After the silly little spate a couple of months ago I decided to adopt an "if I can't say something nice I won't say anything at all" policy here. Thus, if I didn't have good things to say about the Ravencon experience, you probably wouldn't be reading a post today. Because I'm tired. No, that's not quite accurate. I'm bone-achingly, word-slurringly exhausted. I wouldn't be writing a post if I didn't feel strongly about it. Trust me, I'd still be in bed, instead.
But I do. Have good things to say, that is. Those who've followed me for a while know I rather enjoyed SheVaCon, in a hey-this-is-cool-stuff kinda way. In Roanoke I went to some good sessions and talked to some interesting people with whom I haven't been in contact since.
When you work a Con (which is, of course, entirely different from working a con), though, it's an entirely different level of immersion. I found this at work back when I helped out with trade shows put on by a former employer who shall remain nameless for much the same reason as Volde--um, He Who--does. These great big, multi-hundred (or in the employer's case, multi-tens-of-thousands) attended events generate a level of frenetic intensity behind the scenes, no matter how well-planned, that truly must be experienced to be believed. If everyone is where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there, doing what they were assigned to do plus looking out for the best interest of the guests, then it ends with everybody shambling exhaustedly to the end with a great big smile on their faces. If not, people become enemies to infinity and beyond and hurl mostly unintelligible epithets toward each other as they shamble exhaustedly toward the exit doors as soon as they can.
I was amazed at the level of professionalism, teamwork, and competence I saw this weekend out of an entirely volunteer group. These guys, the Ravencon staff, do what they do because they love it and are good at it, and both I and Heide are glad we were able to integrate into the mix for this event and others to come.
Short story, then: you need to go to Ravencon. Because, like, it's great fun. What other Con has a Ms. Pacman arcade game in the gaming room? Eh? One that will actually play 60+ old arcade games?
Ahywho--despite the long hours of work, I was still able to attend a session or two. Will cover the one on Harry Potter separately, as it deserves.
I also was in the right place at the right time to be nominated Chief--um, not sure what the actual title is. But the author guest of honor was Glen Cook, and somebody on staff has to be assigned the privilege of making sure the GoH is where he needs to be at the right time and has what he needs available, including name tents, pens, and coffee. That somebody was me. Talk about a blast. Glen Cook has been writing a long, long time. He's an incredibly smart man with an infectious sense of humor and a great deal of humility. More about that, I think, in a later blog post.
Also had more fun at the Charity Auction than I've ever had at any auction before. The crowd was really into it, and the callers were great. No, really, it was fun. I know, it was an auction, but you have to believe me on this. I managed, during all the fun, to get two beautiful works of art by Ruth Thompson, both faeries and both signed limited editions, for a price that in retrospect is kind of embarrassing. I mean, I practically stole them from the auction. I paid slightly more for two of them than a single non-signed non-LE version is available for online.
All in all, great fun, and it gave me a great deal to consider for my own future writing efforts.