Jun. 2nd, 2018

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Said write-up consists entirely of my personal experiences, FYI, so none of the various and sundry things that went on that I either haven't heard about or wasn't present for are covered.
Friday:
  • Drove 4.5 hours, give or take, landed at the Concourse and did a mad dash from the car to the hotel registration to the con registration to the Art Show and the Dealer's Room. I also got to make a short dash into The Gathering to drop clothes for the Clothing Swap. Not very excited that the entrance was once more "mined" with an unexpected nail polish cloud from the nail polish booth. I have chemical allergies so I literally couldn't stay in the ballroom. I know I'm not the only one and this is year 2 of this happening; this is a thing that needs to be fixed before someone has a major asthma episode or equivalent. That aside, everything else went relatively smoothly. Jana got her artwork set up at the Art Show and got checked in. I dropped books off at A Room of One's Own and DreamHaven Books (both of which carry print Queen of Swords Press titles). After all that, we went and collapsed in the Starbucks to recharge.
  • There, we were joined by the delightful Robyn Bennis (whose books you should be reading), followed by postering for the Sunday night Queen of Swords Party. From there, we went out for vegetarian Tibetan food at the ever delightful Himal Chuli with Robyn. Then back to the hotel for pirate slush reading (me) and the hot tub (Jana). After that, I was off to the Twelfth Planet Press Party to learn about their latest and meet up with friends. The party was very pleasant, the friends very welcome, but it was on the second floor of the hotel with nothing around it, so it remained, alas, poorly attended. But check out their website and their new projects because they're pretty awesome.
Saturday:
  • The day dawned with a bright and early trip to the Farmer's Market for sundries, which is always fun.
  • After that, Jana went off to volunteer at the Art Show and I went to roam the Dealer's Room and the Art Show before meeting my friend Brontë for our annual lunch from Teddyweggers.
  • After that, we went off to our respective panels. Mine was Beyond Batty Old Ladies, with L. Timmel Duchamp, Georgie Schobrich and Isabel Schecter. We had a decent discussion and people enjoyed it so I felt like it went well, I plugged the Goodreads list  of books with older female protagonists that we've been nurturing along since Helsinki and my Old(er) Women in Spec Fic list and I've heard that folks are getting some good use from them, so that's all good.
  • There was more slush and more Dealer's Room, in the midst of which I learned that Other Me's (Emily L. Byrne) new novel, Medusa's Touch, had hit the bestseller list for its category on Amazon U.K., which made for a nice lift to the afternoon and evening.
  • Then we met up with Alex Acks and enjoyed a very nice dinner to celebrate the release of Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures.
  • After that, I went to Elise Matthesen's Haiku Earring Party briefly, then checked out the Comics party for a bit before bedtime.
Sunday:
  • The day began with a lovely breakfast with Caroline Stevermer (who has a new novel coming out in the nearish future!), followed by a stroll back to the hotel for more Art Show (Jana) and sundries (me).
  • Jana and I met up for lunch and were the targets of a homophobic freakout by a woman who may have been tweaked  out of her skull. She threatened us but didn't get close enough to be physically threatening. It was unpleasant, but we survived and she wandered off after her companion. Lunch was quite tasty, at least.
  • I went down to Michaelangelo's for a reading by Monica Valentinelli, LaShawn Wanak, Naomi Kritzer and David Levine. The readings were good, but the coffee shop is a really hard venue to read at - very noisy and lots of traffic, best-suited to humor.
  • After that, I went to go hear my friend Sigrid on a panel on leading women of Syfy, which was fine, though one panelist had some slightly odd and fairly strong opinions about a show she'd never seen. I was hoping to learn a bit more about shows I hadn't seen, but The Magicians doesn't appeal to me and I'd seen the others; always nice to burble about Killjoys though.
  • Shortly thereafter, we met up with Monica for dinner, then went off to go prep for the Queen of Swords Press Party. Reader, we had a blast, once things were set up and I was in my Victorian Matrix gear. There were games and tea and lovely fans and friends old and new. Alex was feted and chatted with. I met up with a couple of fans of my work and they said lovely things. People all retired at 1AM, which was when we were ready to call it a night and cleanup went swiftly.
All in all, we had a good con. There was some friction (which, for a change, I was neither directly involved in or present at) and a certain amount of tension, not surprising given events in the outside world. So we'll see how it goes and how things shake out. Right now, it's on the list for next year.

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