It’s been a great many years since I’ve attended a con and though I’ve been looking at Balticon off and on over those years, I finally throttled my social anxiety enough to attend on my own. Promised myself I didn’t need to speak to a single soul, that I could just go, attend panels and presentations, look at fantasy and science fiction art, and flit around the dealer rooms, in order to give myself a bit of confidence for next time around.
Now the con is over and my heart has found a regular rhythm again, I’m incredibly proud of myself, for I did go a little beyond my expectations in terms of actually opening my mouth without my throat choking off words. Even got to chat with Tom Doyle, one of the other Writers of the Future winners from my year.
I didn’t take a lot of photos at the con itself, but I did when I headed across the street into the harbor to take a tour of the Constellation. The harbor itself was packed, but on board the ship was generally quiet.
While there, I snapped a photo, albeit a poor quality one (old, old phone), of the barrels in the bowels of the ship. This was incredibly cool to see firsthand because the distillery that ages these casks on board happens to be local to me, as in just down the street. In fact, they’re building a tasting room right now that I pass any time I go north. I’ve seen plenty of photos of the process of lowering and removing the barrels, but had never gone up to see for myself, so Balticon gave me a great excuse to check them out!
I didn’t remain the whole weekend-left Sunday evening at about seven so I could spend memorial Day with my family. However, the last panel I attended, Tales from the Slush Pile, I did snap my first, last, and only picture from inside the hotel. (I’ll get better at that) The panelists acted out a skit from a submission in a hilarious spontaneous theater performance that had the whole room in hysterics.