As I arrived Thursday afternoon, the weather in Baltimore was beautiful. I enjoyed a pleasant bus ride through the country side, enjoying the bright Autumn foliage. Once all the other passengers had been safely delivered to their hotels, I had an opportunity to chat with the driver about faeries. The man was from Ghana and had been living in the U.S. for the past 11 years. I inquired if he knew anything about faeries, and indeed he did. He told me of the days of his youth when the elders would bring the boys around a campfire during full moon and relay the oral history of the faeries. It reminded me of a Shaman I met once, who was also from Africa, named Maladoma Some. He related a story of how after being educated in England, upon return to his tribe, he wanted to bring a Video to share. He packed up a generator, DVD player and the movie-”Star Trek, The Voyage Home”. The review he received was that everything was true in the movie-except that the man who played the faerie (Spock-Leonard Nimoy) was much to tall!
Upon my arrival at the Hunt Valley Marriott (Faeriott), a gigantic smile burst across my face! People were busy setting up the wonderful faerie bench, that would soon be filled with faeries getting there pictures taken! My room was ready (an hour early) and I headed off to unpack and get settled in. I checked e-mail and saw Cissy, from the FaerieCon FaceBook Friends, had also arrived and we agreed to meet downstairs. We became fast friends for the rest of the weekend.
Kimmy Smith and Green Man
The Bar and Grill at the Faeriott, is one of the wonderments of FaerieCon, as you can go there anytime through out the event and find someone to eat with or just have a drink (alcohol or not) and a little chat. Once Cissy left, I spied my friend Jane, spent a bit of time catching up, and then back to the room to get organized for the weekend. (See Schedule of Events.) So much to choose from-WOW!
Friday morning, I got up early enough to do a little shopping and to start getting a better idea of which costumes I’d wear for the Balls. I know some people have this figured out 6 months in advance, but I was a bit by the seat of my pants-literally, this year! It’s 3:00PM and off to the first class, and what a great one to start the weekend with, Wendy and Brian Froud’s “ Finding a Faerie Companion”. Wendy took us through a guided meditation that kept me vibrating the rest of the day and into the night, where I was woken twice by a woman’s voice saying, “Susie, open your eyes now!”. I think I was “off with the faeries” that whole time.
Unfortunately the “Greenwood Magic” event was cancelled because Raven Grimassi and his wife Stephanie Taylor were snowed in! (Meanwhile, my husband Roger, was playing golf in Minnesota, go figure.) I was disappointed as I am sure many were, but it’s always something when dealing with faeries! Being not overly disappointed, and having had the opportunity to make another new friend, in Cissy’s husband Jason, who had made it in time for the Froud’s class. Not being overly disappointed, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and back to the Market Place to catch up with friends. I was greeted by Linda Ravenscroft with a hug to last a year! I took advantage of the free time to conjure a new outfit for the Faeriologist, which I am quite pleased with. I think the hat is a good touch! I was quite pleased to find that Amy Brown had come this year, after being a fan for that past 4 years it was fun to meet her in person, and pick up a new purse with one of her lovely paintings on the front flap!
For months prior to FaerieCon 2011 the FaerieCon FaceBook Group had been quite active. At last count they had nearly 3400 members! Robert Waldbouer took it upon himself to start a FaerieCon Meet-Up for Friday night. It was such a wonderful idea and I was happy as can be to meet so many new friends. Then back to my room to get ready for the “Good Faeries Ball”. One of the really great things about faerie people is that we are all friends! Upon walking into the Ball, Cissy motioned me to a table where we met a family with 4 generations of faerie fans with them. From Great Gramma to the tiny dancer. Cissy’s sweet husband Jason joined us as well. What an inspiring couple they are, having just experienced major damage to their home and vehicle due to a tornado followed by a hurricane, they still came and enjoyed themselves at FaerieCon! All of our polite conversation went out the door, when Delhi to Dublin took the stage. The house was rocking! Wow! I loved this bands energy and diversity-uplifting and energetic for sure. Got this Faeriologist up and dancing with a “Green Man”. The “Con” was up and running. Sweating, oops, GLOWING, and out of breath, I ducked out to check on the venders who had stayed open late into the night. I stopped off at Robert Quill’s “Artist for Hire” booth and negotiated a caricature drawing of the Faeriologist. I also noticed the very pretty colored overhead lights that were swinging with the music. By the time we finished what the drawing would entail, the Ball was over, so I headed back to the bar and grill with hopes of a midnight snack. No joy on the snack, but met up with friends and stayed till they kicked us out.
Saturday morning came all too soon. I started the day with a singing class with Syrah from QNTAL. This was very helpful for me to get over my idea that I cant sing at all,which had completely stopped me from singing at all. I let knowing that as a human being I had an inalienable right to sing!
