Baycon 2012 Recap

by Emerian Rich

Baycon 2012 Recap
As always we had an awesome time at Baycon. It’s great to see everyone you’ve missed for a year and it has me wishing I saw everyone more often. I’m not the type of author that has a lot of time and money to go to all the different Cons, so Baycon is a special time when I can be in that world and share my gift without my seven-year-old singing Backyardigans songs in the background. If you have a chance to go to any Con, I would suggest Baycon. Of the Cons I’ve attended, they are the nicest, most attentive staff on the circuit. The fans that attend Baycon are mostly lifelong attendees, but admit newbies in with a welcoming acceptance that makes you want to come back. No matter where your interests lie, be it gaming, writing, reading, costuming, art, or fandom, they have an avenue for you to explore! They even welcome horror freaks like me to their fold!

Baycon 2012 Play-By-Play, Tweet Style
One thing I promised my followers this year was that I would tweet everything I did. I have been known to leave twitter followers hanging when I go to a Con, so I did my very best to tweet away.

Tweet /  24 May – We’ve checked in the hotel @ #Baycon yeah! Miss u Ari!
Thursday, my husband and I checked into the hotel. We always like to go a day early. For us, Baycon is the one time a year we can get away from our normal lives and our son. Often, our days are jammed packed with pre-Con activities and then Con is always a mile-a-minute, so it’s nice to take a breath before the madness starts. The hotel on Thursday has a sort of batten-down-the-hatches, a storm is blowing in, kinda feel. I love it. Check-in is easy because only a few people (mostly staff) are there and it’s great to be rested for the next day’s activities. We always go to the restaurant down the street for a pre-Con meal. It’s called Bennigans and has an American take on an Irish Pub kind of atmosphere. This year it was super crowded with Happy Hour techies and they’ve changed their menu a bit. I missed my best friend Ari being there this year. She’s super supportive and just nice to have around. I survived… but only just. 

Tweet / 25 May – Morning #Baycon ers! Art show opens @ 12 tdy. Gonna bid on anything?
Friday morning, I woke with a smile on my face. Baycon would commence in a few hours and I was filled with excitement and a bit of nerves. I was to teach a class later that afternoon with my laptop and a projector involved. Technology always adds a bit of the unknown and I was worried something would go wrong. Nothing did, but I’m a worry wart sometimes.

Tweet / 25 May#Baycon Art is set up! 5 items to bid on. Got our badges. Now time for brekkie.
The first order of business was putting up my art at the gallery. While I have had my art in shows before, this was the first time it was in Baycon’s art show. The experience was good. If I do it again, I will definitely bring more work and perhaps mat them. Last year there were a lot of pieces like mine, black and white, not matted, so I did not know what to expect.
The hotel is nice enough to offer a buffet at the restaurant during Baycon. This is awesome because I am allergic to many things which makes it hard to order from a menu like theirs with so many different gourmet items. The buffet is also nice because you can get in and out without waiting a long time and missing panels you might be rushing off to.

Tweet / 25 May#Baycon sitting @ table chatting with @hroulo 🙂
Every year we try to have a fan table where horror fans can come and get cards, flyers, postcards, and free goodies. We set it up and then man it whenever we can. Laurel Anne Hill, H. E. Roulo, and I took turns manning it when we weren’t in panels. It was a great place to meet new and old HorrorAddicts.

Tweet / 25 May#Baycon opening ceremonies! Kollin brothers have switched head gear!
Opening ceremonies started out a bit rocky, since none of the GOH’s were there. They showed up pretty quick and among their number were friends Dani and Eytan Kollin, the authors of The Unincorporated Man. They are always entertaining to have around. The first thing I noticed (I was a fashion major, sorry) is that Dani was wearing a hat and Eytan was without his bandana! What is the world coming too!? Other guests were Brandon Sanderson, Stephen Martiniere, and Scott and Cathy Beckstead.

Tweet / 25 May#Baycon sushi with @hroulo & then Home Decor with the Fan in Mind!
Heather and I caught a quick snack at the sushi bar and headed to the Fan Home Décor panel. One of my friends D.M. Atkins was on the panel and I knew with the busy schedules we both had, I wouldn’t get to see her much. Entertaining to listen to how others organize their fan gear (or don’t).

Tweet / 25 May – #Baycon about 2 start charrie slambook class in camino real. Come see!
My How to Create Character Slam Books class was awesome. All the tech worked well, pretty much plug and play. We had a well-rounded audience, some interested in the Role Playing Game side of things and some into the writer aspects of the class. Heather even added her two cents whenever I needed a breath. Everyone seemed really interested and asked a lot of questions. Thank you to all who came and participated! It was really fun teaching this, I’d love to teach it again.
Tweet / 25 May#Baycon charrie slambook class went awesome!

