05 May 2014 @ 09:38 am

Turned out the Morganville Vampires books reached the end of a story arc with book 6, so I didn’t have to read 15 books this weekend. :) Whew!

Seriously, though, the books are a lot of fun, and if you haven’t read them, I feel you ought to go right ahead and get books 1-6 so you can gulp down the first story arc all at once. I’m gonna have to check with Rachel to find out where the next story arc ends or to see if I have to block out a whole weekend to read the other 9 at once. :)

I wasn’t in a mental space to work on my revisions yesterday so I started converting the ElectriCity script to Scrivener. With books that’s pretty trivial, but this is requiring retyping it all. That’s not a bad thing; I’m doing some editing as a result, and I gotta say there are some pretty funny bits in the script. I mean, like, in the panel descriptions. At least the artist should have fun reading it. :)

I’m not actually overwhelmingly impressed with Scrivener’s comics app. Its primary problem is that for some reason when the pop-up window giving you dialog/panel/etc options appears, it doesn’t respond to a tab selection, which means there’s more mousing than is comfortable. I’m looking forward to the eventual release of ComiXwriter, which I backed on Kickstarter, and, er, which I hope will convert the Scrivener file nicely because it’d be a pain in the ass to have to retype this all *again*. :)

I am determined to get this script done before DICE at the end of September. Actually, of course, I’d LIKE to have it done and get the Kickstarter campaign running by then, but that may be outside of my control. But the fact that DICE is coming up again and I haven’t gotten anything new done on the comics front makes me feel like a fraud for even going to the con, so I gotta do something.

(*mutter* What I also need to do is that 8 page Chance-universe script, too, and give it to Val so we can do a little web comic with it, since he was up for it. Or he was like TWO YEARS AGO when I last talked to him about it. @.@)

Harry Connolly keeps mentioning Scrivener features his Mac version has that my Windows version doesn’t. AWESOME features. I’m over on Twitter flinging myself on their mercy right now, because I can’t justify buying a Mac for half a dozen writing app features. :)

(…no. no i can’t. I CAN’T DAMMIT.)

Um, hm. One other thing I’d been going to mention, what was it. Oh! Through a fortutious combination of kindly mother-in-law and friend-in-need, I have scored an _entire day_ of writing on Tuesday. If I have any sense at all I will spend it making headway on revisions, but the idea of whipping out the manuscript for my nephew’s next book and doing a grand-slam 9 or 10K on it sounds like so much more fun. :)

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

07 November 2013 @ 12:16 pm

I wanted to do a quick WFC recap before it gets so far away as to be irrelevant, so here I go. :)

First off, this was the first con I’d been to since about 2006 that I didn’t have professional obligations at. In fact, that’s almost a blanket statement: the first two conventions I went to were the only ones I’ve *not* been at in some professional aspect or another, so it was a bit weird for me in the first place. And I’m sure it’s been said elsewhere, so I won’t harp on it, but usually WFC, which is The Professional Convention, seems to only let none-GoH people be on one panel and perhaps one reading, so that all the pros there can do something. That…didn’t happen this time. And we shall leave it at that.

Also, had I known in advance of buying plane tickets that the banquet would be on Sunday afternoon instead of what-is-my-impression-of-more-commonly Saturday evening, I would have gone out Thursday and come back Sunday. (Possibly failing to know this was my own fault through not paying enough attention.) So those things were kind of odd.

I did, however, get to go to quite a few panels, which I’d practically never done before at a convention. One of our highlights was standing around bantering with an old dude before a panel: he was staring into the very large, very empty panel hall with dismay, saying he didn’t think anybody was going to show up, certainly not enough to fill the place. So he said to me and Ted, “You two go round up fifty people and make them sit at the front, will you?” and we, bemused, went into the panel and discovered this old dude with whom we’d been bantering was William F freaking Nolan, author of LOGAN’S RUN. Holy crap, man! And he felt passionately that even dystopic stories need to deliver hope at the end (he loathes the ending of the LOGAN’S RUN film for that reason), which was an idea I could totally get behind.