“Enhancing Divination Skills” with Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor was up next. Wow, I really learned a lot in this class. It was one of the few times when I was completely engaged and taking prolific notes. Just this class alone was worth the time, effort and cost of the event itself to me! The guided meditation was quite profound, and I still am enjoying it days later. I must say though that, at the conclusion, I needed some “down time” in my room. It’s one of the perks of having the event in a hotel, you can just walk down to your room whenever you feel like it.
After a little lunch and a nap, it was time to get ready for the “Enchanted Folk” Merry Meet in the lobby, organized again by our fine faerie friend, Robert Waldbauer. A nice start to the “Bad Faeries Ball”. At this point, I wish to apologize to the amazing performers of the night. I was so engrossed in conversation, that time stopped for me, and I did not go up from to check out what I have heard was an amazing performance by Priscilla Hernandez and QNTAL. On my way back to my room I saw Kimmy Smith in the lobby lounge playing her fiddle and parked myself and enjoyed her little impromptu mini concert very much!
Ahhhh, Sunday morning and things are definitely winding down. there were still a few programs to take in, I messed about in my room too long, thought I had missed “Images and Folklore of Olde World Folk Lore”, but headed down to the market place for some last minute shopping and to check on the progress Robert Quill was making on the picture he was drawing for me. I really liked what he had so far, and am anxiously awaiting the completed product. Hoped to have it by the time I was ready to post this, we”ll see…. Anyway, on my way down the hall 2 young local people asked for directions to the Mythic Forum, so I took them down there, only to find, rather than missing the presentation, I was 15 minutes early! (Day light savings time ended!) It was interesting to hear about the Norwegian folk lore since I’m married to a lovely Norwegian man. Off to lunch, a bit more shopping and over to the “Realm-A.V.room” to take a look at the Art of Linda Ravenscroft. With Linda being my “Soul Sister” and reason I even knew about FaerieCon in the first place 4 years ago, I was very excited to see her slideshow. I enjoyed seeing her workshop, and how she worked with her daughter as inspiration for her painting. It clearly is a family affair at the Ravenscroft household. One last shopping destination, the Ravenscroft booth. Stocked up on bookmarks, and a lovely silk pillow for my “FaerieDen”. I wanted to take home the large canvas, but alas, it would not fit in my suitcase. I hear it went to a good home anyway.
Sunday night was a comedy of errors in the Bar and Grille, as they ran out of food! I sweet young couple at our table ran out to Wendy’s and came back with HOT fries and hamburgers, YEA! I hear tell that Charles di Lint and his wife, MaryAnn Harris, gave a little impromptu concert in the lobby lounge Sunday night, which I also missed. Next year I will pay more attention to music, I promise. I did hear the mini concert was quite well received.
Oh, Monday morning, I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t come. Ground Hog day would be great, I wouldn’t have to miss anything! With a sad heart and wistful Spirit, I packed up my belongings, squished all my treasure into my suitcases and checked out. I did get one more chance to visit with Kimmy Smith before my bus picked my up and swept me off to the Baltimore Airport. I got there in plenty of time to have a little lunch where something amazing happened! I was waiting for my food and reading Facebook Faeries messages, when I happened to look up and see a man smiling at me. I was singing, out loud, along with the music! I didn’t even know I was doing it. I have been cured of not singing, that’s for sure. I looked up again to see Priscilla Hernandez and her band heading out to her gate.
So here I am, back at the ranch again, doing my daily chores and continuing on with the never ending adventures of the Faeriologist. Already plotting ways I could get it together to attend FaerieCon East in February! I also ant to thank everyone who participated and continues to participate with sharing of photos and tagging. This group added a whole new dimension of camaraderie to the event for me. And of course thanks to all the people who work tirelessly putting this event together and keeping it up and running!
Tips for travelers staying at the “Faerieott” (Hunt Valley Marriott) next time: You can make your reservations well in advance, you have till 24 hours before your arrival to cancel with no fines or fees. Also, if you are not a Marriott rewards member, you may want to join, it also is free, and it may get you a better room and location. You can also then make a request for Concierge privileges, which affords you access to the secret free treats room! Ha! Very Cool. Obviously, because we are taking up the whole hotel, they don’t have as many of their upper tear guest, but still provide the service, which has resulted in them just throwing out the excess food. We could have been eating in there Sunday night-LOL. For the past 2 years I have done this, and it was wonderful, I also ask to stay on the first floor, no maneuvering wings in the elevators.
It was a joy celebrating with every one in our FaerieCon family and look forward to seeing you all again soon!