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Tag: cons Page 1 of 7

OVFF 2018

Seventeen years ago, I went to my first OVFF. It was a magical experience, and I met many of my dearest friends that weekend, and started a relationship which has become the foundation of my world, so I have a lot of strong feelings about it. I haven’t missed one since, and I was thrilled last year to be asked to serve as Toastmaster for this year’s convention.

I kept trying to figure out a way to write a more comprehensive con-report, but there was so much going on and so many people to see and spend time with (and never enough time with any of you) that I fear leaving something or someone out. But in true awards show fashion, I’m going to try until the orchestra plays me off.

Much thanks to the entire concom for the invitation, to Eric and Lizzie, Julia and Lady J, Cam3, Twill and Osiris of Wreck The System for being an awesome group of folks to share a bill with, and with whom to judge songwriting contests. Thanks to SteveEricaTrace, and Kathryn for late night Pegasus shenanigans. Thank you very much to Bill for the wonderful and humbling words in my program book bio, and for the years of friendship that made it possible.

Special thanks to Steve Macdonald and Merav Hoffman for implausibly last-minute assistance with my concert set. Those last two numbers couldn’t have happened with your help, and they’re both songs I’ve been wanting to do on stage for a long, long time.

My concert set was as follows.

0. The Folsom Connection
1. Anthem (cover)
2. The Madonna of the Midway (cover)
3. A Con Spent In A Circle
4. Thirteen Chord Songs
5. Son of a Son of a Vor Lord
6. Pass the Sage
7. The Ironforge Song
8. Party Of Four
9. Lawyers Guns and Honey
10. The Muppets Take Manhattan

(Lyrics for all songs by me except as noted: “Party of Four”, “Lawyers, Guns, and Honey”, and “The Muppets Take Manhattan” lyrics by myself and Jeff Williams. “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen. “The Madonna Of The Midway” lyrics by John M. Ford, music by Emma Bull. Tunes to all the parodies by their respective original composers; see my website for credits to specific songs. As always, these songs and others I’ve written can be found at http://www.autographedcat.com/songs/)

Thank you to everyone who attended my concert and who told me afterwards they enjoyed it. It was an honour to sing for you.

Thanks to Andrea and Lauren for the late night ice cream run, to Eric Distadand Jen for many long conversations, and to Elise for endless kindness.

Thanks to Kat for unexpected magic.

And finally, always, thanks to Larissa, who is my rock, my foundation, and my partner. You make everything possible.

OVFF 2018 was a blast, and I’m already looking forward to seeing everyone next year.

Another GaFilk gone by the way

I’ll write more about Gafilk a bit later, but I wanted to share this with you.  Every year, I write a short introduction for the front of the program book.  This is what I wrote for this year.

Sixteen years ago, Gafilk was born.

Stop and ponder that for just a moment.  Sixteen years ago was the last century.  Sixteen years ago was the last millennium.

Children born the same weekend as Gafilk I are now in high school and able to get drivers licenses.

The first Gafilk banquet wouldn’t be for another 3 years.  Nor would the first Super Secret Guest.  The My Filk game show wouldn’t début until the following year.   A number of people we could not today imagine Gafilk without we hadn’t even met yet.  Some of the people we could not then imagine doing Gafilk without are no longer with us.

The best things about Gafilk as we know it today, the traditions we honour every year, didn’t come about because of careful planning and deliberation.  They were happy accidents.  “That was fun,” we’d say.  “Let’s do it again next year!”  And next year, and next year, and on and on until today.  As our first Super Secret Guest, Lois McMaster Bujold once remarked, “It only looks inevitable in hindsight.”

But there’s one thing we had at that first Gafilk, sixteen years ago, that we still have today.  It’s the same thing they had at the first filk con, and at filks dating back to before most of us can remember:

Put the chairs in a circle.  Gather your musical family to sit in the chairs.

Make magic.

Looking forward, looking back

For Larissa and me, 2012 was the year of stasis.  We had big plans, and we worked towards them diligently, but a great deal of it felt like marking time until we could pull the lever that would propel everything into motion.1

A year ago, we threw that lever and began the adventure.  Leaving our jobs, packing the car, and driving west to Seattle was a carefully orchestrated gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

2013 was the year of transitions.  We moved across the country and set up house with a dear friend who needed roommates.  Six months later, we introduced her to another dear friend, with whom she promptly fell in love and moved to Boston.  We left our landing spot in the suburbs and moved into the heart of the city, in the shadow of the Space Needle and just blocks from the scenic waterfront of Elliot Bay.

