Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I Learned at WFC 2011

  • A Conference is not a Convention.
A convention like ComicCon or DragonCon can be a lot of fun, because it's mostly a casual gathering of fans, all dressed up, with a few serious panels here and there (this isn't completely true, but I'm trying to illustrate a point here). A conference like WFC (which is technically called a convention, if you look at the website, but I'm changing it, because, again, my point) is a much more serious affair. Almost no one dresses in costume, and everyone is carrying business cards and other promotional materials. Writer, Editor, Agent, every single publishing professional there is well prepared to promote themselves and their work.

I don't have a book to sell yet, so I didn't get any business cards made up or anything. Note to self: next time, come prepared.
  • Macallan 10-year-old Cask Strength Scotch is probably the most well crafted and high quality spirit I will ever imbibe.
Maybe it was the company, but when Andrew Smith shared some of this very special Scotch with me and my friends, Simon Larter, Jessica Corra, Sara McClung, and Carolina Miller, it made for the best conversations, and my favorite moments of the Con.
  • Neil Gaiman is brilliant.
Yes I met him, briefly. He was eating breakfast with his friends at the table next to Simon and me on the last day, and we took a moment to shake his hand and tell him we loved his work, but I also got to see him speak a few times and have a conversation with Connie Willis (I wasn't stalking, it was a kind of panel), and the man is the perfect character to play a rock star writer. Funny, brilliant, kind and honest, he rocked the Con.
  • The San Diego Town and Country Resort.
Is not actually another dimension based on 1972 Miami washed of any color saturation by too much alcohol and sleep deprivation, but it sure as hell seemed like it.

All right. So I could go on about things I learned, but this post is getting too long, and I need to just get to the pictures. Here we go:


If it wasn't for the fact that we only have half of Ricki Shultz's lovely smile, this would be the best photo I have. We had a waitress at the bar take this, and she cut Ricki off (not from booze, from the photo). As far as everyone else, in case you don't know these people, from left to right this is: Kiersten White, Sara McClung, LK Gardner-Griffie, Shannon Messenger, Andrew Smith, Carolina Valdez Miller, me, Derek Molata, Ricki Schultz, and then Simon Larter is squatting in front of us so you can't tell how short he is.


You should recognize Simon and myself (in spite of my ridiculous facial expression) by now, so I'll only link you to Jessica Corra, even though I already did once, above. This was at lunch at Taste of Thai on Saturday.


This is everyone at lunch, the same day. The only person in here I have not linked to yet is Jane Kindred.


This was outside the British Wine and Cheese party on Saturday. It was not as glamorous as it sounds.This is Ricki Schultz, Amber Van Dyk, Alexia Chamberlynn, me, and Holly McDowell.


This is the ladies at the Taste of Thai. You already know who they are, even if you didn't know they could get this happy. It was because of Jess, Simon and me.


Last photo I'm putting up, because I just didn't take that many good ones. In case you can't tell, that's Simon, Ricki, Derek, and me. Simon and I are inebriated. Three sheets to the wind. Drunk as lords. I could go on.

Anyway, that's it for today. I'll try to share a few nuggets of wisdom with you tomorrow as well.

57 comments:

Stephanie Lorée said...

Great pictures! I wish I had gotten in on one. It was awesome to meet you and everyone else. Here's hoping we can do it again sometime!

Suzie F. said...

You got to meet Neil Gaiman?! And I adore Kiersten White Jealous!

Looks like you had a fantastic time with a lot of great people. Thanks for sharing your pics!

Jessica Bell said...

LOL. You look like you had a really great time. And I would pretty damn surprised if you DIDN'T get drunk!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

You look well-oiled in that last one.

Good times!

Wendy G. Ewurum: Blog Author said...

I saw you met Neil Gaiman and everything went h
Kinda hazy from there. He is a Demi god.

Robyn Lucas said...

how awesome! Looks like you really enjoyed yourself.

*cracks whip*

Now, get back to writing ;)

Ricki Schultz said...

Aww - fun times!! No worries about the half-face pic. It's my good side -- or something. :)

Marta Szemik said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing the pics.
Marta

storyqueen said...

Totally right about the Town and Country!!!

Looks like you had a great time...the last pic is toooo funny!!!

Can't wait to read more.

Shelley

Little Ms. Fun said...

Sounds like you had a great time! You have a whole year to create some sort of fancy business card. Love the pictures!

Slamdunk said...

Good to see some familiar smiling faces.

Sounds like fun--and learning a few things isn't bad either.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

you SHOOK NEIL GAIMAN'S HAND!?!?!?!
REALLY!?!?!?
REALLY!???!
*faints*
*wakes up*
sounds like a blast! now, what did you learn?

Michael G-G said...

Good to see you getting in touch with your inner Hemingway. Yes, that is a very good Scotch.

Looking forward to tomorrow's pearls of wisdom.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for shaking Neil Gaiman's hand - you lucky so and so! LOL! Awww but lovely to see you and gorgeous Shannon and stunning Carolina! Wow!!!

British cheese I thoroughly get... but wine?!?! Really!! I must try some! Yay!!!

No - a conference is definitely NOT a convention of the Star Trek kind...!! LOL!

Take care
x

Chris Phillips said...

Looks like a good time. Will have to try that scotch.

Eric W. Trant said...

That's awesome! Perhaps your best wisdom yet imparted regarding the scotch. Now ~there's~ something I can use.

