Capclave 2013 in retrospect, Part the second.

by Doc Coleman on October 26, 2013 · 3 comments

in Asides

In my previous post, I talked about my experiences on Friday night at Capclave. In today’s installment, I’m going to talk about what happened Saturday.

The first panel I wanted to attend on Saturday started at 10 AM. That didn’t happen. Well, actually it did happen, it just happened without me. After such a long day on Friday, I was too tired to get up early. It was after noon before I finally dragged my carcass out the door and headed to the con. When I got there I did not like what I found. Or rather, what I didn’t find.

Namely, parking.

The parking for the con hotel was completely full. Of course, this wasn’t very surprising when you consider that the hotel had apparently rented out a large portion of their parking lot to a local car deal for the storage of new cars. Of course, this in itself wouldn’t be so bad, except all the parking lots surrounding the hotel all sported the same signs warning that if someone parked in their lot and then left the property, their vehicle would be towed. So… no parking.

After cruising around for an hour, I finally found a parking lot a mile away from the hotel where I was able to park my car, at which point I had to walk back. When I arrived, I talked to the Con info folks and found out that the Con hadn’t made arrangements for additional parking because they’d never had attendance this big before. The hotel hadn’t bothered to make arrangements either. Big lessons learned here.

I’d missed another panel while tracking this information down. Finally I was able to go to my first panel of the day: Hearing Voices?, a panel about bringing stories to podcasting. In this panel, Tee Morris, Steven H. Wilson, Kate Baker, and Scott H. Andrews talked about the realities of podcasting, some examples of extreme successes in the past, and what podcasting can and cannot do for your writing career. The Shrinking Man Project got called out by name, (thanks, Tee!) and we had a lot of discussion from the audience with the panel. It wasn’t even all from me.

From there I followed Kate Baker to her next panel, Doctor Who. Kate joined Victoria Janssen, Kathryn Morrow, Hildy Silverman, and Jon Skovron to talk about some of our favorite moments of Doctor Who past, and some speculation about what we’d like to see from the show in the future. This panel was PACKED. Standing room only. This panel was the first time I regretted not bringing my H2 with me to Capclave. I wish I had a recording for this panel as I’m having a hard time remembering all the cool observations and remembrances from the show.

After dithering between two different panels, I ended up in White Out, a panel about the tendency in publishing and film to “whitewash” characters. This panel included authors Day Al-Mohamed, Philippa Ballantine, Sherin Nicole, Diana Peterfreund, and Jon Skovron. In this instance, whitewashing refers to the lack of diversity in fictional characters, and the tendency in publishing and film to change minority characters in books so that they are paler and more European looking. Sometimes this involves changing the book, but a lot of the time a character who is a minority inside the book appears as white on the cover. The panel also addressed how to represent minorities without becoming a stereotype or being offensive to the minority in question.

By the time this panel ended, the dealer’s room had closed for the night, and Kee was ready to get some dinner. We went out to get dinner with Randy, the owner of Randolph’s Scriptorium Tools, and promptly discovered that was easier said than done. We were all tired, so we didn’t want fast food. We wanted someplace where we could sit down and have someone cater to us. This proved to be somewhat elusive to find. To start with, it was prime dining time on a Saturday evening. Compounding this issue, it seemed that it was also homecoming weekend for the local high school. We tried calling ahead to the Carrabas in Germantown, but when we got there the place was packed with teens in fancy dress waiting for a table. Even though we had called ahead, we were still looking at at least a 45 minute wait just to get seated. That was just too long.

We finally ended up going to an IHoP. Apparently they were the only restaurant that wasn’t packed. As it was, they ended up opening up a new section to seat us, which we appreciated, as we all really wanted some peace and quiet. We didn’t quite get that, thanks to a very cranky boy who was sat at a nearby table, but we did get dinner and a chance to rest.

After dinner, we dropped Kee off at home, and Randy took me back to pick up my car. I went back to the con. While there weren’t any more panels I wanted to attend, I had been invited to a couple of the parties. For all that panels are interesting and informative, the real reason we go to cons is to socialize with like minded individuals. I finally met up with Val Griswold-Ford in the lobby, and we ended up going to a launch party one of the small publishers was throwing. Val and I sat down and chatted to catch up. Over the course of the party we ended up talking about story ideas. I bounced a story idea off of her, and she ended up adding her own spin to it. Now we’re talking about doing a joint story event sometimes next year. Providing we can get through the projects we’ve both got going now.

I met another friend named Val at the party. This was a local friend that I hadn’t seen in several months. We ended up chatting until the launch party broke up. Then Val Ford turned in for the night, and I went with the other Val to a room party that a mutual friend was throwing. This particular party was a scotch party with an impressive array of scotch. I knew that I was driving home at the end of the night, so I didn’t have more than a taste of a couple varieties of scotch.

We talked with a couple of authors for a couple of hours before we decided that it was way too late and we should head home. I walked Val down to her car, but we ended up hanging out in the parking lot and talking until it was about 5 AM. Then we finally did call it a night and went our separate ways. In only a few short hours we’d end up back at the con.

But that is a story for another day.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vval October 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

Yeah, the other times I’ve gone to that scotch party, the con seemed like a tiny older sedate thing. Either you or C said it was double or triple the size this year on account of GRRM.

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