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This weekend, I'm conning (Titancon 2016)

My real-life work office is closed and everything up to date! Hooray. I'll get up to page 100 of my edits this afternoon and then close down for the weekend. Tomorrow, I shall bake a cake and then, that evening, I will be heading out to Titancon where I'm reading one of my short stories. (A fun little dark one, I hope. I mean, I know it's what I'm reading and I'm hoping it's fun....)

This odd duology is the norm for most writers. During the week all but the lucky few who write for a living skulk at work, putting in the hours and commitment needed to maintain their jobs. For me, that's a small consultancy which takes up a good bit of my time. Then, come the afternoon, or evening, or weekends - whenever we fit it in - we take on our different life as a writer.

For most breaking-through writers I know, this is very much akin to having two jobs. Writing is time consuming enough, but promoting it brings up another connundrum. I'm also aware that many writers, like me, don't walk away when they're in work. I see tweets and facebooks going out, and favourites being ticked, during working hours and know they, like me, have their phones set to notify and run the crazy world of both professional lives blending into one.

(Actually, back in a mo. Just going to check in... Okay, one blog post read and one facebook responded to. Onwards!)

So, this weekend I will don my jeans and t-shirt, shove on some steampunk jewellery, and emerge into the world as writer-me. Honestly, it's like being Hong-Kong-Fuey, minus the filing cabinet. (Maybe I should get one).

Which is actually the point of this blog - to talk about (and plug, if you'll all let me) Titancon, in Belfast, where I'm spending most of my weekend.

I'm still a relative con newby. I've been to a world fantasy convention, an Eastercon and Titancon. (Pennies come into play - it's expensive getting to them!) I'm also at Octocon in a few weeks.

But, of the cons I have been to I have a soft spot for Titancon. Why?

Well, firstly the size and the venue. Belfast is not, yet, a mecca for sff, which means the con is quite small. The venue is also compact and nicely self-contained. I don't get lost in a maze of rooms, or need a map to get around. I like that.

That size and compactness impacts on the other thing I like about Titancon - it's so relaxed. Panels might - and have been known to - happen in the bar. They're good fun. The panels are close to the audience, which gives a nice sense of it being a proper fan convention. Plus, there is a pretty regular attendance who all know each other (I knew nothing of this last year - I was terrified for most of it...) and are relaxed and friendly.

Lastly, there are the people. Not just the authors, many of whom I've met before, but the Game of Thrones stars and, especially, the organisers who make it good fun. This year's cosplay highlight is a lovely beard competition complete with workshop to decorate your own. Over on twitter an impromptu, and totally unofficial, Bake Off has taken off. All of which combines to give Titancon a feel all of its own.

So, what's on? Well, Friday 30th is literature night. It's free to come along to at the Wellington Park from 7.30, and is followed by the opening of the art show. Reading at it will be the likes of Pat Cadigan, Peter F Hamilton and Ian McDonald.

The Saturday, then, has a range of panels, divided between those with the Game of Thrones cast guests and those of the writer guests, meaning a great choice. I'm on three - the modern day fae, followed by dystopia (I do love that: here, I will talk about fairies and here the end of the world - although I've just finished Peadar O'Guilin's The Call, where he nicely combines the two), and in the afternoon talking about women in SFF.

 Last year, I was pretty shy. I darted away quickly on both nights and considered surviving my criteria for success. This year, I'm looking forward to being more active. I know many of the people attending and am more confident.

And that's where the duology comes in. For this weekend, I'm a writer. Right after I shut down my office. :)

In the meantime, here's the link to the con. There is also a coach tour of the Game of Throne location sets, which is pretty legendary for its craic and happens on the Sunday. If you're around, at a loose end, and have even a passing interest in sf, fantasy, Game of Thrones, or beards, come along.


AG Publishings said…
Innis Carraigh looks juicy by the way:
AG Publishings said…
Great post JoZeb. I too will be reading at TitanCon2016 and I will admit to having some nerves! How do you come up with such great ideas? Inish Carraigh looks juicy!
Joanne Zebedee said…
We can support each other through the nerves! It will be lovely to meet up.

(And thank you for the lovely comments - Inish Carraig was great fun to write, and it gets great reviews mostly, which is always nice.)

See you tomorrow!

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