Let me start and say that I really had a good time in my first convention, but I have to say that my feet would want to disagree with me. I had to contend with blisters on my little toe and a walk resembling Dr. House. By the next time I go to a con, which is hopefully Archon at the same center on Late September, I’d get myself some better shoes.

Before everything else, I need to report on what I was worried about since I decided to do this convention, I worried about people knowing me only by a Google search for "David Gonterman" and thinking of me only in terms of the now thankfully defunct (May I piss on its grave) Encyclopedia Dramatica. A lot of people, including a voice in the back of my head, tell me that they in fact don’t know me at all. But I still had my worries.

Everyone there, and especially my roommates, was quite cordial. In fact, when I met Doug Walker from thatguywiththeglasses.com and gave him my business card, he didn’t recognize me.

That puts things into a better perspective for me. A much needed better perspective. It’s hard to think that trolls are not the sole voice on the opinions of you if that’s all your hear. I was looking for another area to socialize in and expand my network and I found it. Now I just have to have it grow. That would mean more conventions, or other off-line sites to go so. That’s something to aim for, wouldn’t you say?

Also there’s another point that I’ve almost forgot: It seems that there’s an unspoken tradition in AnimeSTL, where every year at least once during the weekend, a Tornado Warning hits. And this year was no exception. While I was in a heated RPG with others, they all shepherded every one of us, booth manners, cosplayers, guest stars, et all, into the storm shelters for a half hour. And it seems that it was flat out expected. When it was over, they were even selling T-Shirts that said “I survived Tornado-Con.” I just went back to the RPG.

And that leads me up to the main point of the report, which is where I’ll need a good amount of Industrial Strength Pixie Dust: I usually hanged around the tabletop gaming area, which is how I want to socialize in the future, provided I could find a good IRL group to play with. It is there where I met the people of Black Pidgeon Press: http://blackpigeonpress.com/ This is a company that made a popular indie-style RPG named Hacktastic which might resemble D&D on Steroids. I played an intro adventure there and there are parts that were fsking hilarious. Once I update the Adam Packbell D&D Journal and set up a site for it, I’ll let you know about it. But that’s not why I’m calling for the pixie dust. When I gave them a copy of my D&D character to transfer to Hacktastic, they liked the way that I added a backstory to the character, and were looking for writers to make books for them. I gave them a copy of my books on CD-ROM (I passed them around to spread the word out, of course) and it eventually got to the head of that company. If the cards fall just right for me, I might be employed writing for Black Pidgeon Press, and no doubt getting that needed big break. Wish me luck.

While I was in that room, I also played a lot of M:TG, and people had a lot of fear for the main deck I was nursing. It was a Blue-White Level-up Deck with Proliferate that can really ramp up the creatures pretty quick when I get it to go, it’s a very aggressive combo when it works. I still need to get some decent sideboard cards for any metagame, but all in all it’s an excellent deck for me to take to casual games, which is what I was looking for in the first place. I even had the opportunity to trade with my meager, but historic, collection of cards. I found out that I had rares that I didn’t even knew I had, like Strip Mine. That got me a great number of Rare cards and suggestions for this deck. I’d like to have the whole deck be somewhere near Extended for any future games.

And last but not least—I still need to upload all the pics I snapped and share them all with you—of what I wanted to report on is meeting one of my heroes in the online world: Michael “Mookie” Terracciano. He’s the one who does Dominic Deegan http://www.dominic-deegan.com/ and is known, according to the convention guide, for ‘unique characters, addictive storylines, painful puns, awful alliteration and (gasp!) reliable update schedule.’ That alone makes his books better than mine, but it was the way he dealt with the trolls that really makes me look up to him. He has fan groups that are known for their acidic tirades over every little thing they see wrong with the strips, and I’m talking right down to the pixels. The constant abrasiveness would have sent many a prospective cartoonist away, and I know for sure I had, but Mookie is still going on strong, especially when he has a long list of conventions to go to for support. While all the traveling and dealing with hotel rooms would be a pain in the neck for me, having a convention schedule might be what I need to keep things going.

Upcoming Book Schedule

And that leads me to what I’m trying to get going as well, project wise.

If the stars align just right and Black Pigeon wants to hire me, I’ll have a pretty useful schedule for the future. But for now I can at the least go back to editing the two books I’m working on now; BAM 03 and Command Unit Delta. I hope to at least get 1000 words in daily, come hell or high water. (Hell and High Water came during the year to date.)

I do have some first drafts scheduled, and both are NaNoWriMo Style projects.

In May, I intend to do the first draft of the second book in Scalret’s Story series, Bunny in the Den. People have been clamoring over when I can put that book out, and I haven’t even started with it yet. I figure that this next month would be perfect to begin.

And in November, I’ve already planned the book for NaNoWriMo 2011: I wanted to redo “Lost Boy Found” and clean up the story and crap, but I haven’t had the chance to do it. I’d figure using that title for this winter’s yearly cannonball.

Of course that might change if Black Pigeon hires me, but at least I have stuff planned.

Such as setting up a second part of this report, where I comment on the pictures that I’ve set up in the drop-down menu.