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As I noted in the last post, this is not the most representative couple of posts on what Arisia is like for most people, just me. It was a fun and lively convention and I would definitely be willing to go back. Now back to what I actually did there.

So having messed up on times, I hung out with Connie Wilkins until we needed to work the BU table. The table was hopping, thought not so much for us. Lots of people stopped to get badge tags and info and some books by other people, plus interesting socializing with other Broads. At one point, I met Rose Mambert of
Pink Narcissus Press, who was quite entertaining.From there, we were off to dinner with Connie and family, then back up to the room for me to deal with my worsening migraine.

Then back down again to moderate an 8:30 panel - Unheard Voices of SF/F/H.
This is a roadshow panel  that we've been doing at a number of conventions with representatives from Broad Universe, the Carl Brandon Society and Outer Alliance. talking about each organization, why we all exist and what we hope to do next (I'm a Board member for BU, a founding member of Outer Alliance and a member of Carl Brandon, hence the "we"). The full panel discussion will be up at the Outer Alliance podcast in a few weeks so this is just based on what I remember at a high level while moderating and having a migraine. .K. Tempest Bradford stepped in for Nisi Shawl (who sat in the audience and asked us to call her "Nalo," which made for lots of fun comic relief); other panelists included Andrea Hairston, Julia Rios, Trisha Wooldridge, Victor Raymond and me.

Resources that the organizations offer:
Broad Universe is an organization that exists to promote women writing science fiction, fantasy and horror (women are defined as anyone self-identifying as female). Resources/benefits of membership include: social media, newsletter, online discussion group, website catalog of member works, a podcast, rapidfire readings at conventions and tables at conventions.
Carl Brandon is an organization that exists to promote racial and ethnic diversity in both the writing and reading of science fiction and fantasy. The organization runs the Parallax and Kindred Awards, as well as the Octavia Butler Scholarship fund to send writers of color to Clarion and the Con or Bust auction, which provides financial support to fans of color wanting to attend cons. They also host parties at several conventions, including Arisia and WisCon.
The Outer Alliance is an organization that exists to promote and support the writing and reading of LGBTQ science fiction, fantasy and horror. There is a podcast, an online discussion group and a reading group at WisCon, as well as panels such as this one.

We discussed visibility and invisibility, some of the authors that we've lost, small presses that promote diversity, things we'd like to do if we had the people power and resources, issues in the field that make each organization essential, conventions that are friendly to diversity, and related topics. It was lively, as promised, and I'll post a link to the podcast when it's available. Check out each organization's website for some resources. I'll post more as I think of them.

We left the panel, stopped off to talk to Victor and some of his friends and ended up in the bar, as one does. we spent a jolly hour or so talking about conventions, queer fandom, LGBTQ organizing and other related topics. And I may be headed back to Boston for an upcoming con. More bulletins as events warrant. We made vague plans to meet Victor the next morning but the hellacious hotel wifi made connecting nearly impossible. So we ended up wandering down to the restaurant on Sunday morning and crashing the breakfast that Victor, Tempest and a friend were having. More food, more chatting, occasional bits of gossip and sordid anecdotes ensued. As they do.

Jana went off to go look for a bookstore and I stayed, fully intending to go to panels. I got a message that James Nicoll had some questions about BU and went to his guest interview, which was very entertaining. He and I wandered back up through the hotel and I ended up crashing the lunch he was having with a friend (we have a theme for Sunday!). And there was more hanging out and chatting. Then off to the Art Show so I could recover my fabulous little bird bone earrings and skull box, then down to the Dealer's Room. And from thence, on to an early dinner with Julia Rios. Jana took off for a panel and Julia and I retired to our room to hang out until her next panel and the Masquerade.

After that, Jana and I hung out, complimented people on their costumes, then went and vegged out. So, overall, good  relaxing time, bruises, migraine and all. Good chatting with friends and meeting new people and all of the things that make for a good con weekend.

Monday's trip back was pleasant and mellow. So now we are back to the regularly scheduled programs of unpacking the office, putting stuff away, dealing with Mom and so forth. Thanks for a fine and pleasant con, Arisia!

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