Tweet / 25 May#Baycon @ Meet the Guests. 🙂
We were a little late for the Meet the Guests this year, it was a tight fit between the Charrie Slam Book Class and when it started, but when we arrived there were still a few spots left at the writer’s workshop tables. Meet the Guests is always a great time to meet the other guests and participants. I reconnected with Flagship Editor, Philip “Norvaljoe” Carroll, Writer’s Workshop Guru, Sandy Saidak, and tons of other people that I only see once a year.  Also met some new people and you know how I love that! One of them, A. E. Marling has a project online where you can submit a word about what fantasy means to you. As I understand it, the more votes, the bigger the word on his word art layout. Sounds like fun to be a part of this. I also met Beth Barany who I will be speaking with at the San Mateo County Fair this June. As for the program at Meet the Guests, it was classic Kollin brothers mayhem. They played off their title of “Toastmasters” and made a toast medley. Never since Talkie the Toaster has there been so much excitement over bread products! Add in a few Beatles songs, toast cannons, and a toasted bread color chart and you have an entertaining evening full of carbs! The fact that the carbs did not add to our waistline was a plus! Tweet / 25 May#Baycon all u need is toast! Lmao

Tweet / 25 May#Baycon I never realize how much I suck until I try 2 Regency Dance. What a freakin’ klutz I am!
I may have many talents, but Regency Dance is not one of them. I’ve known this for some time, but realized what the problem is just this year. I always thought it was about rhythm, but as a music maven, how could I be so off? No… the problem is… my short legs and feet make it impossible to master against Sasquatches. Granted, everyone above 5.5 is a giant to me, but if they had a troupe of little people or at least those of us at 5 foot or below, I think I could fare much better.  I find myself taking 2 steps to everyone’s 1 and that makes me way behind. The dance master has at times had that gleam in his eye as if he would like to pummel me into the dance floor with his cane, so until a height challenged troupe is devised, I shall happily observe from the sidelines. Heather Roulo, however is a wonderful dancer and is known to skip out on panels just to attend the dance! So, if you have the hankering to dance and she is in the room, please, do not hesitate to ask. As for me, kindly wave and move along.

Tweet / 26 May#Baycon self promotion for writers now in winchester!
Saturday morning started off with a great panel featuring me, Dani Kollin, Jaym Gates, and Tony N. Todaro. I always love these types of panels because the speakers often have even more ideas for me to use with my own career. Dani and Tony I’ve known for awhile, but this was the first time I’ve really heard Jaym in action. What an intelligent, beautiful woman full of worth! Had I known about her before, I would have tried to listen to more of her panels. She is definitely a person to watch. I think the highlight of the morning for me was walking up to the panel and seeing a Baycon attendee sporting my book cover (Night’s Knights) in his hat! Now, that is awesome!

Tweet / 26 May#Baycon heading down for writer’s workshop 3 great stories written by new writers.
The writer’s workshop this year was one of the highlights of the con for me. Often, when asked to critique new writer’s work, I feel like I’m not quite the person they should be asking for advice. Yes, I have a few novels and a dozen or so short stories under my belt, but I still feel like I am learning every day. Often in a writer’s workshop session, the submitters are too nervous to speak normally and the critters are so interested in getting across their points, that the conversation has a decidedly one-sided slant. However, the experience this year seemed so different. All three of the authors are ready to be published, meaning, they all three had a strong grasp of grammar and a solid idea to back it up. Because this is a SciFi/Fantasy con, the stories tend to run on that side of the genre fence, but one of the gals had a story that I would buy today. I really hope that she pursues her dream of becoming an novelist so that I can buy it soon and tell everyone about it. The pros on the panel were me, Dario Ciriello, C. Sanford Lowe, and Sandy Saidak. I learned a lot from them as well. I knew what a great person Sandy was before, since I had been in the writer’s workshop way back in 2007 with her. Dario and Candy impressed me with their knowledge and background. It was hard to concentrate on what I would say to the gals while I was scribbling notes the other pros brought up for my own use! Fabulous session and I hope all the gals continue pursuing their dream.
Tweet / 26 May#Baycon great writers workshop panel! 3 great writers!

Tweet / 26 May#Baycon quick trip 2 art show and then to Trends in Art!
One of my goals this year was to submit my art to the art show. I couldn’t help but go back to see if there were bids. I also wanted to see if there was anything that I wanted to bid on. Nothing this year for me. I did buy one of the artist guests of honor, Stephen Martiniere’s books. His art is so inspiring. It’s like you can feel yourself there in the book. I took it and quickly ran to the Trend in Art panel to get a signature.

