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GenCon is over but it’s effects certainly linger. Although most of us will be back in the office Monday I suspect it will be even quieter around the water cooler than the days we were gone. GenCon is exhausting! Even if you’re there as “author” like I was last year, hanging around the Wizards booth, eating handfuls of Wurther’s Originals and begging the event manager for something to do. Still tiring. Could it be the fact we don’t usually hit our Heavenly Beds until 3:00 AM at the earliest? Why yes, that’s probably part of it.

This year, even as a “working Wizard” GenCon was lots of fun. I got to have some quality time with some of our authors like R.A. & Geno Salvatore and family. Always a treat. I’ve spent so much time with them at book shows this summer I’m going to go into withdraw if I don’t see them within the next 30 days. And speaking of treats, that brings to mind Ed Greenwood. Oh boy. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting this man I beg you to come to the next GenCon and do so. He’s…unexplainable. I got to “assist” with this year’s Spin a Yarn again. Thankfully a co-worker who is a much better speller joined us. The room we were in could instantly put an end to Global Warming. Seriously, Al, send the polar bears to the Indiana Ballroom at the Marriot. They’ll be just fine. My fingers got so cold I couldn’t type. What a sissy! Thankfully one of Ed’s wonderfully thoughtful fans, a nice guy named Brian, stepped out to bring me some tea. The man seriously saved my life. Thanks, Brian!

And a few more treats? Getting to put faces to several people I’ve only known online. Like Tasha and Dante from (Tasha was robbed in the Geek Beauty Pagent! Robbed I tell you!) and Danny from (who has the best cat ever. Sorry Zelda. Next to you of course) and Yax from (who I hope is still enjoying his ENnie win for Best Fan Site. Much deserved, Yax!) I even met some of my favorite penpals—a wonderful woman who asked me to sign a copy of Confessions with a sparkly, pink, glitter pen she brought just for the occasion. How cool is that? I loved her and that pen. And Dr. David who is just as sweet in real life as he is in his emails and CrazyMonkey who is one of Wizards’ community volunteers and yes, in fact, deserves his nickname. In a good way, of course.

I especially like getting to hang out with co-workers you don’t normally get a chance to. Especially those with kids who clearly don’t get out much. One of them, who shall remain nameless, jumped in a fountain on our way back to the hotel after a long night. I’ve got pictures to prove it. Hear that, unnamed co-worker? I HAVE PICTURES.

I got some new dice. Beautiful swirly peach, green and blue dice that reminded me of melting ice cream. My dear friend, “Emo” bought me a gorgeous crystal d20 as a congratulations prize for winning an ENnie. I get to put it into play for the first time in about 20 minutes.

Oh yeah—the ENnie Awards. Did I mention that? Probably slipped my mind. I mean it’s not like I’m still talking about it, or thinking about it, or wearing my gold medal to bed. Er…I’m not. Really. Come on, people! I could strangle myself. I only wear it during the day. At home. Actually on Monday, several co-workers asked me why I’m not wearing it around the office. Are they serious? I was wearing silver earrings! Such disregard for mixing metals!

And here’s something adorable. My mom overnighted about 6 dozen brownies to us at work. She said these were Victory Brownies to celebrate the win, but if you didn’t vote for Confessions, you weren’t allowed to have any. She’ll find out too.

I’ve been lingering over this recap for long enough. There’s plenty more to say, I’m sure, but I’m under strict NDA. Sorry. Thank you again for tolerating my shameless pandering for votes. And if you voted, a special thank you. And if you voted for Confessions—huge thank you! May there be Victory Brownies in your future too.

Shelly Mazzanoble

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