Hah, just kidding. or am I...?
Let's see. This con I wanted to bring Scarlet. I bring aksident to Katsucon, usually, so I wanted to briong Scarlet to Balticon so I would get to know her better. Sure, she is 10, but I had several reasons, in no particular order:
- I miss CR when he was young. I... kinda like having a kid with me.
- She had never been to a con before, so I figured Balticon was nice and quiet unlike an anime con where it might be so intense, she would explode in a squee-induced frenzy. Also... you know I like anime cons, and I will bring her to one someday, but... having a daughter at one of those cons requires some education in safety (IMHO). I wanted to show her weird people outside of her dad, and learn where her dad's roots come from.
- I knew I might be bored. Scarlet is not boring.
- As an escape route and diversion. "I am sorry I cannot chat with you on your 4 hour theory of drawing fictional star charts for Traveler 2000, but this young girl needs to go potty."
- Small hyper children scare the right people. And make certain people even more fun.
There were some risks. What if MSD thought she was annoying? What if, after 2 days, she becomes intolerable? What if I wanted to have a heart-to-heart with someone, and she wants to spin in circles and spit water because she is bored silly? After all, she was 100% *MY* responsibility. I had no sitter backup. I couldn't dump her anywhere, and I knew kid's programming was pretty much above her. Besides, she was not "con-savvy," and I didn't trust her alone for long periods of time yet.
Long story short, she was wonderful. She was MSD's good luck charm as they made money, defeated two annoying player characters, she was way helpful loading and unloading things, taking pictures at my panels, and everyone liked her. The last day, she did get REAL bored, but the con was closing down and we had nothing to do. I sympathized with her antsy-ness. All in all, she was a success, and if her grades are good, she gets to go next year. MSD and I will welcome her presence with open arms. In fact, I think Scarlet made the con much more fun for me, which I kind of hoped for.
Part of the problem was this: the head of programming changed a few months before the con, and stuff got scrambled. Despite asking for Friday evening through Sunday afternoon panels ONLY... I got 2 panels Friday night and then 2 Monday afternoon. While the panels themselves were okay, the timing sucked. Plus a ton of panels I would have liked to have been on I was not on. I debated just showing up anyway, but Scarlet was too much fun. I think panels were in such a state of flux that a lot of people didn't show. I think almost everyone showed up for the Friday ones, but not for the Monday ones. And some panels were just in a state of chaos as to who was supposed to moderate them. I ended up moderating by force of habit a few of the ones I wasn't on. But I didn't mind. Less work to say, "Here's a question, what does the panel think about XYZ? While people look at you, Scarlet and I will make funny faces at one another."
The Friday panels were well attended, and the audiences were lovely. The Monday panels were sparsely attended and some audience people were downright rude. Like they didn't listen, tried to force topics away from the panelists, and in one case a dickstain in the front row nosily talked on his cell phone until he became aware Ray Ridenour was making fun of him.
Some people in the game room were also like this. I enjoyed the sharp contrast of Scarlet's squeals and giggles against their smarmy social awkwardness. Like a ray of sunlight against the Prince of Darkness in the movie, "Legend." I mean, it's one thing to be nerdy and awkward, but to be a jerk who openly taunts people like he's 12 although he's probably 60 is just sad. Age does not automatically demand respect, respect is earned.
My panels were "Humor in Science Fiction," "Turning the Science Fiction Plot on its Side," "The Bad Jokes Panel," and "How the Internet has Changed Publishing." Those may not have been the official titles, but that's essentially what they were about. Ray is an awesome guy to do a panel with, BTW. I love him to pieces. Ask for him by name.
I also helped MSD to a small degree with table and setup. I always like hanging out with them, and not just because they are a distributor. tth, aylin, allura, Sean, gypsy_sylvin, Chris D, and Chris R... like family. Great roommates.
I sold one just book.
Buuuuuut... I gained a lot new contacts in a free-for-all schmoozefest. I will most likely have a reprint and update of the Punk Walrus Saga by the end of the year, which will be a revision of the old stories plus a few new ones. Punk Walrus Saga 2.0, as it were. I am also sending in some stories to various new publications who asked to see samples of my works (without me trying, even). I really should have attended more room parties.
I got to talk in detail with ninjacooter, Nancy, Albedo, ravynmaniac, Allon, Mike C, and daecabhir. Plus other people I may have forgotten.
So Balticon was a success. I had a lot of fun. I will go back next year, hopefully with Scarlet in tow, who will be 11 going on 12 then.