So as I am sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out what to write about, mainly because I didn’t write very much over the weekend. Than I remembered what I did do this weekend and had to bonk myself in the head.
This weekend was my first attempt to step into a writing convention. The above convention is actually one of two (that I know of so far) that we do in this area. Apparently.
There were about twenty five local or localish authors here, several people from small presses in the area and a whole lot of other stuff that didn’t really interest me. Due to family stuff, Amelia’s studying schedule, and just life ( watching my dad install a new alternator on my car), I knew I wasn’t going to make much of it, but wanted to take the opportunity to attend when I got a moment. The blogs are always making such a big deal about it. I don’t have a lot in the travel budget but I can make one around here.
Disclaimer: I don’t like people (not true, I don’t like people I don’t know), and I certainly don’t like crowds. More than anything, I don’t like being in a situation that I am unfamiliar with or don’t know what to do with myself.
So, first, wow, there were a lot of people. A LOT!
This was an event surrounding much of the subject matter I have made a habit of enjoying, but it was all being acted out or sold by the attendees, neither of which I wanted to take part in. I wanted the writer’s panels. I spent half the time trying not to make eye contact with merchants (I hate, do in fact abhor, salespeople) and the rest of the time making sure my eyes contact never drifted below neck level (more on that in a bit). I want to make it clear, I have no problem with anyone dressing up, it just isn’t something I am into. Furthermore, women want to dress up like that, well, I’m more than fine with that. But I have always held myself to the standard that no matter how anyone is dressed, that doesn’t give me permission to be rude.
The reason I bring it up is because I generally know what to do in a normal crowd, unless it’s at an event I where I know no one or don’t exactly know what to do. When everyone around you has abandoned the various forms of decorum and procedure I have spent my life trying to master, it’s easier said than done. Add in the ten percent of the crowd exhibiting steampunk, fantasy, videogame, anime, vampire, etc. cleavage and that complicates things further.
Oh, and I was in jeans and a polo, so yeah, I stood out worse than, literally, everyone else there.
I missed the first panel I wanted to attend because of the aforementioned alternator, chickened out of the second panel because I didn’t know the author and hadn’t read his stuff (and it looked like there were only two or three other people in the room), and after what felt like a two hour long panic attack (but was probably two and a half hours) I attended the panel I had wanted to go to.
Still didn’t know the authors, still haven’t read their stuff, but it made this foray into this maelstrom of people and chaos worth it. It was a discussion of good and evil by four local authors. And it was exactly what I wanted. There was discussion of movies, TV, books, comics, and writing by Robert Krog, Barbara Friend Ish, M. B. Weston, and Joe Dickerson. (Tried to find a good hyperlink for Ms. Dickerson, but couldn’t find information on her on the web) I am going to be making a point of reading these author’s works, because I really liked what everyone had to say and they seemed cool. I am also going to make a habit of reading up on the works of those I want to attend, because I feel like that held me back. The only reason I didn’t this time was because I didn’t know Memphis had this type of convention until the last moment.
There is apparently another convention in Memphis in March. I have already talked to Amelia about going to it, because I think she would enjoy a lot more of the…other stuff…than I would and would get a big kick out of the writer’s panels as well. Either way, I enjoyed this one and think I will enjoy the next. I got some good information and listened to some interesting topics.