I found a new job.  Larissa found an old one.

One romantic relationship came to an abrupt end, to my dismay.  Another unexpectedly came into being, to my delight.

I left one podcast, and began the work of reviving another.

I wrote several new songs.  I performed a concert at OryCon.2  Just recently, I started taking guitar instruction for the first time in over 15 years.3

Darling, I’ve always tried to find the road not taken
From Monterey to Macon, two lanes have been my friends
Coastal highway, bayou byway, out and back again
But if you say you’re lonely, you know there’s only 40, 80, or 10
–Tanya Savory, “40, 80, or 10”

I drove the entire length of the country, from Georgia to California and up to Washington.4 I saw the Grand Canyon in all its glory, and traversed the Great Divide.  I travelled to destinations old and new:  Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Canada; Salt Lake City, Utah; Columbus, OH.  I explored my new city and it’s surrounding lakes and mountains, the place I had chosen at long last, to call home.

Over the course of this year, I’ve not done some things as well as I would have liked.  I have been a terrible correspondent, relying much too heavily on social media to keep in touch.  I’ve done an even worse job reaching out to newly local friends.5 For various reasons, I’ve done very little podcast recording this past year, though that was almost entirely not by my choice.  This blog has been too too neglected, though I made a couple of efforts to remedy that, and I hope to do a better job in the coming year.  And it will probably take most of the next year for our finances to adequately recover from moving all the mountains we had to shift in order to make it to where we are.

But where we are, I have to say, is pretty damn good.  As the year draws to a close, we are finding a new equilibrium, and settling into new habits and routines.  There will always be change; the wheel will always turn.  But I feel as though the great transition we set in motion a year ago is complete.

We are home.

This is my ghost, this is my home — millions of miles my mind can’t own
No one’s seen it all; no one will
But I want to memorize it, every inch, want to remember where I’ve been
I bless these waves, I bless this wind, bless this grace & all my sins
–Marian Call, “Highway Five”


  1. I remarked to Kathleen Sloan in July of that year that I felt like we were turning our entire world upside down in slow motion. 

  2. Where I also was a program participant on a wide variety of panels. 

  3. Aside from a 12 week introductory group class in 1998, I’m entirely self taught.  Many of you are now nodding and thinking “Ah, that explains it…” 

  4. I’ve now driven pretty much the entire length of I-40, most of it on this one trip. 

  5. Social anxiety is awkward. I really do want to spend time with all of you.  I’m just really really bad at actually saying that. 

OryCon: Day Three

The final day of OryCon had come at last, and with it my concert.

Before that, though, we packed up the room and lugged the suitcase out to the car. and then went to the main stage room to see Alexander James Adams’s set.  He was in great form, and it was a treat to see him play twice in 3 weeks1, and a great time was had by all.  His Sleepy Hollow song (whose title I forget) was especially electric.

At noon, it was time for the Band Scramble.  This is an event that seems to be really big here in the Northwest…everyone’s name goes into a hat, and bands are formed by pulling them out at random.  The new group then has 24 hours to decide on a song to perform together and knock it out.  Due to this that and the other thing, our band2 (consisting of myself, Andrew Ross, Cecilia Eng, and Amanda Morris) never did get together to rehearse, so we very quickly convened in the hallway for half a dry-run of Andrew’s song “Can’t Stop The Signal”, which is to the tune of “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray, and works well for this because each person can take a verse.  Cecilia elected just to play the guitar, as the song wasn’t in her range in the key we were doing it, but that still gave each of the others a turn at the mic.  It started out a bit ragged, but we threw ourselves into the “Hello, SHOWTUNES” energy of it and it came together all right in the end.  The second band up featured Char McKay, Alexander James Adams, Steve Dixon, and Callie Hills, and it was really lovely.  The final band3 featured Debs & Errol and Danica Dixon, and they went the extra mile and apparently, not understanding the rules of the contest, went and *wrote* a song to perform the night before.  It was a lovely piece about Howl’s Moving Castle, and I hope that it might resurface because it was really lovely.

The next event was to be the song-writing contest, which I was one of the judges for, but since only one person had submitted a song, we let him sing his song and then awarded him the prize.

