Saturday was INSANE. I hit the ground runningn at 10 AM and I don't think I stopped talking until midnight, on panels, off panels, you name it. My first panel of the day was "research of alternate history - mining real history for good fiction" and it was off with a bang because I realised AT THE PANEL that I was supposedly moderating the thing which was... disconcerting. I usually like to spend at least a couple of minutes THINKING about moderating any given panel if I am supposed to be doing so and I had no such luxury here - it was full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes. Luckily I seemed to steer a straight ship and we ended up being more or less equally represented and more or less on topic, and all was good. Then I had an hour to grab something to eat. Then I had another panel: "The Tolkien effect: does every rock and tree need its own language?" And it was wonderful because it was my beloved subject - words, language - and I had plenty to say, and the audience was lovely and engaged, and it was a great panel. It was then straight from that to the next panel, "Are book publishers obsolete?" which was definitely interesting and showed the flux that the entire industry is currently in and if we didn't come up with any concrete answers it wasn't because we didn't try... half an hour later, I was racing back to the reading room for the reading/launch of the River anthology - where I unveiled the MAP for the first time. I had four of my authors present, and they only had maybe five minutes apiece to read from their stories, but that was more than enough to glimpse the quality of the rest of it and I had the audience signing up with email addresses eager to know exactly when the actual book will be out and in their hands. There is also another amazing development in the works for this, but let me sit on that one for a little while longer before I do the reveal. But it it AMAZING, trust me, and I am squeeing all over creation at the prospect. More later. Promise. Worth waiting for. Then I had another quick break, and on to the final panel of the day, "How to promote yourself as a writer without being obnoxious". I started the introductions with, "Hi, I've got these bookmarks..." which got a laugh, particularly since it was painfully clear I was being snarky, but which ALSO got a bunch of bookmarks disappearing immediately afterwards, which may mean that as a tactic it wasn't TOO obnoxious in context [grin]. Then I had dinner with friends I hadn't seen for a good long while, and then I made an appearance at the ENdeavour Awards reception, and then I crawled off to bed.
Woke up Sunday morning at 7:15 and that seemed woefully too early for anything at all so I rolled over for another at least half an hour in bed... and woke up again fully two hours later. It was then a race to get organised and get down to where the action was in time for said action - it took a double-shot latte to wake me up completely, but I managed to take in half an Alexander James Adams concert before duty called and I presented myself at the panel entitled "Heart of Africa" which turned out to be pretty interesting stuff - and then that was followed by a panel on "disneyfying" literature for kids, which I am passionately against for the record, so I had plenty to say on the matter, too (particularly as, since the moderator of that panel said, I was the only person on it to have actually WRITTEN literature for children as such...) but the audience had some interesting and pertinent questions and remarks and that was a pretty intense panel, in the end. Straight from that to my reading slot - and let's put it this way, a reading slot from 2 - 2:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon - well - I was steeling myself for coming in and waving to a nice empty room and going away again. Turns out there are people out there who actually LIKE me. SIX of them. I read an as-yet-unpublished story and they all wanted to know where they could get a copy which was even MORE wonderful than actually having the six of them present and accounted for at this smouldering ember of a tail-end of a con in the first place. Hopefully I will have an answer for them all concerning this particular story very soon...
After that, it was a bunch of goodbyes and hugs and see you laters and when's your next con and travel safely and all like that. I am sure there are still stragglers present - folks like me - and I might well end up having dinner with people I know tonight. But the plans are for a long slow restful wind-down and then lunch with a friend tomorrow before I hit the train station and then the train and then homehomehomehome and more things to do than I can shake a stick at. I am going to be busier than a worker bee for the last two months of this year. I have soooooo much to dooooooo... but I'm glad I came to Orycon. I feel energised enough to tackle those two months now. My tribe came through, as always. Thank you, EVERYBODY.
Okay. Let's see what else is cooking, and if nothing, then it's an afternoon of actual constructive WRITING for me before I hit food, and then bed. After that, Monday, and journeys. See you on the far side.