Dragon Con has left an indelible impression on me. The crowds were impossible – I heard from one source (possibly unreliable) that 60,000+ people attended. The noise from the crowd was a continuous horrible roar. The AC couldn’t keep up with the body heat generated by the crowds. The elevators were always behind and required a lengthy wait unless you were up at 6 a.m. when it was quiet and pretty much deserted. If you wanted anything (except at 6 in the morning, when even Starbucks was empty) you stood in line.
I was overwhelmed by all of the above. I am a small-town-gal at heart and the din-crush-smell was not pleasant. At one particularly difficult moment, I heard one MW-er say, “This is not for me. I’m not coming back.” And at that moment, I totally agreed. But now? Not so much. At this point in my career, Dragon Con was an overall positive experience. I would love to be asked back next year. And I think we all felt the same, once it was over and we had the perspective of being home and looking back.
Why? Because so much happened in so few days.
- A dear friend made a connection that will lead to an agent.
- Another dear friend got a book deal.
- I had a chance to network in ways that I might not see the fruits of for some time.
- I had a chance to visit with old friends. (Not enough, sadly.)
- I had a chance to visit with my agent and the head of the agency. I discovered all over again why I am so happy to be signed where I am.
- I grew a lot. (Emotionally and career-wise. I’m still a smidge less than 5’ 3”)
- I made foot-in-mouth mistakes that will teach me and which I won’t make next time. Over teh last few eyars, I’ve learned to not beat myself up for my stupidities.
- I refined my professional image and liked what I saw me becoming.
- There were people in costumes. Okay – I know that isn’t really important. But when I was a kid, I loved playing dress-up! At the Con, I adored seeing people who remembered what it was to be a kid. Who had not gotten so oppressed and miserable being grown-ups that they could still be children, creative, fun-loving, and joyful.
- Despite the crowds, most people were polite and nice. Where else in the world can you have 60,000 people and most are patient and polite and helpful?
- I got an idea for a short story.
I hope you can see all the pics (which show all the good things about Dragon Con, from networking to panels to costumes to fun). I’ll be back. I will.