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Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse


March 7th, 2011

MarsCON report @ 10:49 am


First of all, I should say that I woke up this morning in the mood for Irish rebel music, and I've been giving into it. Currently on the CD is the Fighting Men from Crossmaglen's "50 Irish Rebel Songs," including a song that sometimes even makes me cringe a bit -- "Fennian Record Player." (Which I should say is quite a feat, because I'm perfectly okay with belting out lyrics such "A curse on you, England, you cruel-hearted monsters; your deeds they would shame all the devils in hell" and "the only craic [pronounced "crack"] in South Armagh comes from an Armalite")

But, I thought I should try to quickly sum up my experience at MarsCON, which I attended this weekend. Probably my biggest take-away from the weekend is that I am a FAR bigger Harry Potter fan than I ever realized and that I could TOTALLY cosplay in that universe. However, Shawn is less than excited about the idea of me dying my hair bright blonde in order to cross-dress cosplay Draco Malfoy. There was a very awesome Harry, Voldemort/He Who Must Not Be Named, Dumbeldore, Sirius Black, and Professor Lupin (among others.) The only problem of course is that I feel that I need to be a lot more weasel-skinny to really pull of Malfoy.

Also, I need to go to more cons generally, because I get a lot of joy from hanging out with like-minded folks and screaming about Star Wars and Brian Michael Bendis and things that mundanes tend to not know about or tell you not to get so worked up about because, you know, they're *only* fiction.

On the flipside, I was beginning to worry that MarsCON was turning into one of those cons where you spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to fake your own death in order to escape the panel from Hell. My very first panel of the con I was about 45 minutes late to, but I decided to embrace my inner diva and show up anyway. I wish I hadn't. One of the panelists dropped the n-word. A word, I should say, that I haven't heard out loud from a white person since about 1973. He was making a reference to certain characters representing the "reviled underclass," but instead of saying that, he totally casually used the n-word. And this flew out without any reproach. By the time I found my voice to say, "Uh, you're really not supposed to say that word, dude," someone else had used the term "pussification" which shocked me right back into silence.

I fled that panel to read at the BroadUniverse Rapid-Fire Reading. I hate readings. There's never a packed house, and my current book has a lot of plot twists/character revelations that make it hard to pick an action packed chapter that is spoiler free. Also, my first chapters in Ressurection Code have a bit of sex that makes for awkward afternoon readings when kids might be in the room... but I love hearing other people's stuff. Plus they had chocolate. So that one was a win.

The next panel was comics, so that was a blast. I worry that a lot of SF fans don't cross over into comic fandom, but I so RARELY get to talk to actual people about the stuff I'm reading that I totally geeked out on this panel. I was also happy to discover that the "Heroic Age" is already over in the Marvelverse. I'm a big fan of the darker storylines.

Right before dinner, I had a panel about self-promotion, which I left feeling even more like I have no idea how to find the audience for my work and that EVERYONE ELSE has the secret handshake. :-)

I had an awesome dinner out in which I busted out my deep fandom and started telling people about my unwritten STAR WAR fanfic (it's unwritten because I *know* this could easily become my life's work/ruin, as I would obsessively write it and not get paid, thus destroying my actual writing career.) The food was really good and the company was even better, so it was probably the real highlight of Saturday.

The final panel of Saturday was a bust, as it was one of those where two people have to try to carry the idea -- and one of us had a lot more to say on the subject. We did, however, have an interesting pre-panel discussion about early fandom, and a fan project called "Midwest Side Story." I kind of wish the panel had been about that, though I would have to have sat in the audience for that.

