This last weekend I went out to Cincinnati, Ohio for–well, as the title says–DestielCon. I must admit that I felt a bit like I was sneaking in because while I adore Castiel and Dean separately, the Destiel ship has kinda sailed out of my fleet. I think that there’s a way it would have worked back in some seasons, but not in the recent ones. And I really don’t think that the Supernatural producers would ever let the show take the plunge–Anyway, this post is supposed to be about the lovely time I had and not the shitty parts of the show. So, *ahem* back to my con recap.
I got in on Thursday and was honestly glad I took the extra day to drive out. My route had like ten different construction zones, and traffic would have to slow up considerably. But hey, I made it without too much delay. Pre-reg for the convention was open that night, so after meeting up with a few people (thanks for doing that by the way!), I was able to get my badge and surprise gift since I’m a panelist. This was the fourth convention I’ve paneled at, but the first time I got a present for it (other than one of the attendees giving me a pretty origami piece at 221B). DestielCon gave us mugs with the con logo and year. It’s nifty.
Friday was a blast. There were a bunch of panels and I had the pleasure of sitting on two that day. The schedule went from 3pm until past midnight that night without a break. I think that’s one thing the con could actually improve upon–leaving one hour in the evening free from the discussion panels. I overheard a couple of times where people said “I don’t want to miss anything, but I gotta eat.” With the free hour, people won’t wind up missing anything and hopefully remember to do that important bit of eating. (Con life, sometimes you get wrapped up and forget a meal).
Late Friday night was karaoke. Someone got up to sing “Let it Go” and I cringed for about three seconds, until it turned out the song was only to the tune. The lyrics were completely different and that song was pretty awesome. Another two did a different version of “I don’t care, I love it” but it was “I don’t care, I ship it.” And then there was Deanmon singing “I’m too sexy” with Cain and Abbadon dancing to the lyrics in perfect synchronization. Pretty sure they didn’t practice that. All in all, an awesome night.
Up and down seemed to be Saturday’s theme for me. I submitted words to the writer’s workshop and yeah, that didn’t go what I’d call ‘well.’ Critiques are like that, though. If they go too ‘well’ then you’re either already some kind of insane perfect writing machine, or you’re not putting your material in front of the right people. Hell, even when I glanced at the words the night before, I figured that the next day was going to be rough. But sometimes you don’t know how to fix things anymore without clear, fresh eyes. And honestly, I got some of the same advice that I’ve been working on a lot in the last year. Besides all that, the first two hundred words of a story are hard. Nailing them alone is an art form. Yeah, I got stressed out after the critique, but it wasn’t just hearing about where the story was failing–I’d been getting psyched up for the con all week and I live alone so I’m not used to so much socialization anymore. In other words, stress levels were already pretty maxed out.
I also got to pitch my book Possession and Other Invitations to the visiting publisher that evening. It was a phenomenal experience, because, well, if you’d told me a year ago I’d get to talk with a publisher face to face I would have dropped over in awe. And the pitch actually went awesome–especially since this was the first time I’d ever talked to a publisher about my work. Don’t get too excited here. Wasn’t a ‘oh I want to buy this now!’ situation. But the advice boils down to ‘sounds like strong character arc, strong world, but that execution I got a glimpse of sucked.’ If I want a chance, I’ll have to rewrite the book. That’s a lot more hard work, but you know what? Some of the hardest–character and world–are fine at the core. It’s the writing that needs improvement and honestly, the day I stop trying to improve my prose is probably the day I’m dead (Cause there is no way I’m giving up on writing). Saturday wound up a little rough ’cause my brain was attempting too many calculations about the work and about how to change the book, but now that I’m a few days out? I’m giddy as hell. A publisher said I had interesting ideas. I can rip this story down to the foundations and rewrite. And I’m not going to be discouraged if I do all this work and don’t wind up getting published by them. The critiques set off a firestorm in my head and now that it’s over, I can see where the story had strength and where it was completely failing and I’m ready to give it another go. It’s going to be a stronger piece in the end and that’s the important part.
Heh, back to the convention. Sunday was another relaxing day. I spent the morning talking with Euclase and crap I forgot the darling girl’s name but you’re awesome, and then got lunch with Winjennster, and then more talking with Dori, then watching the fanart workshop for a bit (I’ve spent all my time with words and reading and roleplaying and video games. I barely know anything about drawing, and not enough to practice in public). Then I went over to the other panel on gender discussion. After that I got to sit on the Fandoms Unite and then Villains panel. Unfortunately I had to leave right after my panels ’cause I had a long drive home.
Leaving con spaces is always hard. Cons are these wonderful, peculiar liminal spaces. They are rituals of a sort–I’d have to dig out my textbook, but I’m pretty sure they fit the definition. I mean, you go to a specific place, at a specific time. There are clothing options specific to the space (in this case cosplay). It’s a celebration/worship of philosophy or at the very least of what the attendees consider important cultural products. The weekend is intended to foster community and creativity. Yeah, sounds like a ritual to me.
And this convention was so great. I’ve gotten too used to like the massive size of Dragon Con where you only get to know a handful of people if you’re lucky. Both 221B and DestielCon were much smaller and I had the chance to get to know people a lot better this year–which is a good thing since I usually wind up going to these gigs solo. I had such a great time and I can’t wait to go back again next year. I’d say I’m missing everyone intensely, but you’re all over my tumblr feed now. I feel like I just gained like two dozen friends 😉