One week from today, I will be in Denver, CO for a convention unlike most others I have ever attended. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about the travel and the collection of people in small rooms. Sure, I’ll double mask on the plane and the con has good COVID practices in place (everyone must be vaxxed and have a negative COVID test for starters), but my only experience with “crowds” was in August this year, and there were only twelve of us.
I considered not going. Several times. However, Sirens is a place that feeds my soul, and if I’m honest, my soul has been sorely in need of feeding.
Sirens is a place where we get to explore the world of speculative fiction (sci-fi, horror, fantasy, etc) through the lens of voices that are not considered “traditional” in that space. By which, I mean: women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, etc. (Reminder that this year’s anthology, “Villains and Vengeance” is available now!)
It’s part reader’s conference, part writer’s retreat and part networking weekend. This will be my third time at Sirens.
Of course my COVID anxiety is only just part of my anxiety, because there is also the uncertainty of travel, particularly since I am flying Southwest, and my agoraphobia, which has only gotten worse since the start of COVID. I have the advantage of a) flying an airline I know well, out of airports I know well; b) the con hotel is also familiar; c) FRIENDS.
I think having friends who know/understand my *stuff* is my biggest coping mechanism. It provides a safe space when there is no safe space. I anticipate a need for a lot of hermiting time when I get back.
For now, though, Readers, I have a few hours before I have to start the day job and my coffee is fresh and hot. I think that means it’s time to write. Happy Friday!