Thursday 13th April 2017

This is the first time I’ve attempted to write The Climb whilst away from home and it’s proved a good test for when I go to the US.  And by a good test I mean it’s proved bloody difficult.
I realise the only software I have wth any form of wordcount on it is Scrivener, and that’s currently trying to upgrade… except it’s been slowed down by Dropbox trying to sync several thousand items, some of which I need.
And luckily I remembered to email myself The Climb logo so I could attempt to create the graphic for today.
Let’s just say that it’s been a bit of a challenge.
Where am I?  Currently I’m in a hotel in Birmingham ahead of this year’s Eastercon.  Eastercon is one of the leading conventions for Science Fiction and Fantasy in the UK, and as may be given away by the name, happens each Easter weekend.
I’ve been coming to them for a while now.  When I first started to come I was very much an aspiring writer.  I went to a lot of the panels, where professionals would hold discussions about any number of points from How to Get Published to Disability & LARP.  As I got more seasoned and the discussions seemed to be rehashes of ones I’d seen before, I spent more and more time in the bar, occasionally participating on a panel or two.
These conventions are attended by a great number of professionals and it’s pretty much enforced into you when you come along that you need to be on your best behaviour as you don’t want to be vomitting on a potential agent’s shoes.  These people could hold the keys to your future success.
In recent years, my views have changed a little on this.  I’ve often found that the version of me who goes along to conventions is a lot more muted.  I feel I’ve been censoring myself.  I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it’s a bit stupid.
I’m as capable of being as much of a dick as the next person but it’s not like I have a secret Nazi past or anything.  I’m a generally nice guy who people get on with, so why am I censoring myself?  It might be because the crowd is largely introverted but I don’t think anyone is that bad that a little extroversism is going to be considered bad form.   As a result I’ve decided to be a bit more me this year and see what disaster that causes.
I have no panels this year and I’m no longer looking for an agent.  Plus, whilst I’ve got a novel to sell that I’ll happy talk to anyone about… it’s not me who’s going to be selling it.  So I feel less need to be visible by being on a panel.  OK, the truth was that I forgot to submit the form in time, but I’m not really bothered.
My plan is to spend the weekend catching up with friends and finding out what’s happening with their careers.  I’m suspecting it’ll be a pretty chilled weekend.
I rose early this morning to go to the gym.  Even if I eat well, I’ll still put weight on this weekend, and whilst the hotel has a gym, I wanted to get in a session before I left.  My lower back is still playing up and it was a real struggle not to strain it more.  We’ll see how mobile I am in the morning.
I got back home and started to pack, in between doing some School of the Sword website work and posting yesterday’s The Climb.  I also found I had no dry, clean socks (I used to have loads of them, what’s happened to them all) so I stopped at Tesco on the way out.  As a result it was about 4pm before I hit the road.
I then proceeded to hit the holiday traffic.  The M40 and M42 were at a crawl.  I was too busy stressing that I’d forgotten something to be stressing about the traffic.  But I was busting for the loo time I arrived.
I went for a short recognisance to see what the food options were.  I seemed to remember from when we had Eastercon here a few years ago that they were limited.  But I found a massive food plaza a short walk away on the other side of the lake, and ended up having a massive GBK Burger.
I wandered back and bumped into Joanne Hall in the bar area so proceeded to have an extremely expensive beer (£5.80 – I blame Brexit) and a little chat.  People retired early (The con doesn’t even start until tomorrow so people don’t want to wear themselves out).  I, in turn, thought it was a perfect time to head up to my room and get some work done.
After battling with Dropbox, Photoshop and Scrivenver by the time I got the draft of The Climb done it was midnight and I was suffering from caffeine withdrawl.  So I laid down on the bed and next thing I knew it was the early hours of the morning.  I have been working hard these past few weeks, so perhaps this weekend is a good chance to get some much needed rest.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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