The end of the ill-titled/conceived Broads With Swords panel (which went a lot better than it might’ve, all things considered) devolved into something of a “list female epic fantasists we like” thing rather than a Q&A, which is slightly too bad, but it certainly became clear that there are a lot of really awesome female fantasists coming out of Australia. :)

Oh, I went to Mike Shevdon’s reading from his final 61 NAILS book (sorry, can’t remember the series title right now!) and I was deeply and profoundly admiring of how incredibly well he wrote a teenage girl’s point of view. *Superiorly* done. In fact, I asked him when he’d done time as a teenage girl. :)

The “is YA the future of all things written” (or something like that) panel was pretty interesting, with some good discussions about what makes YA work and how YA takes in all genres (and sometimes renames them) and churns them out again as YA which makes them all safe, or something. Interesting discussion.

The utter highlight of the paneling for me was Susan Cooper’s interview, in which she told some wonderful stories, including how she got her first journalism job thanks to Ian Fleming, whom she described as an extraordinarily generous man, and talked a bit about Tolkien being a perfectly terrible lecturer, and other fairly terrific things, most of which are escaping me right now. :)

Someone in the audience asked, in an attemt to settle a debate between herself and her best friend, whether (to paraphrase loosely) whether The Dark Is Rising Sequence has a happy or bittersweet ending. Cooper laughed and said “This isn’t a cop-out, but you’re both right. Once the books are over…that’s my story told. I don’t know any more than you do, so neither of you can be wrong in your interpretation!” The woman allowed as how that was fair, but then admitted she’d really been hoping for a definitive answer so she could go home and say SEE I TOLD YOU I WAS RIGHT! :)

Cooper also said she’d been dining with “Ursula” a few weeks ago and that she, Cooper, had commented on the end of the 5th Earthsea book, where a character says to another, “You haven’t gone into the forest yet,” and the other says, “Not yet,” and Ursula sparkled a little and said “Not yet.” So that made someone else say “You practically opened yourself up for this: is there any chance there will be more books in the Dark Is Rising series?” And she said that while she felt the Drews had to grow up and go their own way she’d always hoped she’d get to write more about Will and Merriman, but the story hadn’t come to her yet. But there’s hope! :)

The only down side to the interview was that the interviewer seemed to be having difficulty remembering who was the person being interviewed. In fact, the woman I was with later said to me that about halfway through she’d begun to wonder if the program did not have it listed as A Susan Cooper Interview but rather A Conversation With Susan Cooper And… which it was not. So that was fairly disappointing, particularly when the interviewer actually answered the final two audience questions without giving Cooper the opportunity to respond at all. I was not charmed or delighted by that in the least.

On a social level the convention was brilliant. Friday night I recognized Tobias Buckell from his, like, Twitter picture, and went and introduced myself and hung out with him at dinner, which was awesome. After that I embarrassed myself with Garth Nix. *laughs* I also met my web designer, and one of the war room word warriors, and a lovely woman who had the astonishing good taste to recognize my name as the author of THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, which had never happened before! I got to see Liz Williams and to hang out with Juliet McKenna, and didn’t see Kari Sperring nearly enough but did get to spend enough time with Chaz Brenchley as to finally feel like we’d really gotten some quality time together (and I also got to meet his delightful wife, who is clearly taking really good care of him, as he looks tremendous), and just on and on. I finally met BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER editor and completely failed to meet/catch up with at least a dozen others upon whom I laid eyes but never spoke to. :) It was a fine weekend, and I hope to go back to Brighton sometime!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

02 November 2013 @ 12:00 am

This evening we went out to dinner with Juliet McKenna and Tobias Buckell. On the way back, it was raining and Toby had no hat, no brolly, no hood. When we were nearly at the hotel, a tall man with a large umbrella stepped up beside him and said, “I feel rather like Jeeves!”

“Does that make Toby Wooster?” I wondered, which we agreed might be somewhat belittling to Tony, but OTOH, he was the one out in the rain without any gear to protect himself. We carried on to the hotel, joshing and laughing, and I, being first through the hotel door, stepped out of the way and turned to make sure everyone got in all right.

At that point I saw the tall man’s name badge and shrieked, “OH MY GOD, YOU’RE GARTH NIX!!!!!!!!!”

