Like I alluded to on my twitter/facebook accounts, this second trip to Seattle was nothing short of magickal. There is so much going through my head I had to take most of the weekend to sift through it all, and while I’m still sorting through the experiences, I wanted to get something posted here right away. Once again, this is quite the long posting.
I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of doing daily tarot readings and kicked Friday’s festivities off with a three card draw. As it aligned perfectly with my feelings for the day, I will use the cards to structure my summary here.
Ten of Swords
The Ten of Swords, in the Deviant Moon Deck, shows a being trapped in a box with swords jabbing in from the outside. It’s not a pleasant card but always reminds me of how I tend to be hard on myself. It’s the inner critic at its worst. Therefore, when this card appeared I made a mental note to myself to go easy on myself and not let the critic get to me. This helped me mentally prep for the drive and any adversity.
I started out the day being a bit nervous and ancy. Long trips always make me jittery and this was no exception. I knew that parking and finding my way around the con were going to be the biggest headaches so I left a bit early. The drive went smoothly and uneventfully. I saw deer munching grass off to the side of the interstate and even spotted a Bald Eagle perched in a tree. Seeing them confirmed just how special and grand the day was going to be.
I made it to SeaTac with two hours to spare, so I set about trying to find parking. The DoubleTree Hotel’s parking lots were completely full. No spots to be had. And of course, my inner critic started badgering on me. Feeling defeated, I kept telling myself to stop and calm down. Finally found a valet parking place next block down and got ECKS (my car) a nice resting spot for the day.
The next hurdle was getting my badge. Navigating the con was easy, thankfully. Everyone was in costume or garb and I silently thanked my sensibilities to have dressed up a bit. After asking for directions to registration, I stood in line waiting to fork over my cash– only to be turned away because I didn’t fill out a form. Grumbling, I filled out the forms, stood back in line, and in less than five minutes had my badge.
The Ballroom was located just around the corner from the main registration area and I smiled at my fortune. I peeked into the room, decided not to listen to what was going on in there, and instead, parked myself outside the door and decompressed while sorting and repacking all the goodies I received into “the HEAVY bag of doom” (containing Cathrynne’s books and copies of RAVENS) that I brought with me. When I was ready, I got up and strolled through both the dealer room and art gallery, where I saw many amazing prints and pretty shinies.
Ten of Cups
The ten of cups shows an image of people huddled close together, enjoying each other’s fortune and company. This was how I saw myself feeling for most of the day. Abundance, fortune and companionship. It was nice to feel wanted and loved by friends and I felt glad to have been wanted.
At 2:30 I wandered back into the ballroom. s00j and her entourage had arrived and just started setting up. I claimed a spot up front and waited. Not too long afterwards, Sandi showed up and I offered whatever assistance I could. Nothing much was going on but I noticed that the hall was beginning to fill up with all sorts of s00j fans and curious attendees.
A few people brought their Ravens books to sign so I took out my Indigo pen and set about signing some people books. During one of the signings, a nice young gentleman called out to me and was all like, “hey, you’re Jaymi… Jaymi Elford, right? Phil’s told me a lot about you.” Taken off guard, that was my introduction to Ben Dobyns, another fellow Ravens collaborator. We chatted a bit and then I wandered back up to the front.
Cathrynne Valente arrived, then a few other people I recognized from other Seattle gatherings and I chatted around with various people. At 3pm, the concert commenced. s00j, Betsy, and Vixy took center stage and introduced themselves. Songs were played and sung in between readings by Cathrynne from Palimpsest. Then s00j, Betsy, and Vixy singing songs that were written and inspired from various stories. s00j had said that her muse and Cathynne’s muse were dating and I thought that was such a great line. They ended this section with “Ravens in the Library,” a perfect way to introduce our part of the event.
Sandi took the mic and spoke about the anthology and introduced the readers, who all took the stage one by one and read parts from stories. K read from Neil Gaiman’s story. It was a wonderful telling complete with vocal inflections for each character. Cathrynne took the mic next and read parts from her story. Angel followed and despite the fact that it was her first PUBLIC reading, she did an awesome job of bringing her character, Pip, to life. Sandi finished out the reading with a powerful selection from Phil’s story. I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t read, although I think Phil was bummed that I didn’t get to read. There will be other events and other chances.
That left the last half hour for book signings. I finally got to meet and chat with s00j, someone that many of my friends know and I have never been able to meet yet. We talked about Faerieworlds, keli, and things in general. I even got my picture taken with her.
s00j sold out of 18 copies of RAVENS in 20 minutes. We used the foot of the stage for our signing line. It was fun to write in books once again. I even got my copies of RAVENS signed by Ben, Cathrynne, and s00j herself. Oh and Cathrynne graciously also signed the four books of hers that I owned. (Thank you for the patience Cat!) While she was penning her name in the books, I took a moment to ask her why she wasn’t doing an event at Powell’s. She replied that the bookstore staff didn’t seem interested, which is why she and s00j are playing at other places here in PDX this week. Hearing that was absolutely shocking because I thought Powell’s was a strong supporter of Cathyrnne’s work.
I was impressed and pleased with the concert and signings. It was fun to chat with Ben, and to sign and thank people for purchasing books and supporting the cause. I totally can see joint efforts between authors and musicians being a new tool for promoting works. Music and the muse– a VERY powerful combination. I now sit here with tons of ideas on how to use this as a template for my own work. Partnering with my hubby and other local musicians for collaboration and shows.
Two of Pentacles
The Two of Pentacles shows one of my favorite images in this deck. In the card, a bellydancer dances and swings two “hoops” in her arms. I hope to make a costume of this card one day. It’s a card of earthly balance but all I could see in this card for the reading was that I was going to end up dancing at some point that night. Which was why I brought my poi with me.
After the event was done, and things got packed behind the stage, Sandi and I went to work in the dealer room. We got 10 copies of RAVENS sold or distributed to the dealers. Phil was on his way and we put off eating dinner until we had some time to kick back and relax. Once he arrived, we wandered upstairs to listen to Tony & Vixy’s concert (with s00j guest appearing). It was fun to hear them play and I thought about what a great community the musicians have in the city.
Sandi and Phil convinced me during dinner to stay and hang out with them for the night. So, once again we chatted while trying to find out what the evening could offer us all. We settled on staying at the DoubleTree and dancing the night away. It was an interesting mix of music and brought back awkward feelings of old school dances. I whipped out my poi and decided that it was time to swing with glow sticks.
I had a hard time sleeping Friday night and ended up leaving Seattle around 8:45ish. I left my hosts a message on their desk and drove home… a million and one thoughts racing through my head.
Thanks Phil and Sandi for allowing me to crash once more at your place and for allowing me to participate on the concert/reading/signings. I didn’t wake you up because I know you both weren’t feeling well and had a hard and long day on Friday.