We spent last weekend in Las Vegas for MorrisonCon an event honoring one of my favorite writers, Van Morrison.

The trip did double duty as our first vacation since our honeymoon. Normally Vegas is where single people try to have sex so I think that we had a better score card than 90% of the people staying at The Hard Rock Casino where the music industry intersects with the douche bag industry. I’m not being fair to the casino, with their tribal tattoo carpeting and Ed Hardy wallpaper the facility wasn’t inherently douchy, that is until they booked Pauly D from the Jersey Shore as the weekend DJ. The place was packed with ‘roided up dudes and tanning bed babes but they mostly sequestered themselves to the pool. On the plus side, the muzak and the food was top notch. If you’re ever there for lunch get the cheeseburger at Culinary Dropout, it’s like a Big Mac made right, and so totally unlike a Big Mac.

I think there’s a place for boutique conventions like this and if people had more spending cash there would have been more butts in seats. It was refreshing to sip a Jamaican Coffee while listening to the panelists talk about the comic book industry and with only one panel going on at a time it really relieved the anxiety of prioritizing panels at Comic Con, not to mention no lines and no crowds.

But I didn’t feel like the talent were any more accessible than at any other convention. Melissa got some face time with Robert Kirkman on Sunday morning but he was so hungover he resembled an extra on The Walking Dead. And I didn’t see any sight of the writers on either party night outside of Grants spoken word performance on Friday. Except Jason Aaron the one writer who I’ve never read and didn’t have anything to say to, yeah I saw him a lot. In the lobby, at the club, in the hall everywhere I turned there was Jason Aaron. Che chee chee, ahh ahh ahh.

My biggest disappointment was with myself. I’m still really bad at this whole ‘networking’ thing. Once the conversation gets going I can usually make a good impression for a few minutes, but breaking in, making that contact it tough for me. I just assume that people don’t want to be bothered. That’s something I have to work on, along with my next novel. Because I want to be taken seriously at one of these conventions someday.

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