Thoughts on MarsCon

My favorite cons give me a chance to connect with my tribe, meet some old friends, have a nice dinner out, maybe do a little unwise spending in the dealer’s room.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work out for me this year as well as I’d like, primarily because I was exhausted. I’ve been overstressed to the point of illness lately, and sleeping poorly to boot. So when I got in around 9:30 Friday night, once we unpacked I conked out within minutes of setting up the CPAP.

Saturday morning as a result of all this, I suffered what I called my “hard drive crash”. I couldn’t bear the thought of being around anyone, I just wanted quiet and dark. With the help of my brain meds, I came out of it around noon, donned my Alice costume, and went out into the con. The Alice costume was a hit – it usually has been through all the variations I’ve owned. I posed for pictures and took a few, and bumped into some friends. 

At a busy con, though, you can’t sit down and talk to anyone. You generally get about five minutes with them and one or both of you has to move on. So I didn’t really catch up with too many people; and while I did at least get hellos and hugs from many, there were several more people there I never saw.

After 8 hours of wandering the con and checking out a few panels, I had to head back to my room. My current Alice costume is of heavier PVC than my previous ones, and while I wasn’t suffering heat stroke I was extremely warm. Maya and Bert and I managed some dinner and played a card game Jesse Braxton got her for Christmas – Sushi Go, lots of fun – and then I decided to take a rest before the 10:00 and 11:45 shows I wanted to see,

I didn’t fall asleep like one might guess, but I realized I had no energy left. I couldn’t have walked another dozen steps. Rather than heading out to the con again, I had to fill the CPAP and shut down for the night.

Sunday morning was mostly packing and checking out, but I did hit the high point of the con when we attended the musician’s Round Robin. 11 musicians on stage, each in turn performing a song and usually being joined in by the other musicians, finishing with White Plectrum’s rousing rendition of “The Mulder”, a tune everyone on stage knew. It brought down the house.

So, MarsCon 2020: Not a weekend of unending misery, but I sure hope I’m in better shape next year.


  • Keith Brinegar / White Plectrum says:

    I regret I don’t get to spend as much time with everyone at cons like I used to. Handling both White Plectrum AND White Noise Sound Design makes any convention we’re at almost a full-time job – a truly fun one, mind you – but a full-time one that takes a lot of my energy as well (and I ain’t as young as I used to be). Still, it was great to see you, Maya and Bert this weekend. Doing the Round Robin is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done at a con, and we premiered the new song Michael Kazalski wrote, “Flying Dutchman”. But being the first act to perform on stage on Friday and the very last act to perform at the con on Sunday was a joy and a privilege. Having EVERYONE join in on “The Mulder” is in itself the most fantastic high as a performer that I or any other performer can ever feel. And, of course being named as the Music Guest of Honor for Marscon 2021 is one of the greatest honors I’ve had in a long time! February is FAWN – February Album Writing Month – so I’ve got work to do and filks/songs to (attempt) to write. Now it’s on to FantaSci in March, then Congregate in July. Keep your fingers crossed – I was approached about performing at another con while at Marscon, but I’m going to keep that one under my hat until we see if it comes to fruition.

    • Mikhail says:

      “The Mulder” was a show-stopper, and it was a privilege to be there to see it! Glad to see you at least for a bit, and I hope the sekrit plan works out!!

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