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Dragon*con Awesomeness!

Do you feel it?  Its coming.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks, stores are filling their aisles with orange and black decorations, and there is so much candy you get a toothache just thinking about it.  Fall is in the air.  All we’re missing is the crisp chill that comes with it but since I live in the South I probably won’t get that until October.

Still, I love fall.  It brings such wonderful things.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, the changing of the leaves and its CON SEASON!

This is when geeks and writers hit the street for AWA (Anime Weekend Atlanta), Moonlight & Magnolias – best Writers Conference EVER! – and, starting off the whole season – DRAGON*CON!

If you’re ever in the Atlanta area on Labor Day weekend and you  haven’t gone to Dragon*con – or at least walked by it, you are seriously missing out.  This is the weekends were the Geeks of the world unite and completely take over the city.

I love walking Atlanta on Dragon*con weekend because not only to you see all these amazing costumes, you see all these specially ordered signs posted outside of restaurants and shops announcing that Dragon*con attendees are welcome there.  So not only is it a chance to wave your geek flag proudly, it also brings some excellent cash to the city which is always good.

Its hard to truly explain how vast Dragon*con truly is.  It spans five huge hotels and has 35,000 PLUS attendees every year.  You never know who you’re going to talk to either.  One year, I had a lovely discussion with a man in a duct tape dress.  Turns out he was a brain surgeon when not attending con.

My first day, I dressed up as Bride from Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunters.  You see me there with Simi from the same series.  I even did the costume contest at the Dark-Hunters ball and won Best Human so that was exciting!

Another first for me was doing the parade.  Let me just tell you, if you don’t think Dragon*con is your thing – which is IMPOSSIBLE because there is something for EVERYONE there! – at least come out Saturday morning for the Parade.  It starts, I think, around 9 or 10 in the morning.  Get there early to get a good spot though. 

They completely shut down the streets of Atlanta going around the con hotels and attendees all decked out in their best costumes march through town.  Best part?  FREE.  You can go and see some of the best costumes at the convention, take their pictures, and cheer them on.

It was actually a lot of fun.  I felt awkward at first.  I was in my Bride costume for this marching with the Dark-Hunters and I really wasn’t sure what I should do.  But as the audience got into it, so did we.  It was even better when I was handed a sign that said “Bite Me” in big white letters on a black backdrop.

When not marching around in costume, I was usually found in the Writers Track.  That is always fun and I always learn something new.  Its actually hosted by Nancy Knight who is also one of the founding mothers of Georgia Romance Writers.

Before Nancy took over, Writers Track was more a fan track.  They got these big name authors but it was mainly fans who were coming rather than people wanting to be writers themselves.  Nancy felt, and justly so, that there were enough fan tracks at the con.  When she took over, she made this a true WRITERS track.

Whenever she got the truly big names in her room, the first thing she would do was get up and go to the front of the room and inform everyone that if they were just there as fans they could leave now.  There would not be autographs later that this was a writers track for writing questions.  I was always very proud of her in those moments.

As you can see I had a very busy, fun filled weekend.  I met some fabulous new authors to read such as Alethea Kontis and Leanna Renee Heiber, won a costume contest – which was a huge surprise, marched in a parade and just had a blast.

If you’ve never been, you seriously need to go.  I end this with just some random pictures taken at Dragon*con this year so you can truly appreciate the awesomeness of it.

 

 

 

Mary Preston - September 11, 2012 - 4:35 am

It does look like fun!!

Marilyn Baron - September 11, 2012 - 6:36 am

What a great post and great pictures. Thanks for sharing DragonCon with us.

Debbie Kaufman - September 11, 2012 - 7:55 am

Okay, first I had trouble concentrating on the post after Pumpkin Spice Latte’s. LOL! I have been promising myself for awhile that I’d go to Dragoncon. It always seems like such fun in the posts and pics that attendees use as wallpaper on FB and twitter. Thanks for such a great pictorial recap!

