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June 2nd, 2010

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And wrapping it up...

Wiscon 34 that was.

Had one panel on Saturday, "Future of the Past", where we discussed methods of dealing with history (real or invented) in works of fiction; we touched on when it was done right, when it was done wrong, what did it mean when the author insisted on piling upon the hapless reader every last bit of fabulous research accumulated over (sometimes) years but failed to create a world in which the reader could dive into and immerse in and find believable. I believe it was fellow panelist Christopher Cevasco who finally said it in a nutshell, that verisimilitude is far more important that veracity. The difference is not huge, but it is fantastically important. I also spent some time with the Broads at the Broad Universe table, where book sales were pretty steady. Out of the seven hardcovers I had brought to the con to sell at the table, five were gone by the time the table was packed up. I call that a good showing. AND they sold out of Worldweavers #3 in the Dealers' Room, which was a bonus... I tried a chocolate martini in the Governor's Club bar that evening. I could clearly see the ingredients that were being tossed together to create the cocktail, and not all of them were innocent by a long shot, but all I could really taste at the end was chocolate milk... and thus this is one damned dangerous drink. You probably wouldn't realise what a kick this thing has until you were floored by it. But I have always known how to pace myself.

Sunday, spent the morning attending davidlevine's presentation on his trip to Mars - I'd seen it before but rdeck had not and I knew that he would love hearing about this, which he did. Then, later, I had a reading (with pameladean, truepenny and catvalente(in absentia, with truepenny reading the first chapter of "Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland" on her behalf). I read the story from "Close Encounters of the Urban Kind" anthology, and then gave away a copy of the book as a door prize at the reading. Went well. We had, you know, an AUDIENCE. Always good.

The rest of that day I spent thinking I had more time between my panels than I had. I wound up racing from that to "Your Writing Process is Ridiculous", with klages and Tiptree winner Greer Gilman, where we told tales on ourselves about what kind of weird and wonderful stuff we did in order to produce our work. There were... some... doozies. Then I thought I had a bit of time after that, but instead found myself racing to my next panel, "ResearchL U R doing it Rong", proposed by oursin and with her in attendance, as well as madrobins, and we actually had a bit of fun with that one. At the very least there was a fair amount of giggling going on in the actively participating and interested audience. Then, later, we went to the Dessert Salon (where rdeck continues to commit dessert abomination by insisting on carrot cake - the words "carrot" and "cake" do not belong in the same sentence, dammit...) and the GoH speeches and the Tiptree awarding (Gilman: "I did everything James Joyce did, but backwards and in high heels...") and then a few parties and then up to bed.

Monday, went to a fascinating panel on the relationship between science and religion moderated by nisi_la (who is also one of the GoHs for next year's Wiscon...) and then went to the Sign Out, where I sold another of the Worldweavers books and handed out a bunch more of the bookmarks and swag. Had dinner with a friend, amidst lots of laughter and fun, and then I took up a bunch of stuff (including some delicious jams I had bought at the Farmers' Market and bethought myself too late, later, that I would never be allowed to take onto a plane) and mailed it to ourselves via the good offices of a packaging outfit which Wiscon has the presence of mind to have in residence every last day of the con. It comes in damned useful NOT to have to lug back inconvenient stuff if you have the option of sticking it into a box and just being here to receive it when it arrives under its own steam...

Then we went back up to the Governor's Club where I tried (for the third time that day) to check us in to our flights but kept on getting told "Please to return later..." In the meantime, I had another chocolate martini to go, as it were, to say goodbye to the place. Sipping that at the bar, I got complimented on my braided hair (which was done by the incomparable chap who does braiding at the Wiscon Gathering every year and which had stayed put and stayed perfect for three days now...) by two couples sitting at the bar who were not part of the Wiscon crowd, and we got talking, and I made them laugh, and they asked where I was from and I said the West coast and one of the women giggled and said, oh dear, so was she... she was from Phoenix (I don't know what was in the drink she was nursing but it must have been potent for her to miss the fact that Phoenix lacks, um, an ocean...) Turns out this woman's husband is a high-school English teacher in Arizona. He took bookmarks, he took signed bookplates, and he promised to buy copies of the Worldweavers books for his class, and perhaps even arrange a virtual school visit via Skype. Which pretty much ended the convention on a high point. We went back to the computer, FINALLY got ourselves checked in, and then, on the Tuesday morning, proceeded to fly out of both Madison and Chicago on time without any bumps or delays at all and returned to cool, rainy Pacific Northwest that night. We spent the night at another hotel near the airport, seeing as we had arrived too late for the shuttle northwards, but caught that this morning at eight - and oh, lord, we had a funny breakfast at the hotel - a family with a little boy who can't have been more than oh, five or six or so, who was given a fruit yoghurt and balked. Momma said, "Your father says it is fine. Just eat it." He looked rebelious. "It leaves a DISGUSTING taste in my MOUTH," he said, rather too loudly, causing every other person in the room to turn and grin. And then, a handful of minutes later, another stentorian and opinionated announcement from the young orator: "I hate EVERYTHING about blueberries." The parents wore... strange smiles... and stared into the middle distance...

ANYWAY. We are home. The cats have even condescended to purr. All is well. And tonight I sleep in my own bed.

TOmorrow... I need a to-do list. I need to hit the ground running. There are plenty of things that I need to make time for... including finishing a really promising short story which mugged me sometime on Monday and which I spent much of our wait in Madison's airport thrashing out the beginnings of. It's shaping up into something rather special. It seems to be a tradition these days that I get an attack of shortstoryitis as I bid goodbye to a convention these days, I've done it for almost every con I've been to over the last two years. I have hopes for this one.

Anyway. Busy Busy Busy. Talk later. Home safe, Wiscon over for another year, over and out To all the friends I never see other than here... see you again soon...