I have to say I had a TON of fun at Convergence (a science fiction and fantasy convention). Amber and I did our Raptor Center presentation with Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. What was really fun for Amber and me is that we do so many "regular" raptor programs we can do them in our sleep. This was like doing free form jazz. Mercedes and Larry shared their experience as professional wildlife rehabbers and Amber and I shared our experiences with birds so it made for a fun program for us to experience and hopefully the audience enjoyed it too.
For those wondering, yes there were costumes and here is one of the tamer photos of the evening. Here we are in the Xena Warrior Princess party room hanging out with a lad dressed as the devil. See the lovely lady in the black corset on the right--would you believe she's a librarian in real life?
What really overwhelmed me was the generosity of this community. When we do off site programs Amber and I plug membership to The Raptor Center and making donations and mailing in printer cartridges, etc and this was one of the highest end totals we've ever had. Usually when I do bird groups and we'll get a few extra dollars but, boy howdy, people at the sci fi convention were putting in twenty dollar bills into our donation box and at least two people signed up for memberships on the spot. It was one of the most generous crowds we'd ever been in. I think part of it to was because of Larry and Mercedes who both gave such a wonderful speech on how important it is to support wildlife rehab organizations in your community.
Another fun thing: Amber and I always do brief bios before we start our program and I usually include that I'm the Official Bird Lady of www.neilgaiman.com and for the first time not only did people know what I was talking about, but I even go applause.
On a side note, Larry and I kept sharing little stories during the panel (he's kind of a trouble maker) and he is now on my cool person list. He knows about the good bird smell.
I am off to finish draft two of the Urban Birdfeeding Book.