BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adventures at Arisia with Kelley Armstrong Part 1 Saturday

     I enjoy fantasy, and the occasional sci-fi.  I'm a long-time Star Trek fan, I watched it as a very little girl and have watched all of it's incarnations. I started attending SF/F conventions in college, primarily because of my interest in ST. Over the years, I've attended eensy weensy itty bitty ones and lots of medium-sized ones. Arisia is neither of those. It's  huge. It also is near me, in Boston MA in the US so when one of my very favorite authors, Kelley Armstrong, posted that she would be attending as the Guest of Honor, I immediately went to their site. Now, I found their site a nuisance to navigate; it took me several tries and multiple clicks on what looked like the right links to find the information on cost and registration. Now, in my opinion, that is very basic info and should be plainly and clearly posted. I ended up finding it with the help of another Kelley Armstrong board member, avangyline. Now avangyline happens to live in the Boston area also, though we'd never met. We chatted and made tentative plans to get together at the con if we both ended up going. So, last week we spoke and made plans to go on opening night, Friday night. Here in the US, it was a three-day weekend due to the Monday holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday and the con was running from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon. We ended up going Saturday, not Friday which worked well for me as I wasn't feeling well.

     So, during the week last week, I looked at their site, trying to see what the schedule was, what panels and workshops there were, etc. Again, this information is buried; you click on one link which takes you to another link which takes you to another and eventually you get what you are looking for. Now, the website for the 2011 Arisia is very large and contains a lot of information. Unfortunately, you have to work at finding the information that you want or need. It was kind of like a treasure hunt. Since I have limited computer and internet access, a treasure hunt was NOT what I needed. Nonetheless, I finally found both the schedule and the program descriptions and began plotting what to attend. I found myslef in serious want of quick and easy cloning as just about every time frame had at least two panels or workshops that I wanted to attend; there was one time period where there were FOUR that I wanted to attend **cries**. They also had some workshops that started late at night, at 11PM. That struck me as odd until it occurred to me that the con was being held at a hotel and it was the hotel that they'd arranged for discounts for attendees who stayed there. Then it made perfect sense.

     I didn't attend any of the late night ones, although there were several that I wanted. Although I live within driving distance, I hate driving in Boston. I was going to take public transpo, primarily the metro. Because I was doing public transpo, I had to work within their time constraints.  Then I looked at the site, and compared their driving directions to their metro directions and decided to chance driving. Arisia folks - next time, have a local write up the directions, ok? Please? And it if it was a local who wrote them this year, shoot them ASAP. I naturally made a wrong turn driving in but accidentally found myself at South Station, which I recalled from the directions as being a hop, skip and a jump from the hotel so I parked.

     The site directions said that South Station was within walking distance of the hotel so I activated my cell phone's GPS system. Yeah, that didn't work so well. :P It kept telling me to go to the street that I was already on and when I would walk down that street, the street the hotel was on (if I could just find it!), it would tell me, snarkily, that it was re-calculating my route. I surrendered, went back to South Station, and took the T to the hotel. Sigh. As I was waiting for my train, I looked at the metro map and discovered that my initial plan was in fact the better one. The T directions were a whole lot less complicated than the Arisia site had said and it would have been basically a straight shot for me. Double sigh.

      Eventually I arrived. avangyline and I had been texting each other throughout the morning and we found each other fairly quickly., Her husband, Just X, also a Kelley board member, was there too. avangyline and I squealed and hugged; Just X and I said "hello". :D 

     After the greetings, we sorted out what we wanted to attend. Never a cloning machine around when you need one. :P Just X wandered off and avangyline and I went to a panel on vampires and sexuality. Kelley was on the panel. It wasn't bad but I found myself checking my email during it. Afterwards, we spoke to Kelley and made arrangements to meet for dinner that night. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmm, I have talked way more than I expected and I need to head out so, To Be Continued! :D


  1. 1) You wrote my screen name just as I have it on the boards, but written out like that in another context, it looks like we're in a D/s relationship. I'm avangyline and I'll be your submissive for the day. ::blush::

    2) Agreed, Arisia is a great con with a crappy website. Lots of information, and nearly everything you want to know besides what hotel and where is buried.

  2. LOL How'd I end up as the Dom? I'd have said I was the submissive. Hmm, guess we really should have gone to one of those BDSM panels they were having. :D

  3. I am a New Seanan McGuire fan Sounds like a Good Time BTW There is a "Granite Con"in wherelse? NH I live in Vt so I might have a Peek at their website I hope he wasn't kidding lol Posted by Joe Hill.

  4. Great to hear that you were having a fun time.

    Perhaps write an email suggesting some changes to the con organisers. That way it would make it better all round for next time and perhaps you might get offered a position for the next one.

  5. Quite an adventure! ;) And er... why exactly does avangyline written out seem like a D/s sort of thing? I must know.

    And I find big cons and crappy websites go hand-in-hand. Case in point: Toronto's mega con, Fan Expo. It certainly LOOKS like a lovely website, but look deeper - each of the themed sub-conventions (horror, sci-fi, etc) have their own calendars, guests and activities - some of which overlap - and you can't find a full list anywhere. Bah!

    Looking forward to hearing the rest .

  6. Actually Jess, I have no idea LOL But she and I were being goofy at Arisia and joking about the different BDSM panels they offered.

    Arisia had an amazing array of panels and workshops, there truly was somethign for everyone.

    dros, I might work up the nerve to write an email, I haven't decided yet.

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