Monday, January 21, 2013

Con Report

You guys. You guys. MarsCon was fantastic. I don't even know where to begin.

I got to dress in costumes and wear snarky t-shirts, and I got lots of compliments on both. On Friday, I was Doctor Who. On Saturday, I wore a shirt that read, "Huge tracts of land," and that night, I put my corset on over that shirt, to emphasize, y'know... my tracts of land. Sunday, I wore my favorite writing shirt, which reads, "You're just jealous that the voices talk to me." And I got to see a lot (a lot) of other really amazing costumes and funny t-shirts and a couple of scarves that were basically works of art.

I got to listen to some great filk and otherwise geek-related music. I may need to start growing my geek-rock library, because despite not having actually heard the song played, I've had Mikey Mason's "Best Game Ever" stuck in my head for three days, and Danny Birt played a song called "Silent Letter Blues" that very nearly made me fall out of my chair entirely from laughing so hard.

I got to sit on three panels about writing and editing and talk with it as if I was a professional or something, and I participated in a writing contest against the amazing Kathryn Lively and did not win but felt pretty good about it anyway. All of which I will write more about on Wednesday, at my writing blog. I handed out a lot of business cards and post cards and bookmarks, and even sold one of my paperbacks that I'd brought with me. And I went to an Allen Wold writing workshop about plot building which spawned a new plot idea and gave me some really excellent tools for helping my plots to gel, which is always a win.

I got to watch my children blooming into nerds and geeks -- especially Penny. She sat in on a Blibbering Humdingers concert and afterwards begged me to buy one of their CDs for her. (I did. She doesn't know that yet, though.) And both of them got their faces painted, and they went with me to a pirate show and sang along and got up to participate.
Alex and Penny learning to be pirates during the
Hysterically Correct Pirate Show.
After that, Alex went with Matt to a birthday party and I got to hang with Penny. We did a craft, making people out of clothespins, and then I took her to an activity called "Playing With Your Food" in which everyone was given a big takeout box full of gummy candy and a plastic knife and encouraged to build monsters out of the candy, and when they had to clear the room we took it back to my hotel room where she continued pretending to be a mad scientist for the better part of an hour, and we had this conversation where I asked her if she wanted some chips and she said, "Not right now, Mom. I'm not done making my robot/clone army."
My girl, the mad scientist.

I got to look at some really amazing art, and I put a bid on one of my brother's ribbon trees and won it in the art auction. (I bid on a few more pieces, but didn't get them.) And I got to rejoice with him that he sold not just the piece I bought, but five of the things he'd brought with him, and we talked about how he should re-do one of the other pieces for next year. (It was a ribbon dragon he'd made like ten years ago, and he's learned a lot since then.)

I flirted a lot, mostly just in fun (but sometimes seriously), and was amused by KT's efforts on my behalf in that direction. I stopped into the gaming room a couple of times to say hi to a guy I've been on a couple of dates with, and significantly boosted his rep with the other gamers by giving him my phone number so we could meet up after the con. (He re-enacted for me later: "Dude. You've been sitting here gaming all weekend and you managed to score digits?") It's possible that I was totally aware of the effect that would have, especially since I was wearing my corset at the time, and deliberately waited until I was in there to write my number on my card for him.

But as always, the best part of the con was the people. I got to visit with old friends and acquaintances, like Elliot and Marcy and John. I got to visit with other friends I don't get to see often enough, like Greg and DJ and Ora. And also my brother and his wife, and some of their friends that I like a lot, like Melissa. I got to hang out with KT for hours and talk about writing and sex and writing about sex in a way that we almost never get to do any more. I got to hear about an engagement. I got to make new friends and chat with several of the writers and editors who were on panels with me (especially the multi-talented and snarky and totally amazing Cynical Woman, aka Helen Madden, who has the most gorgeous business cards ever). I even enjoyed striking up random conversations with strangers in the hallway or on the elevator.

I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do. Hell, I didn't even get to do half of what I'd wanted to do. My back and legs and knee were already killing me by Friday night (and I'd been dumb enough not to bring any painkillers). I went to bed around 2am both nights (and last night was still so keyed up that I couldn't get to sleep until nearly 1) and thanks to my stupid body clock, got up both mornings at 7:30 sharp (6:30, this morning, because my office is not closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day). This morning, I'm exhausted and sore and not entirely mentally present, and I fully expect the Con Crud to hit me in the next couple of days... and I already can't wait for next year.

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