pointoforigin was kind enough to give me a ride there, and I came back with feklar. It was a good thing I had a ride back, since K. had gifted me with a sword. But I digress.
I was also a little disgruntled about the convention because I'd never received my email about my program items; I'd eventually gone to the rough draft program link I was sent and culled out my own items. However, when I tried to confirm these items later, the program didn't seem to be posted on the con website. I was reluctant to prepare too strenuously for something from which I might have been removed. When I got to the convention and checked in, I was given a printout of my program items, but later learned that three of my scheduled items were missing from that list. I had to find them through other people telling me they existed, and me then hunting through the pocket program for my name. The same was true for items I was moderating; I found out from the pocket program only, at the last minute. I ended up missing my last midnight program item anyway, as it conflicted with the Masquerade.
All that said, the actual panels seemed to go well. deadlined had proposed "Knit Happens" about handicrafts in sf/f, and as I'd predicted, the entire audience showed up with knitting or crocheting to work on during the panel. I got to riff a bit on things from my long-ago Master's thesis, and the other panelists contributed examples from novels and from contemporary culture. I was fairly braindead during my one latenight panel, sex scenes in romance versus erotica, but the audience was interactive, and mroctober kept things going while I waited for my latte to kick in. Jennifer Dunne was the other panelist; she and I also did the "coffee hour" on marketing erotica that turned into more of a freeform lounging and talking shop item.
I was very pleased to get to hang out with geekturnedvamp, whom I hadn't realized would be there, and to meet naominovik for the first time, however briefly.
My very first Masquerade (as a participant) went great. It was K. who had to go nuts, sewing on bits and bobs even up to a few hours before the performance. We won a ribbon for "most humorous," and several people told me later how much they liked it. I was just grateful I managed not to trip, lose my cloak or sword, or laugh inappropriately during the short time I was on stage. Yes, I even had fun. But I doubt I will do that again. Unless K. really, really needs me.
Sunday, I had no programming, so I left earlyish with feklar to have brunch with missionista in NY and then go home. I was wiped out, enough so that I went to bed around 8:00 pm and slept through until the next morning.
Overall, I think the whole mess of renovations going on in the hotel contributed a lot to people's stress at the convention, and the dust and paint fumes didn't help either; but the programming I attended seemed pretty good. Hopefully, there won't be any venue problems next year, and a clearer picture of the con can emerge.