Oddcon X Afterthoughts

I liken going to OdysseyCon last year as a non-gamer opening up Zork for the first time. I had no clue what to expect, I found myself in unfamiliar surroundings, and there was a good chance that I could possibly be eaten by a grue.

Luckily the con was small enough that people were happy to point me in the direction I needed to go. Even better, I got a chance to sit down and talk with people about subjects that I never spoke about except through email lists and online forums.

This year, I gave back to my first con experience by doing more active participation in Oddcon. And this year proved just as bit as fun and enlightening as last year’s:

  • I did my first "public" reading ever. This was different from the reading I did up at Urbana or at the Intervarsity Arts Festival last year, in that I read in front of people I didn’t know. My reading was jointly done with Nick Ozmet, who read a chapter from his online story "Knight Terrors" (I wound up reading Future Perfect). Only a couple of people showed up, but the room they had us read in was surprisingly cozy, so we got to chat with the people in a more casual manner, so that went over pretty well.
  • I had a couple of chances to hang with Tobias Buckell, one of the Guests of Honor, as well as sit beside him on a spoof panel, "White Men in SF" (which was, predictably, about white men in SF). Got to talk with him a lot about the writer’s life and juggling parental duties. Also got him to tell stories about World Fantasy which made me realize that at some point, I have to stop putting off not going and find a way to go (although it’s not going to happen this year. Sorry. But some things absolutely have to be first priority in my life right now…)
  • I also got to hang with fellow authors Alex Bledsoe and Sarah Monette. Last year, I was a little intimidated by Sarah, so it was nice to meet her again. Also, funny story with Alex. I first saw him last year when my husband and I attended a Midwinter Renaissance Festival on a date. I recognized Alex’s name from twitter, and he was reading a selection from one of his books. I meant to go over to listen, but then I got caught up by someone telling my fortune through numerology, which was fascinating, but ultimately useless. By the time I managed to wrench myself away, Alex was done, and I was too chicken to go up and talk to him. Again, very nice to meet him under a more casual setting.
  • I got to hang out with Jim Frankel, Tor editor, Harry Turtledove, the other literary Guest of Honor, Monte Cook, the gaming Guest of Honor, and a bunch of other writers and editors at the bar…because I could. And it was fun to talk shop with them. I didn’t say much to Harry Turtledove because of the intimidation factor. But he’s a nice guy. I hope the next time I meet him, I’ll have something more to talk about.
  • I did slam poetry…which wasn’t too shabby.
  • I saw a Dalek Tortoise. Really. No lie. If you don’t believe me, here’s a picture:
  • dalek tortoise

Ask me to tell you the story sometime.

So all in all, this year’s Oddcon was a lot of fun. I got to hang with writers and talk about the writing life, and I came away refreshed and inspired to get back to my writing.

There was a lot mentioned about Wiscon, which takes place next month. At some point, we did the numbers and we realized that while World Fantasy is definitely the most important con to go to for writers, Wiscon is the largest feminist SF convention, capping their members at 1000. It will be very interesting to see how Wiscon will play out. I’m getting very, very excited!

I bet there won’t be any Dalek tortoises there, though. But then again, I could be wrong.


7 Responses

  1. Hey, LaShawn:

    Glad you had fun. I didn’t realize at first that you were a writer–I should have known, duh.

    Your intimidation by writers more famous was not surprising. I think all of us feel that way–yes, even a grizzled veteran editor like me.

    Nice to hang with you. And yes, come to Wiscon!


  2. No Dalek tortoises, true, but you should see the interesting sculptures that get handed to the guests of honor and Tiptree Award winners. (Hint: They’re made of the magical mystery ingredient, chocolate.)

  3. Hi LaShawn,
    This is “Unblinking” from the Escape Artists forums. I hadn’t followed your blog link before, so I decided this was as good a time as any. It sounds like you had a great time at OdysseyCon! I attended my first con ever a couple weeks ago, MiniCon here in the Twin Cities. WisCon is on my to-attend list as it’s not too far away and tends to attract notable guests, but probably not for this year.

    Anyway, I have nothing of particular import to say, so: hello. 🙂

  4. Why thanks everyone!

    Jim, we did meet at Oddcon last year–we actually had a long discussion about the book I’m working on (and still am–it’s moving slowly, but I am working on it.). I’ll definitely see you at Wiscon! Richard, will you be there as well?

    And David, welcome to the blog! I heard of Minicon–I put it on my to-attend as well. 😀

  5. when you do make it to MiniCon, feel free to drop me a forum message and we can meet each other. 🙂

  6. Arg! I was borrowing someone’s WordPress access for a bit, and forgot to log out before leaving a comment. So the “Anthony” comment is actually me.

  7. […] know what, though? Bring it. I can do it. I had a blast doing the panels at Oddcon,  so I think I can handle Wiscon. Granted, this is a much more serious topic than the panels […]

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