Swancon is here again and come hell or high water I'm going again for the full event and staying at the convention hotel. I think this will be my 14th, so I've a long way to go before I collect a badge – they only hand those out to people who've been to 20 or 33. This year is the 40th, and doubles as the NatCon.
Speaking of hell and high water, there's a lot of it. Basically my health and ability to cope with Swancon get worse and worse each year, but in balance my coping strategies also improve. Increasing numbers of people suggest I should use a wheelchair for the event, but I need to remind them that sitting is an issue for me – I'm better off lurching about on my stick for limited periods.
Social anxiety will feature of course. I'm absolutely comfortable in front of a keyboard using shape recognition to identify people's names and handles in my own sweet time. Put me in front of them and I suddenly need face-recognition or to verbalise a name on the spot? Not so good. So I'm keen to see people, but feeling shy and a bit anxious. My eyes tend to flick around the room searching for the familiar, so if my eyes briefly meet yours and move on I'm not deliberately ignoring you I promise. I don't deliberately snub people, I panic. Big difference.
In other potentially rude behaviour I may suddenly cut off a conversation and announce I need to sit or rest. It's not you, it's me.
I'll have to be brutally selective in the panels I attend, and learn to leave if they're not worth the effort. Love them, but an hour in a chair (even with my feet up on another chair which I will do wherever I can because by golly it helps) is a high cost.
This year I'm entering the masquerade in a relatively serious fashion. The ensemble will be a team effort of 6 people by the end, it's been lots of fun to assemble, and I hope the prep phase on Saturday will be too. I'm not doing this for competitive purposes, I'm using it as an excuse to frock up, and Husband will be equally resplendent as my Consort. I really don't like being photographed, but the event demands it so I shall attempt to pose appropriately to capture everyone's hard work. Advice appreciated.
No art show for me this year, but Pretty Rock Designs has been nominated for a non-professional art Tin Duck which is nice. Never managed to crack that one, but an honour to be nominated :-)
For the duration I'll be in technology Holiday Mode, meaning I'll only have my phone with me for basic twitter and FB.