Several years back, in the days/nights when I was a graveyard shifter, I'd find myself stepping across the divergent social ecosystems of Nightlife and Daylife, blinking into the analogous sunlight at all the people who frittered about their day-to-day meanderings with the literal confusion of a new alien arrival among my unsuspecting soon-to-be-thralls. Or, putting that less verbose-ly, I simply felt dramatically out-of-phase with the rest of the world. It was as if, each night, the world slept and I was Legend, a solitary man among the slumbering masses. Only the other darkened spirits wandered the streets, and we, unspeaking, nodded distantly against one another in a primal "guy nod" of acknowledgement, and nothing more.
The eventual transition of night to day took me quite some time, but on occasion I find myself drawn back into the sensation, when circumstances envelop me in a transitional vortex of divergent sociologies - the emergence from the big matinee, so to speak.
This weekend has done it to me again.
I spent the past four days engaged in assistance with the Emerald City ComiCon - - volunteering for some friends of mine who run the show, essentially as an unpaid extra to their Circus des Comiques sideshow of fun that goes on each spring in Seattle, Washington. It was my...umm... fifth? year at volunteering, and each year has become progressively more and more a practice of managing my own aging corpse into the demands placed upon it and finding ways to chat with some of the people there who are gradually moving from the category of "really cool peeps" into "really cool friends".
Got to sit with Michael Oeming and Taki Soma, a local pair of creators who are not only extremely talented, but are genuinely nice people. If you aren't familiar with their work, go pick up any copy of "Powers" or "Rapture" and I suspect you'll be pleasantly content with the purchase. Also, Mike does the art for the new Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel "Taki-O", which I have waiting for me in my comic stop box and am VERY much looking forward to. Again, they're both simply fantastic people, and have become collectively one of the reasons I love being a part of the Con.
I had a bit of time to chat with the SteamCrow team as well - along with Camilla d'Errico, some of the art which has had a tremendous inspirational impact on visual cues for my Chronicles of Aesirium books. Talking with both of these creators at much more length than I've previously been afforded fills me with an additional layer of urgency to push through the last two of my books so I can focus more on the marketing aspects of the series, and even go on a promotional book tour or two, and spend additional time working with these people on more of a peer level.
There were many other creators, as well - from Emonic to Bryan Glass to Kirby Krackle to Ron Marz... I really didn't have any of the time to spend with them as I would have liked, but they're all quite forged from the fires of Mount Awesome, all in their own aspects. I should very much have liked the con to have lasted a few weeks, just so I could have had enough time to spend with all of them.
A few of the media guests were, as always, on hand this year - William Shatner, Bruce Boxleitner, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Wil Wheaton, James Marsters, Felicia Day, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Amy Okuda, Clare Kramer, and Nicholas Brendon (did I forget any? If so, sorry) - but I never really made it down to their floor. I did get friendly guy nods in passing from Brent and Bruce off-site, and, really, that was nice all on its own. Never crossed paths with the Shat, but, then, he was swarmed, so I'm okay with not adding one more body to the throng.
But on another note, I got to meet Phoenix Jones, Red Dragon, the Black Knight and Blue Sparrow - all actual local costumed superheroes from the local streets. My feelings about these people are varied and expansive, but it was by itself one of the more surreal moments from the con. My mind has been thus beseiged with ideas about future books involving (or being inspired by) their actions. I Invited Jones to talk more via email; the concept of being a self-appointed community soldier and protector is just... well, it's something I can very realistically understand. Sometimes, yes, the pen may be mightier than the sword; but sometimes, you have to use the sword, too. So it's something that really resonates with me. In my own world, I juggle the two faces of Ren: the successful project manager for an accredited telecom company by day, an author of fiction by night. Granted, neither facade is particularly mild-mannered, but what are you gonna do?
Hopefully, I'll have more to say on that topic later.
The downside of all of this is that I'm still in the middle of transitioning my eyes into the light of day; having spent my weekend in the world of science fiction and fantasy, I am once again in Mister John Anderson's cubicle, and idly wondering why everything has that pervasive green tint to it, and hoping against hope for that FedEx package containing Morpheus' cell phone to arrive.
And, evidently, doing everything I can to postpone that inevitable reintegration for as long as possible, by blogging about it.
* sigh *
On a related note, I got the proofs for books 1 - 4 this weekend and found errors on the first two, delaying the paperback availability yet again. They're updated now, just waiting for them to be re-processed, and then I can announce them.
Errors aside, they look great. I'm happy with them so far. I need to review Books 3 and 4 as well, and make a simple edit to the ebook of Morrow Stone, and then I should be all caught up. And then back to writing and editing books 5 and 6.
And working on the new Talaria Press anthology, and.... oh, did I not mention Talaria Press? I guess that's something else we can talk about later.