My ConCarolinas 2016 Recap

ConCarolinas 2016, June 3-6 was a fantastic time this year! It was my first time as a guest there, and as I live in Charlotte, I can consider it a home con. I got to hang out and play some with local friends, got to meet face to face a lot more I’d known mostly online, and even got to meet a few fans and sell a few books.

But mostly, I ran my mouth. A lot. I was fortunate enough to be both on the Science/Tech track and the Writer’s track.

Here was my schedule:

June 3 (Friday)
3:00 PM Crowdfunding your book
7:00 PM Tools of the trade: What every writer should have on their desk
8:30 PM How will the future be different from today
June 4 (Saturday)
9:00 AM eCommerce and the Artist Moderator
10:00 AM Women in Science in Tech (I know!)
11:30 AM Science Fiction to Science Fact Moderator
4:00 PM Extrapolating the Future Moderator
6:00 PM The business of marketing your writing
7:00 PM The future of robotics
8:30 PM Viruses, Hackers and Malware, Oh My
June 5 (Sunday)
11:00 AM Intersection of Faith and Science
2:00 PM The Singularity: When will we get there?

 

And there were a few other panels I was on I had to drop because I couldn’t be in two places at once. And I got to be the closer for the Broads Universe Rapid Fire Reading. And if I listed everyone I was on panels with, this post would be a couple of thousand words, and that’s just the people!

It’s been a long time since I talked this much, outside of the day gig running tech projects. And if it had been up to me at the time, I’d have probably added a few more. That said, there were a few of these discussions that were really important.

First, I’m going with Women in Tech. I was honored as the lone guy on the panel, with EJ the Enginerd, Erin Penn, and Jeanine Spendlove. We had a lot of people in the room, and if there was a down side, it was we had to shout over the band in the next room. Jeanine questioned why she was there, and I couldn’t believe the question. She’s a distinguished pilot and commander in the Air Force, and has broken more glass ceilings than kids playing Minecraft. We talked about the fact, you have to work to blend in, all the while working to break out and excel. We also talked about at the times when you want to give up the fight, and make a change. The big takeaway I’d like to share, and this is my own philosophy, Be mercenary. If you work for someone else, you’re selling them your time and your skills for a paycheck. If you don’t like it, or aren’t comfortable, there’s always someone and somewhere else than can appreciate you more. But don’t quit, just choose your battles wisely.

Secondly was a fun panel on the Intersection of Faith and Science. The good news was we’d been moved and didn’t have to shout over the bands any more. The down side was no one knew where to find us, and we lost part of the audience. I got to do this one with DL Leonine, Sherman Burris, and Gray Reinhardt. Always the heretical one, it was a great balanced conversation about religion, faith, and seeing God in the mechanisms of the universe.

And finally, one I wasn’t on, but I was able to sit in and listen. Writers and Mental Illness. In the last year, there’s more than a few in our community that have lost the battle. Hosted by John Hartness, with Tamsin Silver, Melissa Gilbert and Dr. Darin Kennedy, it was supposed to go from 10 – 10:50. Barely anyone left by the time we called it a wrap at 11:15, and we could have probably kept going for much longer. It was one of the biggest crowds for a panel all weekend, and even after it was over, there was a lot of standing around afterwards. And several people have started groups in the last week to make sure everyone has someone to reach out to.

If you weren’t there, you missed a lot. And thanks to everyone in the Tribe.

 

Jim

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