I’m just about recovered from this year’s wonderful Eroticon – and from the vile cold that unfortunately accompanied me all weekend. (Sorry again to those who had their talks – or listening pleasures – interrupted by me barking away like an old-school TB ward.) If you haven’t already been reading through all the other fab blogs and tweets and even newspaper write-ups about how fab it all was: rest assured. It was fab.
Anyway, Jenny came up with this meme and I thought I’d join in, as well. First, the tangibles…
1) The goody bag and its contents. I snaffled a purple one, with a view to re-using it throughout this summer’s dancing season, what with purple being the team colour and the logo being relatively subtle – no less subtle than my battered Brag Bag with all the ironed-on book covers, anyway.
2) The business cards of the people I hope I will be doing some business with over the next year. Definitely a lot of Cunning Plans were made in the course of the weekend: more about those very soon.
3) The pen-torches. Sorry yet again. Between vile cold, hangover and over-excitement, I quite forgot to hand out as many of these as I planned. If anyone would really, really like one, drop me a comment or an email… They are pens with a small torch on the non-writing end, ideal for editing manuscripts in bed without waking your bedmate. Allegedly.
And the intangibles, which are a mix of inspirations, reassurances and… moments.
4) How great the reading slam at the end was. No, this is not a bit of own-trumpet-blowing: it’s a tribute to all the readers. I’d had a few doubts due to the fact that several of the people on the bill were people I hadn’t hosted before, and I had been ever so slightly anxious as to whether anyone would die on their arse; read something overlong, or dodgy, or stand there mumbling and looking at the floor. You were all wonderful and I shouldn’t have doubted any of you.
5) A determination to stop neglecting this blog just because of online access issues, boosted by ILB’s session on blogging. I’ve managed to put this piece up without frightening anyone else in the internet café, after all.
6) Reassurance that paperback books do matter, from Anna Sky’s session: I am not the only person who still likes to stroke book covers and gets far more excited over a print copy than a little screen.
7) Fun in the rope workshop: the next book is going to feature a lot of rope play, and I consider that all the justification I need for getting to as many rope-themed events as I can manage. Because there’s always that moment where you chuck a length of hemp round someone and watch their eyes roll back in bliss…
8) increased awareness that, actually, what we all do matters. That writing about sex is hugely valid and important, even in the current uneasy and potentially dangerous political/social climate. The fact that more than one workshop addressed ideas of sex writing as activism was hugely inspiring.
9) A reminder of how important community is to writers, particularly erotic writers. We are a solitary, neurotic bunch with heads full of peculiar thoughts, and person after person said pretty much the same thing: how brilliant it is to hang out with other people who actually understand.
10) Watching other people blossom. This was my fourth Eroticon, and though I was a tough old buzzard with plenty of experience when it comes to meeting new people in strange environments the first time, I still appreciated the immense and instant warmth of the event. This time round, there were folks I remembered as nervous, shy, wall-hugging beginners leading sessions and performing in the slams and speaking up for themselves and their friends and their community in all sorts of ways.
See you all next year – and hopefully see some of you sooner than that.