Orycon 30

Sunday November 23, 2008 @ 09:03 PM (UTC)

So it’s over, my first con appearance as a writer. I loved it. That’s even though I was initially terrified that I would be expected to arrive full of wisdom and pithy jewels, and even though my first panel was so poorly attended I considered closing my eyes and trying to levitate to make sure it wasn’t an anxiety dream. I learned (or sensed) that I am what I’m expected to be: full of opinions and odd scraps, self-deprecating jokes and nonsense; and that I know more than I realize. All my subsequent panels were well-attended, and even at the first one, I learned something. It’s an odd thing, a convention panel. It arrives sometime after you do, assembled from audience questions and bits of every person at the front of the room. You go partially to find out what it is you’re going to say.

I met splendid people, and in general, everyone was radically friendly (even by Northwest standards.) I made new friends and bought new books. I haven’t assimilated everything yet — that will require time, and quite a bit of sleep.

But one thing I think I will remember forever. It’s both a shining moment and a little bit of a regret. After a panel I was on where my story, “Burgerdroid”, was relevant, I was taking the escalator down to the main meeting floor. A woman leaned over the railing and called, “Felicity! I just wanted to tell you I loved your story.” I very nearly started running backwards up the escalator. I did not want to miss this. But I decided to err on the side of caution and confined myself to grins and thanks. “Have you got anything else coming out?” she said.

“No sci-fi,” I replied.

“Too bad. It was the most badass story I read all year.” (this is of course reconstructed. She may have said ‘kickass’, for example, but the emotion of the hearer is unaffected by such details.)

I really wanted to find out who she was, but the few times I saw her again, she was deep in conversation, and her nametag was always flipped the wrong way. (If you ever read this, nice woman with long hair and bangs, leave me a comment and introduce yourself.) Maybe I’ll see her again — Orycon is a pretty cozy convention, and I hope to return next year. But if I don’t, I’ll chalk it up to fate: maybe it’s a good thing to have an anonymous reader in mind who loved your work and wants you to keep writing.

Enough blogging! The page calls. Some nice woman with long hair and bangs is waiting for more stories.


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