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[icon] A few days late, but here's my belated FurFright report! Actually,… - A Kjorteo draws near!
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Time:02:41 pm
A few days late, but here's my belated FurFright report!

Actually, I'm going to just say that overall everything was great and there were furries everywhere and so on, and reduce the highlights to bullet-point form. I wouldn't know where to start, otherwise.

It turns out that the hotel across the street from the main con hotel has crap internet, too. Next year, if the internet is just as bad either way, I may as well try to get into the main con hotel. Less travel, and a lot cheaper. Good luck getting a slot, though, of course, so I'll reserve the across-the-street as a backup.

Commission-wise, I got a few pictures as presents for Zoey Hoshi and Bird by Dendrite and HereThereBeStripes ( http://kjorteo.tumblr.com/post/65411950990/ ) and one ~FABULOUS~ new badge for me by Kanthara ( http://www.furaffinity.net/view/11943680/ ).

Saturday had the busiest schedule on paper, but two of the panels earlier in the day ended up being complete no-shows by the alleged host, which led to a room full of people looking around, confused, waiting for something to happen. I filed a complaint with the con staff, then it was off to the Masquerade!

In the Masquerade, I caught DavidN's stand-up comedy routine, which was outstanding. Unfortunately, I had to cut out early, before Darkness Falls went on with his live sung performance of his song "Open the Way" ( http://www.furaffinity.net/view/9606954/ ), but DavidN was kind enough to record it so I could watch it later. This is especially unfortunate because that writing panel ended up being a THIRD consecutive no-show by the same host. If I had read my convention guide a little more carefully and seen beforehand that it was *that* guy, I would have known that was coming, and I'd have watched DF in person instead. I wouldn't have wanted to skip out on his performance just to waste my time at yet another non-panel.

However, in retrospect, I am glad that things happened the way they did. When enough time had passed without a host that I started to wonder, "Again? Let me check my guide, because this is too much coincidence, I wonder if the host is ... OH FOR GOD'S SAKE," I explained the situation to everyone else, and we turned it into a sort of The People's Panel wherein we took the name of what the panel was supposed to be ("Exercises for the Writer's Mind") and just sort of talked about that, since a few of us had our own ideas. One person (whose name I forget) stepped up and became the substitute host for most of it, but I tagged in for about 5-10 minutes when I had an exercise idea I wanted to propose and explain. So, in the end, I sort of hosted a panel, a little, for a few minutes! It went very well, and I'm glad for the experience.

Actually, I was sort of considering hosting a writing panel one of these days, anyway. If a completely improvised "oh crap, we don't have a host, now what" ten-minute bit went that well, that makes up my mind! I think I will try to put in for a slot next year. Budgie had a cooking panel this year (which was awesome,) so I will get some advice from her as far as how to, like, actually clear it with the con staff and make that official and everything. So, consider this your advance warning that (unless there are any scheduling conflicts like if they slot it right on top of the Masquerade or something) you should all plan on attending Teo's Writing Tips (or whatever) during FurFright 2014. :D

I saw Telephone on Sunday! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_gF17Jkjqo She was at a table in the Artist's Alley, doing sketch commissions. She didn't have the squeaker (presumably because she needed to communicate with paying customers,) but she did have the suit. Yes, she apparently can draw in full fursuit, too. Yes, I agree, it *is* completely unfair.

Last year, the video they played during the Closing Ceremonies was just a montage of photos of special moments from FurFright's history. I cried, because it was so sentimental even though it was my first convention and I had never been a part of any of that history. I didn't know who any of those people in those pictures were, but there was just such a sense of togetherness that I *wanted* to know. I cried because it was like looking at photos of a loving family and knowing that I wasn't part of it *yet*, but if I kept attending, kept being there, then I'd eventually catch up. This year, well....

This year, I cried at the Closing Ceremonies because the video ended up being something the video person (whom I don't know because I'm still a bit new to the family) put together for his longtime girlfriend: a montage of photos and commissions and such of the two of them, set to a song he wrote for her, which ended in an on-stage marriage proposal. I had no idea who these people were, and the proposal itself was a bit easy to predict (you don't call your girlfriend up on stage and serenade her like that unless something like that is coming) but it was just such a sweet moment, the effect definitely still worked.

