I’ve been gone, relaxing in the great Northwest, and then unrelaxing at Balticon (the Baltimore Sci-fi Convention). It was my third time there, and you’d have thought I’d have learned something by now, but alas, it took this weekend for some do’s and don’ts to sink in. So, for any of you who intend to attend such events as writers, here’s my free advice, and it’s worth every penny.

Do – get lots of sleep the night before.

Don’t – sign up for events (panels, readings, book signings, and so on) for the opening sessions on any day, or for anything on the last day.

Do – try to stay overnight to attend the parties and celebrations. It’s not just the fun, and certainly not the drinking, though the free food might be nice — it’s the networking.

Don’t – count on selling a lot of books.

Do – remember to drink lots of water.

Don’t – expect everything to run like clockwork — it’s a volunteer effort.

Do – enjoy your time there — it’s fun.

Don’t – be concerned with the rules, especially the one about how many times you can vote for your favorite costume.