Twin Cities Con 2023

A good cup of coffee can change your entire day.

There’s a prelude—a ritual, if you will. Grinding the beans, the gurgle of steam, a steady trickle of rich nectar into your favorite mug, and that tantalizing smell of lavish success. On November mornings, especially, that warm cup in your hands is nothing short of bliss. Steam curling, phantasmal designs wafting with your breath…

…And, ah, that first, tentative sip. You’ve put in the perfect amount of cream. The coffee is strong without being bitter. It’s exactly the right temperature, warming your core as you settle in for what has become a potentially perfect day.

Habit or ritual, the process is key. There’s something to be said for taking the time and care to make everyday chores an event. Because what is life, if not a series of little moments.

Preparing for conventions reminds me of that perfect cup of coffee. I’ve packed Firebird and Olympus tidily into their crate, cushioned their sides with paper, tucked bubble wrap down their spines. I have the posters and promotions and pens waiting in the car. My brain is buzzing with the books I’ve read this year, the stories I’ve written, the lifetime of ‘little moments’ I want to share with friends I only see at these shows.

I’m anxious, like there’s champagne fizzing in my chest.

I’m excited, like waking up on Christmas morning.

And, of course, I’m OBSESSIVELY running through the list of chores I need to get done before leaving for the Twin Cities (at 4:30 in the bloody morning tomorrow). I need the QR Codes for my website and Audible. I need the email sign up sheet, the standing poster, the table posters—and damnit, DID I actually put the pens in the car?—and the red piece of fabric that I’ve had at every show since the beginning (and if I don’t have it, OBVIOUSLY the bad luck of a thousand years will descend on my person, demolishing all the good that I have ever done).

A good cup of coffee can change your entire day. But a bad cup—say, one you spill down the front of your white blouse—has the potential to ruin not only your day, but your dignity as well.

(Shit balls, where are my business cards? Should I pack PB&J for lunches? Do I have a phone charger? What if wifi doesn’t work? What if the roads are icy, or I get lost, or I forget the books and have to drive back and miss the set-up time and--)

This blog, in which I muse on coffee and the fragility of a ‘perfect’ morning, is obviously announcing my presence in Artist Alley at Twin Cities Con this weekend, Friday through Sunday, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. My table is D4, which means nothing to you. So, here’s a picture of the floor plan.

I attended this con last year—and let me tell you, the fans SHOW UP. I’ve never seen cosplay like that before. (For evidence, just click back a couple of blogs to last year’s event announcement. It won’t be hard. I’ve written…like, three blogs this year. Self-burn.)

Additionally, if you’ve read this far in hopes of an announcement RE Book 3, Dust is in the final revisions process. I have a tentative pub date of December 11th. Cover art? Check. Book written? Check. Proof read? Check. Remembering how to set up page format, correctly alter the ‘tab’ indents, and how to format for publication? Negative. But that’s why the pub date is set out a month. And why coffee is so important.

I hope to see you at Twin Cities Con this weekend. Even better if you have a cup of coffee in your hand. And if that cup of coffee is for me? Well, you’ve found a friend for life.

Eternally yours,



PS After logging into my website, I realize that this is the ONLY blog I’ve written this year. My goal of writing more blogs in 2024 is…well, super easy to achieve. Huzzah for really low bars. Also, sorry gang. If it helps, all of that creative energy has been poured into writing books. Books, books, books…that’s why we’re here, after all.


1 comment

  • Habit or ritual… love this paragraph! And why I grind the beans and shun Keurig…


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