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It is some indication of how this week has gone that it's taken me until now to do this.

For the first time ever, I got a day off on 4th of July weekend so Thursday morning and afternoon was Mom-related fun, followed by showing up at the con and getting informed that my badge was to be held hostage until I picked up something at the Art Show (an item which I couldn't pick up last year). After some discussion, the nice volunteer gave me my badge on the promise that I would in fact go to the Art Show. I wandered off, ran into the McCulloughs and hung out in their room to chat for a bit about sundry recent events. We then went down to the Art Show, where the door volunteer tried to check my wallet (regular-sized) along with my bag. Minor wacky hijinks ensued but I was eventually allowed into the Art Show as long as I talked to the person at the table. So I skipped the entire art show, went in solely to pick up my item and left without checking my wallet at the door, because this was so very much not going to happen.

From there, I was off to meet folks at the the tail end of the Skiffy and Fanty panel, then on to my Shakespeare in Fantasy panel. We appointed a moderator and had a lively discussion, in which we split on several modernized versions of the plays and debated whether or not
Macbeth had more fantasy content than Hamlet and if A Winter's Tale had any fantasy content. Good panel, good audience and fun discussion. Sherry, Kevin and Elise then picked me up for dinner and ended up at the Friday's, which was surprisingly slow - I think they got overwhelmed, since they' usually very on the ball. But dinner was perfectly fine and there were appetizers and much discussion of recent events. I headed home shortly after this because I knew Friday would be a long day.

I got back on Friday morning first thing for breakfast at the Hotel Formerly Known as The Sofitel with Shaun Duke of Skiffy and Fanty fame, Paul Weimer of SF SIgnal and sundry other podcasts and other awesomeness and Shaun's brother, Andy, whose name I'm hopefully getting right. We had a really fun breakfast and talked about books and fandom and SFWA and a bunch of other things in the fab world of genre. Then we scattered back into the con and I made a short pass through the Dealer's Room and stopped off to talk to bookseller Dave Christiansen and pick up a few titles. Michael Thomas chanced by with his daughter and we went outside to sit and chat for a bit. Then I was off to lunch with Sigrid Ellis of Apex Magazine and Paul Weimer, this time to chat about publishers, things we were up to and recent events, amongst other things.

I went off to do some quicky research on urban fantasy for an afternoon panel, then stopped by to listen in on a panel on magic (I think, though that may have been later on) with Kelly McCullough, Kameron Hurley, Martha Well, Doug Hulick and Sean Murphy, then on to my panel on afternoon panel on making "Urban Fantasy More Urban." Along the way, I discovered that my name was not yet removed from the Art Show Wall O' Shame despite having picked up my item,so I began getting reminders about it from sundry concerned people (this became a theme well on into the evening). I took over as moderator, something which the other panelists accepted with grace and style, and we had a decent discussion about diversity and urban settings in urban fantasy. it wasn't as deep as I would have liked but it went reasonably well from a panelist perspective.

Martha Wells picked me up for dinner and we headed back to the former Sofitel. Apart from a kitchen snafu, which got resolved, the food has quite tasty and the company was excellent. I have to say that this was my favorite series of meals at a con this whole year, simply because I was with interesting people. So, thanks lovely dining companions! :-) After dinner, we headed back across the street and I caught a SkepChicks panel on the science of Breaking Bad, which was quite interesting. After that I hung out for a bit doing some odds and ends online and got yet more reminders about the Art Show (see above note about checking my wallet, which is why I didn't just go in and insist that my name be expunged from said Wall). I finally gave up and approached the door volunteers and explained the situation to them. One of them was kind enough to go in and cross my name out, thus ending that particular ordeal.

After that, I had panels at 10PM and at 11:30PM. These timeslots are later than I usually let anyone schedule me because a. I'm tired and not at my best and b. given the last few months, I'm unbelievably tired and not at my best. And so we will gloss over "Jane Austen Mashups" which was not my favorite panel of the weekend, though well short of epic trainwreck. I caught up with Elise, then went on to the Tech Sex panel. This was the most diverse lineup I was on all weekend and was also my first time on a SkepChicks panel (apparently, I'm a fellow traveler, which is all good). Lively discussion about sex toys, virtual reality, and sundry related topics ensued and the audience behaved well, despite being packed in like sardines.

And then I went home and collapsed and was good for absolutely nothing the next day. I spent the time trying to recover from the last couple of months as well as the night before and puttering about the house. Sunday was another Mom Day, followed by joining Michael and Sherry Merriam and friends in celebrating Michael and Sherry's 18th wedding anniversary. This was lovely and fun and followed by heading back home to do a few novel revisions, and collapse. Unsurprisingly, Monday brought a killer migraine (the weather went nuts and my new magic pills weren't up to that much overload) and day jobbery. And the rest of the week, with all that went with it.

Apart from the Art Show issues (I don't think the punitive approach is working), it was a perfectly fine con, with many cool things going and I extend my congratulations to them for pulling off another one.  But I went into it utterly drained and came out more so and now need to deal with yet more stuff. I'm hoping to take a few days off to get out of town and offline to recover next month, which I think will be a dire necessity by then. In the meantime, I'm hoping to get some short fiction collections proposals out this weekend and some more revisions done. Then it will be on to workshop proposals and finishing up a story to get out the door. Pedal to the metal and all that. Wish me luck, since I suspect I'll need it.





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