CONvergence is over for another year

:waves blearily at you all:


Another CONvergence has come and gone. Welcome to you new followers. :waves to you in the back, there: Hi!

I had a really nice convention. I saw some friends, chatted with folks I don’t get to see often enough, went to some fum panels, and was on some panels I enjoyed.

The Enthusiastic Consent panel on Thursday evening was fun. I always enjoy giving that panel, whatever the name of it is in a given year. We fielded a few questions, gave some practical advice, and answered any and all queries for “a friend of mine who isn’t here.”

The Beyond Marvel and DC panels was a hoot. I enjoy recommendation panels, especially when the panelists come prepared to talk. We hit the end of the hour and no-one was ready to stop talking, not the panelists or the audience! I do not have the list of recs, sadly. I am hoping some note-takers from the audience will link me to the lists they made.

Podcasts You Should Be Listening To is another panel whose lists I am eagerly awaiting! *I* want to listen to these podcasts! I’ll tweet the link when I find it.

On Saturday night I interviewed Guest of Honor Charlotte Fullerton. We were cross-programmed against the Masquerade, so the crowd was smaller than I expected, but that gave the room an intimate feel. Charlotte was a sheer delight to talk with, and I would have loved to hear more of her stories!

I attended a could great science panels in the mornings, with my son. We saw Jay Gallentine’s presentation discussing Venus in science and science fiction. Jay was really quite funny, and I learned a lot about the Venera program of the Soviets. We also saw a panel on meteorites. Again, I learned a lot — particularly about meteorite fraud and value!

I went to a panel discussing Georgette Heyer. The panelists were all fantastic. However, a member of the audience seemed to be under the impression that they, too, were a panelist. They would not stop chiming in, they answered questions directed to the panel. I held my tongue until the audience member in question turned in her chair to call on another audience member for a question. Then I began tweeting.

Dear audience members. Please. For the love of whatever you hold dear. Please don’t mod the panel from the front row. And please, PLEASE, do not interrupt a Guest of Honor’s on-topic and germane remarks to chime in with how much you agree with said remarks.

I was not pleased.

But, like I said, I had a really good time. I saw lots of folks, I met a few new-to-me people who are nifty, and I am looking forward to next year!

For those who just met me at con, you can follow me on Twitter @sigridellis. I am also on Tumblr as sigridellis. I don’t auto-follow back *anywhere*, but I love to hear from you!

Happy post-con Monday!


CONvergence is here!

CONvergence starts today!

Yesterday we had the now-annual pre-convention talk with the kids about sexual harassment, assault, and rape. It’s not a fun conversation, certainly. But the week of a four-day party with 6000 of your closest friends seems like a good time to revisit the topic.

Each year we talk a little more specifically, and give more detail strategies for coping with horrible situations. I hope the kids don’t have to use this information.

The odds are that the will need to know this, at some point.

Which is a really, really big downer in the first day of a con, yes, I know!

In more cheering news —

I am on panels! Come listen to me blather! I especially urge you to come the the Enthusiastic Consent panel on Thursday night, and the Charlotte Fullerton interview on Saturday night. Should be fun!

I am also really looking forward to seeing what sorts of choices my kids make at the con this year. They are eyeing the programming with an assessing gaze for the first time. I look forward to hearing their experiences! Zombie Plushies! LARPing! Glitter crafts! All the movies you can sit through!

It should be pretty dang fun.

You can follow me on Twitter, @sigridellis, or, MUTE me if you prefer. :grins:

See you on the flipside!


Kids and CONvergence

CONvergence is a big convention.

Not SDCC big, sure, but a big convention, nonetheless. Somewhere upwards of five thousand people in a hotel for four days. There is a lot to do and see at CONvergence. A lot. Over the last four years or so, I have been bringing my kids to CVG. Each year, as my kids get older, the conversations we have before the con are a bit different.

This year the new component is How To Be A Good Roommate. The kids are sharing a hotel room with two other kids their age. Four tweeners for three nights. Now, all of these kids have plenty of convention experience. And they all have plenty of hotel experience. But my kids have not stayed in a hotel room without an adult before.

(I am in the adjoining room. I am not completely abandoning them! That might prove rude to the hotel, and We Do Not Harsh The Hotel. We. Do. Not.)

So we went over the gist of how to be a good roommate.

Do you remember when you learned how to sneak into the hotel room at 2:30 a.m., last one in? It’s a skill-set! Some things are not immediately obvious! Or, what happens when you wake up at 6:30 and no-one else does? We talked cleanliness, and politeness, and standards of behavior. (The Room Shall Be Clean Enough That Housekeeping Can Attend To It.) My kids seem to be pretty clear on the expectations.

We shall see how long this lasts. I mean, I don’t know about you, but my own standards falter by day three of a convention.

Other talks we have had in the past, and will have again this week, include:

“How to navigate the convention in a way that means no random adult will wonder where your parents are.”

“What sexual predation looks like, how to get detect and avoid sexual predators, how to get away from them.”

“Yes, we do shower every day, that is not negotiable.”

“No-one else is keeping track of your stuff, if you lose it it’s gone, that includes your money and your phone.”

I’m sure there’s more.

But, hey, we all have to learn this at some point, right?


Happy Pride, all

Gay marriage is the law of the land.

Or, rather, no state can prohibit same-sex couples from getting legally married.

I was the right age during the heyday of ACT-UP and Queer Nation to remember why gay marriage became a thing we fought for. It was because everyone was dying, and the partners of dying people had no rights. No rights in the hospitals, no rights to the property, no rights to the children — we wanted to be married so that we could be there as people died.

The right to marry is bittersweet, in that light.

When I went to my first Pride march, over twenty years ago, I didn’t really imagine today. I didn’t imagine that I would be married, with kids, and that all of this would be *legal*. That my family would be protected by law.

It’s a damn good feeling.


Reconstruction is a wound

Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made, by Eugene Genovese is a a good intro to the role slavery played in the United States before the Civil War.

Mourning Lincoln, by Martha Hodes, looks at the conflicted nature of the nation in our response to Lincoln’s death.

Erci Foner’s Reconstruction is probably the best overview of the post-war years. I found it a bit dry, and haven’t finished it yet.

The War That Forged a Nation, by James McPhereson, is somewhat more readable.

And there’s After Lincoln: How the North Won the War and Lost the Peace, by A. J. Langguth.

Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow explains the links between Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration.

I recommend you read what Ta-Nehisi Coates is saying these days.

CONvergence is nigh!

It’s nearly time for my hometown convention, convention of my youth and my people, CONvergence.

CONvergence is July 2-5, 2015, at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Bloomington, MN.

The schedule is live, here, for your perusal.

I will be on:

Enthusiastic Consent! How to Get Some at Cons – Thursday, 7:00 pm, Plaza 1

Beyond Marvel and DC – Friday, 3:30, Atrium 3

Podcasts You Should Be Listening To – Saturday, 2:00, Plaza 3

One-on-One With Charlotte Fullerton – Saturday, 7:00, Atrium 7

I will also be tweeting from the con. You can follow me @sigridellis.

CONvergence is nigh! I hope to see y’all there!


He’s such a great kid

My son is away for a week of sleep-away camp for the first time.

We saw him off yesterday morning. He was so excited, and also, he hugged us a lot and said he would miss us.

I miss him already.

I missed him even as the bus pulled away.

I have really great kids, and I love them both.



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