I can scarcely believe it's been a full week since I attended #ConNooga2022 and closed up my booth, but here I am at the last of my follow-up blogs to the adventure that I experienced in Chattanooga last weekend. You can read the other three on Knowing Who I Am, Embracing The Play, and Friends And Neighbors by clicking those descriptions or visiting my blog home page!
Throughout the weekend, besides the great costumes, there was one constant and this constant went by the name of Braxton. I don't know how I got so lucky that this young man was the one to help me find my booth and unload on load-in night. He was just the next volunteer in line when I checked in, but I felt like I picked the extra long straw all weekend long as a result of this lucky charm!
Braxton, an anime fan and early graduate, after helping me unload my cart, said he'd be sure to drop by my booth over the weekend and he would tell others. "Thank you!" I said, but what I honestly thought at the time was, 'We'll see.' (Ugh! The cynicism of experience has so strongly replaced the idealism and optimism of my early artistic career . . . and I just don't like it . . . I want back my natural idealist!)
It didn't take long for me to eat crow.
Not only was Braxton my pretty-nearly-first visitor of the conference, but he came through for me! He showed up first with* KevTheRamenMan and jerome_b._ from his former high school club, the EHHS Anime Club. He was just getting started, though, as he brought over casualcrying.png, lemon_baguette, and their friend. Braxton made sure that I was visited by flying_hedge and nickcarden47, as well as myneceal_ and king.cosmo_. Ladon_the_professional_idiot (who definitely is not, by the way) came by as a post time jump Zorro and humorless_bastard (also not a fitting name), mccloud_joshua, and cjlartworks rounded out the crew of fans.
*Names are referring to the ConNooga guest Instagram handles, each tagged with the attendee's permission.
Not to point out the obvious, but-well-I'm going to point out the obvious. The people Braxton brought to the At Fault Book booth were different ages, races, genders, and even, for a place like a Comic Con, fandoms! Some were all in on their costumes while others felt more comfortable in jeans hanging out with friends. The parade of creatives he brought over was a microcosm of the whole convention. It was a place where everyone belonged, regardless of abilities, appearances, or backgrounds.
And THAT was the point of it all.
I had started writing The Fault Lines Series out of an emotional place and the plot actually came later and unfolded with great effort over the year in which the story (and series outline) was developed. I was so ticked at everybody in the world for getting so divided over these last couple of years and I wanted to tell a story that highlighted our common humanity. The motto of the people in At Fault is: BE GLORIOUSLY HUMAN.
Well, thanks to Braxton and a weekend of colorful costumes . . . and people . . . I got a glimpse of that unity and a little piece of my idealism back. Thank you for all of the visitors I had, costumed and not, who dropped by my booth for #ConNooga! It was an adventure!
Be Gloriously Human