SizeCon 2020

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I'm about halfway home from SizeCon, sitting in a Starbucks. Meeting my college-aged daughter for a late lunch when she gets out of class at 3, and I have some time to kill. I suppose I should be using the time either catching up on reading SizeRiot entries or catching up on sleep, but I wanted to write about all the feels of SizeCon while they're still fresh inside my head and heart and before I return to regular life.

This is my third SizeCon, and they say the third time is a charm. It would be a vast understatement (and an easy pun) to say that the event continues to expand, and this one is the best one yet. The venue was wonderful, the inclusion of a meal plan allowed and encouraged attendees to eat together and talk, and the available event options increase (much more on that later). And while SizeCon has continually expanded in a literal sense, I find that on a personal level, I've expanded in a metaphorical sense.

At SizeCon '17, I wasn't sure what to expect, and meeting people in reality that I only knew by screen name and creative output was somewhat intimidating. I had a vendor booth to sell my shrinking woman novels, but I came with a pair of sunglasses and a baseball cap, ready to hide my identity in the minuscule event someone from my real life was also there. I didn't wear them, but having them made me feel safe. When I met these people--and others whose work I wasn't familiar with--what I discovered was that regardless of the obvious reasons we were all there, we were all just people too. Unique, creative, friendly, and amazing people. When a few people fanned out learning who I was, it was surreal because I never imagined I'd be treated as a minor celebrity. Then again, I won't deny that I acted the same way about a few other creators there. But I left the Con that year with online friendships that had become real, and exposure to other artists that became friends.

By SizeCon '18, I was much more relaxed. I already knew a bunch of people, and I relished the opportunities to meet more. I even built up the nerve to approach Koa and ask if she'd pose for a shrunken woman photoshoot, and M31 did a phenomenal job collaging her onto a notepad with a giant pen prop. In both of these two Cons, I sat on the writers' panel with an amazing group of colleagues (some appearing one of those years, others appearing both, and I apologize if I accidentally omit anyone): Aborigen, Anoka, Cezar Nix, Miss Kaneda, The Minimizer, Pradetorius, The Reducer, RobClassact, and Taedis. You all amaze me and inspire me with your work, and I look forward to more novels, flash fiction contests, and interactions with all of you.

Unfortunately, this year, I was unable to participate on the writers' panel. It wasn't due to lack of interest, and it wasn't due to lack of new work to promote; it was due to lack of time. Jitensha and GiantGripper granted me the opportunity to bring a new event to SizeCon: AN ESCAPE ROOM! I spent a majority of this year's Con watching and assisting teams in the Escape Room, and even though I didn't attend a single panel or social, I didn't feel I missed anything. I went to my share of panels at the previous two cons, and I was much more open in sharing my particular interests and listening to those of others outside the structure of a social on a particular topic. More importantly, I witnessed the joy first hand of people interacting with oversized props. I witnessed people working together, some of whom were friends before playing the game, and some of whom became friends after the game. Because it was a team event--and let's face it, many of us didn't come to SizeCon as a team--people met each other. Messages were sent on the Floor-Talk discussion on the SizeCon Discord asking for more players, and players appeared. Teams of perfect strangers formed right in front of the booth. It was magical. All twelve teams who played clearly enjoyed themselves, and their gratitude was clear on their faces. Over three SizeCons, I feel that I transformed from an anxious attendee/vendor to a confident event coordinator, mixing my personal passions for shrinking and puzzle solving.

The premise of this Escape Room--as I explained to the teams before starting the game--was that a person attending SizeCon was up in their hotel room that morning, trying on their costume for the cosplay parade. Anxious about attending for the first time, they tried taking the edge off by taking a nip of a shrinking potion. That was the last they were heard from. Maybe they were too small to escape the room; or maybe they were small enough to crawl under the door into the hallway, which wouldn't be safe because of other guests or housekeeping with vacuum cleaners (that would suck). The hotel staff had brought it to the Con's attention and allowed us into the room, where an assortment of items were scattered about. We suspected they contained clues to the missing person's whereabouts, but because the missing person was small, so were the clues, and thus, the intrepid search-and-rescue teams had to shrink down to one-sixth scale to view and decipher them. Like in the movie Fantastic Voyage, the process would only last sixty minutes, so they had limited time to find the antidote, locate the missing person, and douse that location with the antidote. I'll add some photos of the room setup so you can all see the oversized props that teams could manipulate. As much fun it was watching them wield a giant flashlight (which actually lit up when the wires were attached in the correct locations) and get lost in the folds of a giant Alice in Wonderland costume, it was even more fun watching them have fun doing it. The players' outpouring of gratitude for creating this event was overwhelming, but I'm truly grateful to the Con organizers for trusting me with this. They--and many players--would like this to become an annual event, and I'll share that on the first half of my ride home, I've already thought of new ideas such as a different setting and some different puzzles, but that's all I'll say now. As long as the weekend works (mid-February or summertime is ideal for me, wink wink, but March/April would be completely impossible), I'll be there and do it.

