watching?
10 – 11 a.m., Kansas – Lower Level
The past season of Science Fiction on television offered a wide range from cyberpunk to suspense. What are you watching? Almost Human? Helix? Or are you waiting for the return of Continuum and Defiance? Come on. Letâ€™s talk television. (Tee Morris)
Sunday 3 – 4 p.m., Stage Programming – Main floor
As you can see itâ€™s going to be a busy weekend.
So in between geeing out over spy-fi (spycraft in Science Fiction and Fantasy), New Zealand pies, and finding out that even the greats like Poe faced the same struggles as we did, I asked Elizabeth â€œGot any advice for me, Obi-Wan, on how to be a good Guest of Honor?â€ She offered her own perspective on what it means to be a GoH, but something she always returned to was â€œaccessibility.â€ To be a good GoH means youâ€™re approachable, gregarious, and within eyesight, which is exactly what Iâ€™ll be the moment we touch down in Des Moines, Iowa.
I hope to see some of you this weekend. Being the 25th Anniversary of DemiCon, this promises to be a fantastic event. I still remember fondly my first visit to this event, an am thrilled to take the Iron Throne for a weekend.
See you soon!