There was so much to do and see in Brighton, England, this past weekend. There were the usual temptations of a popular seaside city--restaurants, pubs, museums, dance clubs. There was the allure of the tiny streets, crammed with charming shops and an ambiance of antiquity. And there was the World Horror Convention, packed with programming and respected members of the dark literary world. Just walking close to the convention hotel made me float on a cloud of geekery.
With so much to choose from, I stretched myself pretty thin. I made it to the Brighton Art Museum and the Royal Pavilion, walked on the beach, and enjoyed a silly ghost walk through the littlest and oldest of streets. I made it to a few readings. I sat through some amazing panels. I did a reading. I danced with some really nice people. I bought books. I drank lots and lots of free booze. It was a pretty normal kind of convention.
But at the same time, there was nothing normal about it. I have never been anywhere that was so resoundingly, astonishingly home-feeling as Brighton. I can't help but feel like this quirky town and I are tuned to the same frequency, a pitch both friendly and dark, creepy and cheery, sweet and spooky. Between feeling so magically at home and fining a crew of truly amazing friends, I had one of the most outstanding weekends of my life.
Every day I missed my family and my regular writing routine--but I am so happy I went. And as silly as it sounds, when I took my farewell look at the Brighton shore, I cried to leave it.