JordanCon 2015 Recap (Part 3)

On to day three, the last day of JordanCon. 😦

I let myself sleep a little bit late again, because I really needed it, and between that and packing (checkout was at noon), I didn’t make it down until around 11:30. Seeing as that was in the middle of a panel block, and there wasn’t anything I was particularly dying to go to at that time, I decided it was time to take care of things in the dealer’s hall/art show room.

As I mentioned last time, as some point it clicked that Artist Guest of Honor Todd Lockwood has illustrated many Magic: The Gathering cards, including some of my favorite arts. So even though I didn’t properly plan (if I had I would’ve brought my Moonveil Dragon collection…) I went through what decks I’d brought with me and found a bunch of his cards, which he was kind enough to sign for me. I also got a chance to talk to him a little, along with a couple other people who were looking at the artist proofs (non tournament legal versions of Magic cards) he had for sale, and I’m glad I got the chance. He’s a really cool guy, and at one point he let slip a tiny potential spoiler regarding a card whose art he drew for an upcoming set. 🙂 After a bit of thought, I also bought a couple artist proofs from Mr. Lockwood, of two cards whose art I particularly like (I also really felt like I should buy something, after he’d signed about 10 cards for me for free.)

Right after that I also redeemed the Aradani Studios Magic card alter voucher I’d won the night before, and got myself a nice altered Mountain, into which the city of Dale was added, with Smaug torching it. (I posted pictures of the cards on my twitter at some point, I’m certain. I also forgot to mention that as some point Friday I picked up my pre-ordered JordanCon 7 shirt from Ta’veren Tees, so now I have another great Wheel of Time related shirt, which make up the bulk of my small selection of geeky t-shirts.)

By then it was near time for the next round of panels, plus I absolutely could not afford to let myself buy anything else, so it was off to panels again, starting with another Writer’s track panel, titled From Cutout to Person. The panel consisted of authors Blue Cole, Jeremy Hicks, and Jim Hodgson, and it ended up as both an interesting discussion on character creation and a just plain entertaining talk, as they all played off each other very well.

The next panel was on foreshadowing, which as soon as it was introduced led to some fun comments by the panelists, Anthony Taylor, Diana Pho, and Todd McCaffrey, largely about the fact that the foreshadowing was the last writing panel of the con. This was the first of Mr. McCaffrey’s panels I had the pleasure of being at, and I’m glad I at least got one in, as he both had a lot of interesting insights and always had a clever remark at the ready, so there was never a dull moment.  I guess entertaining panels was my theme of the day, and I guess the From Cutout to Person panel foreshadowed that fun panels would become a theme…that was pretty bad, I’m sorry. It’s kind of late here, but I really want to get this done.

So all that was left after the foreshadowing panel was Feedback and Leavetakings panel/discussion, something I haven’t attended every year, but the timing worked out well enough for me so I sat in for the entirety, and then had time to say my goodbyes and head out with enough time to get to the airport in time for the first of my flights home. It’s always a little sad when it inevitably comes time to leave JordanCon, and also generally kind of an emotional downer (I’d instinctively describe it as coming down from a high, but I’ve never been, so I wouldn’t know.) This year, however, that feeling was magnified, as I know I won’t be able to make it next year (the con conflicts with the first days of Passover), and I’m not sure about the year after, due to plans to move even further away from Atlanta than I currently am. Significantly further. But the important thing is, not matter how many years it takes, I will make it back. (My optimistic guess probably in 3 years.)

But wait, there’s more! I still had to make it home, via 2 flights. One to Charlotte and then a connection back to New York. Sounds simple, right? It did to me. I’d done the connecting flight before, and apart from a diversion and late landing one year due to heavy rain in New York, everything had always gone smoothly with my flights.

Well, there’s a first time for everything. I arrived with plenty of time to eat a late lunch and relax, and even ran into a fellow congoer who was on the same flight as me back to New York (who I’d actually met at that Mage: The Awakening game Friday night.) So at least I had someone to talk to while we waited (it would’ve been pretty boring otherwise, as my phone desperately needed to charge, and I had to let it just charge without use. So we waited. And waited. Then came notices that the flight to Charlotte was delayed (I think for weather, or something, it was never completely clear why just that flight and not the connecting flight was delayed.) As the delay grew longer, we began to calculate the timing. First we should still be able to make the connection without a problem, then it would be a little close, then we’d have to really run to make then connection….and then it became clear that we would definitely not make it.

Around then the US Airways people started telling us (almost the whole flight was connecting somewhere, and most were set to miss their connections by this point) to start calling some number to figure out our options, which got everyone nowhere, and it soon began to seem like out only options would be to stay overnight in Atlanta and fly back in the morning, or fly to Charlotte and fly back to NY from there in the morning. Not something anyone wanted to do, least of all me. It’d have been a night sleeping in the terminal if I’d ended up stuck. Then, at 9:00, a full hour after the flight’s original departure time, we got a luck break (or maybe it was some residue Ta’veren effect from the con), when all of the New York bound folks were called to a separate counter by a US Airways gate agent, who was able to rebook us on a direct flight (on Delta) back to New York for no additional charge, and the funny thing was we’d arrive at about the same time we would have from our original flight+connection. Needless to say, everyone took them up on that, though for me it meant having my checked bag, which contained leftover food, clothes, and my sharp objects, such as my non-sharp sword, would travel back to New York on its own and I’d have to pick it up the next day.

From there things were very smoothly, and neither of us ended up with middle seats on the flight back. And the next morning I picked up my bag and all was well. All’s well that ends well.

So that concludes my JordanCon 2015 recap. I’d like to end by extending my thanks to those who made everything possible, chiefly Jennifer and James Liang, Bao Pham, along with Jon Hermsen who did a great job with the game room, which I spent more time in this year than any prior year, and Richard Fife, who once again organized and ran a great Writer’s Track.

I’ll definitely miss being at JordanCon next year, but at my family seders I’ll remember to partially be in Atlanta in spirit, and maybe with the Wheel of Time Companion coming out in the fall I’ll be able to translate the Four Questions into the Old Tongue, to add some bit of Randland to the holiday.

And again, I will return, however long it takes, so long as JordanCon continues (which by all indication it will.)

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