This weekend was the 2016 Brain to Books Cyber Convention on Goodreads. Last year, it was a modest gathering of with booths, giveaways, and a few others things. This year it was so much more with Facebook events and YouTube videos. You almost had to be on it for 24 hours a day (and I think some people were!) to take in everything. Did it result in sales? For me, no I haven’t seen anything yet. However, that really wan’t its purpose. It was meant as an opportunity to network, gain exposure, and meet new friends and put faces to names. If you go over to Aurelia Casey channel on YouTube, you’ll see the panels on everything from Science in Science Fiction and Zombies to Diversity in Storytelling and Domestic Violence. Joe Compton of GoIndieNow covered the event for its 72 hour span with only a few hours of sleep a night. Thank you, Joe, for everything you did and making me feel accepted in a medium that I usually shy away from. (At least the front part, the back part I’d love to explore more as time permits.)

I have slush brain today as I’m still processing a lot of things. Emotionally, I’m jazzed and get even more excited as I continue to read an email conversation about the convention. The event was one of two turning points that have happened in the last couple of months. The first was a reset of my brain when I took a long and deep nap after a stressful website conversion. Don’t know how to really explain it other than that. I still have moments of stress and stressful emotions in my life, but when they hit, they pass in minutes, maybe hours, instead of locking me up for days or weeks on end.

It’s been a long time coming after a relationship that ended badly, but my mojo is back.

This weekend reinforced that notion. Me, the camera shy person who loves hiding behind people, was part of two panels and three hangout videos. In fact one time, I used Google Hangouts backgrounds and ended up breaking through it in spots. I laughed hard, but didn’t care that I was making a fool of myself. Cause I wasn’t. It was moment of spontaneity that made me feel good. It’s also the cover of the video.

Like Joe said, I went from lurking in the shadows on the first night and to absolutely beaming off the screen by the third. Usually, I edited myself so hard, I’ll stutter. Not this weekend. I let myself be free and showed myself to world without worrying about what others thought. I haven’t done that in a very long time, except through my writing.

What I really liked about the videos was the participation of the audience. I don’t remember it from the first panel, but it did lead to some interesting conversations in all the rest. Audience and panel members brought up questions about what it’s like to be a first time writer, and what’s books influenced our writing. I’m sure if I watched the videos again, I’d remember them all. So much was going on it’s hard to get specific. I just know we filled up hours of video with great content.

I met a ton of interesting people. Josh in Alaska who runs his own publishing company and helps our service men and women deal with some pretty heavy issues. Jin in Japan who has created his own genre by being a male author who writes romance.  Two sisters in Israel who have teamed up to write and market books as a full time career. I got to put names and voices to people I’ve hosted on here like Timothy. Angela, and Karina. Names blur together in my mind, but voices, personalities, and faces all shine.

To the hosts of the convention (Angela, Joe, Kori, Aurelia, and the rest), thank you, it was an awesome event. To all my fellow authors who participated, let’s keep the momentum going.