Despite my real life attempting to keep me from attending, I made it to Worldcon 76 in San Jose.
It started on Wednesday night when I met with a knitting friend to take her to a local yarn store. We then had dinner and caught up before the start of the con.
Thursday, the con officially began with me in my hotel room panicking over lost jewelry. I had packed three boxes, and could only find two. It wasn’t expensive, but it was sentimental. After leaving messages with the front desk and retracing my steps, I called home for some sympathy from my mother. My sister, who dropped me off, said “Green card board box?”
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“I saw it fall out of your bag on the driveway and tossed it into a different bag.”
Sure enough the box was there, tucked under some clothes. Panic number one resolved.
I didn’t make it to any panels on Thursday, but I did hand over some copies of Chaos Wolf to some vendors who graciously offered to help with very short notice, drop off paperwork and music for the Masquerade, and make it to a private meet-and-greet for Mary Robinette Kowal.
Panic number two occurred when I double checked my Masquerade costume Friday morning. Somehow I had lost my yellow eye goggles. Amazon same day delivery to my rescue! I ordered them, had them delivered to my sister’s home. Then I was off to a Kaffeklastch with Alasdair Stuart, followed by time covering BayCon’s table, the Birds of a Feather: Knitting and Fiber Arts gathering, a panel on imposter syndrome, my sister dropping off the goggles (resolving panic number two), and the Art Show reception where Denise Tanaka and I hung out with Erin Metcalf.
Saturday was the big day. I went to the Masquerade pre-meeting and did a workshop where I learned how to use a lucet. I’ve discovered when it comes to crafting, I learn better from a live person than I do YouTube videos, so I understood what I had been doing wrong in the first five minutes. I had enough time to squeeze in a panel about Women who out Steampunked Steampunk and got a lot of names to research for future story fodder. Then Denise Tanaka and I hustled to the Green Room to get ready for the Masquerade.
Every time I do this level of Masquerade, I wonder what the hell I’m thinking (this is why I attended the imposter syndrome panel). I just make loops out of yarn to make things. Yet, people seem to like them, if the reaction I heard from the crowd at the Masquerade and the one I was told about at Callahan’s simulcast are accurate.. This year I presented the Star Wars Rebel Alliance X-Wing Pilot, and received Honorable Mention for Presentation in Open Category. Given the level of competition, I was very happy to receive this award. My friend Denise got Most Dramatic, Journeyman for her Lady Mothra, and May won Honorable Mention for Workmanship, Journeyman for her 1870’s Ursula. It was a fun, and exhausting, night. Photos are provided under Creative Commons by Non-Commercial License by Olav Rokne and Amanda Wakaruk.
Sunday was the day I had free to do most of my panels. I went to the always entertaining (and now Hugo Award winning) Ditch Digger’s podcast. I met briefly to chat with E.M. Markoff and talked briefly about my costume at the Behind the Seams of the Masquerade panel. Thanks to Denise securing a spot in Callahan’s, I had a prime spot to watch the Hugo Awards. Congratulations to all the winners. And if you haven’t listened to N. K. Jemesin’s acceptance speech, correct that error right now.
Monday I spent making some last minute purchases. I also had my reading. I was surprised for a Monday and the last day of the con, I managed about a dozen people. I then sat down in the audience to listen to Lawerence M. Schoen’s reading. An hour later I had a book signing and sold a few books. I didn’t stay for closing ceremonies, but took some friends to the Winchester Mystery House. Then it was back to the real world.
Sadly, this will probably be my last Worldcon for a while. With the family obligations, traveling out of the country to Dublin, Ireland or New Zealand isn’t in the cards. I’ll be looking into NASFiC, but due to day job requirements, 2019 in Utah won’t be possible. Columbus, Ohio is bidding unopposed for 2020, so that might be a possibility. Otherwise, I’ll wait and see what I can do in the future.