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I’m feeling a little of the post-convention let down.  Balticon is usually my last convention for the year and I always feel a bit of sadness at the thought. So much fun, so many costumes, all the literary goodness… done for months and months.

It makes me sad.

I only came home with three books this time, which is probably a personal best for me. I tried to limit my spending, especially considering I have well over 250 books just sitting here waiting to be read already! I could easily spend several hundred dollars on books at any given convention, and often come home with a whole bag filled. Three? Not that bad.

Of course, Joram came home with a book. Scott Sigler was so impressed with Joram’s work on a security detail that Sigler just gave Joram a book. And then autographed it. Knowing what an incredible gift that was as well as an acknowledgement to Joram’s dedication to ensuring his job is done right, I was proud as well as thankful for Sigler’s generosity.

Which is everything that I love about going to these conventions.  Meeting the authors, the greats, the people who prove that no matter how big you get, they still remember “the little people”.

Attending conventions, growing up volunteering as a “gopher”, I’ve met so many people. And the bad apples are really so few that I can list them on one hand. Instead, I see not only good apples, but the creme de la creme. And it is enough to give one hope for humanity.

This year’s writer GOH was utterly amazing. I’ve read Ben Bova‘s books for years, fascinated with his look towards Earth’s future. His climate change “cliff” makes a lot of sense to me, and the attitude of the people to just ignore it until almost too late seems about bang on. Humans are afraid of change. What really gets me is he wrote about this stuff long before anyone talked about it. Taking the climate change idea and running with “just what do we do” led him to create quite the future vision where humanity takes to extra-planetary gathering of resources such as mining the asteroid belt between us and Mars.

The best thing I went to with Ben Bova was probably his reading. He read an engaging short story about a deal with an angel that included a great twist at the end! Then he sat back and chatted with the gathered crowd.

This year we went to Balticon a whole day early. The kids and I volunteered to stuff the registration bags which set the boys off on an adventure of volunteering. They’ve never done this before, but I think they really enjoyed themselves. Caramon and his friend spent a lot of their convention volunteer hours in the anime room and I believe are now “staff”. All three worked security details, helped set up and break down, and ran errands.  All three earned their Balticon Beserker shirts and free memberships to Balticon next year!

Joram spent a large portion of the convention hours LARPing which he’s really grown to enjoy. The LARPers seem to enjoy him and he received some special recognition during closing ceremonies.

We all came home with a list of anime to watch, books to read, and ideas for the next convention.

The masquerade went well. The judging this year seemed a bit weird, but that’s all right. Joram competed for the first time as an “adult” in the Novice division even though he is only 12. The guild and Joram agree that he’s far too good to hang with the kids. I have to admit, I’m glad I’m not in his division because his costume ROCKED. He not only made a satin duster, he scaled the pattern down to fit him, completely altered the sleeves, and then he hand painted it and the muslin interior. Costuming world, be afraid. Be very afraid!

He received an Honor of Excellence in workmanship, his very first real award (except of course the Bobby Gear Award last year granted only to those competing as Young Fans).  I’m so proud!

My costume came from a mish mash of anime-inspired artwork mostly found on Deviant Art’s website. Another costumer and I worked with my big stick to come up with a great little stick routine. Go us for having Guard background! Many really liked the routine we came up with Saturday afternoon before the masquerade, including a dancer friend of mine so I’m happy it showed well.

The costume design was such that I used almost no patterns. The only pattern I did use was a man’s vest which I seriously altered to have a sweetheart neckline and a fun skirting that included peaks to match the overskirt’s kerchief peaks.

When awarded a workmanship award for patterning, I was quite proud. I doubt my skills so much and I am always scared to make anything with a pattern let alone without – it meant a lot. I didn’t even have my mother’s help for advice!

My friend, Pavlina, and I were the crazy duo that decided to make costumes at the convention. Last year we joked about wearing geeky night-shirts and so we made them. It was a crazy idea, but we did it. And we got so many comments on them!  Mine is camo-print made up of skulls and crossbones.

I even joined in the fun at the DS Breakfast this year. It’s so much fun to play the DS with a whole group of people! And breakfast is always good!

I can’t wait for the next convention! Is it January yet?

–Lady O