July 19th, 2004

there!, Hello

post NECON report - initial

Well blow me.... err... down, yeah. Blow me down. Bowl me over with a feather.

As a writer, NECON was the greatest experience I've had in many moons. So much to do, so much to see, so many people to meet. Wow is all I can say. I'm sad it's over, and cannot wait for next year.

Salve Regina is a beautiful campus, whose school buildings are interspersed amongst fabulous residences and castle sized mansions (though, a fellow camper pointed out that those castle-mansions were built on the backs of sweatshops, slave ownership and ethical black spots, a point often left out of the tours). The cliff walk was astonishing, walking along a pathway next to the towering cliffs, looking at the great, silent mansions, perched to look out over the incoming breakers... What a sight. I did take pictures! I'll have to figure out how to upload them.

Thursday, we arrived with nightfall, turned around and partially confused by construction along 95 and 195 East. We arrived, checked in, and met our NECON buddy, the sweet natured, pagan friendly Morven Westfield (that's her penname, real name Mary), HWANE member and author of the novel *Darksome Thirst*. She took us about, introduced us to folks. Thursday night was a total mixer situation, just a bunch of writerly folks chatting, drinking and munching weenies. Trista and I were lost, pretty much, in a sea of bodies... Then, the ghost stories began.

Each of the Guests of Honor was supposed to tell a ghost story, but actually only Simon Clark and Tamara Thorne did, as well as the Toastmaster Gordon Linzner.

Otherwise, I was rubbernecking (Holy shit, that's Peter Straub! Holy shit, that's Jack Ketchum (pen name for Dallas Mayr)! Holy shit, it's Douglas E. Winter! Holy shit, that's Sephera Giron, and she sounds a lot more Canadian than I thought she would!) and meeting a bunch of the New England writer types (shout out to Dan Keohane, Morven, and everyone else).

About 150 people showed up, and I met about 2/3rds of them, over the course of the weekend. Maybe 25% were editors, as well as writers, and the first one we met (Gerard Hourner, creator of the *Dead Cat* character and the Beast the was Max series of books) told me to mention meeting at NECON if I ever submitted to his magazine... I got the inside scoop on some projects coming out, including a series of ghost novels to be published under a house name at Berkley (edited by Christopher Golden and Laurell K. Hamilton's editor, Ginjer Buchanan), which I've decided to put a proposal together for. Also, the Monteleone's anthology series Borderlands is now an open ended antho series, always on the lookout for good stories. The Monteleones (Elizabeth and Tom, both of them pistols, both of them really nice) are really dedicated to working with writers... Saturday, I started writing an entry for Borderlands 6, tentatively titled "My Albatross".

So much wonder, so much joy, so much networking...

However, it was very much a writer oriented thing. Trista says she had fun, too, and I found myself wondering about just how much fun she was having...

More later
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