Tweet / 26 May#Baycon ate, checked out dealer room & bought awesome spinning clock sphere. Then games w/ @hroulo
Tweet / 26 May@hroulo just taught me the official way 2 eat chicken wings. Not that I will eat them, but I know how if I want 2!
Heather and I took the afternoon to relax a little. With all the panels and running here and there, it was nice to chat, walk the dealer room, and goof off in the game room. Basement Books was nice enough to house our books on their table (thank you!). The dealer room was busting with items I’d like to take home, but I settled on a birthday gift for myself quite quickly. There was this awesome sphere clock that spins from Butterfly Frillies & Corsets that I simply had to have. Heather conned me into going to the game room and we played a few games that I hadn’t played before. Zombie dice and something called Quibbles? We made up our own rules when the game rules weren’t working for us. With a bit of lag between our last panel and the Klingon Slave auction, I took the chance to work on editing my MS for Undecided. I’m almost done and the fact that Baycon interrupted that edit flow I had going, kind of irritated me. I got a good 60 pages finished before I started nodding off from sleep deprivation.

Tweet / 26 May#Baycon whoooo hooooo Klingon Slave Auction!
The Klingon Slave Auction is always a great time. I think it ties for best with the Belly Jam every year for me. This year, there weren’t any fire drills to break up the atmosphere and it’s for a good cause- this year Make a Wish Foundation. Great fun had by all!

Tweet / 26 May#Baycon burlesque show time!
The Baycon Burlesque show was not what I had in mind at all. There were some acts that were great, others not so much. I think my favorite was the one where the dancer came out with a Little Shop of Horrors head on and sang, “Feed me!” There were no pictures allowed for obvious reasons, but what a crazy lineup! I don’t think I’ve ever seen burlesque and SciFi mixed in such a way.
Tweet / 26 May#Baycon ok not the kind of burlesque I was expecting but still entertaining.

Sunday morning is not my favorite morning of the con. For some reason I have the hardest time getting up that day. Usually I send my friends and husband down to do their brekkie and am panels so I can be slow and get ready at my own pace. This time they put Iron Editors on at 10am! So I kinda had to rise, but I was still late. I love watching the quick on the spot edit and it helps me learn more about my own work. Marty Halpern is always there and he is the guru of editing. He’s been my hero for awhile now, but at the same time, I would be terrified to show my work to him. Yikes! Still, if you’re looking for a great editor, he is A+.

Tweet / 27 May#Baycon Horror Reading right now in Camino Real.
Tweet / 27 May#Baycon @hroulo did a great #zombie read! Come to Camino Real to hear more!
Tweet / 27 May#Baycon I just read. Went really good! Still time to hear Laurel read! Come to Camino Real!
The Horror Themed Reading went really well I think. Heather Roulo read some from her upcoming zombie novel, Zombie Dome, I read a few passages from my upcoming novel Artistic License, and Laurel Anne Hill and Jay Hartlove followed us. I think we all did rather well.

Tweet / 27 May#Baycon don’t miss the wicked women writers panel @ 7:30 Bayshore.
Tweet / 27 May#Baycon Wicked Women Writers panel 7:30pm and official The Wicked launch!
Tweet / 27 May#Baycon so sad its drawing 2 a close but still 2 more panels to come be with me. 7:30pm Bayshore. Be there! Goodies to take home!
The last two panels were a great way to finish off the con.

First, the Wicked Women Writer’s panel, where Heather, Laurel, and I talked about our group and our new book, The Wickeds. We met a few new ladies who are eager to join, and that is awesome. The Wicked Women Writers group really is a great way to bond with other women authors – a sort of support group to help no matter what stage you are in.

Second, the Horror Addicts BOF – Which was basically just a chat session with a whole bunch of horror guys. It was super fun and exciting to talk about horror in a place where you are usually surrounded with a whole bunch of SciFi/Fantasy stuff. Not that we don’t like that sort of stuff too, but I felt like those who attended were really hungry for chatting with other horror addicts like themselves. It went really well and I gave out some trick or treat sort of gifts at the end.
Tweet / 27 May#Baycon last 2 panels of con were AWESOME! Don’t want 2 go home. Thx HorrorAddicts! Gr8 2 c u!

Hall costumes were somewhat lacking this year. Or, I was just too busy to check them out. My vote for favorite this year is Rhawnie Pino, dressed as Titania, Queen of the Fae.

Overall Baycon 2012 was a smashing success. If you haven’t been to Baycon, you should think about going next year. Especially because it’s 2013, the spookiest year to attend!

Tweet / 28 May – #Baycon So sad it’s almost over. Will miss being in our world away from the mundanes.

 Baycon 2013

H. E. Roulo’s Recap of Baycon 2012