Wednesday, August 1, 2018

SizeCon 2018 Long Post (UPDATED)

The police were called in at one point during this year's SizeCon.  I wasn't directly involved with whatever they were called about so I ended up hearing a few different versions of why they were there told by people who were probably as in the dark as I was.

I saw three officers walk into the vendor's area where I was, look around briefly, and leave.  Fifteen minutes later two of the responding officers were playing Mario Cart in the Wonderland Room while the third was rolling her eyes, annoyed at being called out for nothing.

I don't want to say "that's the magic of SizeCon," cause that's corny, but that's the magic of SizeCon.

[Update: the real story is that the organizers of the convention had been working closely with the police both before and during the event to make sure that things went smoothly and everyone was safe. The police were NOT responding to a 911 call; rather, they were just stopping by for a planned check-in — and happy to play some Mario Kart while they were there.  For the full version see the end of the post.]

I'm not an adventurous person.  I rarely travel and I tend to avoid crowds whenever possible.  Think of me as a taller New Hampshire Bilbo Baggins if Bilbo spent his mornings working an industrial job and his evenings writing dirty stories about tiny men and women being put in the most peculiar places.

I also, in all due modesty, have a much better hat than Mr. Baggins.



That's a very long way of telling you it takes a lot for me to want to leave the comforts of my day to day life.  I've lived in New England since I was brought here in diapers.  I'm closer to 50 than 40.  This was my third trip to NYC in all that time. The first because I had to see Les Miserables on Broadway.  The second because I took a chance on going outside my comfort zone and attending the first SizeCon.

Once I'd been to that one I knew I'd return.

That's also the magic of SizeCon.

I have a bad habit of starting short stories and finishing novels and this post is in that danger.  I've started and deleted a half dozen versions of my experiences at the Con with each getting more  involved and over detailed.

To keep this from rambling too much why don't I start by introducing some of the people who made the Con special.

Aborigen has been a part of the size community for years, but I only first met him (online) a couple years ago.  Among other things he's been working on giving writers the tools and support network we need to flourish.  He runs a quarterly writing contest that has helped me stretch as a writer.  We met physically for the first time this weekend and shared a room.  Fortunately for me he was an ideal roommate.

Miss Kaneda has a reputation for cruelty.  Which is deserved for her writing, but off the page she is one of the kindest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  I walked up to her at the first Con to go over some notes about panels ("preparedness" is kinda my thing) and we became friends instantly.  I shared a booth with her for two days this convention and I couldn't ask for a better table mate.

Most, but not all, of my best memories from the Con involve either Kaneda or Aborigen (whose table abutted ours) being present.

Kreeyz once again made the long flight from France to attend.  He gave his art, his time, and his talent to make the con special.  If you used the SizeCon app to help navigate over the weekend you have this man to thank.

Praedatorius will always be remembered by me as the guy who came back.  At the first Con he wanted to buy my books, but I couldn't break his $20.  I needed to be somewhere else so I told him to just take the books and get back to me after he'd broken the bill.  He did.  Aside from being an honest man he's an excellent writer.  He also has some huge ... I don't want to call them novelty breasts cause that makes them sound cheap.  If I remember correctly one of the sets weighed 32 pounds with each boob bigger than my head.

This was both Scidram's and my second Con, but the first time I had the pleasure of meeting him.  His booth was close to mine in the writer's block and we had the chance to talk during lulls in the con.  I wish I knew as much about theater as this man does.  His description of one play made me want to see it so badly I'm tempted to get scripts and see if anyone would like to do it at the next con.

I've read The Reducer's work over the years, but I finally got the chance to meet him too.  He's a very friendly open man as well as being a talented writer.  I think we both experienced a level of validation at the Con.  The internet is full of lurkers.  I've been one myself.  Most of the time you put your work out there and hope someone likes it only to never hear a word of praise.  I think we both got more feedback from readers in one day of SizeCon than we'd had in years of posting material online.  I'm looking forward to next year when The Reducer will have print editions of his material available for sale.

Speaking of writers who've committed to getting print material for the next Con there's GP Ellison.  GP was the first size writer I got in contact with after I started publishing my material.  I've been trying to get him to come to SizeCon for a while now and I finally had the pleasure of meeting him and his lovely wife in person.

I'm not entirely sure how I got this far and haven't mentioned Anoka Kon yet.  Another friend from the first Con.  She's another great writer (if you're sensing a trend it's because I only hang out with the very best writers) who I was so happy to see again.  She organized the writer's panel with Praedetorius and held down a booth much too far away from mine.

