The deal was this - finish the book on time, and get to go to Dragon*Con in Atlanta as a reward. I bought my pass in anticipation of reaching my goal and getting that tasty carrot. This was wise, since as you know, I got the manuscript in to the publisher about ten days early. I frantically prepped lessons for my classes in my absence (I hated missing class - really. I like teaching and I think I'm indispensable, so I don't like not being there) and off I went. While I didn't get to do everything or meet everybody (sorry Lissa and Rhonda), it was - noteworthy.
I'd been to cons before - Akin and I met at the infamous "canned flan" in Burbank back in December, after all - but this was just . . . other. Something like 45,000 attendees with interests ranging from computer gaming to Star Trek to anime to science fiction to Doctor Who to (of course) Whedon. Costumes are the norm and I'm sure any poor Muggle who booked a room at any of the three host hotels without knowing what was happening came out shocked and stunned. I saw stormtroopers and Doctors and Sailor Moons and Batman but I also saw the Death Star Construction Crew (complete with blueprints), the Tick (complete with spoon) and Delirium (complete with fish).
I loved it all.
After all, in so-called "real life," most of us (not just con-goers) are mundane. We fret about paying the bills, whether the car will last through the winter, how much overtime we're putting in at work that takes us away from those we love and so forth. But we are so very much more. Whether your passion is anime or football, passions are good and having people to share those passions with is even better.
I'm already planning for next year. Without the pressure of writing a book.
Who knows? Maybe the geeks will inherit the earth. When we do, it'll be an earth worth living on, I feel sure.