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July 30, 2005
It appears that Summer, like Mooncat, is an early riser, which means more trouble for Alexandria and I.
We didn't have any plans until noon, when MC and Alexandria hosted their Othercon Adult Round Robin. Naturally Summer and I came along. It was held in one of the hotel suites, so there was one of those beds that lowers out of the wall. I was still tired, so I probably spent half the panel lying in the bed (and much of the rest of the time pacing around the room). The panel attendee list was a lot like last year - Spacebabie and Malkavien were there for the second time, along with Alexandria and I (who hosted it last time). There was also Mooncat, Summer, and Efrainman.
Imagine this - seven writers in the room, and a majority of four was best known for writing femslash. Everyone writes the names of two characters from the show, puts the slips of paper in a pile, and then the characters are randomly selected.
The first name chosen was Demona. Later I discovered three different people used her as one of their choices.
The second name chosen was Fox . . . in her were-Fox form from Eye of the Beholder.
I looked directly at Summer. No words were necessary. Who else could it have been?
When I looked at all the slips of paper afterwards, I discovered only two male characters had been written down - Matt Bluestone and Jon Canmore. Spacebabie was the obvious culprit. Still, she was vastly outnumbered by we slashers, and a second straight year with a f/f pairing at the Adult RR was inevitable. Note that last year, we got Fox and gargoyle-Elisa. What is it with the Adult RR and characters in their altered states?
Anyway, we had a real blast doing this RR. We went around three times, coming up with an interesting little story where Fox changed INTO a were, BACK into a human, and then two more times again! Always, conveniently, Fox was a human when it was Summer's turn. Just reward for her. She was okay. While others spoke, she and MC drew naughty sketches.
Afterwards, we didn't really have any other panels that we were excited about, so we spent the entire day at the Strip. Part of the day we took Summer to the casinos she missed the first time, especially the Luxor. Summer likes jackals, obviously, and there was a nice store inside that sold Anubis-jackal figurines which we knew she would like. We also returned to the Excalibur, the MGM, etc. While we were at the Luxor we also rode one of those motion rides that makes you feel like you're on a roller-coaster when you're not (like the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios). The ride was fun, although the movie that came with it was laughably bad.
Then we went back to the Tropicana and took the hotel shuttle to the Fashion Square Mall. We walked around there for a while, then checked out the Treasure Island before heading to the Mirage with its "secret gardens".
For just $15 you could enter a very nice animal habitat with a few specific kinds of animals. They had several dolphins in one part, and in the other part there were white lions, white tigers, white striped tigers, orange striped tigers, regular lions, an elephant, jaguars, and a very odd-looking turkey. I was able to get some really nice pictures, but really this was a special moment for Summer and Mooncat. Suckers for big cats, they are. I think they left only because it was closing time.
We also took in the outdoor Sirens show in front of the Treasure Island that night, which I thought was pretty lame. It was very hot, incredibly crowded, and there was a short show with some pyrotechnics as a gang of pirates fought against a gang of strippers. Well, sirens, but they were strippers of course. Before it started, I took a few minutes to check out the new Wynn, which is a very high-class hotel. I also got a couple pictures of the Manolo Blahnik store, just because someone asked me to. (Not the last time I'd take pictures of a shoe store that weekend!)
By then it was already 9 PM, and we'd been on the Strip for seven hours. We took the Shuttle back to the hotel because I had to meet with Lynati and Aaron again to plan for the game show. This time there were a lot fewer disruptions, and we edited and suggested questions until about three in the morning. And we still weren't done! We agreed to come back the next night after the Masquerade for the last push.
And then - well, it was 3 AM. I was exhausted. I went to bed.
July 31, 2005
I think by now I was trying to forget that my vacation was over halfway done. I'd been waiting a year for this trip, you see.
I crawled out to breakfast because I had to be at the Anthology Signing at 10:30 AM. Glad I went. I don't remember how many books I signed for, but Ellen was there, and Greg Bishansky and Mandolin and Summer and Lynati and Aaron and Lauren Balestrino . . . a lot of talented writers and artists, let's say. It was a lot of fun :)
I don't remember what I did for the next hour. Walked around, talked to people, I imagine. Eventually I went to the W.I.T.C.H. panel in the Con Suite, which was (no offense, Greg) more interesting than I thought it would be. Plus by now everyone had heard about the infamous "Is Irma a lesbian?" discussion at the Blue Mug-a-Guest the other night.
My day got a lot busier after that. I hosted my first of two panels that afternoon, the "Reading Aloud" panel. Everyone got to read from their own stories aloud. I read the first chapter of "The Forty-Seven" with help from my roomies and Ellen. Alexandria, Tigris, Lynati, and Summer all read. I forget who else read aloud, but I have it all on tape, so they've been recorded for eternity. It went very well, I thought.
From here we went right to the Radio Play. This time around Greg unveiled a non-Gargoyles script he'd written as a TV pilot. There was a definite fantasy element to it, and despite it being something wholly original and not in the least fandom-based, it was quite entertaining. After that was the Banquet. By now Alexandria and I basically have a tradition of not attending, so we had dinner with Mooncat and Summer instead, which was just fine by me. We came back for the Masquerade, though. The costumes were very good. My favorite was Cindy as the Banshee. At one point I was mugged by "A Fan", who was dressed as Mace Malone - I think. He was a gangster, I know. No, really, I was mugged. He shoved me into a corner and ordered me to stop taking pictures. True story.
Anyway, after that they had the art awards to hand out. Much to my shame, I never really got around to voting, but there was some really great art this year, and even _I_ could tell that the Zodiac pieces were the best of them all.
By this time my roomies had gone out to the Jacuzzi with Alex Garg, while I waited at the awards with Ellen Stolfa and my camera. I think the very last award they gave out was the "Editor's Choice Award for the Gathering Anthology", which surprised me because I wasn't aware such an award existed. It didn't last year.
While I was still digesting this, they announced I was the winner. I was pretty much floored. Ellen got up and hugged me, which was nice, and everyone applauded, and I'm sure I didn't express just how grateful I was for the applause, just as much as I was for the award. I kinda hugged Lynati too. I received a large stone gargoyle statue, which is looking down at me right now.
There wasn't much else to do after that except track down my roommates and heap scorn on their heads for relaxing in a spa and missing my big award. Then I went back to the Con Suite once Lynati and Aaron were ready, and we worked on the Game Show. Emambu was there for a while too, and we talked for the second time of the Convention (the first was when he and Ellen were in the lobby the other day). Us Philly guys have gotta stick together.
We finally finished the questions, if not the printing, at 3:30 AM. I schlepped back to my room and passed out.