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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Norwescon 34

Lots of fun this year. Panels on writing, and women in the gaming industry, and magic systems in fiction, and assorted -isms (and how not to be a jerk to people different from you). Gaming - old games and new - and watching others game. Discussions with other semi-crunchy Gamer Moms in the hallways. Watching people sew, spin, knit, and otherwise create textile arts. Heck, watching people create any kind of art - visual, textile, musical, costuming, wearable masks; you name it.

There were a few favorites. I especially enjoyed the Tardis to the right - very inventive costume! Steampunk was very much in evidence this year - lots of teeny top hats and bustles and Mad Science Goggles - and Furries were out of fashion for the most part (about which I am just as happy - some of the subsets of Furry Fandom squick me). I also saw a number of Steampunky Pirates, which was an interesting combination. We learned about an upcoming indie film called Project London, talked with the nice and knowledgeable ladies at Blue Falcon Editing, and learned about other various upcoming cons.

I bought the girls each a couple little gifts; this is also traditional. They each got a coloring book - the very detailed ones for the older girls (dragons for Leanna and fairies for Abby) and a far simpler one for Lizzy (bugs and crawly things). I got Leanna a pretty little ball point pen in the shape of a dragon, and Abby a dragon charm for her MedicAlert bracelet, and Lizzy a giant 20-side die (too big to put in her mouth). Hubby bought me the now-traditional anniversary gift of a piece of jewelry (usually a pair of earrings or a ring); this year's is a pair of earrings from Velvet Mechanism in which each earring is a dangling set of 3 metal (stainless steel?) Clockpunk cogs/gears.

My favorite vendor - as is usually the case - is Pamela ("Raven") Rapinan. She's a licensed massage therapist and she does massages at Norwescon every year. She's good at them, and trust me - a lot of the people at these things are like me; forty-something out of shape geeks who are fairly sedentary and not used to walking as much as a con of this size requires - and Pamela deals with that sort of unaccustomed muscle pain really well. She also can work around costumes and that's no easy feat; we don't all wear T-shirts with clever sayings on them.

All in all, a good con this year. Last year was more fun for me - and I think for Hubby too - but that's more a function of us coming home each night rather than having a room in the hotel. Rooms allow for things like siestas, and bringing food with one, and not-having-to-drive-home-wiped-out. And that's a big difference in maintaining energy through something like a major science-fiction convention.