SIW members Marian Allen and T. Lee Harris attended Marcon sf/fantasy convention as panelists. SIW member Samantha Lopez attended as a…an…attendee.

I drove. I offered to drive the Ford with the demon accelerator pedal, but we decided not.

We got there two hours in advance of my first panel and checked in. I asked where to park, since I was at a parking meter out front. The clerk says, “Go to the end of the street and turn left, then go to the end of that street and turn left, and there’s a parking garage. There’s a pedway to the hotel.” I was like, “Cool!” Then he says, “It’s only $12 a night, and we’ll add it right onto your bill, so you only have one bill to pay.” I’m like, “Excuse me?” Yeah, $12 a night to PARK for the HOTEL.

So we drove around, got lost, got found, and parked. We walked for about two miles back to the hotel, going up ramps, escalators and elevators. I said, “There is no way we can schlep those bags and boxes and refrigerators and books and hampers and computers, and there’s no way we can get a baggage cart up an escalator. DOWN, I could do.” So we decided to go back and bring the car around to the front of the hotel again, unload, and re-park (we had in-and-out privileges at the parking garage, which was a miracle of God). And we couldn’t find the car. We couldn’t find the GARAGE. Our two hours of free time were gone, and we had to register at the con.

So we registered, and I’ll tell you more about that later.

T and Sam rescued the luggage while I did my panel. In the room, we discovered that internet also had to be paid for. No free internet–in this day and age! Also no refrigerator, no microwave, and a single-serving coffee maker with paper cups. NOT nice! BAD hotel! No biscuit for you! Which reminds me, they also didn’t have a free breakfast, not even donuts or coffee or dry cereal.

As for the panels, I was on one about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which had low attendance but high audience participation. T. Lee and I were on a panel called “How To Be Edited”, which ranged from the topic to cover a bit of how to critique other people’s writing and how to take–or not take–other people’s advice. T. Lee had a panel called “Is It Fantasy If There’s No Magic?” The consensus was yes: It doesn’t have to have magic in order to be fantasy; steampunk and other alternate reality or alternate history are fantasy, for instance. T. Lee was on a panel on editing your own book, with or without help, though it was generally agreed that help is…helpful. I was a panelist for “Finding Time To Write” and had to be called to order when the panel started because I was absorbed in making notes on stories in the notebook T. Lee taught me to carry with me.

I had to take a snappie of this costume–absolutely one of the best I ever saw. The man wearing it handed me one of his cards, which I glanced at and pocketed. When I asked him if I could put his picture on my blog, he gave me a second card: The Leather Golem, Jeffrey L. White, Columbus, Ohio, Artful Leather Accessories, Custom Work Upon Request,, I didn’t look at the first card until just now. It says: Sylvain Veltaine, Comedies & Tragedies, Coitus specializing in Defloration, Dryads always sought. I think I’ll have cards made that say, “Are you Johnny Depp? No? Then keep your supposedly amusing sexual allusions to yourself.” At my age, I don’t find such remarks offensive when made to me because, at my age, I know they aren’t seriously directed at me; I just go, “Ah! Humor. Ar-ar-ar…?” But the costume ROCKED.

Speaking of humor, a truly humorous time was provided by Thee Dyskworlde Players, who performed a full-length play of Terry Pratchett’s CARPE JUGULUM.

There were many fabulous costumes, from steampunk to Musketeers to vampires to Star Wars. This year’s emphasis was on horror, so there were entirely too many zombies around to suit me. It seemed kind of pointless to me: By Sunday morning, EVERYBODY at a con is staggering around looking for something to eat and moaning. My favorite costume of all, EVER, was Ernie Husted’s Brownshirt from Firefly. Some guy was totally Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files, but I didn’t get a snap of him.

Ernie gave me one of the two fabulous quotes I took down at the con: “We’re different Zodiac signs. I’m a Gemini and he’s an asshole.”

The other one came from steampunk author Emilie P. Bush, relative to not trying to please everyone with one’s writing, “Jesus couldn’t please twelve; he was eleven and one at the end.”

Naturally, I got a tattoo. This one is henna, but I did something wrong and it didn’t come out as vividly as it should have. Better luck next time. It’s a rose, o’course.

Books were sold. Fun was had.

Our next scheduled appearance (so far) is ConText sf convention in August. We ran into a fellow at Marcon who said, “Weren’t you part of the group that hosted a party in my room that Security shut down for being too loud?” We were like, “…er…Yes.” He nodded and said, “Do it again.”

As for the registration story, I’m saving that for a surprise.


writing prompt: How does your main character react if someone makes a blatantly and supposedly amusing sexual remark to him/her?