How awesome to meet Gaiman. I recently read a couple of his books (the kind without pictures) to freshen up on his voice and style, and because I genuinely enjoy his work. That guy is a writer's writer, writes whatever needs writing the way it needs to be written.

- Eric

LTM said...

ahh, these pix are so great. It looks like you guys had a blast. Almost makes me wish I wrote fantasy... LOL! Very cool times~ :o)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

It was great hanging with you, Matt! A truly memorable time. Love the photos. Wish we'd taken more Saturday night. Perhaps one just of the Scotch. Although...who needs a picture to remember it? ;)

Great times, for sure.

Charissa Weaks said...

Look out world...It's quite possible you absorbed some of Gaiman's brilliance through sheer genius osmosis. I'M ENVIOUS. All I can say. Glad you had such a good time :)

Michael Offutt said...

I'm jealous that you've rubbed elbows with Neil Gaiman. I've received two tweets from him. It is my goal in life to collect as many as possible.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You met a lot of cool blogger buddies! And yes, you look loopy in that last shot.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

That's so cool! Looks like you had a fantastic time. :)

J. A. Bennett said...

I love writers conferences! Looks like it was a blast :)

Derek Molata said...

Fantastic time, and it was great to meet you. Next year!

Kelly Polark said...

Looks like a fabulous event with some fabulous people! Wish I could have tried the Scotch with you all there! (Okay, just hang out, I don't think I could handle Scotch! :)

And wow! Neil Gaiman!!!!

Bryan Russell said...

You look sort of badass.

Lola Sharp said...

See, this time it was YOU in the middle of the party! :)

I'm glad you had so much fun.

Huggles,
Lola

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Totally jealous that you got to meet Neil Gaiman... lucky!

Joshua said...

I thought the scotch was the best part, but meeting Neil Gaiman? Color me jealous!

Rusty Webb said...

I'm glad it's socially acceptable to get drunk at conferences. Work would be so much more fun if that were true in my day job.

Elana Johnson said...

So much fun! Glad you had a good time. No one cares about the classes and such--it's all about the MEALS!

Shannon said...

Looks like you had a great time, Matt. So glad you were able to go go a conference. Can't wait to hear about what you learned!

maine character said...

Thanks for the recap! I knew half those people, and now I know the rest. (And who to watch out for when I meet them.)

Love the Yoda t-shirt!

Ted Cross said...

Man, I totally don't fit in with you and Simon, seeing as how I'm a teatotaller (who doesn't even drink tea)! Glad you had a good time.

Johanna Garth said...

Those pics are great. Looks like so much FUN!

Angela Brown said...

Awesome pictures. Looks like a great time was had by all. Glad you came away with a lot of lessons learned, along with the perfect scotch.

Anita said...

Thanks! Got it. Business cards and booze.

Carrie said...

Looks like a fun conference. Also you got to meet Neil Gaiman, that's totally awesome.

Wine and Words said...

Oh Gawd. Conventions. I hate 'em. So many people. You know me and people. We avoid each other like the plague. The only good thing about conventions is booths with free goodies.....pencils, mugs, sticky notes, fun sized candy bars if you're lucky.

But hey....YOU looked like you had a great time. I'm smiling for you and your buds!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Wish we'd gotten to hang out more than we did, but it was awesome to FINALLY meet you. We must make it happen again--soon!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Sounds like you had a great time. And you're right, there's a big difference between a conference and a convention.

Does it compromise a fan/writer to show up in costume? Just wondering. ;)

mshatch said...

and Connie Willis, too? I'm envious. looking forward to nuggets of wisdom :)

D.G. Hudson said...

Looks like everyone enjoyed themselves. But did any writing get done??

I prefer the conferences myself. Recently attended the SIWC, and have posted about what I learned on my blog.

Must be the season.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

awww man! It looks like you guys had so much fun!
Also, you look so tall in those photos!

Kristen Pelfrey said...

I can only beam, and bask in reflected glory.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Simon drunk? I didn't think that was possible.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like it was awesome. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Would have loved to meet everyone.

★ Sara McClung ★ said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome con!! I'm so glad we got to hang out, Matt :) It needs to happen again--and SOON!

Heaven. said...

Great photos!

alexia said...

It's so fun reading everyone's WFC posts! You are good to have gotten so many pics! I didn't get any :(

Oh, and I realized I was already following your blog! I'll have to be a better blog visitor now.

Jessica Love said...

I'm so jealous!

Simon C. Larter said...

In my defense, the drink in my hand in that last pic is San Pellegrino. What? I needed to rehydrate!

<.<

But it was awesome hanging with you, m'man. Let's do this again sometime. Maybe in Toronto.

Cheers!

Angela Ackerman said...

Total fun-ness. Thanks for sharing the pics, Matt! I would love to live closer to Cali and go to some of these things!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Sherrie Petersen said...

Oh, how fun!! I love Sara, Carolina and Shannon. So jealous that you got to hang out with them. I really need to go to this conference some time.

C D Meetens said...

I love your photos! It looks like you all had a great time.

Arlee Bird said...

This is a very cool post. It gets me more psyched up for the BlogWorld Conference and Expo that I'll be attending this weekend in L.A. I don't know how many if any bloggers that I am familiar with I'll be meeting but it should be a interesting experience nevertheless.


Lee
A Faraway View

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Such great photos. Thanks for sharing! :)