So WorldCon 2013 happened and I was there, although sadly, the beard didn’t follow me to Texas. It was actually kind of nice to be clean shaven after a year of looking like a hobo and/or mountain man. I found that this posed two problems though:
1. People who knew me online (or had only met me in the last year) didn’t recognize me at all. It’s really weird to tell people that yes, we did indeed spend four days together at a writing retreat earlier this year. Then again, second first impressions are pretty cool!
2. Apparently the beard — and the bearded profile picture I use online — gave people a very different impression of me. I had multiple people tell me that I wasn’t at all what they expected. (My picture is apparently “very serious” and I guess that’s not a very accurate description of my personality.)
My advice? Keep your online pictures as up-to-date as possible. Also, don’t take a picture that doesn’t represent yourself? I don’t know what I’m talking about. I have no real advice to give in this arena, other than: don’t do what I did. For reference, here’s a picture of me on the iron throne at WorldCon:
Anyway, the whole con was pretty great and slightly overwhelming. (First WorldCon, third con ever, and I only started attending cons this year.) I saw lots of old friends and made a few new ones and didn’t make too much of a fool of myself, I think. I went to a lot of panels. I ate some good food. I went to as many parties as I could, but found it difficult to make any type of meaningful connection with someone in that atmosphere. (Maybe that’s normal?) I went to the Hugo Awards and they were exciting and Paul Cornell was a very funny host. I slept very little and still somehow avoided the dreaded con crud.
It was pretty much everything a con is supposed to be. I think.
And that’s it. Those are my thoughts. I know, I’m not talking about what everyone else is talking about. How WorldCon is old or doesn’t have enough diversity. Lots of people that are much smarter than me are saying good things about that. Stop reading this, go read smarter people’s words.
(Yeah, I should probably link to smarter people’s words, huh? Too tired to do that right now. Feel free to link to them in the comments though.)