Monday, November 15, 2010

FaerieCon


So this past weekend I went to FaerieCon in Baltimore. Is it possible to be both disappointed and pleased with something? That's kind of how I feel about this con.

My biggest gripe was the lack of panels. I'm used to going to conventions that have like ten panels going on at once and this one had only one or two panel tracks. While I guess that's good cause then people can get to see everything they want to, it can make things boring for people who don't want to visit a particular panel and have walked around the dealers market eight times already. I was also expecting it to have more attendees. I guess it was still a pretty good size, but I was assuming it would be larger for some reason. In all it was a fine convention...I don't know, I guess my expectations were too high?

I can't complain about the music or dealers market, I also can't complain about the guest speakers/presenters. All of them were high caliber, professional, and wonderful. I mean Brian and Wendy Froud? HELLO?!

General commentary:

There were two panels given by authors of faerie, so obviously I went to both. It was great to get an insider's look at what other authors do/do not like about other pieces that are coming out in the genre. Two important ones: retain the idea of consequence (the negative aspect) and do your research! It was also great to hear about how other authors approach their craft. I kept nodding my head and wanting to answer questions that some of the audience members had. It's a great feeling when you know you've gotten far enough along as a writer that you feel comfortable enough with most questions being asked. It made me feel like I was ready for one of my own panels!

I got to meet a number of my favorite authors in the genre. It's no surprise that both Melissa Marr and Maggie Stiefvater are awesome people and super approachable. I had been really nervous because, I while am a fan, I wanted to approach them as a colleague. I also had to contend with a slight bit of social anxiety I get when I'm conversing with people that I want to impress. Lucky for me, Melissa had made a comment about young authors needing mentors and that any established author who received help when they first started out should return the Karmic favor. Since I consider both Maggie and Melissa to be very inspirational figures, I bit the bullet and stood in line to talk to them. All in all, it went well. I jumped in said my bit and got out before I turned beet red, although I didn't manage to avoid the shaking. I just tried to play it off like I had normative internal tremors, but I feel really bad for the girl who asked me to take a picture of her with Maggie, her pictures came out sort of blurry...Sorry!

The masquerade balls were...well, they didn't meet my expectations. The costumes were absolutely fabulous, the music was good, and the general ambiance was suitable. BUT PEOPLE WEREN'T DANCING! Hello, this is a ball! People dance at balls! Faeries dance when they hear music! To be fair, the music wasn't all that conducive to dance, unless you're expecting very slow emotive dancing -- which faeries do, but people kind of suck at. Don't get me wrong, the music was great, but not dance music. The Bad Faeries ball was a little better than the Good Faeries ball. Once Faun came on, people started moving around. But the issue with the Bad Faeries ball was that it was PACKED. It's hard to dance when you can't move. I was wearing feather wings and they got mauled. Tips for improvement: Livelier dance music, larger ballroom, and some hired dancers to break in the crowd.

I can't complain about the merchants. There was a crap ton of stuff and I wanted at least half of it. However, I limited myself. My Picks?

Renae Taylor. This artist has some of the most beautiful fantasy art I've ever seen. I first saw her at NY FaerieFest, then again at the NY Renaissance Faire, and finally caved when I saw her at Faeriecon.

Celine Chapus. I walked by her booth, did a double take, and practically pounced. I LOVE this artist. I have a weak spot for manga and anime, and her style falls neatly in the heart throb position. If there was an artist I'd give my book to and say "Go forth and draw this," it would be her. "I Will Find You" stole my heart.

Jasmine Becket-Griffith. Her art centers around mythical ladies who look like institutionalized Bratz dolls, but there is something absolutely lovable about each once of her creations. I wanted a large print of one of her renditions of Alice in Wonderland, but there weren't any more, so I went for a collection of Alice minis instead.

I didn't get anything from Jennifer Pierson, but gosh did I ever want to. If you ever want a pair of kick-ass faerie wings, this is your lady! If I go next year, I'm so getting one of her pieces!

Music: Out of five musical guests, Faun and Adam Hurst stood out. I have a weakness for bagpipes and cellos, so that might have something to do with it...certainly more to do with it than my weakness for attractive blond guys :) haha, no seriously, their music is haunting and electrical. Not excitement electrical, but buzz down your nerves, soul shiver electrical. When your soul wants to get out and start moving, then you know you've found something delicious.

All in all, I had more fun than disappointment. As long as next year's programming proves to be as good as this years, then I'll probably go again. Especially since now, I know what to expect and plan accordingly.