It’s midday on Saturday as I type this and I have a quiet moment to jot down some notes from CON.txt (the slash convention going on in Silver Spring, MD this weekend). Lots of folks I know from LJ here, including BethBethBeth bethbethbeth, Meri_Oddities meri_oddities, Justacat justacat, to name just a small few.
Yesterday I got up bright and early. The concom here are smart and entice the night owls like me to crawl out of our caves by offering FOOD. The morning began with bagels and oatmeal and tea and danishes and fruit… and Fandom Bingo. Upon picking up your badge, you see, they hand you a Bingo card in which the squares have things like “Sherlock writer,” and “First fandom: Potter” and “Can write computer code.” Then one has to go around asking people if they can fill in any of your squares. It’s an easy ice breaker and a quick way to find out who has written tentacle porn. (*raises hand*)
After that there was the Con.txt Context talk, the “introduction” to the con. The main room of the con has the dealers along the edge and tables for socializing and snacking and crafting in the middle. The art show and raffle were set up, and an “orphan” table. And then panels began.
I’ve been spending much of my time at my table exhibiting the books of Circlet Press as well as my own, but I did make it to the Gender and Sexuality Across Cultures panel/talk by Dee Laundry. She ran it as a kind of round robin where people gave their suggestions for resources for learning about gender variation in human cultures and I wrote down several books to look for later! (Including “The Changelings” by R. Willig, “The Life of an Amorous Man,” and “Gay New York” by George Chauncey.) Overall a good, though-provoking discussion as people talked about changing attitudes about gender just within our own culture and our own lifetimes. Several folks had the same 1970′s “Free to Be You and Me” upbringing I did, in which post-hippie attitudes that all children were sort of androgynous and didn’t get a gender until puberty were prevalent. Many talked about then being put through “forced feminization” as teenagers, though. (Thank goodness I escaped that.)
Another shared experience was the frustration of growing up as readers and feeling like the male protagonists of books got to do anything, whereas the female protagonists of books inevitably had to either have a love interest or be one. I do wonder how much of my own gender dysphoria comes from feeling like female roles in both books and life are too constrained? (The life of my imagination being equally as important to me as “real” life.)
At 5pm the con suite shut down and my friend Lisa, who lives locally down here now but who when she lived in Massachusetts in the early 2000s was the one who enticed me into starting to read Harry Potter fanfic online at the Archive at the End of the Universe. In 2006 she enticed me onto LiveJournal (and the rest is history). Lisa and her S.O. came and kidnapped me from the hotel and took me to Jackie’s Sidebar, a craft cocktail place with small plates of gourmet food about a mile from the hotel. After consuming a homemade venison sausage, extremely tasty deviled eggs, and a fiendish concoction of yellow chartreuse, jasmine, and tequila with sage in it, we returned to the hotel to find Disco Duck in full swing and the con bulletin boards all dismantled.
Unfortunately the dismantling of the bulletin boards meant some people couldn’t find the Circlet Press party. The intrepid folks who either saw it on Twitter or who texted me to find us in room 1203 had a grand time talking Dr. Who, Star Wars, the Cure, sex education in America, cognitive science, the decline of the traditional book industry, etc etc… in other words, a typical Circlet party.
I kicked everyone out at 12:15 so I could go to bed… and then I couldn’t sleep. So I decorated the room for the Harry Potter party tonight. Then got back in bed and still tossed and turned. Daron is having insomnia in the part of his book I’m writing, so maybe that was part of it, but I think it’s more I’m like a kid on Christmas. Con.txt is very exciting.
I will be one exhausted introvert by the end of this weekend, but I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Archived at Ravenna's Quill.