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It’s been a crazy weekend.  Almost a perfect one.  My vacation had been great because of catching up with friends and family throughout a very crazy travel schedule. I found myself heading back to Vancouver for V Con.  I was looking forward to checking out the Auroras, hoping that I’d win, but also cool if I didn’t.  Sam Beiko and Clare Marshall have an amazing podcast, Kraken not Stirred has a decent album.  With that bit of cautious optimism, I was off.

Friday

First off, I got upgraded to V Con via Westjet to their first class.  This happened on the way back too.  I could get used to water and space.  I left the snowy tundras of Calgary and arrived into rainy Richmond (Vancouver).  And it wasn’t the only upgrade. Once I arrived and had breakfast, I found myself getting called by my hotel and I got an upgrade there too.  Nice.  Seemed things were going good.

V Con is a small but fun show as I walked in.  It was great to see Graham Darling, Pat Flewelling, Sandra Wickham and others as I settled into the show.  It was nice to see Hayden and Liz Trenholm there as well.  I got them and Pat to be interviewed and proceeded to enjoy the show.

Once I got the lay of the land, I realized that I might as well enjoy myself.  I was on vacation, so I might as well enjoy a show.

Plus, friday night is the Aurora pinning ceremony.  This would have been fun enough. It wasn’t that I got pinned, but rather the people around me that did. IMG_20181005_193131_147[1]

Liz Trenholm in particular to me, awesome. If anyone besides me got made this weekend, it was her.  She had worked very hard for this nomination and she like me enjoyed every minute of the journey.

Then Spider Robinson walked by.

Yeah.  THAT Spider Robinson.  He got his new pin, and I got kind of star struck, and so did half the room. Did not expect to see him, and it was cool to actually meet him.  I shook his hand.  (Yes, I’m a fanboy.  Have you listened to my podcast?)

I had two interactions with Spider beyond this.  The first was just passing him by as he was on his way to his beatles tribute concert (which was awesome) I tried to talk to him, and then realized very quickly that this performance was on his mind and politely excused himself.

I walked into the concert later and heard him and company kill some beatles classics like “Hard Days Night” and “Eight Days a week.” If anything I got how skilled the beatles was. Spider plays a great guitar but some of the chords on quite a few beatles songs are intricate.  Kudos to all of them for this.

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Saturday

So I’m going to bring up Charles Stross before my second interaction.  I had asked Charles at the beginning of the show if he wanted to be interviewed and said sure.  It didn’t happen.  The reason this kind of resonated was that I ran into Spider the next day on his way out.  He was looking for directions which I helped him with, and then I went for it. I asked him if he’d like to do the podcast.

So right this minute I am looking at his email and his number to do the interview.  The email is sent as of this writing.  To say I’m stoked is an understatement.  Wow.  I got a chance to interview Spider Robinson.

I got some other great interviews as well.  Hayden Trenholm and I finally got a chance to do a proper conversation. Our first interview was unfortunately cut short, so this time we got a chance.  I enjoyed it as I did Liz and Pat.

I saw some great panels with Susan Forest, Hayden and Liz Trenholm, as well as Sandra Wickham, JM Landels and TG Shepherd before the Aurora Awards.

My category was first off.  I gave myself hope.  And you know what?

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The most surreal thing about the night was hearing my name. I didn’t believe it.  I mean, I thought I was good enough to believe I could win, but I didn’t expect to hear my name. I heard it though.  I went up and spoke a very brief speech that showed my gratitude and sat down, still in shock.

I mean I’m looking at it right now and I still don’t believe it.  I mean, it’s mine.  Then I got congratulated. Gerald Brandt was the first person to congratulate me online.  Others followed.  I had conversations with Fonda Lee, Brent Nichols, and others.  I actually paused typing this.

Somehow my life has become filled with people who are doing incredible things.  I do believe magic as described in books on some levels is quite real.  That said, this pales in comparison to the magic of just going in and doing what I’ve done.  All I’ve done is give a platform for people to tell their stories.  I’ve been touched by the lives of people that have given me this opportunity.  And I cannot thank you all enough.  So, yeah, thank you all.

I celebrated.  I had a drink for Fonda and the others who could not be there. It was a very cool night.

Sunday

My con ended after my early interviews.  I headed into downtown Vancouver to talk to Sofia Evangelina and her mom, and we talked.  Sofia has a very bright future ahead of her.  And you should listen to my conversation with her to see why I feel that way.   I got a chance to see what they are up to, and get interviewed.  It was a great way to conclude an amazing weekend.

It’s Wednesday and I still feel charged. I’m back to work.  The one thing about success that a lot of people need to realize is that it never stops.  You have to keep going and do the things that brought you to the dance.  I’m back at it.

What blows me away is that I’m still getting congratulations and notice. I think the one that gets me smiling the most is my high school peers. In some cases, I’ve wandered off the beaten path of many of them. And just to see a few of them just congratulate me is awesome.  To my friends from my high school days, I hope you are doing just as well in your endeavors.

This is a hell of a birthday present. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  I met legends, got recognized by my peers, traveled the country, and even now, doors are opening.  Thank you each and every one for your thanks, and for your belief in me.  I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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