Not-Actually-A-Con Report: Kansas City Daytrip!

8/22/2016 12:42:00 PM Lexie Dunne 0 Comments

If you follow me on social media, you probably saw that my weekend tweets were not the nonsensical musings of a bored Lexie, but rather I DID STUFF. That’s right, on Saturday I drove across Missouri to Kansas City, home of my high school band trip. With a five minute stop and no construction, it’s a three hour and twenty minute drive—the perfect amount of time to listen to one podcast, two albums, and half of In The Heights. Mercifully, I arrived before any of the songs that make me cry could begin.

Kansas City was home to WorldCon or MidAmerica Con or whatever the real name is, and my original plans were to take some vacation from work and spend the week attending non-stop panels and readings. A closer look at my budget said that’s probably a bad idea, but I could swing a day trip. I packed an overnight bag in case a migraine or exhaustion hit, but the plan was to drive out in the morning and return in the evening, weary but satisfied.

First up was the Meet and Eat with Beth Cato and Becky Chambers, both of whom I got to hang out with at Phoenix Comicon and who are each the living embodiment of awesome. I may or may not have been late, but I still wore my FENRIS FAN CLUB PRESIDENT crown. They spoke about political messages in science fiction, the misconception that golden age scifi is apolitical, longevity, historical and technological accuracy, outlining, and a bunch of great subjects. Plus there was food, which my undergrad days taught me makes any event special.

While they signed books, I said hi to some author friends and got to meet others in person for the first time: Brooke Johnson (whom you may remember from last week’s Tuesdays with Lexie), Auston Habershaw (Bostonian with a Boston, the next level in Boston), Tina Gower (agency sibling! Soon we will rule the world), Becky’s wife Bea (who wins for “Best Last Name”), C. Stuart Hardwick, aaaaaaaand a writer whose name I can’t remember (which is terrible because I ended up having lunch with him, Tina, and Stuart). Hanging around after the event proved fortuitous, as I got to tag along on a tour of the library, which started life as a bank that could print money.

Keeping with the random, I tagged along with some others from the tour for lunch, where I learned more about short fiction writing (seriously, the people that can do that are wizards) and, interestingly enough, the Scientology writing contest my mom forbade me from entering in high school. God bless Yelp, which led us to a Mediterranean restaurant not far from the library and the convention.

Since I had a few hours before dinner, I headed up to the World War I Museum. I’ve written things that took place during the Great War, so it was neat on many levels to see facets of my research in person. Bonus: the museum’s not terribly expensive and the surrounding area is stunning (plus a lot of people were walking dogs nearby, and dogs always make my day).

You walk into the museum on a transparent floor about twenty feet over a field of poppies, which gave me a brief bout of vertigo, and the first thing you do is watch a short video about the tensions leading up to WWI, which did better at explaining the war than any of my history classes. The museum is split in two by another video that projects onto a giant screen over No Man’s Land, depicting the entry of the US into the war. The central wall is a textual timeline pre- and post-US entry, and you can wander in and out of sections that display uniforms and mess kits and things soldiers carried with them. Actual size renditions of trenches can be viewed by sticking your head into a foxhole and each little alcove contains its own niche about the different countries. I can see why it’s regarded as an excellent museum. I took a lot of pictures of things that I’m not going to share for reasons, but I can say that if I had a reason for visiting the museum, it was definitely satisfied.

After the museum, I wandered up to the memorial and spent a few minutes gazing upon the Kansas City skyline, a short rest before dinner. The tower is open to the public during the day, but after discovering in Prague that I don’t really like narrow, dark places, I elected to stay out in the sunlight. Unfortunately, somebody inside fell and the paramedics were called.

Dinner was an affair made interesting by the fact that 98 Degrees was performing a few hundred feet away, so there were a lot of people my age standing outside and that was a trip. At dinner, I was knighted with my own floppy bread scepter by Beth Cato, High Priestess of Churromancy, and I feel like if I ever win any awards, it won’t even come close to this feeling of limp euphoria. Jen and Mike (now #HusbandMike thanks to Twitter!) were at the convention and came to dinner with us, which was fantastic. Plus, I got to sit next to Bishop, one of my all-time favorite people in the writing world. I couldn’t hear a lot of what was going on thanks to the noise level, but gosh, I had so much fun. There’s a reason writers are the best people to have around, and that dinner proved it.

Unfortunately, either the food or the headlights gave me a migraine on my way home, a slight letdown to the end of the trip, but I spent yesterday napping and reading to make up for it. Still: calling Saturday a win and definitely worth even more than a migraine to see my friends.

Tomorrow: come back for my hilariously awesome interview with Beth. In the meantime, check out the Reading Log! I’ve added a couple new books that I think are splendid and you should read them ASAP.

Stay sexy!


Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.