Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Well, that's that

I just sent my regrets to Aggiecon, informing them I would not be able to attend the convention this year. That felt very odd. After having Aggiecon a part of my annual routine for 18 years, this will be the second year in a row that I've missed it. Last year I wasn't invited--nobody was invited--as the convention imploded. This year I simply have other obligations.

Even if that weren't the case, I'm not sure how eager I'd be to attend the convention. After contacting me back in the summer and insisting they (the students who run the convention) were intent on restoring Aggiecon to its former glory, bringing back all the authors slighted in recent years and asking for any advice I'd be willing to offer... well, six months of absolute silence followed. There was no update to the website, and repeated emails to both the con chair and guest relations officer met with deafening silence. Various writer types around the state approached me with the "What's up with Aggiecon" question, since they'd had variations on that experience. Or wanted to attend, but couldn't get any information from the con runners. A couple of weeks ago I got an email confirming I was a guest and asking my travel plans. No programming/panel communications ever happened, so there's no telling what kinds of events they'd have put me on had I attended.

Aggiecon could've recovered from the 2008 debacle, given some hard (and smart) work coupled with lots of diplomacy. I haven't seen that, from my vantage point. The students mean well, but I think this thing has gotten beyond them, that the con's been on too much of a media-oriented trajectory for too long, that too many upperclassmen with conrunning experience have moved on... it's too much to overcome. I feel like I've watched a hearty and hale loved one suffer a debilitating stroke, and for the past two years everyone's gathered around the bed watching decrepitude take over.

I sincerely regret missing Aggiecon in 2009, because I doubt we'll see one in 2010.

Now Playing: The Kinks Did Ya


  1. I'd been wondering what was going on with AggieCon for a good while. I hadn't been asked to be a guest, and for a long time there was no list of guests posted on the website. Then, out of the blue, I got an e-mail asking my travel plans, etc. I had to let them know that I can't be there because of too much personal stuff going on, but I really wasn't sorry to have to miss. I was there last year, and it was lonely. This will be only the second year that Judy and I have missed since 1979. It's not going to seem like spring without out annual visit to Aggieland, and we hate not to be there. I hope the convention rebounds, but I have a feeling you're right about it.

  2. Rest in peace Aggiecon.