How does one describe the gathering of their tribe? How do you convey once again seeing the people whose creativity and craft you admire, and who understand the agonies, disappointments, and striving that bedevil your every day? How can you do this without falling into rabid fanspeak and still express the joy of feeling that you are part of something larger than the screen before you every day?
The Nebula weekend started with exclamations of joy and hugs, kisses, handshakes, and respect in the lobby and progress rapidly to HallCon, LobbyCon, BarCon, and random gatherings wherever two or more writers, agents, editors, or publishers gather. These groups more often are a kaleidoscope whose brilliant array changes as one person is replaced by another and as conversational topics shift at light speed, morphs in strange ways, and always, always, always is about the craft.
Yes, there is a reception, banquet, awards ceremony and all that frivolity, but the core, the essence, the real impact of the Nebula Tribal Gathering is the free and open exchange of ideas on the craft, the art, and the business of writing, all done without the pressure of convention demands. It is a time for writers to be among people like themselves. It is a time to immerse yourself into the sheer joy of the writing world to experience the wonderful, inspirational, entertaining, and physically exhausting weekend that you hope will never end.
And then, sadly and thankfully, it does.