I’ve been feeling a bit frazzled lately.  My friend and fellow writer, Stephen Aryan, suggested that I needed a good convention and perhaps he was right.  I’ve been working incredibly hard this year and have become a little frayed around the edges.  Couple this with day job stress, trying to buy a house and ongoing recuperation; I could really do with getting away from my desk to recharge a little.
This was my first Nine Worlds convention.  A lot of friends had gone to it last year and had great time so I was expecting a lot.  And to be honest, it delivered.
If I could sum it up in one word, it would be “inclusive”.  With more simultaneous streams than any convention I’ve ever been to – ranging from podcasting through books and film to fanfic and feminism – there really is something for everyone.  So much, in fact, it can seem a little overwhelming.
But the inclusiveness goes far beyond just the programming.  I’m sure seeing signs for anysex toilets in one part of the hotel was a new experience for some con-goers but it just went to show how hard the organisers strived to make the event welcoming to all.
I was quite happy to tag along for the most part and because Steve was doing the podcasting stream, I attended some of those talks.  It’s not something I’m currently thinking of doing but I found the talks very interesting and informative.  I also went to my friend, Laura Lam’s, workshop on LGBT characters.
With my frankly ridiculous dietary requirements due to my tablets, I spent the last week coming off them for the duration of Nine Worlds and Loncon.  Eating out is just impossible when you’re on them although coming off them usually results in problems with the leg.  But I’m willing to suffer leg pains for a week or so.  I had to do it when I went storm chasing so I know what I’ve let myself into.
The plus side was meat.  I can only eat very lean meat when on my tablets so coming off them meant a chance to have the sorts of foods that, with the exception of when I was chasing tornadoes in the US, I’ve not eaten for over a year.  I’m talking steaks and burgers.  I may even have a pizza at Loncon!
I tried to keep the leg in check by ensuring that even though I was at a convention I went for a 2 mile run each day.  It still started developing sores and bleeding after a couple of days but I’m now not standing around on it all day so can rest it a little before Loncon.
The only downside of the weekend was the bar prices.  £5.50 for a small bottle of Cobra!  £16 for the wimpiest burger I’ve ever had. I even made a point of walking down to the garage to buy snacks rather than have to eat in the hotel.  There was a McDonalds next door but I decided that I couldn’t live off that for three days.
As always at cons, I never really got time to really chat to people.  I think I had a dozen great starts to conversations that for one reason or another I never got to finish.  Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with those people.  In between more meat, of course!