Just got back from CONvergence…the best local fan convention in the Twin Cities. Rocky was traveling on business, and then attending a wedding of our long-time friends, Wayne and Brent.
Adventure Boy and I went by ourselves. Sue took Bunny Boy up north with her to stay in Bemidji.
Anyway, Convergence was a blast, as always. I gained three pounds, but that will come off soon enough. It’s all due to sitting in cool panels having cool discussions and living on Nuttella-and-jelly sandwiches, M&M’s and Captain Kirk’s Two-Fisted Punch.
Friday Adventure Boy and I registered and greeted some friends that we ran into on the way to and from Operations bridge.
Adventure Boy started out his con by running off more-or-less solo to a panel entitled “Superhero Smackdown”…where he met Con guest Larry Dixon…noted Fantasy author and artist. Adventure Boy showed him some of his drawings, and received a number of very encouraging comments and criticisms from Mr. Dixon.
Between his interactions with Mr. Dixon and Chris Jones, Adventure Boy has had his enthusiasm and drive for drawing and writing stories fueled for probably the next couple of years. He hardly put down the pencil all weekend.
They are both lovely gentlemen, and seeing the light they fueled in my kid’s eyes puts me in their debt more than I can express.
I went to the Writer’s Meet-up to hear Robert Wagner read “Coffee”…and afterwards to Krushenko’s for some literary discussion…where I responded to yet another urging to joining the Writer’s Meet-up by snapping something at Robert about not having time, and then made a joke about how everyone wants me to join their clubs, and what a bitch it is to be popular. J It wasn’t until the middle of the night, after waking up with a start, that I realized that they other people around there might have gotten the impression that I thought I was just too great to join their club… L I talked to their leader, and she assures me that everything is cool…so…that’s good. Nothing like trying to be funny and clever and making an ass out of yourself as a first impression.
We wound the evening up with a cool “Buffy Sing-Along” to the episode “Once More with Feeling” in the Vampire Hunters Union Local 542 room party. Excellent snacks, beverages…and hey, who can say “no” to a sing-along?
Saturday morning I went to a panel on Science Vs. Theology that actually went quite well, and didn’t degenerate into a shouting match of circular reasoning. Everyone behaved quite well, and the single, solitary, secular humanist was one of the most tolerant and compassionate that I have ever encountered, yet pursued his argument very effectively. He was not in a terribly enviable position, being the one lone Secular Humanist in a roomful of Pagans, Christians, Daoists, Jews and various other “spiritual” types.
It was difficult for him, as the thrust of his argument was that acceptance of spiritualism is a fundamental moral and ethical flaw (one that he clearly did not think lead inevitably to immoral and unethical behavior, but yet was a pitfall that served no purpose but to confuse and endanger people). And advancing that viewpoint without being insulting or demeaning to the people you are talking to is a very hard thing, and yet he accomplished it quite well.
The discussion bogged down where it almost always does if people don’t start screaming or throwing punches: with the nature of the unknown vs. the unknowable and the nature of the ability of human beings to feel connected to things and beings outside themselves. I was gratified that we sped rather quickly past the “God of the Gaps” argument, and other such eddies. I will most likely address this in greater detail at another time.
I went with Adventure Boy to “Drawing with Chris Jones”…and hung out and did some doodles and listened to Chris talk about comic books and the comic business, and art and got some cool history on CONvergence and stuff.
Many panels and cool meetings with friends later, we attended the masquerade (costume and performance contest) and watched an entry worked on by Magic Marmot take “best in show”.
We stopped off at some room parties for snacks, beverages and entertainment. Most notably, the DYSTOPIA party was fun…as was Cthulu Coffee, The Prancing Pony, Captain Kirks Den of Iniquity, and of course the Vampire Hunter Union’s Local 542.
Then, we were off to Connie’s Space Lounge” to hear the Great Luke Ski do some cool fanfilk, and wound up the day falling asleep to “bedtime stories with Larry Dixon and Mercedes Lackey”…how cool is that? We fell asleep before Mr. Dixon was finished with his reading, though…so luckily he read the same stuff again at his live reading the next day.
It was a good CON, and as it was Adventure Boy’s first CON...that is fantastic.