Steampunk Spotlight: Clockwork Con Report

Me & The Rabbit

OMG. Where do I start?

Clockwork Con 2012 not only exceeded mine (and everyone else’s) expectations for a first-year Steampunk convention, but we all had an absolute blast on top of it. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun at a convention before, and that’s saying something because conventions are generally a pretty good time.

This convention was organized and implemented by the amazing couple Alex and Tiffany Whisenhunt. They’re in their early twenties, are full-time students, work full-time, and live in Lubbock. The convention was in Austin. Pulling off any event is tricky, but a first-year Steampunk con in a city nearly seven hours away….

I mean, wow.

I couldn’t be more impressed with how the lovely Whisenhunts handled the entire affair. Professional from the moment they asked me to be a guest back at last year’s Aetherfest through the entire convention, I felt well cared for and like an important part of the convention, which is so very nice for a guest. They had personal guest packets prepared for each guest, which is wonderful and completely unheard of! I’ve done dozens of conventions, and all too often I’m wondering where I’m supposed to be when, having to look up the schedule myself an figure out which panels I’m on, etc. But not here at Clockwork Con! A personalized schedule of what I was to do throughout the weekend…and every guest got one! What a concept, really…to actually let the guests know where they’re supposed to be! I love it. It seems so logical, really, but you’d be amazed at how many cons don’t do that. Like, all the other ones I’ve been to save one other. I’m hoping that will change in the future.

Cherie Priest and I have had this conversation more than once. She has the view that since the con is bringing her in, she works for them for that weekend, and I take that same view. They’re using a portion of their tight budget to have me as part of the entertainment. While there, I do my part by mingling with fans, entertaining audiences by reading my work, or educating them by participating on various panels. It’s ever so helpful to know where I’m supposed to be, so I can do my best for the convention.

DJ Doctor Q

Over 400 Steampunks came out to enjoy Clockwork Con, and enjoy they did! With fabulous acts like Cut, Thrust, & Run, The Marquis of Vaudeville, Master “Bones” Jangle, Mr. Saturday and Sixpence, Airship Isabella, ME (of course), and the amazing Steam Powered Giraffe, how could they not have a blast? Over 400! There are long-established fantasy conventions in TX that don’t get that many people, so for a first year, Steampunk-specific convention, that’s highly impressive.

Personally, I adored this convention because I got to spend time with my colleagues, some of whom I rarely see like Emperor Justinian and my own personal muse DJ Doctor Q and his lovely wife Talloollah Love, and others who I see more often (but still not nearly enough), like my piratical family Airship Isabella and the delightful couple Mr. Saturday and Sixpence. As always, it was a joy to see Arron von Blackwolf and Toby of The Marquis of Vaudeville. I’ll never forget how hard he made me laugh with his taco piano down at Dickens on the Strand. Additionally, I got to meet Steam Powered Giraffe and had the absolute pleasure of seeing them perform (not to mention developed a huge crush on The Rabbit). There will be a fresh Steampunk Spotlight on them very soon.

Perhaps the thing that pushed this convention over the top for me was that my sweet auctioneer was able to join us all for a few hours. Still a new relationship, but it’s a beautiful one. And it just meant the world to me that he would step so far out of his world of nonprofit auctioneering to experience my world of fandom, geekdom, and (as he put it) con-dom. 🙂 We enjoyed a lovely dinner Friday night with Dr. Q & Talloollah Love while listening to a special acoustic set by Steam Powered Giraffe.

All in all, it was a brilliant time. Hands down the most fun I’ve had at a convention EVER! I got to reconnect with some fans and meet some new ones. I did a very successful panel on Writing in Steampunk with the esteemed Ben Hamby as well as two well-attended readings where I discussed AVALON REVISITED and read some short stories from my new titles CAUGHT IN THE COGS: AN ECLECTIC COLLECTION.

~ by omgrey on January 24, 2012.

6 Responses to “Steampunk Spotlight: Clockwork Con Report”

  1. I had the best time at this con. I wish every event was as good as this one.

    Both Michelle and I felt a real bit of emptiness once we finally landed back at home. Like we were missing something important. That’s how much this event filled us with joy and inspiration.

    The Steampunks in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska have the most amazing level of community of all steampunks I’ve interacted with. They treat one another like family. It’s truly amazing.

    I can only hope that Aetherfest is as good. I will get there, hell or high water!

    • We Texas Steampunks are indeed family…more so than my own flesh and blood.

      And yes, it was the best time. So lovely to see you & Michelle again. Do let me know when she posts my reading so I can link to it.

      Aetherfest will be epic. Of that I have no doubt.

  2. As a first time steampunk con attendee and first timer of any sort of con, I had a really great time as well. Glad to see the positive experience was felt by the otherside as well. I do worry now that the bar has been set high for me, having now seen and heard a lot of people’s high reviews of the Con.

    On a personal note; I really enjoyed you and Ben Hamby and hearing about writing and both of your works.

    • I’m so pleased to hear it! It was a lot of fun to do that panel with Ben. Thank you for reading and commenting on the blog. I hope you stick around for more!

  3. I have to agree. The Gathering was well carried out and splendid in all aspects. I too have been to far to many conventions hosted anually that did not have the smooth flow, attention to detail, or diversity of interests that Clockwork pulled off. Ku-do’s all around. Ms. Grey you were of course delightful, insightful, and fun.
    Thank you

    • Oh! Delightful! Insightful! and FUN! Yay!
      It was a splendid event all around. Thank you for stopping by the blog. Hope you stick around, too. xo

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