Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Balticon… A Lot of Fun (So far)

I had no panels or readings today, but found myself busy enough that I fell into bed exhausted by the end of the day.

I picked up my fellow-writer-friend Trish Wooldridge at the (Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) at 8:30 a.m. (!) and we scooted down to the Inner Harbor for coffee and Italian almond cookies at Vaccarro’s in the Light Street Pavillion.

Being the writer geeks that we are, we headed over to the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum – unfortunately located in a not-so-great part of the city. A manned police car sits outside all day long so that visitors aren’t accosted by the locals. In order to enter the museum, you have to knock on the door and wait for the curator to unlock it and let you in.

The house is tiny, and it’s hard to imagine how five people lived in the household without stepping on each others nerves.

Except for one item, all things in the house are reproductions, but it’s still interesting to see the photos and city directories and playbills.

The one authentic item in the home is Poe’s lapdesk which he used when he attended University of Virginia. The curator referred to it as Poe’s “laptop.” (This satisfies both my writerly geekiness and my tech geekiness….can’t get any better than that!)

Here’s a photo of me (my hair wild from Baltimore humidity) standing beside Poe’s laptop.

Kelly A. Harmon and Edgar Allen Poe's 'Laptop'

Of course, after we visited Poe’s House, we had to visit his grave. Here it is…

Egar Allen Poe's Grave

Poe is buried in the Westminster Hall Cemetery which is an old, estasblished graveyard. Age and elements have eroded most of the slender gravemarkers, but there are large monuments protecting the mouldering bones of several former Baltimore residents famed for their part in the Revolutionary War.

(I love graveyards. They’re beautiful and serene…and wonderful places to sit down write (quiet and inspiring!).

After the Baltimore tour, we drove to the Con and met up with other writers from Broad Universe and got our schedules straight for the rest of the weekend.

Tonight is the Steampunk Ball. Here’s a photo of Jean-Marie Ward (and some guy I don’t know!) in their dance finery.

Jean Marie Ward at the Steampunk Ball - Balticon

More tomorrow as the convention continues…

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