The weekend in High Point, NC went well except for one minor glitch (explained later). The hotel (a Radisson) had a Sleep Comfort bed so I could adjust it to the proper degree of "ahhhh". I was on a quiet floor (no room parties) and that allowed me to get my sleep which I needed after the acrobatic couple from Thurs. night. The hotel's restaurant didn't do well Fri eve (45 min to get our meal) but switched to buffets from that point on and did just fine. The food was tasty and inexpensive by con standards ($8.95 for a supper buffet). That never happens.
The programming went pretty well. Some panels were better than others, but all had value. We had an interesting discussion during one panel about how long one should wait until throwing a hissy fit if your royalties aren't paid on time and your emails about those royalties are being ignored. Since most publishers only pay every six months and then they try to drag the actual check writing another three to four months, it can get annoying. Most of the authors said 4-6 mos. I said 2 beyond when they're contractually required to issue the check, especially if they're blowing you off. My recommendation to the fellow was to assess his downside risk and go from there. If the problem continues, take your work to a new publisher. The contract says that I do "X" and they do "Y". That's why you have a contract. If one party is not living up to the contract, that's a problem. Fortunately, my publisher is very good at issuing those checks. Not all of them are.
I also had the opportunity to share a dealer's room table with Tony Ruggiero, fellow DMP author, and dear Mary who always has some knitting project in hand. At Dragon*Con last year she was making (of course) a dragon scarf. This weekend she was making a baby sweater for a friend. I had a lot of fun razzing her about that. Tony's next book in the Team of Darkness Series (Operation Save the Innocent) is due out in April. We're all looking forward to it.
I also got to spend some time with Lee Martindale and commiserate with her (in her smoking room) with a cigar and some Aberlour A'bunadh single malt scotch. (If you're going to have vices, have good ones.) And I introduced Alan Wold to the Aberlour, as well, which was only fair as he'd gotten me hooked on Laphroaig a few cons back. I also got to talk to author Kristy Tallman. She was at RavenCon last year, but I didn't get a chance to officially meet her.
And now for the slight wrinkle in my weekend: 12:30 Sunday I pack the car, hop in, turn the key. Nothing. Zip. Da nada. Someone had left the map light on since Friday noon. Now I couldn't possibly be THAT stupid so someone had to have broken into the car, turned on the map light and then relocked the vehicle so no one would know. Yeah, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Any other possibility to is to embarrassing to consider. I called Honda's Roadside Assistance and they sent a very nice fellow to get the car started and I was out of High Point like a shot. Oh, and just to be annoying: the Gizmo (as we call it) got 49.7 mpg during the trip. It's a Honda Civic Hybrid. Fine car. The highest gas price for regular I saw was $3.40. Youch.
Of course, while I was gone downtown Atlanta had urban renewal courtesy of a tornado. Nasty. I can only imagine what it would be like in the middle of Dragon*Con (shudders.)