Convention Memories: Shore Leave

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Title: Convention Memories: Shore Leave
Creator: Linda B.
Date(s): July 2007
Medium: print, CD
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Topic: K/S, conventions
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Convention Memories: Shore Leave was by Linda B. and was published in Legacy #3.

Part of a Series Called "The Legacy of K/S in Conventions"


The first gathering of K/S fans I attended was Shore Leave in 2001. Quite frankly, at first I was very intimidated and in awe of almost everyone I met. I was meeting all of these authors and artists and editors that I admired and I was such a huge fan of their work. I felt like getting autographs!

However, everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I had a phone message from Jenna when I arrived, my roommates (who I had never met before) were wonderful and included me in everything they did and introduced me around, I was invited to room parties right away, and I quickly felt at ease. So it was really just my own insecurities that made me feel a bit intimidated at first. (Before the con, thoughts were running through my mind like “I’m not creative, I’m not an author or artist or editor, what will I talk about, I just discovered K/S a few years ago and some of these people have been fans forever, I’ve been away from Star Trek for so many years that I can’t even remember all the episodes that well,” etc.)

I didn’t really know what to expect of conversations with fans at Shore Leave. I had lurked for several years on ASCEML but rarely posted. Partly because the depth and wide ranging nature of the discussions often left me feeling like I had nothing to contribute. I really felt that my newbie status as a K/S fan, and my many years away from Star Trek left me at a disadvantage. And another reason was due to several very nasty flamewars that were waged while I was lurking. I finally gave up on ASCEML due to those flamewars, but found some other online discussion groups (several Yahoo groups) that were much friendlier in their discussions. Since I also had positive online experiences conversing with other K/S fans, I was really looking forward to meeting my online friends who attended, and I wanted to meet the people who contributed to the KSP.

The first year I attended no official convention functions other than the art auction. I was too busy meeting and talking with other K/S fans, and buying sixty K/S zines in a mad zine buying frenzy! The private sales were a revelation to me—I hit them all the first morning before the dealer's room opened. The next time I went to Shore Leave there were two K/S panels as part of the official convention schedule, so of course I attended both of those. Went to the art auction, saw a couple of ST episodes and a blooper reel, saw a tiny bit of the masquerade and that was about it. Now I knew many K/S fans I wanted to see, so the official programming was even less important to me.

The high point of Shore Leave is always visiting with other K/S fans. I don’t know anyone in my real life who I can talk with about K/S. While I can talk all I want about K/S in my Yahoo discussion groups, there’s nothing to compare to actually talking with fellow K/S fans in person. I always love the KSP party. The art is incredible and the art auction is always so much fun. I had never seen a songvid before Shore Leave, and I got a great introduction to them at the first KSP party I attended. Every Shore Leave there has always been amazing songvids to watch at the KSP party. I had never even heard of filking, and was introduced to it by some K/S fans with remarkable voices. There’s always so much going on—art auction, vids, singing, great food, zines for sale, collectibles to admire and/or buy, a great K/S themed cake, K/S jewelry and other K/S items for sale, people wearing great K/S T-shirts, etc., etc. [When I had to leave at the end of the weekend] At first I was depressed! I felt like I had been in some fabulous alternate universe that I now had to leave, and I wasn’t ready for the whole experience to be over yet. And I couldn’t talk to anyone in my real life about what a fabulous, unique and incredible adventure I’d had.

It was a real let down when I first got home, but fortunately I had my online friends (some of whom had also been to Shore Leave) and that really helped ease the transition back to the real world. I had a lot of zines to read when I got home and then had LOC’s for the KSP that I wanted to write. I had people to correspond with, songvids to watch, etc. After my first Shore Leave convention I just immersed myself in K/S and spent much of my free time involved in various K/S activities.