The Daily Report
Well, as frequently happens this time of year, I just got back from my best WisCon ever. I felt weird initially, as it felt like something was subtly off about the con or the reception I received there. It wasn’t hostile, wasn’t even unfriendly, just different in a way that initially registered to me as colder. When it settled into me what had changed, though, I realized it wasn’t a bad thing: I wasn’t giving off any “lost/newbie/overwhelmed” signals so no one was coming to my rescue or acting to put me at my ease. Because I didn’t need any such attention, I didn’t miss it, but because it had always been a part of my initial con experience each year, I did notice a difference.
As soon as I realized what that difference was, I made a point to pay things forward. I looked for people who looked lost. I listened for questions in crowded hallways. I broadcast on Twitter when we would be going to the pool so that other congoers would know 1) there is a pool, 2) they wouldn’t be the only con folks there if they went, and 3) they wouldn’t be the only trans and/or queer people in the pool, if applicable. I made a point to make myself available to people who felt alone or unsafe. I think in doing so I made at least one really good friend of someone I was only sort of tangentially in generalized internet/fandom contact with before.
When I lay it all out like that in paragraph form, it sounds like a job in the sense of a thankless chore, and while it is certainly labor that takes time and energy (and labor that is worth valuing as labor), it’s not a matter of “I did this instead of enjoying the con and hanging out with people”. It was the structure by which I spent some of my time enjoying the con and hanging out with people.
Because I saw this con from a very different perspective than previous ones, I also came from it with what I feel is a better understanding about certain dynamics. I will write a bigger blog post about this in more detail in the near future, but the short version is that I’ve realized the merit of doing fan events in giving people who admire and enjoy one’s work a context and framework in which they know that stepping forward and interacting with you is not just acceptable but welcome.
So that coupled with the knowledge (pointed out by Jack) that next summer is the 10th anniversary of Tales of MU’s launch led me to an off-the-cuff Twitter announcement: next year, at WisCon 41, I will be hosting a 10th birthday party for Tales of MU. Or maybe a 10 year class reunion. I don’t know. We have a year to sort that out, and if you’re a MU reader and/or a fan of mine who has been interested in coming to WisCon and/or meeting me, you have a year to plan your trip. WisCon always takes place on Memorial Day weekend, always in beautiful downtown Madison, Wisconsin, and is always is held at the Madison Concourse Hotel (so if you’re early enough in reserving your room that you can get one in the main hotel, you do not have to worry about travel logistics or going outside to get to the main con events).
Pretty good! I had really been hoping my Patreon would blow up before the end of the month in a way that it didn’t, but my WorldCon fund did in a way that I really didn’t think it would. I have everything except for the hotel taken care of, will be buying memberships as soon as funds clear.
I do have to unexpectedly buy a new bluetooth keyboard, as my old one died during the con. That’s a minor expenditure.
The State of the Me
You know, when I announced that I was going to get Tales of MU running on a multi-update basis again on June 1st and when I decided I was going to start all these cool new things in June, I was under a mistaken impression about the distance between the con and the end of May. I was figuring that would give me a bit under a week of recovery time and padding between the end of the con and when I needed to kick things into high gear. I’m not sure from where I got that impression, but I had it, and it was wrong.
Turns out that’s okay. Despite having come back to a house that was swelteringly hot and has very little of the sort of food that I need to be eating, despite having had a fairly restless night, today, the day after I got home, I am feeling pretty good. This is my best post-con day ever. Mentally and physically. I can feel the touches of fatigue, but I’m not exhausted, there’s not all-encompassing cognitive fog, I haven’t forgotten all my big plans and dreams, and I’m ready to go on putting them in order. I’m a little unfocused, insofar as I wrote most the daily report section of this post then got caught up in household-organizational stuff (putting things back in order after almost a week with other people living here instead of us) and talking on the twitters about the free speeches.
Plans For Today
Okay. So. Today’s the beginning of the next book of Tales of MU. Big doings there in the afternoon. Between now and then, I’m going to be blogging a lot, though I’m not yet sure if it will be lots of small posts or fewer, bigger ones. I have a lot to say.