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ConGregate 2021

by Dennis M. Myers, 07/12/2021

This past weekend May and I attended ConGregate / Deep South Con in Winston-Salem North Carolina. The hotel was nice, the people were great. I got to spend some time with my dear friend Teresa Frohock and reconnect with Michael Stackpole. John Hartness was in great form, as were the Baen Roadshow team. James Beall, once again, gave me something to add to a story I am working on. Patrick and Hope Dugan were there. Their warm welcome of my wife cheered my heart.

I was also privileged to be present when Allen Wold was presented the Phoenix Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is one of the earliest positive influences in my writing career. If I were a stack of dried leaves, he was the spark that started the flames. It is an award that is well deserved.

But amidst it all, I was in pain. The drive up took too long, my feet hurt, I found sitting in chairs for more than a half an hour to be painful. I was uncomfortable nearly the entire time.

You know, I think it's always a bit uncomfortable, these things. But this time, it was all amplified by the recent loss of my mother. The convention was excellent, I just wasn't up to snuff.

Next year I'll be increasing my convention attendances. My focus is still on learning what I can, and expanding friendships. I have two books on submission at the moment, and I need to keep moving forward with my work. I know that my goal of putting a published book of mine into the hands of my mother is now unattainable, but I am a writer. It's who I am, how I identify myself, and how I will spend the rest of my life.

I am currently writing Dark Side of the Month, the second of the Red Ice series. Set on Luna in the early 2400's, this is the story of the struggle to form the Lunar Sustainability Cooperative, the foundation of the post-scarcity society depicted in the Rise of the Automated Empire series. The corporations with holdings on Luna see complete automation as the ultimate solution to making money. Unfortunately, some of them have less than friendly ideas about what to do with the displaced workers.

Miku O'Conner is a Minguard Security detective who is tasked with solving a murder. As with any Murder on a Monochrome World, it's more complicated than she bargains for.