Random notes from Mo*Con as I recuperate. The official greeting for Mo*Con apparently is everyone brushing past your host and go straight to my wife to offer her condolences. You’re a funny, funny bunch of people.

Saturday went by with only one hitch. It rained. This didn’t change my plans, however. Apparently a lot of people misunderstood when I said cook out. I don’t do outside. My version of a cookout is that I cook in, you all eat outside. The Indiana Horror Writers hosted Brian Keene at Chez Broaddus. Other notables making an appearance included the literary diva, Chesya Burke, writer Bob Freeman, artist Carrie Rapp, and writers, Tracy Jones and Debbie Kuhn.

[By the way, at not point should the men of Mo*Con, yes, I’m looking at you Michael West, Bob, and Keene, take over conversation to argue the finer points of Days of Our Lives. Not only dominate conversation, due to the stunned silence of the women, but argue with a nerd fervor rarely seen outside of comic book conventions.]

Things I don’t want to hear from Keene ever again: “I can’t quit you, Maurice.”

How good was the party Saturday? Sunday morning it looked like a bomb went off at a horror convention. Bodies were everywhere. The day was a study in contrasts of methods. I agonized over what to say for my introductory and concluding comments. Brian tries to encourage me with:

“I think I’m going to let the Holy Spirit guide me tonight.”
“Um, Brian. You don’t believe in the Holy Spirit.”
“You always get hung up on technicalities.”

Let me tell you, when Brian Keene reassures you by saying “what’s the worse that could happen?” visions of you serving as the greeter in Hell start dancing through your head. Again, this looked like such a good idea on paper. (And I thought I was trying to get fired: our worship pastor had been trying to get a keg for the service. Which, for the record, you can’t do here on Sundays.)

I know what you’re waiting for. You want to know if anyone burst into flames upon entering a church or if there were any lightning strikes. Well, Brian was perfectly charming (too charming: he almost stole both of my board mods from me). The crowd was roughly 50% Keene fans and 50% congregation members. A congregation of non-horror readers. However, all were given food to think about as Brian talked about his spiritual journey. He spoke with an honesty and frankness that really connected with people. Generally speaking, his topic was “why do bad [things] happen to people?”

This was a topic near and dear to my heart as I spent all week blogging on the topic. As I assumed, a lot of people struggle with this very same issue, both “Christian” and “not” alike. Brian’s perspective hit home with a lot of peoople.

After his talk, he took questions and then gave a reading from The Rutting Season, which had several folks in tears. Basically, the overall impression that he left of people could best be observed by the book buying frenzy at the end. And we’re planning on using parts of it in our Sunday morning service. In other words, I’m still employed.

Yes, I will have both pictures and video of this up on my web site before too long. I will let you know when it’s up. Right now, I need to sleep for a few days.

Before I end, I’d like to give a special shout out to one of my biggest fans, Brian Keene’s mom. You raised a special boy. I mean that in a good way.

(And extra double thanks to my wife who put up with me having 20-30 folks in our house for a weekend. Though, yes, I’m still doing laundry and dishes.)

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