(Post-A-Day Challenge, Day 22)
I love going to science fiction conventions, especially the more literary ones like MileHiCon (which is where I am this weekend, hence the lack of internet connectivity). These conventions aren’t about meeting your favorite actor from your favorite TV show; they’re more about getting together and discussing books and authors and writing and ideas and science and art and, yes, creativity in general.
So I did go to a couple of panels about writing, which are always valuable, but I also helped out in the art show, where I got to see some cool artwork in a variety of media. And while there, I got to make observations about people working together as teams, problem-solving on the fly. Most of the people who work art show are regulars, there year after year, so they mostly know the drill and are used to being a team. There were a few hiccups with setup this year, but everyone worked around them, and the show was still able to open on time.
Another thing I enjoyed was just sitting quietly off to the side and listening to people’s conversations. I heard everything from debates over planetary physics and string theory to where to go to find a mechanism to convert a treadle sewing machine to hand-crank power.
Of course, sometimes the conversations you overhear are priceless:
Kid 1: See that guy over there in the Viking hat?
Kid 2: Yeah….
Kid 1: That’s my dad.
We’d just gotten onto a crowded elevator, and the trio of folks behind us decided to wait for the next car. From where I was standing, I could see that the leader was carrying a mannequin torso. “We’ll wait,” he said. “There are three of us.”
“Four, if you add up all the parts,” one of his companions added.
Really, you just can’t make that stuff up.
Does anyone else go to conventions or writers’ conferences? What sorts of things do you learn about, other than writing?