Not surprised that Leanna Renee Heiber won the costume contest. Her outfits are always superb at any event. Hey, loved your Bride outfit too! Not sure what/who I would dress up as. Will have to think on that one….

Linsey Lanier - September 11, 2012 - 8:34 am

Way cool post, Byronna. Love all the pictures! I’ve got to get to DragonCon sometime. Maybe next year. I didn’t know about the parade. It all sounds so exciting. Nancy is wonderful. I thought she had founded the whole thing? So what did they talk about at the Writer’s Track? :nerd:

Bryonna Nobles - September 11, 2012 - 9:06 am

Yes, I fully believe EVERYONE should go to Dragon*con at least once. It is crowded though, so just be prepared for that.

Debbie, I do not think that Leanna won a costume contest to my knowledge. She just dressed up as Narissa for fun. It was a pretty cool costume though.

Alethea Kontis told us at her Reading about how she and Leanna were on a panel and Leanna was running late. So Alethea told them that when she got here, they’d know it was her because she was dressed up as Narissa Malfoy and that they should all boo when she got there.

Which they did! And Leanna just ate it up. She whipped out her wand, leveling them with a cold look and said something along the lines of, “Are any of you were brave enough to LIE to the Dark Lord and save the hero’s life? I didn’t think so.”

The parade is awesome, Linsey. Fabulous costumes. As for the writer’s track, what DIDN’T they do??

They actually have a website now: http://writers.dragoncon.org/

But Nancy really fills it with a variety. Everything from how to write a fight scene to how to write a story in an hour. She gets everyone from big name authors to famous fighters who tell you fight scenes that seriously bother them in movies and books.

They also host the First Ladies of Fantasy who can give a Q&A and famous authors talking about their rejections over the years. Its my favorite track.

The last workshops every day where for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender) Writing. I thought that was cool because its certainly not easy for people in that genre to find workshops geared toward them.

Maxine - September 11, 2012 - 10:02 am

Bryonna, You look and sound like you had an absolute ball. And congrats on the bride-winning outfit! Loved the pictures. I bet Atlanta is still talking about what they saw :-D

Dianna Love - September 11, 2012 - 1:19 pm

What a coverage of DCon, Bryonna!!! You certainly captured the feel of this amazing convention. I have always said that while the other conventions are amazing events, there has never been one that said “serious fans” more than DragonCon. I love, love, love the homemade outfits and the excitement that constantly ripples through that place. You always look amazing and fun no matter what you dress up as!! I missed it this year, though I did enjoy our company and going to NASCAR.

BTW ladies – I will miss your next two blogs as I’m on a motorcycle Wed and Thurs, but hope to see you at the GRW meeting Sat. :)

EC Spurlock - September 11, 2012 - 4:00 pm

Great wrap-up, Bryonna, and it looks like you had a seriously great time! I wish DragonCon was more affordable, as I’d love to go to a big-time con again. But for the time being I am perfectly content going to AWA. No Artist Alley table this year as DH still needs a little help getting around after his stroke; but we ARE having a reunion of the (now far-flung) original founding members of the Atlanta Anime Club, of which DH was one, so it should be a blast!

Sia Huff - September 11, 2012 - 4:22 pm

Great pictures, Byronna. Awesome that you won a costume contest. Are you dressing up for M&M?
My son went last year and said I need to go. You really brought it to life. I can feel the energy.
The Writer’s Track sounds great. I know with Nancy Knight in charge the information will be tops.
Thanks for the recap.

Carol Burnside - September 11, 2012 - 6:50 pm

Oh, how fun! Thanks for sharing your experience.

Susan Carlisle - September 12, 2012 - 9:28 am

Bryonna,
You do the coolest things. I’m not much of a vanpire, witch, dragan kind of person but this looks like fun. My husband was in Atlanta for the Falcon’s game and got to enjoy some of the people dressed up and wondering around. He grinned talking about it.

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