by Michæl W. Bard
©2008 Michæl W. Bard
Okay, not the most accurate of titles, I admit. But given that this is only my second furcon, and that it is snappy, how can I resist?
On Writing: This is my longest-term interest in furrydom, but its dominance is fading. I think its fading because Ive gotten arrogant enough that I go to the panels, find little of use, and have to throttle myself every five minutes to keep from leaping up and yelling that the person running the panel is an idiot! Not always true, but it happens a disturbing number of times.
The AC writing track was fairly substantialfive panels (plus) in all, most longer then an hour. The order was a bit mixed up, but they had one on character, one on plot, one on world building, one on dialogue, and one on character development. There was also a panel on adult writing that we dont talk about. And then Iron Author (this ones premise: write a story worse than The Eye of Argon), which we talk about even less
As to usefulnessthe panels were of a guided question-and-answer style, which I think is far more useful than a straight lecture. The one on plot even had you do actual writing exercises. Thanks to those exercises, its the only one I got anything out of: An interesting little story plot that may be useful. For more normalread: less arrogantpersons, I think the panels would be, in general, fairly interesting and useful. Recommended.
Besides, you get to sit down. :)
On Ursa Major Awards: This I went to because I was curious, and because a lot of people I know who couldnt go wanted to know how the awards stood. As to the panel itself About 25 people were there originally. Within 10 minutes, it was down to six. Granted, theyd moved the rooms around and there was going to be a different panel there, but still Six? No wonder the UM awards dont work worth crap! Far, far too many people dont give a damn about them.
And as a slap in the muzzle, even though the host tried to bring writing up, it lasted about 45 seconds. Then it was back to webcomics, anime, and movies.
On Hoofers: At these cons, there are apparently various panels on various species. Kind of a love-in for furries who have a special connection with said species. MFF, as I remember, had foxes (everybody always seems to have foxes), mustelids, bunnies, and a few others. AC this year had foxes and mustelids, but no bunnies. And it had hoofers. So I figured, what the hell?
It was probably the most fun I had at the entire con.
The person running it said theyd never done anything like this before, so I have no clue how typical this one was. Amongst the attendees was the hostin a full wolfdeer costume (dont ask), myself (with the horse partial), a minotaur full, a goat full, and a lot of tails. We did take our heads off to talk. The wolfdeer started by having everybody introduce themselves to each other, with a brief note as to why they were a hoofer. After that there was dead silence. I think it was I who brought up fursuits and hooves, and then it went on quite actively and fascinatingly. If this is typical of the species panels, I heartily recommend them! Of course, your mileage may vary
On Fursuiting: I admit, having mastered writing and having the same arrogant bastard experience at the writing panels I went to at MFF, I planned to concentrate on fursuiting. It didnt quite work as planned. In essence, due to a sudden dental emergency (filling falling out), and miscommunications, I ended up staying at a friends house in Pittsburg, and not having any place to change. Thursday I did some as I had a room then since my friend was going to be out of town until Thursday. Then it was all lugged to his house. Friday I did none as there was no easy way to change. Saturday I built my entire day around changing in the washroom (meaning that I had to wear components, and make other arrangements to make it as simple as possible) so as to be in the parade. Sunday I left it out all day to dry
No, Im not joking. Thats how much I sweated into the thing.
I wont go into observations about my personal fursuit; here and now is not the place for it. Im going to try to keep it to more general thoughts and observations for the interested people who may wish to visit AC in the future and fursuit.
Note that even given all of the above, and given the wonderful sauna that is my suit, I would have done it more if Id been able to. However, I would also get a hotel room at the con hotel! In other words: Yes, it is worth all the frustrating and baking. To me, anyway
On Friends: Probably the most important use of any furry con is to go there with friends, and to meet others. Sad but true; a furry con is not the best place to try and meet new people. On the other hand, its a great central place to meet friends you already know via internet contact, and its a safe place as there is good security and lots of people to provide help if required. Myself, I arrived late Wednesday because of the way my ride worked out. Until people I knew started arriving at ~3pm Thursday, I basically sat alone in a corner reading. So if Id not known any friends who came, the fursuiting would probably still have occurred somewhat, but I would not have had near as much fun.
Final Thoughts: Next year Ill be going again, unless something major gets in the way. I will also be renting a room for fursuiting purposes instead of staying with nice friendsthat is, remaining on-site most/all of the time, rather than having to leave the con every day. Staying with friends has advantages, and I may do it one nightbut its far too much of a damper on fursuiting, which Im still exploring.
If you go next year, good luck and have fun!