The two highlights of WindyCon were toastmastering for the first time (fun!), and getting to spend time with (Alix) AM Dellamonica and Kelly Robson, who are both just delightful. (And, incidentally, married to each other for 33 years so far…)
I’ve recently read one of Kelly’s books, _High Times in the Low Parliament (a lesbian stoner buddy comedy about fairies and Brexit), which was lots of fun, but I gather not typical of her work (which has been nominated for ALL the genre awards), so I’m looking forward to seeking out lots more of her writing.
And I whipped through Alix’s seafaring trilogy, starting with _Child of the Hidden Sea_, which just hit all my buttons somehow — I couldn’t put it down, was literally reading it while waiting to meet up with them for a meal, etc. Particularly recommended for anyone who likes the idea of a charming protagonist who is super-into observational biological science work on a sailing ship.
Alix also writes solarpunk SF under the name L.X. Beckett, so _Gamechanger_ is coming up in my queue VERY shortly.
They were Guests of Honor at WindyCon, so heavily scheduled, but they very kindly squeezed in an hour-long interview with me for the SLF right before heading to the airport to go back to Toronto. We talked about getting into writing, and making time for it, and building characters and much more — I’ll have Darius Vinesar editing that soon, and then we’ll put it up on the site and YouTube and turn it into a module for the Portolan Project too. Thanks, Alix and Kelly!
Pictured below is our overpriced but generally tasty dinner in the hotel’s steakhouse — the standout dish was the appetizer of polenta, sautéed mushrooms, and balsamic vinegar. SO GOOD.
Also pictured, my limoncello martini (tasty, but sweeter than I’d make it), my shrimp de jonghe (very intensely flavored, almost too much so to eat; I ended up bringing most of it home and having it with some spaghetti, which worked better) and Kevin’s pasta with sausage (good, but too much sausage, ratio-wise).
It was particularly nice having Kevin come join me for a day — we haven’t had him try to come to cons with me since the WisCon when Kavi was one year old, which was really no fun for him, because I was heavily scheduled and he ended up just doing childcare most of the time.
He didn’t really do much con stuff this time either, but he got to have dinner with some of my friends; I’d like to have him come to cons more often, because I have this whole other professional world that he doesn’t really know, and that doesn’t really know him. And since I think Kev’s one of the best people on the planet, I’d like my friends to share in the wealth. I’m generous that way.
I *think* this is also the first night we’ve spent away together since Anand was born, 13 years ago. Kavi is now old enough that we were comfortable with the two of them spending the night on their own (esp. since we were only 20 minutes away and could get home fast in case of emergency). It went just fine. She didn’t throw a kegger or anything.
Oh, one last random note — my car died just before WindyCon, remember? So I had to do a lot of Lyfting back and forth. It’s coming home today — it turns out that the reason it stalled out was because SOMEONE had let a mostly full McFlurry spill on the floor in the backseat, which had managed to drip down to the…fuel box, I think they said? Causing the stall.
They cleaned it all up, and didn’t even charge me for it, because the guys there are sweethearts and felt bad for me. We will be going back to ‘no food in Mommy’s car’ rules, I think, or at least ‘pack out all your trash on departure.’
Please treat my car like a national park, kids!