I spent much of the long weekend getting my geek on at Balticon 38, thus ending my overextended SF-convention virginity, and had a terribly grand time.
Too much to go into now, but some highlights: an enlightening chat with Darrell Schweitzer in the dealers' room on the yawning gulf of horror that is vanity publishing; attending a panel with Mark Wheatley, and having him validate my comics-writing impulses by saying "Don't wait for permission to create"; and learning regency dance without falling down and killing myself. Oh, and Jane Lindskold called me handsome, which was pretty well worth the price of admission, as it's not every day you get your starstruck Famous Author encounter and your ego-strokage all in the same moment.
Also had the pleasure of getting a cool con-buddy on Saturday night, in the form of the lovely Aiglet, who was nice enough to not only tool around with the dorky n00b but also drag me off to the stuff I needed drug to. We were very much on a wavelength, and I think we shall keep in touch. (But between me and the Mystery, this newfound talent I seem to have for getting attractive, geeky young women to want to hang out with me would have been very fucking helpful ten goddamn years ago thankyouverymuch.)
(No, of course I don't really mean that. Whatever losses I totalled in my misspent youth are more than balanced out by having a wife who asks me, "What'd you do at the con yesterday?" and being able to answer, without fear of my life, "Made friends with a cute girl.")
One frightening revelation came out of the whole event, though, and that is the discovery that I am, apparently, a filker. I suppose I could resist the label, but in light of my canon - "Lord Vlad," "Dragon," "Miskatonic U," "Cocteau, Goya, Blake," among others - it'd be like that Roy Cohn line from Angels in America: "I'm not a homosexual. I'm a man who has sex with other men." And anyway, I was up doing it until five in the morning, so I may as well suck it up and embrace it.
It's very odd to be back among the Naturals now. I may be addicted. When's Philcon, now?