Apr 22 2012 4:04am

JordanCon 2012: The Bloggening, Part 3

Day Three of JordanCon 2012, and I’m still alive! Theoretically, anyway.

Yes, no one is more shocked than me. Read on for Moar of my adventures with the convention!

Despite the vehement efforts of my body to convince me otherwise, I managed to get up at the crack of 9 AM and get downstairs in time to grab breakfast (coincidentally with artist Sam Weber; still no picture, though) and get to Dr. Michael Livingston’s 10 AM lecture, which is listed in the program as “Robert Jordan’s Redefinition of Tolkien’s Fantasy” but which I think Dr. Livingston himself called something different. Dr. Livingston is, as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, a distinguished author and professor of English at the Citadel, and the subject of his talk was to argue that Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time is not only the most worthy successor of Tolkien’s work in Lord of the Rings in the fantasy genre, but that Jordan deserves to be ranked with Tolkien in terms of his importance in contemporary English literature in general.

It was a great lecture. Dr. Livingston is an excellent speaker, equally as funny and entertaining as he was informative, and his love for the Wheel of Time, both on a fannish level and in his capacity as a literary scholar, is very obvious. I won’t attempt to cover the specifics of his talk, mostly because he said he intends to publish it (with appropriate revisions) once A Memory of Light has been released, and you should get it direct from the source instead of a half-assed summary of it from me. Seriously, you should do yourself a favor and check it out once it becomes available because it is well worth your time.

(My favorite part was when he read bits of Beowulf and Chaucer aloud in the original Old and Middle English, respectively, and confessed that he had partially translated the hammer forging scene in Towers of Midnight into Middle English, just because. That is some seriously cool geekage, y’all.)

After that I had intended to go back to my room and maybe nap for a while, but I was intercepted by Jason Denzel, who told me that one of the panels had been cancelled and the tWoTcast folks were filling in, and asked him to participate, and begged me to come help him out. I was a little bit leery of this idea – I haven’t really listened to the tWoTcast myself but I know they get pretty raunchy – but agreed.

For something thrown together at the absolute last minute with no preparation, it probably went no worse than you would expect. I think we were at least a little funny, though I’m pretty sure my presence rather inhibited the guys from getting as, hm, earthy as I suspect they usually get. I spent most of the podcast snarking at Jason and Richard Fife (who was also participating), because that’s how I roll, and deflecting spanking-related questions, heh. I assume it’ll go up on their website soon if you’d like to listen to it. Also, Jono is a total bastard. (I was told I have to insult him, but I am drunk right now so this is the best I can do. I’m sure I can do better later. Watch this space!)

Then came the second of the three panels I am participating in this year, “Looney Theories”. Run by, of course, Matt Hatch of Theoryland, and also including as panelists Kristy Lussier, Sarah Nakamura, and Team Jordan’s Alan Romanczuk:

Let’s just say, the tone of this was pretty much set when Sarah sat down next to me before the panel started and plunked down a bottle of vodka and a can of Red Bull. I teased her for going all Santa Monica Boulevard with her cocktail choices, and she laughed and told me that she and Kristy had basically hijacked the Looney Theory panel the first year and pretty much turned it into a drinking game, and though it was going to be more toned down this year she likes to keep the tradition alive. So we sipped on vodka and Red Bull for the whole panel, which was hilarious.

Matt explained the premise to me: the audience volunteers their looney theories, and the panelists vote on whether the theory hits what Matt calls “the sweet spot” between looneyness and plausibility – it can’t be either too ridiculous or too reasonable or it is disqualified. Once we’ve collected enough, we vote on the top three and then from there vote for the winner.

And – well. This is what we got:

And you know, I was going to explain what each one of these means, but I think on reflection it’s really much funnier if I don’t. However, the winning theory (submitted by Brian Peterson) will be put up on Theoryland, so if you’re dying to know what the hell “Pillowfriends” is referring to (and I just bet you do), you’ll be able to find it there in the near future.

The whole thing was really a ton of fun. Alan made terrible, terrible puns, I made hokey pop culture references, and then got made fun of for missing the most obvious reference of all (let’s just say it involved American Pie and leave it at that), and Dr. Livingston got up and, with a perfectly straight face, explained how etymological analysis of Rand and Egwene’s names lead to the inescapable conclusion that their method of defeating the Dark One will be to seduce him. Together. And that this would somehow lead to Easter.


