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Also: WFC report, sort of

I need to get out of the house more often.

I had a wonderful, wonderful time at WFC in Columbus this year. My husband actually came with me, and it's apparently the first time he's been to WFC, which I didn't remember until he mentioned it when we entered the hotel's lobby.

My husband also had a wonderful time -- but he's used to me in all of my various inflections. I think I was possibly just a tiny bit hyper this weekend, and I may have left, if not the wrong impression, than perhaps the type of impression that's generally left by a runaway car on the unfortunate individuals who happen to also be in the road.

So I am very tempted to mention only those times during the convention in which I did not perhaps, umm, rant. Sadly, I think that would amount to catvalente's reading. She read from Habitation of the Blessed. Her voice is very full, to me, very rich; it's both emotive and deliberate, so I could probably listen to her read her laundry list and be happy.

My husband, on the other hand, probably couldn't, and he really liked what she did read. So I came home and ran to get my copy of the book, but after having torn the house apart, can't find it, which means I probably left it in the bookstore. Which has moved. To a place that's not entirely finished, which means everything will still be in boxes. There were tears.

Let's see. I definitively cannot drink even a quarter of an ounce of wine on an empty stomach. If I do, I fall asleep. I have proof. I wish this proof had been uncovered at some other Thursday night dinner, and not the dinner with my publishers/editor and a person who I'd never met before (saladinahmed). la_marquise_de_ and her partner were also there, although Kari had to run to make a panel, and therefore had no chance to finish her dinner. Which I then finished. Best french fries ever. Umm, I may have ranted at the end.

On Friday, aside from the reading I first mentioned, I had lunch with a number of people. Actually, lunch was the first leg of the pub crawl that Jetse and Jim Minz had arranged -- and see above, re: quarter ounce of alcohol and me. But I sat beside Duane Wilkins of the University Bookstore in Seattle -- which is probably one of the most impressive places to buy SF that remains. He knows all his presses, UK or US, and really knows the authors. He's also six foot six or thereabouts, but I try to talk to him only when he's sitting down. There was a bit of bookstore neep. Actually, I met John Courtenay Grimwood as well; la_marquise_de_ introduced us saying, "Michelle has similar views about self-promotion." I really like the cover for his upcoming book. There may have been small amounts of focused ranting.

But we avoided the rest of the pub crawl that ended well past dark.

I probably owe jimhines either a drink or a tranquilizer, because a number of things that have been bubbling in my hindbrain and kicking up a small storm all fell out of my mouth on top of his head just after I'd greeted him when we first ran into each other. He was, as usual, gracious and dealt with this in great good humour, saying only that it gave him a lot to think about. Of course, if I hacked off his legs with a nail-file he would also say the same thing, because that's the kind of upstanding, generous, and thoughtful person he is. Jim, sadly, got the highest decibel full-on, deeply decanted rant. I think even my friends would have been impressed. You know, those friends who know what I'm like in any state of mind and are still my friends.

I was to meet with my editor, Sheila Gilbert, after the mass author signing, because she had a dinner after which all authors would be delivered to the signing ballroom. I like the mass signing room because there are so many people there, many of whom I know, and all of whom are captive for at least an hour behind a table and a sign. So I got to wander around and say hello to people I haven't seen in a while: matociquala, with whom I really, really want to sit down one day and have a long, happy, over-focused discussion about structure, Jan Stirling (wife of S. M.) who used to live in Toronto, and whose loss to New Mexico is deeply begrudged many many years after departure, among others.

But I also met, for the first time, scott_lynch. I don't know what I was expecting--I think I was sort of expecting Sam Sykes in personality (who I'd never met before WFC either), but, as it turns out, shorter. But scott_lynch was quieter, less in-your-face, and genuinely friendly. Also? He had long hair that reminded me of ksumnersmith's hair when it was longer. I had the visceral six year old girl response: I wanted to brush it and braid it. I don't often have this response anymore; only twice in the last fifteen years. But, well. I think I stared. I am happy to say I did not rant.

I did, however, get asked if I was going to sit down and sign books, which was such a big surprise to me. It shouldn't have been, because I am an author, but. But. I started going to conventions before I'd published anything. Some part of me still goes to conventions feeling internally as if I haven't. I don't say this with any false modesty because I don't actually have any of that. I never want my own signature, after all. If I do want a signature, it is never, ever mine. (I did hunt down Ted Chiang in that room, and he wasn't sitting at a table either, but there were a lot of people looking for Ted Chiang in that room). So, it was a delightful surprise.

I then found sleigh, his wife, parsleigh, whom I adore, and jimhines, who didn't run and hide, and Phil, my husband and I took a seat behind the abandoned author name tags at the table they were sitting at. Phil got to be David Drake. I can't remember who I was.

Sheila Gilbert and I then departed and had a longish discussion, and I hope to have announceable news from that sometime soon.

Guy Gavriel Kay was at WFC, and I got to chat with him for a few minutes (since I never see him in the city in which we both live), but I absolutely did no ranting there because I still get very tongue-tied around him. I mean: Guy Kay.

Laura Resnick abandoned jimhines to me at the large DAW Saturday night dinner, saying she felt she'd monopolized enough of his time, poor man. Laura Resnick, on the other hand, has known me for years. I think I managed to be less unfortunate at dinner, and as jimhines is demonstrably still sane, there's some argument that can be made in favour of this interpretation.

