This was supposed to have been done two weeks ago. Sorry, real life gets in the way. But! On a positive note, it gives me much more stuff to talk to you about!
A couple of weeks ago I decided to take advantage of my currently- not-conventionally-employed status, and make another run to Atlanta for a favorite writer’s closest personal appearance. (it was the only stop on their tour that still had tickets too, so I figured it was meant to be. LOL) I took my car in to be serviced and was informed there was a nail in one tire that I had completely missed (thank you Lord they found it).
I considered driving down there early, finding my way downtown, attending the function and then driving back, but my aunt encouraged me to not push so hard. Which, okay, I can take that kind of advice. So, I checked and was happy to find that the little hotel I stay at for Dragon Con had space available, and booked myself a room for that night. I took my time driving down in comfy clothes, spent a little time banging around the mall beside the train station, then checked into my room and had plenty of time to clean up and get dressed. This also meant I did not have to mess with (chokes) DRIVING IN DOWNTOWN ATLANTA. Huzzah! Instead I used the last bit of credit on my MARTA card, which was about to expire anyway, to ride the train.
As usual, things don’t always go as planned, however. It being the weekend, I had to transfer from one train to another to get downtown, and they don’t run as frequently, so by the time I got to my stop there was only five minutes or so before the scheduled time. I hopped off the train, got my bearings, and set off in a low stride. I blew past an older couple (not rudely, just, they were walking slower) and as I moved on caught one commenting about the ticket availability. I slowed down, turned and smiled at them and said ‘that’s why I’m here’. Just then I spotted a long line waiting to get into the theater, so I wasn’t late after all, and could slow down and chat with the folks going the same place. One man laughed and said “I told him when you went by, she’s going to the show too, I bet. You were walking like a woman with a purpose”.
The Fox theater is gorgeous, by the way, if you have never been inside; it looks like you’re sitting outside at dusk looking at an ornately draped and decked stage, maybe at the walls of an ancient town's gate?
This isn't my pic btw. I took a couple of pix but, well, I suck at photography, so they don’t look anything as wonderful as the place does. (borrowed from Margo Mills Wayman Fellis on pinterest, thank you)
My only concern when the show let out was walking back to the train station and riding back to my car. Being used to the massive 24/7 Dragon Con crowds, I didn’t know what Atlanta would be like on a ‘normal’ weekend. Well, I still don’t. The day I was there turned out to be the end of the local pride weekend, so downtown was bustling with lively and spirited folks of all descriptions, many in costumes that would have done the con proud. Quite a few, as I learned on the train back, were also visiting and knew even less about the train schedules than I did. Picture me, in a dressy blouse and slacks, leading a pack of cheery baby lesbians in unicorn horns and fairy wings and such, in transferring from one train to another. LOL.
So, what else interesting has gone on with me lately. My grandparents’ house finally sold, so the last steps in cleaning it out are in progress. My cousin’s ex left the attic stuffed with empty boxes from crap he’d mail ordered over years, so there was a lot of box-stomping and stuffing of trash cans going on. Her animator boyfriend and she had a premiere on his latest project to go to last weekend, so she commissioned me to find her a couple of nice reasonably priced cocktail dresses. I covered myself in glory, if I do say so myself; found her two great numbers, a short black sequined job and a slightly longer leopard print, for $50 total.
Y’all know I’m all about the cheap. I did a bit of early holiday shopping in Atlanta, and more this week. Consigned clothes for small children are often like new, since kids tend to grow out of them before they wear them out, so my baby cousins are set on that front, and I know the best places to get deals. I will say no more, lest I spoil Chrismukkah.
