Thursday, February 20, 2014

Radcon 6B: Report

I returned, and I'm finally functional, again. Sort of. I wrote yesterday at any rate, which is a pretty good general sign of life. I think. Heck, I'm not a doctor, so I guess I can't say for sure.

But, as someone who is either functioning and alive, or a zombie, I have to tell you: this was a CON this year. Big time.It was also a pretty different experience for me. Now, this is not my first time on panels. That's not what was strange. This was the first year I didn't really go to any panels. I hit one on coffee roasting, but the only thing I heard about writing all weekend is what I heard in my panels and what was hit on in the green room or by my traveling companions.

And that was okay with me. More than anything, this con sparked something. A lot of us said it. This Radcon was really different. 2014 is going to be a year of opportunity, for those brave enough to reach for it. This year has been inspirational. It brought out artistic sides in people that they didn't really know they had.

I'll use my brother-in-law as an example. For the past few years, he's been floundering artistically. He doesn't see any value in any of the work he can create. So he goes to con. We have a good time, order some Round Table Pizza (god, is that stuff good), go through the dealers' rooms. And then, at the end of con, we go home.

The next day, he tells me that con gave him a personal 180. He's ready to start making things and doing things. Why? Because he went to con. He saw that there are people who actually would enjoy the things he makes. He sees that there are people his age and younger already starting out on creative careers. Like con does to everyone, it charged him up, got him ready to do something. Anything.

Not to say that this convention was all some philosophical wonderfest where we sat around in togas discussing the universe. It wasn't, believe me. It was a damn blast, is what it was. I mean, where else (besides the now defunct Quark's in Vegas) can you go to the bar and order a Romulan ale? Not many places, is what I think.

We wandered the party hall, wandered around the shops, just generally wandered, to be totally honest. Even with my foot in agony (I was crippled up something fierce), I can look back on this convention fondly (although my bad attitude from my pain may or may not have made me something of an asshole that first day... maybe).

Even our bad experiences weren't entirely bad. We had a fire alarm pulled the second night. My friends were in 10 Forward, I was in the D20 Girls' room. We eventually found each other and we decided to go check the sliding glass door on our dealer's room. With 2,000 plus people wandering around, you can't be too careful. Just as we started walking, they let us back in. So we rush over to the room and, yes, it was open a bit. Nothing missing, though. We realize that we forgot to bring our promo table in from the outside, though. So we do that. I'm holding the door. In comes the table.

And in come these two girls we don't know. I figure they're lost, and they'll walk back out. Then one of them screams 'Oh, books!'

We immediately clear the way to the merchandise. Believe me, they were a lot of fun. And they bought a book, which is always nice. But, as soon as they left, we all burst out laughing. It was awesome. It also told us that we really need to keep our room open longer next year. Book people stay up late. Go figure.

So, that was Radcon 6B this year. As always, it's a great convention. There's a reason I go every year, after all. And, if you're in the area, I suggest dropping in next year. Especially if you've never been to a con. This is a good one for beginners.

Happy trails,
Voss

Friday, February 14, 2014

Con-Tact

Date: February 14th, 2014 Ano Domini

Location: A single-wide trailer in Eastern Washington.

It's raining outside (as opposed to raining inside). The ground is still wet and squelchy from the four inches of melting snow. The world around me is... somewhat less than quiet. Filled with the meaningless noises of children.

But I sit in the captain's seat, hands on these keys, knowing this may be my last message to the living world. Today, in mere hours, I intend to set foot in a strange and very different environment.

Radcon 6B.

What I will find on this planet, I can guess, but I can't say for certain. The only guide I have is a few sheets of paper I put together beforehand and the official guidebook I will receive at the entry station. Beyond that, I am lost. There may be alien viruses, and there are almost surely hostile lifeforms. My only hope is to avoid them both, and I may well fail at this mission. Even worse than that, part of my mission is to try the local food and drink. It may kill me, but I must fulfill my mission.

If this is the final time I have contact with another human being, do me a favor: tell my friends and family I love them. And make sure nobody ever gets my recipe for cheesecake crust.

Voss

TL:DR: I'm going to Radcon 6B today. My schedule is available here. I'd also like to point out my terror at spending essentially an entire weekend in the company of Kay Kenyon. Hopefully I don't make a complete ass of myself.

Voss