Meeting Tamora Pierce – WisCon with kids

We had a great time at WisCon last weekend. There was a costume party night with the theme of academia; so, any outfit that was from a science fiction or fantasy school. Moomin dressed as a squire from Tamora Pierce‘s “Protector of the Small” series, set in the fantasy world of Tortall. The hero is a girl named Kel, who has a knack for befriending animals, mostly because she is kind to them. She has a loyal, smart, and strong horse who’s grumpy and often bites, a dog she rescued, and a huge flock of sparrows.

Moomin’s outfit was his knight outfit but with small artificial birds wired all over it. He was dressed as a friend of Kel’s who goes to the same school and who also has sparrows.


There were duct tape wristbands, also with birds.

Oh, and I got the birds online, 12 bucks for a dozen, from a floral trim shop.

I also made him a duct tape sword belt, with a belt pouch for his hotel key card, at the last minute. For his crest, I drew a shield with a sea serpent, because he loves ocean animals and dragons and thinks sea serpents are the coolest.

So, it was just one of the coolest things about the con for him, that he got to meet the author of the Tortall books:

Tamora Pierce

How cool is that! He got to meet one of his favorite authors, while dressed as one of her characters!

Now if he could just grow up to collaborate on a book with Dav Pilkey!

Meanwhile, at the con and afterwards, all our photos including these were made fun of, reposted, photoshopped, etc. by some people. That more or less already happened; I am pretty pissed off about it, but, nothing I can particularly do about the permanent trail of rude comments about my child. I said my say about it elsewhere, and now am carrying on as usual.

Here we are in our own context, anyway, having a fantastic time!

I always feel a bit odd at WisCon in that I am not one of the parents who spend a lot of time with the kids. I do a fair amount of playing with kids otherwise, including at ConQuest, but when I’m at the WisCon I want to see all the adults who I otherwise don’t get to see. So, Moomin mostly hung out in the Kid’s Room — they have childcare for the tiny kids, a kid’s room with legos and activities and trips for ice cream and swimming for older kids, and a teenagers’ room with a ton of video games. It’s a very nice set up and I appreciate the people who volunteer for it. I do other work for the con, but still, a bit of guilt that I don’t behave in a proper cooperative manner and chip in to help with kids!

Each year also, I want to go to parties and late night panels, so we’ve gotten a babysitter for evenings to hang with Moomin as he’s asleep in our room. This year, friends of our regular WisCon babysitter helped us out, two sisters who go to U. of Wisconsin. They were fantastic – took him out for pizza and ice cream on evenings we didn’t all have dinner together, played with him outside in the park around the Capitol, read with him, and were just generally awesome. If you need a babysitter this summer in Madison, Wisconsin, talk to me and I’ll give you their info.

On Sunday night at the con, we watched the Mars Phoenix landing coverage as news of the lander came in. We watched several channels including the usstream video in NASA itself, and the fantastic realtime information from dmuller’s site, which added exciting data & countdown information and told us what was going to happen next. More about Mars in my next post, I promise!

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