Next up was my concert.  This was my first concert here in the Northwest, and the first one I’d done in over a year, and I’ll admit I felt a bit rusty at the start.  I also made the last minute decision to sit rather than stand, which I regret now because I wasn’t really comfortable.  Oddly enough, the songs at the top of the set list were ones I’d been specifically practising, and they were shaky, where as the back half of the set list was mostly songs I do often enough I hadn’t been specifically rehearsing them, and those went much better.  The set list was:

Party of Four
Accept No Substitutes
Son Of A Son Of A Vor Lord
Ceci N’est Pas Un Chanson (Dave Rood)
Guinevere (Robin Batteau)
You Stay Here (Richard Shindell)
One Trick Pony (Paul Simon)
Ozymandias (Dave Weingart)4
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Stars)
Year of the Cat (Al Stewart)5
Space (Ben Wakeman)

Someone who was in the audience will have to judge how well it went over all.  Like Mr. Tanner, I only hear the flaws.  But I think it went reasonably well once I got past the first couple of songs.

Once I was done with my concert, I did what I usually do after a concert.  I went to the bar and ordered a stiff drink.  I had an hour to kill before my final panel, which was titled “PC vs Mac vs Linux vs Unix”, which we spent very little talking about because it’s not a fundamentally interested thing to talk about for an hour.  Both myself and my co-panellist agreed that computers are tools and you select the tool that’s best for the job at hand, and then went on to talk about the history of the personal computer6, and what’s on the cutting edge of development for user interface design7.  Despite the fact that we spent very little time on the topic at hand, we had a lot of audience engagement and everyone seemed to like the conversation, so I’ll call it a success.

At this point it was 4pm and we both have to work tomorrow, so we reluctantly begged off a dinner invitation and hit the road.  Three hours later, we were home, ordered pizza and watched a couple of episodes of Pawn Stars, which was about precisely what we had enough brain power to process.

I had an absolutely magical weekend.  Much thanks to the concom, and particularly Daniel Reitman and Andrew Ross, for inviting me and giving me so much to do across a broad spectrum.  I made some new friends, had some interesting conversation, and quite honestly had the time of my life.  I’m already looking forward to coming again next year.


  1. since we’d just seen him at OVFF 

  2. Which was inadvertently named “Only Here For The Flowers” 

  3. The Band of Awesome 

  4. Requested from the audience 

  5. One day, I want to do this with a proper band so we can do the extended outro 

  6. How did we get into this mess? 

  7. How are we going to get out of this mess? 

OryCon: Day Two

Whew! Another long fun day at OryCon.

Last night at 11pm was the Polyamory panel, which was in a smallish room absolutely packed with people.  There was a lot of discussion about different ways to approach non-monogamy, and a couple of people there were dealing with particular issues in their own relationships that they asked the room for advice on.  There was a great deal of advice handed out both generally and specifically.  I got a good laugh when I noted that 95% of relationship advice for how to have a good poly relationship also applies as to how to have a good monogamous relationship, “and the 5% that doesn’t mostly involves calendars”.

I had hoped to make it to open filk last night, but after this panel was over, I was exhausted so I went back to the room and went to sleep instead.

We got up and out in time to get breakfast at the hotel buffet before I had to be at an 11am panel titled “Social Media:  Revolution or Time Sink”.  It was a spirited discussion about the various ways not only that we all use social media, but the way that marketers use the information they collect from our engagement on social media for various purposes.1  We got a lot of good questions from the audience, and it was thought provoking.

I had a couple of hours off after that before moderating three panels in a row.  The first was titled “Putting the Play Back Into Role-Playing”, and had a neat group of RPG vets.  We talked a great deal about storytelling, collaboration, and how role-paying is ultimately what you bring to the table as a player more than the mechanics of the given game you are playing.  I was left at the end of it with a desire to get into a really crunchy character-driven RPG again.2

Immediately afterwards3, we convened a packed, standing-room-only hour titled “Fifty Years With the Doctor”, celebrating everyone’s favourite Time Lord.  The audience (and the panel) was a pretty even split between old-time fans of the show like myself and folks who had only gotten into Doctor Who with the new series.  Two of the panelists even said that they got into the show because of their kids, which was a neat sort of reverse-generational story that you don’t run across too often.  After a few opening remarks, we pretty much threw this one open to the audience, and had a rollicking good time rockin’ the TARDIS.4

The third panel of the afternoon was titled “The Positive Influence of Video Games”, and was just me and one other panelist.  He had a lot of notes on scientific studies on the topic, and some background as a developer, so there was a lot of interesting data.  But aside from those studies, we also talked about the aesthetics of gaming and whether or not video games could be art, the sorts of skills and social connections that gaming can help develop, and stories about games that had changed our thoughts about things or made a positive impact on our lives.  We got a lot of good audience participation on this one, too, and I felt pretty good about it.

