2018 was an awesome year – how will the 2019 look like?

I am writing this in 2018, but when these words will appear online, we will all be in 2019. I should summarize my year here, but it is not an easy task. So many things have happened, so many of them were totally surprising – it is still difficult for me to grasp all these events. Yet I will try to provide you with a short description on how this year went for me.

“You know that I am called the Count because I really love to count”

I like numbers, so I will start with a few of them to give you a glimpse of what I did this year. For the second year in a row, I managed to visit nineteen conventions. It is quite a lot! There were weeks when I was tired by attending the cons, but there were also other times, when I felt “the convention hunger”. Three of the cons I visited were held in countries other than Poland – including the Continuum XIV that took place in Melbourne (over 15 500 km from Kraków!). I spent 48 days at the cons in 2018 in total.

Five people stand and smile while eating chocolate. The great chocolate tour we spontaneously organized during Continuum.

I posted twenty nine posts to my blog – it means that I managed to write a little bit more often than once every two weeks. I hope that in 2019 I’ll manage to reach thirty posts, but this we will see how it goes.

Picture shows large table filled with breakfast products - cups, bread, jam, cheese etc. People are sitting around the table eating. One woman stands holding pink plusgy animal. Breakfast during KOLA

Two biggest surprises

One year ago, I had not even dreamt that I would visit Australia in 2018. I knew I would like to run for GUFF but I treated it as a plan for the far future. Of course, I considered 2018, but I did not plan for it to happen that year. And then, on January 15th, I received an e-mail from one of my GUFF nominators – Gillian Polack – who asked me whether I was thinking about standing for GUFF (we had talked about it at Worldcon 75), because she could nominate me. I did not feel fully ready, but I decided to give it a try and, all in all, I managed to win the race and go on the GUFF trip. I was surprised and so happy. This summary is a repeated opportunity to thank all my nominators, hosts, voters and friends I met during my trip.

Figure of Gollum on the rock. Gollum wears ushanka. My whole GUFF trip was a wonderful time.

The second surprise took place in December. During Nordcon, I received Krzysztof “Papier” Papierkowski’s Award for the most important, non-commercial activity in the Polish fandom in the passing year. One of the reasons why I received the Award was this blog. I was totally surprised then – and I still am now.

Person in a shaman costume. Nordcon cosplay contest was quite impressive.

Not enough of conrunning

I am not really sure why, but 2018 was not a good year for my conrunning. I organized only two cons (and it happened that one of those I have chaired). It seems that the more I travel, the less time I have for conrunning. Yet I was not totally lazy and I was a Programme Participant on multiple cons.

Three books visible in a display case. First one is in Chinese the next two are in Japanese. Translemy exhibition is something I am really proud of.

Apart from those two cons mentioned above, I have been helping (and still am) Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon. Because of this, I managed to go for my first Worldcon Staff Weekend. It was an interesting experience and I regret I did not publish a separate post about it. I managed to meet the other organizers and I believe it is a really helpful team-building activity. I am looking forward for the next Staff Weekend.

Picture shows Convention Centre Dublin - both the glass, barrel shaped front and the concrete body of the building. Convention Centre Dublin where the staff weekend took place. I love the view one can see from the inside.

Other fannish activities

Apart from congoing, I also participated in other fannish activities. The first and most obvious one is writing this blog and I hope it gives you a good reading. Apart from the blog I also wrote some texts for Ostatnia Tawerna, Informator Konwentowy and Popbookownik (the last one will be published at a later date). I really like to write, whichis a surprise, because I didn’t enjoy it when I was at school. It seems people change over time ;).

Picture shows a scene in a pub. There are three people sitting at the table. One of them is speaking and the other two are listening. One of the listeners is leaning over table and we can see just the back of her head. Lituanicon was a convention I want to come back to.

As I mentioned before, I am chairing one of the SFF clubs in Kraków. Here, I am not really satisfied with what I achieved so far. I know I need to concentrate more on it next year. Yet this doesn’t mean that we did nothing. The club organized a few events, including Lajconik, Plansówki and Lemcon. We also established a creative writing section and did a few administrative things that had to be done. Lastly, the club published an e-book. We need to thank all the volunteers who made this possible. Majority of them are not members of the club, yet they are willing to work for our “publishing house”. On top of that together with the board we worked on the club’s mission and vision. Still, I have the feeling that I should’ve done more. I hope I’ll manage to be more satisfied with my local activities in 2019.

Picture was taken on above and depicts a queue. Woman and two men in the center are looking up. The next Lajconik is getting closer :).

2018 was a really amazing year for me and I hope that 2019 is going be awesome in the fannish terms as well. I have some plans, including chairing KONgres – Polish con for conrunners in March. I am also looking forward for Dublin Worldcon, which I expect to be… well, fantastic 😉 And lastly I hope to meet you all at the conventions I’ll visit. See you soon!

My next post will be published on January 31st.

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