Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home Again

My on-the-spot WorldCon coverage sort of fizzed out, as things got truly crazy on Friday and didn't really let up. Even my planned Sunday evening of rest and recovery before returning home on Monday turned into a fairly late night of Olympics watching in a hotel bar with a very eclectic group of writers, artists, editors, booksellers and others from all over the world.

I took detailed notes on panels I attended, and those will inspire many a post over the next few weeks. The panels I moderated may be sketchier because it's nearly impossible to take notes while running a panel.

Right after my last post on Friday, I met my new editor for lunch. I think I'd enjoy working with her, as we seem to be kindred spirits. In other words, we spent much of lunch discussing things like Buffy, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, etc. Now I guess I just have to write a book she can publish.

Friday afternoon was my Firefly panel, and since there was no designated moderator, I got elected. I can pretty much run a Firefly panel in my sleep, given that I've put a wee bit of thought into the topic. Fortunately, I'd run into one of the other panelists, Dani Kollin (who has a book co-authored with his brother Eytan coming out next year) earlier in the week, and we'd had a chance to brainstorm a little on the way we thought the panel would go. And it was truly an awesome session. The audience was really into it, and the energy in the room was so high that it was almost a letdown when it was over.

That evening was my volunteer shift as hostess in the SFWA suite, so I got to play Martha Stewart while helping set up for the Clarion alumni party. Then I hit some of the other parties and ended up doing some party hopping with people who, if I'd ever even thought I'd be hanging out with, my head would have exploded in disbelief. And then, my Convention Morning Person curse kicked in.

I am not a morning person. I think I'm getting up really early if I drag myself out of bed at eight. But I was up before seven almost every morning of the convention, which meant I'd get tired really early. So Friday night, when a couple of the people I was party hopping with and I decided to head back to our respective hotels, I thought I was dragging myself in at around one in the morning. It felt that late. Then I got back to my room and the clock said 10:45. I had to verify in a couple of places to make sure the maid hadn't just reset my clock while I was out.

Saturday was kind of a blur, to be honest. I had an autographing session that wasn't a complete failure, but I was sitting next to Stephen Baxter, who had a non-stop line and people having to get in line over and over again because of the three-item limit. It didn't help that only one dealer in the dealers' room had my books at all, and they sold out on the first day. Then I went to the SFWA business meeting, and then got a nap before the Hugo Awards. After the Hugos, I hit a few publisher parties and was actually out after midnight!

Then I woke up at seven the next morning. But at least on Sunday morning, they had a church service at the convention, so there was something to do that day (that's the annoying thing, being up bright and early when nothing starts until ten). The sermon even incorporated science fiction references, and gave me some food for thought for writing.

In general, I had a fabulous time that went beyond my wildest best-case-scenario, "wouldn't it be cool if ..." daydreams for what the con would be like. The only hitches came on my trip home, and those were mostly my own fault, though United Airlines could stand to improve their communications. I got to the airport really early because the bus from downtown to the airport was timed so that I'd either be really early or cutting it dangerously close for my flight, and I went with early. But it was so early that they had time to move my flight to a different gate after my boarding pass was printed. Only they never announced that they were moving the flight. They didn't make an announcement at the old gate, where I was sitting, and I'd set up to get a text message on my cell phone if anything changed, but I'd received no such message. When it was boarding time and the monitor at my gate didn't mention my flight, I went to the overall monitors and saw that it was at a different gate on the other side of the airport. So, yeah, I had to run for a flight after getting to the airport two and a half hours early. Then when I got home, I got on the wrong bus at the airport. There's only one bus route serving the airport, so I thought it was a no-brainer, but it turns out that in late afternoons, the bus comes to the airport, loops around that part of town, then comes back to the airport before going to the transit center where I could catch the bus home, and I got on the bus that looped around town, so I ended up spending longer on the bus from the airport to the transit center than I spent on the plane from Denver. If I'd waited about ten minutes, I could have caught a bus going straight to the transit center. Ah, well, at least now I know. It turned out to be good decompression time. I just read a book the whole way. If I'd been at home, I'd have felt like I should be doing something.

Now I have a zillion and a half things to catch up on. In spite of having my computer, I'm ridiculously behind on reading e-mail, I have some work projects to deal with, and I need to pick up some groceries. I may give myself this week as something of a "retreat" to inspire myself and so some thinking and research before plunging full-steam into The New Project. There was a great panel on Shakespearean themes that got me started thinking, so I may need to do some reading there.

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