See, here's the thing about me and conventions. Typically, we don't get on well. I'm a deaf, disabled introvert; generally there are far too many people, panels are set up so that I can barely follow anything that's going on, and I run out of cope long before I've seen half of what looked interesting in the program. And that was before my back was injured.
I did make it to Confluence last year, but that was my local con, so I pretty much showed up, hung my art, looked around the dealers room, attended one art workshop, and left.
I also went to Crucible, but as a speaker - again, I pretty much showed up, did my thing, and left. Not out of lack of interest, but lack of spoons and the non-lack of a rambunctious little boy.
So why am I doing this to myself?
Well, I'm hoping this one will be different. First of all, it's a feminist con, which means attendees and conrunners alike will be more conscious of Wheaton's Law and have better procedures for dealing with violations thereof. They also take intersectionality seriously, so if I need a better seat in order to be able to hear a panel or to not die of back pain, for example, I'm reasonably sure I can make that happen. There will be a bunch of people there that I adore (shadesong! s00j! catvalente!), which is the biggest thing that has made the rare con fun for me in the past. And it's also, quite simply, business. There are several panels that will be directly applicable to me and my work as a social justice artist, in addition to showing in the art show.
I'm going alone, so I won't have Aiden as an additional drain on my energy - though I think the turning point of deciding that yes, I was going to do this, was when I found out they had child care for the entire weekend for $1. Now that is putting your money where your values are!
I'm splitting a hotel room with three very nice women I've never met from Livejournal. I'm flying, since there were no tolerable alternatives. I'll be opting out of the scanners and hoping the nice TSA operative assigned to pat me down doesn't fucking punch me in the labia. At least I managed to avoid flying through O'Hare. Every flight I've taken through there in the last 10 years has been delayed, and now it seems they're developing a reputation for abusive TSA.
Here's the stuff I really, really, really want to make it to - experience tells me that I'll probably make it to about a third of this. But I can hope, right? There's, remarkably, only one timeslot where I'm completely torn as to which to attend. Disability vs. Belief Systems. That's just cruel!
2pm: arrive at Madison airport
I should use the afternoon to sleep as much as possible! Art show setup may be today, or it may be Friday; info I've got so far has been unclear.
1pm-3:45: Gathering (icebreakers, clothing swap)
4-5:15: Forging a Path to Your Audience Through the Internet
9-10:15: Wiscon Tips
8:45-late: Social Media Party
10-11:15am: Story in the Object - cross-medium conversation between artists and writers
1pm-2:15: Traveling Fates Concert
2:30-3:45: Beyond Etiquette: Disability panel
2:30-3:45: Belief Systems
9pm-late: Fairyland party
10am-11:15: Rape panel
10am-11:15: What is Queerness? (if I just can't deal with the former)
1pm-2:15: Invisible Disabilities
2:30-3:45: Reproductive Justice
4-5:15: Madness in Fiction
8:30-9:45: GOH Speech
10pm-late: Genderfloomp Dance Party
10am-11:15: Creating Comfortable Space
2:30pm: be at airport for 4:05 flight home