LibertyCon 29 AAR

So, last July I registered for LibertyCon, after it became apparent that Europe 2016 was a no go. My plan was to drive – I-40 to Nashville, turn south to Chattanooga.

And then I got to meet Peter and Dorothy Grant in the flesh, and OldNFO, and the LawDog (my blogfather), all of whom live a few hours away. And after some cussing and discussing, it was decided that we’d carpool. Six writers and writer spouses in a SUV, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing, as it turns out. We get along very well.

So I drove down, overnighted, and we set out early the Wednesday before LibertyCon, with the goal of making a long push that day, and then shorter push on Thursday. That worked pretty well, and allowed for a stop at a gun store to get ammo for those shooting on Fri and for me to coon-finger concealed-carry handbags. I also liked the shotgun-shell-style earrings, but not as much. OldNFO, LawDog and I dropped Peter and Dorothy off at the Choo Choo, where they had rooms, and then went to the other hotel. We met again for supper at the City Cafe.

Click the above link at your own risk. And no, I didn’t get dessert there because no one else did and we were going to be going to Robert Hoyt’s birthday party and they would have cake.

Sarah Hoyt appeared a bit surprised, and pleased, to discover that I actually exist. I think a lot of people assume that I really am a grumpy looking American Exotic cat. Only before caffeine, I assure you. So I’m chatting with Clan Hoyt, Speaker to Lab Rats, Larry Correia, Kiltie Dave and Mrs. Dave and Wee Dave and Arm-sized Daveette, and a bunch of other folks I’ve read or heard about but never seen before. It was much fun, and I think it was almost 2200 before those of us staying elsewhere drifted back to our lodgings.

The next day I got dropped off early because LawDog and OldNFO were going shooting. I had brought neither weapons nor “eyes and ears” so I showed up at the ConSuite and spent the next few hours working. The ConSuite has food for the staff, snacks for other folks, a few meal-ish things for everyone, and a steady supply of cold drinks. This year the Baen’s Barfly Bar was there, but I missed that (and I’m not a Barfly). They did have some good-looking adult beverages under the table, though. And they always need volunteers.

For the rest of the weekend I alternated attending panels with sighing over stuff in the dealers’ room and working in the Con Suite. As a result I managed to miss all the Huns and Hoydens except: Laura M, Rick B., someone whose name is escaping me, and I think one or two others. I did get to have a fascinating conversation with Chuck Gannon and two other gents that ranged from orbital mechanics to theoretical physics and where did that particle go, to Ottoman history, to other stuff. And science fiction and military fact. I staggered back to the room just as a really impressive thunderstorm started eating the city. I slept through it.

Saturday started a little later. I had a great time listening to Larry Correia, Tom Rogneby, and others talking guns, MHI, and matching screen names to faces. A large number of the original High Road and Firing Line discussion board members were there, so it felt like a reunion of sorts. I refilled coffee and water and listened a lot. Then I went to Col. Kratman’s talk, took lots of notes, nodded, learned some stuff, and better understood why he scares some people. Then it was the military sci-fi panel, and so on. For those who are wondering which one was me, I was the redhead with the tan cowboy hat and the pastel purple Victorian dress. I did go hide from people for a while that afternoon and fell hard into A Net of Dawn and Bones, which I’ll review at some point.

Did I have fun? Yes, even if I missed most of the people I wanted to meet. Did I learn a great deal? Yes. Did I get people overload? Yes, especially during the kaffeeklatch because of the sound level in the room. Was the trip to and from fun? Yes, I learned a lot and none of us tried to lock the others out of OldNFO’s car. Although I thought I was going to end up wearing his orange juice Tuesday AM during the pun war (theme: grains and breads).

The only bad spots were when I forgot to eat and got in a little low blood sugar trouble, and when I got the “Oh, you’re indie” dismissive wave from two people. To which my (silent) response was, “Yeah, and?” And those were more annoying than bad, really.

Will I make LibertyCon XXX? Probably not, because of getting back from Europe too close to the start date (subject to change based on European politics et al). XXXI? Oh yeah!