April 2nd, 2019

The Spy Who Loved Me

Friday 15th March: Match Game

On the first day of the convention proper, I wandered down to the poolside breakfast and by good luck was scooped up by people I knew, so I could eat in company. I was also hugged by a random red panda, which is standard furcon procedure.

Grabbing a coffee to go, I made my way to the main stage for the opening ceremony. I had a couple of lines in the introductory spy-themed skit, interacting with the convention mascot, Quoth the Raven (Fur the More was originally held in Baltimore, home of Edgar Allan Poe), and got to introduce myself as Guest of Honour.

I spent the rest of my morning browsing the dealers' tables (where I bought a patch to mend my kerb-ripped jeans) and attending writing panels. A trip into the outside world for a lunchtime Starbucks with John and Laurie was a welcome breather before plunging back in.

Everyone was very welcoming, delighted to see me and anxious to make sure I was having a good time, whether they knew my work, knew I was Guest of Honour, or simply noticed that I was a stranger in a strange land. I met online friends in person and was shyly or joyfully approached by fans of my writing.

In the evening there was a buffet dinner for sponsors at which my quest to try new things whenever possible led me to Tito's Handmade Vodka. This was a good warmup for the hour I spent afterwards compering a session of Match Game before a live audience.

The show was Blankety Blank in the UK, but as I never watched it that didn't help me much. Fortunately, having the audience shout the rules to me just added to the fun. I even got to read out a passage from the grand prize, a romance novel from Wal-Mart entitled It's Getting Scot In Here</a>.

My writing buddies were by this time cosily ensconced in someone's room, drinking and gossiping (the favourite writer pastimes), so I joined them.

quoth

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