Anomalycon 3: Thoughts and ramblings with pictures!

One family enjoying themselves at Anomalycon

I spent this past weekend in a fantastic and improbable place. Some very smart and mad people created a time and space anomaly right inside a hotel in the Denver Tech Center. Hundreds of the quirkiest and geekiest people in Colorado were pulled into this anomaly (I promise, I’ll stop) and all sorts of mostly controlled chaos and fun ensued.

This was my second time attending Anomalycon, a steampunk/alternate history and science fiction convention. Really, the only reason why I went last year was because I happen to know the person who was that right combination of insane and incredibly organized and motivated and started the whole thing and is still in charge. I came back this year because I enjoyed myself so much and because I like supporting cool causes of which new cons ran by friends falls under that category.

I already had an agenda when I went in. I was going to watch every performance of Pandora Celtica because they absolutely rock. In a faerie, acoustic, punk, but not really rock, sort of sense. My husband has spent much time the last year randomly surprising me with their music just showing up in my phone or home, but the live performance is where they go from awesomesauce to completely made of win. This weekend was absolutely no exception. I greatly enjoyed their two shows, and as usual, wish they had performed at least one more time. Though where I would have fit that into the very busy weekend schedule is anyone’s guess.

I spent pretty much all of my time at the con in the writing panels. Thirteen of the twenty panels/performances we attended were in the “writing” room, much to my husband’s dismay. Or so I imagine since he spent the majority of his time reading programming manuals or looking up tech stuff. *sigh* For myself, each panel increased my interest in writing, real writing, and poked at that dream I had put away of ever doing anything with it. The panel on overcoming writer’s block (ugh) sort of knocked loose some of my excuses that I always come up with for why I can’t/won’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t bother. Sometime around Saturday evening during the NanoWrimo panel, I decided that I was going to give this whole thing a go. Again.

There were a finite number of authors/guest panelists, which means that by the end of day two, several of the authors were recognizing me. Rather than hide and shuffle off to a corner as is usual for me. Instead I hung out and talked with them and some of the artists. Some of them even autographed my copy of an anthology they took part in writing, Penny Dread Tales Vol III. Some of them even gave me the go ahead to Facebook-stalk them and I did! O.o Just in case you were curious, that is waaaaaay outside my comfort zone. Majorly so. But, they were really friendly and gave some great advice, and even if I never actually do anything further in writing, I can always watch for their new projects and all that good jazz.

None of that really gives a good indication of what Anomalycon is though, does it? Just me rambling on about stuff. So, let’s go on to pictures! Most of these come from Westword, a local paper that has been coming to Anomalycon all three years.

Authors S.J. Chambers and Gail Carriger at a free-for-all panel

Probably my favorite “costume” of the entire event

Taking a break between events

The tallest member is hiding behind the speaker...

Pandora Celtica!

Gizmos! Gadgets! Doohickeys! Thinga-ma-jigs!

Why not?

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Dreams

I know I still have a post about religion(s?) that is in the wings, but I have not been in the right state of mind to write that one.

On the other hand I have been having some very odd and even disturbing dreams the last few nights. The overall themes have been of some sort of subjugation of myself and the community I consider myself a part of in the dream, fighting against those who are subjugating us, running away and eventually reaching something resembling safety, but still feeling the need to continue to duck, to hide, to run. As far as dreams go, these are pretty common for me in that I have had dreams with these themes for years and years. Just usually not so many in a row nor with the content of the dreams being so diversified.

They started four nights ago with the one that amuses me the most – a zombie apocalypse dream. In this case subjugation is just that the zombies are the ones with the power and they rule how it is that the survivors will live. The fighting was of course trying to kick some zombie arse and running away nearly always follows those same rules. The safety would be a larger community which had something like a normal life, just with huge ass walls and manned turrets and pretty much the modern version of a castle hosting the masses during a raid. A really, really long raid.

The second was based on a dream that I have had multiple times since I was young, only this time I was actually a young adult trying to protect not only myself, but also my “crew” and a bunch of younger children. Hiding, ducking, espionage, and more running were of course a part of it. It started up in a desert and ended down in a city built underground in a series of caves. I honestly have no idea how far in that one I actually got since when I was woken up by my alarm I was working on escaping from some sort of trap/prison I had found myself in. Great thing to wake up to, let me tell you.

There was another more based in “real” life, but I honestly don’t remember it as well. Compared to the other dreams anything that is based in something even partially resembling my normal reality is not really all that memorable…

And the dream I woke up from this morning was just weird. I was on some sort of alien, but still earthlike planet where there were regular people, golem-like people, and the people who ran everything, though I couldn’t tell if they were human or alien. They subjugated the regular people and used the golem-like people to basically make the fake world they forced the real people to work and slave in seem more real and encourage the Stockholm Syndrome to develop and be maintained with little to no effort on the part of the superior individuals. They could beat, abuse, and even kill people, but because of the behavior of the golem-like people, it was taken in stride and just accepted.

The last one is the most fascinating for several reasons – the first is that while I nearly always view my dreams as a third-person observer, it’s nearly always following “me” or whomever it is that I identify as in the dream. In this dream, I was actually following three different story-lines and mine was the least interesting. My husband actually had the largest role in the dream and was the one who realized what was going on and that something had to be done first. I also got to see what the superior people were doing, which was interesting from my third person point of view since I was aware of how all the parts were fitting together, but none of the people I observed, including the person I identified as me, knew more than their own parts.

Anywho, my husband saw what was going on, started a war, a real war, not the fake one that had been going on, and just walked out of the “approved” area. As soon as dream-me realized what he was doing (the escaping part, I was helping with the previous stuff) I followed him and we both left via our own methods. In the dream I was exhausted at that point, not for any noticeable reason and actually crawled for a bit before I managed to get up and walk and eventually convince myself I needed to jog, though I really looked like the zombies that I had been fighting in the first dream. My husband acquired a scooter which he immediately told me was only because he couldn’t find an actual bike and if I wanted to be picky I could walk. I should also point out that in my dream I had ended up hiding from the superior people (who were in the bodies of late-teens, there was something weird about all the adults being the golem-like creatures) and actually was watching them watch me because I couldn’t hide all that well and couldn’t move. I heard my husband and watched him go past, him realize what was going on and trying to decide if he would turn back around, but knew if he did so that we would both die. So I took advantage of my awareness that all of this was a dream and turned it backward a minute and managed to jump on the scooter behind him and we just barely got away. It probably helped that I blinked and suddenly we were on a steampunk/Firefly-esque space station. That was the safe place, though I felt like I still had to hide and try to blend in because they were still after us.

And in all these dreams I encountered many, many people from my life. Family, friends, co-workers, even people I’ve just passed by on the street. Usually my dreams are not so populated with people I know. All in all, I would say the last few nights have been very odd. I want to see what I come up with next, but at the same time, I know my sleep has been more disrupted by these visions and I’m already having enough trouble with being tired as it is… ah well.

So, if anyone happens to have an idea of where I should start with interpreting these dreams, that would be awesome. They’re just a bit too much for me to take all at once right now. Thanks!