Whew! Got back late from Intervention and went straight to bed, so the page went up a little later than normal (I try to update night before, for anybody overseas).
I’ve always had difficulty with the concept of family. Growing up, “Family” always meant love with conditions, hiding one’s self, giving all and getting nothing, and above all Obligation. Since estranging myself from my blood family, I’ve slowly discovered that family can mean a lot of things. And it doesn’t have to come by blood. Intervention was a bewildering, but wonderful, highlight of that. Bewildering, not because it was strange, but because it’s not what I grew up expecting. I’m still learning what it means to have a community that loves and supports, simply because that is the kind of people they are.
For one, I was hosted by the incredibly generous Eric Menge, writer for Snow by Night and his beautiful family. Eric not only gave me a place to stay, but picked me up an the airport, escorted me to the convention, introduced me to people, and treated many of us webcomic folks to lunch. Not to mention, we probably talked about conventions and webcomics and writing for hours. I was so amazed and grateful that he would show such kindness and trust to a relative stranger — we’d never met in person, only “spoken” online.
Liz Staley of Adrastus and her hubby Byron were next to me at the con, and basically kept me sane the whole time. Checking in, sharing food, and providing encouragement. At one point Byron showed up with a full dinner for me, when I’d only asked to maybe nibble a bite or two, simply stating “You’re a friend. This is what I do for friends.” They were excellent company (although I knew that going in — Liz has an infectious passion!)
The surprises were ongoing the whole weekend – a lovely little colored sketch of Tama from Jennifer Zyren Smith LaSalle’s Legacy, a bag of four delicious character-themed teas (Tama, Mizha, Pakku, and Zhiro!) from Eren Fitzgerald of Tamuran. (Hopefully he will forgive me for freaking out so much about them…I am a tea fanatic. Tea is my ultimate fandom, above all other fandoms!) And, one of the most amazing surprises of all, the company of a LeyLian named Sorrel. Who showed up, as if by magic, at exactly the right moment hours before the con and offered to help me set up (which was a wonderful thing, as I was panicking a little at all the New Things I’d been dealing with in the previous 24 hours), came by to hang out and talk the entire con, and then stayed afterwards to help me take down the booth (which was also good because I’d failed at self-care again and was getting loopy from lack of food). We spent a large portion of the convention trading sketches, or how we’d write each other’s names in the languages we had made, or just talking stories. It was wonderful and completely unexpected and I can only hope that I was able to earn and return that kindness in the amazing generosity it was given.
Thank you to everyone for making me feel part of your creative family!
How do you define family?