I know it's a few days late, but I'm going to say it anyway: Happy New Year!
2013 ended on a pretty rough note for me, but I'm happy to say that even though my position hasn't really changed from the beginning of December, I am mentally in a better place, and finally trying to move forward with my life. I have high hopes that 2014 will be better than 2013, and that December wasn't foreshadowing of the year ahead. Before I barrel on into 2014 though (something I'll likely do in a separate entry, sometime later this week), I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2013.
In 2013, I attended six conventions:
KatsuCon - National Harbor, MD (February)
Anime Matsuri - Houston, TX (March)
FanimeCon - San Jose, CA (May)
San Japan - San Antonio, TX (August)
Nan Desu Kan - Denver, CO (September)
Ikkicon - Austin, TX (December)
Every single one of them included flying, which means I spent roughly 12 days this year on planes, or in airports.
I attended Anime Matsuri as a judge for World Cosplay Summit 2013 preliminary finals, and helped to select Team USA 2013. My trips to San Japan and Nan Desu Kan were as a representative/organizer for the World Cosplay Summit, and I judged both of the corresponding qualifier rounds. I attended Ikkicon as a Cosplay Guest, a first since my trip to Anime Matsuri in 2011. Over the course of the year, I helped host about 5 panels, and outside of that,I hosted two panels solo; this was the first time I had ever done that, and was surprised to get a good turn out to both of them. Of all the conventions I attended as a Judge/Staffer/Guest, Ikkicon treated me the best that I have ever been treated in that situation.
I roomed with completely new sets of roomies at a little over half of these conventions, and with people I had never previous met at two of them. I entered two Masquerades -- one as a group skit, and one as a last-minute solo walk-on -- and my group walked away with Best in Show at Fanime (something I am still exceptionally proud of). I had a wide variety of convention experiences this year, for which I'm very grateful; it's given me a chance to see what I like and don't like, and what else I would like to try in the future.
All things considered, even though it was one of my busiest years convention-wise, it was pretty light in terms of Cosplay. I made only 5 COMPLETELY new costumes, adjusted 2 costumes into new forms (Torahime downgraded to her princess form, and Utena upgraded to Duelist), re-wore 2 of my costumes from 2012, and borrowed a costume from my friend Lizzie. Overall, I spent less time in cosplay at conventions compared to previous years, averaging about 3-4 hours per costume wear, and only about 3 costumes per convention. I didn't cosplay at all while I was working at San Japan, a first since I began attending conventions in 2002.