This past weekend I went to Minneapolis for my first ever on-land nerd convention. I have been on the Jonathan Coulton cruise twice (JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 and 3). I really enjoyed those cruises, but I felt like a bit of an impostor, especially the first couple days of the first cruise. I am not a computer geek, and I don’t own a lot of nerdy t-shirts. I did buy a couple before the second year, but they were book related: The Giving Tree and Harry Potter.
I am a book nerd. And NerdCon: Stories was for bookish people like me. I felt right at home. Right away. It was wonderful!
I found the event when Googling book conferences one day a few months ago. I immediately wanted to attend because Rainbow Rowell was going to be there, and she is my absolute favorite author these days. The event corresponded perfectly with the release of Carry On, which is why she was there obviously. I bought the hardcover book, even though I own all of her other books in Kindle format, so I’d be able to get it signed at the event.
And I did! I missed the first signing on Saturday, but I skipped out of a different session early and was lucky enough to get into the line for her second hour of signing. My friend and book club-mate, Sarah, was there with me, so she could see the experience and take pictures. It was your typical fan-famous person interaction. I didn’t say anything profound, or much of anything at all, other than, “I love your books.” I don’t often nerd out, so it was embarrassing, but I’m glad I did it. I got my book signed. The goal of the weekend was accomplished. Yay!
I didn’t really know what to expect of the rest of the event. I don’t think anyone did, including Hank Green, who created the event. But it was awesome! The large morning and afternoon sessions had the same feel of the JoCo cruises. Tons of fans in a huge auditorium being entertained by a random assortment of famous people: authors, songwriters, entertainers, theater people. There was never a dull moment.
Seriously! There was hardly any down time. Sarah and I didn’t even really eat. We were expecting a continental breakfast at the hotel, and we didn’t even get that. Luckily she brought some granola bars, and there was a Dunn Brothers Coffee that sold muffins and yogurt. We made a quick trip to Jimmy John’s Friday night for dinner during the only 60 minute gap in the schedule. And Saturday night we skipped two events to finally go out to dinner because we couldn’t stand it any more.
It was amazing and crazy how much we crammed into two full days of programming. It was so hard and so sad to choose between sessions during the middle of the day. I wanted to go to everything!
More on that tomorrow…