I know. I know. I’m late. From Ph.D. candidacy exams, wonky internet connections, Miss Drama’s birthday party, and family in from out of town, I simply did not get to my blogging duties. I apologize. I shall strive NOT to channel my inner white rabbit with the other posts.
So here, without any further ado, is our guest, Ms. Kimberly Richardson, author of “Tales from a Goth Librarian” and “The Decembrists”.
The Pros and Cons of Cons
– Kimberly B. Richardson
When I first heard about cons oh so many years ago, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Was this some secret society kind of thing in which a goat and black robes would be part of the festivities? I was amazed (and relieved!) to find that cons were not like that; they were, in fact, a weekend in which freaks, geeks, gamers, nerds, cosplayers, Goths, Steampunkers, and other awesome people come together and revel in all things ultra-cool and ultra-not normal. At last, I thought as I walked into the Dealer’s Room at MidSouth Con in Memphis, Tennessee years ago – I have found my people. Now that I am a guest at conventions, I still get that thrill whenever I pull into the hotel parking lot, wondering just what to expect and realizing that it is never what I expect, which is a good thing.
So, may I present to you my Pros and Cons of Cons!
The biggest and most obvious pro is that . . . it’s a freakin’ CON! Where else can you go to watch costumed people walk by in all their freakish glory, or, while wearing a World of Warcraft shirt, have someone run up to you and scream “Glory to the HORDE!” And yes, that second thing really does happen to me. A lot. So much so that my publisher actually has bets in the length of time we WoWers find each other. Basically put, a con is a great way to make new friends who share your interests, hang out with old ones and catch up with their dealings, meet celebrities of whatever “thing” you’re into, watch talented artists create fantastical masterpieces before your very eyes and even enjoy some down time with a deck of Magic the Gathering cards, beer or other liquid refreshment and friends until the crack of dawn. A con is a place to be yourself, whatever that may be, and find relief in the fact that there are others out there just like you.
Another pro of cons is that it is a great source of creativity, ready to fuel your own ideas and put them into action. Have you always wanted to learn how to draw but had no idea how and where to begin? What about that awesome fantasy novel you’ve got stuck in your head that you’ve wanted to write out? Got an idea for a costume yet not really sure where to even begin? All of these and many more can be answered at a con, for it is at a con that you can meet and spend time with authors and publishers, artists, costumers, game designers and the like. All are there as celebrities, of course, yet they also offer advice for those who want to know more. I’ve had many a conversation with a young writer who wants to do what I do, yet they have no idea how to even take that first step. And, time and time again, I grin and begin my talk with them, hoping that perhaps something I will say will cause the spark to go off in their mind and give them the push that they need.
Now, it’s time to talk about the CONS of con:
One con is that sometimes, there are some people that do attend these cons for ulterior motives. Sometimes, through alcohol or other things, they can become a problem for the rest of those who are there to have a good time. If you happen to find a certain person interesting and cool in that they possibly share similar interests, just be careful and mindful because you just never know. On a side note, please be respectful of others who are at the con to enjoy themselves. Just sayin’.
Another con is the shortness of time. Sure, they do last a weekend and that seems like a long time, right? So much time to do EVERYTHING! Wrong! By the time you are in your con groove, the vendors are packing up, the signs are being taken down and the hotel is asking when you’re going to pay your bill. It would be lovely, sometimes, to have the con extend for at least one or two additional days, like Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia, yet sadly enough all good things must come to an end. However, one thing that I like to do before the post con depression kicks in is that I begin planning for the next con. Always works.
So, there you have my Pros and Cons of cons. I hope you have enjoyed my words and I hope your con experiences have been very, very good so far. And, if you happen to be attending a con that I’m at, please stop by and say hello!
Now, on to the next CON!If you’d like to find out more about Kimberly Richardson, you can find her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.