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Apr 26

Ex-Con (Norwescon Impressions Part I)

I still need to get the pictures together, but I’m settled back in with my first ‘con under my belt.  How did it go?  I’ll give you a quick breakdown.

It was fun, I’ll say that up front.  My wife and I had a good time in spite of being fish out of water to a certain extent.  I will never own a costume of any sort to wear to something like this, but I enjoy watching those who do and there were some fantastic costumes on display.  The hotel was completely packed, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen so many corsets, kilts, and (in a reference I missed) pointy red gnome hats in one place at one time.  The people who dressed up were universally great about having their pictures taken (usually offering to pose) and I’ll post a bunch of them soon.

I was there for a specific reason though, and bearing that in mind I wasn’t completely sure what was expected of me even once I got there.  I found myself scheduled for a reading I was unaware of (my first) and hustled down to the room where it took place.  This was one of the things I was a little nervous about since public speaking isn’t my strong suit.  As it turned out, only two people showed up for it which could of been depressing but it was kind of a relief to me as it ended up being good practice without the stakes being very high.  I didn’t die, and managed to do okay I think.

Later I watched Nancy Kress give a reading, and gleaned a lot of good tips in the process.  Besides how to improve my reading performance, I learned several things from her presentation:

  1. Anna Kendell is really Nancy Kress
  2. Even Nancy Kress has to deal with things like content edits and still might not get full buy-in from publishers (the novel she read from is part of a series, but isn’t marketed as such in case they want to discontinue it).
  3. I want to read ‘Crossing Over‘ now (the British version, apparently free from aforementioned content edits)
  4. Nancy Kress is swell.

I also had my first real ‘fan moment’ that I’ve ever had in my life.  I enjoy the work of a lot of artists, but I’m not much of a ‘fan’ in that I feel like I wouldn’t typically care much if I ever met any of them.  I see them as talented humans, but humans just like me, and humans I don’t know personally.  I would never stop a celebrity in the street, or approach them uninvited because it’s just not me.  Still though, after the reading as she politely sort of mingled her way toward the door I found myself shaking her hand and muttering something inane about what an inspiration she’d been before awkwardly asking to get a photo with her which she graciously agreed to.

More to come (plus pictures, I swear!)

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