I’ve never been to a convention before. I wanted to go to MileHi Con last October and didn’t end up making it work. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine, the extremely talented Kimberly Carmen of Night Lily Design mentioned Anomaly Con, Denver’s only Steampunk Convention and somehow talked me into going. I think it went something like this: “You’ve never been to Anomaly Con? Well, then you’re coming with me.” Honestly, it wasn’t that hard to talk me into it. I love Steampunk and Steampunk costuming, and such and I’ve never been to a convention so it seemed like a good opportunity. When I looked at the site and saw the guest list, I was sold.
It turns out that Kevin J. Anderson was invited to Anomaly Con, and accepted. He’s a pretty big deal in the Sci Fi world and I still vividly remember reading The Jedi Academy Trilogy when I was a young’in. (I even got him to sign my almost 20 year old copies of those books. *Grin*)
The downside to all this is that I ended up needing to be in Denver at 8am on a day after I worked, so I didn’t get much sleep, but I had a great time.
First we had to work out costumes because, why go to a Steampunk convention in a Hawaiian Shirt? Well, unless you happen to be Sam Knight, a fabulous author I met and hung out with most of Saturday. He always wears a Hawaiian shirt, and that sure does make him easy to find. I already knew I wanted to wear my Airship Pirate costume again, though I had to make some mods (no realistic weapons allowed, and no weapons are more realistic than the ones I usually carry). We also wanted to attend the ball Saturday night, so we needed ball costumes too. Now, of course, being an Airship Pirate, I can’t dress up too much…. But, I managed, with Kim’s help, to pull off a pretty good costume. You’ll note that I’m still wearing my gun belts over my dressy outfit. It worked really well.
For my Airship Pirate I wanted to make something fun for my arms. I’m semi obsessed with fingerless gloves, bracer/gauntlet like things, etc. I managed to make this really cool gauntlet-like thingy out of gears, clock chain, and some brown cloth. It took a long time tho, and I should have made the framework before I pieced the gears. It needs tweaking but I got a ton of really positive comments about it. I also finally found my old key and made it into a necklace with some clock chain. It worked great.
For my ball costume, I made a necklace out of gears, clock chain and a prop key from the store. (I found some really cool keys to buy at the convention, but by the time I made it back, the dealers’ room was closed. Alas… next year.)
Kim made these amazing gauntlets for me. The big pics don’t do them justice so here’s the close up. The buttons go all the way up but I can’t fasten them myself without a lot of work so I just left them open on the top for the sake of this picture.
Right, so costuming done. On to the Con! Did I mention I’d never been to a convention before? Oh, good. LOL. I didn’t truly know what to expect, but I really enjoyed the first meet and great with the authors. There were donuts involved… yum, and I actually somehow managed to corner most of the authors into my circle, which is how I met Sam Knight, David Boop, and yes, Kevin J. Anderson. It was pretty cool. There were many panels during the day for authors. I took away some good advice from these, but one of the biggest things I took away was that I am doing things right, treating writing like a job, etc. Kevin J. Anderson is an excellent speaker, and if you ever get a chance to go hear him talk, take it.
Mixed in with the author panels, Kim and I got our picture taken by the photographer there (Don Searle Photography) and went to see Pandora Celtica, who put on a great show and braved Denver for pizza. Saturday night near the 16th street mall is not a fun place to find parking. I finally jumped out of the car, in my ball costume, strolled down the sidewalk like I owned it (only way to stroll about in garb) and got pizza. No one looked at me funny (cause I owned the place of course) and we got our pizza. We were both starving by the time we ate.
That night Unwoman performed at the ball. It was a good time and I met some really cool people.
A note on bravery… I almost ended up included in an author panel along with one other author who was a bit of a newbie. We were standing against the wall when they got chairs for the authors on the panel… right by the authors. We got included in the headcount. My friend stuck around, but I ran as soon as I realized they were counting me. No one even blinked when the other author joined them. This was an informal panel and I’d already made friends with the moderator, so I suspect he would have allowed me to stay too. (I wouldn’t advocate trying to sneak onto a formal panel of course.) Next time, maybe J