(It’s always the quiet scholarly ones, man.)

And then there was “A Memory of Light: Status Report”, easily the most anticipated part of the Con. This is, unfortunately, also the part of which I can tell you the least, because Harriet and Team Jordan were pretty adamant in their insistence that the excerpt from A Memory of Light be a treat for Con-goers only. So all I can say is that Harriet read from the Prologue of A Memory of Light, and that it was pretty awesome, and that it will most likely be made available soon to everyone to read, but not at the moment.

…And there was then dancing, and drinking, and more drinking, and I have to confess I am extremely drunk right now, so instead of trying to complete this tonight I am going to toss in the towel, because it is 4 AM, and leave the rest for the followup later, because I have to sleep before my final panel and flight out tomorrow.


So I love you all, and come on back Real Soon Now for the wrap-up of this Thang. G’night!

1. TinaA
~snort giggle~ epic pillow fight indeed...

I hope you were drinking your vodka and Red Bull out of your shiny new coffee cup?

Thank you for making the effort to post whilst under the influence, and I look forward to the followup.
Bonnie Andrews
3. misfortuona
Awsomeosity!!! What a trooper Leigh. Thank you so much for posting for us at the cost of your own sleep.

Mis-waiting for photos and followup.
4. Freelancer
Lan ~ "You surrender after you're dead." "You have less freedom about it than most, but you can still face it on your feet."

About the looney theories, Cadsuane did suggest that she might be looking for a new warder. And if any fate would make me feel the slightest sympathy for the dark one...(cue Stones)
Anthony Pero
5. anthonypero
Leigh! Your drinking didn't seem to impinge on your typically excellent wit even a little. I am impressed!
Thomas Keith
6. insectoid
Great report, Leigh... thanks for being such a trooper!

Those are some really goofy theories allright.

APero @5: She's like Birgitte... able to have clear wits while being completely inebriated! :P

Anthony Pero
7. anthonypero
Or she's just so bubbly and full of life naturally, that alcohol has no effect on her personality ;)

Leigh, we have now discovered your Superpower! Able to drink large quantities of alchohol without slurring your words... in print.

Unfortunately, this will be a short lived superpower since, alas, your liver is merely mortal.
Alice Arneson
8. Wetlandernw
And I'm reliably informed that Lannis won the costume contest yesterday!! Hopefully someone will be able to post a picture or two here.
Sara H
9. LadyBelaine
is there anyplace where the photos from the costume contest are/will be? I do so very much love those.
Anthony Pero
11. anthonypero
Waiting to hear back from someone who took a bunch of pics... if she gives me permission to post them here, I will.
Rob Munnelly
12. RobMRobM
Didn't Lannis win last year too? If so, pretty hardcore.
Jay Dauro
13. J.Dauro
Lannis created a wondeful Ebou Dar dress, with Marriage knife, belt knife, exposed petticoats and all. She was totally surprised when she won. ( There were excellent Trollocs, Mats, Rand etc. ) Lannis told me that when the 3 Trollocs were announced as second place, she said, "Well who the h!@# won first?"

Now for the important part. All you slackers need to be aware that our illustrious leader will be the Toastmistress for JordanCon V in 2013. (April 19-21, 2013.) Michael Whelan will be the Artist Guest of Honor, and the Author Guest of Honor is to be announced (an offer is out, but not accepted yet.) Brandon is expected to be there, as well as the rest of Team Jordan. We have to make a good showing in support of Leigh, we can't let those other sites show her up.

Honestly though, if you can make it, you should have a wonderful time. Plus they are hosting Deep South Con, so we are expecting a larger crowd with much to do and see. So mark the dates and start saving your pennies.
John Massey
14. subwoofer
Yay! D&Ping... glad to see I'm not alone.

Very interested in Rand's reality show on TLC too. Sounds like a blast from start to fini:)

Good times.

Rich Bennett
15. Neuralnet
Thanks for the report Leigh... sounds like a fun time
Gary Singer
16. AhoyMatey
This year, I attended Jordancon for the first time ever. This post is probably going to come off all geeky and fanboyish, but I don’t care - I’ve just had one of the most awesome and surreal experiences of my life! I’m just going to talk about the people I met, rather than the panels. I don’t have Leigh’s awesome blogger-fu.

