anghara (anghara) wrote,

The Obligatory Post-Orycon Post

There and back again - we took the train up (and were told, "sorry folks, we have to wait, they broke a coal train and now the knuckles (apparently a train term) are busted and they have to wait for a replacement part before they can fix the train and get the thing off the tracks and out of our way..." and mentioned some fairly scary wait times... but the knuckles showed up far sooner than anticipated and the coal train shifted. We were only about twenty minutes late arriving in Portland, in the end) and were met by ramblin_phyl who was kind enough to detour her own arrival into the city by swinging past the railway station to pick up a couple of North WA strays and ferry us to the hotel. I didn't bring along the laptop on this occasion because on PREVIOUS Orycons the only free WiFi was in the hotel lobby and they had the computers in the business center anyway if I just wanted to check email - I knew I wasn't going to be doing much actual work, so there was no point on that account, and if I could't get email in my room at my leisure and had to come to the lobby to do that I figured I might as well rely on the hotel installation. Need I tell you that the first thing the front desk told me as we checked in was, "thank you for being a Hilton Honors member, and you get free WiFi in your room because of that..." ARGH. Oh well. Minor, in the greater scheme of things - only annoying because the LAST time they didn't seem all that ready to even CONSIDER offering anything other than gouging full-price daily rate for internet access on the upper floors, even when directly approached about it, and this year they simply decided that yeah, it was all ok. SOme consistency would be nice, is all.

ramblin_phyl and I took the morning off on Friday, and she took me to the Columbia River Gorge to see the waterfalls, including HER waterfall, Multnomah Falls, the one that inspired her story in my "River" anthology. It was every bit as spectacular as advertised, and we really lucked out on the weather because this turned out to be more or less the only handful of hours of sunshine on the entire weekend. The pale autumnal sunshine and the glowing fall colours and the magnificent waterfalls were truly balm for the soul. I completely understand just why ramblin_phyl loves this part of the world, and I am grateful that she shared it with me.

Friday afternoon, I edged myself onto a panel I was not TECHNICALLY on, on the subject of plagiarising history, and it was a very nice panel which managed to cover some ground that was actually relatively new rather than going over the older and far better trodden paths. Of my other (scheduled) panels, I had a "mary sue" panel (who was she and why everyone hates her) which was kind of fun - and then what I think was my favourite part of the con, the "writing the other" panel which was a refreshing change from many another a conversation that I've had on the topic with people both on and offline. It was a panel which subsequently no less than THREE PEOPLE told me in passing that they had enjoyed hugely, and had even ended up learning something from. Which is ALWAYS good feedback.

Saturday I had a number of panels, including ones on dialogue and its role in story (and what works and what doesn't) and on formidable women (I ALWAYS end up on these panels....)(and it was interesting to see what everyone considered "formidable" to mean, in the context...) and then, on Sunday, a panel which was entitled "The Tolkien effect" and inquired whether "every rock and tree needs its own language" - to which I asked, well, does every language need its rock and tree...? The panel did a bit of a river delta impression (as in went everywhere and ranged widely) but it was entertaining and covered a lot of interesting ground and had an interested and involved audience and for a final panel of the con was nice and relaxing.

Then we went and got a bite to eat, grabbed a cab, got to the station literally ten minutes before the train was boarding, fell onto the train, and came back to our rainy home up north to a reconstructed back deck and a needy cat who spent most of Sunday night in a place where she could be certain of reaching out with a paw and making sure I was there.

Recap - some good and entertainingly different panels, but I was missing familiar faces absent through personal circumstances or else by virtue of WFC which was I believe happening at the same moment up in Canada. It felt... oddly subdued, this Orycon. Aside from the disco, a QUIET con. It had its energy, as all cons do, but it wasn't one fo the more invigorating I-can-now-go-and-conquer-the-world ones. Perhaps it's just as well that it was, because this was my final con for 2012, and it was nice to end the year on this quiet relaxing note. And trust me, talking about the final event of 2012 actually makes me sit up and blink - it seems only the other day that I was at Radcon and it was February....

Well. Back to the future. On Wednesday morning we are going to have a whole new kettle of political fish to fry. I'll just keep calm and carry on as best able to. And hopefully 2013 will bring something good... and more enjoyable conventions.
Tags: cons

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