spindizzy: (Be happy!)
[personal profile] spindizzy
OKAY, continuing the post on What I Did On My London Holiday, because the other one got to like 2500 words and if this is more of the same, it's going to be full-on too many damn pages for any man to understand.

(... Also writing this is reminding me of all the points where I was unintentionally a jerk and just D: D: D: D: I'M SORRY, NEXT TIME I WILL DO BETTER.)

Saturday
  • I had every intention of going to a 10am panel, but we got down to breakfast late (I think that was my bad, sorry), so went with having a long breakfast instead?

  • Which had the plus side of me being in PLENTY of time for the KJ Charles interview, which was awesome.
    • (The lady doing the interview had a magpie dress that she stencilled herself to be on theme, it was impressive!)

    • ... I really want to write up my notes for this one, I had so much fun and there is so much more than I can fit in this post. ... No self, do not type up the entire thing here, don't do it.

    • KJ Charles talked about diversifying the perception of history and how history has never been 100% straight and 100% white, especially not in London, and how despite what queer historical romances would have you believe, not every queer story had to end in tragedy and judicial murder! And about how there were things that she researched, that actually happened, that she couldn't put into a book because no one would believe it.

    • (Apparently there was a real Victorian jewel thief who stole jewels from luggage at train stations who ended up in a lifelong feud with a duchess, and [personal profile] thebaconfat must know.)

    • There is not going to be a Think of England sequel, which is terrible, but her logic is that she doesn't want to write a story that doesn't live up to Think of England and the tone of the 25k she's always written of it doesn't match at all.

    • (Also she mentioned that she was doing a sequel to Spectred Isle about a character that I literally don’t remember from The Casebook of Simon Feximal, which is fine, I'll reread it and figure out what's going on, and a sequel about Barnaby and Isaacs! I think I must have perked up noticeably when she said that, because I think senpai noticed me. >_>

    • There was literally a question on "How do you find period appropriate words for cock?" and I love everyone in this bar.

    • I asked a question! I was brave! I never ask questions in a panel! It was about the queer rewriting of The Prisoner of Zenda she's doing, which sounds really cool?

    • ... I may or may not now have both the ebook AND a signed print copy of Spectred Isle, and it might be awesome.

  • True story: I spent so long in the vendor market that I missed my chance to get in on the Truth or Fact panel about history. orz. Twitter took notes though! Twitter knows what I'm here for!

    • I can neither confirm nor deny that I got a bunch of heavy dangly fandom-themed earrings, I'm just saying that my Mischief Managed earrings look GREAT.

    • There was a guy whose literal pitch was "Hello, can I interest you in big gay orcs?"
      • He was in fact selling a one-page RPG called Big Gay Orcs. There was a sign and everything. It has a Steven Universe RPG on the back called Sad Gay Space Rocks.

      • It turned out that he was one of the people who worked on Paranoia (which he was selling a Subtly But Legally Distinct one-page version of called Justified Anxiety with specific rules for the DM to lie to people about their dice results), and Unbound, which Lex owns a copy of! I picked up a copy of their other RPG, because it looks pretty simple and says you can run it DMless, and I quite enjoy the premise of "You control five goblins (sequentially) who have a week before the big battle where they're probably going to die, and in that week you're going to make your mark, you're going to go down in history, you're going to make a fucking sandwich!" (And all die, horribly.)
        • ... There is apparently a variation when you control Sean Beans, and you're trying to make it to the end of a movie.

        • ... I don't know why I keep buying rules-light systems, because I like them and Lex (who I usually play with) is kinda eh on them. But I am enjoying having this RPG and that's the important thing, I think? I ended up with another couple of super rules-light tiny sourcebooks, one of them where you're people who have maybe been abducted by aliens and you bounce between the abductees (all of whom have different stories) and the interrogators trying to find out what happened, where you can use playing cards to confirm, deny, "Yes and..." or "No, but..." what people are saying. And I got one about baby fabric wizards going into the world to try to learn about other cultures through clothing without a) unleashing monsters, or b) committing to cultural appropriation, especially not in a way that summons monsters and deletes the knowledge of how to make those clothes from the universe.

    • The person behind Minority Monsters was there! ... Dude, I just assumed they were American, and they're really not? We had a really nice chat about libraries and queer writers, and I really hope I didn't give them duff advice about getting their books into libraries. They were super nice! And I totally raided their patches/keyrings for prezzies for [twitter.com profile] captainraz and [twitter.com profile] hardlyaverage

  • I ended up going to the Technology for Writers talk because I needed something that I wouldn't mind bugging out of a little early so that I could go and get books signed for my mate Chris (who is off in Barbados with his family, the lucky swine.). It... Certainly was that? I was expecting it to be a more practical talk than it was, with like... Recommendations for tech that people have used? Or hacks? And it was more "... Yeah, paper is great? Working on my laptop on the couch is great?" Like, the most helpful rec before I left was actually [twitter.com profile] clairerousseau mentioning that Mary Robinette Kowal made herself a Jane Austen dictionary for her novel. It was... Entertaining, I guess, just not what I was there for.