Jason Denzel convinced me to attend, so he gets a free beer from me whenever he wants it. From now until the wheel stops turning. It was fun hanging out with him -what a guy! - and his wife Jennifer.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Leigh. It was all I could do not to squee (and I’m NOT a guy who squees!). I’ve been following her work since the UseNet days, and the WOTFAQ was a bookly staple. I made sure to mind my P’s and Q’s and keep my hands in sight at all times, so as not to get spanked...

I spent time as a volunteer for the con and I was privileged enough to meet and spend a decent amount of time with both Lannis and Tektonica who were also volunteering. Awesome peoples... Lannis’s costume was unbelievably good. I got to have a few interesting chats with J.Dauro as well. (The ultimate volunteer.)

RFife and The Assistant to Mr Sanderson are both great guys who didn’t give me the boot when I rudely interrupted their pow wow. (Forgot find out if Richard managed to win Jordan’s cane made of real Trolloc Horn on auction.)

It was great meeting and chatting to Linda Taglieri and her huband Frank... Matt Hatch is a really funny guy... Jennifer and James Liang are great peoples (and the repetition is probably getting boring) and are amazing in what they’ve managed to do in bringing these Con’s to life… Sam Weber was fun to hang out with. For a Canadian. (I kid, I kid - he’s a Canadian!)

As far as Team Jordan goes, Harriet was as fine a lady as they say she is, and it was a real honor chatting with her. I got a great picture too!

Maria is really, really nice and sweet. With a backbone of steel. You haven’t lived until you’ve been RAFO’d by Maria. (And it wasn’t that great a question either...)

Alan has a really quick and clever sense of humor. Thanks to him, I’m probably going to end up being more of a coffee snob than I already am. (Apparently I’m not that much of a snob, I like Burntbucks!)

Wilson is as much of a gentleman as they say he is, and his wife and daughter are wonderful. I wish he lived around my area so I could hang out with him. My life would be richer for it…

I know there are many other fine people I got to meet and hang out with, but I gotta stop at some time. This is getting offensively long ...

All in all, I’d say if you’ve always thought you may want to attend Jordcon, but weren’t that motivated to do it, get motivated and do it! You won’t be sorry you did. It may have been my first con, but it for sure won’t be my last.
Maitrey Deshpande
17. LittleWolf
"(It’s always the quiet scholarly ones, man.)"


Thanks Leigh, it sure was a great fun reading your updates. Can't wait for Dr. Livingstone's article!

Valentin M
18. ValMar
I am not normally into simply commenting "thanks for the post" but WOW, this was one impresive effort Leigh, so late and after so much merry making... I wonder was it edited and if so, is there an unedited version out there? It may be worth a read too...
Tricia Irish
19. Tektonica
@16. AhoyMatey: You are a man of your word! You posted!

Ahoy has been a "lurker" for decades, it seems, but we encouraged him to come out of his shell and participate. It was great meeting him, and his wife and son (who did a lot of the great Atlanta attractions: zoo, aquarium, legoland, etc....something for everyone at the Con!)

Thanks Leigh, for your most excellent efforts here, and for, well, being you, on panels, at breakfast, late night hanging out, etc. etc.

One of the great things about this Con is how small and intimate it is. You really do get to meet everyone, participate, hang, laugh, volunteer if you so desire, and generally geek out. It really is fun....and informative. Oh, you also get to eat JDauro's excellent cookies!

As JDauro mentioned, Leigh will be toastmistress next year, so do save your pennies and get thee to JCon 2013, April 19-21, I think.

It would be so fun to meet in person!
Tess Laird
20. thewindrose
Tektonica -
So glad you had a great time! Does Leigh know she signed up for 11 days;)
(As JDauro mentioned, Leigh will be toastmistress next year, so do save your pennies and get thee to JCon 2013, April 10-21, I think.)
Anthony Pero
24. anthonypero
Ok, AS PROMISED, here are Tektonica's costume contest pics. I've posted them on's forum:

Enjoy, and congrats, Lannis!
25. denari6
As long as we do not stay at the doubletree again, I will be at V.

It was nice meeting you tektonica, J, and Lannis. I personally still believe the Oliver led pillow friend army is still plausible.
~Denari a.k.a Steve from Philly

And yes now that I am equipped with the RJ's Trolloc horn cane I will smite my enemies and be linked to the horn of legends forever~
Charles Gaston
26. parrothead
So have to make it to JordanCon one of these years. Maybe next? Here's hoping (as long as it isn't the same weekend as SakuraCon here in Seattle).