I met up with kitanzi in time to hear the very tail end of Callie Hills’s concert, which was unfortunately scheduled against my panel, and then we went back up to the room and ordered some food for dinner, after which I took a short nap before my final event of the day, which was being part of a “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” game.  If you’ve never seen the TV show, it’s improv theatre games, with the twist here being that a lot of the topics and scenarios were tailored towards a science-fiction con crowd.  My favourite game was one where we each took on the persona of a fameous author, and then discussed our approach to a book.  The topic was “Romance Self-Help book”, and the authors were HP Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, Dr. Suess, and George RR Martin.  The lady who had Dr. Suess went on a sad monologue about trying to gain the affections of Sam-I-Am, turning to me at the end and saying “He won’t try my green eggs and ham.  What should I do?” and I, as GRR Martin, stepped forward and said “It was at this point in the story that Sam-I-Am suddenly and tragically died.”, which good a good laugh.  When it died down, I said “But love must go on, so I am introducing 743 new characters in the next chapter.” which got an even bigger laugh. We also had a lot of fun with traditional bits like Party Guests and Dating Game.

Once again, I find myself too tired for open filk.  But I have my concert tomorrow at 1pm, so i’ll get to do at least a little bit of filking at this con.   But for now….sleep.


  1. Which is ultimately, in my view, not really as sinister as we tend to treat it.  95% of the people collecting data are doing it to more efficiently sell us things we might actually want, which means less time wadding through advertisements that you don’t care about.  Since they’re going to put ads in front of us anyway, they may as well be for things we want to see. 

  2. Aside to the old Defensive Perimeter folks:  I miss you all so much. 

  3. luckily, all three of these were in the same room 

  4. If the TARDIS is a’rockin’, don’t bother clockin. 

OryCon: Day 1

Whew.  It’s been a long time since I was at a gencon, but I’ve been having a great time at this one.

After getting up and getting a shower, we wandered over to the nearby mall for a late breakfast/early lunch.  We ended up getting reasonably tasty teriyaki chicken from the food court, and had a great time watching the skaters on the ice rink in the middle of the mall while we ate.

Between panels I was on and things I wanted to attend, I had a pretty full day.  First up was “Can Movies Capture The Joy of Comics”, which was a lively panel.  We talked about the many various successful and unsuccessful attempts to adapt comics to the screen, and got a lot of input from the audience.

Immediately following was a panel called “Books to Movies to Comics to Movies to Books”, which was all about adaptation.  While some of it focused on similar topics to the first panel, we were a bit broader in the discussion, and got in several examples of cross-medium adaptation, including movie novelisations, TV series continuing as comics, and even the recent trend of taking a bunch of disparate iconic concepts and blending them into a new series, such as “Once Upon A Time” and “Grimm” have been doing.1

We had a brief break before a 6pm panel on “Developing Convention Policies”, which was attended by my wife and the husband of one of my co-panelists.2 After 10 minutes of no one being there, the panel and audience decided that we ought to continue our conversation on convention policy over dinner, and adjourned as a group to the restaurant.

After dinner, we got to the filk room in time to hear most of Frank Hayes’s concert.  I had arranged with the filk track to present Frank with his Pegasus Award for Best Alien Song,3 and as luck would have it, he played it in his set.  We interrupted the concert in order to present the award, which was great fun, since he hadn’t been warned this was going to happen.

Next up was the Filk Guest of Honour concert performance from Debs and Errol.  I was already quite familiar with their work via recording, but it was great to finally see them perform live.4 I hope to spend more time with them as the weekend progresses, but after the concert they had the usual press of folks wanting to meet them, so I briefly introduced myself and figured I’d see them again as the weekend progressed.  Tremendous fun duo.  Do *not* miss them if you get the chance.

As I’m writing this, I have one more duty, which is to be part of the Polyamory panel at 11pm.  After which I think I will sleep soundly.  Tomorrow has another full day in store!


  1. I mentioned and was surprised no one in the audience had heard of “Welcome to Night Vale“. 

  2. My opening remark:  “We outnumber them.  I think that means we win!” 

  3. Which was awarded two weeks ago at OVFF 

  4. During the concert, I tweeted “I really want to fold up @debsanderrol and put them in my luggage. 

Oyrcon Prologue

I fully intended to write this entry last night, but by the time we got here I was pretty brain dead.