  • ... I just have "Super relaxed fantasy club" written in big letters underneath my notes for this panel and I have no memory of writing that."

  • The panel on Why It's Okay To Play Dragon Age When You Should Be Writing was... Honestly reassuring. It makes me feel a lot better to know that even People Who Are Paid Real Money For This struggle with getting focused and not wandering off to play video games, especially when all of the authors I usually hear talking get magically transmuted in my brain to "I wrote 3000 words in two hours and if you don't have the discipline to do that then why are you bothering?" It was possibly the most "Oh, real authors are people too!" moment I've had? ... Especially when Lucy Hounsom was like "Anders, Ander is my favourite forever," and Jen Williams was like "Fenris and Garrus."

  • I ended up playing Slash with someone I have never met before, which was an odd but fun experience? And then I bugged out a little early to go and join the circle of fans chatting to KJ Charles. It was... It was really nice! And nerve-wracking, because hi my name is Susan I have trouble talking to people I respect, but nice? And we ended up talking about crafting and audiobooks and publishing, which was fun!

  • Went to the disco with [twitter.com profile] buckbeakbabie and I dad-danced my little heart out! There were a whole bunch of people doing the macarena, and that mash-up of All-Star/Ice Ice Baby, and a clear generational divide of people who could do like a PROPER dance to Common People and people who were just dancing any old how. Had a blast, glad I didn't stay till the end or I would probably have just sang until my throat was sore.


Sunday
  • I was too slow to get into either of the panels I was interested in (the bisexuality in SFF was apparently really good and had recs – did every panel about history and/or sexuality end up reccing Black Sails? Or just the one that people mentioned to me? And the spaceship design one sounded interesting, but I could only follow about half of the livetweet I found) so I ended up going to the Shut Up And Write room and just... Sitting quietly in a room full of other people who were also writing? I was the only one without a laptop, so I felt maybe a little out of place, but I managed to draft a couple hundred words of 1920s!Lesbian!Holmes and Watson, and have a good crack at outlining a different story I'm working on, so I feel like it was time well-used!

  • There was a panel of using game design to reduce player toxicity, and it was fascinating. (Even if the white dude presenting did have a moment of "Voice chat can increase empathy because people realise they're yelling abuse at a person" and every non-male member of the audience called bullshit. Like specifically the person next to me put their hand up to point out that it only works for men.) But seriously, it was an interesting talk about how some games (e.g. DOTA2) have design that specifically lead to toxicity, while other games (e.g. Overwatch) have taken steps to minimise it. Also apparently League of Legends did A LOT of research into toxicity in their userbase! This makes sense, because if you have toxic people driving off other members of your userbase, you don't make money, but still. ... This is another one that I'm tempted to just write up the notes of, but I'll wait and see if the guy uploads the talk himself.

  • Finishing Your First Novel was an odd panel, in that it was a lot of novelists who are a long way from their first novel. Adrian Tchaikovsky has published fifteen, Sebastien de Castell published six, I have no idea who the other two were but from the reactions they were also people who had written a lot. I mean, I guess it's a "Look, even your heroes used to write dreck!" But it still felt really weird.

  • (I accidentally scared one of the members of housekeeping staff because I thought she was [twitter.com profile] buckbeakbabie so I yelled down the corridor to her auuuuuuuuuuugh)

  • But yeah, Sunday was quiet! Packed everything up, said goodbye to [personal profile] clairerousseau (even though we're both going to be at Worldcon this week!), had dinner with a very patient [twitter.com profile] buckbeakbabie, and she managed to get me to the right tube stop for my train home exactly as my train started boarding, because she's a star. (My train may or may not have been involved in an "incident" earlier in the day so five out of ten cars got impounded, but that just meant I found a bit of floor to nest on with my books.) And then I was home! With a Lex of my very own and pizza, which is how I like my adventures to end?


It was a good trip! It was fun, I was only like, moderate levels of anxious despite being in a completely new place with lots of new people! And there were some really good costumes! There was a TARDIS full of bras, Madame Vastra, a knitted Squirrel Girl (no seriously), and a knitted Wonder Woman, lemmings... There was a Commander Shepard and a Loki that I liked but I've not seen any photos cross my feeds. I... I think I'd go again! The tickets for next year are up, so I could always be efficient and do that now...

(People have been going "Soooooo how many books did you buy?" and people who only know me online are like "Ten! That's a lot!" and people who know me offline are just "Ten? That's really good for you!" ... I think that shade is being thrown my way and I entirely deserve it.)