However, age doesn't negate the fact that we still long for the best parts of summer camp.
Getting away from home. Playing crazy games. Hanging out with like-minded friends 24 hours a day.
Somehow adults (and even older teens) don't seem to get a chance to indulge in such fun very often.
ReginaCon (or as it is sometimes call, "Fairy Tale Novel Fan Festival"... yeah, you see why we go with ReginaCon), fills that need. It's 4 days (or so) of constant interaction with friends both old and new, giving us a chance to do those crazy games, talk geek stuff, play with hair, and dream impossible dreams together.
And of course, it's a wonderful chance to spend time with Regina Doman and her amazing husband Andrew and learn about writing, courtship and life from their fascinating stories. And sometimes (every other year or so), we are just lucky enough to hear a few never-before-released chapters from her latest writing project.
This year the festival was held at a farmhouse in Silver Lake, MN. It was a tight fit (we had about a dozen girls in the small basement), but oh, so much fun. Thankfully the weather cooperated and we were not blasted by the heat that is currently roasting the midwest to a crisp. Instead we had cool (and sometimes drizzly) days that were perfect for dressing up in costumes and playing murder mysteries.
Thursday (day 1) we all went on mass exodus to Minneapolis, where we joined many other beautiful ladies and dashing gentlemen to celebrate the premiere of "The Shadow of the Bear." It was amazing to finally see a (almost) finished version of the film in a real movie theater. And it just warmed my heart to see so many smiles and hear so much laughter.
After the premiere, several of the actors and a few crew members and I went out to a local pizza place to celebrate. It was fun and I was exceptionally happy that there was gluten-free pizza for me! Afterwards my friends Paul and Amanda took charges of driving and navigating so I didn't have to worry about that either. Perfect end to an awesome night.
On Friday I gave a brief filmmaking talk and answered tons of questions about the filming of SOTB. Honestly, one of these days I do need to write a book about my experiences as a young independant filmmaker.
Then we all got dressed up and ready for our murder mystery game! I went as Queen Elizabeth I and had a proper entourage with a spy, a military advisor, and a fool (who ended up being a traitor!). We were situated at a space cantina in the future and met many other travellers from various time periods, including Isabella of Spain, Amelia Earhart and Sophie Scholl. Then there were the space pirates, the detective from the future, and a mysterious Mr. Saxon who turned out to be a telepath in the form of a baby...
We had rented an auditorium for Saturday's fun and it turned out to be a very good choice. We started out with a talent show, which was a wonderful chance to share and see all the amazing talents our friends possessed. We had dancers, actors, musicians, comedians and more. I got to participate in the final skit, which was the Doctor Who Parody I posted on the blog a few days ago.
But by far the most fun was the dance that night. We called it the "Fairy Tale Novel Swing Dance" but it really was a celebration of dance and music. We learned (or in my case, taught) swing dancing moves, but we also waltzed, danced the Virginia Reel, and had a blast doing the broom dance which is as much a game as a dance. Several of us girls also acted/danced/sang/lip synced our way through popular musical songs like "Maria," "So Long, Farewell," and "Matchmaker."
It was a fantastically fun time, but more than that it was really a chance to bond and get to know friends that we had formerly only met online.