1/17/23: Denouement

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Post-Arisia malaise is real, but life doesn’t stop just because the con is over.

Arisia was wonderful! I was a nervous wreck before my first panel, which luckily was the first panel timeslot on Saturday, so I really only had time to worry about it Saturday morning, and managed to keep myself occupied well-enough with breakfast in con suite and two hours of family-friendly tabletop gaming in the Harbor ballroom. But my fellow panelists were super kind, knowledgeable, and supportive — and getting aggressive head nods, finger snaps, and “yes”-es from the audience when I talked about my experiences and ideas was super validating. Nerves turned into excitement really quickly after that. I really, genuinely loved panelling at this con, I can’t believe it took me nine years to try it out. I will definitely be applying again next year.

My son took the end of con rather hard, because this was the first year he was able to really independently participate — the last time he was at con he was five, and could only attend things with us, so he was mostly in the room with a sitter and went with is to some family-friendly demos or panels. This year he got to fully and independently participate in Fast Track, the sort of con-within-a-con for kids, so he spent from 10 to 5 everyday with like-minded kids doing things like swordfighting, making slime and sensory jars, sewing frankenplushies, cosplaying, making duct tape roses, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. He spent a lot of Monday in tears, but sleep helped him quite a bit, and he was excited getting back to school today and telling his friends about the weekend.

As for me, I’m feeling that post-Arisia enthusiasm for both creating and consuming again — this is the first con I’ve gone to where I actually have an existing, consistent creative habit, and I’m thrilled for this boost in the midst of the drudgery of January. I’ve already got ideas and inspiration and ambitions for projects coming up, and I’m excited to pursue them.

Hope you all are well! The days are getting longer, and we’re seeing the sun a little more each day.

Take care of yourselves, and each other.

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