Posted By Kathleen David on August 7, 2012
Well, it will be a report of my Shoreleave experience which was pretty good.
As long time readers know, I have been going to Shoreleave with Peter since he and I got together which is about 15 years now. This Shoreleave was also the 20th Mystery Trekkie Theater. They haven’t done it 20 years in a row but this was the 20th time they took an episode and ran it through.
Shoreleave is very much a family convention both actual and extended family. Caroline has been going to it since she was 7 months old so this was her 10th Shoreleave. So we know the ins and outs of the hotel and the convention.
Caroline was old enough this year to be able to wander the convention by herself. As a bonus she got to bring her friend R with her so they got a four day play date with each other and the other kids that they know at the convention. This was also R’s first convention ever. They had a blast. They made tribbles and other crafty projects (Thanks to Eta and all her minons and helpers). They went to a Boogie Knights concert. They attended the Masquerade which was the first time Caroline has not participated since she was almost 2. They looked around the dealers room. They went swimming. It was a pretty jam packed convention for both of them.
I had panels on various topics, which touched on my many skill sets. I talked about publishing and how it works. I talked about genre fiction. I talked about Sherlock and, tangentially, Elementary. I talked about book banned. I talked about how to create a funny skit for a Masquerade. I was a workmanship judge. I signed stuff for people. I found it funny that people had stuff I had written that they wanted me to sign. Still get a kick out of that one. I talked about Ray Bradbury. I talked to all kinds of people some of which I only see at Shoreleave and others I see a little more often.
The hotel has recently (yet again) changed hands and with that came some new things to deal with and some change that also needed to be dealt with. The staff was pretty much the same. The new hires fit right now and got into the spirit of things. They were friendly and courteous as ever and willing to go the extra step to make things right.
Anything that didn’t sit well with me had nothing to do with them but some management changes that really didn’t sit well until you figured out how to do what you use to do within the new systems. For one thing there is a café that has been there and always good for a quick lunch or grabbing something for breakfast on the run. Now it is mostly machines to get food or drink. There was fast breakfast but only on Saturday and Sunday. They no longer have the sit down restaurant but a buffet style breakfast and dinner and, for the convention, lunch. The bar had a decent sit down menu but once everyone figured that out, the bar was pretty much packed out. Trying to get something to eat was a bit of a challenge but we did it between the hotel, the food that we brought, and the local eateries.
Being a workmanship judge was fine. Shoreleave participants do bring it and make it quite a challenge to figure out who is best in the group. We saw a lot of new people and learned about some new materials and tools and a few tricks that I am going to use in the future. A very clever group of people. I also had the good fortune of sitting in on the judging of the contest. Jeanette, my fellow judge, and I were able to clear up some things for the other judges since we saw things up close.
The media guests were quite nice. This was a good lot for the fans. It was a range of people who did all kinds of interesting things in their lives. For me two stand out, or rather I interacted with them more than the others. Years ago Peter wrote a couple of films for Full Moon called Oblivion and Oblivion 2:Backlash. In these films is a wonderful actress named Musetta Vander who Peter hasn’t seen since they wrapped shooting on those films. Peter and Musetta met back up at Shoreleave. We had a lovely breakfast with her and talked about all kinds of things under the sun including Head Cases which had a character that Peter wrote with Musetta’s voice in his head. She is a delightful person. Also there was Jane Wieldin of the Go-gos and a lot of other things that run the gambit. She is a true renaissance person with lots of different creative skills that allow her to do a whole bunch of different things. She was a sweetheart and it was fun to talk to her about a number of topics including puppetry.
Mystery Trekkie went over well. They did the Star Trek pilot entitled The Cage or better know to many as the Menagerie. There is only one version available anymore because the entire color version has been lost so it is combination of the black and white and color version. Bob, Mike and Peter had a great time with it, as did the audience. Caroline performed her role in the opening sketch perfectly.
After that, I got to break bread with the Greenbergers which is always pleasant. We caught up on things and had a great time.
The drive home was fine over all. We got early warning that Staten Island was a no-go so we took a more circuitous route but got home before we would have if we had gone across Staten Island and had then to deal with the belt. We also took a gamble on the George Washington Bridge that worked out perfected an probably saved us about half an hour of bumper to bumper traffic. Thank you NYC DOT for such clear signage that allowed us to use another route to get back to 95 and get around the jam.
Now it is 23 days to DragonCon which means I have 20 days to pull of a miracle. Off to start gathering the components for that.
I am grateful that Caroline and R had such a good time at the convention.