♦ How on Earth am I supposed to write about Eroticon 2014, hmm? What a weekend. To give myself a starting point, I decided to look back at my post about Eroticon 2012 (I didn’t write one in 2013 because I was still feeling miserable at spending my conference poorly and petrified and feeling like I’d wasted it). What I see when I read it, is some who’s clearly nervous and faltering and new. I say I felt at home, and I feel I did, but that’s nothing compared to this year. This year was sublime.
I think it’s a mix of having done this a few years now and of knowing some faces along with generally feeling more confident and at ease at talking to people in this environment. People who know me through my geeky social life can’t believe that I’m shy and horribly awkward, because I’ve been there long enough that I’m awfully comfy. Bold and even brash. I think the same is happening in the sex writer world. I’m becoming part of the furniture and it’s fantastic.
Anyway, good health combined with it not being my first rodeo certainly helped this year’s Eroticon be the best one yet, but of course what makes it are the sessions and, above all, the people. And I had an amazing time.
At first I’d planned to come up early on the Saturday morning as Bristol is just a hop over the border, but that would have meant missing out on Friday evening’s meet & greet. Luckily, my wonderfully kind blogging BFF Lady Pandorah offered me a share of her double bed (the offer that launched a thousand ‘ships!) and so Cinderella did go to the ball. Seeing Lady P, Innocent Loverboy, Jilly, Rose and Molly and DomSigns again was a smush of hugs and excitement and smiles. I’ve really missed these people! I resolve that it won’t be this long again before next time.
We chatted away happily as the room filled with more fantastic people and I felt the urge to mingle with new folk. I spotted first-timers Vanessa and AM Harding looking a little nervous (actually I’m fairly certain Vanessa never looks anything other than bubbly as all get-out, but that’s besides the point) and I felt entirely brave and comfortable enough to introduce myself – all by myself! – and start chatting to these lovely people. That alone was something I’d never have been able to do before and it was wonderful.
At some point someone introduced me to, essentially, sex blog celebrities. Pandora Blake, who is lovely and impossibly sharp, really knows what she’s talking about, and Girl on the Net exudes an easy, friendly sort of coolness. The addition of Zak Jane Keir to the conversation did not help me feel any less rather out of my depth, but was definitely bloody brilliant. What was perhaps, selfishly, the shiniest thing was seeing how pleased Girl on the Net seemed to be to meet me after she’d hopped on board my Very Short Stories thingummy. To see someone who I’d never met before so keen on an idea I’d chanced on for an erotica writing challenge was immensely awesome. I really got a feel for how my writing almost has a life of its own separate from me!
I spent a fair part of the evening talking to CJ Forrest who is a very likeable character indeed, as well as accidentally shaking hands with people with a wrist adorned in a Sainsbury’s bag, being bought a (rejected) drink by a complete stranger, having my QR code scanned and even receiving some very kindly donated Magic the Gathering cards from John D Stories. I love it when sex and geek spheres overlap.
After more things and more people I’ve undoubtedly missed, we toddled off to the hotel room to try and get some sleep for the big day ahead. And what a day it was! ♦