I'm finding it a bit harder to reenter real life this year than it was last year. I think the main reason for that is that this year gave me a much stronger sense of identity and belonging. This environment, these people ... this is who I am. I remember the very last day, a few hours before I checked out, someone from housekeeping entered the room while DavidN and I were working on some musical stuff, and DavidN called me "Kjorteo" in front of the housekeeper before correcting himself and using my real-life name. I kind of wanted to say that he had it right the first time! I didn't say it, but I wanted to.

At the con, the furries pretty much took over the entire surrounding area. Every random person I saw in my hotel (which wasn't even the main hotel) or waiting at the crosswalk whenever I went between the two, or even at the gas station convenience store nearby ... everyone had badges, everyone had tails or cat ears or something that made it immediately obvious that these were my people. When I got home, back to my apartment complex in Albuquerque, I went to go check the mail, and there was a small group of people walking along the sidewalk whooping and joking and bantering about something that *wasn't* furry, and it was probably my first exposure to a *non* furry crowd since I had left.

Before I had left, DavidN told me how strange it was to see the convention hotel revert back to being just a regular hotel. I didn't see it (since I was at the other hotel,) but that night, my subconscious speculated for me with a dream about walking through the area, seeing things like the Dealer's Den room completely empty except for one person sweeping the floor and two others folding up the very last table, while http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc_VBFu9VLY was playing. (If you haven't played Mother 3, just appreciate that this is a song of mourning for a dead and abandoned city.)

Is this the legendary post-con depression everyone always talks about in their journal updates? All I know is that when I look at that Kanthara badge, with the smiling sexuality-bendingly effeminate woodrat over the lilac background, that's *me*. That's who I am. I also know that it's the sort of thing that would get me fired from my day job in about five seconds if anyone there saw it, and that's the part that stings a bit right now. I'm at least well-adjusted enough that I *can* put on the ordinary Clark Kent guise when I go out, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I like it.

I still have neither the money nor the PTO to do this more than once a year, but I already can't wait until next time. It's something to which I absolutely need to get back, at least as much as I can.
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xviith_et_seq
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Time:2013-10-30 08:57 pm (UTC)
All I know is that when I look at that Kanthara badge, with the smiling sexuality-bendingly effeminate woodrat over the lilac background, that's *me*. That's who I am.

Heh heh heh heh heh… now imagine how it is for those of us who… hmm… heh heh heh.

(No, I'm not laughing at you.)

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kjorteo
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Time:2013-10-30 09:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, believe me, I had you firmly in mind when I wrote that. I was this close to saying that I've now had a taste of what that's like, but ... no, on second thought, I really haven't. As long as this is still a fandom and, like, I didn't mean that statement about it being who I am literally, then it would be arrogant for me to assume that "I had a great time with like-minded people but now I have to go back to work where it's all cars and sports and stuff" is anything at all like what you go through.

I missed you at the con, by the way! Though as far as reasons to suddenly come up, getting bought out and having more work and such is at least better than a lot of alternatives making-ends-meet-wise, so I'm happy for you.

Edited at 2013-10-30 09:11 pm (UTC)
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xviith_et_seq
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Time:2013-10-30 09:21 pm (UTC)

Hmmhmmhmm, well, “literally” is one of those words that's very difficult to interpret for those of us from the abstract world, so it's hard to say. Is it a structural difference or one of extent? How much difference is there even between it being a structural difference and it being one of extent?

(Though I do expect it's harder for me to hide or suppress without incurring damage, which is something. Also, to be honest, given the way I've sometimes been suddenly and violently treated even in notionally furry circles for slipping up and exposing myself as an odd-mental/spiritual-topology Otherkin…)

Anyway! Yes, commercial work is like that. I may tell you a bit more about things if/when I catch you privately later on. Also, hopefully I can manage something next year.



Edited at 2013-10-30 09:23 pm (UTC)
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lupineangel
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Time:2013-10-30 10:51 pm (UTC)
"This environment, these people ... this is who I am."

