First off: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful Mother, who really is quite remarkable. (Her only real fault is having a birthday that falls on Tax Day here in the United States, but I blame that on the US government, which switched the day several decades ago.)
Secondly: despite the danger of this blog turn into Tom Baker Photoshop Phun Hour, I did this:
Thirdly, it’s been a while since I updated my upcoming appearances. So here we go:
I don’t do many conventions, these days. By choice, I hasten to add: I get a ton of invitations, and there are many, many conventions I’d love to do. But on the whole, it’s far better for everyone if I simply stay home, and make games and comic books and, well, frankly, deadlines.
Also, my daughter is now four years old. My perfect weekend is simply spending time with her, and my wife. And while I miss shows like GenCon and Origins terribly, by not going to them for the last several years, I saw my daughter pull herself up for the first time, and also ride her tricycle under her own power for the first time. These moments are precious and rare, the Platinum Pieces in the Great Roleplaying Game of Life to me.
That said, I do still try and get to a few conventions every year. Here’s where I’ll be for the remainder of 2013.
JOHN’S CONS, 2013
April 20, 21
Guest of Honor
Stadtteilzentrum Nordstadt (Bürgerschule)
(ehem. Schaufelder Straße 30)
(Memorial Day Weekend)
Holiday Inn CoCo Key Water Resort
Kansas City, MO
(4th of July Weekend)
Doubletree by Hilton
Guest of Honour
There is also a possibility I may be able to make it to SPIEL, in Essen, in October, and maybe also to LUCCA COMICS AND GAMES in Lucca, Italy. But that makes October (already busy with my Daughter’s birthday, and Halloween) incredibly hectic. So let’s wait on those for the moment, shall we?
What does it take to get me to a convention? Usually, it needs to be something interesting. But there are many, many interesting conventions, so what else?
- A convention has to be willing to pay travel expenses for myself, my wife, and my daughter. (I realize many conventions simply can’t do this. I do make some exceptions, but not many. Family comes first, with me.)
- Likewise, if a convention is located near family or friends that I haven’t seen in a long time, this is a Good Thing. Conventions in Europe generally mean I can fly through London and see my parents, for example. Australia? That’s where my sister lives. Etc…
- Look, I’m certainly not expecting conventions to pay the mind-boggling costs of flying me Business Class or First Class (though if you can, HEY! Let’s talk!), but I’m 6’4” tall, and I do need to at least fly Economy Plus or Economy Comfort (or whatever the various airlines call it these days). I blame this on the airlines: Delta seems to have gone out of their way to make their Economy Class seats about as comfortable as the Siege of Stalingrad. That you must upgrade to get what they call “Economy Comfort” tells you everything you need to know about the adjective that’s missing from the basic Economy class.
- I love travelling to places I’ve never been, before, and jumping into the deep-end of an area’s culture. So time for meals, some sightseeing, local stuff, etc., etc., is huge, to me.
There are other considerations as well, of course. The main one is meeting the approval of Business Manager Monica, who scowls and gets all owly when someone wants chunks of my time. In fact, now’s a pretty good time to mention that ALL convention appearance requests must go through her. You can reach her through the Feedback form on this site.
But the above tend to be the Big Four. Most conventions I attend will hit at least two or three of them. Take Stellar Con last year, for example: Being able to try the vinegar barbecue of North Carolina for the first time was amazing; I was also able to pop in on my cousin Karen and her family; and my great pal Mike Stackpole was also a GoH.
Anyway, I hope to see you at one of the cons I do. Conventions are the heart of fandom, and I love everything about them.
I simply wish I had the time to do more of them.