It was a real blast working on the Steampunk track at Arisia. On Saturday I was on the Sacred Sexuality panel, which went really well with a lot of audience participation. The moderator, Mistress Simone was incredibly nice, and really held the panel together. I, however have realized that I have an unfortunate habit in public speaking. That habit is nervous profanity. I try to be comfortable.. and it sort of just slips out. On the sacred sexuality panel it wasn't so bad..
The Alchemy lecture went less than well, however. I never talked about esoterica with people who had serious hard science backgrounds before. I panicked. I'll admit it. Could it get worse, you ask? Oh yes. It can. I open my binder to take out my lecture notes and low and behold.. nothing. Not. There.
Now keep in mind that I put them in there RIGHT BEFORE I left the room. That panic that I was talking about it before, multiply it. And to top it off, it was a full room. I would say aside from the note less rambling, and the nervous profanity it was.. okay. However, I did make mention that "The alchemical tradition was carried forward from the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries by groups like the masons, and stranger occult fringe groups like the Martinists."
Apparently there were actual Martinists in the audience. Please do understand dear readers that I said "strange" because that was the time that Alchemy was less and less considered legitimate science, and was pushed into things that would seem strange to modern materialist scientists and their forbearers. That did not come out of my mouth. Oy.
I did recover quickly and immidiately show my belly when I heard, "Martinists are strange?" said in a slightly annoyed female voice. "No!" I replied, "Martinists are awesome!" and then briefly described Martinism in a very general way. I also ended the lecture with a cheer of "Martinists are Awesome!"
I was a bit bummed that I had to leave pretty much IMMEDIATELY afterwards to help set up for the Steampunk Tea, because there were a bunch of people I would have loved to talk to, especially the one lovely possible Martinist woman in the crowd who I wanted to personally apologise to. I would also like to make a shout out to the very nice woman who started to ask me about lab work right before I had to duck out and literally run my fine little top hat from the second floor, down to the lobby, to the elevator, and then up to the 13th to test my brew master skills for four seatings of cream tea.
The entire con was really nice. There were beautiful costumes everywhere, including the Cosplay Green Fairy, who walked around with a complete "Absinthe Kit". She was very amenable and entertained me with fine conversation even with the insane amount of attention her costume afforded her.
Oh, and as I was packing up my stuff to leave lovely Lady Boston for the Garden State I found my notes. In my binder. Exactly where I put them.