Boskone Trip Report (part 2 of 6)
Episode 2, Friday evening: Sarah hunts for a ribbon, aided by Tribbles
If you've talked to me recently, read this blog, or been anywhere within a 300 mile radius of me in the past month, you'll know how excited I was to finally be a program participant at Boskone. Part of my excitement was because of my very cool schedule, but another (embarrassingly large) part of my excitement was because of the ribbon.
If you're on the program, you get a lovely large pink ribbon that dangles from your name badge. I have been attending Boskone for so long without a ribbon that the ribbon achieved a sort of mythic status in my mind, the maguffin at the end of my Quest to Become a Writer. It was the Ribbon of Honor, the Ribbon of Victory, an outward symbol that someone thinks I have Something to Say...
Anyway, when I arrived at Boskone, I proudly trotted over to Program Ops (the Keeper of the Ribbons) to obtain my Ribbon of Glory... and Program Ops was closed. No more ribbons for anyone until Saturday morning.
Well, this was just no good. I had attended Boskone since 1999 ribbon-less. Seven years sans ribbon. (Technically, six. I skipped one year for a trip to Austria so my husband could attend a physics conference in a castle... another story for another time.) Point is, I wanted that ribbon!
So I trotted back out to the registration desk and told them how much I wanted my ribbon. They nodded politely, the way you do when a crazy person starts telling you how important lemurs are to the well-being of your soul...
They (the convention staffers, not the important lemurs) pointed to the information desk across the hall. So I trotted over to the information desk and pleaded for my ribbon. No ribbons, but they did have tribbles...
The Guest of Honor at Boskone this year was David Gerrold, author of many, many things including Chess with a Dragon and the famous Trouble with Tribbles episode of Star Trek. In his honor, the convention organizers planned the Great Tribble Hunt. Imagine an Easter egg hunt but with thousands of small pompoms. While I was on my hunt for my Ribbon of Joy, the convention staffers were hiding tribbles throughout the hotel lobby. As one of the staff hid the tribbles around the Program Ops area, she discovered a box of Program Participant ribbons.
Coincidence? I think not. I think the tribbles guided her to the ribbons.
So I got my beautiful Ribbon of Sweet Delight, which I promptly attached to my badge, along with my Class of 2k7 pin.
As an added bonus, I also got a sticker with my Boskone schedule to stick on the back of my badge. I had actually forgotten about this bit of coolness. For years, I have watched program participants casually say, "Oh, I wonder where and when I have been asked to go to spread my wisdom next," and then nonchalantly flip their badge over to check their schedule. I, of course, had my schedule memorized for days, but I still couldn't help casually flipping over my badge to check my schedule at least three times an hour.
Now that I'm home, I am displaying that badge in a place of honor next to my SFWA member card, a picture of my AUTHOR stamp, and the Control key that fell off my computer months ago which I keep forgetting to reattach.
Join me next time for episode 3, in which I schmooze with buffalo.