S.G. Browne

You Go To The World Horror Con in Winnipeg…

You wake up on Wednesday morning after a restless night with a cold inflating your head and dripping down the back of your throat.  You pump yourself full ofEmergen -C and Day-Quil, then catch the 6:30AM Super Shuttle to SFO for a flight to Denver.  After a two-hour layover in Denver and a vegetarian burger on a crunchy role with questionable tomatoes and limp lettuce, you climb aboard a subway car disguised as an airplane for the two hour flight to Winnipeg, Canada.You land in Winnipeg and, on the cab ride to the hotel, you look out the windows and see condemned buildings and vacant lots and people shuffling along the sidewalk in a daze and you think, “If the zombie apocalypse started here, no one would notice.”

You check into your hotel, grab some questionable sushi, meet a few of the volunteers and invited guests from the convention, then call it an early night so you can get some sleep.  At 1:50AM, you’re woken up by the couple in the next room having wall pounding sex and you realize the walls are as thin as the Bush Administration’s reasons for invading Iraq.

The next day you realize this convention is going to be very small.  Maybe 50 people if everyone brings in a homeless person from the crime-ridden streets.  And you’re wondering if you’ve wasted $1000 on airfare and hotel.  But then you get to spend time with the volunteers and guests and you realize this is going to be a different kind of convention.

You enjoy a reading by Conrad Williams from his new novel ONE and a panel about the unique writing journey of Edo van Belkom.  You have drinks at the hotel bar with Joshua Gee and F. Paul Wilson, who not only both enjoy the TV series LOST but who help judge the Gross Out Contest, which you hosted.

You host a panel and have a reading and sell all six copies of your novel (which you told customs were just samples and not for sale).  You take cold medicine that containspseudoephredrine, the main ingredient in crystal methamphetamine.  You find out your hotel is frequented by aboriginal prostitutes.

You hang out with Rhonda Parrish (who thinks you have a good singing voice) and Gavin Hughes (who you strong-armed into reading for the Gross Out Contest).  You hang out with Kelly Young (who took compromising pictures of you) and Tommy Castillo (who won the Gross Out Contest).  You sing karaoke with these four people.  You’ve never sung karaoke before, but you manage to pull off a rendition of Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon,” which isn’t as good as Kelly’s version of “Walking in Memphis” or Tommy’s version of “The Rainbow Connection” in the voice of Kermit the Frog, but you have a great time.

You go out to lunch and dinner with these people.  You hang out in the bar with them.  (Because that’s what writers do at these conventions.)  You have a conversation about surviving a post EMP Winnipeg and how you would get home during the breakdown of society and how when you leave the room to take a leak you come back to find out the hypothetical you in this scenario has just been violated.

In addition, you meet Cliff and Linda and John.  You meet Derek and Tim and Sherry.  You meet Nicole and Shad (who got engaged at the convention).  You meet Toni Stauffer and Thomas Sippos and Chris Angus and a dozen others who you fail to mention because your memory isn’t as good as you thought it was.  So you apologize to those forgotten and hope they forgive you and still buy your book.
When you leave Winnipeg on Sunday, you realize you had more fun at this convention than at perhaps any other convention and you realize you have fond memories of the murder capital of Canada.  But it still looks like the zombie apocalypse is just waiting to happen there.

Filed under: Just Blogging,The Writing Life — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 2:44 pm