Tim Pratt's Journal
2803348 Curiosities served
2007-05-29 8:07 AM
WisCon Considered as a Series of Run-on Sentences and Fragments
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So, Wiscon. I didn't keep detailed notes, so this will be an impressionistic trip report...
The trip out was pretty difficult, actually. Our flight was supposed to depart from San Francisco at 9:30 a.m. Friday. It didn't take off until about 1 p.m., and the delays were completely the airline's fault -- they were just running behind on maintenance and mechanical checks. Being that late, of course, utterly and totally blew our connection from Chicago to Madison. When we arrived in Chicago, we were told there were no flights out with seats available -- they were all full of travelers who got their flights canceled on Thursday due to bad weather. We were given the option of staying overnight in Chicago and flying out Saturday. Screw that, we said, and went to rent a car -- the one great customer service interaction we had all day was with a guy named Mike at the Avis counter. He was super helpful, funny, and found us a car even though everyone claimed there was no car to be had. We drove up to Madison -- it's only about a 2 and a half hour drive. (We ate dinner at Wendy's, instead of at the fancy restaurant where we were supposed to have dinner with my editor. That's the saddest thing about the trip, honestly. I'd been looking forward to that meal for weeks.) The drive wasn't bad, and the car had satellite radio, so we found a station with music from my college years ("the music of your youth," they called it, sigh), so singing along kept us awake.
Heather and I were pretty damn tired when we got to Madison -- around 11 p.m. -- but our luck began to change. We went to the airport and found our bags circling patiently all alone on the baggage carousel. (They made it to Madison on a flight we couldn't get seats on.) We were seriously worried we'd be wearing the same set of clothes all weekend, but that crisis was averted.
We went to the hotel, and got checked in, and changed, and hurried to the karaoke party, where we were very warmly greeted. The dogpile of people running up and hugging us and congratulating us (on the baby, on books, etc.) was amazing. I've never felt more welcome and included. It's why WisCon feels like home. I saw so many people I'd missed. It was wonderful to talk about kids and writing and life with Barth Anderson and Ben Rosenbaum and Haddayr Copley-Woods and Doug Lain and Sarah Prineas. Spending time with Greg van Eekhout was awesome fun as always, and seeing Jenn Reese was joy-making, and I had a nice chat with her new(ish) boyfriend Chris, who I like very much. I had some nice talks with my lovely editor Juliet, and my rugged manly editors Jason Williams and Jeremy Lassen (who told me my collection, Hart & Boot & Other Stories, is in the black, it actually earned out, can you believe that?). Drinking with John Klima and Mark Teppo and Tempest Bradford and others already mentioned was wonderful, even if I did get so drunk that I don't actually remember going to bed. I saw Nick Mamatas and Hannah Wolf Bowen but only annoyingly briefly -- the thing about Wiscon is that I tend to have 15-second conversations with a whole lot of people, and not enough long lingering conversations, sigh. I did manage to grab a sandwich with Karen Meisner, who I miss greatly. I went to great readings, and especially loved Kristin Livdahl's wonderful pirate story. Seeing everyone dressed up at the dessert function was awesome (I even wore long pants!). My friends are a sexy bunch. Heather's amazing red dress and equally amazing cleavage got plenty of compliments. Hanging out in the hallway on the party floor with an ever changing crowd on Sunday night was grand (the hallway was more fun than the parties themselves!). Talking to Juliet about my Marla novels was awesome, and I'm newly energized and excited about the books. And and and...
Lord, I made a mistake trying to list all the people I had a good time with. I don't have time, and I doubt you have the attention. A few more highlights: The Strange Horizons tea party was fun, even when they ran out of tea and cups. The Scribe/Wheatland party was beertastic. Kelly Link and Laurie Marks's joint Guest of Honor speech was hilarious. Midori Snyder found me and gave me a lovely signed Terri Windling print in celebration of Endicott Studio's 25th anniversary. I had nice talks with Deborah Layne at the Wheatland table in the dealer's room. Heather and Chris Barzak did their traditional rendition of "Love Shack," much to the delight of all. Cat Valente looked wonderfully happy in her Tiptree tiara. Chris Rowe nearly stumped me by asking what would happen to my wardrobe if Threadless.com went out of business. (Answer: There's always White Frog and Go Ape and Toothpaste for Dinner for my t-shirt needs!) We managed to talk to David Moles for a few minutes right before we left for the airport. Hung out with Steph Burgis and Patrick Samphire, but not enough. Matt Withers and Susan Groppi were great company in the Governors Club lounge (home of the bottomless martini glass!). Jed Hartman knows how to rock a sarong. The Rodeo Burger at the Angelic Pub was worth a yee-haw. It was cool to see Amy Beth Forbes again after so long, and to give her contributor copies of Flytrap. People oohed and ahhed over Heather's chapbook, which is only right and just.
I could go on, and on, and on. I know I left people out, but I'm getting a little punch-drunk with reminiscences, so I think I'll wind this up. The convention went by so quickly, but looking back, the hours were just packed. I didn't go to a single panel. I did go to a couple of great readings. I mostly just hung out in bars and hallways and parties, talking to people, getting all excited again about art and life and food and alcohol and my friends, which are, as always, my most favorite things. Next year already seems way too long to wait for another WisCon.
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