Thursday, August 27, 2015

WorldCon Report

When I went to choir last night, everyone acted like I'd been missing for ages and they talked about having thought about calling me. I missed one rehearsal and one Sunday. I guess it's nice to be missed. I'll more than make up for it this Sunday (though I did go to a church service at WorldCon, so it's not like I really missed a Sunday) because I'll be singing in three services. I'm in a small ensemble singing in the early service, then that ensemble got drafted into singing backup for the praise band at the contemporary service (new experiences are good for me, I guess), and then I'll be singing with the choir at the late service.

The choir director said if we were interested in singing the soprano solo for the "Pie Jesu" in the Rutter Requiem, we should talk to him. I'm pondering it. I suspect he'll end up going with one of the grad students, but if they want that ethereal "boys choir" sound like in the British version, my voice comes closer in the upper range. It goes pretty high, but I've sung a solo in that range before.

So, WorldCon … I'm still too lazy to go downstairs and find my phone to transfer pictures, and I didn't take too many pictures of anything actually at the convention. Most of my photos are of the river and waterfalls. After my last on-the-spot report, I went to the dance lessons and steampunk ball, which were held in a lovely ballroom in a historic hotel (photo on my phone). As usual, there was an extreme lack of men. Seriously, guys, step up. You get bonus points on your man card for being able to lead in ballroom dancing. After two hours of lessons, I was getting pretty tired, and when I was feeling wallflowery for the ball itself, I slipped out about midway through. Good thing, since I could barely walk the next morning. I didn't take a walk then.

I had a panel Friday morning on the Terry Pratchett books for younger readers, and one of the panelists was the editor. I learned a lot about writing for younger readers from hearing what she had to say and what she reported as Terry Pratchett's views on the subject, and now a lot of the editorial notes I got on my YA book make so much more sense. Retroactive apologies to my editor for all my grumbling. I had my kaffeeklatsch that afternoon, and while I didn't have a waiting list, like a lot of authors, I did have a fairly full table, and we had a nice discussion. I did a little hanging out and wandering through the dealers room after that, then headed back to my hotel to discover that we'd suddenly been transported to Mars.

As you've probably heard, there are a lot of wildfires in that region, and that day the winds brought all the smoke into Spokane. It was like being in a dense fog that smelled like a campfire. The sky was hazy and yellow, and you could barely see across the street. They were warning people to stay indoors. So I did. I hit the swimming pool and hot tub for a while, and then they served an awesome chicken and rice soup at the hotel's evening reception, so I didn't bother going out for dinner. I spent the evening going over my critiques for the writers workshop.

Saturday, I was back to walking. I did the "Stroll with the Stars" walk, which was shorter and slower than I would have gone on my own, but I did get to chat with people along the way. Though I must say that going on a suspension bridge with a large group of people isn't recommended if you have bridge issues. The bridge seemed to be swaying alarmingly. I actually attended a couple of panels that morning, and then I had the writers workshop in the afternoon. That was three hours of intense critiquing that made me really think about my own writing and that had me eager to write. But I came out of it at 7 p.m. utterly drained. I'd thought about going out to dinner, but once I got to my hotel to drop things off, I didn't want to go anywhere. The hotel offered sandwiches, etc., in the area where they served breakfast and the evening reception, so I ordered a French dip sandwich, and the waitress took one look at me and asked if I wanted it boxed up to go to my room. She fixed me a tray with my sandwich and some wine, and I ate while watching a Doctor Who marathon on TV, then collapsed early.

Sunday, I had my final panel and ended up being the moderator at the last minute because the moderator didn't show. I sat at the SFWA table for a shift, and after doing a final round for good-byes, I went back to the hotel to start packing. I went for a very early dinner (switching back to Central time) at a restaurant overlooking the falls and had regional rainbow trout. I seem to be making a tradition of a final night dinner by the water. And then I was up early the next morning for the long flight home.

I probably didn't network as much as I should have because I didn't do the party circuit. I was off on time zones and the party hotel was so far away from everything else. I did make some new friends among the Discworld fan group, and the person coordinating that was staying at my hotel, so we ended up having breakfast together. I'm going to try to connect with that group online. I know that a lot of my promo items were taken from the freebie table, so we'll see how that translates to sales. Whether or not the convention did me any good professionally, I had a good time and I feel like I learned some things.

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