My own (totally implausible but fun) contribution to the Loony Theories would have been that Bela is actually the daughter and heir to Princess Celestia, and that the entire series is really her quest to discover her cutie mark (turns out it's the AS symbol).
Leigh Butler
27. leighdb
Hey guys,

There will be a wrap-up JordanCon report, but not today. Watch for it in the near future, though.

And thanks for all the kind words!
28. lookingforlove
My pet theory is that Egwene and Gawyn get married in the Prolongue of AMOL but the Death Eaters and Black Ajah come and break it up. This begins the last battle.
Thomas Keith
29. insectoid
I have a feeling you were out partying again, Leigh! Get some sleep for us, okay? :)

Tricia Irish
30. Tektonica
OK, Windrose....I fixed the know that 0 and 9 are close together.

Hi Steve, er, denari6 ! Stick around and do some posting here on The pillowfriend theory rocks.
Gary Singer
31. AhoyMatey
@tektonica - well, it was a hell of a lot of fun! And it probably is a toss-up whether the family or I had a better time. I plan to actually read along with the re-read this time. Maybe I'll be able to contribute more than the few inane comments I've made up to now :)

@Denari6, well done on the cane. I did enjoy your theory - the whole room burst out laughing at the end. But I had to vote for another. I'll tell that one here, seeing yours will be posted on Theoryland....

I forget who came up with it, but it pretty much went that Bela goes to Shayol Ghul. She approaches the bore and turns around and puts her butt to it. She then takes out the Dark One with Bela-fire!
Anthony Pero
32. anthonypero
I think I'm gonna read ToM over right now. I re-read it in January after it came out, but to be honest, I don't remember a lot of plot points other than Perrin, and the Tower of Ghengi. And Mat's letter. Can't wait for that one!
Sara H
33. LadyBelaine
Thanks for the links to the pics! I really liked the gals dressed like Birgitte and preggo Elayne, although, yes, Lannis the Ebou Dari was spot-on!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
34. Lisamarie
I am so jealous...that whole thing sounds so much fun :D

Oh, and the Tolkien/Jordan talk made me drool thinking about it! I have to start going to more cons now that my son is old enough to be dragged along :)
35. MasterAlThor

That loud noise you all just heard was my head exploding. I am soooo going next year. I am going to make this happen. And I am going to have a "nice gift" for Leigh. Mwahahahahahaha.

Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
Paddle. I'm telling, you a real paddle! Where's my lathe?
Lannis .
37. Lannis
Denari6 @ 25: YOU GOT THE CANE?! Oh, so jealous right now! Congratulations! :D

And I come bearing photos! Seriously, you guys!--I posted them today and I’m sharing! Right here!

Thanks for the compliments, guys! I had a blast with that costume--and Lord knows I needed something to keep me busy during the long Canadian winter (for the record, it was snowing when I got up this morning... boo).

And insert obligatory “you must come next year!” push... you certainly won’t regret it! :D

(Now excuse me as I'm off to shoot myself for using so many exclamation points in a post... it's somehow con-related, I'm sure...)
Thomas Keith
38. insectoid
MAT @35: I know how you feel. I may cry if I don't get to go to JCV... ^_^
Maybe I can win a trip...

Lannis @37: Great photos!! Your costume was the best!

Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
Leigh - I'm really curious. Have your feelings about the DKS covers changed at all since seeing the full paintings? Even just seeing them on my computer screen seems to give them a better perspective, and it seems like the figures look more natural in context. You saw them in full, up close and personal; did it change anything?
Leigh Butler
40. leighdb
Wetlander @ 39:

Yes and no; I still don't like the human figures. They're just not to my taste. However, seeing the covers as a full-scale, non-bent-around-a-book painting made them much more interesting from a compositional standpoint, if that makes any sense. And the colors on the originals are just gorgeous.

But then, I've always liked the colors and landscapes and disliked the people, so I don't know that seeing the originals has really changed anything fundamental about my opinion on them.
Alice Arneson
41. Wetlandernw
Thanks, Leigh. Makes sense to me. I was just curious.
j p
42. sps49
Glad to see Leigh is still with us; I was getting worried!
43. srEDIT
What's wrong? Why can't I see the pix?

Page says my Login is broken or something, but I'm logged in to the main TOR site OK, so what's up?

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