A few years ago I had no idea how many literary symposiums and conventions there were out there. Then I got a short story published and everything changed. Now, they seem to be all over the state. I'm sure the same could be said for Colorado, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada. If I wanted to, I could most likely attend a convention that benefits writers every weekend.
One of the conventions I had never heard of before last year was Conduit, a local science fiction and fantasy convention held in Utah each year. Last year's event was held in connection with the first ever FantasyCon so Conduit got lost in the mix. This year it was all by itself.
I was asked to participate on one panel, Geek Parenting. I love those kinds of panels. You're pretty sure what you're going to get from both the panelists and those there to listen to them. The panel was held in the strangest room for a panel that I've ever been in. It was right next to the swimming pool. Had someone been swimming during our discussion, we would not have been able to hear ourselves talk.
On our panel was me, Tom Carr (one of the very first people I ever met at a convention...) and John Olsen, fellow Xchyler writer. We had nine people attend, including two youths. We pointed out that those who brought their kids to the convention were on their way to successful Geek Parenting.
I saw fellow writer friends--Holli Anderson and Jason King pictured above--and even attended a panel on the latest Star Wars movie developments. I wish I could have stayed for other panels and to hear Sarah Seeley, Xchyler Author extraodinaire, when she gave a reading.
When I attended my first convention I had no idea how they worked, what I was supposed to do or much of anything. Now after a couple of years, things have changed--and for the better. You might say, I'm now a "Professional."