“Conventions aren’t about winning awards or being guest of honor or whatever. It’s experiencing the people that makes events worthwhile.” –John Edward Lawson
How do you sum up the continuing experiment we call Mo*Con?
IT. WAS. AWESOME!
We purposefully don’t over program. We have a single track of “programming” and allow folks plenty of time and space to hang out with one another. It allows the magic, that strange alchemy of bringing interesting people together around food and drinks, to happen. And by “magic” I mean things like:
-ending up at a burlesque show the night before Mo*Con (folks come in for Mo*Con early and we *have* to entertain them. And accidents happen…)
-Mary Robinette Kowal doing a reading from her work in progress in my living room
-what we may have to dub the Tom Piccirilli smoker’s club (ever since his appearance at Mo*Con IV, people have brought ever more expensive cigars to share)
-rain or shine, the conversations that happen in the Broaddus family garage after the main programming
-going to see The Avengers in 3-D on the IMAX, the late night show, post Mo*Con, because, you know, who needs sleep?
As far as Mo*Con itself, we never know what quite to expect. Our Friday nights have had everything from Open Mic poetry readings to a Celtic rock band performance (Mother Grove!). Mary Robinette Kowal performing a puppet show this year was absolutely classic. In Mo*Con tradition, we had conversations on spirituality (with Mary Sangiovanni and Nate Southard holding court) and race (watching John Edward Lawson and Chesya Burke holding it down for real). In that same tradition, sparks flew, people disagreed, but it was done in a spirit of respect and listening to one another. Not only was there a community art project spearheaded by Danny Evarts (we can’t wait to see how that turns out), but Michelle Pendergrass and Mike Altman led art demonstrations that revealed the inner artist in folks (I now have several pieces hanging in my home). And though she was missed, Sara Larson’s presence was felt as we renamed the Mo*Con awards after her.
And then there was the food. Italian food. Cajun food. Indian food. (The secret to Mo*Con is to pack your big pants for Sunday because you won’t fit into whatever you brought when it began)
I’d like to especially thank our Indiana Horror Writers co-hosts who went above and beyond (Michael West, RJ Sullivan, Kathy Watness, Natalie Philips, Todd Manning, Chris Garrison) in helping out and making everyone feel so welcome. Bob Freeman for his awesome design work (from the Mo*Con posters to the Mo*Con awards). Danny Evarts who stepped in to help out in the kitchen and for just generally being awesome. Young Mr. Rodney Carlstrom and his parents Pam and Gerald who prepped the food and made things run so seamlessly.
And to my wife, Sally Broaddus, who not only puts up with the chaos each year, but welcomes everyone into our home as if they’re family.
People are what it’s all about. And we have great people that come to Mo*Con. Thanks so much for being a part of it!
OTHER CON REPORTS: