I went to my first Worldcon this year, and it will not be my last.
Because my friend Jennifer Carson has access to a vacation rental in Klamath Falls, I decided I would make this a two week vacation. This involves, I kid you not, about six months of prep work making sure that Mom would have access to what she needed and be cared for while I was gone.
I took off on Sunday, August 16th. I stopped to pick up Denise Tanaka and then we were off on our grand adventure. Want to know how bad the drought in California is? Drive up Interstate 5 to the Oregon border. I lost track of the number of dry creek beds we passed. We gaped at how little snow was on Mount Shasta. In Klamath Falls, Oregon, we met up with Jennifer Carson. While at Klamath Falls, we visited Badger Run Wildlife Rehab. Our stops on the 18th included the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon before stopping for the night in Richland, Oregon to visit my friend Tabitha.
When we arrived at Spokane, or Smokeane as we renamed it, on August 19th, I went through a whirlwind of check-ins, hotel, badge, and Masquerade. I met up with Elanor Hughes, who flew in the day before. And that was when I started to split into two personalities – writer me and costumer me.
Over the course of the con, writer me had dinner with friends from the Bay Area that I only seem to see at cons and people who I seem only to see at cons like Arley Sorg, Setsu Uzume, and Effie Seiberg. After attending a reading by ElizaBeth Gillian. Writer me also attended a Writing Excuses podcast recording, met with Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace of Ditch Diggers and Alasdair Stuart of Escape Artists Inc. Writer me pitched Chaos Wolf to an agent, which was a learning experience. (More on that in a future post.). Writer me hung out with the Leasspell WordWright Guild. Writer me went to panels, took notes, watched the Hugo Awards live in Guinan’s Place, and wrote my first draft of a dragon and princess story when I was in the hotel room.
Costumer me had to be at my practice time on Friday to walk the stage and go over my presentation. Costumer me had a blast at one of the smoothest run Masquerades I have had the pleasure of attending, and one of the best stocked green rooms. Costumer me rocked my Knit Klingon Warrior outfit on stage, cheered the other awesome costumers there, and won both the Best Use Of A Sweater Pattern Award and the International Costuming Guild ’s Rising Star (Master Class) Award.
We drove straight back to Klamath Falls on Monday the 24th. Our only real stop was at The Blacksmith in Bend for dinner. I was a good girl and drove past an alpaca ranch advertising fleece and yarn without twitching under the theory that there were two yarn stores in Klamath Falls.
Further research the next day revealed that the two stores were out of business. I found some at the local Goodwill, so the trip wasn’t completely yarnless. I spent a day being lazy and then drove back on Thursday the 27th.
Something has been on my mind since I left the con. Both writer me and costumer me had fun. But there was frustration when I wanted to attend a writing panel and was unable to due to Masquerade responsibilities. I’ve talked to a few people about wearing hallway costumes when at a convention as a writer and gotten mixed responses. Hall costuming is part of how I ended up in Masquerades, and to be honest, it is what I am more well known for. I’m not sure I want to give up hall costuming yet. I wouldn’t pitch to an agent or meet with an editor in the corset I bought at the con, but I definitely missed walking around in one. I haven’t figured out how to integrate the two mes into one persona. It may be something I have to evaluate on a con-by-con basis.