Thursday sindrian and I pretty much came to the con for csecooney and wirewalking's reading. They did not disappoint! But then, they never do! Also I wanted sindrian to meet them and pattytempleton and whoever else would be skulking around most skulkily, which included the charming cucumberseed, who gave us Tarot readings that made perfect sense. No, that's rare for me. Also he gave me a mix CD. <3
Friday Adam and sindrian and I rushed to get out of the house, and were thankfully earlier than anticipated, because reg did not look at the "comments/notes" field on PayPal and they put my name on sindrian's guest-of-pro badge instead of his. But it got fixed in time for handful_ofdust's reading, which was most excellent. Sindrian and I darted from there to csecooney's first! panel! ever!, which was about Howl's Moving Castle and led me to start making a reading list for Sindrian in my head. :) We had lunch and then LobbyConned for a while. I was LobbyConning more than usual this time, because my brain was just ever so slightly off. >.< But that is where haikujaguar found us! Yay for that! And she and Sindrian helped me decide what to read later, for which I am thankful.
Mythic Delirium/Goblin Fruit Group Reading: Where Sindrian discovered that poetry is the coolest club in all of speculative fiction. The poets are like the Drama Club's table in the cafeteria. Everyone is slightly ridiculous and totally awesome. I read "Nine Things About Oracles", which the redoubtable ellen_kushner later complimented me on yay. :) My favorite thing at this reading, though, was right after it, when someone came up to me with a carefully wrapped bundle that turned out to be copies of Interfictions 2 and Ravens in the Library for me to sign! There were other Interfictions authors at the con, but no other Ravens authors (until surprise Neil Gaiman on Sunday), so. Um. He brought that just for me. I was slightly staggered, and I hope that never gets old.
Steam-Powered I & II Group Reading: Steam-Powered is getting to be another one of the coolest clubs in speculative fiction; I feel like half of my friends are in one volume or the other with me! The benefits of writing very short pieces: I got to read my whole story, "Between Truth and Life".
Then csecooney and wirewalking's book launch party in time_shark's room, then Dybbuks, Golems, Demons, Oy Vey! where we got to talk about the midrash and wild Jewish folklore and I got to mine my adolescent trauma for big laughs, because hey, if I can't do that, what use is it? (Short version: I spent my time in a wilderness camp in Utah writing Exodus fanfic. I KNOW.)
The Readercon Interstitial Arts Exchange was so much fun, and skogkatt seriously needs to run it at Arisia. In a bigger room. But I just want to be at that party forever. So much silly fun and creativity and cuddlepiles and - also, I love seeing Sindrian hang out with my writer friends and con friends. <3
Finally it was time for the Meet the Pros(e) party. I think this was the first year that most of my stickers went to non-pros. I am shy and generally just hang out with my friends, but perhaps I looked extra approachable? because I ran out of stickers very quickly, and almost all of them went to non-pros. And people kept coming up to me asking even after I was depleted. Umm, whee? :) Next year I may cheat and print up a bonus sheet on my own! My sentence this year, btw: "The scent of him coils around, silvershot with light, like sun illuminating deep water."
I did not taste the durian.
Saturday... Saturday, I had a really hard time. I had difficulty waking up, difficulty getting into motion, difficulty kicking my brain into gear. Thinking underwater. It was markedly worse, pain and nausea-wise, than Friday... maybe because I got insufficient sleep? I'm not sure. But I ended up having to punk out of a panel because I was running late and would not have made any sense. I hate that. :( Honestly, I think and hope that this is just the ridiculously high levels of stress I'd been pushing back for months all crashing down on me at once and my body revolting at the impact. I hope, because that means this should stop soon. But it did mean I got to go to cucumberseed's reading after all, which was good, because FUCKING PIRATES.
My brain was finally in gear in time for the Rhysling Award Poetry Slan, which was, as always, so much fun! This year, I wrote a new poem for the occasion: "The Changeling's Lament". I'd had two or three lines from it scribbled on the notepad on my nightstand for a few months, just waiting for the rest of the poem to decide to show up. Which it did on Thurday, when I mused to myself that I'd like to have something that's particularly good to read aloud, not just nice on paper - if I'm doing a poetry slam, I want to use that opportunity and really work it, and yay! I did. It was very well-received. Also amusing: everyone was really unanimous on where I should submit it. So I did this morning, and I hope the editor agrees with all y'all.
And our csecooney won! Best long poem! For a poem I loved so much I had to knit a shawl of it, the amazing fantabulous "The Sea-King's Second Bride", which, well. You have not lived until you've heard csecooney read that poem. You only think you have lived. I tell you that you have not. Very well-deserved. <3
Then there was a hamburger, then haikujaguar's reading! And then an impromptu group Balance Card reading, at which I was told much the same things as my Tarot reading on Thursday. Yes, Universe! I attend! It's all stuff I knew but needed to hear and be nudged about, which is often the case with me and the Balance Cards; I don't surprise haikujaguar much, I think. :)
There was more LobbyCon, and then another time_shark party, at which I discovered that rum that I like exists. And I got teased quite a lot about the Southern accent that I am completely unable to stifle when tipsy or tired, of which I was both.
Sunday was the Interstitial Arts Foundation town meeting. Most of the panelists were at last night's party, so we were a bit sluggish in places. But yay IAF, and I did get in a quick mention of the fact that we're working on an interstitial/strowler salon for this fall. Which... following up on that is high on my to-do list, yes.
My Reading was a bit of Shayara, the beginning of Book One, wherein the Talthar Kithrayna has a meeting. People liked it! It had insufficient BAM! moments for my taste, and it's not necessarily what I'll read of Shayara in the future, and I was tired enough that I kept slipping Southern (Fenris is not a Good Ol' Boy (tm), that's just me), but people liked it and felt that it was a good intro to the world and the story, which was good, because it is a rather large world, and I want to make sure you're comfortable there.
The Chicagoans left from there, and I lounged in the lobby, trying to master my headache, until finally it mastered me and I staggered forth into the light, beloved sindrian by my side.
As always, I cannot possibly name everyone, but rest assured that if I saw you, I most heartily enjoyed seeing you, and I miss you already!