The Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (MTAC) is a three day anime convention hosted in Murfresboro, Tennessee. Organized by ArtsCubed, the convention has grown substantially from it’s modest 300 person attendance in 1999 to a whopping 9,796 head count last year!
This year, MTAC boasted a prestigious line-up of events and guests including Martin Billany, Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, DJ Pete Ellison, Dan Green, Samantha Inoue-Harte, Vedetta Marie, Vic Mignogna, Marianne Miller, Chii Sakurabi, and Eric Stuart.
Site correspondant Mickey McClendon was on the scene to capture some of the magic on camera and on film. Fun fact: it was his very first convention!
Check out some snippets of the con (and some very unique interviews!) below!
My personal favorite, a shout out from Little Kuriboh himself- Martin Billany!
I have wonderful news that deserves a post of it’s own…and it will have it. However, today I am grateful for time. You see, I am writing from the future…at least as far as this post is concerned. Those who are following the personal side of this website likely know that I have been battling cancer– Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to be exact– for the better part of a half a year.
Spoiler alert!!!! (I win!)
However, the journey has been far from boring and unfortunately some of the tolls it took were on my ambition, my inspiration, and my motivation. Although I knew that the end was in sight, that end often felt like a barren, endless tunnel that repeated itself into infinity.
I’d like to think it never stole my joy, because there were a myriad dazzling moments of relief, excitement, and revelry amidst the turmoil. Here, on the other side of it, I’m willing to admit that there definitely were some very dark moments too.
It wasn’t an easy time. …And despite my own best intentions, I fell into that hopeless, awful hole once or twice.
(I met Artax there… poor Artax. I knew him well.)
In my defense, I’m not a horse. I had a lot of things to hate. A lot of things I’m glad I’m rid of. A lot of things I pray I’ll never encounter or deal with again. I have more things to be grateful for than ever.
Maybe I shouldn’t have hated those times. Maybe I shouldn’t have feared them…but I did. Maybe that’s what dragged me down.
However, here? Now? I’m glad for everything.
Glad it’s over.
Glad I’m done.
Glad I have time.
I’m not giving this project up. Grateful 365 is important to me. It means that this year was more than the worst bits. I’m behind, but not quitting. Not the project. Not writing. Not the site. Not my ambitions.
Oddly enough, the project represents endurance to me. It’s a year long marathon of celebration via keyboard.
I just realize it will take awhile to catch up.
Apologies to those looking for anime or comics or cons…but for the next several days (and possibly weeks), a lot of that work will be waylaid in order to catch up on gratitudes.
Yes, cons and costumes bring more views and follows.
Yes, games and reviews are topics that reach a broader audience.
Yes, eventually this gratitude blog and my professional blog will be two separate entities.
HOWEVER– this year has opened my eyes to things I’ve never seen.
I’ve seen grace, beauty, kindness, love, friendship, wholeness, wellness, faith, joy, camaraderie, and LIFE in frames I’d never known before.
I’ve also experienced loneliness, grief, anxiety, depression, isolation, futility, devastation and anger such as I’ve never, EVER known.
Today though? Today I’m glad I’m here. Today I’m glad to know I’ll be here tomorrow…and the next day…and hopefully the day after that. Not only will I have them, but I will have them as a healthy individual.
There will be time for all of it. For gratitudes and conventions and anime and video games and cats and costumes.
I’m glad I have time.
Time enough to make good on everything I appreciate.
Time to love and live and share more.
Time enough to fill your feed with things I think are worth noticing, loving, and lauding in your life…
…Because we only get one.
Sometimes it takes a hard look into the shadows to make us appreciate all the good things that shine so brightly.
I’m glad for every single pain I suffered…because it makes every smile that much brighter. Every laugh that much lighter. Every morning that much more amazing.
We live in this construct of “time”. I’m grateful for every single moment of it that has passed and hasn’t passed yet. I’m glad I have a chance to catch up and backlog over a month’s worth of gratitudes.
I’m glad for every single person who takes the time to read them.
~all the love~