It was different than I remembered. There were almost no hall costumes, and I didn't bother staying for the Masquerade. Technically, of course, I should have worn a costume and contributed. But I just don't have the sewing time right now.
I *did* discuss the difference between a Creation Con and a Real Con - several times. Nothing new. Just that a Creation Con is for meeting celebrities, and a Real Con is to hang out with fans.
Mostly, from my perspective, this one was all panels. I barely made it (20 minutes late) for the first panel which, wouldn't you know, was the only event addressing LotR and HP. The description of the panel was: Have the books & movies been good for fantasy or overwhelmed the genre: which is greatest & why? Unless they answered these during the first 20 minutes, these questions were not addressed. My fault. I should have brought it up, but I wasn't 'in the groove' yet. This panel featured Will McDermott, Jennifer Crow, James Alan Gardner, Marvin Kaye, and David DeGraff. I barely remember any of it, or what any of these people looked like. *LeSigh*
Next up was Erotic Literature in SF/Fantasy/Horror with Sephera Giron, Caro Soles,, Arinn Dembo, and Marvin Kaye. It would have been a whole lot better with Anne Bishop there, but she was on another panel: Writing as an Evolveing Process. It was fun, though, and I made a mental note (well, written down - how long do you think it would stay in *this* brain?) to read some Giron and Soles. The main bits of information were to read Poppy Z. Brite, which I already knew; and Arinn commented that sex scenes need more detail to put the reader into the scene, in order to invoke passion and the senses of the readers.
At noon, I started with Using Folk Tales as Writing Sources with Arinn Dembo, Darrell Schweitzer, Tanya Huff, Harry Turtledove, and Josepha Sherman, but it rapidly became boring and I switched over to Costuming and Masquerades with Esther Friesner, Derwin Mak, and Lynn Flewelling, which was a lot of fun, although it was mostly experiences various people had had. In retrospect, Folk Tales should not have been boring with *that* crowd!
The Art of Review and Criticism with Arinn Dembo, Lois Gresh, a Ms. Frederick (I've forgotten her first name), Marilyn Mattie Brahen, and Marvin Kaye should have been enlightening; but it rapidly became just a cat fight between Arinn and Mattie over whether you should really tear a work apart if you think it deserves it and whether the New York Times Reviews Science Fiction is a credible forum.
Advice to would-be Con Coordinators - DON'T put those two in a room together!
I was late to Star Trek -- Where Next? with Carolyn Clink, Mark Garland, DAvid Stephenson, and Josepha Sherman because I got stuck in the elevator.
No, the elevator didn't misfunction. I ran into a member of the Dorsai! Perhaps you remember that Gordon R. Dickson wrote some very popular books about a planet of mercenaries, the Dorsai. There is a club - The Dorsai Irregulars, which does security at various small cons, and I had first made their acquaintance at the precursor of this con some 30 years ago. So after my jaw dropped open and I wittily exclaimed, "You're Dorsai!" I told him that I remembered hanging out with the Dorsai back then and commented, "I remember Zilch." To which he replied, "I'm Zilch." Then I had to scrape my jaw off the floor.
I thought he might possibly remember an incident, though I thought it unlikely. I told him that the leader and founder, Bob something - don't remember the last name - had been standing looking at the pool and I walked past in the corridor behind him. I *thought* (okay, I still wasn't bright at the age of 27) that I had hung out with them enough to pull a small prank, and I swiped his beret off his head, perched it on mine, and kept going.
Bob swung around in full combat defense mode, ready to deck me! (He was ex-military.)
I didn't see the reaction, since I was still walking away, but it created quite a stir; someone had to calm him down. Anyhow. Zilch remembered this incident very well. He had been standing next to Bob when it happened. He informed me that all the Fanzines at the time were full of how Bob had attacked a fan!
We talked while the elevator went up and down about three times.
Star Trek, with Carolyn Clink, Mark Garland, David DeGraff, David Stephenson, and Josepha Sherman, may have been the most intellectual of the panels. Basically we concluded that Star Trek is dead and it's time to bury it.
At 4:00, I went to Writer's Block with Lynn Flewelling, Anne Bishop, Sephera Giron, Caro Soles, Esther Friesner, and Mattie Brahen. Esther claims she has no writer's block. She mentioned somthing like 30 books she has published, among other things, so I believe her. Anne listed three types of writer's block: Emotional (afraid of project), Physical (stressed, ill, exhausted), and Mental Safety Net - there's something wrong with way it's going. She commented that she has to first figure out which it is, before she can overcome it. Caro mentioned that another block is that you don't know enough - you haven't done your research; and they all concurred on simple Burnout - you're just going to have to take some time off. Someone commented that there's a difference between Writer's Block and Writer's Pause where you haven't done that research, or something just hasn't jelled.
At 5:00, most of the guests joined What's My Line?, where they try to guess who wrote the line given by the moderator. This was a lot of fun.
The Media Roundtable at 6:00 was less fun. Then only wanted to discuss TV shows, most of which I don't watch. They mentioned Lost, Stargate, and others I'm barely familiar with.
At that point, I was tired and decided not to stay for the Masquerade and Art Auction, the Party at 11:00 and the possible FilkSing. But I did make some contacts to get more involved with Buffalo Fantasy League and possibly be in on planning the thing next year.