Seattle rush hour traffic is awful at the best of times, but last night for whatever reason it was particularly bad.  You wouldn’t think an area as generally wet as the Pacific Northwest would produce a lot of people with water-soluble driving skills,1 but there you have it.  Our immediate neighbourhood was a parking lot in all directions, and as a result it took us well over an hour just to get from Lower Queen Anne to south of the airport.  Once we did, though things smoothed out and we made pretty good time from that point on.

We stopped at a Burger King outside of Mount Saint Helens,2 because we didn’t know what the late night food situation would be once we got to Portland.3 It’s been years since I ate at a Burger King, and I took a moment to scan the menu before ordering, which led me to ask a question I’d never asked before.

“What on earth,” I asked the lovely counter girl, “is an *angry* Whopper?”

It turns out that the Angry Whopper has jalapeños, onion rings, and pepper-jack cheese, along with bacon and “angry sauce”.  It was quite tasty, and their new crinkle-cut fries are a winner.

We got a bit turned around coming into the hotel area and ended up back on the Interstate, but our GPS helpfully navigated us back around, bringing us through an old downtownish area.  A pet store with a big neon sign declared its name as “Pets On Broadway”, leading me to imagine a chorus line of puppies and kittens.  We finally got to the hotel, checked in, and parked the car, and then collapsed into slumber.


  1. Thanks to France Andrews Zeve for this phrase. 

  2. “Home of the Volcano Burger” their sign entirely failed to say. 

  3. Note to future self:  southwest Washington is full of nothing.  Pack a lunch. 

Wasn’t This Supposed To Be A Musical?

This whole first year that we’ve been in Seattle, I’ve managed to attend the local filk convention within days of arriving,1 and I’ve been to a couple of conventions out of state2, but I really haven’t attended any of the local or regional conventions.  So next weekend will be my grand entrance onto the local fannish scene when I am at OryCon 35 in Portland, Oregon.

I was pleased and flattered to be asked to participate in the programming, and I have quite a busy weekend lined up, including a concert on Sunday afternoon, so if you’re going to be there, I hope you’ll come and see me.

Here’s what I’ve got lined up:

Friday, November 8

3:00pm

4:00pm

6:00pm

11:00pm

Saturday, November 9

11:00am

2:00pm

3:00pm

4:00pm

9:00pm

Sunday, November 10

12:00pm

12:30pm

1:00pm

3:00pm

I hope I’ll see you there!

  1. Like, literally, we arrived on Wednesday and unpacked the car, and went down to the con hotel on Thursday. 

  2. Nerdtacular, in Salt Lake City, and OVFF in Columbus, Ohio 

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while. Not much, how ’bout you?

So, where was I?

The last time I wrote here, I was on the road between Atlanta and Seattle.  I had actually intended to live blog the trip, but then I didn’t, and once I got here I was caught up in the whole process of settling in and finding a job and all those other mundane things that take up all your time and attention, and the next thing you know, four months have gone by.

We’re pretty well settled in, at this point.  Both kitanzi and I found jobs fairly quickly; she has a temp gig in Bellevue with dumb hours, and I found a permanent posting at a company in Seattle, so we’re doing okay there.  Both of us are enjoying living in an area where transit is actually useful, and as a result we’re only driving the car on the weekends most of the time, and ended up selling the second car that we’d left behind in Atlanta.  Housemate situation with runnerwolf is also going well; the apartment is a bit cramped for our liking, but we expected that, and when the lease is up we can look for something with a bit more space if we wish to continue sharing quarters.

I’m at the point where i’m ready to start being more social again, now that my routines are starting to coalesce.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on redesigning my personal website for the first time since 2001.  The old page was aesthetically antique, and it was time for a refresh, so I set up a brand new WordPress installation and have rehomed my blog there.  I will still be cross-posting entries on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth, and I encourage people to comment in whatever place is most useful and convenient to them.  I’m hoping to do more long-form blogging in the future, and also be more active about promoting my various projects.

As of right now, I expect to be at the following conventions, if you’d like to see me:

July 5-6, Nerdtacular 2013, Salt Lake City, UT
October 25-27, OVFF, Columbus, OH
November 8-10, OryCon, Portland, OR

I’ll add more if and when plans are made.

So, that’s what’s been going on.  What’s going on with you?

 

There’s Life And There’s Music, and Music Endures

The last week really has been a blur. Between getting ready for Gafilk, actually putting on Gafilk, and then immediately packing the car to start driving west for our move to Seattle, I haven’t had a lot of time for posting. But there’s a few thing I wanted to get down from the weekend.

