It's all about Context

This past weekend was pretty great, I’m not going to lie. It was one of those weekends that a lot of bad and frustrating shit happened, but so many awesome things happened that I forgot about the bad in the end. Technically the main focus for the weekend was my trip to Context 23, a fiction convention in Columbus. We’ll get to that in a second though. Also, I am going to ignore all the negative stuff except for one thing. Like I said, that stuff really doesn’t matter.

Friday I rented a car to drive up to Columbus a day early because my old Frat brother James offered to put me up the night before. This really worked out well because my first workshop on Saturday was 10am, so if I was in town I wouldn’t have to wake up before sunrise to make it in time. Also, this was awesome because James is awesome. I got to meet his wife Becca and she is now just about one of my favorite people in the world. I’m still pretty sure I might have met her one night at the Sinfonia house, but odds are we were both drunk and don’t remember it…

Anyways, I get up there Friday afternoon. We hang out and Becca makes us some Indian food. I have never had it and was excited to try it. It wasn’t bad. I think if I ate more, it might become something I would actually dig. So with food in our bellies and some stories told, we decide to head out to a bar to hear some music. In kind of unusual fashion, I am really down with the idea of going out. I think it helps that the bar and music scene in Columbus is way different than what I’m used to around here.

We end up at this bar that was really cool and a mediocre band playing. We listen for a little bit and then take the party out to their porch while we have a couple beers. After a few minutes we end up walking back to their place and meet another of my brother’s girlfriends. We played a game called Munchkin Booty. It’s a great game in case you were wondering. Then we all went to bed. Not together. We each went to separate beds and slept. Except for James and Becca, because they’re married. Yeah, anyways it was a great time.

So the next morning I woke up and drove uptown to the hotel where they were holding Context. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to look around or anything though because I was going to be in workshops all day. From 10am-7pm I had workshops. The first one being a general level 1 writers workshop. There was a lot of stuff I already knew -and it’s always good to get confirmation of what you’re doing right- and some very important things I didn’t know. It was a good time. Then at 4pm, I made my way to the room next door for a class on POV.

It was criminal. The class only had three people in it and it was such a great class! The teacher, Timons Esaias, is actually a professor for the popular fiction graduate program at Seton Hall in Pittsburgh. He just had a wonderful sage-like aura around him once he got going. He really taught me a lot, and about things I wasn’t expecting. We also got candy for participating, which is always a plus.

Unfortunately, I was feeling a little ill by the end of the class. So I cut out quickly and didn’t hang around for any of the more social things at the convention, not that I am big on social events. What really sucks was I stopped by James’ place long enough to say goodbye and thank you. I really wanted to stay another night, but I was afraid I was only going to get worse and then be stuck in Columbus unable to drive.

Anyways, it was a great time. If I am still in Ohio by the time Context rolls around, I will look into taking a few more workshops. Maybe even stay up there the full weekend.

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