So I pulled out the general commentary, which then brought it down enough to fit.
My dominant memories of this weekend are of all the socializing, but doing this writeup reminds me just how much fascinating discussion there was, which makes me really happy.
I'm not used to having stories that involve so many other people, so I apologize if I mentioned anything someone didn't want posted publically. I think I've been appropriately discreet, but I know I tend toward overshare, so do let me know if I need to edit anything. (And I of course have no problem with people sharing with the Internet anything about me from this weekend. Including if you don't like me or whatever.) Oh, and I took lots of notes, but neither my notes nor my memory is perfect, so I apologize if I misrepresent anything you said, and please feel free to correct me.
Panel discussion writeups often involve oblique (and sometimes fairly explicit) spoilers for all the Joss shows, so if you're really spoiler-phobic I can send you an edited version. By the way, I really appreciated how people were careful at the panels not to spoil people for non Joss stuff -- and at the family panel someone even asked to make sure everyone had seen the Serenity movie.
On our way to lunch today, Mary Alice asked me, "Have you recovered from your weekend of fun?" and I talked about how I won't see most of these people for another 2 years, that it's an independently run function so they don't have the manpower to do it every year. This got me thinking about how it's possible to explain this weekend as a gathering of independent writers whom I know from an online community (because society is at a point now where "online community" is an understandable term).
Lorraine had mentioned how she'd expected to spend most of her time with the people who were on her flist but actually hung out with lots of new people. She was the only attendee I already considered myself friends with, so I had suspected I would just tag along with her the whole weekend. (Initiating new friendships is not my strong suit.) I, too, was pleasantly surprised at all the new people I hung out with. I was also pleased with myself for doing stuff not with Lorraine ('cause we mentioned I'm a follower, right?). When I found out there were a whole bunch of people attending who were local (Boston area) I thought I might glom on to them, but I ended up not seeing them much at all after we met at Logan. I'm a little bit glad about that, though, because local people I'll have more opportunity to spend time with in meatspace whereas most of these people I probably won't see again for two years.
Who knows how many of them I'll still be friends with in two years, but this weekend actually makes me want to get more involved in fandom (producing and interacting) so that I'll get even more out of it next time.
sweptawaybayou has probably the best post on the subject.
Rob, the bartender summed it all up for me. He'd been watching us all since Thursday. Serving us drinks and trying to keep us happy and he told me and Blue that he was amazed and happy to see people that have such a passion about something. So much that we even made him want to go to a seminar. Any seminar.[She also likens it to a family reunion, which is funny since the other big group staying at the hotel was a family reunion.]
He said that he'd seen so many people come in and out of the hotel that just live their lives. They work and they sleep and they eat and they just simply exist. But our group, the writercon group had made him realize that there are people out there that have a true passion for living our lives.