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Wistcon, a list.
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1. Being pregnant at Wiscon is waaay fun. Everyone is joyful for us, full of congrats and hugs and squees and bits of advice. And birthing stories. You find out things you never knew about people when they're telling you about their kids or their families, and it's all beautiful, tender and wonderful.

2. We were late due to stupid American Airlines taking 3.5 hours to do maintenance, meaning we missed our connection and had to rent a car to drive to Madison from Chicago. But then it was all worth it as our friends swarmed over to us as we entered the karaoke party, full of cheer and hugs and welcome.

3. I had practiced three different songs in hopes of singing them this year at the karaoke party (not because I wanted to sing all three, but you never know when someone is going to sing your song before you get a chance to, and they might do a better job than you could). But by the time I got there, I had no time to warm up, get my nerve up, let alone sign in and actually get a time slot. Then Barzak came up and asked me to sing "Love Shack" with him again this year. YAY! I love singing "Love Shack" with Barzak; he's awesome, and I know the song well enough to work it pretty well. Though I found out singing and dancing when you're pregnant is really hard to do without losing your breath. Stupid extra blood.

4. Next year, I vow not to miss a moment of the karaoke party.

5. It dawned on me that what makes you guys all so awesome is that you're not only talented and cool and smart, but you're also hella *fun*. I wish I lived closer to everyone, but Wiscon is a good yearly reunion of my extended family group of friends. I felt very loved and full of joy being around everyone this year.

6. Being pregnant means not drinking, but it also means that once you're running on a sleep deficit you're actually in a kind of altered state, but with slightly better judgement than if you were drunk. My apologies for keeping Mark Teppo up late Saturday night hanging out at Johncon -- he told me later that he was tired, but wasn't about to crash before the pregnant woman. Bwah ha ha, beware the second trimester!

7. My reading went ok -- I now know better than to pick something new and unrevised and only practiced once through. I was cringing so much at the prose that I definitely rushed, and didn't perform it nearly as well as I'd like. I'm sure it was fine, but bah. I can do better.

7a. I completely, utterly and totally forgot to even *mention* my chapbook at my reading (which, thanks to my co-readers Jenn Reese, Sarah Prineas, Kat Beyer and Pam Morgan, was a packed house), let alone hold up a copy and tell people they could get it in the dealer's room. Argh! I was kicking myself about this the rest of the weekend.

8. Every greeting started with talking about the pregnacy. Only one stranger touched my belly when I really didn't want them to. Some of my friends did, and that was fine.

9. I scandalized a few people by asking where the alcohol was heading. No, I wasn't going to drink, but I know how to follow a party, guys.

10. I think I'm going to just stop trying to do things during the day, other than maybe a reading. Days are for napping and nights are for staying up until nearly dawn.

10a. But I was bummed that I napped through most of the Strange Horizons tea party. So I will have to figure out something to do on Sunday.

11. There were LOTS of cute couples there this year. I'm sure I'll miss some if I start listing them, but I will say that I loved Jenn's new boyfriend, Chris East, and it was nice to finally officially meet Hannah Wolf Bowen (and she and Nick Mamatas look really cute together). I did not get to talk to Nick and Hannah enough, though!

11a. Nick did say he liked my version of "Love Shack". I don't have to get insecure about whether he really meant this or not, because he's Nick, and I doubt he's the type to feel obligated to give empty compliments. Yay!

12. Drunk people look shiny when you're sober. I think this is where the phrase "lit up" comes from.

13. The uncomfortable but pretty red dress was a hit! Yay! So was the pink top! More about outfits when I finally post photos.

14. Can I just say that I love how the dessert function has become this stealth dress-up event? And that we grabbed two tables this year and our posse clearly needs three, at least? I can't believe how many cool people all hang out together; it makes it sooo much fun! Everyone looked soooo freakin' good!

15. I also really dug the somewhat impromptu dance party on Sunday night. I love dancing with you guys -- everyone is so unselfconscious and full of joy, and some of you can really freakin' *move*. I love the good dancers, the slutty dancers, the enthusiastic dancers. I'm very into the idea of scheduling an official dance party every night of the con.

16. Chris Barzak is, I think, maybe the best social dancer I personally know. He doesn't always bust out the full range of his talent, but when he does he just takes my breath away.

17. Greg van Eekhout should wear more jewel tones, as he can really rock the royal blue. So should Jed Hartman, but I knew that about him already.

18. Oh gods, I've started name dropping, which means I'll almost certainly leave someone out!

19. Haddayr Copley-Woods is *my* next husband. I'm just smitten with her.

20. Ok, I'm pretty much in love with all of you, but this happens after every Wiscon, so don't get all freaked out, ok? I'm pleased to see I didn't even have to drink to develop fresh crushes on all my very cool, very hawt, friends.

21. I should talk about more people. I mean, I had several good conversations with Ben Rosenbaum about birth, but I mistakenly assumed I'd get a chance later in the con to follow up about other stuff, and never quite got to it. This is the peril of Wiscon -- some people you'll see a lot, others you get a few minutes or even a few seconds, and then the con wisks them away. I enjoyed talking to Scott Janssens and his wife (oh gods, I'm blanking on her name!) about kids, as well as Barth Anderson. I must must must follow up and get advice over email or IM from these folks in the coming months.

22. I didn't talk with Susan Groppi and Matt Withers enough, but I tried to tell myself that I'd see them back home soon. I just need to be better about this.

23. I hung out with some new faces this year. I got to know John Klima, Mark Teppo, Juliet Ulman, Jeremy Lassen, Jason Williams, Dave Schwartz, Chance and Doug Lain a bit better. I chatted with Dan Percival about some things we hadn't realized we had in common before this con, and I reminisced with Cliff Winnig about how different life was when we met 10 years ago at Mary Anne Mohanraj's house. I got to talk to Deb Layne a bit, but not enough. I had brief conversations with Sharyn November, Gavin Grant, Kelly Link, Gwenda Bond, Chris Rowe, Megan McCarron. Eileen Gunn tried to convince me Portland would be too dark and rainy to live in for me (it sounds like she might be right) and while I didn't chat much with Karen Joy Fowler, I did get to dance with her Sunday night. I re-met Debbie Notkin (another person I met a decade ago thru Mary Anne), said hi to Ellen Klages, shook hands with JJA. I sat with Steph Burgis and Patrick Samphire and Karen Meisner (along with others) at dessert but still didn't manage to get to talk deeply with any of them, much to my dismay. I felt like I hardly got to see Dave Moles or Kameron Hurley at all, since I was napping during the day and they seemed to turn in early at night, which was disappointing. I missed a whole bunch of good readings, but did get to see Haddayr, Alan DeNiro, Kristen Livdahl, Lena Detar and Dave Schwartz read (and they not only rocked, but made me want to move to Minneapolis to join their reading group; too bad it snows there).

24. We only ate outside the hotel once, at the Angelic, and I will note that I will never, ever, get the veggie burger there again (it's too dry). I was just sick of chicken. I did not eat enough Sunday night, and was literally shaking with exhaustion and hunger by the time I went to bed at 4 am, much to my horror. I was so tired on Monday that the chicken sandwich I ate perked me up noticeably but I still slept on the plane; I rarely can sleep when I'm that uncomfortable.

25. The weekend was too short. We've come too early and stayed too late before, but late Friday to early Monday is far, far too short a time.

26. Next year, I call dibs on drinking while Tim watches Pixel.

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