How do you feed your creativity? Soak in a bubble bath surrounded by scented candles? Listen to sweeping arias and the swelling music of an orchestra? Take long walks along the pebbled shore?
I go to science fiction conventions.
I’m not sure why, but hanging around with amazingly creative people, all sharing their love for a particular genre or show, just gets my juices flowing. This past weekend I had the privilege of attending Anglicon The Regeneration just south of Seattle, and I came back buzzing.
The original Anglicon was a media convention held yearly from 1988 to 2004. For the last 11 years, fans have lamented its loss. This year, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Con not only ran for three days but earned back enough money to book the hotel for next year’s convention.
Anglicon The Regeneration largely drew fans of Dr. Who. I was impressed by the wide range of attendees, from eager scientists to avid writers and artists to adoring fans from children to grandparents. I went to several panels on such things as upcoming British science fiction and fantasy movies and series (most were too scary for my tastes), cosplay on a budget (my budget proved a lot smaller than the panelists’ when it comes to purchasing items for costumes), and how to publish a book on Kickstarter (intriguing concept, but I’m not ready). I listened to Colin Baker, the sixth doctor, reminisce about his time on the show (charming man with an excellent sense of comedic timing). I tasted British soda pop for the first time (much stronger than our soda—took me two days to stop feeling the effects of the ginger beer, and the cream soda was like drinking vanilla frosting).
My two favorite parts of the Con were the conversations with interesting people and the costumes. One dapper vendor asked me to name the five historical people I’d invite to a dinner party (Lord Byron, Angelica Kauffman, Caroline Herschel, Ezra Meeker, and my great-grandmother on my father’s side) as well as five book characters I’d invite [Taran Wanderer from Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series, Uncas from James Fenimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans, Lord Peter Wimsey from Dorothy Sayers’s mystery series, Boromir from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (and not just because the swoon-worthy Sean Bean played him in the movie), and Tom Riddle from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (although without his nasty powers)].
And then there were the costumes. My word, but some people know how to put together an outfit! I had attempted to dress like the tenth doctor, with brown pin-striped suit, blue shirt, red sneakers and suitably spikey hair. Epic fail. There were people dressed so faithfully like the fourth, sixth, tenth, and eleventh doctors that you might have thought you were meeting him in person! And my hat’s off to those who can create a replica Dalek that could move, swivel, and speak authentically. (At least, I think it was a replica—I wasn’t exterminated!)
All in all, I came back tired but exhilarated, and ready to apply my own creativity to what I like best: writing romantic books that encourage and entertain. More on that next week. J
*All photos courtesy of Isabella Hurd.