multiple pens arrayed on a black table

Awesome Con 2019


Awesome Con this year was, in a word, awesome. But really, it was a great time and I’m looking forward to next year! You might even see me at an exhibitor table next year… we’ll see!

But for now, here’s the Awesome Con wrap-up for this year.

Friday

The first day tends to be the most chill of all three days. It’s a half-day and most people have to work, so it’s not nearly as crowded. It’s a great day to get as many autographs and photo ops done as you can, as well as purchase anything you might really want from the exhibit hall.

So that was my game plan, but sadly, the only people I wanted autographs from weren’t at the convention on Friday. Still, it was worth it to get the best pick of any merchandise I wanted from the exhibit hall.

I visited my favorite pen maker, Pens & More, and it’s a good thing I did! He had a new pen design available, but there were only three pens for sale in that design. I knew they would go fast, so I snapped up the ones I liked.

A collection of pens arrayed on a desk
All my pens! The two new ones are on the right.

I can’t speak highly enough of these pens! They’re solid and have a nice weight to them without being too heavy. They sit well in the hand and every pen I’ve bought from them has written smoothly and lasted a long time. I still haven’t had to replace the ink in the first pens I bought! I also love that the replacement ink cartridges can be bought from any Office Depot or Staples, so it’s not expensive or difficult to maintain the pens and use them for a really long time–making them well worth the money, in my opinion.

Pens & More doesn’t have a website but they do have a Facebook page.

So I used Friday to map out what I wanted to do and take care of the miscellaneous things I wanted to do or see and get them out of the way, leaving plenty of time on Saturday and Sunday for all the panels I could get to.

Saturday

image of Kira holding her Con badge

Saturday was heaven. A full day of nothing but (mostly) writing panels. It was glorious.

The ones I chose were: Writing With Purpose; Everything Could Possibly Go Wrong; So You Want to Stream Content?; Everything You Need to Know to Write Like You Want; Representation Matters, So Make it Good; The 90 Day Book Challenge; and World Building in Fiction.

The majority of the panelists were engaging, informative, and helpful. I very much enjoyed the Writing With Purpose panel, and I came away inspired to continue working on my goal of being a full-time writer. All four of the panelists had found a way to write full-time and do side projects part-time to make up the difference in income. They were real, honest, and encouraging. I appreciated the can-do attitude while also hearing from them how each had come to their success.

The panels on representation were interesting and I left with more knowledge than I came in with, and I have a few blog posts about representation and diversity in the pipeline.

There was only one panel that I was truly disappointed in, and it’s because I felt it was misrepresented by the description. I had expected something different and even when the questions were asked by the audience to try to get the presenter to talk about what they had said they would talk about, it didn’t work. I finally walked out–which I never do, as I feel it’s incredibly rude–when the presenter used the word “retarded”. [I am intentionally not naming this person or the panel because I already left feedback for the organizers.]

However, that was the only panel in which I felt dissatisfied or offended, and I still felt like Saturday was a success.

Sunday

More panels! But the most exciting thing to happen to me this Awesome Con: I got Cary Elwes’ autograph!!

AND, although I had deemed the photo op to be too expensive, I found out that he was doing selfies at his signing booth. So I got a selfie with CARY ELWES.

Cary Elwes and Kira Tregoning

Cue the stammering and my little nerd heart just couldn’t take it. I also got him to sign my copy of his book, which is an excellent read, by the way. I highly recommend everyone read it. It’s full of funny stories from the filming of The Princess Bride.

Signature in book

After I had appropriately geeked-out about my good fortune, I wandered back upstairs to my first panel of the day. Today was mostly about science panels, all of which were fascinating: astronomy, genealogy, etc. The panel on gravitational waves was great and the presenter highly entertaining. I also really liked the one about whether you should get your DNA tested. They covered a lot of information in a very short amount of time and in a fun way that still emphasized what the risks are.

I do appreciate that the panelists are all experts in their fields, so I feel like I’m getting quality information from people who really know what they’re talking about.

Until Next Year…

It was sad to wrap up another Awesome Con, but I’m looking forward to attending the next one!

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