Anoka's booth mate was the very talented Ben Boston.  He's a great artist whom I got to talk to for a little bit.  He's also the continuing proof of how I suck at social media.  After we'd chatted and I looked over some of his stuff I thought I'd follow him on Twitter.  Turns out I already had been for a few months.  I can't even blame it on him having an offbeat or complicated name.

Unlike I Am Filled With Static another artist who sat opposite my booth with his husband.  I tried to set up a verbal game of Battleship between our tables during the lulls in the Con,  but they wanted to draw it out.  But I wasn't falling into their art trap.  :)  They were great fun to meet.  We ended up chatting a bit after the Con about non-kink stuff.  Our lives and how we'd gotten where we are with who we are with.  I was missing my wife a bit by this point and they very nicely listened to me talk about her for a while.  I also commissioned my first art piece from him.

I also met Glowinside for the first time when a group of us ended up getting some bad directions leading to an adventure deep within the bowels of the hotel parking lot.  I ended up seeing them again at a couple of the socials including a very relaxed and open Size Trans Social.  They ended up gifting me a couple prints at the end of the convention and they very generously looked at some of my 7 year old niece's dragon art. Glowinside demonstrated excellent taste when they agreed with me that her stuff is amazing.

I met a man who came all the way from Qatar to be at the Con.  I spoke with him briefly at my booth and we had a longer talk afterwards in the hallway and lobby.  He, like many of us, is struggling with explaining his interests to his wife.  I just wish I had better advice to give him.  If anyone has any thoughts or advice please feel free to provide them in the comments.

I'm not running out of people to talk about, but I am getting worried I'm losing the interest of the up to 8 people who might be reading this.  Also I'm starting to run out of positive adjectives.

I have to at least mention AloveraJitenshasw, Goddess Robyn, Bonebell, M31, Pythonpie, Sven The KaijuMorganaCandi The Wild PigLarry Philby, Reya, Hex, Futanari Commie, Scenecatgirl, and all the people I chatted with at my booth whose names I'm just going to mangle or misremember.

If you interacted with me during the Con and you don't see your name there please add it in the comments, possibly with a prompt about what we talked about.

And now for some highlights.

One theme that kept cropping up over the weekend was people feeling energized to create.  I heard people who'd never written before tell me they wanted to start.  I heard from veteran writers who wanted to take their work to print.  I saw people at the writer's panel absorbing all the excellent advice Aborigen, Anoka, Scidram, Praedatroius, The Reducer, and Bonebell were giving them.

Sunday night a small group of us took a Lyft to get Korean fried chicken.  I'd heard about it on NPR, but there aren't too many places in my home state that have it so I made it my mission to get some.  Aborigen, Kaneda, Kreeyz, a new friend named James, and myself had a fantastic meal and discussed   writing and the writers who had inspired us.

I'm very glad James was able to come along with us.  He happened to be next to us when we started discussing dinner plans.  I think he was a little worried that he'd intruded on our space and tried to back out, but Kaneda put an end to that by telling him no one should be alone in their room on a night like that.

That's the magic of Kaneda.

James is a bit younger than the rest of us, but that was cool.  We talked about mutual favorite authors in the size community.  He talked about his desire to write his own stories.  We talked about writing, drank Korean beer, and ate good food.

For the record, none of those beautiful people are from the Con.

This is a medium order. It is as delicious as it looks.
Be sure to ask Kaneda for scallions.


I also had a little fun making a short phone video for my friend Undersquid who sadly was unable to attend the Con.

Maybe I have too much time on my hands.

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you're in school, but you're in the wrong class?  That happened to me when I ended up on the wrong panel at SizeCon.

Aborigen, Kaneda, and I happened to be some of the only people left hanging out in the Vendor's Room when Gomai walked in a bit after midnight Friday night.  There'd been a few people who weren't going to be able to make the Con due to flight cancellations and he, as Con organizer, had to find some volunteers to cover panels and socials at the last minute.

I'd already been set to moderate and be on the writer's panel, but I had the flexibility in my schedule to add a couple things.  I ended up signing up as facilitator for the Power Play social and being on the macrophilia panel.

The only thing is, when I looked at the SizeCon app to check the schedule I saw the microphilia panel  after the Power Play social and my sleep deprived brain pencilled me in for the wrong panel.

About two minutes into the Microphilia panel I realized my mistake. but I rolled with the punches and (thanks to Kaneda) I think everything worked out in the end.

For the record I did end up going to the Macrophile panel the next day and made up for my blunder by helping out Kaneda and Goddess Robyn talk about loving it large.

