I’m in Birlingame, which is near San Francisco, attending Convolution 2013. I picked up Michael early in the morning, and we enjoyed a leisurely trip West, stopping along the way to pick up a jacket from Michael’s Mom, and a brief tour of San Francisco State University. It was a really pleasant way to start the weekend.
Once we were checked in at the hotel, we went to check in to the convention. Michael is a special guest, so he wound up going some place different. I got in the back of a very long line, and started to feel my first misgivings.
I don’t want to speak ill of the convention, but my first impression of it had me worried. They were having some severe technical difficulties getting people through registration, and it looked to me like there was a single point of failure.
When they called preregistered people forward, I went, stood in another line, and then discovered that while they had me on the list, they couldn’t find my badge. It was starting to get precariously close to the opening ceremonies, and I didn’t want to miss it because I wanted to give Michael my support. He is the toastmaster, after all.
The convention staff redeemed themselves by taking my phone number, and offering to print me a new ticket and deliver it and my badge directly to me, wherever I was in the hotel. That was very nice of them, and they did deliver.
I think I managed to not be a dick to them while they were floundering around at registration. I was worried and upset, and I think I expressed that without being too acidic. I’m pretty proud of myself for that.
Opening ceremony turned out to be a very brief affair. After that, I went to a panel with Effie and Arley, a couple of writers I’d met at Westercon and seen again at LonestarCon. The panel was about “Show, Don’t Tell” as it pertains to writing, and some of the ways that “Showing” can go horribly wrong. It wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but it was interesting and well presented, and I took some good notes until my laptop battery died.
After that panel was another one in the same room, about storytelling and teaching culture. This panel I found fairly painful. The conversation was interesting, but I didn’t see much that I could apply to my own writing. Also, there was a vibe that we shouldn’t write about cultures that we’re not a part of. It was more complicated than that.
The day isn’t done yet, but I’m already feeling pretty tired. In a little while, I’ll head to the Guest Meet and Greet, and then probably head off to dinner with Arley and Effie and some of their friends. Looking at the schedule, Michael is stuck doing some kind of special Bingo event. I don’t think I want to attend Bingo tonight, so he’s probably going to be on his own for that.