I suspect I will not…

I suspect I will not have the energy to post a proper Wiscon wrap-up. Instead, I will link to some lovely posts:

John Scalzi, with a decent photo of me, along with other cool peoples, and a note that "Sri Lanka is the new black"

David Moles, liveblogging the sex panel, including quoting me with my question from the audience -- I was frustrated by this panel, because what I really wanted was to be having the next generation of that conversation, or possibly the generation after that

David Moles again, with a not-strictly-WisCon-related-but-further-developed-at-WisCon infernokrusher manifesto, very funny

And apparently there are gobs of WisCon posts at the Technorati page -- I'm not sure I really understand how this thing works, but hopefully it will make sense to you all. I am too lazy to figure out how to tag this post for them. Maybe this will work:

Overall, good con. Finally slept a full night last night, after more than a week of half-nights, and am feeling less prone to sudden bursts of weeping today. (Yesterday, not so lucky.) I particularly enjoyed:

  • all the people who came to the Smut reading and apparently enjoyed both my reading of Lori Selke's "Shrimping" (from the forthcoming Blowing Kisses anthology), and my reading of the second half of "Pieces of the Heart," which I read in New York too, and which I think is a pretty good choice for a ten-minute reading from my book. If you've attended one of my readings of it and don't think it's a good choice for some reason, please let me know now. It would be much appreciated.

  • the Interstitial Arts panel, where we successfully avoided a brawl, or really any actual hostility, discussed the development of the term 'interstitial' and the ways in which various groups are using it differently and causing great confusion and some resentment in the process, reviewed some of the missteps that led to that confusion/resentment, and I think by the end managed to come to a pleasant agreement on how the interstitial arts movement should progress from this point forward to maximize a productive contribution to writers and readers.

  • the poly moment when Betsy came up to me and said, after viewing my photos in the art show, "So *that's* what Karina looks like!" She was also v. amused by the poly-moment-ness of it all. For those not following along, Betsy used to be seriously involved with Joe, who lives in Australia with Karina, who used to be seriously involved with Kevin and me. Betsy and I concluded that that made us poly cousins, and gave her the right to crash on my couch anytime she felt like it.

  • lounging in bed with David and Ben (all of us fully dressed, sadly), discussing the pluses and minuses of 'separate spheres' and mostly concluding that while the minuses clearly outweighed the pluses, the pluses were at times quite enticing, said conversation enriched in particular by specific discussion of our own lives and our parents' various choices in that regard. An ideal WisCon conversation, also notable for Ben's conclusion that I was a postmodern cultural absolutist. Sounds about right. It's amusing to be labelled correctly.

  • the joint karaoke party with the Ratbastards, where I sang karaoke essentially for the first time ever and had much fun -- "Fame" was sadly a bit too high for my voice, though fun to sing and everyone came in on the choruses, and later Jennifer Lackey and I did "Paradise By the Dashboard Light," not quite as sexy over-the-top as the University Theater folk used to do it in college (where it was practically a competitive sport to see which couple could out-sex the others), but probably it was better to keep this one mostly-PG given that I don't actually know Jennifer that well. :-)

  • the fact that people bought my photos, and lots more came up and said they liked them; I will take more (though I didn't take any this convention) -- I made $237 (minus 4%), I think, which means I should just about break even on the printing and framing costs. This is a noticeable net gain, though, as I still have lots of framed prints, some of which I will hang on my walls at the new apartment and some of which I will send to my father for his office. Oddly enough, no one bought the cute elephant, but they did like the wise monkey. A few people said that now they really wanted to go visit Sri Lanka, which was particularly satisfying. It's a lovely place for a holiday.

  • the peace of the Strange Horizons tea party, which just gets nicer and nicer to attend, somehow. Maybe because I don't do anything for the magazine anymore and can just bask in the reflected glory of it all. Susan made a particularly splendid speech this time around. Yay tea, yay cucumber sandwiches, yay pretty flowers on the table, and the nice people at the farmer's market who made a gorgeous bouquet with exactly the flowers I picked out, columbine and lilacs and other lovelies.

  • having lunch with Ben Rosenbaum, where I told him what I thought about his writing, based on having read the 80,000 words of his work that he sent me a few months ago -- and then staying up from 3 to 6 a.m. two nights ago, where he did much the same for me, based on reading Bodies in Motion and a few other bits and bobs, including the first chapters of the new nonfiction book -- at one point when we were talking, he told me that he thought "Writing Mary Anne is wiser than Talking Mary Anne", which I think is probably true, and certainly the preferable order. A deeply satisfying conversation; incredibly helpful, even if I decide that Ben's basic advice boils down to thinking that I should go spend some time in a war zone...

  • the mid-career writers panel, where I ended up crying, but I think in a productive way -- it was incredibly good to have a forum where it felt appropriate to express some of the anxiety I've been feeling around the book launch, promotion, novel revisions, etc. One conclusion is that I'm probably going to try to schedule some time with a doctor to talk about the sleeping thing and maybe get some prescription meds in case this recurs while book touring, and possibly a counsellor of some kind to just talk; recommendations of either in the Chicago area would be welcome.

  • getting up and talking about the Carl Brandon Society to the entire WisCon audience, telling them about memberships and making a plea for support for our organization in general and our two new $1000 awards (one for best speculative fiction that explores and expands our ideas about race and ethnicity (by anyone), one for best speculative fiction by a person of color), finding out at the CBS party later that night that so many people had come up to register as members that we have almost certainly already made enough money to fund both awards (Victor will crunch the numbers before we can say for certain), which was incredibly heart-warming.

  • seeing and spending time with many lovely people I adore, whom I will not even try to name for fear of leaving someone out.

The last day of the con, photo credit Michael Rawdon.
Photo taken at the command of Jim Frenkel, who said, "Quick -- take a photo! She's not moving! You may never see this again!"

3 thoughts on “I suspect I will not…”

  1. Allan Rosewarne

    Ok, been awhile since I posted a comment. Maryanne knows me slightly from local Chicago Cons, and a few other meetings. “Post modern cultural absolutist” that’s very funny LOLROF. Now I just hafta put my brain around to find what it means (Cause it sounds like a cool label and maybe something to aspire to). Bravos to Ben Rosenbaum for coming up with the phrase. (Ben whose first impressions are very deceiving).

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    A post-modern cultural absolutist looks just like a cultural relativist on the outside (which is why Jenn and I would make a great superhero pairing) — it’s only on the inside of our heads that we’re different. We still end up completely unwilling to intervene in others’ choices, but for extremely different reasons.

  3. >”Writing Mary Anne is wiser than Talking Mary Anne”

    And, alas, with me it was the other way around… 🙂

    > even if I decide that Ben’s basic advice boils down to thinking that I should go spend some time in a war zone…

    Hey! I never said that! I said “there are plenty of nice talkative ex-guerillas in Switzerland…” 🙂

    And I didn’t mean to imply that that direction was mandatory… there are plenty of other rich sources for your writing. It’s just that you’re exploring most of them just fine, and my job was (at least partly) to look for the gaps…

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