Is it Christmas?

Or just feel like the night before? I’m so ridiculously excited about going to Dragon*Con tomorrow that it’s like a kid at Christmas. This is kind of a big deal for me, and I don’t really get wound up about much anymore. Not that I’m all that blase by nature, but anymore I really have been there and done that. I mean, in my work life I’ve worked for some of the biggest names in entertainment and seen their foibles. I know that big rock stars put their pants on one leg at a time. I’ve done the comic con stuff and seen the biggest creators in the world, and it’s really not a big deal.

But what is a big deal is that now I feel almost like I belong there with these folks. I’m not a guest, or even a participating artist, but I’m still a peer to these folks. We all sit down in front of a keyboard in our underpants and try to spin magic out of thin air. Okay, I usually wear pants when I write, but anyway, you get my point. I really feel like a new chapter in my life is opening up right f’n now, and this is kinda the beginning of it. Yeah, I’m a little more than a year into this writer’s journey thing, but this is my first BIG con. So I’m excited, and anxious, and nervous, probably more like a kid going to his first day of high school than a kid at Christmas.

The last time I was this excited about going anywhere was right before I headed down to Greenville for Brad-o-ween, way back in 2005. Six years and a couple weeks ago I walked up on Brad’s lawn and met some folks who have gone on to become my best friends in the world, even if I do see some of them only once a year. From that grew trips to Vegas, legendary benders involving drinking beer from buckets, and bonds that are stronger than any of us would have dreamed of back then. If this weekend goes half as well, it will be a remarkable success. I do have a little bit of an edge going to Dragon that I didn’t have going to Brad-o-ween – I actually already know a few people that will be in Atlanta this weekend. And Suzy will be with me, which makes any trip better.

And I’m guaranteed a parking spot at the Marriott, ’cause I’m Platinum. That’s right, I’m a Marriott Elite, bitches. That’s how I roll. I live the glamorous life, spending at least three months out of every year sleeping in hotels. But at least I get a parking spot, even if my cats don’t recognize me. I’ll be posting updates throughout the weekend on Twitter, so you can follow me (@johnhartness) there if you’re interested in me geeking out over shaking Stan Lee’s hand or something like that.


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