After the Geeks: On Arriving Home from Geek Girl Con

I got home early this morning after a whirlwind weekend at the 3rd annual Geek Girl Con. I already wrote about Saturday morning here — now for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday afternoon and into Sunday were intense – and intensely awesome. While I took audio recordings of most of the panes I attended, I wasn’t able to upload them all to Soundcloud and am still looking for alternatives, so will come back and add links if and when I can find a better way to share the sounds. (They’re in a weird file format on my phone or I’d just upload them directly to the website.)

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We talked a lot about this on the BGN Podcast Sunday afternoon, but I have literally pages of notes from this panel in my green spiral notebook. Panelists the Shanghai Pearl and Chaka Cumberbatch offered tremendous insight, led by moderator Dr. Andrea Letamendi. Topics discussed included plus-size cosplay, cultural appropriation in the burlesque acts of Dita von Teese, how it takes more to build something than tear it down, and how to have the confidence to keep speaking out against oppression after you’ve been attacked for your opinion.

  • The Best of Both Worlds – STEM Careers in the Humanities

Moderated by Suzette Chan, this panel included input from Hsiao-Ching Chou and Nazila Merati regarding how those of us without advanced degrees in the sciences can still find work in STEM fields. Apparently there’s a lot of call for people who can write a paragraph…or even a sentence…that gets a complex scientific idea across to an audience of laypeople. We talked a bit more about this on the podcast as well, particularly given Jaz’s background in engineering, and I got a chance to plug HOT MESS: speculative fiction about climate change as an example of how writers and artists can contribute to conversations about the sciences. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to soundcloud the entire panel, but you’ll get a good idea of the tips, etc., that were given from the link above.

  • Black, Latina, Girl, Geek

A really positive panel from Aquala Lloyd, Emily Berrios and Tiffany Janibagian about what it meant to them to grow up as geeks, and how geek culture in places like Panama and Puerto Rico differs from geek culture here in the US. This was the first panel I attended where there was a lot of discussion about video game geekery, too, and it was exciting to hear about how the next generation of geeks are growing up in an atmosphere of wider acceptance than those who came before.

2013-10-20 10.01.29Sunday morning brought this panel, where my Twitter friend (and now real-life con lunch buddy!) Barbara Caridad Ferrer spoke along with Corrina Lawson, Karen Harbaugh and Katt S, again moderated by Suzette Chan. I don’t consider myself a romance reader (though I’ve enjoyed both Outlander‘s first book and every Georgette Heyer novel I’ve been able to get my hands on), but after this panel and a chance encounter with Corrina Lawson in the airport late Sunday night, I have a list of which books to read and am looking forward to getting started.

  • Bringing Your Writing to Life with the Spoken Word

This was a last-minute addition to my panel schedule, and I’m really glad I went. Panelists Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard and Julie Hoverson ran this session as a Q&A, and it was full of advice for both writers and performers who want to get into audiobooks and podcasts as a way to spread their work. I was convinced; I’m going to start looking around ACX and seeing what I can find that might fit a few of my current projects.

A con isn’t all about panels, and Geek Girl Con had great peoplewatching, art and merch opportunities – as well as chances to mingle and network with other like-minded folk. Here’s a gallery with some photos of sights around the convention:

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On Sunday afternoon, I joined Jaz (@ANappyNerdGirl) for our appearance on the Black Girl Nerds podcast, where we discussed the convention, its attendees and how it felt to spend the weekend celebrating our geekiness in a safe space. Oh, we also had trolls call in. They were cut off quickly, but they were pretty obscene, and while they didn’t get to me or the others it was a pretty graphic example of just how badly some people behave when they perceive someone else’s celebration as threatening their privilege.

The con closed with The Doubleclicks playing “Nothing to Prove” to a room full of con attendees – most of whom sang along.

 

 

All of which brings me to the “after” part of this blog entry’s title. I went, I listened, I learned – now what? GGC ’13 gave me a lot to think about, and I’m sure the effects will be percolating and expressing themselves in my work and interactions with others for months to come. I want to look into some of the information from the STEM careers in the humanity – and the acronym STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts & Math, as I learned on Sunday). I have a pile of books to read and notes to parse. I’ve already approached a few artists about cover commissions for upcoming books. I met new people. I had a blast. I’m already looking forward to 2014.

 

 

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