anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)
[personal profile] anthimeria
The story of Sunday at WisCon is below, but basically, I did not get to the place where my laptop was until four in the morning, and needed to get up for a 10 o'clock panel today, so I did not post last night!  Instead, you get the super-concentrated awesomeness of my last two days at WisCon in ONE POST!

Sunday was a long day, and I didn't even make it there in time for the 8:30 panel I'd intended to attend.  Sleep ended up being more important.  So my first panel of the day was "Terraforming: a Workshop", wherein a bunch of environmental scientists of various specialties and a few sci-fi writers debated what one would need to terraform a world (within a certain framework).  That was fun, and my (limited) knowledge about how plate tectonics, gravity and magnetospheres work came into play.

My next panel was "Privilege and Discussion Dynamics."  I learned a lot, and found the different ways the panelists approached the topic very interesting.  We ended up talking about RaceFail '09 (more here and here), and one of the panelists said she was glad about the maelstrom that happened last winter/spring, because it drew attention to issues POC and allies had been talking about for years.  It also brought up good strategies for being the person who's getting called on being racist (or another -ist--er, except feminist, obviously).  It boils down to: the person who's calling you out isn't blaming you for racism, they're trying to help you see your privilege and improve.  Apologize and try not to do it again.

So, I started out the day with speculative fun and moved on to activism, and then hit a panel that was both! 

A really cool panel called "Writing the Other: Shout-Outs."  The panel and then the audience spent the whole hour and fifteen minutes naming spec-fic work wherein its creator did a good job writing characters who were Other to them--I'll post the list later.  It was a great panel because everyone was so enthusiastic.  I had to join in the cheer for Avatar: the Last Airbender cartoon, and the inevitable groan about the movie.  Even I had stuff to add, and I didn't realize it until someone asked about comics and I was like, Oh!  Blue Beetle!  Rene Montoya!

I missed the Strange Horizons Tea Party due to panel awesomeness, which saddened me.

After that I wandered over to "Heroism Defined," which while it wasn't as enthusiastic or as useful as my previous panels Sunday, at least it didn't get derailed.  Superheroes are a genre I love, so I always go to panels about heroism, and usually the panel gets bogged down defining heroism and bringing up counter-examples and trying to talk about anti-heroism and generally getting derailed, which didn't happen here!

We meandered in and out of the Tiptree awards presentation and speeches, and then my final panel of the day was "How to Write if you Fear to Offend?"  The answer is: write anyway.  Mess up.  Fix it when you do.  Be aware of your characters as full people who aren't defined by their race/disability/sexuality/ethnicity/gender/etc.

My friend and I got caught up talking to fellow writers after the panel, so we didn't even leave the con until after midnight, and then ended up talking pretty much all night.  Love the talking at WisCon!

This morning the only panel I went to was "Including Disabled Characters in your Work(s)," which was akin to last night's panel but more specific in suggestions for this community.  There's a reading list over at [community profile] wiscon  if you're interested in existing work that portrays disabled characters well.

At the end of the day, I can talk about the panels as much as a I want, and it's going to sound dry.  Really, the thing that sets WisCon apart from every other con I've ever been to is the atmosphere.  You're among friends.  Fellow feminists, fellow activists, fellow spec-fic fans, fellow geeks and outsiders.  These people speak our language and feel our pain, even when they screw up and cause pain themselves, as inevitably happens.  They have read (or written!) the books we love.  They share our understanding that media matters, that character matters, that what speculative fiction says matters.

They're also fun!  I have never been to a con as serious or as silly as WisCon.  The formally-dressed audience at the Tiptree Award ceremony last night broke into a song about the winners to the tune of row-row-row your boat!  Panelists decided whether they wanted a fast-zombie apocalypse or a slow-zombie apocalypse!  Earrings were exchanged for haiku, people with pink hair were rampant, and I never felt afraid to go up to someone and talk to them!  Nervous, maybe, but not afraid.  Even when were were talking about privilege and gender and the exhaustion of constant activism, we were teasing each other and digressing and talking about Star Trek characters.

I made friends.  That's never happened before at a con.

I've gotten maybe 17 hours of sleep in the last 92 and I spent most of the time deliriously happy.  People should get to be deliriously happy more often.  It's healing.

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anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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