I had a fun weekend at EerieCon 10 in Niagara Falls, NY. As usual, I met some great people, participated in fun discussions and enjoyed listening to several different speakers on panels. (That, and meeting Joe Haldeman and getting him to sign my first edition mass market paperback version of The Forever War was pretty darn thrilling) I had a fun time sitting on panels with Sephera Giron, Caro Soles, Nancy Kress, David Stephenson, John-Allen Price and Darrell Schweitzer.
One of the things that made the weekend so satisfying, I think, was the fact that my wife and son came along with me for the trip. I travel quite a bit for work, so it's always a bit hard to pull myself away from the family for my "other work" -- yes, I do consider any activity I conduct related to my writing (attending conventions is part of the networking and self-promotion activities of being a writer) to be work, regardless of whether or not it directly ties in to being paid.
But since this convention was in Niagara Falls, pretty close to home and not all that far from a great outlet mall across the border, Francine and Alexander came along. We ended up balancing my desire to attend panels and sessions with Francine's desire to get some shopping done. I was able to go to the panels I really wanted to see or participate in and we were able to have lunch and breakfast and dinner together as a family. It was the best of all possible worlds.
Sure, if I'd attended alone, I likely would have gone to more events and stayed longer on Sunday. But this was a great opportunity for me to do my writing thing AND be close to my family. And we all had an enjoyable time. And I'm hoping we can work out something similar for future convention weekends.