Greetings one and all!
So, today I have come home from NineWorlds in the UK. My very first 'proper' convention. By 'proper' I mean the kind in the same hotel you're staying at sort.
It was for all sorts of geeky types, from your desktop RPG'ers, book readers, sci-fi show watchers, fantasy peoples, film peoples and everything inbetween or around.
It was bloody marvellous!
I'll start by saying I was at the hotel from Thursday - Monday. The theory was that arriving the day before the convention started would give us (me and my boyfriend) a chance to settle in before the activities started and miss some of the ensuing chaos that would be a bigger portion of the people arriving on Friday would be.
This was, as it turned out, to be a really neat idea. We got a vague idea of the layout of the ground floor, some of the rooms, and where food could be obtained (and learned one of the key lessons, that food was very expensive and limited in options unless you ventured out back into the mundane world to find a place that sold food, which was also very limited unless you wanted to hop on a bus for a 20 minute ride kinda deal) and got to have a good little evening opening session. Me and one of my friends went to what was supposed to be the blanket fort building to find no one where (we got there a touch early) and by the time things got swinging we were playing a board game (lots of fun) and listening to kids building the forts (noisy!) but it was still a nice way to start things and met lovely people whilst playing the game.
That was honestly one of the things I REALLY loved about the convention. So many lovely lovely people. People just like me who loved geeky things and didn't judge each other and were polite and nice and whatnot. The difference I noticed just between leaving this morning and by the time I'd gotten home was kinda sad really. The convention had been all kinds of bright and wonderful levels of energy that although did get tiring after a while (naps had to be taken occasionally for this little introvert) was also pretty relaxing. Everyone was pretty upbeat and colourful and smiling and ....yeah I'm just gushing again.
I saw there were loads of panels on offer and was kinda nervous about going to them, I wasn't sure as the times rolled around if they would be my thing or not. As such I only went to one 'proper' panel as it were but it was on Manipulative Bastards and Believable Clerics which was SUPER interesting, in both talks. I ended up enjoying the second WAY more than I thought I would. However the gentleman giving the talk was truly interested in what he was talking, wove in fantastic anecdotes from person life experiences, and was a genuine priest himself (even wearing his dog collar and a geeky shirt!) I found it so interesting and it gave me a lot to think about for if/when I ever need to write or play a cleric and even on writing about gods/deities in situations too. Really nifty stuff.
I actually went to a sing-a-long, I'd looked at it thinking it'd be a bloody good blast, and I was right! A Joss Whedon sing-a-long. Now I hadn't seen Dr Horribles Sing-a-long blog before so I sat through that listening with a small chuckle as some people jumped up the front of the room (some in cosplay too!) and acted out some small bits as the singing went along. (I watched it that evening and found it really interesting as well) and then it was Once More With Feeling! A set of songs I knew well! Singing along and suddenly a cosplayer as Spike walks through the aisle being all spot on character, and later a Giles too that make me grin and laugh. We even had the keyboardist lose his keyboard at one point and with a chuckle we asked 'Where do we go from here?' quite legitimately due to perfect cosmic timing!
I had a couple of bad instances, but they were pretty much all in my head so I did make use of the quiet rooms that were on offer, though I'd argue one of them didn't really seem all that good but then it was probably more my mindset at the time rather than anything else. Again the people there were super nice and I got back into a good mindset to carry on doing things.
OH! There were TONS of board games you could borrow and play with. I finally got to play a game of Pandemic, and one of the guys at 9dice was super kind to explain the rules to us as we kind of nodded wrapping our heads around it. I know we 'ran out of time' but I was impressive we'd gotten 2 cures produced and only had 3 outbreaks for our VERY FIRST GAME! It impressed me, I don't think it impressed the rest but then I'd heard how super hard the game was and that everyone loses most of their games so I knew we'd probably fail but what we did get to accomplish was awesome.
Thinking back over what I experienced I'm TOTALLY going next year and probably with a lot more confidence, especially as now I've been to one I know what I'm expecting and will be better prepared physically and mentally (like bringing some basics for food stuff, I missed chocolate so much.) I'll also probably go to more panels, and might even bring along cross stitch to keep me occupied during slower times or heck just to enjoy doing whilst sitting in the open areas, I will admit some vanity in that I like it when people 'ooh' at the stuff I've done (and really wish I'd thought to carry my cross stitch Loki with me in the back of my lanyard pouch from day one. Ah well) Knowing what I'd be going into next time will make things easier and even more relaxed and awesome I'm sure.
Either way. I had a blast and very much look forward to future conventions.
Because you know what? It was so unbelievably awesome to be completely accepted for who I was by so many others who were just like me. Even remembering that brings a smile to me.
OH! and the twitter love I got was awesome!
So to anyone reading this who went. YAY! It was awesome.
See you again next year.
Thank you very much for reading and have a great evening!
EDIT: Weblink for anyone interested! NineWorlds