Okay, this weekend I did something out of my comfort zone, sort of. I attended the Houston Comicpalooza – a celebration of all things geeky, comics, Sci-Fi and fantasy.
I didn’t do it alone, hence the sort of. I dragged along some partners in crime – Belinda McBride, ZA Maxfield, Treva Harte and Christy Lockhart. Somehow, I talked them into flying to Houston and attending this event as speakers on numerous panels.
We talked about Coming Out in Comics, Getting Bent, Authors Behaving Badly, Vampires and Shifters, Beyond Yaoi, and What Editors Are Looking For. There may have been more, it was a whirlwind blur of Jedi, Cyborgs, Steampunk captains, Star Trekkers, aliens, zombies and us.
I’m sure we looked odd there, sitting on our panels, with the audience dressed for adventure and us in our everyday clothing. Sort of surreal, but in a good way.
I love going to conventions, and I’d been to many as a writer, and a few as the mom of a cosplayer, but never to a Comic related con. It was very similiar to the others – a bunch of people getting together to talk about, share, meet old friends and make new ones, centered around the things they loved.
Our audiences weren’t large, but guess what? They were filled with writers hoping to one day be authors. Sci-fi, romance, GLBT, and het, sitting in our panels listening to us.
A few even followed us from panel to panel – friendly faces I soon got to recognize, even in the maze of hallways and three floors of the George R. Brown convention center. It’s massive. Massive.
And I realized, that although the bulk of the con goers weren’t interested in much of what we had to say, there were these core people, and I hoped in some small way, our being there brought them to the con.
We chatted, encouraged them to find critique partners, writing groups, and in a few of the panels, got off topic to talk about POV, characterization and working with editors.
Even among the trekkies, zombies and post world destruction denizens, we found writers. Who’dda thunk it?
So, despite feeling What am I doing here? I soon realized, hey, this is why I’m here! To talk about writing, to fire up someone’s desire to write, to discuss GLBT characters in comics, manga, anime, and why it’s important they become mainstream, gay romance, polyamorous romance (and everything in between) and to perhaps lead a writer to a place he/she can get some support and suggest where to find the best place to learn the craft of writing.
I can’t wait to see if some of them show up at my WHRWA meeting next month. Wow, wouldn’t that be cool?
Out of my comfort zone, maybe at first, sure. But once I got going, my dear friends and fellow writers at my side, I discovered my comfort zone could expand and let a whole lotta outta this world in.
Thanks to all the authors on the panels I attended, and to my special friends who took a chance, said what the hell, sounds cool, and showed up.