Was I somehow in a conga line to "Jump in the Line" from Beetlejuice at almost 1:30 AM last night, waving a Norwegian Explorers Christmas annual about (among other things)? And yet still able to have breakfast with Howard Ostrom before his 10 AM panel on Chinese detective television?
YES! It's 221B Con! I love this place.
Howard and I have been friends since we found ourselves at the very first con going, "What is this glorious thing with so many young Sherlockians?" At breakfast "Howardhausen" showed me the wrestler Danhausen on a YouTube video showing the unboxing of a Lego 221B, as well as Danhausen putting on a deerstalker (which puts him on Howard's famous list). Forty-five minutes later, Howard is talking about 2012's The Bullet Vanishes, a Chinese movie that is basically a re-do of Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes with a detective called Son Donglu. The reach of the man's knowledge and research is pretty incredible. (As is the thirty-page handout he gives to the attendees of this panel.)
Okay, halfway through that panel, I suddenly realized my limits, and my internal readout was flashing "Low Power Mode" and as soon as it was over I had to head upstairs for a 25 minute power nap to recharge. I still made it back to the big room for "Beginnings and Endings: Two Tools in a Writer's Bag" only a few minutes late. Hated to miss any of "Mycroft Holmes: Antagonist or Enabler," but that nap was necessary due to a random hotel alarm clock alarm at 6:30 AM (how that happens a few nights into your stay in that same room, I do not know). "Beginnings and Endings" is the largest panel I've been to so far, with six panelists, all writers, I'm guessing though I missed the intros. I do recognize Liese Sherwood Fabre, whom I've had the chance to chat with several times this weekend.
The subject of tags and warnings on books comes up, and the question of "At what point does a warning become a spoiler?" is rather interesting. "An epilogue is evidence of a tender writer," is a good bit of wisdom that comes along when the discussion gets to endings. The climax followed by a cuddle is a reference that comes up a lot, showing that the panel does have a bit of a fanfic leaning, but even in a non-romantic tale, I think "cuddle" is close to synonymous for "cozy" in terms of leaving the reader in comfort space. There are a lot of good thoughts floating about in this panel, which brings me to that side of 221B Con that I haven't hit on much in this year's path -- this is a creator con.
Where a lot of Sherlockian events are "learner focused," where attendees gather to enhance their enjoyment of Sherlock Holmes with new info on history or lore, there's a whole side to 221B Con that is about techniques for producing content: art, writing, podcasting, crafting, cooking, making dice . . . all that enthusiasm for whatever you love has to come out somehow, and it's fun to see where it does.
New term for today: "pantser" as opposed to plotter. Good to have google sometimes, where I learned it's to differentiate those who write by the seat of their pants instead of laying out a plot ahead of time.
Sad to see on Twitter that Mrs. Hudson's inflatables are coming down even as I listen to this panel -- 'tis Sunday and the end is nigh. Still most of the day left, but . . . [heavy sigh].
After this, gotta run to pick up the chronology supplies for the 1 PM Sherlock Holmes timeline workshop at 1:00, so going to sign off for the moment. Back soon!