Just popping in here briefly to inform everyone of another postponement. Soonercon, originally scheduled for June, is now postponing to June 25-27, 2021. As I’ve been doing to help ease the pain for most conventions, I’ve merely asked to have my vendor space passed forward to 2021. I figure it’s the least I can do. At the moment, this makes my next event to be Libertycon where I’ll be going as a professional and a couple of small engagements in St. Louis, MO and Lawrence, KS in the summer. Given how things are going, I’ll put those dates out once they’re reconfirmed.
Against the backdrop of a pandemic, this is not a back breaker for me. I still have the day gig and *knocks on wood* haven’t had a brush with the virus yet. Others are not so lucky. A lot of artists, authors, and other entertainers I know are hurting horribly from the ripple effects of this pandemic, and it’s going to take awhile for the “Con Familia” to recover. So I implore you, if you know someone whose primary business is being a vendor at a convention or artist, please “toss a coin to your painter / writer, etc.” If you’re not able to see them in person this year, I encourage you to go to their internet, Etsy, etc. and buy something.
Don’t want to risk dealing with germs possibly being carried on packages? Well, if you have the change to spare, become a Patreon for a little bit at their lowest level of contribution. Yes, it’s probably only a buck…but if 400 friends each donate a buck, that’s a car payment, groceries, utility bill, etc.. “1000 people, sufficiently motivated, can kill a hostile lion armed only with ice picks”-definitely applies in these times of economic stress. To be clear–by no means should you put yourself at economic risk (unlike the hunters in the analogy), but every little bit would help artists who may literally be worrying about keeping the lights on.
(For those who like Anita C. Young’s art, her Patreon is here. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’d go to the proverbial “Special Hell” if I didn’t promote my favorite artist and booth babe. In that same vein, if you like fantasy art, I also recommend my regular con neighbor and DnD player, Chelsea Mann.)
Failing direct economic action, promote your favorite authors / artists on social media. Quarantine is a great time to dive into a new book series or recommend something for a group read along. Or if you’re so inclined, buy a book to donate to your local nursing home, cancer ward, or assisted living library. With a lot of the restrictions in place, the inhabitants of those facilities are not getting to see visitors. You can both help an author and put a smile on people’s face.
Things are bad, but I’m convinced that we will all collectively make it through this. Yes, it is grim when multiple friends are not able to hold funerals, weddings, or graduations due to this. I don’t even think we’re into the worst of it yet. But at heart I’m an optimist, and so far Humanity has managed to pull through all sorts of calamity to get to this point. Hug your loved ones close and check up on friends who may have been suffering from mental illness previously. Try to get outside as the restrictions of your area permits. Take this time to reconnect with someone you might have lost touch with. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you later this year when all this is behind us, and hopefully with more books than you saw me with last time.