It was not my finest moment. *laughs helplessly* But to make it even better, apparently Juliet had just done exactly the same thing outside the door, and we were both pretty well falling down with laughter at ourselves. Garth took it very graciously (“It’s better,” he said, “than ‘You mean you’re not dead?’ which I get a lot of.” (people have this automatic assumption all writers are dead.)) and we had a lovely time chatting after that too. It was awesome. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

23 October 2013 @ 03:05 pm

First I had the Adventures in Airline Tickets, which I will not go into except to say I’ll be making an early-season batch of fudge to send off to people who, while admittedly doing nothing more than their job, did it with grace and humour and helped me immesurably.

Next I got safely into Fargo, where the con-runner (Tony) awaited me along with another of the guest’s handler (Holly). While we waited for my luggage, my friend E, whom I haven’t seen in nigh unto a decade and who was coming up for the weekend laid eyes on me and we attacked each other with what can only be called a roaring hug. Beneath our bellows of joy, I heard the handler Holly say to Tony, “Another guest?” to which Tony replied, befuddled, “No. It must be a friend.” :)

Unusually, many of the guests had arrived Thursday evening, and one of them, author Alan Dean Foster, is an inveterate traveller who had never been to Fargo before. He’d asked if there’d be any chance he could see some of the town, so Tony had arranged for any of the guests who wanted to, to have a drive around Fargo with one of the con volunteers and see the sights.

I’d already arranged for E to be my +1, so Friday morning we appeared in the lobby at the appointed time, where Holly, Alan, and Chase were hanging around with a tall, good-looking young man named Ben who reminded me enough of Skeet Ulrich that I spent a while staring at him convincing myself it couldn’t possibly be Skeet, who was a lot older than this kid, anyway. Then Chase invited him along, and I had this awful idea that he was a fan she couldn’t get rid of and she was too nice to just walk away, but he turned out to be somebody she’d met on the plane the night before and who was speaking at the convention.

It also turned out he’s a 26 year old paleogenomic scientist (studies the genetics of dead things) and the world’s foremost expert on passenger pigeons, which he’s working to bring back, so that was, uh, cool. (Holy shit, man!)

I asked if we could stop for doughnuts, because doughnuts are Not Right here in the Emerald Isle, so we did, and there was a doughnut there as big as your head, and… well… I bought it so we could take pictures with it being as big as our heads. :)

We actually had a *fantastically* good time going around doing touristy things. We went to the tourist centre and saw The Woodchipper from the film Fargo (and obligingly took pictures with it. And with the doughnut.), we went to see their Viking ship (where Chase, upon seeing the wooden statues of trolls with very Ferengi-like ears, immediately went over to fondle said ears (eta: this was apparently E’s idea, but Chase not only didn’t hesitate but totally hammed it up *laughs*)), we went to the *beautiful* art deco movie theatre to admire it, we went down to the park, and we went out to lunch at a local diner (our guide had intended to bring us for pizza, but she mentioned that to Alan, who said, “Why don’t you take us somewhere you like to go, instead?” and she was faintly embarrassed because it was just a diner, but local diners are *exactly* where you want to go in a town you don’t know!). It was a spectacularly good time, and particularly great because guests almost never get to spend any time together, nevermind actually hang out and goof around like that, so it was extra fun.

Alan has travelled all over the world and has a huge number of terrific stories; Ben was utterly fascinating—I mean, we could and did listen to him not only all day but also went to both his lectures in the evenings!—and Chase is an absolute sweetheart whose stories cannot be shared in public. I also got to meet—and not hang out nearly enough with—artist Chris Jones, who I really liked. Total win on the guests at ValleyCon!

There were a few things that weren’t so awesome: the hotel’s food was downright terrible and the restaurant service bad (I ordered a bowl of cereal the second morning because the first morning’s breakfast had been so slow in arriving; not only was the cereal equally slow but it was also *stale*, which, just, wow), and there was a casual air to the con’s organisation which left things lacking (like, for example, books of mine to sell, or name plackards, even printouts, at the tables we were available at during non-panel time), and I found their MC to be fairly appalling.

