spindizzy: (Be happy!)
[personal profile] spindizzy
I went to my first residential convention! It was kinda scary but really good and I had a lot of fun and... Was a lot less anxious during the whole thing than I expected! Like, my social anxiety is picking over everything, but I can still do a lot of happy yelling! (Obligatory livetweet thread!)

(Also I apologise if this seems excessively... Me me me? I kinda did the maths on "sounding like a self-centred jerk" or "possibly infringing people's privacy by talking about them on the internet" and came down on the side of being a jerk? I SPOKE TO MANY PEOPLE WHO WERE SMART AND FUNNY AND DELIGHTFUL, I am just... Not representing that well?)

  • It was in London this year, out by Hammersmith? And I only got a little lost on the way, which is pretty good for me! It turns out that if it's not rush hour, I'm mostly able to do the tube? Although I managed to look lost enough that a random Londoner asked me if I was okay and knew where I was going. ... I'm led to believe that doesn't happen, ever!

  • I met up with [twitter.com profile] fkth for the first time literally since we left sixth form. I think the only other time we've seen each other was for five minutes in passing after [twitter.com profile] splend's fake wedding. We got to catch up and gossip and have great food and it was... Kinda like we'd only not seen each other in a week? Which I guess is because a) twitter, and b) Fi is like the Kevin Bacon on my social group, in that everyone knows her independently of me? But I enjoyed it, it was great, we are gonna have to do it again. ... Or just steal her up to Nottingham so she can hang out with everyone.

  • I was sharing a room with [twitter.com profile] clairerousseau and [twitter.com profile] buckbeakbabie and they were so lovely! They gave me crash courses in Les Mis and Black Sails and like, Irish politics, and it was great?
    • They summarised Grantaire and Enjolras and Graintaire/Enjolras well enough that despite only barely knowing Grantaire existed at the start of the weekend, by the end of it I was wailing "I don't even go here and I'm sad!" (Which made [twitter.com profile] buckbeakbabie laugh because "You do now!")

    • I will watch Black Sails! I will! I am entirely sold on queer polyamorous pirates! I just need to get back to work so I can order it!

    • ... Everyone now has objective witnesses to my godawful witchy cackle, I'm so sorry that I didn't warn anyone about this before it happened.

    • No but seriously, they're both really smart and interesting, 10/10 would recommend chatting to them if you get a chance!

  • I got to meet [twitter.com profile] faintdreams and she was so sweet and looked out for me over the weekend and introduced me to people! And brought me stationery! She is so lovely! (Plus: her cosplays were great.)

  • I think I also saw [twitter.com profile] runalongwomble and [twitter.com profile] mikebrooks668 in passing, but they looked like they were busy so I didn't end up saying hi.

  • Nine Worlds tries so hard to make life easy for people and I really appreciated that! *_* There were pronoun stickers and the communication colours for your badge (blue if you wanna talk to people, yellow for if you wanna be the one instigating conversations, and red for no conversations), and those were possibly the most useful things? Like, seriously, it takes a lot of the anxiety out of approaching people if you know whether they want to talk to people, and if pronouns are just... There, so you don't have to ask? (Work has taught me that cis people do not like being asked about gender or pronouns.) And there were breaks built into all of the programming? And we were staying in the con hotel, so when it got a bit Much, I could go back to the room and spend five minutes just... Not being around people? And that was okay? It was so nice. ... Although the downside of being the con hotel was that I could just pop upstairs and put my books down in the room, which is predictably dangerous.

  • Also, thank you to whoever gave me the 3-2-1 rules for conventions! I think it was [personal profile] renay quoting someone else? Every day you're at a con, try to get a minimum of 3 hours sleep, two meals, and one shower? It worked! Even if my first meal was just the biggest breakfast I could stomach and my second was a McDonalds run around 15:00. >_> IT TURNS OUT that if you don't care about basic health and nutrition enough to do that, you can do food for three days of a con for like less than a tenner. >_>

  • (Also the paper schedule is literally the most useful thing? It meant that I could just... Make decisions on the fly if I needed to? And scribble on it? ... Also my goody bag contained another copy of Starborn by Lucy Hounsom, which I'm taking as a sign from the publishing industry that it really wants me to read this book..)

  • BUT. I ALSO DID STUFF. I didn't get into all of the panels that I wanted to, which ranged from "Eh, that's fine," to "Aw, gutted," but it's fine! I did a lot! ... And also crocheted and unravelled a fish. >_>


Friday
  • Because I am me, I went to two out of the three panels on mythology! There was one called "Re-reading mythology" which was about a project to translate Greek myths into BSL, and it was really cool.
    • These films were a partnership between an artist (Howard Hardiman) and a classicist (Dr Liz Gloyn), and they spent a bit of time talking about how great it was to be see how the other approached a problem? Like, Dr Gloyn specifically said "Howard gets this wonderful thing called artistic freedom" – if she, as the classicist, points out that there's a gap in the evidence, he can fill it with whatever he likes, and she can check that it holds up.

    • Hardiman made a great point about modern historians and artists reclaiming queer and non-white narratives from a deliberately erased/colonised past; white male historians, particularly in the Victorian empire, had a vested interest in "proving" that the Graeco-Roman era was one of a homogenous empire (because, y'know, the British empire)that's not what it was like at all. Plus, diversifying who gets to look at and reclaim this history means that we get new insights – like when actual hairdressers looked at ancient styles that had been dismissed as "fantasy hair" and went "Oh, no, I can do that, no problem."

    • (Also I was delighted by his idea about Callisto – she was transformed into Ursa Major in her myth, and Ursa Minor is her son, which means that any industry that relied on celestial navigation is based on "the courage of a lesbian single mother." YES, HIGHLIGHT THE QUEERNESS OF MYTHOLOGY, I AM HERE FOR IT.)

