Two States, Two Very Different Conventions, and One Dizzy Author Having Lots of Fun

Talking about absinthe with Anomalycon steampunks

Last week offered a multitude of author-flavored treats for me. Two conventions, one brand new and one, an old favorite, were both timed for the same busy weekend in March.

Left Coast Crime, a mystery writers' convention which travels the Western states and landed in the gorgeous locale of Santa Fe, New Mexico, this year was slated to run from Thursday, March 24 to Sunday, the 27th.

Appearing on the Mysteries with a Social Conscience Panel

The venue of the conference was the charming La Fonda Hotel in the heart of the 470-year-old city (It is a thousand years old if you also count the Pueblo Indian villages on the site).

I was so intent on attending, I made my hotel reservations a year in advance. A few months ago, however, I was invited to attend the inaugural Anomalycon Steampunk Convention in Denver, which was scheduled for the same Saturday and Sunday of that week. Intent on meeting as many of my fellow Coloradoan steampunks as possible, I decided to split my time between the two cities so that I could appear at both.

My fellow panelists: Rhys Bowen, Susan Goldstein,

Mar Preston, and Elizabeth Gunn 

Left Coast Crime was everything a writer could hope for in a mystery conference. The size was manageable so an attendee could feel they were participating in the the entire event without being overwhelmed. Writers were everywhere, so mingling with favorites and meeting new ones was easily possible.

Early Saturday morning, I bid goodbye to Santa Fe and drove to Albuquerque to catch a flight to Denver. By that afternoon, I was dressed for (steampunk) success and gave a talk and demonstration on the cultural history of absinthe at Anomalycon. 

This steampunk convention was held in a unique, 100-year-old building that once housed the Tivoli Brewery, but is now the student union of the Auraria Campus of CU. My absinthe presentation was held in the ancient boiler room of the old brewery and pipes and gears formed an excellent steampunk venue.

I am in the lower right-hand corner with my

favorite absinthe fountain on the table.

I appeared on several author panels on Saturday and Sunday. My fellow panelists included David Boop, Sarah Hoyt, Quincy Allen, Tanglwyst de Holloway and Terry Kroenung.

Terry Kroenung, me, and Quincy Allen gabbing on a panel

I feel certain the first-ever Anomalycon was a success because a 2012 event has just been announced. As a part-time Coloradoan, I hope it is the first of many steampunk events.

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