I wasn't planning on attending the Trans Size social, but I got to talking with Kaneda and Reya a little before it was set to start and I got talked into going.  It wasn't exactly a hard sell; Kaneda is a good friend and Reya had such an enthusiasm about her you couldn't help but want to go.  There were also a couple familiar faces waiting for me when I walked into the room.

I was glad I attended.  We didn't talk much about size, but some very important topics were discussed and I learned a few things I hadn't known coming in.  We ended up connecting via social media afterwards.

It wasn't a highlight of the Con, but I felt emboldened by the energy of the event to tell my 71 year old mother about what the Con was about and go into a bit of detail about the subject matter of my books.

A year or so ago I was visiting her.  I've written a non-dirty book that I'd released under my own name so she knew I was a writer, but telling your mom you write niche fetish erotica isn't something you do over the phone.  I decided to tell her since it is a large part of my literary life.  I didn't think she'd react poorly to it.  She's a pretty free spirit in that regard and had no problems dealing with other things I'd brought to her before.

I started to tell her I wrote some other books and she, probably picking up on my nervousness, said "is it porn?  Cause that's fine if it is."

For whatever reason I felt a bit nervous about telling her the specifics about what I wrote about until last night when I described the Con to her.  Her only question was "do you right about the big people or the little ones?"  She was very cool about me writing about the little ones.  I'm planning on sending her copies of my stuff.

And I'm sending her a link to this post.

Hi, Mom.

I'm going to end this with another woman I love -- my wife.

It sounds a bit odd using that title instead of her name or a code name.  For obvious reasons I'm not going to use her real name, and we've discussed and shot down the idea of calling her Mrs. Taedis or Ms. Taedis.  She does have an "internet name," but it's associated with her real life enough that it's probably best we don't go there.

She is amazing.  She woke up at 2 o'clock in the morning to drive me to the airport so I could leave her alone for the weekend so I could sell dirty books at a fetish convention.  The first morning of the Con she had to give one of our cats a bath by herself cause he'd rubbed himself against our oil tank and got oil in his fur.  Actually she had to bathe him twice.  Then there was a mixup on my flight home and I got stuck in Laguardia for 14 hours meaning she had to drag my ass home after she'd been awake for almost 22 hours.

I don't deserve her.

Thank you for your time and if I've messed up your names or pronouns in the above piece please let me know in the comments.

sergent

UPDATE: 


Gomai read my recap of events at the Con and wanted to pass something on to me and the up to 8 people who might read my blog.  As the person behind the scenes he knows the full and proper scoop about the (very brief) appearance of the police at the Con.  Spaces like this one are rife with rumors and there's some concern that those rumors may grow with the telling in ways that harm the Con and those people who attend in future years.  The truth is much more innocent than even the initial rumors and much funnier.

Here's the skinny in Gomai's own words:

I contacted the NYPD well before the con, to make them aware of our event. A con of that size, while small by some standards, is still a significant gathering of people. I didn’t expect trouble, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

They were impeccably professional. Four officers stopped by Friday evening and spoke with myself and my head of security. They made it very clear they weren’t interested in disrupting our event or causing any disturbance. If we had any trouble at all, give them a call.

The officers who stopped by on Saturday weren’t summoned by anyone calling the cops, to the best of my knowledge. (Given I was directing the show, I feel pretty secure saying that.)

They stopped by as part of an expected neighborhood patrol. I didn’t know when they’d stop by, just that the officers on Friday mentioned someone might check in on Saturday. Again, they were polite, professional, and completely helpful.

The sergent was actually the one who insisted they stay, as one of the male officers with her was either 1 or 2years old when the N64 came out, and she felt he needed to learn more of his video game heritage.






2 comments:

  1. I'm still compiling my notes, dragging my heels! I enjoyed and valued your perspective on the weekend. I run dark and defensive, to degrees, so it's good for me to hear your level tone and upbeat perspective. This was an exceptional weekend and I'm so glad I got to hang out with you. And that chicken was amazing.

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  2. The look on your face when I returned to my booth Sunday(?) was anything but dark and defensive. When you told me about what happened to you while I was away panelling it was hard not to be reminded of the joy we felt as kids on Christmas morning. The turn of phrase and imagery you used was a bit dark, but the enthusiasm was real and wonderful to witness. I would have gone into the moment more in depth in my recap, but that's your surprise; I don't want to spoil it.

    I'm looking forward to reading your take. I recognize the fact that I might be the blind man who got to examine his favorite part of the elephant and that my trunk will be different than your ear, but I hope you liked the ear.

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