CONvergence 2014

Another 4th of July weekend, another CONvergence. Not that the 4th of July was completely overlooked. I had a room on the 19th floor of the hotel this year, which allowed me to watch the fireworks displays of at least 6 different cities and suburbs in peace, quiet, and air conditioning.

I haven’t seen final registration figures for this year yet, but let’s assume it was over 7,000 people. Despite the fact that there probably were at least another thousand people there above last year’s total, somehow it all worked better logistically. The major registration backup that was last year’s defining moment was eradicated this year. I took a chance and showed up late in the afternoon instead of first thing in the morning, and it worked out: 2 minutes to check in at the hotel, 5 minutes to pick up my con registration…and 20 minutes waiting in line for an elevator to get to my room. (That last bit was not entirely unexpected after 16+ years of attending conventions at this hotel.)

The official theme of this year’s con was A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. I hereby dub “diversity” as an unofficial theme. It’s not like diversity suddenly popped up out of nowhere—the con has been actively pursuing it for years now—but it seemed to have really established itself in the programming this year. I saw panels for getting beyond the gender binary in SF/F, Asperger Syndrome, dissecting “aliens vs. white guys,” disabled people in fiction, asexuality, and coming out as atheist. Plus, of course, the “standard” panels on urban fantasy, dystopias, this year’s crops of SF/F movies and TV shows, writing, parenting, crafting, and so on. Coolness.

I always expect to take photos and fail to do so, but this year, I had a decent cell phone camera, so I figured I really would take photos. And I did…just not of the con. I took photos of the generic hotel painting in my room and of the equally generic flowers used in every public and commercial planting around here:Generic painting in a hotel room.DQyellowlilies

I got pictures of Sunday morning’s storm: Storm seen from a hotel room window. CONvergence2014storm2

But basically only one photo was con-centered, and it’s pretty much indistinguishable from con photos from any year:

CONvergence panel.

I think this was Saturday’s “The Hobbit: That Wasn’t in the Book!” panel, but I’m not going to swear to that.

I give up.

Guess what? Read half a library’s worth of writing books and suddenly people aren’t saying all that much that’s new at the writing panels. I still went to several of them, though. There’s a world of difference between the neat and clinical stuff in the books and writing as actual human beings practice it, and I like listening to what writers have to say on the matter. (Plus, it’s great knitting time. I got the better part of two sleeves knitted this weekend as well as another inch or so on the Pink Thing.)

I talked to one person that I knew once during the entire con, but I kept catching glimpses of someone I hadn’t seen in 30 years throughout the weekend. I bet there’s some sort of science of how you run into people at huge events that explains this.

And at the absolutely trivial level, I admire how this year’s purple badge goes so nicely with my purple lanyard and the generally pink/purple shades of my wardrobe. Coordination is everything.CONvergence 2014 adult badge.

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6 thoughts on “CONvergence 2014

  1. Roberta Branca

    that piece about the human experience side of writing is so important . . . it’s the reason I recommend reading books by working authors. Such as Stephen King’s “On Writing” ; Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” and Anne Lamotte’s “Bird by Bird.”

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    1. Silvernfire Post author

      It was interesting hearing all their different approaches. One author does three outlines for each book, although after years of doing this, he can do two in his head and only has to write down one. Another declares that pantser vs. planner is a false dichotomy, and that she’s done both, depending on what felt right for what she was writing. Whatever gets you to the end of the manuscript…

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  2. raerei

    Didn’t see you there – but then I only attended 1 panel. The Tea and Geek presentation by my sister. This year was my first year dressing up and so lost the anonymity that normally comes when you stick 7,000 nerds in one building.

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    1. Silvernfire Post author

      The tea panel looked interesting, but then, lots of the panels looked interesting, which is why I barely did anything else all weekend, and I know I had a strong schedule conflict with that one. Hey, in a mass of 7,000 mostly-costumed people, dressing up may serve as camouflage in its own right.

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