Ah Dragon Con. There really isn’t anything else like it. Granted I’ve never been to Comic Con or anything else that big, but I have been to some smaller cons. I guess most cons are smaller compared to Dragon Con. This was my 6th year getting a media badge, but my first year getting a hotel in the convention area so I was extremely excited. Showers and naps on demand are the most wonderful thing in the world. I didn’t stay in a host hotel so it was quiet(er), but that also meant we didn’t have raves happening below us at five in the morning. I had such a great hotel experience that I’m already on their list for a room for next year. If I had a first born child I might consider parting with it to stay in a hotel at Dragon Con again. It was that great. I’m not going to tell you which hotel because I want it to stay quiet as long as possible, but with over a 6% growth in attendance this year I don’t think any hotel will be quiet for too much longer.
I didn’t get any interviews this year, but I also didn’t realize that any reporter could ask to interview authors/artists until I’d already overbooked myself. Next year (depending on who the literary guests are) I may scale back on panels and do more interviews. Both are fun, but I think it’s kind of cool to be able to bring people something directly from someone they admire. I mean, if you admire any writers or artists. I did two panels for the Horror Track, and 4 for the American SciFi Classics Track. Maybe five if you consider the short panel after the world premiere viewing of the Troublemaker documentary. And that was sure a weird experience for me. I’ll get into more detail on that later. Before I get ahead of myself I should start at the beginning.
I got lucky and had Wednesday off this year. Great! Now I had time to pack all of the things I’d been accumulating for several weeks. My husband thought I might be leaving him forever with the amount of stuff I had piled up. If I’m shelling out several hundreds of dollars for a hotel room you damn well better believe that I’m taking my own booze and as much food as possible. That’s just common sense. I also had two costumes, and half an outfit for the Blair Witch Project panel I was on with Dave and the Cadaver family. Sharron and I planned on getting to our hotel around check-in time, and then splitting up for badges before doing anything else. After unpacking booze and changing clothes it was time to mosey out. I was wearing my DCW Hooligans shirt because no one had told me that we weren’t doing that this year. The last few years of Schweck giving Hooligan shirts to anyone who wanted them (and wanted to sit in our good front row seats) caught up with us last year, and there were more people in our section that I didn’t know than those I did know. I guess everyone else felt the same, but the word didn’t get passed on to me so I thought I’d at least stop in before I got annoyed and moved on. Once freed from Hooligan duty I figured Thursday would be a good night for a costume. So after running into a few people, and making plans for later I went back to the hotel to put on my Slytherin house robe and tie. I had meant to bring a wand, but was afraid I’d lose it in the madness of Dragon Con. Since I didn’t see the lovely gentleman with the Ollivander’s cart this year I’m glad I left my wand at home. I got my first one last year, and if he’s not going to be around anymore I don’t want it left on the floor in some lobby party. Our hotel was very close to Americas Mart so we stopped in with some friends to play Mortal Combat and lots of crazy Japanese games that made no sense to me at all. It was fun though, and due to its proximity we stopped by the arcade pretty much every night.
Since I didn’t have any official duties until 1 o’clock on Friday we decided it was okay to fill up a few flasks for the evening. We met Dave, the lovely Oz, Rich, Noel, and the Cadavers at the Hyatt to start the weekend off right. Until the night went very wrong. Well, not really wrong, but we all had just maybe the tiniest bit too much fun. What a complete rookie move on our part. Luckily I had brought along some Liquid IV, and hangover helper pills. Those probably saved my life that night (or the next morning). Being the extra wise decision makers that we are, Sharron and I hit the arcade again on the way back to our hotel at 3am. Flashing lights and J-Pop are not what I need when I’m trying to wind down for the night. Even worse was when we finally got back to the hotel. I was showered and exhausted, and the room was just chilly enough to make me hibernate peacefully when my heart started racing. Not a panic attack or anything. I think it was just sensory overload combined with not sleeping in my own bed. I usually have some pills that help put me down for the night, but that was the one thing I’d forgotten at home. Considering that I almost forgot my glasses it could have been worse.
So I didn’t sleep the best on Thursday night, and was not at 100% when I woke up at 10am on Friday. Sharron was on her way out the door to check out the line for the David Tennant panel. I happened to be doing a quick scroll through facebook when I came across a post made at 9:30 that said the line was already closed. We had though that since Friday was less crowded than Saturday that we wouldn’t have a problem getting into his panel that morning. No such luck. Even with a full night’s sleep I can’t justify spending 3 or 4 hours on one panel. There’s just too much other stuff to do.
Speaking of too much stuff: I’m going long here, and haven’t even gotten to my first panel. I don’t want to lose you before I even get to the really good stuff. I did 2 panels on Friday, and went to the Nintendo photo shoot at the Hilton with Noel. Then we went and had more fun at night, and more video games! Come back next week for when I really get into the meat of the con, and more video games! Okay, I promise to reign in my enthusiasm for the arcade. Just keep checking back since this is looking like it’ll be a 3 part-er. Which is perfect since that will take me right into October. And I still have to figure out how to work in the Star Wars book podcast that Schweck, Chad, and I are doing. I’m going to be busy for the next few months.