The Con Scene

Alright, I promised that I'd talk about the convention scene a little bit. So, here it is!

I went to my first convention when I was a junior in high school. It was called Windycon (which, by the way, is still running strong) and it was right up by the Woodfield Mall. I found an ad for it in the back of my dad's Analog magazine and convinced him that he wanted to take Clare and I. Of course, Clare was coming along.

If you've never been to a Con, let me try and paint a picture for you. Here we were, two sixteen year olds with my dad entering what looks like a normal hotel. Until you spy three Klingons strolling through the halls and the bellhops hurrying away with wide eyes. Then SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) aristocracy glides by waving a feathered fan. Long live the queen! Nowadays most Cons take over the entire hotel, to the dismay and entertainment of the hotel staff. There are times though when mundanes are in the hotel too. I remember one wedding party stopping dead in the lobby staring at the seven foot tall masker dressed as The Masque of the Red Death, a trio of Klingons trailing behind him actually speaking in Klingon.

I love it. I have dressed up. I don't anymore. I try and take the "professional writer" tack nowadays, but I still love to people watch. If you're like me and you're that strange person who strikes up conversations in elevators you have found your people! Con-goers are friendly and will talk to anyone. They particularly love talking to the norms wandering around wondering what in God's name is going on here. They like to ask me questions. Probably because I look mainstream, but I've got one of those weird badges on. I love strolling through the art show. I would love to bid on more, but I've officially run out of wall space. I think if I bring one more dragon in this house the others will rise up in rebellion. The Dealer's Room...nirvana for geeks! There are treasures to be had there.

I remember being a kid in the audience listening to the authors up on the panel talking about plot lines or reviews or publishing. I remember scribbling down notes and squealing in fan girl delight when I first got Jody Lynn Nye's autograph. Now, I've sat on panels with Jody Lynn Nye, Bill Fawcett and Gene Wolf. I'm one of the authors on the panel giving advice and answering questions. It's a little surreal at times and I keep waiting for someone to came and tell me that they've seen through me and can I please leave now?

Cons are a great experience. If you love anything science fiction and fantasy, comics or superheroes, Star Wars or Star Trek you really should check out your local convention. You can indulge in geeky enthusiasm with people who are on the same wavelength--complete with the hand waving and seat bouncing. For example, I had the best time at the last convention talking about the new Star Wars movies. What are you waiting for? Your people are waiting for you.


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