One of my favorite activities throughout the year is hitting up the local conventions, be it scifi like Context or Marcon, or Romance ones like the COFW conf and writing retreat, they are great ways to connect with other authors and readers alike. Yesterday I was at Context, a small science fiction convention in Columbus and had a blast. Unlike the larger conferences, Context comes off as small, and intimate. You get a lot of one on one time with authors, agents or editors, including the Guest of Honor. That doesn't happen in larger conventions. Since I've been attending for years I've started to recognize a lot of name and made some great friends, many of whom I only get to see at conferences like this. Even if I don't sit on panels, I always leave feeling a little more recharged and excited about my writing.