Penguicon arrival day

It turns out that last night’s chipper mood was not caffeine induced, because it continued into today. When Howard commented on it, I replied that I was just floating from the removal of crushing responsibility. That’s what vacations are for, right? The fact that this vacation is going to be exhausting does not change the fact that it still represents a large sideways step from my regular life.

It was blowing snow at the Salt Lake Airport. This delayed our flight by 45 minutes. We sat next to a guy who was headed to Detroit to be part of a film crew. He’d come from LA and was very nervous about taking off in the snow. Howard and I had a great conversation with him for about half the trip. I love it when we meet cool people by chance. He and Howard got to talk audio engineering. We all got to talk movies. It made the flight much more enjoyable.

So now I’m here at Penguicon. The convention does not open until tomorrow, but the first guests are here along with much of the convention staff. The first official event was a dinner. Howard and I deliberately sat at different tables. This was in part as an effort for the pair of us to visit with more people. It also forced me to speak up and make my own connections. And it was fun.

One of the things I like most about conventions is that I can sit beside someone for an hour and then suddenly it clicks and I realize exactly who they are. Cherie Priest of Boneshaker sat next to me at dinner, telling funny stories on an ex-boyfriend. Patrick Rothfuss sat across from me and told stories about funny interactions on the internet. The table was rounded out by Yanni Kuznia (head of the literary track), Aaron Thul (registration), Dave Kletcha (writer and fellow codexian) and me.

It is easy to feel insecure at conventions. I sat at the table listening to story after story, and I realized that I’d not said a word in at least thirty minutes. This is fairly normal for me. I’m a conversational lurker, but silence doesn’t help me build connections. New friends are one of the joys of conventions. Fortunately the conversations drifted into topics where I had some stories to tell, so I was able to contribute to the amusement of all.

I’m afraid my posts are going to be a little fragmented over the next few days. That happens with conventions.