Oh! Speaking of Atlanta, I haven’t finished my Dragon Con account, have I? let’s see. I told you about Friday, I think. Saturday is parade day, and I learned the hard way my first go-round last year to steer as far clear of that mess as possible. This year I had decided the best approach was to choose one hotel, get in before the parade starts, and stay there till it’s over. As it happened, on Saturday morning, the art show, which I hadn’t yet seen, was in the Hyatt. The blood drive was too. AND the mythical con suite, where socialization and free food could be found, was hidden away somewhere in there too. Sounded like a plan. I worked my way from the train there and spent a pleasant couple of hours waiting, chatting, donating a pint, and getting all kinds of free goodies in return for my blood. T-shirt, snacks, books, stickers, and a pin. Pretty decent exchange!
The art show was delightful as always, and I gave myself permission to buy a couple of prints that caught my eye, especially a lovely ink sketch of Sherlock Holmes, as well as some gifts to get framed. Several folks, as they often did, loved my little wingman on my shoulder. One artist called his friend in the booth next door over, who brought a worn but adorable knitted stuffed monster with him. It was a character he had created, that a lady had made for him, and he asked if I thought I could make him a replacement. Well, duh. (I contacted him after the con, but haven’t heard back from him yet)
Another potential business opportunity occurred to me after 2 or 3 people asked to buy my Marriott Carpet print earrings. I belong to a facebook group devoted to that topic, and after the con I posted about taking orders—several folks did buy some then, and I just posted again with the holiday season upon us, in case people want to give them as gifts.
I’m a little crazy about making stuff, you may recall. hehe. In fact, I have contributed crafts to two charity auctions in recent weeks. In one, I pledged one doll, got 4 bids, and after the mods begged, I agreed to make all 4. Heck, it was the difference between $50 for charity and $170! And the other auction just ended, and I raised another $150 for charity by pledging a doll, a pair of gloves and a pair of earrings. It also got me some more commissions, so, making things, and making a little extra fundage for myself as well as for charitable causes.
(The biggest hope for an upcoming opportunity, though, dated back before Dragon Con. I’m going to keep mum about it right now, until I have confirmation, but suffice it to say it’s something I’ve been working toward for literally decades…)
Anyway, to finish my Dragon Con recap: I did find the con suite, scored a tasty free lunch and met many interesting fellow travelers. Saturday afternoon I attended the tai chi class. It was intriguing and the instructor was so nice and friendly, and didn’t act at all like she had ever been a sci-fi superstar 😊
On Sunday, a session listed as a panel on incorporating crafting into fiction writing actually ended up being a stitch and bitch. The writeup had suggested you bring your yarn, so I had packed a tiny project bag with a hat in progress, and sure enough, when I found the room it was filled with folks knitting and crocheting and comparing notes, including the panelists! The hour was relaxing and delightful and I hope they do it again next year.
At one point while I was roaming the Marriott that afternoon, I spied a guy in a steampunk-wizardy cosplay declaiming about quests. As I found, it was a fun game. The wizard sent people on quests, they brought back proof of their achievements, and won prizes. I petitioned for a quest, and was told to find someone dressed as the Marvel character Wanda the Scarlet Witch and take a photo of them. It was hard not to laugh, because wouldn’t you know, as I was walking over to the wizard, I had passed a group of folks camped on the floor having lunch…and yep, one of them was a Wanda. I trotted right back over and thankfully they were still there. When I asked her and explained, she was greatly amused! I took her picture but then she said “can I go with you? I want a quest too”. Needless to say, the wizard was also amused, and I left with a gourmet lollipop and a shot of sangria. It’s Dragon Con, what can I say.
So, summer ended and fall is in full swing. Not much excitement for Halloween; I guess the neighborhood kids have mostly grown up and moved on. No trick or treaters, sad to say. Halloween is a good time for remembering loved ones; I shared pix with new chat friends, baked soul cakes (delicious sort-of fruitcake, sort-of muffin things) and sat with missing my parents, since it’s the first year without them both. Neither of them was perfect, but I sure loved them both.
Hope all of you are doing well, and I promise I will try to blog more regularly. Although, if the opportunity I alluded to comes through as I hope, I may be very busy in the upcoming months! (giggle)