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Hey Greg, I had a great time at the Gathering. And since you got me motivated, here's my Gathering Journal.
Thursday or If It's 1AM it must be Denny's
Another year has rolled on past and it's Gathering time again. I'm on the same flight as the Gregs (that's Guler and Weisman) from Atlanta to Newport News and we all get stuck at Hartsfield for an extra hour and a half as a typical summer thunderstorm rolls its way through. Eventually, it passes by and we're on our way only to be treated to another light show and a strange burnt umber moon in mid-flight.
We arrived in Newport News and there's Carol. She's been waiting for us for what probably seemed to her forever. We did try and call - honest! It's just everybody with a cell phone was having trouble that night.
Hotel yea! It's 1:00 in the morning and the lobby is packed with people checking in similarly delayed by weather. Fortunately, I knew I was getting in much later than my roommates Mandi and Christi so I asked them to leave a key for me at the desk. We're saved from making a big production practical joke out of Jen's surprise arrival when Greg sees her standing in the lobby chatting up a gaggle of other folks.
Stuff stashed, it's off to Denny's and what is becoming a late night tradition, driving some hapless waitress nuts while she attempts to deal with a table full of people most of whom haven't seen each other for a year.
Friday or Wait a Minute, Didn't You Plan This?
Friday after breakfast (nice people, honestly probably the nicest waitstaff I've ever run across, even if they were a bit dazed and confused) the day begins. I snag my badge early and chat a bit with Siryn and the others. Then I indulge in what is becoming another tradition, banging on Greg W's. door for an early (for him) morning wake up call. This year I'm on legitimate business, I'm delivering his convention badge and making sure he's awake and ready for his first Mug a Guest. A Mug, for anybody who's wondering, is an opportunity for a small group of people (usually less than ten) to chat up a guest on any subject they care to broach.
That duty accomplished, it's back downstairs to help out in the Art Room with set up, catch up with folks and try and attend a Writers Workshop. Kudos to Kellie Faye for an interesting exercise involving canon characters and a trigold set emerald. I did get a little twitchy, I'll admit. One of the downsides of staying up late is a certain amount of continual motion is necessary to stay alert. So I snuck next door to audition for the Radio Play. It was an interesting experience. I'm not sure why I got so bloody nervous, maybe because the last thing I ever acted in was "Sorry Wrong Number" (hey, I had the lead!) but that was in the 8th grade. Anyway, back to the workshop to hear everyone's writing sample and guess which characters they'd been assigned. I must have done something right, because nearly everybody guessed I'd been assigned Goliath.
After the seminar it was time for more chatting. I apologize to everyone for not naming names, but frankly, all the specifics have run together in a massive blur. I will say that I enjoyed myself thoroughly, that I was really glad to see where all some of you have taken yourselves, especially those younger folk who I've known for several years now and watched grow up. Also I've rarely laughed so long and so hard in all my life. Whoever tagged me "Betty", my ribs still hurt, thank you very much!
Opening Ceremonies - Wow look at all the fresh meat! Seriously, it was neat to see all the new faces at opening ceremonies. I hope you guys had a great time and will be back again next year. Greg brought out his stories - (Greg - you might want to have those tapes transferred to DVD so they don't get trashed) and the New York Crew made their opening pitch for next year. It sounds like an awesome amount of planning has already gone into 2003, which should translate into a terrific time for all. Go you New York Clannies!
But back to this year, and Si and her crew who did a bang up job. Free swag for all from Toon Disney! And all they had to do is read a short advertisement. And best of all Gargoyles DVD's coming soon (well, in a year or so) to a retailer near you! And because the excitement never stops, the announcement to run, not walk to your nearest Disney Store to buy Gargoyles lapel pins (only $5.00) new to stores now. Let's show those marketing people there's a consumer base for Gargoyles. If we buy the little stuff now, they may reward us later.
And finally, it's 8:00 and I'm supposed to be on a Fanfiction Panel. My fellow cohorts were to be Patrick Toman (because we write together as Madame Destine for the 3 people not in on that secret), Moon Cat, Spacebaby and Mara. Somewhere along the line we were supposed to get together and come up with a presentation but that didn't quite happen.
Oh well, what do you do when you have no formal presentation, but want to engage an audience? Go fishing!! Which is what I did. We started with slash since it seemed that some of our audience were slash writers (a nibble, but no real bite). Moved on to the whys of pen names (can't do much with that one).
Greg thought he was making us nervous so he bailed. Which was his loss because then we started in on deconstructing a character to figure out how to place him in an unusual situation (because not all adult oriented fic is about chains and whipped cream) and the conversation really started to fly.
We ended up deconstructing Anton Sevarius, coming up with a really strange back story for the guy and having a great time. I'm afraid I got a little manic, which is what I do when I'm nervous, so to my co-presenters Mea Culpa.
We finally wrapped things up and now I'm a little blurry. Oh right, we went to the Con Suite and enjoyed an excellent Chinese dinner courtesy of Lexy and Kai. (A long and happy life to you both.) And, as always when a bunch of people get together, we ended up talking until all hours of the morning. Greg was bogarting the bottled water so I swiped one just on general principals. Because, you know, sometimes you just gotta.
Eventually, I snuck back to my room, (my roommates were long out of it) and caught a couple of hours of shuteye.
One of my favorite things about the Gatherings are the late, late night chats with fans-who-are-now-my-friends. (BUT STAY AWAY FROM MY WATER!)