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Day Two, TWH - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Day Two, TWH
Okay. After getting four hours of sleep--in other words, behaving like a normal con attendee, even though I'm at home ;P--I was out of my house at six-thirty and on the bus to catch the train... it's a bit of a runaround, but that's okay. Interesting tidbit I picked up: High school students are on the bus at 6:30. Heh? Wha...? I always wondered why teachers act like we're being unreasonable when we say we can't host a group until the library opens at nine. Guess that's my answer. My high school started at 8:19 am (no, I don't know why the :19). I suppose I knew intellectually that they started earlier, but until I was on a crowded bus at that hour with kids headed off to school, some part of me was thinking, "Yeah, but they really start at 8:19." Sheesh, I had enough trouble getting up for school as it was!

Er, onward. I got to Salem at around eight, having given myself enough time to grab breakfast. About twenty of nine, I headed over to the Boys and Girls Club, at which point I realized that no one had a clue what the "Break Room" was, which was where story645--yay, new person met, and as delightful as yesterday's new acquaintances, except that no one on my flist is really a "new" acquaintance, are you?--and I were scheduled to give our panel on "Negative Images of the Feminine in the Popular Harriet Potter Series" (a topic which long time readers here may remember :)). We finally identified it. The shuttle buses between the Sheraton-Ferncroft and the rest of the con sites continue to be excitingly unpredictable, so we started a bit late, waiting for people to come in. Lovely art from akilika, doomandnachos, and rabidtolkienfan adorned the wall, and provided great fodder for complaining about weak Harriet, emotional Rhona, and their dependence on the strong and competent Herman. Things got a bit sidetracked, as not everyone was in on the joke or got it, despite my sign announcing that the panel had its tongue very firmly in its cheek. However, that led to the second half of the panel, in which we talked about why we'd done the joking half, and the serious issues involved in combing a text for stereotypes and being determined to find them. (Stereotypical behavior, after all, is stereotypical precisely because it's a common part of the repertoire of human behavior, so if you're looking for it, it's nearly always there.) jiminyc was there, though afterward, we went to different places.

Well, I actually stayed in the room for a Mary Sue panel, which halfway through morphed into a Tonks panel, which makes me weep, because we should certainly be past that by now.

I went down after that to a panel on pure-blood bigotry. The title of the panel suggested that it might have been a response to Muggle persecution, but not much was said about that. A great deal of discussion was devoted to how the benefit they got from it was feeling powerful and gaining more power, and how they might enslave Muggles, and whatnot. A few people brought up the question of fear of losing their way of life, but that one--which interests me a lot--didn't go far. (My own take is that the pure-bloods, far from feeling powerful, feel threatened and put upon, encroached on from every side. This doesn't excuse their behavior--nothing does--but I think as a writer, in trying to understand it, that's the thing that sticks out the most: it's a traditional society that's frantically circling the wagons to protect things that are valuable to it, without regard to the fact that they are hurting others by doing it--they dehumanize, and therefore, the injury doesn't matter. Not being on the panel or wanting to take over conversation in the audience, I didn't try to propound the theory, but I may have myself a good LJ-entry about it sometime.)

I tried an Arithmancy puzzle challenge (eep), then went to a Neville panel (meeting up with the Jiminys and story645 there). The room was packed. Go, Neville-love! A few odd theories floating around, including a long discussion of whether or not Neville's new wand has a feather of Fawkes's, which struck me as odd, since his wand canonically has a unicorn hair in it. Alas, I didn't have my book with me to cite the canon. I'm carrying enough around already! (But I did double-check just now, for the people I was talking to later: cherry and unicorn hair is absolutely canonical, and not fanon. Chapter 7, pg 137 U.S.)

I wandered around for a couple of hours after that, looking at the art show (leelastarsky, your art looks great and is well displayed), getting an aura photograph taken (because I was feeling flakey), having some lunch, etc. I decided to try another challenge at five, which was more my style--a writing challenge in Charms, to make up a new charm. Of course, I realized partway home that the charm I made up might have some issues with canon, which I'm not going to expound until after the deadline. Oh, well, too late now.

