2002 Orlando Con
J'ecris' con report

I said I would write something about the con, so here goes. I will not attempt a complete report. Suze Howe has promised one, and if it's anything like her report from last year, it will be outstanding. Instead, I'll talk about a few things that were special to me. :-) I'll try not to duplicate too much what others have already said, but it will no doubt happen. In no particular order, then...

I made plans to attend the con with some trepidation: walking up to a group of strangers is not something that comes naturally to me. (I'm one of the most introverted people I know.) But absolutely everyone I met was friendly and kind to me. It was a delight to meet you all! It's very nice to have faces to go with names. Something I discussed briefly with DebS is that most people didn't quite match the picture my brain had made of them. :-)

It was lovely to meet Pixie (and her mom) in person! What a sweetie! I'm sorry you had to leave so soon. ;-( I'm sending you a little surprise in the mail. I found it at Medieval Times and decided you had to have it since you weren't able to be there with us.

Speaking of Medieval Times, what a great time! We went there Tuesday night. I had never been there, and it was a lot more fun than I'd anticipated. The village was fascinating. They had an 800 year old loom, and they make actual cloth on it. You can buy little pouches in the gift shop made of the cloth. It was wonderfully soft. I asked if they sold it by the yard, but they said no, they don't make very much cloth on the loom. (Wouldn't that cloth make a wonderful tunnel outfit?)

The food was excellent, especially the chicken, which is quite possibly the best I've ever eaten. We had garlic toast, vegetable soup, half a chicken, a pork rib, half a seasoned, baked potato, and an apple pastry. And no silverware! The entertainment was great too, even though our little hottie in blue was the first out of the competition. Oh well.

They also sold suits of armor ($900), swords and knives, various kinds of pottery (I bought a smiling sun plaque for only $25 - now look what you all have started! I'm buying art!), and chain mail jewelry (which I also couldn't resist - I can wear it to the local Renaissance festival, right?), among other things.

There was a guy making a... what do you call those? It was a big sheet of copper and he was making a design by denting it. Very lovely, and even lovelier: Chandler said she'd have to give it a try!

Chandler's work walks straight into my heart and makes itself right at home, so I can't wait to see what new wonders she might create. And when I think about Chandler, the words that come to mind are "quiet beauty and grace". Some people were joking that she never sat down - she was in charge of the art room - indeed I don't think I saw her sit until after the con had officially ended. The art auction included a "doodle" that she had done of Vincent during celebrity Q&A at a previous con. If that's what happens when she sits, she should definitely be encouraged to sit more often! It was beautiful.

She also gave us a scultping lesson on Saturday afternoon. Our dough was made of 1/2 c salt, 1/2 c water, 1 c flour (and a little more flour to make the dough hold its shape). We had the choice of making whatever we wanted (and as we had reprised the circumcision discussion during the weekend, I briefly toyed with the idea of - but I digress!) OR she would tell us how to make Vincent's face. Guess what most of us chose? ;-) I have very little talent in the art department; my Vincent looked more like a cross between Chewbacca and Darth Vader! But Chandler fixed it a little for me, and at one point I thought I had the angles of his cheeks about right and his mouth approaching some semblance of the way it should, and I found myself getting way too excited over my little piece of dough! It made me wonder if after getting Vincent's mouth right, real artists can resist it. Sigh.

Lisa Gould! Oh my god! We were to wear costumes Friday night, and when Lisa came in wearing her Vincent makeup and costume, I could only stare in awe. I had heard about her, but I hadn't yet met her (I did on Saturday), and I was completely mesmerized. The lovely Chickpea insisted I have my picture taken with "Vincent". I can't come up with enough superlative adjectives to describe how great she is. She even moves like him! It was astonishing, and if I'm completely truthful, confusing. My body was having one reaction while the rest of me kept trying to insist that, "No, it's not really Vincent! It's Lisa. It's an *illusion*." One wants to believe one's eyes though! Wow!

Oh, and Clare tells a great story about Ron meeting Lisa/Vincent at a past con. ;-) Clare is a great storyteller, very animated.

I loved the puppet shows! The one with the chickens was a riot, and of course, who wouldn't want to have their own Vincent puppet? Way cool!

I had heard that the candle ceremony at the banquet is very special, and I admit that I was skeptical. The brief words spoken (by David, I think) left me in tears though as I thought about absent friends: one very special friend on the other side of the world, and another friend a bit closer to home who was seldom spoken of kindly at the con, but who I have found to be kind, caring, respectful, and intelligent.

I didn't know there were music videos! How come no one's told me this before now? I ordered #3 and #6, which will be mailed to me, and came home with Teaser Only #7. If you enjoy Gin's vids, I'm sure you'd like these too. They're available from Helpers Above Tulsa. (So far a brief search on Google turns up only broken links. Does anyone have the current web address? Otherwise, if there's a url included when my other tapes arrive, I'll pass it along.)

I was honored to get to hear the first chapter of Teri's book! That was quite a treat, and I can hardly wait to read the rest of it. The story sounds fascinating.

Little Stephen was a complete charmer. What a well behaved young man. He's 7, adorable, and quite the little salesman. ;-)

Lastly, I met so many lovely people. Everyone who says that you go back in order to see your friends again is certainly right! I enjoyed Annik's company very much at Universal Studios on Monday; I think we share some similar views. Lesley was a complete riot (and I forgot to ask if you and Linda enjoyed swimming with the dolphins). There were many other people who went out of their way to be nice to me, and if I try to list them all, I will certainly miss some, so I won't. You know who you are though, and I appreciated it. Thank you so much. Also, thank you, Lyn, Chan, Andy, and Stephen for all of your work in putting the con together. It was wonderful!

I registered for next year, and I can hardly wait. :-) I hope to see all of you there!