The great thing about driving down to 221B Con with a companion is that when you're driving back, you get a lot of time to compare notes. Because unless you're conjoined twins or best friends who don't get to see much of each other normally, you're probably going to go to different panels a lot of the time. And getting the rundown of what that other person got to see and hear is as close as you can get too a second 221B Con.
The good Carter, my long-suffering spouse, hit some really good panels that I missed, like "Creativity and Neurodiversity," "Co-writing, the Ups and Downs," "Insecurity, Imposter syndrome, and other Creative Pitfalls," "Women in the Canon," "Hounds through the Years," and the Atlantic Radio Theater company Saturday show. I'm not going to try to give second-hand reporting here, but I got to hear a lot of good things, and she's coming home inspired and with some useful ideas.
She also reminded me of the "New Hotness" panel we attended together, that got lost in my personal fog of con, but did provide a whole lot of tips on shows to check out in our current flood of good TV and film.
One more thing I forgot was going back to pick up the art card I commissioned from Maggie Kellner, who was drawing your choice of Sherlocks at the bargain price of five bucks! She got the help of Elinor Gray in tracking me down who recognized that "an older gentleman who wanted a Will Ferrell Sherlock" was most probably only one person. So glad Maggie sent out the search parties, because that card is going to be a great memento of the year we got our first Holmes and Watson panel. (Yes, I am aware of the implications of that "first," meaning there could well be a second. Are there hopes?)
The many sides of 221B Con can bring you something different every year. Want to do all ACD Canon related panels? You can go that route. Want to do all Sherlock pairings and fics? You've got that route. Want to delve into things to help your writing, hit the writer's suite, and maybe get some flash-fic in? (I should get to flash-fic more. I loved that one.) 221B Con is a great creativity inspirer. The potential of five tracks of content provides something for anyone who truly wants to learn what's going on in the heads of other Sherlock Holmes fans.
I may a bit biased, of course, as I'm a big fan of writers, creators, and those who challenge the conventions of life that need challenging. From the gender neutral restrooms to the attendees' ready acceptance of ideas like Doyle's Rotary Coffin, the "No Holmes Barred" ideal of finding the good in all Sherlocks, 221B Con proves itself a place for open minds and lots of love every year.
Because when ACD and the many creators after him gave us more and more to love about Sherlock Holmes, it's only fitting that we spread that emotion and the joy it brings around a bit.
The Monday after 221B Con is typically the time for that ailment called con drop, when worn out 221 Bees are prey to any virus or depressed state that can find an opening, but this year, I'm coming away wondering if it's possible to carry the best things of the con running like a stream through our lives the rest of the year. Sure, 221B Con is the lake where all the waterways converge and we see the water at its most impressive, but the streams that feed it really are out there all year long, aren't they?
There's something in that to consider, as we start the long wait for next April.