An incomplete list of GaFilk highlights:

  • Visiting Atlanta’s new International Terminal
    When I went to pick up Susan from the airport (Sam’s flight having been delayed by bureaucracy), I left the hotel in what would normally be plenty of time…except that I forgot that all international flights were now landing at the new terminal. I also realised that I didn’t actually know where that was. Fortunately, there were signs, but it’s such a long way that I kept thinking I must have missed a turn until I’d see another sign directing me to continue. By the time I got there, I wasn’t entirely sure that the terminal wasn’t actually *in* Canada. Still, I got there just in time to meet Susan (and Morva and Alan) at the baggage claim.

  • Bill Sutton’s “sound workshop”.
    Since a lot of the people who normally help us out with sound didn’t make it to the con this year, we decided to make a virtue out of the need for volunteers and announced that anyone who wanted to learn a bit about running sound was welcome to come and learn it from Bill. Several people volunteered, so the sound went off without a hitch.

  • Tim Griffin
    I’d actually heard (though not really met) Tim Griffin at a previous convention on the west coast, but I’d only heard him do a couple of songs. He was our choice to do the Friday night concert, and he was amazing. He does educational music that is both informational and funny (or, sometimes, poignant), and has a great audience rapport. He also is just a really fun guy to hang out with and talk to, and he was always pitching in here and there where an extra pair of hands was needed. Great guy, and I was so pleased to meet him.

  • George and Teresa as toastmasters
    Two great people who are such a big part of Gafilk since the early days; they did a fantastic job both MCing and on their concert. Since most of the time you see them as part of larger bands, it was really nice to see them do some stuff with just the two of them.

  • Fiana
    I didn’t get to hear as much of them as I would have liked, but everything I heard was delightful. Thanks to Interfilk again for another wonderful guest. I did get to hang with Thom and Christina a bit during the weekend, and they were a lot of fun to talk to.

  • Sam Baardman and Susan Israel
    I already knew they were awesome musicians (that is, after all, why we invited them), but they are also just extraordinarily nice people. Their concert on Saturday was a delight. I’m often in and out of concerts at Gafilk because I’m always keeping an eye on what’s going on elsewhere, but I usually have one that I just allow myself to sit and take in without interruption, and I’m glad I did for this one, because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a moment of it.

  • Play It With Moxie’s banquet performance
    If you’ve been to a Gafilk banquet before, you know what this was like. Moxie just gets better and better every year, and I danced and danced and danced. Thanks to everyone who endured my inexpert steps; I have far more enthusiasm than skill, but I never don’t have a good time.

  • Larry Niven
    Larry’s hour was spent between a reading and telling entertaining fandom stories, and it was a great time. He seemed to have a good time listening to all the music, and I’m so glad he could make it out as our SSG this year.

  • Stray Dog jam
    A hallway filk broke out during (and after) the stray dog party, which started when the two fiddlers in residence wanted to trade some licks and ended up with a huge crowd. (I had a conversation with one person over the weekend about “sing-y” vs. “jam-y” circles, and this was definitely the latter.) I was only around for a part of it, but everything I heard was amazing.

As usual at Gafilk, I really didn’t get a chance to play, because by the time open filk starts I’m usually ready to fall over. I never even took my guitar down from my room this year. But I did get to play one song, and it’s my personal best moment of the weekend:

  • Getting to play my Talis Kimberley cover for Talis Kimberley
    Just having Talis there was a treat for me, because she really is one of my favourite people in the world and I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with her. But one thing I wanted to do if I had the chance is play for her the one song of hers that I cover. So when i spotted her in a little circle near the registration table shortly after closing ceremonies, I stopped to listen for a bit, and then asked to borrow a guitar so i could play it for her. Amy was on hand to add Amyness, which honestly makes everything sound better than it would otherwise, and Talis liked what I did with her song.

    (The song in question is “Harbouring Hopes”, which is the final track on her album Archetype Cafe. As I commented when I played it, “I’m sorry to say the song first came to my attention at a time I desperately needed it, and I’m happy to say that I haven’t needed it for a very long time.”)

There were some more personal non-music related highlights as well, but they all come down to “getting to spend time with people who are dear to me”, and if I started to list them I’d leave someone out. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed every single moment of every single conversation, every single hug and cuddle, and every single story.

And so another year is kicked off in grand fashion with a successful Gafilk. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen (I have the best concom ever), and thanks to everyone who came up to me and wished me and Larissa luck on our upcoming move. Gafilk has always been and will always be a family gathering, and I always feel blessed to be in the middle of it every year.

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