Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Faerie Con 2010

It was a whizzing blur of feathers, cloaks, costumes and wings this past weekend at the Hunt Valley Marriott Hotel in Maryland for this year's event, where faerie fans from across the country gather to "Celebrate the Magical Life."

This being my first "Con," I was utterly wowed from the moment we arrived at the hotel. As far as the eye could see, there were faeries everywhere. If only I'd known -- I could've saved myself three months research and a big fat airline ticket. All kidding aside, it was an eye-popping experience. Vendors manned their tables filled with ornately carved masks, delicate gold and silversmith work, books, corsets, dresses, wings (of course! And how many to pick from... if you're willing to carry them onto an airplane...) dolls, dragons, music, the list goes on.... and on...

A woodland faerie and a Betty Paige lookalike attend the Good Faeries Ball
Author Carolyn Turgeon and I shared a room and once we got settled we got gussied up to attend the Good Faeries Ball, where we entered a dark ballroom filled with throngs of costume clad merrymakers and a foot thumping array of musical entertainment. My mask securely in place, I danced without a care... it was so freeing, you know, to be anonymous, and wild, and to be able to dance with abandon.

From top to bottom: The Faeries of Sproutwood Farms, some faerie mischief, and me getting some mermaid hair
Saturday was filled with three panels -- I spoke about "Faerie Tales in Modern Times," with Jane Yolen, Tiffany Trent, Melissa Marr and Maggie Stiefvater, in which we explored the current and historical fascination with faeries and fairy tales in human culture, and after lunch did a reading from the book for "A Writer's Life," which was a total blast. (The Glastonbury section, if anyone is curious... )

But the highlight of the weekend by far -- aside from getting to hang, workout, and wine with the sassy and fabulous world traveler and ridiculously talented writer Carolyn T. -- was re-uniting with Brian and Wendy Froud for the panel entitled "Seeking Faerie: the Search for Enchantment." Though we were without a moderator (et-hmmmm, FaerieCon organizers, that was not fun) I flung myself into that role and it was the perfect dynamic actually, for the Froud's to share their wit, whimsy, experience, and deep running wisdom regarding all things fae. It was a wonderful success and I was approached afterwards by many a conference goer who found something inspirational, fun, or educational about the 45 minute session. It was super rewarding.

By Sunday my throat was raspy from projecting (I was supposed to only moderate two panels, and ended up speaking on/moderating FOUR...) but with the opportunity to just hang out and enjoy the festivities, energy was still running high.

Sunday by five the vendors began packing up -- it was sad to watch faerie land crumble.

But invigorating to think (or hope, in my case) that we'll all be back to do it again next year.
Oh yes.

And I got a tattoo.


  1. Wonderful to read your account of your trip to the magical realm of Faerie, only sorry our paths didn't cross while we were both in the Realm ;) If you get back there next year we must remedy that!!

  2. That looked like tons o'fun! The fairies continue to work magic...

  3. Signe - It was a pleasure meeting you and Carolyn at FaerieCon this year! Just to clarify, I am the girl with the ears behind you getting your mermaid hair at the booth selling little captured faeries. :D I'm so glad you had fun and I hope to see you at future events again! (This time I'll know who you are without the having to sheepishly ask why you are VIP status) :P