Everyone keeps begging for my accounting of Hypericon2. I don’t know what I can say, really, that no one else has elsewhere. :scratches head:


Zombie Manilow

Jason Sizemore

:drags out journal and copies some stuff over: Trust me, you don’t want the whole thing; it went almost four thousand words. lol

I have to admit, I spent from March until about two weeks before the con excited as hell. Couldn’t wait. Then the nerves set in. I’m not good with meeting new people. The thought turns my stomach inside out. So I was up and down. Fun. Not! :shakes head: Then Friday morning got here. I sprang out of bed, not unlike the narrator from ‘Twas the Night before Christmas, but the clatter on the lawn was Jason Sizemore coming to pick me up and whisk us on our way – and not with eight tiny reindeer. šŸ™„ Actually, I was in the living room watching Town & Country when Jason got here; I’d just gotten to the part where Warren Beatty and Gary Shandling meet Jenna Elfman when he knocked on the door. :snort:

Like he mentioned on his blog, we went down through Knoxville, which totally worked for me, btw. I’d just written, the day before, a scene of a carload of people hitting I-75 just South of Jellico Mountain at Lafollette; they stopped at Lake City for … erm … plot reasons. I’d not been that way in years and hoped my memory of the area was right. And it was. :phew: And I lied to Jason. I told him I’d not been to Knoxville since Thomas was a baby. I totally blocked from my brain all those trips I dragged Preston out of Harlan County to go to West Town Mall. lol (I mean, how can I forget singing at the top of my lungs to Yakko Warner’s Great Big Universe at the Warner Store??)

But I have to back up a bit. When we stopped at lunch, I almost had a disaster. Somehow, I caught my soda with my left boob and almost knocked it over. Jason to me to “be careful” with my “endowments”. That was just wrong all the way around.

So when we get to the hotel, I call R. Thomas Riley on my crappy cellphone, but the call goes straight to voicemail. I think, terrific, and we’ll never find each other. But it worked out. I took my stuff up to Jason’s room – and met Thomas on the elevator on the way down to the lobby to get signed in. lol I got on and there’s this familiar face, but I can’t place it. And he smiles and says, “Mari?” and I say, “Thomas?” Ha! Go figure, right? What are the odds. After that, Jason and I didn’t see each other much for the rest of the weekend. At registration, the dude couldn’t find my name, but he kept going, “I know that name. I know that name.” I asked him if he reads Apex Digest, and he does, and I looked down and found my name lying on the table. So, it was all good.

What got me about Brian Keene’s party that night was all the people who came looking for me so they could ask about Thomas (my son Thomas, not Riley) and ask questions, etc. That was touching. And bizarre – I’m so not used to people wanting to find me for any reason. lol I spent a lot of time talking with James Newman (author of Midnight Rain. if you’ve not read it, you should!), and that’s where I met Shrews (author of Godforsaken which is in my tbr pile).

The next morning Thomas and I listened to a panel on writing character dialogue. James was one of the panelists. It was a good panel, and useful, but unfortunately, the only thing I can remember is what James said. He said he had a good example of what not to do and said, “Time to milk the cow, he uttered.” Oh my!

That night we had dinner at the Hard Rock. Let’s see, it was me, writer Jason Brannon (and his wife and son), artist (and daddy of Apex #5s Fish Baby!) Alex McVey (and his friend Chris), Thomas, and writer Steven Lloyd. The picture I took of Jimi Hendrix’s USA flag shirt didn’t turn out – of course. That made me sad. But it was a good night. All told, we think we spent three hours at the Hard Rock – most of it outside in the parking lot. Our tables were crazy. Instead of pushing two square tables together, the waitstaff pushed together a square and a round. It looked like some bizarre geometric … conspiracy or experiment. I’m not sure which.

I won’t recount the Zombie Manilow here – it’s all done nicely on Brian Keene’s blog, linked above, and elsewhere. After Toni Stauffer and I caught up with Brian Keene’s room party, we flopped down on one of the beds, and I was all set to talk to Keene, I thought. That is, until Bishop (from Togo!) came in and flopped down in my lap and derailed me. Then somehow Bishop and I got to feeling up each other’s asses. gd&r He dragged Toni and me down the hall to the Phreaknik party. Bishop did tell me that I have “very kissable lips”. šŸ˜€ Some guy was in there eating a blue sucker; his mouth was all blue, and I asked him if he’d banged a Smurf; he just looked at me funny. Really, I wanted to ask him if he’d just returned from SmuckFest! (I didn’t; I figured he wouldn’t get it)

The next day, Thomas and I made one panel. After that we just sorta all hung out in the hotel lobby. I don’t see the point of too much going on on a Sunday, anyway. Everybody’s trying to leave and stuff. All weekend, I handed out my Harlan Vampire Sampler cd like it was candy – if I bought someone’s book, I gave him a cd, and so on. I accosted Geoff Girard for a copy of his Tales of the Jersey Devil there at the end and got the last one he had. I also accosted Tim Powers – yes, the Tim Powers – just for a chance to shake his hand and say hello. (should’ve slipped him a cd. ha!)

So, I catch back up with Jason, and we head home. We stopped in Unnamed Town at Cracker Barrel for lunch – we were both starving. Of course, I had to look for Pez dispensers to add to my collection and came up with two – Big Bird and Ernie. I also got this thing called a “fidget” – and honestly, I think every writer should own one. They’re a whole ninety-seven cents. It’s six 1/2-inch blogs on an elastic, but you can stretch, pull, bend, mangle, etc, this thing to death. Better than a koosh ball, imho.

I’ve probably left out half of everything, but … There it is. My HyperiCon. šŸ˜€