I brought a camera with me to WFC, and of course completely forgot to use it 95% of the time. So the best photos I have from the con were actually taken by other people. The first is from Doselle Young, whom I met on Saturday night, along with his wife Janine. We were discussing an odd incident that had just occurred, in which a stranger had stared at me and then asked me whether I was Nalo Hopkinson. -_- Since I look nothing like Nalo (though our first names do share three letters!), I could only laugh about it — but then we found out my fellow writing-group member Alaya had been mistaken for me throughout the con. (We also look nothing alike.) At this point we started joking about all the other people we could be mistaken for, finally culminating in the great (but dead) Octavia Butler herself. So in the spirit of Halloween, here is me as “undead Octavia Butler”:
The night before this, there was the Signing Session, which was huge and a lot of fun. As I mentioned before, I completely lost it over meeting several of my favorite authors. Here’s me fangirling on Marjorie Liu, snagged from her:
I’m so geeky.
All that said… the mistaken-identity incident does bring home some realities in the wake of Obama’s victory. As powerful a symbol as he now is — and yeah, I’m thrilled — it doesn’t change a lot. People will still mistake the only two black women at a small convention for completely different black people. I will still have conversations in the bar with random strangers who insist that “you people” should stop complaining now that “racism is dead”. (Yeah, that happened too.) And racism won’t be dead, by any stretch — in fact I suspect it’ll get a little worse for awhile, as more people go into denial and decide that it’s no longer worth talking about or working to eliminate.
Just like a Democratic sweep doesn’t indicate some sudden progressive awakening among the American people, as the Prop 8 horror illustrates. So my feelings right now are best encapsulated by a fortune cookie message I got the night after I found out 100K would be published, and which I’ve kept as an inspiration: You had a great start! Now work harder.
We’ve still got a lot of work to do to fix this country.
Anyway, back to writing.