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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.