I think it’s true that if you attend a large gathering, your experience of it is not likely to match the experience of just about any other attendee, unless the two of you stay side by side the whole time. That said, this year’s Gaylaxicon (a science fiction convention aimed at the LGBTQ community) seemed to me to be quieter and more mature than in previous years. Maybe it’s because I didn’t stay Saturday night for the cabaret entertainment, which in other years tended toward the raucous, even rude. Maybe it’s because many of the attendees this year seemed older.
Over the banquet table I met a man who took sixteen years to earn his PhD in Medieval Poetry, but is earning too much money in IT to risk going for a tenured position at a university. But his love of the period shone through his conversation, and I was pleased to find someone to talk to who shared my own love of it. One thing we talked about: Maybe it’s time someone started an organization to investigate the wicked reputation of Edward II, much like the one busily clearing Richard III. I’ve got his email address, I hope we can stay in touch.
There was an art auction and I managed to acquire a lovely knitter’s pot with three holes in it. The knitter drops a ball of yarn in the pot, feeding the end out through a hole. The ball can’t roll away. Better, one can keep another ball in the same pot and feed its end out another hole and knit the two yarns together – I am currently working on knitting a scarf of black wool with a thin thread of copper mixed into it – without them tangling. Or even three yarns.
I was on two panels at the con, the first on creating LGBTQ characters in mystery fiction. A whole four people attended, but we had a lively discussion on creative writing and the joys of mystery fiction. The second was on forming families and having children when you’re gay. I had suggested that one, because my series characters Godwin and Rafael are getting married and plan to have a child, and I wanted to hear from gay people the complexities of doing that. The panel was well attended, but not a single male couple with a child was there, so what I got was advice and second-hand stories. A lesbian woman who has a son with her wife had some good stories, some funny, some not so much. Very, very helpful but . . .
New topic: A driver tried to pull a slick maneuver on me September 30. She hit me when she changed lanes on a street, and then drove off. I called 911 to report a hit and run and waited for the police to come. And waited, and waited. To my surprise, the woman came back. We exchanged insurance information and waited together for the police to come. Finally, over an hour since the accident, when they still hadn’t come, we drove away. I called my insurance company – and hers – to file a report. The following Tuesday I got a call from her insurance company wanting to know what time the accident happened. Well, I wasn’t sure. The agent wanted to know if I could find out. So I called the police department and someone there got into the 911 records and said the call was logged at 2:18 pm. And it seems that the woman who hit me had renewed her insurance coverage on September 30 fifteen or twenty minutes later than that. (Did you know they record even the time of day you file for coverage? I didn’t.) She apparently ran from the scene because her insurance had lapsed and came back after renewing it. If she hadn’t run, I probably wouldn’t have called the police, and there’d be no record of the difference in time. So she outsmarted herself. She was a very nice woman, young and attractive, well mannered, driving a brand new Toyota. And now she’s in all kinds of trouble.