Now, you need to understand that nerds are a unique breed of creature, both passionate and determined. We’ll stand in line for hours to get a glimpse of our favorite fandom king or writer. We get a thrill from free pins to put on our lanyards (we also love lanyards). Yet we’re also very polite about it all; no one tramples you to get to the free T-Shirt; our favorite words as we whack each other with our foam costumes are, Excuse me, sorry. We become fast friends, chatting about trolls and magical wizards as we wait on sore feet for that free new book that could be all the rage.
This year was the fourth year for me, traversing the beautiful insanity of San Diego Convention Center’s hallowed halls. I always go with the attitude of letting Fate guide me as the hours pass in the madness and it seems to totally work. Fate, this year, was very kind.
I had the privilege of having my very first signing in those magical pathways that first day, in the Mysterious Galaxy booth (always #1119), and I was super nervous. I tried to tell myself I wasn’t but this was ComiCon; my dream was to sign my very own books there someday. And now was my chance. It went amazingly well. I got there early so the staff said I could start whenever and it ended up that I was able to sell out in the forty-five minutes or so that I was there. I met some awesome people and found that I was totally in my element. The rest of the day was spent on a cloud, high from all the wonderful geek energy. I followed my daughter around, looking for YouTube stars (one of which we found, who’s my daughter’s fave; MARKIPLIER), then I got to meet some wonderful friends for dinner to round it off just right. Day one, wonderful and complete.
The next day I only had one thing on my Must See list (an awesome author panel), and so I figured I’d let the nerd wind blow and see what happened. Well, after the panel (where my daughter became an instant fan of the amazing Beth Cato) we decided to divide and conquer, meeting back later, so I slipped into Ballroom 20 (where there was NO line!) and saw the very cool writer panel for Big Bang Theory, then Falling Skies panel for their final season . And I could sit down in a chair (second row!), a rare commodity in those parts.
THEN on the way back to meet up with my daughter I found myself standing beside someone amazing. Someone I can’t seem to speak to without becoming a complete freak—Brandon Sanderson. I babbled on about how much I love his Stormlight Archive series and he just nodded at the crazy lady (me). Such a patient guy! And he didn’t even laugh at me.
Needless to say, I was on cloud nine when I found my daughter again, but it turned out that her mission to get a signature failed and so she was super bumbed. Since I was so chipper I hopped around and found someone to cheer her up at the MTV booth, getting us magical tickets to the Terry Brooks’ signing they were having there later in the day. Score! We ran off to have lunch with more amazing friends and then came back for the signing. Which. Was. Awesome. Because Mr. Brooks is real and sweet and as soon as he realized I was a writer he began asking me all kinds of questions about my work and how my deadlines are, and all kinds of stuff. He insisted I sign one of my books to him in trade and I walked off feeling completely baffled and blessed. Day Two, stunning and complete.
The next morning was slow going as my daughter and I were living with a massive nerd hangover. Saturday is crazy time and the trains and streets are bursting with Storm Troopers, Spidermans, and Doctor Who’s, all attempting to move from one place to the next in the variable Nerd Herd. We tried the floor (and saw the cast of Arrow, as well as Hugh Jackman O_O !!!!! ) but it was just too insane so we opted for the street, and met up with friends. Who showed us the most amazing thing in the world: a secret “Conival” in Petco Park where we saw none other than Daniel Radcliffe (more !!!!!!! than I can type). It was the perfect rounding off to a wonderful Con. Day three was in the bag and our tired feet were ready to head home.
If you ever get a chance to wade into the nerd tide of SD ComiCon or any of the others, I highly recommend it. You will never meet nicer or more patient people. Fandom peeps are fun and laid back, leaving the harsh world behind happily to live in the magical halls of our imagination. It may be a little crazy, but you’ll never be bored.