Writer’s Life: ArmadilloCon!!!

Posted by Nicky Drayden on Aug 29, 2010 in Writer's Life |

Photo by Anna Hanks, Creative Commons

Stick 400 nerdy introverts in the basement of a posh hotel for three days, add a dash of sleep deprivation, a heaping scoop of seasoned SFF pros, a sprinkle of fangirl squeeeing, a heavy dose of caffeine and chocolate, and art, books, and parties to taste, and what do you get? A weekend of wicked awesome exhaustion better known as ArmadilloCon.

This was my third ArmadilloCon, and by far the best. I volunteered and got to help out some, working with the Con Committee to get people checked in almost all day Friday. It was a long, hard, fun day. I saw so many faces I recognized, and got to catch up with people I haven’t seen in years or see only yearly. Plus I got to hang out with people in my critique groups outside of our normal meeting places, and meet people I’ve only known online, or only knew from the books they wrote. It’s kind of a lot to deal with. It was nice knowing so many people, but also hard, because it didn’t seem like there was enough me to go around.

Best part of the Con? Nancy Kress asking how to pronounce MY name! Ha! She was the Toastmistress, though I didn’t get to hear her announce my name since I ducked out of the opening ceremonies to head out to Five Guy’s with a couple of my old writer’s workshop mates. I was beyond hungry by the time I got done with my registration duties and needed to be let out of my box for some fresh air.

Saturday I got a bit of a late start, since I had such a hard time peeling myself out of bed. I was so wound up Friday night that I didn’t get enough sleep. I worked the registration desk for just an hour, then sat in on some panels on short stories, writing styles, and crossing genres.The panels I went to were interesting, and stayed mostly on topic compared to previous years. I also got to hear several of my friends read short stories and novel excerpts, which was really cool (and sometimes creepy, but I won’t mention any names.) I bid on some art pieces — a tree for my tree art collection, and a robot on a toilet entitled “Data Dump.” I was pretty much a zombie by Saturday evening, but I hung in there, went to Five Guys again, and now am an expert on their veggie cheese sandwich which was a lot better than I’d anticipated. I stuck around for the Space Squid party, chatted and had some tasty ginger beer, then left thinking it was 11:30, but when I looked at my clock, it was only 9:30, so I stayed another hour just on principle.

Sunday was a light day. I went to the fannish feud panel, which is like Family Feud, except Pros vs. Fans answering questions polled on their website. It was a hoot, and just the laugh I needed to get through the morning. I also met up with a few peeps from the absolute write boards, and it was nice to put faces to names. Then I slinked out since most of the people I knew had already gone, and called it a day, a little teary eyed that it was over so fast.

Worst part of the Con? Besides it ending, it was being so tired. I put in about 9 hours Friday, 12 hours Saturday, and got off easy with 5 hours on Sunday. I don’t think I ate nearly enough, and got pretty dehydrated, too. Plus I probably talked to more people in those three days than I do the whole rest of the year. It’s a nice break from being an introvert, but I’m glad to be back behind my keyboard now, nerdy and comfy and quiet. Being around all of that creativity is amazingly inspiring, however, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

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