Some of you may recall that, in the process of writing my latest collection, "Letters from Gardner", I had to buy an external floppy disk drive and go back through a box of floppies because those were what I used to back up my stories back then.
Yesterday I was going through that box of floppies when I saw a disk that caught my attention. I booted it up and saw it had photos I took at ConDFW in 2003. I completely forgot I had those photos.
ConDFW was the first convention I ever attended. I didn't even know sciencxe fiction conventions even existed before that. The only reason I knew about ConDFW was that it sent out a news release and I got it at the paper where I worked at the time.
I didn't attend the con as a fan, and I wasn't an author then. I went on a press pass - which is why I took the photos.
Now, this photo here is very important to me, because this was the last panel I attended on Sunday afternoon. That's Melanie Fletcher speaking on the right; that's Jayme Blaschke in the middle. I don't recall who the fellow is on the left. It was during that panel - which I believed was on Texas s-f - that I mentioned I had thought about writing s-f, but at 46 maybe I was too old to start. They all told me I was wrong.
Jayme was fiction editor at Revolution S-F at the time. I asked him after the panel if I could sent him story. He said "of course," and that was my first published story, "Silver", published in June 2003.