I love me some cons. Comicons are my fav. Always have been. Maybe because they were my first experiences. There's nothing quite like wandering through the tables, flipping through someone's boxes of comics with your list nearby, trying to find those runs you're missing while the vendor helps search another box for the single titles you need. "I know I had some of them this morning!" Eventually, I graduated to sharing a table with some friends at a local con so I could unload parts of my own collection so I could focus in on specific artists and writers.
Then I got to start going to RWA events. Local conferences. My first National conference where I wandered around wide-eyed and lost for most of the time, but I LOVED them. I got to listen to a few of my favorite authors in the world present classes. Thanks to Jeffe, I even got to have drinks with a few of them and to meet authors I'd never have otherwise met. Best of all, I made a bunch of new and great friends. I also trudged away laden with books. SO MANY BOOKS. I should have known I might be in trouble when there was a station set up specifically for conference-goers to ship boxes home. Yes. I did make use of it and still had to pay excess weight fees on my luggage going home.
Eventually, I graduated to presenting a few classes of my own. And when conferences were local, I made a point of doing my damnedest to go. Still do.
I'm not to a place professionally where I get invited to speak or present at conferences. I'm working on changing it. One step at a time. The local conferences all comp a part of your conference fee if you present workshops and that works for me. If I succeed at rising from the ashes of my own publishing career, maybe I'll come up with a workshop about how to pull off a phoenix stunt of your own. Guess we'll see.
On another note, if you'd like to enter for a chance to win one of two $25 gift cards, come give a few likes to a couple of PNR, Fantasy, and SFR authors. Yes. Many of them write shifters. So if that's your thing, c'mon down. You might find a new favorite author or three. Or four.