I went out the Sheraton-Ferncroft after that, taking an overcrowded school bus. There was supposed to be another challenge at seven (history of magic trivia), but someone had forgotten to bring the challenge sheets, and somehow this turned into a delay of an hour and forty minutes. I will say, once it came, that this was easily the hardest trivia I've done at a fan event--it was actual history of magic, includiding things like when witchcraft became a capital offense in England and when the law was repealed. During the wait, I got to meet violet_quill, elucreh and several of their friends (or possibly random people who just happened to be around!), and I know I'm totally forgetting someone else known around here (it's been a long day full of introductions). Again, terrific people.

This took us right up to the Harry and the Potters/Weird Sisters concert, which I skipped most of after HatP took the stage. I like them, they're fun, but I'd heard them before and didn't want to risk missing the last train of the day by playing chicken with the shuttle-bus schedule back to Salem. I very briefly met Catherine (of Errol Klarion fame), but she and jiminyc were waiting for someone else and left the concert before I did. (I left right after several Death Eaters interrupted the songs, carrying a prone Muggle and holding up a Dark Mark sign; they were subsequently chased out by Harry and an Auror.) So I hopped on a bus around 9:30, and ended up quite accidentally sharing it with scarah2 and Cassie Claire, who are both lovely people. (Cassie and I had a weird "meeting" earlier when someone posted one of her stories as a review on one of mine, and we both had the same reaction: WTF? It was kind of fun to talk about that face to face.)

I'm bordering on sociable here. ;)

I took the train home, and all was well until they decided to consolidate and shoved three reasonably full cars into a single car, making it necessary for me to stand most of the way home--despite the fact that I'd had a seat before and my feet were killing me. The car was packed solid with undergrads in various states of amorous intoxication, making me wonder if the T has decided to rent out late-night runs as hotel-replacements. And then I realized that I've officially turned into a townie. And that I don't mind.

And then I came home and logged on. :).

Tomorrow: Fanfic vs. Original Fic--the Deathmatch.
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Comments
inkpenpaper From: inkpenpaper Date: October 8th, 2005 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
This makes me want to go to TWH, and I live in AUSTRALIA dammit!!!!

So a quick jaunt to the US is unlikely.

*sigh*
kikei From: kikei Date: October 8th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
ditto, both the want and the location. unfair, it is!

We should have an australia-ific convention, hee. of course, being me and living in Perth... would mean that I'd still be isolated from the more *ahem* populous areas (read: I know, like, two people in Perth who would be interested. that's all. the rest are all east coast)

-Kiks
inkpenpaper From: inkpenpaper Date: October 8th, 2005 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep. East coast here to. Otherwise, it's a good idea.

Hmmm... *strokes imaginary beard* veeery interesting...
greyashowl From: greyashowl Date: October 8th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would be willing to travel to Perth if we had one and I live in Melbourne.
kikei From: kikei Date: October 8th, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Personally, I'd be willing to travel to East Coast if we had one anywhere there, but alas, I am an international student who is woefully broker than hell. All my money is going towards replayment of the student loan. WOE, to be a fan and brokeless... *ahem*

I'll be sitting here with my little flag now.

-Kiks
sarah531 From: sarah531 Date: October 8th, 2005 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Another incentive for me to move to America. ;)
silverhill From: silverhill Date: October 8th, 2005 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I was at the history of magic challenge! I could have met you ... if only I'd known.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah! A whole bunch of us were there! Okay, I'm obviously getting a late start today, but will be going by the sketchbooth between 11 and 1, and will definitely hang around for a minute or two after my panel. I'll leave a message at the Waterfront with my cell # if I don't see you.
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: October 8th, 2005 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks SO much for letting me know that my art looks ok, Fern, and is being well displayed! I was rather concerned about it only having a black mount of sorts, but framing it was out of the question for shipping reasons. ani_bester was kind enough to deliver them for me. :~)

What did the Aura photograph tell you/look like? I've seen them doing that at Woo-woo (witchy/new age) shows here and have been tempted to have one done, but have always managed to talk myself out of it. ;~P

