Thursday, August 13, 2009

A post which is mostly about my daughters and Neil Gaiman

Elvi and Child One volunteered to help with the recently concluded World Science Fiction Convention that passed through Montreal. Don't let the generic name fool you; this is the big one, where eserving recipients receive their Hugo Awards. The guest of honour this year was Neil Gaiman, a favourite author of all three ladies in my house and millions more across the world.

Elvi thought that volunteering would get her a taste of the con, tickets to which cost $250 and I think those are American dollars. It did, but a friend of hers had to cancel and sold her a ticket for $100. Awesome! She asked People In Charge if Child One's service could count toward a reduced rate but unfortunately it couldn't. Wires crossed at just the right time, however, because a person in northern California had just anonymously donated her ticket to be used by a student in need. Child One gratefully accepted it. By gratefully, I mean she even wrote a gracious thank-you note to the anonymous benefactor.

Child Two took advantage of the $60 conference rate for kids so in the end, my family spent $160 for $560 worth of registration and - not to sound too much like a MasterCard commercial - priceless memories that will last a lifetime.

I've been trying to pin the ladies down so I could detail their fantasies come true (hey, I like that pun) but in the end I decided they could write about it themselves - I'll post the pictures, though. I will say that by the end of the convention, Neil Gaiman recognized my girls by face and name. Child Two was in the front row of every one of his talks/events. At a kids' workshop she constructed a fabric image that Gaiman pronounced "a brilliant version of Coraline" (at left, in progress).

Child Two's stardom took another little step forward during a panel discussion of Studio Ghibli anime features. Her insightful comments led the moderator to invite her up to join the panelists after one had to leave early. Yes, my 12-year-old daughter was a panelist at the largest science-fiction show on Earth.

That would have been enough for a memorable few days, but it doesn't stop there. Kyle Cassidy, a photographer friend of Gaiman's, lugged his equipment to Montreal to photograph Gaiman fans. Yes, he took photos of my ladies. I don't want to post his photo here, for copyright reasons and because you really ought to go to his site and read the flattering comments. I will post a photo of them that Cassidy took with our camera so you can compare the difference a few thousand dollars' worth of equipment makes.

Gaiman signed Child Two's writing journal. "Child Two," he wrote although he used her real name, "FINISH THINGS!"

It's good advice. Her dad needs to follow it.


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