Path of the Cardboard Rainbow Circles

While in HQ for some internal meetings, I was walking from the office to my hotel and I started to see these suns? circular rainbows? Not sure what they were meant to be but they were circles of cardboard about a foot in diameter with rings of colors. They were hung and attached at various points along the alleyway route that I take like some kind of guideposts on a trip. One hanging from a door knob, another taped to the back of a sign, a third attached to a stake shoved into a planter.

As I walked I started to look for them to see if I could figure out what they were, or where they lead. My mind started to concoct some kind of secret scavenger hunt narrative to explain these objects that were every ten feet or so for the half mile walk. Just as I was nearing the end of my trek, they disappeared. I couldn’t find another one.  Did I reach the end? Was I supposed to go through the door that the last one was attached to?

Not knowing the area and not being quite that adventurous, I shook my head and carried on to the hotel. Riding the elevator up, I resolved that the next day I would take a picture of one of them to show my local coworkers, see if they had any idea what I had found.

But the next day my mysterious ‘yellow brick road’ was gone. All the signs had been taken down from one afternoon to the next morning, further adding to the mystery.  For two days now I have kept an eye out for my little cardboard circular rainbows but they haven’t made a reappearance.

So now I am left to wonder about what would have happened if I had followed that last one through the door. Maybe I will write some story playing out the fantastical things that could have been found at the end of that path not taken.

Dragon*con 2015 Thoughts

(warning: censored profanity)

I plan to write more later on my two FATE games that I ran on Friday and Sunday nights but first I wanted to crank out a quick ‘reaction’ piece to my first Dragon*con.

My easy reaction is: “F*#king go to Dragon*con.”

Are there crowds? Yes. Is it hot in Atlanta in the Summer? Yes. Will there be panels you can’t get into? Yes. Will you have to wait for an elevator? Yes.

BUT

Will there be cosplayers and fans of your favorite show/game/movie/book? Yes! Will your favorite actors/writers/directors/scientists be there talking about all the things you love? Yes! Will you meet new and interesting people waiting in that elevator? Yes. Will you be surrounded by 60+ thousand people that fully embrace your weirdness, your geekiness, your nerdiness? Will you leave feeling like you are no longer alone in your weirdness? A million times: yes!!

This was my first time going to Dragon*con and I had some idea of what to expect: crowds, lines for panels/interviews, a board game room, some RPGs that I could run or join, cool costumes, celebrities, etc. What I wasn’t- couldn’t have been prepared for were just the sheer number of people that ‘got me’. From the moment you see your first deadpool or hear someone talking about the latest Star Wars trailer or asking you to “WITNESS THEM!”, you immediately understand “You are One of Us.” We could be IT professionals, teachers, librarians, teachers, construction workers, consultants, et cetera but at Dragon*con you are a geek. You are One of Us and it is glorious. It is affirming. It is inclusive.

Yes. I know there are jerks and we all have those stories too but they in no way hold a candle to the guy who jokes about using his shield to hold off the masses as the elevator door opens or the woman who sees you reading a Seanan McGuire book or playing a friend’s video game and asking what it is and not just as a way to kill time but out of genuine interest. If that question had been asked of me anywhere else I would have hemmed and hawed a bit given a high level overview of what urban fantasy is and maybe the protagonist and wait for the ‘oh. so not my kind of book/game’ look in their eyes. But at Dragon*con that explanation is met with ‘Yes and…’ followed by questions about the book, the characters, suggestions for other books/games that I might find interesting.

(For those interested the book was Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire and the game was Cognition Episode 2 by Phoenix Online Studios.)

So once again. If you are in any way a geek: tv, movie, video game, board, or tabletop game, book, character, science, space, LARPing, Felicia Day or whatever it is. F*&CKING GO TO DRAGON*CON!!!!!

(Okay, so maybe I’ll do another post on the actual panels that I visited and the things that I saw)