So I’ve returned from Worldcon, also known as Chicon 7, and I have learned a lot of things:
- I miss Chicago. I really miss Chicago. I miss riding the el. I miss the mountains of buildings and the valleys of streets. I miss downtown. What I don’t miss? Traffic jams, crazy drivers, drunk bums on the el and $5 for a bottle of juice (no thank you, hotel restaurant. I happen to know there’s a Walgreens right down the street from you. So nyah.)
- Seeing that I used to work for Blue Cross Blue Shields in the Illinois Center, being at the Hyatt right next door felt very, very surreal. I kept expecting to see the ghost of my college self sitting in the lobby reading books and feeling like a nobody.
- At Chicon 7, I am happy to say that I did not feel like a nobody.
- Worldcon is big. Really big. Really, really, really big. Bigger than Oddcon. Bigger than Wiscon. It is that big.
- I hadn’t signed up to do anything at Worldcon–no panels, no readings. I wanted to experience Worldcon to the full. To that extent, for the most part, I spent most of my time talking to people.
- I saw a whoooooole lot of people. I saw so many of my writer friends, from Viable Paradise to the Carl Brandon Society. I saw a whole bunch of authors, from famous to just starting out like me. And I saw Neil Gaiman again. He geeked out over the American Gods tshirt I so serendipitously wore that day.
- I saw my grandmother on her birthday. I also got to see a guy playing a saw with a violin bow. A genuine saw.
- I saw the Hugos. I saw several Hugos up close. I held a Hugo. I also watched Twitter explode when Ustream cut off the ceremony. That was awesome.
- I learned there are two types of people who attend cons: those who are fans, and those who create the works for fans. At the cons I’ve been to, I’ve met a lot of the latter, but not much of the former. At Worldcon, I got to meet a fair number of the former, from a group of Christians fans to a black woman from Hyde Park who wanted to meet more black fans.
- I got to indulge in a little fandom when I went to watch the Gaiman theater perform The Troll and Snow, Glass, Apples as a dramatic reading. I have come to the conclusion that in the end, I’m not so interested in a movie deal. But if a three-person actor troupe come up to me and say they want to do a performance of one of my short stories, I would be thrilled.
- The parties…oh…the parties…
- Although I didn’t have a finished book to pitch, I didn’t feel too bad. I saw old friends, made new ones, squee-ed over some writing heroes, and, best of all, made some important networking contacts that will help me in the future.
- I really enjoyed Worldcon. Don’t think I will go next year. It was cool, but also very, very intense. I’ll look into it maybe a few years from now. But it opened my mind up to attending cons outside of local. Like say, ReaderCon.
- My takeaway from Worldcon: renewed determination to finish the novel. Some networking thingies to follow up on, and relationships with friends I’ll be cultivating on the Internets.
Oh, by the way, Jesus was there. He heartily approved of my attendance and told me to keep up the good work.
Can’t say no to that.