This past weekend, I drove to Milton, Delaware to spend the weekend with my RDSP family at our annual event, DogCon. This year marked our five year anniversary with the conference, and every year that I attend, I find myself more and more thankful that I met Jennifer and John. You see, one of my favorite parts about being an RDSP author (and fan, and editor) is being able to be a part of the fabulous community of readers and writers that they have gathered over the years. That alone was why I didn’t mind leaving my apartment early Saturday morning and driving six hours to the beach house only to come back home the next day, because in the end, I got to see what has very much become my extended family, and no amount of distance can keep me away from spending time with such lovely people.
Now I focus on this sense of community because writing is an extremely lonely career. Essentially, we sit in a room and talk to ourselves and our characters for hours on end most days out of the week, and to a degree, where we’re out in the real world not writing, there is a definite sense of guilt that we should be composing and inventing instead of having fun. That’s why these gatherings are so important. Not only do they serve as beautiful and energetic creative boosters, but they let all of us reconnect and hug each other and tell each other stories about life and fantasy while being supported and encouraged in our creative endeavors and day-to-day life.
For instance, when I walked into the house, I was immediately met with hugs and laughs (and booze) and I instantly felt refreshed and awake and so unbelievably happy. I got to chat about upcoming projects, listen to some manuscript pitches, meet new friends and catch up with old ones, drink whiskey in the ocean with Jim and Janice Leach, laugh until I felt my abs with Blake Burkhead and William Hamilton, and have a slumber party with my girl, Jessica McHugh, where we stayed up laughing most of the night and were only summoned in the morning by the delicious smell of bacon.
In addition to an unforgettable Cards Against Humanity game with the crew, and a lot of cackling and debauchery with Arnzen, Jennifer also provided us with fabulous meals, a warm environment, and then introduced us all to the ever-fabulous Beverly Bambury, who gave us marketing and publicity tips and was just an absolute joy to be around and get to know.
J. L. Gribble and I also got to represent at the Reader’s Choice Award ceremony, where my selfie-partner and dear friend, Matt Betts, took the belt for a second time. I’ll be passing it along to him at our Halloween poetry reading at Alter-Ego Comics later this month…where we’ll be dressed as a zombified version of The White Stripes singing Blue Orchid, er, I mean, talking about monsters.
All in all, the trip was a blast and I’m so happy I went. I’ve been juggling a lot lately and making a ton of new and exciting adjustments in my life, and this trip just solidified the fact that surrounding myself with people who make me happy is an absolute blessing, and necessity, in life. I’m so happy that I got to see all of you and that we got to spend some much-needed time together. I want to give another big thank you to Jennifer and John for everything that they do for us, and for the press, and say how much I personally appreciate it.
Just please don’t let Joe run around in that morphsuit again.