So I’m packed for Dragon*Con–finally–and I’m waiting for my nails to dry. (Typing on a keyboard is a lovely way to do that without seriously screwing them up.) I’m terribly behind on my geek street cred: I never finished watching the last season of Doctor Who (mostly cause I didn’t want David Tennant to leave), nor did I watch Season 6 of Lost. I have, however, devoured the Hunger Games trilogy and caught up on Stargate:Universe. Most importantly, I feel out of the loop because I was not haunting Sherri’s cabin, breakfasting on hummus and looking over her shoulder while she finished No Mercy…which just feels strange. I don’t even know what her soundtrack for that book was.

I always have this feeling right before Dragon*Con — the feeling that in order to pick up my VIP badge I’m going to be forced to take an IQ test and answer a series of questions as to the true level of geekness in my nature. This year, more than most, I feel like I’d come up lacking. Instead of reading every Blackest Night prequel graphic novel, I went and quit my job, ran away from home, and sold a bunch of stories to a bunch of anthologies while waiting on news about my novel. (I’d say any day now, but it’s been “any day now” for almost a year and I don’t want you guys to punch me.)

It’s that horrible double-edged sword of convention-going: If you don’t go to enough conventions, you run the risk of people forgetting who you are (and you forgetting how to interact with them). If you go to too many conventions, when the heck do you have time to do any work? My dearest bosom buddy Leanna Hieber reminded me that while I do miss my friends–and am going through a rather horrible adjustment and withdrawl regarding them–I need to go back to the beginning. I need to find me again, and find what’s important. I need to finish some things that I started…and then start new things.

The coolest part is, I’m actually starting to THINK of new things. My fairy goddaughters have been my muses. They remind me so often what I was like when I was their age, brimming with emotions and stories untold. Of how happy I was in a room by myself with a pink-papered notebook and a purple pen. (Because we had those things back in the 80’s.) It was just me and the words and no one else…until it was me and Casey sitting on the dock, exchanging stories, and then me and Margo and Chris passing a notebook back and forth and writing a novel.

My friends were always there–and will always be there. I’m going to see quite a few of them tomorrow night. But the writing came first. The writing always came first. So forgive me if you haven’t seen much of me this year in person — please know that I miss you too. Immensely. But an exiled princess is still a princess, and her kingdom will flourish wherever she goes.

If you’re going to be at Dragon*Con, please find me and say hi. I’d love to see you. I’ll be the girl dressed like a fairy princess trying to remember that she’s a geek. xox