There's a reason that my 'About Me' meme ended up using those exact final words. :)

You've picked up on one of the most special parts of FurFright, compared to other cons; it's not just about turning up and visiting a few panels and dancing and going home again - it genuinely is a family. There's a wonderful sense of community and commonality of spirit that underpins the whole con, and it really shines through in everything that goes on there. Even, as you've noted, just walking through the parking lot and meeting random "strangers" is uplifting, because you instantly know and care about them, even if you've never met them before. If you've ever seen those profile tag-memes on FA that read "Furry Is Love"... there's nowhere that I've ever found that encapsulates that feeling more than FurFright, and that's a truly special and powerful achievement.

D.F.
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kjorteo
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Time:2013-11-03 05:09 am (UTC)
It really is an amazing feeling ... and one that I already can't wait to experience again. :) I'm not even officially back to work from my prolonged vacation yet (that happens Monday,) but I'm already back to the point where the biggest stress in my life is, "I really hope they approve my vacation request and everything and let me do this again."
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davidn
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Time:2013-11-03 04:28 am (UTC)
I definitely felt something... missing after the convention as well this year (although I'm sorry about the dream!) - perhaps it gets stronger as you go to more of them and realize it's over for another year. It's only qualified as a "regular" thing as of this year, and yet it's excellent to see you and all of us for that time, and to know it's going to come around again :) I was really pleased that we had the extra half-day this year, where it was fantastic to see you so into exchanging music ideas... I said last year we should try to stay around longer than the convention as a group and just make it our holiday as well, but things like hurricanes and cars always seem to block that from happening!

It's pretty ridiculous that someone organized three panels and then didn't turn up to any of them... it sounds like there'll be a new entry to the blacklist, unfortunately! I'm sure you'd do better ;) You've become noticeably more confident over the last year, compared to last time where I suddenly realized that you were out of New Mexico for the first time in years and everything was so unfamiliar... what exercise did you end up organizing?
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kjorteo
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Time:2013-11-03 04:59 am (UTC)
Everything is still unfamiliar over there! You have trees, and they even change colors when it's autumn. Our roads look like http://farm1.static.flickr.com/135/369592297_2244e79f04.jpg , so yes, looking out the window on the drive to/from the airport and not being able to see past the shoulder because of a forest (as opposed to a cut-out cliff wall) is still like being on another planet. Come to Albuquerque someday, you'll see.

My exercise wasn't something I actually had anyone do in real time so much as a "this is a good thing to try, you should do it sometime" lecture, and it was lifted directly from The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy (Volume One) edited and compiled by Darin Park and Tom Dullemond, with about a zillion contributing authors but the one who did this particular section was Lea Docken. (I had to double-check all that because I'm probably going to use this again, and it would be dishonest if I couldn't properly source it.) It's just making a ridiculously elaborate character sheet filled with everything, including things you don't expect to come up for absolutely everyone in the story (circumstances of birth, like was it at home or a hospital or what, what was their education like, what sorts of things make them angry, how do they handle anger, what sorts of things frighten them, how do they handle fear, etc.) and then filling it out for everyone. If there are holes and you don't have a good answer for everything, then make something up, but just fill it out completely and don't cheat, because you'll be surprised at how that can end up being the seed of something useful.

I gave the example of how Celine's tail started as nothing more than a half-assed quick answer because I needed to put something there ("Does Celine have any nervous gestures or tics or behaviors along those lines? Oh, hell, I don't, know, um, I guess ... she poofs out her tail like Hobbes when she gets scared! There, sure, why not.") and then ended up being something I actually used in the novel, a little quirk of the character that added some personality and helped bring her to life.
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davidn
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Time:2013-11-03 04:29 am (UTC)
Incidentally there's something very worrying about beginning your convention report with a picture of Marcus!
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kjorteo
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Time:2013-11-03 05:00 am (UTC)
It was a combination of my reading being a part of what happened at the con, and that dream at the end!
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[icon] A few days late, but here's my belated FurFright report! Actually,… - A Kjorteo draws near!
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
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