Which was awesome. This is my first year qualifying - you have to have a SFWA-qualifying sale, and "The Angel of Fremont Street" counts, yay! So I got to sit at the big kids' table. :) Some excellent discussion there, led by Vylar Kaftan; it was also great to see jenwrites and rachel_swirsky. Also? The way to make friends = "I brought goat cheese with thyme and whole-grain bread - anyone want some?"
And then it was time for my favorite panel of the con - Kick-Ass Moms. This panel was suggested last year after panelist Jenny Nilsson asked in another panel, "What about the moms - why don't we see more portrayals of motherhood in genre fiction?" The answer? A snooty "We don't want to limit women to their reproductive choices." To which Jenny thought Well, you just did. And lo, a panel - with me, Valerie Guyant, Jenny, and Patricia Wrede.
First off, I was so excited when the room started filling up! I know there can be a defensiveness around this - that many people would prefer to see the typical urban fantasy heroine in tight leather pants who has no relationships. Lone warrior. Which can be fun if that's what you're looking for, but I'd also like to see families. We say women shouldn't be relegated to motherhood and marriage, but I think we make a mistake when we rule that out as an option for the character. There is so much drama in family life! This is rich territory!
Anyway. So happy to see so many people who agreed! And honestly, I've never seen an audience that enthusiastic before. The panelists did our thing, and we jumped almost right away into questions and commentary from the audience. Everyone had great ideas and fascinating questions. One that I'm going to throw out here so other writers can go "Hmm!" and "Ooh!", and because I know haikujaguar already does this: Writing communities. Moms do not parent in a vacuum. What about relationships with other parents? How does the community in your story support parents and families?
Anyway, it was a high-energy and fabulous panel, and I loved it. The suggested reading/watching list is here, please add to it if so moved. And I'm not kidding about starting the subgenre "mompunk". ;)
Caught in conversations in the lobby for a while - I think this is when I met karnythia caught me at s00j's table ~4:00 and invited me to tea in the Governer's Club with some other IAF people - Larissa and her partner, Katya, and Victor. We brainstormed on IAF matters for a while. I get my activist on in situations like this; I start laying battle plans! "This is how we bring the weird shit to the masses!"
After that, dinner with rachel_swirsky, Margaret Ronald, Hilary Moon Murphy (and family), asim, and grntserendipity. Good meal and great companions & conversations. I'm glad I got to spent some less-chaotic time with Rachel. Margaret and I were bumping into each other all con - fly all the way to Wisconsin, and keep seeing neighbors! *laugh*
I remember being bitchslapped by exhaustion after dinner... I sat in the lobby knitting for a bit and making new friends who were entranced by the alchemy of turning string into a scarf. :) Got up to go to the Verb Noire party, saw catvalente, csecooney, C's friend whose LJ name I didn't catch, and Will Alexander - does he have an LJ? - in the next seating area. Ended up hanging out and talking there for a while. Will convinced me to attend his reading the next day, which I'd already been pondering because I <3 his readingmate barthanderson (Wiscon reading are four-person affairs). I had them listen to "The Lover's Aria (from Hieratica in Flames)" that s00j did for Cat's book Palimpsest...
Here. Close your eyes. Listen.
Then to the Verb Noire party! Verb Noire is the brand-new small press that arose from the flames of RaceFail '09. Check it out! karnythia and thewayoftheid were publisher/hostesses, and emilytheslayer was the official Nice White Lady. The refreshments? Were hilarious. Watermelon pops with a sign saying "Sweet Stereotypes". Twizzlers labeled "Enough rope to hang yourself". A whole table of RaceFail flamewar snark. And lots of sugar. Emily, what were the other signs? They were all great. :) Best party of the con. EDIT: Pics!
I missed karnythia's foray into the Tor party, because Nisi Shawl waved Cat over and offered to make her a crown, and when that happens, you say yes. ;) So we hung out in the Aqueduct Press room for a bit, wandered back to Verb Noire, and hit Tor briefly (hottest and stuffiest room at the con!), becaue my body was alrady saying "Fuck you, girl, you are mortgaging future spoons. Go get horizontal NOW." and sending flashes of pain like jazz hands.
So I did.
Sunday in a separate post, after I get stuff done. :)