I woke up far too early today, Megan woke me up after she was woken up by the sunrise, we forgot to close the curtains! So I dragged myself out of bed and we we t down to breakfast, where I managed to fill myself up a bit better than yesterday.

I then had a Lemsip before I headed off to my first event which was What Kind of Convention Do You Want To Run, which has given me some ideas about doing a small con, a proper con in the North East that’s not just a dealers room and cosplay as most events here in the north east tend to be.

After this I meet up with Lindsay and Megan whom had been to Mental Health and Super Heroes, which they tell me they enjoyed, and we went along to the dealers room because they wanted a Dublin 2019 ribbon, and I had a chat with the folk at the table. I forgot to mention that yesterday they had talked me round into attending OctoCon on my birthday weekend in Dublin, so yesterday I booked a flight and hostel for that, and I was told today that I have booked a rather nice hostel. Sadly I could not afford the hotel it’s being held at.

At this point we split up again, Lindsay and Megan went off to attend a Metal Clay Crafting Workshop they had been really looking forward to, whilst I went to the Eastercon Site Selection to find out a bit more about Follycon, next years Eastercon and vote for the 2019 Eastercon site.

Although Follycon looks amazing, I don’t think I am going to be able to go to it for more than a day visit, we are struggling to find a hotel room that will house us. Being a trio, makes things more difficult, but the Travelodge has yet to release its rooms so if they are a good price then it might work out for us. 

It’s hard going away when you are a group of three, with me and Megan being disabled, it’s normally impossible for us to be able to afford two room. But anyway I digress.

Then we had to two bids for 2019, one being a joke bid, Con-Fusion which would have been in the International Space Station and one for Ytterbium which won and will be held at the Park In Hotel in Heathrow. They have a low income membership which will be nice for me and Megan, but we are going to be waiting until after World Con in Helsinki to decide on what we do in 2019, because if Dublin wins it’s WorldCon bid, we will be going to that, and Ytterbium would be out of our budget sadly.

I had intended to do the Customised Lego Minifigs Workshop, but I needed a rest so ended up going to the room for an hour instead. After that I meet Lindsay and Megan in the Fan Lounge for lunch where I had a hot dog, which if I am honest was the worst value meal I had, it cost me £5.50 for a hot dog which was chunky, but smaller than that you get in CostCo.

Then we all headed to a panel we were all looking forward to Curing Disabled Characters in TV, which is something that really annoys me and Megan, it did segway a little into representation of disabilities on TV, but it was still good and informative.

Although I didn’t get to ask my question as we ran out of time, I wanted to ask how the panel feels about the curing of disabilities and representation, so in effect is the cure, wiping out disabled characters and robbing us disabled folk of relatable characters in our stories.

We then returned Megan to the room as she needed a rest, whilst I went to Disability and Conventions: Pragmatism and Idealism, which is a subject area I am very interested in, especially for things like Company of Legends. It was a good panel and I learnt a few things on how I can work to improve the things I do run, which is always good.

I then meet Lindsay and Megan in the lobby and we headed over to Resort World for food, we ended up deciding on TGI Fridays but annoyingly they had a 35 minute wait and no chairs available for us to sit on, so we ended up in Nando’s where we sat within 5 minutes.

Me and Megan split a medium Full Platter between us, and I had Peri-Peri Chips and coleslaw on the side. It’s nice to eat in the fan lounge, but I think we were all in need of a break from the con, it was Megan’s first time out of the hotel in two days!

I had then intended to attend a panel called Genre, Fanfic, and Community and that looked really good, but I noticed on the schedule an author reading by Jaine Fenn and Tej Turner. Now Jaine is the author that pulled me back into fandom. During racefail back in 2009, I posted a passionate post about how representation was important and that authors had a duty to ensure that books represented our communities which are not racial homogenous, and how we should be uncomfortable at the silence of writers and fans of colour, not the criticism the community received from them at that time. 

