I was on programming, sure, and that's part of it - I was kept busy, which is what I ASKED to be, but not too busy (like some other people who hadn't set the same boundaries as me, apparently, or felt they didn't need to, and ended up with up to ten hours of programming ON A SINGLE DAY which would have brain-wiped me...) I had some really good panels, one or two which were missing important panelists who could not (for their own reasons) attend and so turned into different panels than they might have been (but nevertheless still fun), and at least one panel where one of the panelists involved was being... somewhat... but pas devant, anyway. If you catch me at another con somewhere, buy me a coffee and ask me about it.
My panels were different and refreshing this year - i.e. I didn't get stuck on yet another "strong female characters" panel which was beginning to happen with depressing regularity (Well, I do WRITE them, but still...) and was starting to leave me frantically casting about for something to say which I did not feel as though I had not already said over and over again - granted, this (as always) was a different audience, but you are still you and telling the same funny story for the tenth time is definitely not as funny any more for YOU even though the current audience present may not have heard it before. But I was told this weekend, by someone who was not invovled in THIS con but was definitely a part of the running of at elast one other one that I had been a part of, that I "give good panel", and I always try to live up to that. On Orycon's panels, it was easy. They were new and interesting and they sold themselves.
But the rest of it, over and above the panels themselves. It is that which makes a convention. The friends you haven't seen for six months or a year in between different conventions that you or them might or might not have attended and where you kept missing each other at different geographical locales. People you retire to the bar with for a leisurely drink and reminisce of cons past, or large rowdy giggling groups who gather together for shared meals and much laughter, or someone whose triumphs or tragedies you've shared online for months and finally have a chance to offer a hug of congratulations or support. That.
I had that, this Orycon.
Over and above my usual trusted Portland crew who make sure I am taken care of - ramblin_phyl and joycemocha, I'm looking at you -it was meeting up with people I had reconnected with after years of hiatus, or friends who might in theory live only a couple of hours away from me - in Seattle - but whom (because logistics) I see rather less often than I would like. And they are good friends. Old friends. Good old friends. And sometimes people whom you might not have known all that well before but with whom you suddenly connect and something new and wonderful happens (difrancis, *take the FOX back!) And to all of you whom I talked to and cried all over and laughed with this weekend, to all of you who made this con such a joy and such a re-grounding for me, thank you. I needed you, and you were there.
This is not a con report. I don't think I want to or need to write a full con report on this con. Let me just say it was a place I needed to be, and there were people I needed to be with, and it all came at just the right time for me. Onwards and upwards, re-inspired. Thanks, Orycon (and all who briefly came together within it).