June 28th, 2009

Summer 2010

About that 4th Street (con report in general)

I had put this note at the end, but it's a long post and I think the note stands better at the beginning: One thing being surrounded by writery types all weekend did was make me think about my intended audience for this post. And I decided it's me, several years from now when I can't remember what this weekend was like--hence the amount of detail here. If other people enjoy reading it, I'm happy about that too! (Also, I hope to post soon about the experience of being on panels for the first time and what it showed me about myself. I'd thought I would do that this afternoon after I finished this post, but this one took longer than I expected.)

I've promised myself that once I finish writing this I can re-read what I wrote about last year's 4th Street, but not until then. So, since I have some time and feel well-rested enough to be able to string multiple sentences together, here's a pale shadow of what 4th Street was like for me:

It started Thursday night, when there was a play-reading and pre-con work party, only the work had already been done so it was just the play-reading. Close to 50 people showed up at the convention hotel, most armed with the same version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. (Did you know it's possible to print out the whole play, legibly, on only nine sheets of paper?) skylarker gave me a ride there and back, which I appreciated. papersky had come up with a plan for how to distribute roles to any number of people between twenty-some and fifty-some, splitting large roles and combining small ones to make the number of parts come out right. I played Demetrios for the first three acts, and enjoyed it. It occurred to me afterward that it was the sort of thing I would often, in the past, have skipped and then would have felt I'd missed out on, and it was nice to notice that that didn't need to be the case.

Friday morning I worked, but I left promptly at noon to rush home, pack, and bike to the hotel. Collapse ) My planned 8.3 mile ride had turned into 12.8 miles, and I missed Opening Ceremony, but I was there in time to check in to the hotel, take a quick shower, and make it to the first panel! And all told it was a pretty ride, and my legs were up to it--I just would have allowed more time for it if I'd known.

And I was glad, because I was particularly interested in attending that panel: "How to Sound Smart on Panels." (Steven Brust moderating, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Debbie Notkin, Jon Singer, Elise Matthesen.) I took lots of notes at this panel, because I was going to be on two panels myself for the first time ever and wanted tips! Collapse )

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Then I got to be on my first panel ever! "Fantasy and the Family," moderated by Beth Meacham, with Kelly Barnhill, Marissa Lingen, Debbie Notkin, and Kit Gordon. And me! From the program: "Talk about families as represented and misrepresented in fantasy. And just what do we mean by family, anyway?" So we talked about different types of families, and why so many authors choose to have their characters be orphans, and what are some fictional families that have some verisimilitude. And I learned that it's worthwhile to take notes even when I'm on the panel in question, because Kelly said something I wanted to talk with her about afterward, only afterward I couldn't remember what it had been.

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Monday after the convention there's a tradition of going for a sushi lunch at Sakura in St. Paul. I didn't know about it last year in time, but this year I did, and had taken the day off partly to sleep in and partly to be free for sushi. carbonel gave me, Jo, and Eric a ride there. I had a roll named after a hockey player (at least I assume Adam Hall is a hockey player?) and it was delicious! And the conversations were good, it was a little like what I'd been wanting out of the consuite. Then there was a mass migration to the Pumphouse Creamery, which has Bailey's-flavored ice cream. :-)

All told I'm very glad I went again this year. I got to talk to lots of people I like, and while there were others I would have been happy to get a chance to spend time with, I'm inclined to think it's a good thing that there were even more people there that I'd have wanted to talk to than that there was time for. Among the people I was happy to talk to for at least a little bit were seabream, txanne, kitryan, pameladean, arkuat, mmerriam, careswen, cloudscudding, mrissa, skylarker... (the problem with listing names is that one is nearly certain to omit a name and possibly make someone sad. If I forgot to mention your name, I apologize! I'm quite likely happy to have talked to you too!) And people I hadn't met before but very much enjoyed included papersky, jonsinger, and porphyrin. And then there were the people like suzanne, brooksmoses and braddr whom I just didn't get much time with, but I was happy to see joeboo_k while I was awake enough to know who I was talking to (unlike last year).

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