Stephanie Burgis
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Sigh. It's always sad to come home on the last day of a con. Life suddenly shifts from being this intense, fabulous round of socializing with cool people who love all the same stuff I do to being...well, being still pretty good, actually, but on a much smaller scale. (It also helps that my husband and I share many of the same obsessions, and I live only on the other side of the village from one of my closest writer friends, so I'm not returning to total writing isolation. But still, normal life is a lot quieter and involves a lot more boring cooking, cleaning, and trying to wrap my head around tax and baby-nutrition questions.)

Eastercon was so much fun. I'd been secretly dreading it in some ways this year - it was going to be our first experience of bringing a baby to a con, and I really didn't know whether that would work. It's not Wiscon, which is famously child-friendly; I'd never noticed any little kids at previous Eastercons. I wondered privately whether it would make the whole con feel exhausting and difficult.

I was so wrong. Not only was Mr Darcy a true gentleman throughout, but he was also a hub of sociability. He started at least 65% of our conversations, especially with writers and readers we hadn't met before, as people came up to admire him, and he was friendly and gracious to everybody. He also had a great time interacting with the many (!) other babies and kids who attended the con this year, much to our pleasure. It turned out that he is a natural Con Baby, and we were enormously pleased and proud of him. :) The only thing we wished we'd done differently was to actually stay at the hotel. Since we live only 20 minutes away, we'd never even considered it, but actually, I think it would have made the whole weekend a lot easier, especially when we needed to withdraw for half an hour to help MrD fall asleep.

But since, on top of all the fun socializing, my panel and the Future Bristol launch party/reading both went really well, AND I managed to score two great used books in the Dealer's Room (Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, which of course I'd read before, and Patricia Wrede's Magician's Ward, which I hadn't) for only £1 and £2, respectively, the whole con definitely counted as an unqualified success. ;)

Here's the only downside of going to cons. Last night I went to bed early, as was entirely sensible. I turned off the light. I knew it was my big chance for some uninterrupted sleep, while Patrick looked after MrD. I told myself to take full advantage of it.

Fifteen minutes later, the light was back on, and I was at my desk, scribbling madly. I couldn't stop myself from doing all the writing that wanted to explode out of me.

That's what happens after cons. And as exhausted as I am today, I love it.

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