Well, I've just returned from Spocon again, and it's time to report. The "what I learned at the con" bit is getting old, and my roving on the spot reports from Norwecon were, well, hard and time consuming. So, lucky you, you get the regular vanilla, "hey, this is what happened."
This was my third Spocon, but my first as an "attending pro." I had five panels, and my first happened to be with the guest of honor. Sounds stressful? Thank heavens the author in question, as I've mentioned before, is kind, friendly and professional. Of all the panels I had, this one scared me the most, and yet, after the initial terror wore off, I think was possibly the most enjoyable one. It certainly broke through that nervousness and prepared me for the rest.
Those were a mixed bag ranging from an awful one where none of us had a clue what the panel was about, (the one person who suggested and invented the topic chose not to show up) to a fantastic, fun Nanowrimo discussion. How can you go wrong with Nano on deck?
The other authors ranged a bit as well. I got a few "who the heck are you and what business do you have at this table" looks. Then again, due to a snafu at registration, I was sporting a members at large badge instead of a pretty, yellow "I'm rightfully here" one, so I can't entirely blame them. (though, hardly nice, was it?) But for the most part that was not the norm.
The weekend had some fantastic bonuses as well. I met the amazing Lilith Saintcrow and was awed by both her intelligence and her friendliness which, as you can imagine, I appreciated a great deal. I also encountered a fellow Devine Destinies author, Courtney Breazile, who is both stunningly beautiful and kind.
I also discovered the gaming room, a place I'd nervously avoided at previous cons. To my surprise the esoteric workings at those packed tables are not so difficult to join. The gaming room staff were amazing about sharing information and their time with a group of lost con-goers eager to give something new a try. I intend to spend a little time in the gaming room whenever possible at future cons.
And of course there were the usual convention perks. Good times with great friends. Late night Potter Puppet Pal giggle fests in the hotel room. Early morning showing of Rent...(it should be illegal to cry before 8am) and the costumes, events and wonders that make up a three day fan-fest.
Spocon is still my favorite. They put on amazing opening ceremonies every year. They are sharp, organized, and sincerely out to do the best they can for fandom and for their members. The staff is polite--even when under stress, and for the most part, tolerant of a sometimes romance writing pseudo-pro in their midst.
I hope I can keep attending, and as usual, I miss the fun already.