The whole thing sounds like so much fun! I really wish I could have gone.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was all yellow, with a tiny bit of blue and green at the bottom, which supposedly means I'm in a hyper-creative place. I kind of suspect, since it was accomplished by putting my hands on sensors, that it means my hands were really warm. ;)

When I first saw your art up there, I was like... "Whoa... did she come from Melbourne? Is she here?" But they told me that you weren't. Sniff. It really is a lovely time.
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: October 8th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, sadly it's a bit hard to justify a trip to the USA for a fan convention. ;~P Although I know some folks manage it. But I can't even afford to go to the cons here. They're something like $150 a day! O.o

Run over to my journal when you get the chance - I just posted a Tonks family pic I think you'd enjoy. :~)
ani_bester From: ani_bester Date: October 29th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
*head desk* And I will be mailing them back to you -_-
I knew there was something *twitch*

SOrry about that. It's all safe and packaged I just keep failing to remember to take it with me to work so I could get to the post on time >.>
snorkackcatcher From: snorkackcatcher Date: October 8th, 2005 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Just curious: is it likely that the written material/discussion minutes of this panel, or indeed other panels, will be posted anywhere afterwards? A number of them, including this one, sound very interesting. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 8th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
They're going to publish a compendium, which I may submit a paper about this on.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: October 8th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe it's a good thing I missed the Mary Sue / Tonks panel. If I hadn't, I think I would've ranted at people.

Me: OMG TONKS IS NOT A SUE AND SUES DON'T EVEN EXIST!

People: ... this one's a nutter.


It's cool that you're meeting all these people. :) I think I would go to these things if I weren't so bloody paranoid that some 60 year old stalker is going to show up.
austenrowling From: austenrowling Date: October 8th, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like you are having a good time, and it that TWH is a success. I so wanted to go, but lack of funds, prevented that. I plan on going to one in the future, when I actually have the $$ to make the trip.
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: October 8th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Someday I'm going to go to that, too. Maybe next year ... maybe when I get a job, someday, and actually make money to do things like that.

I wish I'd gotten to hear the Harriet Potter one -- must've been good.

I hope you keep on having a good time!
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: October 8th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would love to attend TWH! Alas, I have school. I'm so glad you had so much fun though. I would've enjoyed hearing your panel on Harriet Potter. I don't suppose you could scan in the art done for it?
lady_sarai From: lady_sarai Date: October 8th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, when I was in high school, the bell rang at 7:25, giving us 5 minutes to get to homeroom. I'm teaching second grade at the moment and the bell rings at 7:45, and they get a 10 minute recess before school begins at 7:55. (I don't understand this morning recess thing, but that's just me.)

I am so jealous of TWH. I'm right here in Maine, and Salem's just... right... THERE... but I had not the money to attend. And I'm doing my student teaching and explaining to my mentor and supervisor why I needed Friday off might have been interesting. ::sigh:: It sounds so terrific! (Although a friend said that someone on my campus is going to pay for everything but airfare for next years' Lumos event if we present something. She gave her my name, and I'm waiting anxiously!)
skelkins From: skelkins Date: October 8th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, first period at my high school started at 7:20 am. My memory of morning winters are...oh. Dark.

The convention sounds like a lot of fun.
madame_parker From: madame_parker Date: October 9th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's so cool that you got the chance to go, I live in England, so I'd never be able to go but reading about it is still great fun.
On another note, I wanted to ask you if you'd let interview you for my fandom journal parker_column, I've been reading your work the past 2 months and I've enjoyed it so much, I think your a very talented writer and would love to interview you. If you go to the journal you'll get an idea of what to expect.
Let me know when you can.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 9th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure, I'm game. Glad you enjoy the stories.
madame_parker From: madame_parker Date: October 10th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Thnaks, glad that your willing to go along, lol.
I'll re-read some of your stories and come up with some questions,also, how would you like to do the interview? I don't mind if it's through e-mail or I.M, let me know.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 10th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
E-mail is much better--I'm just awful at IM.

fernwithy [at] gmail [dot] net
madame_parker From: madame_parker Date: October 12th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know what you mean about I.M, not my thing most of the time. I'll be writing an e-mail soon, asking you some questions that don't have anything to do with the interview but will help me to ask the right questions and get to know you better.
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