    • The performers were all D/deaf, and they put a lot of effort in to remove anachronisms from their signs? Like, the sign for "wife" in BSL is miming putting on a wedding ring, but the ancient Greeks didn't use wedding rings, so they had to use a different sign? Ditto for king – the sign for king is like a crown, which the ancient Greeks didn't wear, so they had to change that? And signs for, for example, Artemis, were drawn from the imagery of her in statues! It was really well thought out!

    • (Apparently he highlighted D/deaf actors because a) D/deaf actors don't get as much work as they should, b) there is a historical basis for Romans sharing culture with the areas they invaded through performances done mainly through gesture, and c) the ancient greek word for someone with a disability is the same word they used for monsters, and "If you're going to call us monsters, I'm gonna use monsters.")

  • The second one was on Classical Monsters, which had a lot of theory that I'm not sure I can fit into one post, although if anyone's interested I am always happy to type up my notes! There was a lot about the transformation from monsters as a thing to scare us or as an obstacle for a hero to overcome to... Well, dealer's choice, but in a lot of cases rationalised/sympathised/eroticised. And there was also discussion of the way they're depicted in film has changed how we see them – comparing Harryhausen models to modern CGI, for example! But Dr Liz Gloyn (again!) had a beautifully phrased description of the difference between older depictions of monsters (where they might leave more to imagination and thus allow our imagination to make them more terrifying) and modern (where the use of CGI often encourages directors to show us everything: "As soon as we can see the monster, we become the monster. We become the Medusa, freezing it with our gaze."

  • I ran into one of [twitter.com profile] jilliferium's mates and somehow ended up holding a baby, which wasn't how I expected to start my weekend. Baby was cute and it was nice to chat!

  • And there was a panel on Police Work and the Supernatural, which was three women(!!) who worked in various levels of law enforcement; one in the National Crime Agency, one for the Home Office, and one for the Met, working in Intelligence. (The one for the Met was dressed in a really cool Judge Dredd outfit, but it's always a little alarming to hear that a lot of police officers love Judge Dredd...) There was a focus on a couple of series that I've started but not finished, but the conclusion was that "No matter how good your research is, whatever you get right at the time of drafting is going to be out of date by the time of publication, because policing changes pretty fast." But apparently both of the series got the tone/mindset of being a police officer right, so I am probably going to give Paul Cornell another go?

  • I raided the dealer room btw! I did not end up buying ludicrously expensive but beautifully dyed wool, but I have a stash of pretty art to send to people, and I did raid the Rebellion Publishing table. ("Ugh, I need to make decisions," I mutter into my pile of books. "Don't want to drop £40 on the first day of the con?" the guy behind the stall says. "No, that bit's fine, it's just that it's two for £10 and I need to make sure it's even.") I can't remember exactly what I bought (I remember that I got The Djinn Falls in Love and a Cassandra Khaw one about a chef serving human meat to gods, but I can't remember what else), but I did get a Ninefox Gambit badge!

  • ALSO.

  • GREAT THING.

  • LITERALLY CRIED IN A CORNER THING.

  • So Genevieve Cogman was doing a signing, and I went to get a copy of Invisible Library signed, because I enjoyed it even when I had issues with it (also I thought the next book was magical 1920s and it's apparently regular 1920s but with Irene and two dragons, and that might be even better). And I mentioned that it was recced to me as "You're a queer librarian who likes Sherlock Holmes, this is about a queer librarian who likes Sherlock Holmes—"

    And Genevieve Cogman goes "I wouldn't say Irene was queer."

    And my heart drops, and I'm trying to scramble for apologies because oh god, oh god, I fucked up, I fucked up, when she says "She's definitely bi, she just has to be discrete about it."

  • I can't tell you what I said, I hope I was polite, because oh my god, Irene is bi, Irene is word-of-author bi and I just – I had to leave because I was crying happy tears and I have no idea if I expressed how important that was to me, but I hope I did because Irene is bi and I don't know how to deal with my emotions about it.

  • *deep breath*

  • Man, I thought the Philosophy & Final Fantasy panel was gonna be not my speed, but I didn't realise that it was gonne be not my speed because one of the panelists was gonna fucking rag on Rinoa and Final Fantasy X-2, despite never having played X-2 and not knowing what it's about! Like, he did that and I just gave myself permission to clock-out whenever he started speaking because you come into my house. (MATE you could absolutely get a whole hour talk out of contrasting the philosophies of FFX and FFX-2, what are you doing?!) But there was like a whole ten minute segment on FFXV and its treatment of women, where the panelists pointed out first that the only way that having an all-female cast in the next game, and then that maybe... That's why they did it? That FFXV's all-male cast is a reaction to both FFX-2 and the way that FFXIII and its expanded universe is built around Lightning, a way of reassuring the male fanbase that of course they're still the target audience. (Also, FFXV absolutely perpetuates sexism, even in the city that is theoretically run by women, and perpetuation is not critique.)

  • Hilariously, it turns out that I did not in fact know what burlesque. Apparently I have been getting it mixed up with cabaret all this time! And apparently I am still the sort of person who gets less interested in randomers the more clothes come off, whoops. >_> The lady who had a suitcase full of murder was cool, but I'm not sure what game she was supposed to be from – Grim Fandango, maybe? Do you set up murder puzzles in that?

  • We ended up playing Guillotine at like 1am and this was a great life choice! ... No, seriously, I need to get a copy for my social group, because it would be perfect for playing in the pub. >_>


Okay, that's quite long enough, splitting it here, back in a sec.