Miss D. and I arrived home safely early this afternoon after a wonderful long (very long!) weekend at LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN. We collapsed into bed and caught up on a few hours of missed sleep before surfacing to eat, drink, shower and start washing our laundry.
We had a wonderful time. It was great to meet old and new friends, as mentioned in a couple of earlier posts about the Con. Mike Williamson, Sarah Hoyt, Larry Correia (whom I met for the first time in meatspace, after a close online friendship that’s already lasted for a decade and a half!), their spouses and (in some cases) children, and many other attendees made for joyful and highly vocal company. The panels during the day were very interesting, with a great deal of useful information being imparted to newbie writers like myself, and the more social evening gatherings were even more fun. (The Spades tournament is worth an article in itself. With a motto like ‘THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!‘, what else could one expect?)
I was particularly interested to see a demonstration of sword- and knife-fighting techniques by students of the art (the so-called ‘Legacy Team‘ of the late Hank Reinhardt), and also be able to examine swords and knives offered for sale by Mike Williamson (who operates a business called ‘Sharp Pointy Things‘). I took the opportunity to increase Miss D.’s and my collections of the latter. Having seen combat with edged weapons on far too many occasions for comfort in Africa, where the assegai (particularly the shorter iklwa stabbing version of the Zulu tribe), machete and bush knife are all too frequently used to settle disputes quickly and violently, it was very interesting to compare the demonstrators’ techniques with ‘real-world’ applications. I came away with the impression that, whilst they were very good at performing their arts in a non-threatening environment, the sheer speed and savagery of a knock-down-and-drag-out, to-the-death knife fight might be an altogether different proposition for the demonstrators. (My primary answer to such affairs was to remain as far away from them as possible. When that didn’t work, my secondary response was to carry something that could ‘reach out and touch someone’, as hard and as often as possible, before they got into knife range. That’s one reason I’m still here today – but Miss D. was still taken aback by some of the scars on my body.)
Of course, our sleep suffered. I tried hard to make sure I got sufficient rest – my fused spine and damaged sciatic nerve make it impossible for me to sleep more than a few hours at a time, so I rest in the afternoons as well as during the small hours of the night – but Miss D., being younger and more used to conventions like this, remained active all through the day, and well into the night, too. She’s paying for it now, though, in a state of utter exhaustion! I’ve packed her off to bed already, to recharge her batteries before returning to work tomorrow.
I’m going to be applying the ‘lessons learned’ at the con for weeks and months to come. Most important, which I need to do right away, is find a good tax accountant and intellectual property lawyer in Nashville, TN. If any reader can recommend people in those fields – preferably those with extensive experience in the publishing and/or entertainment industries – I’d be grateful if you’d please advise me of their names and contact information.