Day 1 - Friday
Registration is just a WEE bit disorganised (rdeck spent his first day going around the con with a sticky on his badge holder identifying him, should anyone challenge him, as an "unaccompanied minor", if you like, and that he was, um, with ME, and that the badge was in process. We finally got it that night. Oh well - all's well that ends well.
Oh, and, er, elevators. They were congested on Thursday night and Friday morning with the departees from the conference that was in session before us, and people were hogging the DOWN elevators with bunches of baggage, and the waits got LOOOONG. And then the elevators started getting clogged on the UP leg because the Green Room, and the Fan Lounge, and a few other things, were on Floor 16 and everyone apparently wanted UP. There are four elevators in theory but one is out of commission because it's in the process of being refurbished so it only LOOKS like an elevator and doesn't actually ACT as one and one - the one that HAS just been refurbished - spent a couple of hours merrily taking people to whatever the heck floor it felt like, which was interesting in the extreme (lots of comments along the lines of "Up! Up! Damn! Stop!").
So much for the infrastructure. The official part of Friday consisted of Part I of the writers workshop (Only one of the two writers made it, the other being delayed with travel arrangements, so that went rather faster than anticipated) and then I had two panels, one on what living in the Pacific Northwest has meant to my writing and the other, which somehow slipped off the program GRID although it was in the panel descriptions, was "Pros at cons - hired entertainers or honored guests". The latter turned out to be rather more of a conversation than a panel seeing as (since nobody KNEW about it) very few people turned up for an audience and those that did kind of became part of the panel by default. It was fun. Then we attended a couple of panels AS audience, and I got told later (having participated from the audience) that I made some good points. Never comes amiss to be noticed...) Then we got invited to the Radcon party, which took place in apparently the smallest room of the hotel, and appeared to be a contest as to how many people could be got into a confined space at any given time. At one point I counted six or seven people piled higgledy piggledy on the bed (which took up most of the room). People took photographs. There is evidence.
Home to bed, as it were, to our own room.
Day 2, Saturday, started with an 8 AM breakfast with a fellow writer over which past present and future projects were mutually discussed and a good time was had by all. Then it was off into the trenches. We attended a panel called "escaping the west", dealing with writing set in milieus other than the generic European middle ages. My books got a mention. Always good. But it was a really good panel even without that added advantage and much enjoyed. Then we went to MY next panel, which was "building near historic worlds", with GoH Robert Charles Wilson, Dave Duncan, Timmi Duchamp and myself. Then straight from that onto another panel, on mythology (got a "you raised good points" pat on the back for that one, after, too - and it was a VERY nice panel indeed.
Then we spent some time talking to people in the Hospitality Suite, and then there was a panel on "writing for art vs writing for sales", which boasted Ursula Le Guin and Steven Barnes, amongst others, and was an utter joy to be in because of the humour and the sheer eloquence of the participants. Worth the price of admission of the con all by itself.
Then we had another mini-break, then I had my reading (well attended) and after that my autograph session (also well attended, and the several booksellers who had my books had sold out by this time, always a good sign).
Then we went out to dinner, at a table that kept growing pseudopods and adding more people, full of fun and laughter, planning various nefarious things for Radcon, the February con in Eastern WA to which we are going next year. Then we braved the elevators and went up to the 16th floor again, for the Clarion West party.
And now we're back in our room, and it's time for bed.
Tomorrow I have one more panel, and part the second of the writers workshop, with the fellow who couldn't make it on Friday. SOmetime in the afternoon, after the gripe session and the dead dog party, it's over, and we're free to move around Portland. We have a few things planned, including dinner with a local at some point.