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Over Here Con

Just a short note as I'm on timed internet access and have to run to catch another plane!

Others have already posted excellent reports of this wonderful event, so I won’t go into a lot of detail. I continue to be amazed by my extraordinary good luck not only in having planned a trip to Europe over a year ago that coincided with this event, but that it was held on the one weekend that my schedule allowed me to participate! After having spent ten wonderful days in Hungary, with my friend Suzanne and her parents, I was staying with Sylvette in France, and we had just finished a driving tour of beautiful Provence when Christine arrived from the east of France, and the three of us flew to Birmingham. There we were met by my first internet friend and writing coach, Pythia, who drove us to the hotel. I hadn’t seen Pythia since our holiday in New Zealand three years ago, so we had a lot of catching up to do! Poor woman was still very ill with a cold/flu, and was evidently still feverish, but she thought she wasn’t still contagious. Um, probably a wrong assumption, LOL, as I’ve been sick as a dog since returning to Paris! But, in fairness, it sometimes seems to me that nearly everyone over here has a severe cold, so I could have picked it up from any number of people. Regardless, it was really terrific to see her again.

The Con was really great and I am so glad to have been a part of it. First of all, it was a chance to connect with friends who live over here that I don’t get to see nearly often enough, like Janet, Gerri, Rae, Rhianne, Fluterbev, Noreen and Christine (and Ande, too, though we live on the same continent, LOL), as well as to meet so many others face to face for the first time, like Karen and Marion and Sheila. And Garett, well, as others have said, he was terrific the whole weekend. Quick-witted and amusing, candid, very sweet and gentle at times, attentive to everyone, generous with his time and attention, he gave far more than he was contracted for and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself. He looked great, tanned and healthy, and had been very much enjoying the golfing on such a beautiful course.

However, after his comments about reading slash, I may never be able to write it again! As Fluterbev reported, he was very clear about saying straight out that he didn’t want to bottom again and said he and his nieces and nephews would appreciate it if we ceased and desisted. We could all wish his brother was less quick about monitoring the net and sharing what he finds with Garett. In all honesty, this does present a dilemma. I like the guy and respect him, and he wasn’t kidding, he was serious. However, he did allow that it’s the big, brawny ones that bottom, so I suppose there’s still room to write slash with Jim as the bottom. Gonna have to think about this.

I most enjoyed his comments about the filming of TS, and how the characters worked to try to ensure some continuity, though it was hard given the scenes and even episodes were filmed in a mixed up fashion, so they sometimes couldn’t remember which ep they were in at any given moment, or who the bad guy was. I really appreciated hearing that all three of the primary actors, in particular, strenuously tried to have the ending of TSbyBS reworked, that none of them liked it, in that it was disrespectful to Blair and also to the police community in suggesting someone could take a few courses in firearms and so on and then get to be a detective. I also was struck by his candour in answering questions, like saying that he’s been wondering himself why he continues to pursue a career in acting but that’s it’s something inside that needs this form of expression. I think any of us who are engaged in any creative endeavour can understand and identify with this compulsion.

Most of all, I remember his laughter and how, on occasion, he laughed so hard he looked like he might fall off his chair. There was an air of joy around him, of contentment, more than I’ve ever seen in him before, and it was wonderful. And I also remember his kindness and even gentleness when he thought someone at our table seemed sad and he was genuinely concerned. While he spent lots of time with everyone and appeared to be enjoying himself, it was also clear that he held special affection for some, like Sylvette and others, who he has gotten to know in past events. He was also curious about the scheduled discussion with writers and mentioned it two or three times – at one point, I wondered if he was going to stay to observe that discussion. I suppose his curiousity stems from the slash stuff, but I wish he had stayed, to see that we talked more about ideas and research, and how we write ie in random pieces or linearly. The discussion might have reassured him that we concern ourselves with more than the salacious bits. However, having him there would have been quite intimidating, LOL.

Garett is a tremendously nice man who has no need for the spotlight, no desire to control or be the center of attention, but who is confident in himself. Whenever we thanked him, he turned it around to thank us for our support and interest. Though no pushover, and willing to clearly express his views, to not be taken for granted or used or manipulated, he seems inherently humble. It was wonderful to see him again; more, to see him so relaxed and seemingly at peace with his life, contented with what he has, genuinely happy.

Of course, there are so many special moments and memories that would take forever to recount, but I have to pack up and hit the road for Barcelona. In ending this abbreviated report, I just want to thank Rae, Gerri and Ande for pulling this together for all of us. It was a very special time, reminiscent of the Cascade Con in some respects, but more personal and intimate. Certainly, it was an experience I feel very lucky to have been part of and wish more could have been there to share it with us. I also wish it could have been longer … I know Garett could not have given more time – he spent double the time contracted for as it was -- but a day just to connect with friends would be good. There never seems to be enough time to sit and chat with everyone who is there, to catch up with friends one really doesn’t get to see very often. But, all in all, it was terrific and I treasure the memories.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2006 10:01 am (UTC)
Very nicely said. And it was lovely finally meeting you in person! I really enjoyed our talks especially round the table on Saturday evening.

