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My Con Journal
I never would've gotten to go to Gathering at all if it weren't for Guardian.
Guardian and I met... YEARS ago. And ironically, what brought us together wasn't our mutual love for Gargoyles, but our mutual love for Dinotopia. We met on the Dinotopia Official Messageboard, and our two characters quickly became Dinotopian life partners (NOT what you think - in Dinotopia, that's the term for a very close bond between a dinosaur and a human (I was the dinosaur, and she was the human). When she was attacked on the OMB, I backed her up. And when she left, I left, too.
We hung out at my messageboard, discussing the other fandoms we had in common (Buffy, Gargoyles), and I got introduced to Riftwar (EPIC RP, omg, so sad that it's been wiped from EZ Board), and her main character/self Guardian.
Flash forward to earlier this year when I made the conscious decision to get back in touch with the four old online friends that have meant the most to me, over the years. Two, Guard, and the Chief Rabbit of my old Watership Down forum, I've managed to get into constant contact with. The other two... well, one hasn't answered my email, and the other doesn't have an up to date email address, anywhere I can find... But that's beside the point.
Anyway, while talking to Guard, the subject of Gathering came up. We started talking about how badly Nyx and I wanted to go, but how I couldn't afford it. And Guard commissioned me for enough art to pay my way, essentially, into the whole con.
Now, shortly after that, Nyx's grandmother went into the hospital... and from there into hospice care on a deathwatch. We supported her, and stayed with her, but I wasn't able to finish the commissions on time. When it really began to look like we couldn't go, I talked to Guard again, apologized for the delay, explained it, and asked if there was any way she could get us something, and maybe get the Future Of The fandom panel recorded...
Then she offered to just... pay for me and Nyx to get into the con. After all, I'm already doing the commissions, and she has no doubt I'll finish them... So plans were made, and we met her at the hotel Sunday morning. She bought our con badges after an hour or so of waiting, and then we split up for the day, going to different panels.
The panels the first day were fun. I enjoyed Dynamic Drawing (I think I've finally got a handle (pun intended) on the basic shapes of the hand and foot, now), and also the panel of writers was amazing... I got to meet one of my writer heroes, Greg Weisman, and let him know that he is one of the reasons that I'm a writer today. I got his autograph, as well as the autograph of another writer there who also worked on Transformers: Beast Machines... *geeks out*
Anyway, we hadn't had enough to afford the banquet Sunday night, and we didn't have costumes for the masquerade ball afterwards, so we went home after the second panel. We spent the night at Nyx's mom's house (which lead to me realizing that I don't computer well on a floor), watched all of the first five episodes of Gargoyles (the Awakening saga), and then went to sleep.
Keeping in mind that I'd gotten up at 4am Sunday, after having gone to bed at 1:30 in the morning. I embarrassed myself by falling asleep in the writing panel, but it all worked out eventually - the anxiety of getting the autographs woke me up for awhile. By the time we actually tried to go to bed, I'd gotten my second... or third... wind, and laid awake for awhile. Then, when I DID fall asleep, I jerked awake at 3 am, seeing a light outside and thinking the alarm hadn't gone off. I climbed over Nyx (we were sharing her twin bed at her mom's house), checked my phone, saw that it was 2:59am... thought "That can't be right... Wait!" My phone was plugged into Lona's computer in order to charge. And most of the time, when it's plugged in, it randomly sets it's time zone to something strange... "Enwetok" or something like that, that's -12 hours from where we are. But... it hadn't done that, this time. Yes, it was 3am... And having scared myself awake, I was wide awake. (Keeping in mind, we didn't get to bed until 11:30-midnight.)
So, I sat up for an hour, played my DS, sat in the living room (where it was marginally cooler - it was really hot in that bedroom), then finally came back to bed, sleepy, at almost 4:30am. I woke up again one or two minutes before the alarm would go OFF, so for all my panic about sleeping through the alarm, I was still up on time.
A few slices of leftover pizza, the rest of my starbucks coffee from the previous day, and I was ready to go. On to the last day of the Con!
First was the Future Of The Fandom panel. Essentially a panel moderated by one of the people who runs the con, getting fan ideas for how to keep the con alive. I was proud of myself for speaking up several times. I even gave the idea that the con could be expanded to honor the other Disney Afternoon shows that were with Gargoyles in that block. Everyone seemed to like that.
After that, the Gargoyles: Biology And Culture (I asked a question there, too... and Greg Weisman himself answered it!)... that was the most awesome panel, ever. Gargoyles were tied into paleontology, even. SO incredibly awesome. And I learned that I'm not nuts. :P Lots of people question as if the Gargoyles world is/was real, as I do. That was just...awesome. Totally awesome.
The best part of the day, however, was the Closing Ceremonies... So many people, fan and Guest alike, spoke about past Gatherings, their memories... no one was ready for it to be over. We all just kept filling the silence with stories after stories... Greg Weisman, the creator of Gargoyles, was crying through most of it... I don't even know where to start.
The Con was amazing. I regret never having been to all the Gatherings, previous to this one.
Glad you could make it!