But that's not the only thing gained from this past weekend. I made quite a few new friends, many of whom I had at least talked to online at some point. It was nice to finally meet them in person and make the connection from cyberspace to a real flesh-and-blood individual. Some of them were not how I envisioned them in my head from communicating with them on Twitter or Facebook. Which, I guess, is to be expected. I also got to see old friends. Old friends who I don't get to see nearly enough. It sucks living so far from them all. I wish I could spend way more time with them because they have a way of bringing out the best in me.
I could go on and on with funny stories and inside jokes that occurred at a rapid fire pace all weekend long. I could do that. Yet, I won't. Those memories are for those who were there with me. It's like a secret code between us when we make a reference to something from that weekend to one another. It helps to keep a sacred bond between those of us who participated.
As an added bonus, we visited Edgar Allan Poe's grave. This was an unexpected side trip that was revealed while we were all eating lunch at the Ale Wife in Baltimore. It was weird seeing an old cemetery nestled between office buildings and the like. It was definitely a cool experience because, as most of you know, I adore Poe. There were also tombs. Tombs, I say! That was way cool. I've never seen a tomb close up before and it was interesting.
My only regret is that I didn't read my flash fiction piece on Saturday night when everyone gathered to read their work. I could have. I SHOULD have. But I didn't. I wish I had so that I could get feedback from my friends and peers. I mean, the story already got accepted to a publication and will be coming out sometime by the end of this year so it must not totally suck. That's not to say that it's particularly good. A handful of people have read it and said that it was good. Not all of them were friends either so I would hope that their assessment would be less biased because they don't know me personally. Oh well, there's always next time. Hopefully by then I'll have a few more complete stories to choose from.
I want to thank everyone who was there for No*Con. It is great to be a part of something so fun and meaningful. You guys rock! I love you all.