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Dead of Winter

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Dead of Winter was a small Forever Knight convention that met twice in Boston, in January 1994 and February 1995. Both conventions lasted a long weekend, with programming on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning (with the convention over at noon).

Dead of Winter Con 1 (1994)Edit

The first Dead of Winter con took place because arrangements for a Boston-area Star Trek convention fell apart. Nigel Bennett had been scheduled to attend; and, since he was still available, Lora Haines of the Forever Knight Fan Club decided instead to produce a Forever Knight mini-con, Dead of Winter. According to Lisa McDavid, the convention was held at "a rather swanky convention hotel. I know we freaked the mundanes who were also in the hotel the first time."[1]

The Vampire DanceEdit

A dance was held on Saturday, 3/12/94. During the course of this dance (between 10:00 PM and 12:30 AM), Susan M. Garrett wrote the story, "An Invitation to the Dance",[2] by popular request.

Dead of Winter Con 2 (1995)Edit

Following the success of the first Dead of Winter, it was decided to hold a second convention. Dead of Winter: The Night Is Alive was held 3-5 February 1995 at Day's Inn in Woburn, MA.[2]

The guests were: Nigel Bennett, P.N. Elrod, Raymond T. Mcnally, Deborah Duchêne, Gillian Horvath, and Don Bassingthwaite.

According to Gaylin Walli:

"The weather was indeed truly miserable that weekend. It was a huge blizzard and almost none of the hotel staff were on site, though those that were had been forced to stay at the hotel due to hazardous travel. I remember the single lonely waitress who kept apologizing to our table for making such a long wait and we kept insisting she take our time because we were having fun."[3]

According to Amy Hull:

"I remember tromping through the snow to the strip mall across the way, getting t-shirts made ("Vachon's Mom"--I think--for Gillian Horvath, "Vampire Den Mother" for Deb, and someone--Rob?--getting a t-shirt made that says, "Hey, she looks just like Amy Hull!"). I also remember being not at all upset that we were stuck in the hotel...cuz...where else did any of us want to be? (I did feel bad for folks who had to drive...especially the warmer-climate folks who had Never Driven In Snow Before.)"[4]

Con CommitteeEdit

Writing ContestEdit

There was a spur-of-the-moment writing contest for the Dead of Winter '95 con, organized by Laurie Salopek. Entries were mailed in ahead of time, and judged anonymously by Valerie Meachum and Susan M. Garrett before the convention. There were three categories: serious fiction, comedy/satire, and poetry.

WINNERS:

Serious Fiction:

Comedy/Satire:

Poetry:

Subsequently, the fanzine, Bedtime Stories from the Dead of Winter, was assembled by Lora Haines, and published in 1995 by the Forever Knight Fan Club. It contained the winning stories and poems from the contest.[5]

The Vampire DanceEdit

The second year, the dance coincided with a new episode of Forever Knight so at first was sparsely attended, since many of the attendees were in their hotel rooms watching the show.[6]

According to Gaylin Walli:

"The new episode that weekend was special to all of us because somehow Nigel ended up in the hotel room we were gathered in while we were watching and asked us what was on the telly. When we told him which new episode was being broadcast he insisted we'd really very much like it. Genuine and honest like it very much. Not just "Oh you're fans, so you'll like everything we put out." And boyhowdy did we ever remember it."[7]

According to Amy Hull:

"Oh...there was NOTHING like watching "the Fix" in adjoining hotel rooms, each packed with, like, 30-40 people. ... Well, except for watching the preview for "More Permanent Hell" at the end!!!!!"[8]

Panel DiscussionsEdit

One of the attending fans (? Amy Hull) offered sign language during the panel discussions.

AuctionEdit

Among the objects auctioned were a box of cereal (auctioned by Nigel Bennett), and Deborah Duchêne's research copy of Interview with the Vampire.

Auctioned were three framed prints from the "interconnected" real-life bars, complete with pictures and memorabilia. These were framed for the auction by Gaylin Walli's mother and shipped to the hotel for Susan Garrett.[9]

Live Action Role PlayEdit

Dead of Winter 2 had a LARP running, with a story line in which Mulder and Scully (from The X-Files) respond to a case involving a vampire.

Amy Hull recalls:

"[...] I remember that Jack was Mulder and Tara was Scully and I was playing Janette and there was a guy who was Schanke and FUNNY and I got to do a, "MIS-ter Schanke..." comment and Val had brought an actual body bag which we stuffed with pillows because our hotel room was The Morgue (and I think Val was Nat)...." [10]

Convention BookletEdit

A story by Susan M. Garrett, "Competition",[5] appeared in the convention booklet for Dead of Winter Con 2.

Affiliation PinsEdit

The first set of ForKni-L Affiliation Pins was constructed by Susan M. Garrett and Calliope Monsoon on New Year's Eve, and distributed at Dead of Winter Con 2. The pins were decorated with symbols representing the various factions of fans that had emerged through the FORKNI-L mailing list.

According to Gaylin Walli:

"I remember when one of the panel discussions hit upon the topic of factions. It was only the original factions that existed at that time and the organizers asked each of the factions to stand up in turn. SusanG had handed out Ravenette pins to all of us and when they got to the Ravenettes, DEB STOOD UP WITH US! We all cheered so hard."[11]

Costume CompetitionEdit

Pictures of Amy Hull dressed as Janette can be found on WiliQueen's Photo Album. The costumes were made by Valerie Meachum:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. E-mail correspondence from Lisa McDavid on FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 24 February 2011.
  2. Much of the information on Dead of Winter Con 2 was supplied by Allison.
  3. E-mail correspondence from Gaylin Walli to FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 25 February 2011.
  4. E-mail correspondence from Amy Hull to FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 26 February 2011.
  5. From the timeline posted to ffsymposium[1].
  6. E-mail correspondence from Lisa McDavid on FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 24 February 2011.
  7. E-mail correspondence from Gaylin Walli to FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU on 25 February 2011.
  8. E-mail correspondence from Gaylin Walli posted to FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 25 February 2011.
  9. E-mail correspondence from Gaylin Walli posted to FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 25 February 2011.
  10. E-mail correspondence from Amy Hull to FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU on 26 February 2011.
  11. E-mail correspondence from Gaylin Walli to FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 25 February 2011.

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