OTOH, the sets they’d put together were perfectly amazing, and the party rooms were great fun. I got a henna tattoo and hung out at Hogwarts (where I was mistaken for cosplaying Delores Umbrage: a young man came up to me and said “It makes me angry to just look you!” I was like, “…it does?” O.O He was *mortified* when he realised I wasn’t supposed to be Umbrage, and I felt terrible for him, because once I understood what he’d seen me as, it was a perfectly reasonable interpretation of my outfit, especially since I’d just come out of Hogwarts!), and listened to Ben’s lecture at Inara’s Shuttle, and eventually found the con suite where I had rice krispie treats. Nom nom nom. :)

Our Friday night writers’ panel was a lot of fun, and the few lucky people who turned up for my reading got the first two chapters of SHAMAN RISES. I enjoyed doing my “meet the writer” panel (although Alan’s was much better, he talked about his adventures whereas I mostly did a Q&A), and I got to meet several fans and family members of friends, and talk about writing and sort of everything. And and some of my own high school (and before, for that matter!) friends came in to visit, which was *wonderful*!

I didn’t get to meet the final guest, Zoie Palmer, until Sunday, but then it turned out she’s got an Irish connection *laughs*. Small world. So she comes over here often and hopefully next time she and her partner are in this neck of the woods we’ll be able to catch up and hang out, because they were also lovely people. I really felt tremendously lucky to have met such a lot of great people over the weekend, guests and attendees alike. It was all a very good time, and I’ll post pictures as soon as I get them off my phone… :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

30 September 2013 @ 04:52 pm

So I got outbid on that fabulous 1920s style dress, as I’d expected to. I was regretful but not surprised, and started poking around at other not-quite-so-good ones.

Then I got an email from a reader.

She’d clicked through to see the dress, her husband had seen her looking at it, surmised that she wanted it, and bid on it for her. “But,” she said, “I didn’t want it, I was just looking at it, so would it be too weird if I just had the seller send it to you?”

After I collected my jaw off the floor and squeaked about insisting she let me repay her (“I have all your books,” she said. “Even BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER?” I asked somewhat incredulously. “Even BYD!” she said. I LOVE YOU, READER LADY! (whose name I am not outing in case she doesn’t want me to, but I LOVE YOU!)), I allowed that it would not be Too Weird, and, well:


So the party was absolutely smashing, and I’ll be posting portraits I took, but not today because wrong computer. :)

Between and around the party, we went to the farmers’ market, where I delivered a couple of lemon cupcakes to the green grocer I’d bought lemons from* the weekend previous, and had on my way out promised her some lemon cake. She was swanning around inhaling them and not letting other people even have a whiff. :)

We also went out to DICE, the comics expo out in Dundrum, where we caught up with Paul Cornell (for the second time this YEAR! and he’ll be at WFC, too! 3 times in one year! almost making up for not seeing him for years in a row!), and chatted with Michael and Leony Carroll for a while, which was good fun. Oh, and after a bout of shyness, Young Indiana warmed up to Michael and let himself be held, only to be put down when Spider-Man came over. Young Indiana ran to Spider-Man and hugged him, which, tragically, I did not get the camera out in time for, but:




Having tired ourselves going to DICE, we then went home and prepared** a delicious repast of bbq chicken for ourselves and my parents, who then took over the care and feeding*** of Young Indiana so we could go to the above-mentioned party.

After staying out/up until 2am, an hour I cannot last remember seeing voluntarily, we came home and collapsed into bed. Upon the arrival of Sunday morning, we lurched out of bed at the appointed times and I dragged myself back to DICE in time for the 11am Breaking into Comics panel and the following Not Just A Boys’ Club, the latter of which was genuinely inspiring, with the amount of passion and drive coming from the panelists. I had a minute or two to talk to CB Cebulski, who remains a terrific human being, spoke with the PR guy from 2000 AD (Paul Cornell, the day before, had said to me, “Why aren’t you writing for 2000 AD?” I said, “I don’t know, aren’t I too American?” and Michael said, “The creator of Judge Dredd was American!”, so I guess not. :)), saw a number of friends, discussed the state of the SF/F/comics world, chatted up an artist I recognised from last year, and generally had a good old time until I concluded going home before I turned into a pumpkin would be a good idea.

Still wrecked, but a great weekend. Now if I could just find my fitbit…

*As it turned out, I was too lazy and didn’t use the lemons, but bottled lemon juice for the cake, but don’t tell anybody.

