Storm stole our patio umbrella
—text from a friend

KeyCon in Winnipeg, Manitoba met in the real world for the first time since the pandemic. However, they maintained one room for online events. The panellists met by Zoom and appeared on a large screen. Of course, people could also attend those ones online, by invitation.

I had a reading (late morning) and one panel (early evening). I planned to read the first chapter of The Con, as I've done many times before, and a key section of "Space Comprimari" (included in Live Nude Aliens), which would be a first-time reading.

A storm hit locally, one of those roaring, windy rainstorms that hit the Great Lakes Basin and turn streets into rapid shallow rivers and knock down century-old trees. Sirens wailed on the wind. Our power went out. I called to indicate that I would likely be a no-show.

It took the better part of the day before our power returned. I cannot really complain. I missed a reading and a chance to sell some books. Others lost cars and parts of homes to fallen branches and upturned trees. The root system of one of those trees hauled up and overturned a stretch of sidewalk.

Two Four Eight Ten people have died. Many others were injured.

Lights re-illuminated just before 5:00 pm local time, when my panel sat. The router's light display followed, a few minutes later. I was able to rabbit in a little late and contribute to a discussion on worldbuliding in fiction. I cited the Turkey City Lexicon on the "Edges of Ideas." Writers needs to know much about our fictional worlds; readers should see only what becomes relevant to characters and stories. Trust their intelligence.

The Turkey City Lexicon's useful vocabulary also includes, "I've suffered for my art, now it's your turn." Every hard-earned fact should not find its way into your tale. Go to a science fiction convention. Doubtless someone will ask you to expand upon your imaginary worlds.

It is my second online encounter with KeyCon. I hope to attend in person some day.