Ice and Fire Con: An Ode to My “Family”

ice and fire con family 2017

It’s taken me a while to write this post, because I’ll be honest – it’s almost impossible to put how I feel about the Ice and Fire Con family into words.

Last year I wrote a very heartfelt entry about “my” convention – “Ice and Fire Con: A Goal, A Reality, A Lifestyle”. Now, I put the “my” in quotes because let’s be honest, it’s never been “mine”, at least not outside of the fact that I’m one of the original founders and, of course, a current organizer.

And no, I didn’t do it on my own. There were two other founders who have long since moved on to other things, because that’s what happens when life takes hold of you. There are an additional two prior organizers who are also no longer involved, because sometimes what’s best for an organization as a whole doesn’t quite work for everyone involved. For my part, there are no hard feelings – how can there be, when this thing that we worked together to create and build is still here, still thriving, still growing?

ice and fire con family organizersHonestly, while I did found this convention, the family that has sprung from it is still beyond my comprehension. Ice & Fire Con absolutely would not exist in its current and most amazing form without my good friend and fellow organizer K-K, who saw our Reddit post way back in 2012 and decided to take a chance on the first-ever North American ASOIAF/Game of Thrones convention. Who eventually became one of my best friends, then a volunteer, and finally, an organizer.

Ice & Fire Con couldn’t be what it is without our awesome volunteers, either, and it absolutely wouldn’t be the same without every single person who attends. When I say that we’re a family, I don’t say that lightly, and I’m not sure I can really express how true it is. In fact, even when I go to other conventions, I’m generally more excited about seeing my Ice and Fire Con family (a.k.a. “IaF fam”) than I am about anything else.

ice and fire con family 2017

We are, in so many ways, a very diverse group, but our differences are never problematic – they are honored and appreciated. I am personally very proud of the inclusive, non-judgmental, and *safe* community that we have fostered, and like the mama bear I am, I will do everything in my power to protect that. (Pause to insert “BEARS” chant here)

ice and fire con family 2017It’s not just the success of Ice & Fire Con that brings me joy – it is the community, the *family*, that it imbues in me, and hopefully in others, as well.

We are extroverts. We are introverts. Some of us have been bullied. Some of us have been disrespected. But at Ice & Fire Con, we are, as one of my absolute favorite attendees pointed out, “kings, queens, warriors; dangerous, powerful, beautiful, perfect.”

At Ice & Fire Con, we are family.

I would say “let the countdown to Ice & Fire Con 2018 begin”…but let’s be real, it started when we parted ways on April 30th of this year.

ice & fire con 2018 countdown

(but here’s the countdown anyway, as of 8:56 PM EDT on 7/1/2017)

Saga Event Planning: A New Venture

Saga Event Planning

With all of the recent changes surrounding Ice & Fire Con and the many discussions I had with my new fellow organizer K-K about expanding that convention’s model to other fandoms, I think it was only a matter of time before I finally buckled down and started my own business: Saga Event Planning, LLC.

After four years of planning a successful small single-fandom convention, along with dozens of themed parties and events and even a charity bar crawl throughout the years, this was the most natural move for me to make right now. I’ve had a great job for a long time, but now I need to focus on the things I love – convention and event planning, and my writing.

 

Saga Event Planning Ice and Fire Con 2017

So that’s what my June has been spent doing – figuring out ways to focus on those things. Saga Event Planning has already brought Ice & Fire Con under its umbrella, and we are also deep in the early planning stages of Beach City Con, a Steven Universe-themed convention scheduled for October 13-15, 2017.

 

Saga Event Planning Beach City Con 2017

The honest truth? Of course I’m scared. I know that I can plan successful events, I trust that I’m a good writer, but will those things sustain me? I think so, but I’ve been wrong before. (Many, many times.) That said…I’m 33 years old. I’m not getting any younger. ::Insert other cliches here:: If I don’t do it now, when will I? If I don’t take the leap now, when will I? Thanks to that great job and the fact that I’m the penny-pinching type, I have a few months to figure things out before I’d need to bow to the American corporate god(s) again. And if that happens, you know, I’m more than okay with it. Because at least I can say I tried.

But I’m going to do more than try. I think I can. I think I will. After all, as Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

These *Weeks* On The Geekiary

The Geekiary

Last Sunday I was still at the fourth annual Ice & Fire Con, so I missed my “This Week On The Geekiary” post…which means I have two weeks worth of links to catch up on!

 

But first…how awesome is this Iron Throne banner that my close friend and fellow Geekiary author K-K created?

Ice and Fire Con Iron Throne

Needless to say, the convention was awesome as always, and eventually I’ll collect my thoughts and share them here…let’s just say it’s been a very busy week since I got home. I still don’t know how I’ve kept up with my Geekiary articles, but clearly I did 😉

 

April 20th, 2016
Ruby and Sapphire's Story The Answer Steven UniverseRuby and Sapphire’s Story “The Answer” Being Released as a Children’s Book
“When “The Answer” aired back at the beginning of January, it immediately became my favorite SU episode of all time. So my excitement knew no bounds when I heard that Ruby and Sapphire’s story is going to be made into a book – and even better, a *children’s* book!”
First The Magnificent Seven Trailer Reveals Diverse Cast & More
“I grew up watching the late-90s Magnificent Seven TV show with my family, so between that and my love for Chris Pratt, so far I can’t see anything to not love about the first The Magnificent Seven trailer.”

April 21st, 2016
Game of Thrones Season 6 vs. A Song of Ice & Fire: Round 1
“This year I’ve waited until the last minute to write this first Game of Thrones Season 6 vs. A Song of Ice & Fire article, because as many fans know, the show has separated itself from the books quite a bit – and is now, in many respects, moving on from them in this upcoming season. It’s something that many fans are seriously concerned about; with all of the deviations (both the good, the understandable, and the downright crazy) Benioff and Weiss have already made, what’s going to happen when they have next to no source material to guide them?

April 26th, 2016
Walker Stalker Con Joins Boycott Against Discriminatory North Carolina Law
“Yesterday Walker Stalker Con announced that they will be postponing their Charlotte, North Carolina convention. This change is because they, along with many other companies boycotting North Carolina, hope for a repeal of the state’s bigoted law which forces people to use the restroom of their assigned birth gender regardless of their actual gender identity.”

April 28th, 2016
Star Wars: Bloodline Claudia GrayStar Wars: Bloodline to be Important Franchise Installment
Bloodline, the next Star Wars book by Claudia Gray, is being released on May 3rd, 2016 – and needless to say, the hype is strong with this one.”

April 30th, 2016
The 100 3×13 Review: Join or Die
“I have to be honest, when A.L.I.E. ordered that the gates of Polis be opened, I wasn’t expecting the horror that we were greeted with in “Join or Die”.”
Loot Pets 2016: The Quest Collection
“The past couple of months, the Loot Pets boxes I’ve received have been heavy on the treats and accessories…but The Quest Collection definitely included some different and fun items.”
Children of Earth and Sky: An Interesting Premise That Doesn’t Quite Work
“As someone who enjoys history (and has a B.A. in it, in fact) I was really intrigued when I heard about Guy Gavriel Kay’s new novel Children of Earth and Sky. The fact that it’s essentially billed as a fantasy novel that is loosely based on actual history drew me in for sure; I just wish that alone had been enough to keep my attention.”