Morning, munchkins. …

Morning, munchkins. Sorry I didn't do more regular updates -- but you probably suspected that would happen, eh? It's a little after 10 now, and I probably should be attending the last panel, but I think I'm finally panel-ed out. I generally spend most cons attending panels, and this one was no exception. I know some people don't much like panels, but I learned a lot from them when I was a very young writer, and so I like being on writing panels when I can, to give something back (and 'cause I like to hear myself talk). I like being on sex panels and electronic publishing panels because I'm finding that I'm a semi-expert in the field (for the purposes of cons, anyway) and that if I'm just in the audience I get too annoyed at what some panelists obviously don't know. :-) And sometimes I just go to panels to learn something -- I went to a great one on sf reviews and criticism, and I learned a lot! It should be very helpful for shaping how we do reviews and criticism on the magazine. (One very simple and helpful rule -- reviews are written for people who haven't yet read/seen the work; criticism is written for people who have. That makes the spoilers line very clear, and I think also helps with writing it, because you can more easily start thinking about what your audience needs from your writing).

It's been a wonderful convention (as usual). I didn't get to spend quite as much time with Jed as I would have liked (he had to run off Sunday afternoon to a Swarthmore reunion), but what time was there was good. Umm...I'm not sure there was anything else disappointing about the con -- oh, I didn't go swimming, and I got really really tired (I had planned to rest more). But both of those are just because I was having a lot of fun running around doing stuff, so I can't really complain, can I?

Some highlights include:

  • Getting a chance to meet the de Lint's again and talk more with Charles -- I didn't want to harass him at ConDuit, but at WisCon, there was more time and a better environment for talking -- and it turns out Lawrence Schimel is a good friend of his, so the three of us chatted for a while (mostly them, but I had fun listening). Charles is just as sweet as his books. And he turns out to be a good musician -- if you're lucky, his wife Maryann will talk him into doing that CD they mention occasionally.

  • Throwing a Clean Sheets / Circlet Press / unnamed magazine party Saturday night. Cecilia Tan had a wedding this weekend, so I offered to represent Circlet for her and sell some books; she insisted that if I sold books, I should get a bookseller's commission. So I sold some books (not as many as she normally does, but still) and made back most of my expenses for the con, which was nice! And while I was selling, I got to talk to a lot of interesting people, and the other people wandering around our party (Jed and Cliff helped host) seemed to have a good time. It was the way I like a party -- not too empty, not too crowded. I imagine this will be a regular event -- though next year, remind me to request Friday night -- there are fewer people, but you're not opposite the TOR party! :-)

  • Meeting Pamela Dean! I had no idea she was going to be at the party -- she's one of my heroes. Tam Lin was and is one of my favorite books, and is the book I would hand to a seventeen-year-old girl going off to college, saying -- "You must read this." I wasn't braced for the meeting, either -- usually when I know I'm going to meet a famous author I sort of mentally brace beforehand so I don't turn into drooling fan girl. But she was just sitting (without name tag) next to Debbie Notkin and Nalo Hopkinson in the hotel lobby, and I sat down to chat with Nalo, and to be honest, I hardly registered Pamela, probably in part because Nalo is surrounded by a charm field as far as I can tell (I've known her for a year now and consider her a friend and still have to exert willpower to not turn into a drooling fan around her -- she's sexy and intelligent and articulate and strong-willed and has an incredibly expressive face and I could go on and on....just go read Midnight Robber instead, eh?), so that when this woman reached into a pocket and pulled out a name badge reading "Pamela Dean" and put it on, I was totally not braced for it. "You're Pamela Dean?! I LOVE your work!" etc. and so on. :-) I'm such a goober, but she didn't seem to mind.

  • Playing Mafia again -- Jonathan Lethem wasn't here this year, but we had a blast anyway. :-) And I was Mafia three times and won two games of it (and the third we were appallingly unlucky -- lost two of four gang members fairly accidentally very early off). I think I'm actually getting pretty good at the game -- which means that my deception muscles haven't entirely stagnated, which is kind of nice. Yes, I try these days to live my life entirely honestly and openly ('cause I got so tired of lying and such in high school), but being able to lie skillfully is a useful talent, and I'd rather have the ability in reserve in case I ever really need it. The U.S. could be in the grip of rabid arch-conservatives at some point, and I might have to lie to a government brute, for example. You never know...(sheesh, that Heinlein survivalist streak is still in there, isn't it? Formative writer, he was -- what would I be like if I'd never read Heinlein? Hard to imagine...)

Anyway, the list could go on. It was a very good weekend. Good meals with Nalo and Suzy Charnas and Victor Raymond and other old friends. Meeting interesting new people like Peg Kerr (author of The Wild Swans) and Roz Kaveney (British reviewer and critic) and Mike Ward (e-book publisher of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's new Magnificat, available only on-line and on CD). My mind is buzzing with ideas; I'm more coherent on the shape of the new magazine, and I think we got some more people excited about it. When I get back Tuesday, I'm going to do some student-related stuff and then plan to dive back into work on the magazine. The naming contest closes at the end of the week, woohoo! (<--That's a David-ism, by the way. I never said that before I met him. Blame him.) Overall, very productive -- WisCon is still my favorite con..

Now I better figure out how to ship the rest of Cecilia's books back to her, and pack, and look at bus schedules. I don't think I'm leaving until 2, so I should get to stroll about a bit more and chat with people. After that I'll be taking that bus back to Chicago, hooking up with Roshani, hanging out with her and Tom tonight, and then an early morning flight tomorrow to Salt Lake. Not quite ready to go home yet, but by tomorrow night I think I will be. Talk to you soon!

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