Don't think that I didn't have a chance to enjoy this year's SizeCon. I've sat at my vendor table the past two years, and the added interaction with people via the Escape Room was more enjoyable than that. I still managed to eat (most) meals, and I still made time to attend the event that mattered most to me--The Tiny Ladies Cafe. All I can say about that is WOW! Last time, the Cafe was a literal cafe, where I was served snacks and a drink by a slowly dwindling waitress (and Kindii was exceptional at this!), but this time, they went full-on burlesque show. There are some talented dancers and performers among us, so I'll give a shout-out to Chibiana & Mini Moe, along with singers tinysupervickie, Jitensha, and Aim the Fairy. You were all fantastic!

So SizeCon keeps getting bigger and better. And I become more willing to talk about my specific interests and listen to others' not only at SizecCon, but in real life. I've known that size fiction/fantasy/etc. is a part of who I am, but through SizeCon, I've learned that if people in my real life--particularly past and/or future significant others--can't at least try to understand and/or accept it, then they're not understanding/accepting me. Thank you to everyone who has helped facilitate that shift in me. I look forward to staying in touch here, on Twitter, and on Discord, and I can't wait to see you again at the next Con!
© 2020 - 2021 scidram
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IncredibleCaptainAsh's avatar
One of the good things of SizeCon was, that you could favorite artists and authors in person, so I was very curious to meet you in person.
It was very pleasant to meet you but the real surprise was that you have created and organized this Escape Room, which turned out of one of my highlights at SizeCon.

Happy writing and I'm looking forward to your next story. ;)

JitenshaSW's avatar

I know I already told you in person, but I had such a blast at that escape the room! I'll take 3rd place with pride!! ;P Also, I'm super glad you enjoyed the cafe!! I wonder how we'll top it next year...huhuhu

Robclassact's avatar

Awesome meeting you (in person) and fantastic work with the escape room. Looking forward to next year!

scidram's avatar
Thank you! And was awesome meeting you too! Until next time (and next SizeRiot)!
Fetish-Fotos's avatar
It sounds as if everyone had a great time! I was unable to get there, but really wished I could of. The whole idea of the escape room sounded like it would have been a load of fun! Even though I was unable to partake, thank you for using your creativity to bring it to life!!
scidram's avatar
It was a great time. On my way to the Con, I was simultaneously excited to go there with all the props for the Escape Room, terrified that it wouldn't be as well-received as it was, and paranoid that I had forgotten something. Despite the anxiety, it was definitely all worth it. So much fun watching people play and carry around some of the props.
TyGuy94's avatar
Had a blast playing in your escape room. Amazing the amount of time, effort, love, and skill you were able to put into it. Was cool to be able to play it with people I had spent months chatting with online but had only just met in person that weekend. The con was a blast too, even if most of the kinky stuff was not my taste. Was a pleasure meeting so many different people and hearing their stories and look forward to hopefully going to another one!
scidram's avatar
Thank you! I started making scavenger & puzzle hunts for my friends back in high school & college, and this allowed me to relive those days along with my love of size. So glad you and your team had a blast playing, and it was great meeting you.

Much of the stuff isn't my taste either--I'm primarily a shrunken woman lover (and writer)--so I didn't mind spending most of the weekend this Con running the room. This is my third SizeCon, and I went to a lot of panels in the past. It was a nice change to do something different, offer something new, and still get a chance to see the few things I really wanted to.

Looking forward to next time. Already got an idea for a new Escape Room objective! Take care!
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