I’m very excited to be attending my first convention ever. I’ve always wanted to attend a convention and have dreamed of attending NYCC or SDCC for years. However, I always thought I should start small and work my way up by going to something cheaper, smaller, and less expensive close to home. I’ve been planning for a little while to attend the next SheVaCon as my first con, but all of that was tossed aside one fateful night at work. How? Why?

Simply put, I had an e-mail conversation with a co-worker that went something like this:

Him: Barrowman and Eve will be at DragonCon.
Me: When?! WHERE?!
Him: September something. Atlanta.
Me: I’m going!

By the next morning when I’d gotten off from work, I’d contacted several people about potentially going together, got a confirmation from one other person, ordered my ticket and started hyperventilating and fangirling over the guest list. It is officially the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done and for a long time I didn’t even know what to do to get started. By now, though, I’ve started getting things together and hopefully, I’ll be ready. So how exactly am I preparing?

First, I’ve started by setting up a twitter (part of that has to do with this blog and a desire to finally get with the times, too) and following practically everyone who’s on the guest list, along with the official DragonCon  twitters and a couple of the twitters for the fan tracks I’m interested in. I managed to find an awesome contest I’m going to try to participate in called the (Unofficial) DragonCon Photo Hunt. I’ve also started trying to narrow down what I want to see and want to focus on while I’m at the con. I’m frustrated by the lack of schedules as I’m an obsessive planner, but I’m starting to realize I should just chill out and roll with the flow.

Second, I’m focusing on actually getting together my cosplay outfits. This is not only my first con, but my first cosplays, too.  I’m going for things that are simple, easy, and comfortable, since I have less than two months to actually complete these outfits. So far, these are my plans:

  1. Batgirl – Definitely not going to be 100% accurate and not nearly as complex as some costumes I’ve seen. I’m using this shirt I already own from ThinkGeek, black leggings, a black skirt, and probably these boots. I’m debating about the boots, but I honestly think they’ll be the best choice given that I have notoriously hard to fit and rather large feet for a woman, and they’ll likely be more comfortable than the high heeled go go boots I probably can’t find to fit me anyway.
  2. Female Jack Harkness – Similar to this pic I was just sent by the guy who I’m actually going with. I have (or can borrow) most of the pieces I’ll need to do this costume, so it’s just a matter of putting them together to call the costume done. The only thing I need to buy is the braces (suspenders).
  3. A Steampunk Costume – So far this is the least defined costume choice I’ve made and all I have is an underbust corset I bought spontaneously last night. I have ideas, but they’re nowhere near done, yet.
  4. ???? – I have no idea what I’m doing for the fourth day, which honestly might be Friday, the day we’re traveling down. Given that I’m working all night on Thursday night, will get very little sleep on the way down, and will probably feel like ass during most of Friday, I may not put out the effort to cosplay my first day there. If that’s the case, I’ll likely just wear a nerdy shirt.

Third, I designed and ordered business cards to hand out to people I meet at the con. I spent some time on these, and I’m happy with the way they came out. The actual version has a QR code which allows people to add me as a contact to their phone quickly and my phone number listed. I blurred those for this version in order to remain at least slightly more anonymous.

I also spent some time making sure I had access to all of the social networking sites I listed there. It took me forever to get back into my Flickr account, and I had to actually claim the name enigmalea at tumblr. I first started with another url for my personal tumblr, but in order to make sure all of my accounts lined up, it seemed like a good idea to change it.

And lastly, in preparation for DragonCon I decided to get to work on a customized notebook as a mini Smashbook. If you’re not familiar with the Smash line of scrapbooking/artistic journaling supplies you should check out this video. A lot of people really into scrapbooking and crafting have posted tutorials detailing how they created their own “smashbook” out of another notebook, and I decided to take that concept and apply it to the TARDIS journals that are available on ThinkGeek. It’s going to double as my autograph book (since I don’t have one right now) for the celebs I meet.

My plan is to spend some of the time I’m waiting in lines for panels working on the scrapbook  in order to help battle boredom. I’ll have my Kindle with me so I can read, and I’ll have company a la my traveling partner(s), but this will give me a back-up just in case. I also have an eBay bid on an instax camera so I can have pictures already added and won’t HAVE to wait to print my digitals to finish pages.

It’s now only 51 days left and I have no idea if I’m actually getting prepared or not. I’m equal parts excited, nervous, and already overwhelmed. I just know that it’s going to be a blast. Do any con veterans out there have hints or tips on how to survive cons and what to do to prepare?

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