So, here I am on day 3 of WisCon. Tomorrow is the last day, but I'm learning a bunch of new things during the panels. Plus, I got to see my grandmother who I haven't seen in over a decade.

On the second day, I went to the following:

  • One Thousand Ways to Die was a very cool panel about killing off characters and the drawbacks of knocking someone out or the recovery of a serious injury. I got an idea for Flight of the Scions out of it, mainly to remove a subplot I didn't want anymore, but also that I need to scale back a bit of the damage. Wonderful panel.
  • Princess Boys: Is Male Femininity the Last Wave of Feminism? ended up being the second panel I went to. There were some pretty awesome panellists in this one and it got into really good discussions about allowing boys do what they want as they are growing up (re: the boy who wanted to dress as Daphne and painting boy's toenails). Overall, something that will probably color how I raise EDM.
  • Postcolonial Steampunk: A Global Perspective: Flight is inspired by steampunk, but I still question if it really is steampunk. However, this panel gave me some ideas about the current society behind the steampunk movement, how the "feminists" (WisCon being a feminist sci-fi convention) view it, and also some of the things that peek up in the cultures. The information in the panel was pretty good, but I liked the meta conversations a bit more.
  • The Future's Here, It's Just Not Evenly Distributed was not the panel I was planning on going. However, in the elevator, one of the panellists for the belief session was in there (which I planned on going) and some of the things she said made me uncomfortable, so I went there. This panel was actually pretty good, talking about phones in Africa but no power, and dystopia in general. I cut out five minutes early to get a signed book.
  • How To Describe Nonwhite Characters Sans Fail: This was a panel I really wanted to go to because my main character in Flight is non-white. They talked about much of the same difficulties I had, including not wanting to describe skin color in terms of food/coffee/liquor. Though, the comment about cannibalism (food descriptions) with descriptions got a laugh. This panel was excellent, but also the panellists were amazing together.

On Sunday, things were a bit more suppressed, mainly because I needed to spend time with Fluffy and EDM. I ended up skipping two sessions just to go swimming and have a nap with them. Time worth it.

  • World-Building as a Spectator Sport was a cooperative world-building. There were some interesting techniques, but it quickly turned into strangeness with erotic-based astrophysics and lust-based quantum physics.
  • Night in a Lit-Up World: This interested me because I have a world that is an always lit-city, though I don't write much in it. The start came off really well, but then it kind of petered out in the latter half. I heard an interesting thing though, since the moderator felt that "since this is WisCon, we have to talk about race and night". I… didn't care for it but I wasn't annoyed enough to leave. So I worked on some plot ideas and listed to the few things I did enjoy.
  • I'd Object, If I Weren't Invisible was probably one of the best panels I was to (tied with the erotica) for sheer energy of the people talking, the depth and breadth of knowledge, and also the understanding. It mostly talked about bisexuality in the various LGBT communities and touched on trans, two things I happen to have an interest in. I found out a lot about the communities and how people are "out" about those parts of their lives. It was cool thinking about an "outness" scale based on how out someone it.

(If someone wants more details on a panel, or my opinion, please ask and I'll expand on them. I took copious notes on everything but the World-Building panel.)

After I got out, I had a call from my grandmother. I haven't seen her in years, over a decade actually, and she just got back from a trip to Alaska. When I suggested going over to her place (Madison, WI is not that big), she asked us to come over and we spent a good three hours chatting, talking. There were some curious points, as she circled around asking if I hated her (I don't) mainly because I don't try to keep in touch. I'm going to do better at that. Apparently, EDM is adorable and incredible, mainly because he handled new people and places so well and didn't cry once. However, as we were heading back to the hotel, he started bawling. I think he kept it bottled up to give the impression he's awesome. :) Of course, he is usually quiet so it probably was the incredible desire not to be in the car seat for another 3-4 hours.

I'm still pretty much alone at the convention, but not quite as uncomfortable about it. I had a lot of fun and did chat with a number of people, some of them I'll be adding to my RSS/Atom feed as soon as I get home.

2011-05-30