So, as we know (cf. March 4, below) I made it home from Providence Sunday, though fate (and American Airlines) apparently would have preferred that it be Monday.  A flight to Philadelphia cancelled (one does not get to Indianapolis without changing planes at some point in the journey)!  But I persisted as the saying goes, and a way was found, via Washington DC, with only one small glitch — it left from Boston.  Ha ha!

But I once lived in the Boston area a long time ago and Logan Airport is no farther from Providence than, say, Indianapolis from where I live now.  There are trains and busses, though schedules might be chancy on Sunday.  So going back to the Dean Hotel (a lucky connection with a Providence city bus from the airport there back into the city) where I had been staying, and technically wouldn’t have had to check out till 11 a.m., where they let me borrow my room key back to rest for an hour or two, then set up a ride for me via Uber for, still, significantly less than the cost of an extra night in a hotel.

So I got back to Bloomington three hours later than I had planned — big deal, big deal!  I who on Friday had survived, and walked between hotels, and 7-11s and CVSs to cobble together a rustic lunch, what USA TODAY has described as a “bomb cyclone”!

So, weather disasters and airports aside, just what was I doing at StokerCon?

Not schmoozing in the ConSuite for one thing.  They didn’t have one — which is rather amateur in my opinion, the hospitality suite even more than proverbial, though over-noisy hotel bars being where people get together during lulls between panels and other activities.  On Friday night, however, after 4 p.m.’s Dark Poets Face to Face Redux, several of the poets and I kind of faked it with order-in pizza (the “bomb cyclone” beginning to wind down) in one of our number’s room.  And at 8 p.m. repaired from there to the Third Annual Final Frame Horror Short Film Competition, won by the very funny — and horrid — Great Choice (dir. Robin Comisar, “A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial”), with 2nd place going to Exhale (a.k.a. Expire, dir. Magali Magistry, “A toxic fog, the Smog, blanketed the planet forcing people to live confined.  But when you are 15 like Juliette, real life truly begins outside) and 3rd to Winston (animated, dir. Aram Sarkisian, “A man is driven mad by his obsession and paranoia), some of which once the film festival season has ended may begin to be seeable on YouTube.

Other things I wasn’t on, but attended on Friday, were panels:  Pulp Horror 2018, How (Not) to Win the Bram Stoker® Award, a post-lunch final half hour of What’s Vlad Got to Do with It? (“a tour thru Romania with Dacre Stoker”), How to Make Ordinary Things Scary (having noted to Dark Poets moderator Marge Simon that my TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, on the other hand, seeks in a way to make scary things ordinary), and DARK CARNIVAL: The Writing Prompts of Ray Bradbury.  A very full day!

Saturday, following coffee Americano and a huge pecan donut at the Dean Hotel’s coffeehouse (very good, but nevertheless apart from the convention, still not a ConSuite) I shared a prose reading (Block Thirteen, 10 a.m. in the official program) with participant and host for the previous evening’s poetry and pizza Karen Bovenmyer, and Nathan Carson, with me reading the Part III chapter called “Carnival of the Animals” from TOMBS.  Afterward it was back to my hotel and one block farther to Providence’s public library, to use a computer to reconnect, briefly, with the outside world.  Then, back at the Biltmore a panel attended, The Classic Weird in 2018, and out again for a late lunchette before 4 p.m.’s Vampires:  The Next Generation which I moderated, and a final panel, Unspoken Clichés.

And that was pretty much that — with nothing planned for those who might not be going to the awards banquet, after some chatting with folk in the Biltmore lobby, etc., it was to the Subway across the street for a sandwich to go, then reviewing a busy and enjoyable weekend at my hotel and an early bedtime.  And thus, well rested, I could find out at something before 7 a.m. Sunday that, re. getting home, the adventure had actually not quite yet ended.

But we already know about that.

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  1. Great times, good friends –old and new(er)! I’m glad you made it home even with the airlines changes (we had that happen en route –Delta reserved a room for us overnight as it was their fault we missed our connection. I arrived home in the wee hours of Tuesday. What an adventure we both had!

  2. Hi, Marge. In my case, I kept declining to accept itineraries for Monday, insisting I must get home Sunday, but also pointing out that I didn’t care where I might have to change planes at. So after I allowed leaving from Boston would be okay, they found what actually turned out to be a rather nice combination of flights (time for lunch at Logan before my flight, a just-right layover in DC to find the new gate, but not have to wait too long after that). However the ticket-person’s boss insisted on grumbling the cancellation was due to weather (i.e. not the airline’s responsibility) when the suggestion of a voucher for the trip to Boston came up.




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