It was a splendid weekend.
We trundled up to Dublin and got checked into the hotel, which gave us a very nice suite (which included its own water feature, as expounded on later), then met my parents for an early dinner. Dinner was overtaken (by our invitation, not by rudeness) by Maura McHugh and, after a bit, Pádraig and Deirdre, and…
…and I can see I’m going to be here for the rest of my life if I keep putting in people’s web addresses. I think I’ll by and large forego that particular indulgence. :)
Anyway, talking and dining with Mom and Dad was very nice, though I think it set what’s an inevitable tone for any convention weekend: not enough time to talk to people you already know, but great opportunities to talk with people you’ve never before met. :) It was fun, anyway. :)
We took ourselves off to Chapters for the book signing with Juliet McKenna and Oisin McGann, which I thought went quite well. Multiple-author signings are always good, ’cause at least if no one comes to buy books you’ve got someone to talk to, but in fact people came to buy books and get them signed! Yay! :) Ted took some pictures, as did my parents, so I’ll post those later. Scurried back to the hotel for the opening ceremonies, and when we went upstairs to the room, discovered a waterfall in the living room area of the suite: a pipe had burst in the room above, apparently, and water was just pouring down. Ted went tearing off to tell the hotel about it, and was left with the impression that somebody’d be right there to deal with the mess in the room, and so in waiting for them missed the opening ceremonies.
Which is too bad, because they were brilliant.
Frank, our esteemed con-runner, entered, wearing his tuxedo and carrying a silver-cobra-headed cane, to dramatic music, welcomed us all, introduced the guests, then handed the whole shebang over to Brian J. Showers, who had a launch for his book of Dublin ghost stories. Brian’s another American, and in his opening bit said, “You all know where Galway is, right?” and everyone agreed they did, and he said, “I’m from west of there.” It got a huge laugh, and he murmured, “Oh, good, that worked.” *laughs*
He did a very enjoyable reading (despite what he claimed was terrible nervousness), and his reading was followed by two Poe monologues presented by the…blast, Frank’s so organized the site’s been switched over to the 2009 convention informationalready, so I can’t look up what theatre company it was! But they did The Cask of Amontillado and The Black Cat, both of which were absolutely wonderful. Then, as one might expect, the entire con retired to the bar. I talked with a bunch of people over the evening, including, as said above, some I’d really never gotten to *talk* to before, and where Ted and Brian, when last I saw them, were expounding with voluminous glee on the rightness of broadswords and claymores for men of their build, and gesticulating wildly with tall pints of beer. :)
Saturday felt, in many ways, surprisingly laid-back, although my weariness at the end of it suggested it was less laid-back than I imagined. The visualization panel was cool, as always, with Oisin sitting in for Peter Morwood (because, inevitably, Diane Duane and Peter Morwood were unable to make it; this is the 7th, I think, Irish convention in a row that something’s gone wrong and they haven’t been able to come! bad luck all around!) and being astonished that I *didn’t* visualize. :) Pádraig did the GOH interviewing, and we had a great time, and the text of that will be up…later. :)
Dinner was with Frank and his wife, and was very nice, and we hurried back to do the HOUSE OF CARDS book launch, wherein I attempted to chicken out of doing a reading and was shouted down, so I did a reading. :) And, because my editor is splendid and arranged, when I said I was being GoH, to send 48 copies of the book to the convention, I sat down and signed books and gave them away for free.
*LAUGHS* oh yes. A good bit: Nicholas (despite being the first to tell me to cut my hair) clearly did not recognize me when he first saw me, though he waved politely. (Befuddledly, but politely.) He said he thought, “Wait, that’s Catie’s husband with that woman…” and so when I signed his book, I signed it “from the strange woman with Catie’s husband,” and he said he thought the whole thing made us even on the horrible LJ gaffe I made last year, which is a great and giggly relief to me. :)
Apparently giving away books was quite confusing, in fact, although people were terribly pleased once they got their heads round the idea. I, of course, feel clever because it’s BOOK TWO, ahahahah, and that means hopefully forty-eight people will go buy book one. :) But all the books did indeed get given out (thanks in part to a young man with a green badge who was going around handing them out once he realized they didn’t know they were free), and I’m delighted.
I never actually made it as far as the casino on Saturday night. I got distracted halfway there and spent the rest of the evening talking with people in the hall, instead of participating in the gambling. :) Ted, however, went boldly forth and lost at poker. But damn, he looked good doing it! (There should be a picture with that comment, but I didn’t have the camera. It didn’t go with my dress.)
Sunday I was scheduled for “comic books go to the movies” at the unholy hour of 10am, which wouldn’t have been early so unholy if I had not, of course, stayed up too late the night before, but even more so, if the damned clocks hadn’t sprung forward and deprived us all of sleep. Half the con-goers had been to Eastercon *last* weekend, and combining their post-con exhaustion with the spring forward made for a very bleary Sunday. :) But there were more attendees at the panel than panelists, and we had a fine old time of it, as we did on the other two panels that day.
Ted’s “living with a full-time author” panel went well, though there was only himself and feorag as panelists. Not that I didn’t know it already, but in listening to him talking about what he saw as the role of a person married to a full-time novelist, I was reminded of what a perfectly splendid guy I’m married to.
Closing ceremonies wrapped up the whole event very nicely, with the world’s fastest raffle and a fantastic speech by film maker John Vaughn in Frank’s honor, and with the announcement of Paul Cornell as 2009’s Guest of Honor. (This is an excellent opportunity for Doctor Who fans to not only come visit Ireland, but have a really good chance of having a nice chat with someone who is not only a tremendously talented writer, but about whom everybody I know says, “Paul is such a *great* guy,” whenever they mention him! Book your tickets now!)
I’ll try to make a “funny stories from the con” post later, but I don’t know if I can remember everything that clearly. It was a grand weekend, and we’re knackered but happy, and looking forward already to next year’s con. :)
miles to Minas Tirith: 231
(x-posted from the essential kit)