**By “we prepared” I mean “Ted prepared”

***It is true that Young Indiana had been fed and indeed put to bed by the time we even got ready, nevermind left, but you get the idea.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

16 September 2013 @ 09:24 pm

I bet I should be reminding people that I’m a guest of honor at ValleyCon in Fargo, ND in just over a month’s time, from Oct 18-20, 2013!

I don’t know anything about my schedule yet, but I hope I get a chance to hang out with some people! :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

10 June 2013 @ 10:17 am

iain_catie_michael Fairly early yesterday afternoon, my friend Pádraig posted on FB to say that after a sudden turn for the worse, Iain Banks had died early yesterday morning. I didn’t repost until I saw it confirmed elsewhere, because although there was really no chance Pádraig was wrong, I was still holding out a tiny thread of hope.

Honestly, I have no business being so saddened by his death. I met him at a small convention in Belfast over the course of a weekend, and was completely charmed by him. I still, horrifyingly, haven’t read any of his books. But he was such an incredibly delightful man, so full of warmth and laughter, that it was impossible not to feel as though I knew him. That seems to be a common thread through those who met him briefly, from what I’ve been reading online in the wake of his death.

Anyway, so another friend, Nicholas, reposted his 2007 Mecon report, and I thought that was a good idea, so I’m reposting mine (albeit edited down, because it was very long. And still is, but less so now.).

Photograph here by Malcom Hutchison, featuring Iain, me, and Michael Perkins. I have no idea at all what we were roaring with laughter about, but we were sure having a good time. :)

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

01 April 2013 @ 07:06 pm

We’re back from EasterCon, which was an excellent mix of meeting up with old friends and making new ones. My most excellent writer friends Kari Sperring and Juliet E. McKenna were instrumental in this year’s EasterCon, so I’m particularly happy that it was this year I finally got to *go*. All the other committee members I met were also wonderful people, and they did an absolutely fantastic job putting together a magnificently diverse and interesting program.

The past few years EasterCon’s had a commitment to gender parity on the panels, and I was actively aware every time I got up on a panel that I wasn’t the only woman on it. As it happens, the Irish conventions, P-Con and Octocon, are very very good about gender parity (not because they had a Plan, but just because of the general participants), so it wasn’t a new sensation, but since EasterCon is a much larger convention, it was wonderful to see that parity being pursued. Well done on that front!

Also, holy beans. As usual, I managed to go to exactly no panels I wasn’t *on*, but the ones I was on were some of the best panels I’ve ever gotten to participate in. Part of that was due to moderators who came prepared and actually did their jobs, on every single panel, making certain that everybody got a chance to talk and nobody completely hogged the spotlight. The rest of it was due to just utterly terrific topics and panelists who were engaged and enthusiastic about what they were there to discuss. Also! Because I am accustomed to tiny Irish conventions, it was noticeably different that the audience didn’t regard the panels quite so much as…conversations in which they were fully expected and indeed entitled to participate in. Which isn’t to say they didn’t participate, because when presented with the opportunity they did: good questions, good comments, good anecdotes. But there was far more sensation of “We’ve come to hear what you experts/professionals/panelists have to say on this topic,” rather than, “But more importantly, here’s what I have to say on it!” So (with no disrespect to the Irish conventions, because I love the informality and the give-and-take of those panels) that was a refreshing change as well.

We also may have…well. I think this image sums it up nicely:


It wasn’t entirely our fault, you see. One of the booksellers was doing a 4-for-3 sale, which meant one really had to buy either one book or four, right? And, well, c’mon. Let’s get real. Anyway, so we now have about eleven new books, the vast majority of which we got signed. And Ted got a steampunk pocket watch, and I got a red derby, and there was a piece in the art show that I really loved, and…well, dammit, we hadn’t bought ANY NEW ART since we moved to Ireland! So we bid on it! And we got it. And we’re JUSTIFIED in that! Also it wasn’t really that expensive, but I hadn’t expected to be packing around a sheet of glass on the way home. :)

We met so many splendid people. We were introduced to guest of honor Walter Jon Williams, and actually got to chat with him quite a bit. I was even on a panel with him! We met artist GOH Anne Sudworth, whose landscapes are unbelievably beautiful. We saw our friend Paul Cornell, whom we hadn’t seen in years, and our friends Bellinghman-and-woman picked us up from the airport, then Friday night brought us to a restaurant called Kashmir, which, OMG. The food was excellent but the naan in specific was worth of committing prosecutable crimes for. OMG. That naan. *swoons* Apparently Charles Stross went to school in Bradford and had on a previous occasion told the Bellinghpeople they should go to Kashmir–go downstairs at Kashmir–and after doing so, they have always gone back, ideally with friends. OMG. *swoons more*