Have a safe trip and of course, if you're ever my way, just let me know - I'd love to show you around. :-)
Oct. 19th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed meeting you, too! You can bet if I ever get to Malta, I'll be in touch. I do hope we get to see one another again!
Oct. 19th, 2006 11:54 am (UTC)
Lovely report, as always!

I think the thing I enjoyed the most about the weekend was Garett's naturalness with us - when he came to our tables, he sat and chatted along with us, slotting into our conversations, like a friend would. To the extent that I found myself uncomfortable during the photo and autograph sessions, because suddenly, a wall went up and we were all in a fannish situation again, when before, it was just friendly chat.

As for the slash comment - I guess it's all a matter of perception, but I was sitting as close to Garett as possible when he made the 'bottoming' remark, and paying pretty close attention, and I never, at any point, thought he was upset at all. He was laughing hard and enjoying our reaction; I'm convinced he was just having a laugh with us. I really don't think he expects us to stop writing it!

It was lovely to meet you, btw. It's true, the time was short, but hopefully we can all do it again in the very near future.
Oct. 19th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed meeting you, too ... not near enough time to really chat, though,wadarn it! I think we need to rotate around the tables the way Garett did to get to spend time with more people.

About his slash comment. I don't know. I've heard that he's made similar observations before and has been upset with what his nieces and nephews have accessed on the net, though I think it was more manips than stories that shocked them. He was laughing, yes, but he made a point of getting his statement on the table right at the outset and I'm not sure that it was meant in good fun. Guess we all have to make our own call about that, LOL.
Oct. 19th, 2006 01:34 pm (UTC)
Very nice report. I'm happy that so many participants of GMOH are on my flist so that I can get many points of view.

How I would've loved to have been there! *sigh* =>}
Oct. 19th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
Oct. 19th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I'm really sorry that more people couldn't be there and, as I said, I was just plain lucky that I could be there. Bit too expensive to flip over from Vancouver for a weekend! ;)
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
For sure. And I can't even afford to go over for ANY reason. *sigh*

It IS nice to live it vicariously through people like you, though. =>}
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
Wonderful observations, especially about Garett's ease in his own skin, that made me very happy. Thank you.
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful time you all had! Thank you for posting your impressions of the event. I wish I had been there with all of you, these posts have been so much fun to read.
Oct. 19th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I'm thoroughly
confoooozed. After hearing about the 'bottoming' part from several folks, I thought the conversation about his nephews and the net had nothing to do with *Written* slash, but with graphic slash manipulations? And based on his comments throughout the weekend at the Cascade Con, he has no problem with fan fic, slash or otherwise.

And of course, *he* doesn't bottom in our slash stories - Blair does. *grin*

Oct. 19th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Okay, now I'm thoroughly
It honestly never crossed my mind that Garett wasn't just joking about the bottoming thing!! He was grinning all over his face and laughing at our reactions - I understood that his brother sent them to him as a joke!
I think the photo manips are perhaps another matter, but I really think he was amused by the slash fiction on the whole!
Oct. 19th, 2006 10:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Okay, now I'm thoroughly
Well, I could be the one who is misreading his comments. But when he mentioned the kids, his tone changed, was less joking. Ah well, as I said, we each need to take our own interpretations and, as Aly has said, he has indicated his awareness of fanfic and his amusement about it in the past.
Oct. 19th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Okay, now I'm thoroughly
I think he was talking more about manips than stories but it wasn't entirely clear this time around, and he was sure interested in the writers' forum, LOL.

Have to apologize ... promised you a postcard and I've been four weeks on the road and haven't sent a single card yet! I have bought postcards, LOL, with the best of intentions and I will make some time on the ship to fill some of those cards with addresses!
Oct. 19th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Okay, now I'm thoroughly
Was he really? What did he ask about it??? SPILL!

And don't worry about postcards - just have more of a GREAT time!!!
Oct. 20th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to write and post - I'm loving all the little details, and it's so great to get different insights from you all.

Travel safely, and hope the lurgy clears up soon *g*.
Oct. 21st, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry you're not feeling up to par and I hope it doesn't slow your enjoyment of Barcelona and the ship travels! But I'm glad you had a wonderful time with Sylvette and at the gathering. I've seen some pics, and you looked like you were in a good mood! As was Garret!

Thanks for the report!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )