Gold Nail Polish, New Friends, and a Couple Good Foot Stomps

 I just took off my gold nail polish, which means that SciFi on the Rock is offically over for me. Am I recovered from three full days of meeting and greeting, selling and yelling yet? No, of course not. Does one ever recover from a brand new experience? Not really; I think what happens instead is you just adapt to this new aspect of your life. And, just like it took me a long time to adapt to the experience of driving across the country and back, I think it’s going to take me a while to adapt to SciFi on the Rock 10.

In all honesty, I feel somewhat disoriented. I went from SciFi on the Rock – nearly twelve hours a day for three days – and then was expected to return to the routine of life. Rather like Dorothy must have marveled at the thought of returning to Kansas after experiencing Oz, or Frodo wondered at how Hobbiton could feel like home, I am looking around my world and thinking that it doesn’t quite fit anymore.

(Of course, that could be the exhaustion speaking. I am already remembering my place in this routine I have established over the last few weeks.)

How to explain SciFi on the Rock? How can I possibly convey the constant sense of motion, the energy in the air that almost makes you claustrophobic, or the wonder at seeing all these different people in their costumes trying to disguise their slight nerves with face-paint or a mask? Where people think they’ll be accepted – but maybe they won’t be – and the relief and happiness that fills their expressions when you recognize what character they are playing as. How to explain the sudden lurch in your stomach and jump of your heart the first time someone asks for you to sign a book – and then the sudden horror as you realize you have no idea what to write for them. Could I possible do justice to the constant headache from all the noise and people and socializing, but also how you push past the headache because here are smiling people wanting to talk to you about shared passions? And watching people talk to people; strangers minutes before, and strangers minutes later, but for this brief period of time spent gesturing and grinning wildly and stammering over their words: family.

Maybe some people were hoping I would go over the events of the weekend, but unless I really concentrate, it’s difficult for me to separate events. There was a book launch – and I’d like to thank everyone that came and listened to me stumble over my words since I wasn’t expecting to read from my story. And thank you to all the authors that contributed to SciFi from the Rock; it was a huge success, and it’s all thanks to you – and two panels. Two very different panels, I might add; most panels don’t allow you to shout at Matthew LeDrew with a foot stomp for emphasis or mutter sarcastic comments to Ellen Curtis and Scott Bartlett and get a thumbs up from a fan in the front row when they overhear (that’s the Dysfunctional Writing Panel, in case anyone was wondering). The other panel, while slightly nerve-racking since I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to say, was just as wonderful since questions were asked and answered and for once I actually felt like part of the Engen Crew. Although I’m aware that Ellen and Matthew have welcomed me with open arms – something I super appreciate – I’m finally beginning to feel like something more than the weak link.

And I met people! So many people I don’t think I could name them all – some of them I had met before, but for the first time I felt like an equal and not a nuisance. I finally got to meet Kenneth Tam and Chris Walsh; Jay Paulin, Ariel Marsh and their crew; Matthew Daniels, Sam Bauer, and a dozen other people I never got the surnames of. Sorry, guys. I’m usually okay at names, but I think my brain just reached its limit this weekend.

So what was SciFi on the Rock 10? For me, it was a glimpse into a world I want to be a part of: a world where people cared about the same things as me, where I got to talk about things that I loved, and got to inspire and help people who love these things too.

When SciFi first began ten years ago, I don’t think anyone expected it to grow into something like this. And when Erin Vance was fourteen, she never thought she’d grow into an editor and writer with one degree and another one on the way. Which just makes me wonder what exactly the next ten years holds, for both SciFi on the Rock and everyone it touches.

I bet whatever it is, it’s incredible.

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