I met pbray and two women whose LJ handles I didn't even think to ask =/ (I'm sorry! If you by any chance read this, speak up) and that devolved into a very happy and very funny conversation about the late-to-arrive jpsorrow, and I think I preserved some scraps of professional dignity during that sit-down. This would be because jpsorrow didn't :D. Two things I took away from this: the combination of pbray and jpsorrow is trouble, and if I'm ever at a convention at which they're both on the same panel, I am so going to be in that audience.

leahbobet and I saw each other a half-dozen times in passing, but as I actually sometimes get to see and speak with her in T.O., she only sat down for ten minutes, but that was nice as well.

I closed out the convention by sitting down with Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Eileen Gunn and Yvonne (whose last name I cannot remember, which is stupid because I spent most of an hour discussing covers & comics for kids who loved Bone with her) and Nina's bag of many things. In this case, stickers and temporary tattoos, although sometimes it also produces food and pens. I have a stylized butterfly on my inner left wrist. There was a bit of ranting here, but it was mellow ranting that would only drive the totally timorous away.

Oh, and I got scalzi's foot almost in my face while he was modelling his new checkerboard-patterned slippers for his audience; I was sitting in the adjacent chair. He pointed out that he'd always wanted slippers like these and with these on, it would be easy to find him. I pointed out that if he thought it wasn't easy now, he was missing an essential component of his own character.

I had a great time at WFC. Hopefully everyone else did as well, in spite of this.

ETA: Elaine and Eileen are NOT THE SAME NAME


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 2nd, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
I had a GREAT time reading this, SO MUCH SO that I have to use caps instead of the italics you have been using. Lovely recap ^^. You could expand on any of this and I'd happily read it.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
Hey, it was great getting to meet you, even though it was brief!
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Hey, it was great getting to meet you, even though it was brief!

Thank you -- I immediately thought of four people I had totally failed to mention in the first report, which I was trying to get out before I settled in to play catch-up writing (because I never try to work during a convention; I don't ever get the work done, and it makes me feel guilty, which leads to cranky, which leads to the death of fun).

But, ummm, can I ask you if you started to write when you were sixteen? o.o. I'm so familiar with your name at this point that I thought you'd be at least my age, and you looked -- not even close. Which might be an inappropriate thing to say, come to think.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
I'm 46, but I'd look a lot older if I let my hair go gray. :) I thought you looked much younger than I was expecting, too.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
I look my age (47) to me :). But I feel it more as I get older because so many writers whose works I really like are...so darned young.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
Yes, I've noticed that too!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
I'll take video for you the next time one starts up over dinner. Aren't iPhones lovely? (sees Michelle coming and ducks)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 2nd, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, so do I. I just wasn't sure I could say so directly without being impolite, since I don't know msagarain person ^^.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 2nd, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
We could jump up and down in an LJ fashion, i.e. keep commenting to that effect - but reading through the other comments it looks like we aren't the only ones hoping for some ranting, anyway.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
I had a great time talking to you. Though I hope I didn't monopolize too much of your time... :-/

And I completely turned into a fangirl when I met Guy Kay. Luckily that meant I shook his hand, said something that was probably dumb but utterly inoffensive, then ran away.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
I had a great time talking to you. Though I hope I didn't monopolize too much of your time... :-/

I had a wonderful time talking to you, and did mean what I asked at breakfast :). You did not monopolize my time, which I think is highly difficult, although the inverse is sadly over-probable.

And I completely turned into a fangirl when I met Guy Kay. Luckily that meant I shook his hand, said something that was probably dumb but utterly inoffensive, then ran away.

You are me!
Nov. 2nd, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
You are me!

You are, in fact, both of you me. I did exactly this to Guy at Montreal WFC, moons ago and many of 'em.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
I think this was the bestest con report I have ever read, and I am so sorry that I did not get a chance to hear any of your rants in person.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
After that report, all I can say is that I want to hear those rants!

(Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. But I'm also insatiably curious.)

Glad to see you had a good time!
Nov. 2nd, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
I am sad to have missed your rants.
Michael Victorine
Nov. 2nd, 2010 10:06 am (UTC)
I for one find your rants to be hilarious! And now I am very sad not to have been in attendance.
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I couldn't think of anything to *say* to GGK. Except "I love your books. They make me cry," to which he responded, "Everybody says that. I'm afraid that's what's going to go on my tombstone: "He made me cry."" :) But then I had to go away because I couldn't think of anything else to say. I'm usually much better about conversing with people. But, well, as you say: Guy Kay.

scott_lynch is unusually stare-at-able, isn't he?
Nov. 2nd, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks for the professional bookseller cover analysis. I appreciate it!
Nov. 2nd, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
fireun is one of the LJ handles you're looking for. Don't know the other one.

Great seeing you. Sorry we didn't get a chance to chat more.
Nov. 3rd, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
You were utterly charming and delightful throughout. I was the manic (anxious) one.
Nov. 3rd, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
I love reading (about) your rants. Glad you had fun!
Nov. 5th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
ditto to both!
Nov. 5th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
Well, at that dinner, Jim had JUST come from a quiet table where I had plonked myself down uninvited next to him and talked to him for 90 minutes, so I genuinely thought he might really prefer to be seated next to someone at dinner he had NOT just had inflicted on him for that long.

Little did I know...

Laura Resnick
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )