Filling in the details of the weekend

Now I have been to my first convention and had a whole day to reflect.  It is impossible not to compare it to other experiences in life and I would say that it was less fun than a good SCA event and more fun than a good trip to a museum (FYI both are on the positive spectrum)

Why it was good;

  1. I got to see a few people in real life that I have only seen in print or on a screen.  It’s a different dynamic to see how they act when the camera isn’t rolling.  Technically they all knew they were under a microscope all weekend and how they reacted to that was telling too.
  2. I met and heard the valuable opinions of many successful people that I had not heard of before.  That was actually even better than the ‘famous’ people because A. No fan-nerves around them, and B. they are ‘less’ famous so more easy going when someone wanted to talk.  The ‘famous’ people were generally guarded and generally inaccessible except for when they were supposed to be doing something.
  3. Every person we interacted with was kind, genuine and happy.  Most of them were interesting.  Only a very few were coo-coo and that has a charm too.  Even when there were negative situations like not enough space in a room or a long line, people acted well.
  4. Obviously – I learned things – I also have a long list of things to think about since there are very few absolute right answers to questions like “How to I write a character that is a different gender/race/age etc” or being mindful of how my story might affect someone reading it.
  5. I now have a very solid list of books to read recommended by the authors
  6. I have a long list of books to read by those authors too
  7. Extremely entertaining people that I would have never found any other way, I feel bad for missing some of the other acts, but timing is what it is.  If you get to see Paul and Storm, or, Too much light makes the baby go blind, they were both absolutely awesome
  8. I got very lucky and got into most of what I wanted, good seats for all but 1, and we even had great parking.

IMG_6730 IMG_6713

Why it did not live up to my expectations

  1. There was a good selection of things to do and things have to overlap and I don’t mind at all that I had to make hard choices about what to go to.  BUT. There was almost nothing else going on….  Probably a symptom of a first convention but there was no party or after or fun.  It was far more like a seminar where I went to learn than a convention where I envisioned as a far more fun.  Almost nobody dressed up for the one thing that said to?!?  Oh well, maybe that might change in future years
  2. The nerdcon diet plan; Timing in general stunk.  There was a 1/2 hour between everything HOWEVER if you did not go directly to the next thing immediately, you would not get in.  So, for 1/2 an hour you would sit and wait and unless you had a friend that could hold your seat you needed some adult diapers (not quite).  Lars and I brought lunch both days because otherwise it was impossible to get and eat food in the time allowed.  This picture is our picnic lunch in the nosebleed section.  10 min between would have been fine and chunk more in the middle for lunch…
  3. I left with a brain and notebook full of ideas but I did not make one single connection where I can go today, Monday, and visit the blog of someone I met  or friend someone new on facebook.  I gave out my info to a few people, but it just was not a place to network? Maybe?  Or maybe its just me?  This is the biggest disappointment because while a 10 – 30-minute interaction is nice, I would really have liked to know more about the other 2998 people there.  I’ve walked away from every event, every conference, every other thing with at least 2 or 3 new connections and it feels like a failure to have 0 new lasting connections.  With a theme of ‘stories’ that I completely get behind, there was precious little to be continued and more or less unsatisfactory endings.
  4. Lars and I were not the age demographic.  While it was 99% white and a fair gender split almost everyone attending was under 30.  of 3000 people my guess is 500 were over 30 and that is generous.  There was a bit of the kid vibe all over and I’m glad they had fun and it didn’t distract from my good time it did not make me feel like (or want to) be included with the majority or a real part of the community.

Aside from the subject of the convention it was a nice weekend with Lars.  We never get away and this was the first time since Fiona was born.  That alone made it a good weekend, but the hotel, weather, and food were all positives so it was an all around good experience with just minor unmet expectation.  My list shows 2x positive than negative 🙂  But I still wish there was more community that reached past the time I had the person in sight.

I’m not sure if this weekend makes me want to write more, or if I’ll be paralyzed with indecision because of all the new facts to figure in.  I didn’t get one iota of what to do to actually be a writer, the panel that was supposed to talk money didn’t.  They just didn’t….  Google will need to be my friend and spit out the rules etc for short stories submission places or what to do to bridge the gap between blogger and writer.  Maybe I’ll actually write a Novel for November….

ps.  The single possible connection made is with Randomonius who I didn’t actually meet, but we were both there and I found his blog due to shared hashtags…

pps. The AV crew, the organization of volunteers and the logistics were all fantastic, top notch, the bar by wich all will be compared to in the future!

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