Play On Con (or “POC” as everyone who attends seems to call it) is a three day weekend of gaming and general nerdry held in Birmingham, AL… well, near there, anyway. It’s actually held at the Columbiana 4-H camp near Birmingham. Which, if you know anything about me, will greatly amuse you. See, I was in 4-H, for 11 years. And yes, I went to camp every summer. And no, I did not enjoy it. But this time around, sleeping in the old cabins of the type I remember so well, sharing a separate shower building with the other females on my block and roaming the grounds (they even had a raptor rehab area!) the whole camp experience was actually a great deal of fun.
I got to see a lot of the usual con-crowd line-up (Legolas, the Kesslers, Wes, Rev, JD, Fatima, etc) and met some really great new con friends (the estimable Mr. and Mrs. Winchester, the latter of whom is now known as “Sassy-britches”). I worked security with E, partnering with him to give out “over 21” armbands and checking the grounds for issues and his daughter A, who spent her time doing whatever it is teenagers do when cut free for a weekend in the sweltering woods.
I built a campfire for the kids’ Ghost Story time, saw off the amateur/professional star gazing group (more’s the pity I didn’t notice that in the program or I would have pounced in a heartbeat!), kept an eye on the general free-for-all that is the After Midnight Pool Party (or as we like to call it “Frolicon Lite”) and felt like a big game hunter or a cast member of the newest Jurassic Park film as I checked people for ids and handed out wristbands. I FINALLY got to see the fantastically talented Voltaire perform, the lack of which has been an accomplishment considering I have LITERALLY shared a stage/show with him in the past. Needless to say, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
And then, of course I leave this until last, I was, myself, actually a guest of the con! I taught two classes on fascinator building. One on flowers and the other on mini-top hats (or “hatinators”), all constructed out of Magic: The Gathering cards, the bulk of which were donated by Crimson Castle Games here in Tuscaloosa.
In fact, because of these classes, I was invited to teach at Magic City Con in Birmingham this upcoming weekend! And in an unprecedented degree of awesomeness… I’m getting my own “fan table”! I will be out all weekend, taking my turns at Security while sitting at my table to sign autographs, pose for pictures and sell my own handcrafted merch!