Saturday night I hung out briefly at the Harry Potter party, but I will confess that my brain is so fannish that I was a little freaked out to be hanging out with He Who Must Not Be Named. (That's just not very relaxing, you know??) That was the other take-away for the weekend, actually. I really, REALLY love fans who come in costume. Because right before the Masquerade on Saturday, I was hanging out chatting with a bunch of friends and got to see everyone come by in full regalia, and there's just something mind blowing about seeing a fairly-perfect Lord Voldemort standing next to a Prediator. For a moment, too, we thought there might be a face-off with Lord Voldemort and Glenda the Good Witch. And, you know what? I love that! Some of my favorite moment at cons are those in which I speak to people in costume as if I'm talking to the real thing.

Sunday were my best panels by far. I got to talk/gush about the new Sherlock (the BBC miniseries) and about the current dystopic trend in young adult lit.

A good time, and, in the end, an experience I wouldn't mind repeating after all.
 
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From:bibliofile
Date:March 7th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
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I don't know who would win either, but I imagine that Glenda would manage to keep those curls perfect throughout.
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From:lyda222
Date:March 7th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
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It was postulated by Naomi Kritzer that in a duel, Lord Voledmort would probably be quicker and more devistating on the draw -- going right for one of the Unforgivable Curses. But, if it was a battle of cunning and evil overlordship, Glenda's got it over Lord V by a mile.
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From:lyda222
Date:March 7th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
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Also, though I'm the only one who cares about this I should mention that if you go to the "Fenian Record Player" lyrics site I linked to, some of the words are incorrect. Some are minor mishear/typos, but the one I feel strongly that I need to point out is that Wee Willy does not say at the end "Ah, you're kind" he says "Ah, crime be blown", which you can hear quite clearly if you listen to the recording they have on the sidebar. (Note: this is the EXACT version of the song I have.)

Also, if anyone wonders why I cringe it's because I have a hard time with the line "they kicked his ribs in one by one to the tune of Garryowen..." and the rest that follows. Partly because Sean South and the others mentioned are some of my favorite songs, and they're coupled with some pretty awful violence in a really otherwise funny song.
From:fmsv
Date:March 7th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
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I'll admit that I have a hard time of thinking of "Midwest Side Story" as "early fandom"; I tend to use that label for stuff that was associated with First Fandom.
(Disclaimer: I had a very small role in the first production of Midwest Side Story at Minicon)
From:markiv1111
Date:March 7th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
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The first fan letter I wrote (I was 13) was to a fan named Rick Norwood (who wrote the cover story on a recent issue of F&SF -- a few other sales). Rick was talking, in the letter column of *Strange Adventures,* about recruiting comic fans to s-f fandom. When he wrote me back, he said that as far as pros go, the trend is for s-f writers to slide over to be comic writers, because comics pay more. 48 years later, I find Rick's comments baffling. Can you think of one s-f writer who went over to writing comics because comics pay better? I can't!

Nate
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From:muneraven
Date:March 8th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
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LOL, I would have come unglued and demonstrated what happens when I get really, really angry if I had been at that panel. I almost never get really, really angry but, when I do, I make people cry. The N-word?! "Pussification"?! REALLY?!

Must...not...go...off...on...nice...Lyda's....blog.

Unless I am missing an ironic pop culture reference to a pop culture reference, I believe it is Glinda the Good Witch, not Glenda. Glinda is, I think, the most interesting character in all of Oz. I think she could kick Voldemort's ass if she wanted to but she might not want to. Glinda often allows evil or chaos to exist in the world when it seems she could eradicate it if she chose to. Glinda is complicated. God-like, really. Plus she has hundreds of beautiful maidens working for her AND an all-female army. Clearly she is a lesbian! :-P

First fandom for me was OZ fandom. Can you tell?

Glad you had fun at the con despite the jerks at that panel. Are you doing Minicon? I am trying to decide...
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From:lyda222
Date:March 9th, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
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Glinda. Sorry. Oz is not my fandom at all, but I should have looked up her name on the Googles.

I wish you had been on the panel or in the audience. I feel weirdly guilty that I let that word slip out of someone's mouth without causing more of a scene other than my own sputtering silence.

Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse