Did that happen? No! It did not. And I'm so ridiculously glad, because I had the BEST TIME EVERRRRRRR.
Holy crap. I used to think that people who came to cons just to hang out with their friends and skip out on the programming were missing out, but now i know that i was very naive and foolish, for lo, Sitting By The Pool Drinking Fruity Drinks is the mecca of every fan con, if I only had known!!!!!
I didn't intend to skip out on so much of the actual programming, and the few panels I did get to see were fantastic. But basically, all we did this whole long weekend was hang out and drink too much and talk about fandom, and lo, it was epic. So epic.
And now for the requisite 'what-i-did-on-my-summer-vacation' recap, replete with shameless namedropping, as expected:
Thursday I got into Florida and met up with my amazing roommmates, jlh, zorb, and nqdonne, whereupon, after a good hour of hanging out and talking about fandom, we promptly went to the bar and hung out and drank and talked about fandom some more. (You will soon notice a recurring theme.) And then I think we went to the banquet, and watched eibbil_libbie and gwendolyngrace and heidi8 and flourish all zipping crazily past us in busy clouds of haste--which, if you have been to previous HPEF cons, you know is their collective default state for most of the convention. And then after dinner (yum) we all went back to the bar for drinks and karaoke and talking about fandom, where we were later joined by the stunning kitsune13 and the lovely aliwilgus. (Oh, and if anyone knows who the adorable girl was who sang "Potterhead" as a filk from "Popular" from Wicked, tell her she brought the house down and I LOVE HER ♥_♥. No seriously she made me CRY WITH JOY.) At some point sarahtales and karenhealey showed up, which was awesome, because I finally got to meet Sarah for the first time in 8 years!!!! --and of course she promptly traumatized me by telling me how Jacob's nipples followed her around during Eclipse like one of those creepy magical eye posters. Thanks, Sarah. Thanks. And then after that we went to sit by the pool. And hung out and drank and talked about fandom. And then we went back to the bar, because we were still hungry, and hung out and drank and talked about fandom. Our bar waittress was like "Oh my god they're back again who are these people" and we were like, 'oh, just wait, this is only day one.'
Friday morning Clio and I went to Ali's reading, which she was doing with naominovik--and can I just say they were both excellent, and their readings were very pithy! :D - -and then we all went with NN's husband Charles, who is awesome, to breakfast, where we hung out and ate and talked about fandom. And then we went to the keynote luncheon, featuring Ali, Naomi, Sarah, Karen, and rj_anderson, moderated by pegkerr--all hanging out and talking about fandom, and how it helped them become published writers, and how their relationships with fandom have changed as a result. And it was delightful! and informative and fun and then I got them all to sign things for me omg and I got a poster of Sarah's amazing Japanese Lexicon cover zomg. And then we went and hung out and talked about fandom some more, and then it was time for our panel! Which featured me, Clio, and Karen. We talked about writing realism and diversity in fiction, and the complications of engaging with cultural/social experiences and identities outside of your own--but we also talked about how important it is to write them, and how important it is to just try to read and listen and learn and increase your awareness. It was a good panel! (eta: jlh talks about it here!) People came! Among them were Ali and Cat and NQ and Zorb and Sarah, and emmagrant01 (hi, Emma!) and mijan (hi, Mijan!). And then we all went out to the pool and Naomi & Charles were like, we have a table! in the shade!!! and so we all hung out and drank and talked about fandom some more, which kicked off something like an eight-hour stretch where all we did was HANG OUT AND DRINK AND TALK ABOUT FANDOM. It was awesome. Like, seriously, best day ever. At one point Clio and I did some kind of overarching analysis of all Broadway from the 1920's through to Rent in the context of pop music and the demise of theatre as we know it, and it was AMAZING :D, and of course there was just the sheer exultation of hanging out with old friends you haven't seen in too long, and people you've long-wanted to meet.
Saturday I actually got to go to programming! Including Sarah/Karen/RJ's group reading, which fellow author jaclyndolamore (hi!!!) has blogged about here! It was, again, really informative and fun, even though they moved us all into a storage office at the last minute. The panel ran over by an hour because no one wanted to leave, and the authors were all extremely gracious and just kept talking with us about YA, because who doesn't love to geek out over YA? Oh, AND: Karen read the Gecko Scene (i can't believe she read the gecko scene!!!!!), so exciting, and Sarah read the HOLY SHIT WHEN DID JAMIE BECOME SUCH A SMOLDERING STACK OF HOT EVIL SEX scene, which I don't actually remember anything else that happened in that scene because I was too busy going HO SHIT THAT'S JAMIE, HO SHIT THAT'S JAMIE THREATENING PEOPLE WITH NICK'S KNIFE, HO SHIT I AM IN LOVE, etc etc. (This is alway my reaction to evil!Jamie, so you will probably see it again.) Then fabularasa, amanuensis1, and I all went to a late lunch, where we talked about Hikago (!!!!) and YA we liked/didn't like, and, of course, fandom!!! Then Ali & I went to Cat's panel about policing adolescent access to young adult fanfic, and explicit content created *by* young adults. It was fantastic, and she got a great discussion going about how so many of us as Potter fans access fanfic with "dubious content" at an early age, and then begin creating it ourselves. Fantastic. And then Cat & one of the guests (Michael! Hi Michael) went and hung out and talked about fandom, and then it was time for the H/D shipper meetup!
And. Omg. So many H/D fans I met this week! I am totally not going to remember them all, but here's a shout-out to: emansil_08, sugareey, oncewasone, taira602, sapphirequill, phoenix_writing, nuclearsugars, stormwynd (HI, DAVE!), aome (HI, PLU!), essie007, and dragonflylily. It was so fantastic hanging out with each of you, and to feel so connected to H/D fandom and to the fandom at large. You are ALL AMAZING <3333333. So yeah, the shipper meetup was basically a bunch of us hanging out and talking about fandom FOR HOURS, and then we went and all had dinner and hung out and talked about fandom for hours SOME MORE, :DDDDD, and then after all that hanging out and talking about fandom, it was time to go to the BALL. :D
So the ball was totally awesome, and stinaleigh (HI, STINA!) basically ran up and tugged me over to meet Chris Rankin and his girlfriend Meg, who were completely classy and lovely. And then there was dancing, and Heidi came around with hugs and rave sticks, and tons of fangirls singing "Don't Stop Believin'" at the top of their lungs, filling a giant ballroom with acapella singing, my favorite thing in life. And THEN our entire entourage of people, like, so many people at this point because we'd been steadily amassing a small mob around Chris and Meg, went -- oh, you'll never guess -- to the bar to hang out and drink and talk about fandom. :D And at one point I accidentally horrified his girlfriend, which was hilarious, but she forgave me and they hugged me goodbye, which was ridiculously sweet, and at some point after so much drinking and dancing and talking about fandom I probably broke into Kum-ba-yahs and tears at some point, because oh my god I love fandom so much.
So now I'm waiting for Zorb and NQ to get back to the room, whereupon I shall throw everything into a suitcase and be on my merry way back to Virginia.
I think, all in all, the last 3 days have been the best 3 days of my entire fannish life. It felt absolutely transcendent to me to be able to continually connect with so many old friends. I love you all, and I can't wait for 2012.
Eta: ahh, and then on the shuttle sugareey told me all about real quidditch league, and basically delighted me bc Omg quidditch, and gave me all kinds of plot ideas for a story about real life harry and Draco and their mutual quest to catch a sexy, sexy snitch.
God, i love fandom!