Home » CONsummation: LibertyCon After Action Report Part 2b, Saturday.

CONsummation: LibertyCon After Action Report Part 2b, Saturday.

lc28-bannerThis is part 3 of an increasingly inaccurately named trilogy of posts. Follow the links for Part 1 and Part 2.

And we come to Saturday and the real fun begins. Panels started at 10AM and ran until 1AM. Yep, AM skipping right through the PM back into AM. So for those of you with short attention spans or limited coffee break time, the TL;DR version: We had fun.

So, of course, it was important to start our day with a good breakfast. We headed over to the restaurant and feasted on a typical Southern breakfast buffet: scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, sausage links, bacon, grits, (I may have been the only person eating the grits; I got several funny looks from the other tables as I filled my bowl.) fruit and bacon. Lissa has issues with gluten, so she went with a more modest platter, heavier on the bacon, skipping the biscuits and gravy. And the grits.

I don’t get the fear surrounding grits. Is it the name? It’s ground up corn, hominy to be precise, and prepared properly, it’s excellent. A little salt, more pepper and plenty of butter, it’s like breakfast popcorn! If you have kids, replace the salt and pepper with sugar and you have breakfast candy corn! Winner either way!

Anyway, after eating we moseyed over to the Huckster room. I got Mike Williamson to sign his newest book for me, and we talked about it for a couple of minutes. I forgot to ask him whether he named two characters Felix Trinidad and Bob Barker because he lost a bet, which is probably just as well. Something you need to know about Mike; he doesn’t just play a smart ass on the Internet. He plays one in real life as well! He is quick witted and can be abrasive and acerbic if the situation merits it, but I also saw him with his family, and it is apparent that the Mad Mike persona is one small part of the whole man.

On the other hand, it is a very loud, small part.

At 11:00, we hit our first real scheduling dilemma. I was interested in going to Chuck Gannon’s Trial by Fire panel and Lissa was interested in seeing the Flying Von Hoyt family players. The Hoyts eked out a narrow win since the possibility of mayhem was higher with them than with Chuck.

hoytreadingAs we were walking over to the American Car, we saw Sarah and Kate approaching the car, then Sarah realized she had left something behind and had to go back for it. AS she dashed off to retrieve whatever it was, we entered the car. Robert was regaling the crowd with tales of something or other as we found our seats. Dan showed up a few minutes later, then Sarah showed up and there was a debate over which panel she had left her name card at. Dan left to find it and not 15 seconds later, she pulled it from her purse. Another member ran to get Dan, and the panel was ready to start.

Yeah, right. Sarah didn’t have anything to read, and Robert didn’t trust the Choo-Choo’s open wifi to log onto his server to get his story. We, their faithful followers, came to the rescue. One person handed Sarah their iPad with one of her books on it and I gave Robert my phone to use as a hot spot.

Carpe the denim...

Carpe the denim…

And somewhere in there, Lissa got carped. It made her day.

As I read back over this, it might sound frustrating, unorganized and annoying but it was the furthest thing from that. Yes, there were organizational issues, but instead of being an occasion to grumble, it was an occasion to laugh, relax, and have fun with each other. I think I can speak for the rest of the folks in the room that it felt like we were part of the family, not just people listening to authors read. If it had gone according to plan, it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.

The readings themselves were fun, although I haven’t seen too many writers who are good at reading their books.Sarah read a few pages from one of her series, and Robert read an excerpt from his story Candyworld. I’m not going to say anything about it other than this: the fact that he is going to medical school causes me great concern. My favorite reading came from Dan, who read a tribute he wrote about a longtime friend who had just passed. It was a fan’s perfect tribute to a friend who was also a fan, and I’m not embarrassed to say that the dust in the car got to me at the end of his reading.

After the reading, it was lunch time. We still weren’t very hungry after breakfast, but I wanted to slide by the Con Suite to find out how my pulled pork was going over. We came in and the room smelled delicious. Modesty prevents me from repeating what people were saying. Well modesty and the fact that I don’t know how to spell “Mmmmhmmmthsmmmgudmmm!”

Okay, I guess I can spell it.

I’ll just say that my ego got a nice boost and leave it at that.

I wasn’t the only one getting an ego boost. Lissa and I were wearing the shirts she’d made for us for the con. Mine was a copy of the Shirtstorm shirt, and hers was a female version of the shirt, filled with half naked buff patriot looking guys. One lady said she loved that we were ‘microaggressing against the nitwits,’ which I thought was a perfect line so I stole it. Lissa was happily telling people that not only did she make the shirts, she ironed them as well, demonstrating just how much I was oppressing her.┬áThere were several people that asked her to make them a shirt and she collected their cards. I don’t know if she has time to make them, but we’ll see.

After lunch, it was back to the Huckster room to get autographs from Chuck Gannon and John Ringo. There are some conversations that you really don’t want to wander in at the tail end. As I walked up to the table I heard Ringo referring to Chuck saying something along the lines of “You might know him but I’ve slept with him!” There are some stories which should never be told, and once told, cannot be unheard.

I still got my autographs.

The Baen Road show was next. You know how sometimes the previews of coming attractions is better than the actual movie? The Baen show comes pretty close. I’m going to need a second job to buy all the books that sounded good. One that really stood out was the upcoming Black Tide Rising anthology. John Ringo showed the cover art, featuring scantily dressed but heavily armed cheerleaders ready to take on the xombie hordes, and then asked KC Seville, the author of that particular story, to come up and talk about it.

Now I’ve never seen an Air Force Captain helicopter pilot* squee before, and I didn’t quite see it this time because she did her level best to contain her joy, but it showed through anyway and it was very cool to see. There’s something awesome about seeing somebody get rewarded for their hard work, and as I mentioned before, that is a common theme running through LibertyCon.

After the slideshow, we went back to the Dealer Room. Lissa browsed while I got autographs from David Drake and David Weber. Mr Weber’s hand was going numb, so I picked a single book to get signed so he could sign more of others in the line. We talked about turning pens for a moment as I noticed he was using a nice one for signing.

After that, we went back to the Con Suite for ice cream and sat with a couple we hadn’t met before. We talked about the con, about our shirts, how much fun everything was, and just relaxed a bit.

Next up was Cedar Sanderson’s reading, which turned into a home schooling Q&A. Again, this was a feature, not a bug. It was a more organic experience as it just moved with the moment. One person asked her a question about it, then another, and it just happened. It was very cool and a lot of fun. I think it played to LibertyCon’s biggest strength. When you’re there, you’re all part of the family. Some may be pros and others just fans, but in today’s fluid publishing world, that’s becoming a very fluid distinction.

Cedar finished a little early which was perfect because Lissa wanted Sarah’s autograph, so off we went back to the Huckster room. Lissa asked me to try to find a copy of Darkship Thieves since all I had were Darkship Renengades and A Few Good Men. Little did I know that this was just a devious plot on her part because when I came back from a fruitless search, she had already gotten both books inscribed to her! Not us, her!

But I fixed her. When we got home, I put them on the top shelf of the bookcase where she can’t reach!

We skipped dinner because after the ice cream we weren’t really hungry and went to two more panels, Costuming and Comics vs Media. Both fun panels and it was interesting comparing opinions on comic book movies old and new. Nobody mentioned Swamp Thing though. The walking vegetable just doesn’t get enough love it seems.

Dinner al fresco. The food was naked. Not us. As far as you know.

Dinner al fresco. The food was naked. Not us. As far as you know.

So now we were hungry so we went back to our rooms to eat some of the food we brought along. crackers, cheese, turkey, a little beef jerky, grape tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli. Well Lissa ate broccoli. Blech.

And then it was on to the Mad Scientist panel where for two hours we listened to people on the cutting edge of research discuss some of the top science stories of the year. Topics included brain manipulation through electro-stimulation to combat MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s; artificial pancreases to combat diabetes, using lasers for Close in Weapons systems for Navy ships, using lasers to launch satellites, and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. It was fascinating, entertaining, thought provoking, and slightly scary.

It ended at 1AM, as did our day. We headed back to our room to grab some sleep before rendezvousing with the Huns for breakfast at the City Cafe Diner.

But that’s a tale for another day.

*For some reason, I thought KC was a Marine. Apparently she is bad-ass enough for the Marines and smart enough for the Air Force!


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