Further to our delight, we got to spend quite a lot of time with Mike Shevdon, and we even got to seize Juliet and Kari for a few minutes and talk to them, even though they were utterly frantic with con-running. :)

We met author, actor & magician John Lenahan, who was part of Saturday evening’s entertainment and who was so very, very funny that I had a headache from laughing so hard. :) Mike Shevdon introduced us, and due to tongue-tangling by the time he was done introducing Ted to John it seemed that there was some question as to which of them was Ted and which was John. So everybody else in the circle of conversation introduced themselves as John, too. *laughs* In fact, we got one of his books signed to us as “To Catie, Ted, and John.” :) On Sunday we met up with him in the green room and he and I had a shouting match of an agreement about how painful FRANKENSTEIN was to read, while Walter Jon stood by protesting, “But you have to remember it was the first one. Nobody had ever done anything like it before…” It was great. :)

Saturday night also saw the one event against which nothing was scheduled: the Doctor Who premiere. So we got to watch the new episode with 300 of our closest friends, which was pretty fun stuff. Like going to a midnight showing of a film, because you know everybody who is there is *really* into it. :)

Oh yes. I signed one of Jim Butcher’s books during Saturday’s urban fantasy meet and greet, since I had none of my own to sign. “Jim’s a friend of mine!” I said cheerfully to the guy looking at the book. “Want me to sign that for you?” “Sure!” he said, and so I did: I am not Jim Butcher. :)

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

04 March 2013 @ 11:29 am

We had a very busy and lovely weekend in these parts.

Friday was my sister’s work-in-progress performance of the musical she’s writing. It was *splendid*, with four songs, the first of which was so awesome that the audience just sat there gaping at the end of it. The others were equally good, and the audience (of 60-70, which is a quite remarkably full house for the venue and for a work-in-progress) was utterly rapt. I filmed it, and when she puts together her promotional video I’ll link to it here. :)

Saturday evening was the PubCon event to get everybody together despite P-Con having been cancelled this year. There was a terrific turnout. I brought a few copies of MOUNTAIN ECHOES to give away. One lady brought me CAKE! Still-warm-from-the-oven carrot cake! And clutched the book to her bosom and did little dances of joy. *laughs* And people kept saying to me, “I wanted to have a word with you!” which led to me standing in the hall working my way down a line of people waiting to have a conversation with me. *laughs* By the end of the evening I’d made tentative arrangements with about eight different people to Meet Up in some fashion over the next couple of months. Let us now try to make that actually *happen*!

Sunday we had Kate all to ourselves, as she’d come up for the weekend for PubCon and a small person’s birthday, and those duties had been discharged on Saturday. We made a great deal of food, had family around for dinner, hung out, and generally had a very nice, busy day.

Now we probably all need a weekend to recover from the weekend. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

15 October 2012 @ 02:55 pm

The weekend was spent at Octocon, which went very, very well, I thought. I finally got to meet Liz Williams, of whom I’ve been a fan for years and an LJ-correspondent for–well, fewer years. :) She’s a lovely woman, and it was absolutely fantastic to get to hang out with her a bit. I shanghaied her on to at least one, possibly two, panels, and I thought not only they, but all the others, went fairly well. Also, I apparently said something brilliant during one of them (or at least, our moderator thought so). I do wish I could remember what I’d said. :)

I managed to catch up with several people, although inevitably I didn’t get to talk with at least as many. I mean, I sat down by Maura McHugh at the panel we were on together and said, “At least I’ll get to talk to you during the panel!” and then indeed, it proved to in fact be pretty much the only time we talked during the con. But I suppose that’s a sign of success in itself, when you’re sufficiently busy that you don’t really get to talk to everyone you’d like to.

But! The con seemed very well organized, really rebounding from the chaos of a few years earlier, so I’m utterly delighted for and by the con runners, and it seemed a good time was had all around. I look forward to next year’s convention!

(x-posted from the essential kit)