The simply marvelous Marmots....

Conventions are always energizing...with a chance to chat with writers, artists, readers, and other interesting people. Having just spent a wonderful weekend at Spo Con, I'll be saying "Make mine Marmot" for days ... and that's without attending their traditional Scotch tasting.

A lovely bunch of people organized three days of panels and events, and (bless their wise heads and kind hearts) programmed enough spare time for strolls through Spokane's lovely Riverside Park. Just having a chance to enjoy warm temperatures and brilliant blue skies would have lured me to the drier, sunnier side of Washington state.  However, there were many more attractions than that!

The weekend provided the opportunity to hear some of my longtime writing heroes speak about their commitment to the art (CJ Cherryh and Peter Beagle, oh my!).  Also I met some wonderful writers and now have a whole new list for my bookstore forays:  Jane Fancher, Fallon Jones, Kaye Thornbugh, S.A. Bolich, and M.H. Bonham, among others.

A very big thank is due to my friend and fellow Forgotten Realms scribe Erik Scott de Bie for introducing me to the marvelous Marmots. Beside the con gave me a chance to hear him read more Lady Vengeance and Stardust from the Cobalt City Double Feature (Erik also provides the voice of Stardust for their award-winning podcasts).

A second huge thank you is due to Kathy McCracken, who wrangled writers with charm and gentility and lots of great reminder emails.  Unfortunately, I didn't always get the names of the other Marmots who made the weekend so memorable, but I can assure you that the hospitality room was beyond hospitable, the security guys always kindly in pointing this wrong-way gal in the right direction, and the moderators absolutely brilliant in keeping discussions on track and making sure that people's questions were answered.

If you're looking for a con in 2013, do consider a visit to Spokane....but be sure to leave room for me.

Me, Fallon Jones (no relative but neat to meet!), Kay Thornbrugh, Jane Fancher, and CJ Cherryh
discuss how to get through the Muddle in the Middle at Spo Con. Picture by Kathy McCracken.


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