It's been two days since emerging from the bowels of the Hyatt in downtown Atlanta, and I really do feel like I've just time travelled or spent almost a week on an alien planet known as DragonCon. I'm still trying to adjust to regular sunlight, normal food and clothing, and the freedom to move around at will. If you haven't been to DragonCon, I know this will sound strange, but it's the truth.
Costumes everywhere. Bizarre costumes for which I have no context and some that made me stop and say, "Hey! I remember that cartoon/book/comic!" I don't recall eating. I remember that I did it, but it was usually done on the run from one room full of bizarre creatures discussing equally bizarre things to another room or even building. I actually forgot to eat several times and don't remember being hungry. I remember sitting in on one particular panel when my stomach wouldn't stop growling. I kept telling myself that this meant I was hungry and I needed to remember to eat, but I don't remember actually being hungry. If you know me at all, you will recognize this as extremely bizarre behavior. The one thing I do remember wanting and consuming constantly was coffee. I think, by day two, I had a blood coffee content far above the legal limit. Good thing I wasn't driving.
I lost the freedom to move where and when I wanted. It was so crowded that not only could you not sit, you couldn't stop moving. If I paused for any reason, a staff member or an Atlanta police officer was there to say, "Move along!" And so I did, even though often it meant moving in a direction I didn't want to be going. Daniel and I were frequently swept away from each other, just like being caught in a strong ocean tide. I have truly learned the meaning of the words "swept along with the crowd." Disney World on New Year's Eve and Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday might possibly come close to the press of bodies crammed into four or so square blocks of downtown Atlanta.
At any rate, I feel like I'm coming down off hard drugs or a really long drinking binge. Of course, being me, nothing of the sort happened, but that's how I feel.
What did I learn? Well, I'm still decompressing from all of that, and I probably won't be able to write coherently about it for several days. If then. So, a few jumbled points:
1. Steampunk. Second most active track for me, and by far the coolest thing at the con. I'm looking forward to learning more about it so that I can write Steampunk and make beautiful costumes and weapons of my own.
2. Writer's Track. I was most active here. It should be no surprise that this was not the most exciting track, but I learned a lot, and it was my favorite. I got to see old friends who are as much writing nerds as I am. I got autographs from obscure authors I like a lot. I got my first ARC!!!! I even found myself on my feet in the middle of the aisle, giving an impassioned speech about how the traditional publishing industry, just like the music business, was going down hard and fast and that we'd all better be ready to adapt or die. This during a panel where the editors of major traditional publishing houses were present. Everybody freaked. It was great. But most importantly I learned a lot and got to see my peeps.
3. YA fan tracks. Good to know what's on reader's minds, and to discover that 60 year old gay men to gawky ten year old girls to mid-thirties moms to twenty-something jocks all read and love YA. Who knew?
Anyway. Enough for now. It's over. It's time to return to the real world of work, family, and more work, aka writing/ reading. I can catch up on reviews I've been meaning to do, edit and revise my book in progress, and start on another project that will continue to drive me crazy until I bring it to life.
And blogs? Did I mention blogs? Much to do on that front.