Archive for November 5th, 2007

11/5/07: World Fantasy, day 4

Word count: 65673 | Since last entry: 0

Despite the time change and the fact that I had set my alarm clock but failed to turn the alarm on, got to the con just in time to rendezvous with Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, and, um, two others for breakfast as planned. Marvelous conversation over a couple of Swedish oatmeal pancakes with real maple syrup.

Got back to the con around 10:30 and kicked around, mostly in the dealers’ room, talking with various folks (including Sharyn November, Laura Anne Gilman, and Gordon van Gelder) until the banquet at 1pm. I wound up at a table with K. Tempest Bradford, Steve Nagy, Jim Minz, and World Fantasy Award judges Jeremy Lassen, Gavin Grant, and Carsten Polzin. We discussed the judging process, and many other things, over a nice salmon dinner. Master of Ceremonies Guy Gavriel Kay led off with a heartfelt memorial to Robert Jordan, then lightened things up with a long fairy tale in which the names and/or titles all of the nominees were embedded as puns and the big bad Gary K. Wolfe had a speaking part. The awards ceremony itself was straightforward and ended exactly on time; results are posted elsewhere.

Hung around the lobby for a few hours, chatting with the departing multitude, until Mark Rich (a writer and toy enthusiast from Wisconsin whom I knew slightly from previous cons) invited me to dinner along with his partner Margaret Borchart, Locus photographer Beth Gwinn, and Locus webmaster Mark Kelly. We went across the street to a delightful little Italian restaurant crammed with WFC people, where my “personal” pizza proved to be big enough for tomorrow’s breakfast as well (Italian Cheese Toast, a guilty pleasure).

Very quiet back at the con, as the few remaining people filtered back from dinner. I wound up having a long chat with Ellen Klages in which she cheered me up, as she often does, by reminding me how many wonderful things I have in my life even though I don’t have a published novel. “Best outcome,” she said, meaning (I think) that if you don’t fix your intention on a specific wished-for outcome and remain open to possibilities, the universe will bring you the best outcome (not necessarily what you thought you wanted).

Just then a crowd of Tor people, including Teresa Neilsen Hayden whom I had not even known was at the con, returned from dinner and headed into the bar. I finished up my talk with Ellen and followed them in… and I realized I really needed to go back to my room, pack, and fall over. So I said my goodbyes and left while some dogs yet barked.

Long day tomorrow. It’ll be good to be home.

11/4/07: World Fantasy, day 3

Word count: 65673 | Since last entry: 0

After last night’s hilarity, didn’t manage to get up and dressed until lunchtime. Rather than breakfasting alone as I have been doing, I decided to go to the convention and maybe find someone to lunch with (but I’m not dumb — I set a firm deadline of 1pm or I would eat alone rather than getting stupider and stupider). It was pretty cold this morning so I decided to take my car rather than make the 10-15 minute walk to the convention center.

At the con I didn’t see anyone I knew until I ran into Jay Lake by the Night Shade table in the dealers’ room. He and I and his Adrian wound up at an extremely plain-spoken diner, where despite the place’s complete lack of character we heard words like “counterfactual” drifting across the divider from the diners on the other side. It was Gordon van Gelder and Jacob Weisman. Walking back from lunch, we ran into many other people from the convention including Esther Friesner.

Got back to the con and hung my coat in the coat room. Because I had been walking to the con every day so far, I wrote DON’T FORGET YOUR CAR on a business card and stuck it in my hatband. (It worked.)

By this time it was just at the end of the Shimmer reading, but I headed up to that room anyway in hopes of spotting Mary Robinette Kowal. I did spot her, but only just, as the Shimmer crew were just clearing away in favor of the Inferno anthology reading, edited and introduced by Ellen Kushner. Elizabeth Bear was among those reading so I hung around for that. And she was also reading in the following hour, with the Waste Lands anthology edited and introduced by John Joseph Adams. Lots of good stories in those two anthologies.

I’d been planning to go to Ellen Klages’s reading at 4pm, but by then I was pretty much reading-ed out so I headed for a panel. But on the way there I was dragooned by Diana Sherman to go into the dealers’ room and look at shinies. This reminded me that I already had a Laurie Edison earring, which I’d forgotten I had with me, so I put it on. While waiting for Diana to decide whether or not to buy a necklace I struck up a conversation with her friend David J. Williams, who had managed to avoid being lynched by the Clarion West class of 2006 despite the fact that he sold three novels to Bantam in the first week of the workshop (the first one comes out in May). Nice guy!

After the orgy of jewelry-buying concluded (well, okay, maybe just a tryst), Diana, David, and I set off in search of dinner. But on the way out of the hotel we encountered J.J. Adams, Jennifer Jackson, and others on their way to the Orbit party at a nearby pub. It turned out to be an invite-only party, but we were allowed in anyway. Loud loud loud, but free drinks, snacks, and books, so we hung out until they started clearing people out for the dinner crowd. We wound up adding two other people (um, wow,it was only a couple hours ago but the names have already fled) for dinner at some nearby Indian place. Turns out all five of us were Clarion grads, ranging from 1988 to 2006.

Back to the con. I meant to go up to the Tor party but my throat rebelled at the thought of coping with the noise. I’m also having more problems than usual hearing in those crowds — maybe my ears are stuffed. Anyway, I spent the rest of the evening hanging out on the ground level of the hotel, drifting from the green room where I chatted with Davey Snyder and others, to the lobby where I hung out with Pat Rothfuss and new friend Tiffany Trent and saw Tina Connolly for the first time this con, to the bar (and the emergency overflow bar that the hotel cleverly set up nearby) where I was offered single malt by Laura Anne Gilman, which I accepted, and a seat by Ellen Klages, which I declined. Long con, tired now.

Got back to my room and changed the clocks, after which I could say I left the con before midnight. (But then I blew it by staying up to write this.)