I'm sitting here at my laptop, three days after leaving SizeCon, simultaneously basking in its afterglow and bittersweet that I'm back in regular life.
As I drove to NYC last year for my first trip to the Con, I was definitely anxious about what to expect. The people behind the screen names were strangers, and our parents always warned us not to talk to strangers. Also, my primary size interest is specifically for shrunken women, particularly of the slowly shrinking, slipping out of their clothes variety. I have been intrigued by certain GTS images, so maybe I am a little bit bisizual, but BE and other expansions, weight gain, and vore didn't do much for me. But as the weekend last year progressed, I saw people--real people--who were like me not so much in specific interests but in the shared ability to be open and not judged about those interests. It was a community in the purest sense of the word. I walked around and explored the artwork on sale and talked to some of the creators, maybe not sharing their interests but clearly understanding them. And it was, pardon the pun, transformative.
It was also surreal. As I met the people behind the screen names, they met me. I wrote some SW stories back in the late 90s and early 00s and then real life came along. Over the past few years, I revised and self-published some of those stories. At last year's SizeCon, I had a booth selling them in paperback, and I was invited to participate in the writer's panel. I was taken aback by the wide-eyed grins and double-takes when people realized who I was, almost like they were meeting a celebrity. I don't look at myself as a celebrity, and I'm definitely not willing to be a public one for my SW writing, but it was flattering. I was honored. And I felt the same way about some of the people I met at the Con last year. When it was all over, I knew I'd be coming back for SizeCon '18.
Going for a second time is a vastly different experience. As soon as I arrived to set up my booth, I recognized people. There were immediate hugs and handshakes. I was also quicker to introduce myself to artists that weren't at last year's Con, and I met some great people that I hope to see again at future SizeCons. I brought the same number of books--I was one short of selling out last year--but didn't sell as many. I gave away a few to some people because I wanted to. But selling books was not the reason I came this year. The Con had expanded--yeah, pun intended--in ways that I wanted to experience. So here is my list of transformative events from this year's Con, in chronological order.
1) THE TINY CAFE. I gotta give the SizeCon team props for this idea. I understand the financial reason why they did it, but the greater reason--to have more interactive events beyond panels--made it all the more brilliant. I bought my ticket to the cafe, though I wasn't there for the gourmet food. My server, the lovely and talented Kindii, was slowly shrinking. Done with platforms, high-heel shoes, and oversized shirts and aprons, the illusion required some imagination and suspension of disbelief on the patron's part, but I'm a writer with a size interest. That was easy. And because I kept my eyes away from the ground to avoid shattering the illusion, it really worked as the top of her head was lower each time she interacted with us. As for those interactions, Kindii was phenomenal. I'm sure the other servers were wonderful in their own ways, but when there's a woman appearing to shrink in front of my very eyes, I'm all in. I didn't attend the Giant or BE cafes, but I hope these events remain for future Cons.
2) THE WRITERS PANEL. This year, we all got to have a brief opening statement about our own writing journeys, processes, or advice. Then, it was opened up to audience questions. I couldn't have been happier sitting among my writing colleagues, who are all professional about what they put out there into the community and about their encouragement to others who may want to embark on writing. I hope that all future SizeCons have a writers panel because since many of the interests represented at SizeCon can't happen in real life, we need to rely on our imagination, roleplay, or artwork and fiction to experience it. I'm sure the artists, both traditional and digital, feel the same way about their respective panels. So when (I refuse to say if) SizeCon '19 happens, I'm definitely willing to sit on this panel again.
3) WHEN THE COPS ARRIVED. At one point Saturday evening, three police officers came after receiving a call about some threatening language at the hotel. Two younger male officers and one female officer asked questions and walked around. I don't think the call came from our event as everyone was totally chill, but what made this funny was that five minutes after I saw them in the Dealer's Room, the two males were in the Wonderland Room playing Mario Kart. The female officer walked in and rolled her eyes at them. Classic.
4) SOCIALS! Another excellent addition to the Con's schedule. Rather than the majority of the discussions be in the panel-audience format, there were several informal socials scheduled throughout the weekend. About eight of us sat together in the Giant Men-Tiny Lady social sharing what we all thought was cool about that specific scenario. It was a great discussion, and like everything else, it was non-judgmental.
5) I COMMISSIONED SOME ART. Last year, I purchased some artwork that appealed to me. This year, I went the next step and got some artwork commissioned. I got two wonderful line art pieces about a woman shrinking and the antidote being just out of reach. They're fantastic, and I haven't yet scanned them in to share them, but the artist is named iamfilledwithstatic, and she's wonderful. Check out her work at the link. I also commissioned some digital collages by the amazing M-31, and I built up the courage to approach Koa, who appears in many of MaxGrowth's expansion videos, to ask for her autograph. It did take a little prodding, however.
I clearly had a wonderful time, and I can't wait for SizeCon '19. I plan to debut a new book available, and I will be selling paperbacks exclusively at the Con before the ebook is released. I've also come up with an idea for another interactive event to be added to the schedule. I've already shared it with Jitensha, GiantGripper, and Cezar Nix (who unfortunately wasn't able to attend because the terrible weather in the NYC/Newark area Friday night caused his flight to be cancelled), and they all think it could be amazing. I won't reveal anything yet because it will require a year's worth of planning, but if I can put it together, it could be REALLY BIG!
To all my SizeCon friends, I had a wonderful weekend with you, and I look forward to doing it again.