I managed to swing by the Strange Horizons 10th anniversary tea party; I just caught the tail end, but it seemed to still be going strong. Susan paused the party to lead the crowd in a round of applause for me, which was lovely. I had a little piece of celebratory cake, even though I was starting to overdose on sugar, for luck. One decade down -- many to go! I still remember who told me that we were unlikely to last more than a year...but I will be kind and not name names. :-)
Then dinner at Ventiane Palace with a whole horde of people, too many to name, and honestly, I don't remember some of their names. But still fun -- had my typical Thai iced tea and spicy plate, and it was good (though a bit saltier than I remember). Back to the hotel to read my speech aloud once, editing as I went and timing it -- 18 minutes. Told it to print. Then got dressed in my sari (love the new sari, it's gorgeous), had a thought about order of paragraphs, sat down and made one change that make the piece much better. Told it to print again. Gathered myself and headed down to join the crowd. Was too nervous to eat, so I held Jed's hand, listened to the intros, listened to Nnedi's great GOH speech, and tried to calm down.
The Guest of Honor speech was frankly terrifying. Some of that was the content of the speech, some of it was speaking to almost a thousand people, including a ton of people whose opinion I really value. I've addressed WisCon in the past, but only for little blurbs for Carl Brandon and such-like. This was different. I could wish that I'd started a week earlier, so I could have fine-tuned the speech a bit more; I was a little repetitive, and some of the jumps were perhaps a bit too jumpy. (Though I did mean them to be actual jumps, rather than smooth transitions.) I was editing up until the last minute -- until they started introducing Nnedi's speech, I was scribbling little notes on my print-out. But all caveats aside, I'm reasonably happy with the speech.
It feels a little weird putting it online, since it's aimed rather specifically at WisCon attendees, and in some ways, a particular subsection of them at that. But maybe it will be of interest to others as well. And several people have asked to see the transcript, so here it is. A video will be sent to me; unless I chicken out, I'll put that up on YouTube when it arrives. I'm told that the speech brought tears to a few eyes, which I think I'm going to claim as evidence of success. One person did tell me she thought it was the best WisCon speech ever, and while I don't agree with her, that was certainly nice to hear. :-)
Wrap-up in one last post to come.