LibertyCon: Find Your Tribe

LibertyCon has come and gone. I leave my tribe after a long weekend.

It’s a science fiction and fantasy convention that has the honor of producing more lifelong friends than any other event in my entire life. It’s my tribe– a thing you should find, and keep, and have and celebrate. It’s books and games and characters, and in the halls are people who I’ve admired for forty years– and then they’re in front of me, and I get to chat with them about the books that are, in some way, the soundtrack of my life.

This year was a bit different, and by that I mean even better. I’m writing for a truly excellent person, Chris Kennedy, in a genre that I’ve loved since I was a kid– Military SciFi. Being involved with Seventh Seal Press is sort of like joining a winning team on the first day. Chris takes care of the details, big and little, and it shows. I carry this coin proudly.

For three days, I was on panels, at parties, buying books, talking about books, science, films, and anything else associated with a fandom that has given me limitless joy since I was a kid. I was exhausted but invigorated, a curious blend of wanting to do more on less sleep, and finally convincing myself I could sleep on Tuesday, because there was too much good stuff to see and do.

After leaving friends for the trip home, my thoughts return to my family and how much I’ve missed them. It’s a good drive– mountains, sun, summer heat– and I look forward to that strange sensation of coming home to people you love more than anything, even after being among people you love. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and it never gets old.

On the way. I stopped to eat in a small town, Monteagle, Tennessee. There’s an iconic place– The Smokehouse– and I went in having not set foot there since 1977. Fond memories of being a kid with my family, seeing snow for the first time, a wooden toy my grandfather bought me, soon to be scattered across the cavernous back seat of our 1972 Cadillac. Joyous thoughts, then a conclusion as I realize that of seven people at that table, only two remain, and we’re not kids anymore.

Travel is like that for me. It gives and takes. It fills up my tank, and not all of it is pure, because I’m aware of the passage of time. I eat the food slowly, processing the past three days while thinking of the next ten.

I return home to teach, write, edit. Things that are all part of my third life, the one that has bloomed unexpectedly out of a childhood love of things that didn’t exist anywhere except the books I loved– dragons, distant galaxies, starships made of light. This is the best of my three lives, and LibertyCon is the fuel.

To repeat: find your tribe.

Terry

Find Your Tribe.

Your tribe is the people outside your family who become family. That’s it. It can be simple to find them, or it can take years. For me, it took until I started writing as a serious pursuit, unlocking the years of memories about books, movies, comics, and art. All of these things fire my imagination like the inside of a star. It’s relentless and┬ácompelling and there is unalloyed joy in sharing it with people who not only like the things you like, but they get you.

So, back to back I’ve had two weekends with My Tribe. The first was Utopiacon, where fiction writers I know– and did not know– mingled with fans over three days of celebrating books. It’s a powerful sensation to realize that there are other humans who feel the same giddiness over books. Their imaginations share DNA with mine, and the overlapping areas of our fandoms are where we find common ground and bond (likely for life).

Then came LibertyCon. And this. . .headgear.

Your tribe foments creativity and laughter and thought. Your tribe makes you want to be better at what you do, and causes unabashed admiration for others who share your pursuit. It’s loud and grand and caring, and every minute of it flies by in a whirl of color and fun.

Something else happens, too. I’ve written five thousand words since coming home from the event, no small feat given my lack of sleep. Why is this? Simple. Your tribe stokes the boilers and makes creativity readily on tap. It’s a side effect of magical purpose, leaving you exhilarated and wide-eyed with the prospects of the coming days, eager to create and share.

I waited a long time to find my tribe, only to find that they were here all along. It’s up to you to find yours, but that’s the simplest part: find out where you can be weird, and revel in it.

Cheers for now. Gotta write. Maybe sleep. Mostly, write.

Terry

LibertyCon: Post Mortem

Take several hundred science fiction fans. Season with pancakes and booze. 


And wait.

LibertyCon superseded all of my expectations. I made several (doubtless) lifelong friends, met some incredibly talented people, and collected books and art that are now firmly established in my pantheon of Favorite Things. Unlike Oprah, my faves are affordable, nerdy, and probably will add something to my post-apocalyptic skill set.

Set in lovely Chattanooga, Tennessee, LibertyCon was held at the “Choo-Choo”. It’s a landmark hotel. You can tell because of the restroom:



That’s fancy.

So, had a few hours out in Author Alley. That was great. As it turns out, everyone there likes books the same way I do: like oxygen.



But this event was about artists and writers. Some specific wonders I discovered included:

A pirate death coin by Fritz Ling (Pirates? Doom? I accept)



And then my Magnum Opus Find: Martin Powell and his bride Leia Barrett Durham Powell. Lemme tell ya, Martin and I share a LOT in common. 

1) Dinosaurs
2) A passion for megafauna
3) The desire to own a Baluchitherium
4) Edgar Rice Burroughs
5) Other stuff

For your education, here is a Baluchitherium, not to be confused with a Titanothere or Indricothere, both of which we also appreciate:



Don’t act like you aren’t impressed. We also share a love of the same book from the 1930s.


His bride, Leia makes incredible stained glass art. She gave me a pteradactyl, and now she calls me Pterry.  The Pterrydactyl will now be my Official Vehicle Mascot henceforth.


GET IT? 

This was another part of the scene. To a nerd, this looks a lot like heaven:



But the event was not without hidden stress. For example, one sadistic individual unleashed these terrifying dolls on the general populace. Not since The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has the world seen such crimes against nature:


Yeah, I’ve officially stopped breeding. And sleeping. And walking past places where there might be infants. Or dolls. Or anything wearing a onesie.

So that’s it for now. I’m still processing just how wonderful everyone was to a first time nobody from Someplace Else.

I’ve already made my reservation for next year. 

Seriously, with a chandelier like that in the bathroom, don’t tell me you wouldn’t as well.

The new series is out, by the way. 

Did you get yours?Waffles, Witches, and Wonder. Halfway Dead.


Until next time!

Terry














































LC

LibertyCon: What I’ll Be Doing

I’m attending LibertyCon in the beautiful city of Chattanooga, TN this week. Here’s a link to the overall site:http://libertycon.org/

There will be several writers present whose books are don’t miss events on the day of release.

My schedule is as follows, in case you’re in the neighborhood or are attending:



Scheduled Programming Events Featuring Terry Maggert

Day Time Name of Event
Fri 03:00PM Reading: Terry Maggert & Robert Waters

Fri 04:00PM What’s new in Space Opera?

Fri 05:00PM Opening Ceremonies

Fri 07:00PM Autograph Session  (Cordova, Lamplighter, Maggert, C Sanderson)

Fri 10:00PM Author’s Alley  (Holo, Maggert, Spriggs)

Sat 10:00AM Autograph Session  (Fults, Leacock, Maggert, J Young)

Sat 01:00PM What’s new in Horror

Sat 09:00PM Author’s Alley  (B Brooks, Maggert, Mandragora)

Sun 10:00AM Kaffeeklatsch

Sun 01:00PM Author’s Alley  (Maggert, Spriggs, Wandrey)

Sun 02:00PM Urban Fantasies: What Cities Make the Best Backdrop for Imagination and Why?





It’s going to be a fantastic weekend for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction. I can’t wait to discuss what’s new, what we’re reading, and what readers want.

Looking froward to it. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Cheers,
Terry