Recently I attended Sasquan, this year's Worldcon. It was my first Worldcon, and my first convention more than 5 hours drive away. I am in Eugene, OR, so really the only cons I have attended are in Portland or Seattle. Time and monetary constraints have prevented me from wandering beyond those. This year, I took a whole week's vacation (hell, I HAD a whole weeks worth of vacation time to take, for the first time ever), and I had money for my own hotel room. I performed a concert with a couple of other Eugenites there. That was a BLAST. I also got to go to a panel that reignited my brain to what is possible....
So Con recon...which at one point became a 30000 word book on it's own, so just the highlights today, deeper in coming posts.
The con was in Spokane, WA, where I was born and raised. It has been a 15 years since I last stepped foto oin my native soil. A lot has changed. I arrived a day early so I could take a day to visit old haunts, etc. I didn't actually do that, though. The old Spokane fire placards are gone. They may be somewhere, but the ones I knew about are gone. I got so lost, as the landscape has changed so much, that I could not find the Garbage Goat or the Giant Butterfly. I thought it was by the Flour Mill, but I failed to find it. It may be gone, but teh intertubes says it is still there, so I probably am misremembering where it was. When I was a kid, it was just a frame. Originally it was draped in fabric, I believe. I know the goat is still there, I just couldn't find it. Milliways is gone. When I was a kid, there was a coffee shack called Milliways, that was on the ourskirts of town, on the west. That boundary line changed so often, I found that name HILARIOUS. But alas, Milliways is no more. It is an ex coffee kiosk. It is not pining for the fjords. This made me sad, so I walked back to my hotel through Riverfront Park, and grabbed myself a fake banana flavored shave ice. That, at least, was still there.
The rest of the con it was so smokey it was hard to go anywhere beyond con grounds and my hotel. I found myself dragging the whole con. My joints were so unhappy. I blamed the altitude, but it may have been the smoke. I came back from the con a day early so I could get some medical tests done. The doctor said my lung function was down 46%. Yeah, if that was the case, I would have had a hard time at the con.
When I got there and retrieved my badge, I got a bit of a surprise. I thought I was going to do a concert only. I received an email stating specifically that they didn't need me for panels, yadda yadda, so that is what I was expecting. Apparently they changed thier minds without telling me, as they handed me a list of panels I was on. Totally fine...I can BS my way through most things...but it would have been nice to have time to prepare. They even had me moderating a How To PRoduce a Video Game panel. I have never moderated before. I also stated on my surevey that though I am willing to be on panels, I didn't want to moderate. But again, whatever. They had some good experts ON the panel, so I could defer to them....wind them up and let them go sort of thing.
I spent some of my con time in the green room. I have issues recognizing people from thier pictures. For some reason my brain does not translate 2d to 3d very well. So I had many relaxed chats with famous authors in the green room as if they were not famous authors. I may have offended a few of them. I hope not, but I heard rumbling to that effect when one author was leaving the green room and made a snide comment about me not recognizing David Gerrold. Honestly, I have never actively seeked out a picture of him, so I didn't know what he looked like, 2d or 3d. One lady stood my a chair and was getting more and more aggitated as time went on, as we chatted. At one point she went off in a huff and did not speak to me the rest of the con, even when I said hi to her. She writes fan analysis, apparently. I am making assumptions that she was mad I didn't praise her writing. But I think it is more than a coincidence that her huffiness started about the time she handed me her bookmark with her listed works on it. Did I mention I don't fawn over people I DO know and like their works, much less those I have never heard of?
For the record, I generally don't get autographs either. If you sign my book, then I have to be careful with it, and the words on the page are not getting the exercise and repect they deserve. Stories are for reading. They are for sparking the imagination, raising emotions, dropping in puddles and the bathtub, starting fights on the bus. They are active, and they should be active. Placing an autograph on it renders the pages useless. As it is a precious thing now, it gets shelved or shadow boxed or sold on eBay. If no one is reading the words, it might as well be a hunk of cement. All of the love and work and sweat and tears the author put into each and every word on that page was for naught. If I really like you and respect you as an author, I will never ask for you to sign your book.
Anyway, concert went well. Usually at cons you get a riser in a conferance room for a stage. There we had a REAL LIVE STAGE STAGE!!! That was probably one of the best things to happen to me in years. This will be explounded on later. :)
My panels went well. Aside from one panelist never showing up, and another coming 20 minutes late to the one I moderated, they went ok.
I attended one panel on how to sucessfully crowdsource your project. That one....that one started me thinking. The possibilities are becoming possible again. One of the moderators offered to help me when I am ready. So now the gears are going, processes are put into motion.....and hopefully I will be able to stop mo again soon. :)
OK, I am going to end this here. I am not going to talk about the winners/losers of the Hugos. I am not going to commentate on the puppygate crap. Other than to whine about how it really put a damper on this con for me, and it pisses me off. It has been a week now, and I am still processing everything....