I am. It gonna say it was a particular important post or one that should have been noticed, but it’s how I felt about the whole mess, I had observed it unfolding and developing and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut anymore. Well I got viciously attacked for that opinion by various people, all of whom were male, white and American and the way that I felt after that kinda had me walk away from fandom for about five years. It’s why when gamergate came along, I ended up walking away from that community, even though I recognised how the campaign of hatred and nastiness was utterly wrong and simply misogynistic bullying. I was a coward then and wish I had, but at that time I was still recovering.

I was then in 2014 working as a Man in Black for Steve Jackson Games, and was asked to work demoing Munchkin at Loncon 3, which I leapt at the chance to do. I still wanted to attend a WorldCon and figured, I can ignore the book stuff and just concentrate on the games (seriously I honestly thought that!!!), anyway on the Friday night I was in the games tent at the end of the evening I was playing in a large game of Werewolf and I was eliminated quite early on, so I stepped outside the tent into the fan village and sat down in the library area which had been filled with books provided by publishers, mostly pre-publication copies. Anyway I sat down in the far corner and sat on a book, and I picked it up and found myself looking at it and without thinking, I spent the night reading that entire book, cover to cover, and I was engrossed, I actually didn’t move from that spot until I had finished the book at 5:30am on the Saturday, yeah I spent the night in the fan village, at some point security had missed me and I was locked in.

It took me over 6 hours to get through the book because it wasn’t long after the car accident where I got my brain damage, and it was the first story that was new to me that I read after that accident. To sum it up I was in a pretty bad place at the time, WorldCon was a bright spot which did a lot for my mental health at the time, because I was struggling to adjust to these new limitations my body had, WorldCon was a baptism of fire for me, I found my new limitations and capabilities, I then tried to push further and after struggling with reading even the simplest of books before this, to be able to sit and digest a book in one sitting as I did often as a teenager, well it gave me hope that not everything about my body would be worse, that my mind, although dulled, could still function and deal with stuff the way it’s supposed to.

Anyway the book was Queen of Nowhere by Jaine Fenn and on my return home to the North East, I sought out the rest of the Hidden Empire series and downloaded them all on to my Kobo and well, that’s how I returned to the fandom and ended at Eastercon this year. I kinda wanted to tell her this after the reading because I was fanboying so hard, but I chickened out and returned to the room instead. But Jaine, if by some chance you read this, well please know you will have my eternal gratitude for being the women to bring me back home where I belong and your books will always have a special meaning for me, especially Queen of Nowhere. And seeing as the story she wrote was the origin story of Bez, the character from Queen of Nowhere I found it extra awesome. I also found out she has a Patreon so I will be subscribing to that once I get home.

The reading by Tej was also really good, it was a really interesting character, and his writing is really quite interesting, I think Lindsay in particular will enjoy his work, and I now own both his books, they are uploaded to my Kobo now.

When I got back to the room I found Megan recovering from a panic attack. She had thought someone was trying to break into the room. So I felt mega guilty for having gone to that leaving her in the room alone.

We managed to get calmed down and talked her round to joining us to watch Plan 9 From Outer Space, but I managed to get the room wrong and took us into the end of the recital by Thomas Bloch and Pauline Haas which was beautiful.

Anyway by the time we realised we found that they had changed the screening from Plan 9 from Outer Space to a Transformers film, and the unexpected change of plans followed by the extremely loud noises of the film caused Megan to have another panic attack, so we got her into the Fan Lounge where we got her calm, and she decided that instead of going to listen to some filk or go play some games, she just wanted to go to the room, so we did that.

She has been so brave this weekend and tonight has been the first time her anxiety caught up with her in a big way, normally she freaks out at the thought of spending a short time in the presence of a single person she doesn’t know, so how she has managed to get through 3 days with 900 odd people I don’t know, but I am incredibly proud of her.

At this point we retired to bed whilst I spent too much money on new books from the Kobo online store and struggled to connect to the hotel wi-fi so I could sync my Kobo.

At some point I feel asleep and didn’t wake up again until 7am when Megan hugged me.

  • Mood: Exhausted but so very happy
  • Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 7
  • In My Ears: Lucia Di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti
  • Game Last Played: Pokémon Go
  • Book Last Read: On Basilisk Station by David Weber
  • Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition