What up, party people? Have you come to see Part 2 of my stupendous and no-doubt-soon-to-be-award-winning-cough report on JordanCon 2015? If so, then, look no further, for you have found it!
And if not, click here to read Part 1 first, and then come back, because by then you will be looking for it, I confidently predict!
Once again, many pictures lurk below. Like, no, really. Sacrifice incense and/or vintage Beanie Babies to your modem as necessary to weather the onslaught.
And then, click!
Quick thing before we begin: as is only appropriate in my con-going-and-reporting capacity here, my dear friend and fellow Tor.com blogger Kate Nepveu has asked me to let y’all know that Con or Bust, the organization dedicated to helping fans of color attend cons, is currently having its annual auction to raise funds. They’ve got some seriously swanky swag in there this year, including some Wheel of Time e-book art cover prints, which I feel like might be relevant to some a y’all’s interests, n’est-ce pas? Bidding closes on May 3rd, so check it out soon!
And now, back to this con! Where were we? Ah, yes.
Saturday Night And We In The Spot
Don’t believe me? Just watch!
…Well, you won’t get to watch my pictures of it, because wow. First up after my impromptu nap was the inevitable and inestimable Costume Contest, and I took a shit ton of pictures, and it turned out that every single one of them was unusable. Out of focus, the wrong thing in focus, people’s heads cut off, random photos of the floor or errant chair legs: you name a photographic sin, I committed it. What, you think I’m kidding?
Actual costume contest picture taken by me. Lord.
But hey, I guess I get points for consistency! *rolls eyes*
So I must cheerfully steal from others (read: “mostly Leslie”) to share this bit with you. First: behold, the contestants!
There were a lot of costumes, and all of them were extremely cool, but in the interests of me finishing this report sometime before the end of the millennium I’m going to limit my individual pictures to just a few:
Phillip Calvin Edwards, Asha’man extraordinaire.
Mandy Beck bustles off…
…And provides shelter! (with Lauren O’Hara)
Kiley Kellermeyer Daniel contemplates the impossible Blueness of Being Moiraine.
More Asha’man! (Bill Nesbitt, Anthony Acker, and Austin Sirkin)
A close-up of Art Show Director April Moore’s fabulous Cadsuane paralis net.
Serafina Virciglio as “I’m no Lady” Mat Cauthon.
Jeffrey Daniel as Perrin.
Sophie Decaudin and Marisa Grooms as delightfully creepy Eelfinn and Aelfinn.
Supergirls! (April McArdle, a lady whom I do not know (sorry!), and Vanessa Dial)
And April as Elayne again, with other Art Show Director Paul Bielaczyc, who won the Contest with his portrayal of the Ice King, which is apparently a character on the cartoon show Adventure Time. I am, obviously, not familiar with the show, but damn was that costume amazing. It totally deserved to win on merit alone.
That said, it was not my favorite costume of the con, and you can call it personal bias or whatever but I don’t care, because once again our own Leslie Annis slayed it as, of all damn things, a lady Trolloc:
Let this be a lesson to people not to dare Leslie to do things. Or at least not costume things, because she will do them. And be completely fabulous doing it.
Nargette no hurt
And then there was this young lady:
I am unsure of her provenance, nor could I figure out who (if anyone) she was dressed as, but she was without doubt the most adorable entity at the entire con, hands down. Harriet was so enamored of her that she changed her “Judge’s Choice” award to give to her at the last minute. The cooing and “Aww”ing in the room was a little deafening.
And then there was… the dance.
And… look, there is no explaining the dance.
Really, really, not.
Seriously, just don’t ask.
Just… just don’t.
No explanations. None.
Well, okay, that probably does partially explain it.
But you’re still probably better off not asking.
There were some explicable events, though, if unexpected ones. Like Mr. Richard Fife going and making an honest man out of himself:
And the ever-lovely Chip made me two WOT-themed cocktails, a “Bloody Ashes”, which was delicious, and a “Gathering Storm”, which was beautiful AND delicious:
It really did look like a gathering storm, too. Such fun.
And this doesn’t even scratch the surface, but for sanity’s sake let’s just sum it up as “and then everyone drank and danced and drank and danced some more, and then we all collapsed and Sunday happened.”
Sunday was… not pleasant for me. Because of the hangover, obviously, and obviously I have no one to blame but myself for that part of it, but it was soon to become clear there were even more dire things lurking within, soon to make a really unwanted appearance.
Before that happened, though, I did manage to finally hit the Art Show, which had amazing stuff as usual. I picked up my official JordanCon T-shirt from Ta’veren Tees, the design of which is particularly cool this year but which I unfortunately do not have a picture of, and chatted briefly with Artist Guest of Honor Todd Lockwood:
(This was the only actual picture of him at the con I could find.)
His dragon-fu is very strong, and he seemed to be having a lovely time. The Art Show as a whole was of course amazing, and all possible kudos should go to its Directors April Moore and Paul Bielaczyc and all their minions, who do a fantastic job every year.
Then I was briefly shanghaied by Leslie Annis, who was Up To No Good, because some deluded fool had given her (gasp!) Power:
And that Canadian minx proceeded to abuse her Amyrlin-given authority to do unspeakable things to the long-suffering Rand Al’Thor:
And she forced me—FORCED, I SAY!—to participate!
Really, the girl was just drunk with power. She Must Be Stopped.
I did make it to one panel, “Turning Feedback into Useful Critique”, with Saladin Ahmed, Anthony Taylor, Diana M. Pho, and local author Jim Hodgson, which was very thought-provoking. The pros and cons of writers’ groups were discussed (General consensus: they’re awesome if you can find a group of people who match each other well both personality-wise and in basic skill level, but otherwise can sometimes be more hindrance than help), how to behave when either giving or receiving feedback (general consensus: don’t be a dick), and knowing how to appropriately weigh the type of feedback offered by different people in different capacities (general consensus: your editor’s feedback is going to be both more thorough and more useful than your mom’s).
I’m making it sound simplistic and obvious, but it was all actually very useful advice, because when you’re paranoid and sensitive about your work (i.e. you are a writer) sometimes you need to be gently reminded of the obvious. I was also very amused by Diane Pho’s explanation of her “ABCD” markup categories, which stand for “Awesome”, “Boring”, “Confusing”, and “Don’t”. Heh.
After that, though, it became rapidly clear that my body does in fact hate me and all that I stand for, and instead of spending the rest of Sunday chilling and hanging out with the post-con peeps for Couch Con, as it is fondly called, I ended up staying in my room and being miserable, pretty much until I had to check out the next day and get on a plane to go home and be miserable in New Orleans.
So I sort of missed the end of the con, which is a shame because historically that’s often been one of the best parts, and even more upsettingly I did not get to hang out with and/or say goodbye to a whole bunch of people as a result. Hopefully they all know I said goodbye to them in my heart!
But rather than leave you on such a depressing note, here, have a smattering of people and things of the Con, whether I was actually there for them or not!
Harriet “Your Finest Brandy” McDougal and Richard “Goin’ to the Chapel” Fife
Our esteemed Con Chairperson, Jennifer Liang. Sorry we only had like three seconds to talk all weekend, girl. I’ll make it up to you!
Alan Romanczuk and some chick
It’s the April Moore Show!
Amy Romanczuk and the ever-delighful Maria Simons!
Author Guest of Honor Saladin Ahmed and some chick, again.
Steampunker extraordinaire and Director of the “Rivets and Robots” track, Emilie Bush.
Local author and really swell guy Blue Cole.
Those wascally wabbits, TWOTCast.
And some awesome staff members!
Kelsey Casson and Kristy Lussier.
Tina Bablok Pierce (aka Scissorrunner) and Sarah Nakamura.
There were all kinds of things going on at the con that I never even got to see:
Dolls! (with Linda Taglieri!)
How did that get in there? I do declare!
And the list goes on. In sum, it was a wacky, wild, informative, innuendo-laden, hysterical, thought-provoking, ridiculous, occasionally painful, but mostly just completely awesome weekend. I love each and every one of you crazy kids, and can’t wait to do it all again next year. Mwah!
Leigh Butler is a writer, blogger, and very inept photographer for Tor.com, where she conducts the Wheel of Time Reread and A Read of Ice and Fire, and bangs her head on desks in the most awesomely zen way possible. She currently lives in New Orleans.