Well, this last weekend I ventured back into the con universe. Armed with my pocket program, a credit card and the wistful memory of my time at Spocon, I braved the mountain pass, the April snow storm, and the steady, drizzly slog that is Seattle in the springtime. (Hey--I used to live on that side, I can dis it at will.)
I had high expectations for this "mega-con." I was prepared to be dazzled by the experience after my joyful time at last summer's mini one. Perhaps, in retrospect, my hopes hovered at bit too high. Maybe I assumed that all cons are equal?
Don't get me wrong, I had a good time. There were stormtroopers, after all. There was shopping. There was fun to be had. Still, I learned some things this time round that contrast a bit from the last go. So here it is, my new installment of:
What I learned at the Con
#1. Don't be an asshole.
I ass-umed this one would be common sense. I ass-umed that any professional would, when faced with a large group of the people that PAY HIS BILLS, MORTGAGE, ETC. naturally know to behave nicely and treat the adoring fans with some courtesy. I had experienced this at Spocon, as you'll remember from my glowing report of the friendly, approachable authors there.
Well, after this one, I know exactly how I DON'T want to behave should I ever be in the position of guest author. . . or publisher. enough said.
Don't be an asshole. Don't snark or snipe or look down at the room of people who have paid good money to be in the same room with you. Don't be rude. (mother always said) Don't fight openly with the other panelists. Don't snarl, snap or roll your eyes. ALLOW QUESTIONS. (I don't care if they are on topic) Talk to the audience, not at them...or worse, at your fellow panelists as if the audience were not even there.
I don't care what they're wearing. I don't care how famous you think you are. (I'd never heard of any of these assholes) The people around me had, and they didn't appreciate being treated like annoying deviants. If I HAD been a fan of any of the pros at this event (excepting a few smaller and nicer ones) I wouldn't be now. Nor would they ever see a penny more of my money.
#2 A lot of the Fun to be had at a Con is outside the scheduled programming.
Okay, this may be another duh, but I didnt know it. After my third disastrous attempt to enjoy the writing panels at this year's Norwescon...(am I still a little snarky?) ANYWAY...I gave up, grabbed a latte and dove into the fun shit. After the abuse in the panels (that wasn't even aimed at me folks) I deserved some damned fun.
I wandered, I chatted, I made some nice contacts (oddly enough mainly from my side of the hills..hmmmm) I went to the bar. Ah HA! Eureka. All sorts of fun things happen between that pocket programming. Lesson learned.
#3 Check your shoes along with your coat.
I mentioned the drizzle right? Well here it is, number three...my new favorite con rule. After slogging my way from my hotel, two blocks to the convention site, my adorable, beaded satiny belly dance shoes had transformed into wet, smelly, sharp, miniature foot Cuisinarts. They shredded my peds folks. I limped around in them for the first day, but on morning two, I was struck by a brilliant idea. The con-goers would not care if I wore shoes. I'd seen some of the costumes in there. They barely cared if I wore clothes at all. And, since I'm too damned old to do THAT (see earlier post: con-ventional wisdom) I had a better idea.
So I limped one last time to the convention, straight to the coat check and handed over my shoes right along with my coat. THEN I whipped out my pink, fluffy tea-cup slippers and slid into podiatral bliss. Day two was a much better day.
I intend to wear slippers at cons from now on. It's my own, comfy version of cosplay. Don't judge me.
#4 Stormtroopers are still sexy.
I know, I know....BUT It's not just me, now. I've converted half of my writer's group. The ARE sexy. And, I think, even more so without the helmet. Hell, maybe Washington is just blessed, but we seem to have a handsome Garrison pretty much across the board. They're nice too, and very tolerant of ridiculous, blushy, nearly pushing forty-year-old pseudo fan girls.
Oh, and while we already knew about the storm trooper thing, it turns out Star Fleet uniforms (well-done ones) have a similar, if somewhat less potent effect.
Who would have guessed. ;-)
Good times. Anyway, I'll be posting some pics as soon as they come back as visual evidence that, while a bit silly, I did nothing terrible or inappropriate to the friendly Garrison. I promise.
I was a good girl.
Take that, crazy psycho writing panelists!