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Here I am at Wiscon, taking advantage of the free wireless, which is a great and abiding wonder. It’s about 1 a.m. local time, and we’ve just returned from our evening of partying!

It’s been a long day. David gave us a ride to the BART station, and we then rode an hour to the airport. It was a nice ride, actually, an uncrowded, quiet train. Our flight left around 9 a.m., and we spent four hours on that plane. I checked my page proofs for “Hart and Boot,” which will be in Polyphony 4, and I’m actually quite happy with that story – it’s been revised about a thousand times, and I think it’s pretty polished. I finished reading Karen Fowler’s fine, fine novel The Jane Austen Book Club on the plane, and moved on to Caitlin Kiernan’s Murder of Angels, which starts very strongly. I also revised my story “Dream Engine,” and I think it’s about a line-edit away from being ready to send out. A productive flight! Heather watched DVDs on her laptop, so she was pretty well entertained, too.

Our plane got to the gate at Chicago late, so we had to run – and I mean that quite literally – to make our connecting flight on the other side of the airport, which was actually boarding already when we deplaned. So that sucked, but the takeoff was delayed, so we made it okay, though we got stuck in the very back seats, which didn’t recline, and were next to the stinkiest airplane lavatory I’ve ever encountered. We turned the overhead air-vent nozzles all the way up and tried to breathe that, but it would’ve been better if they’d dropped the oxygen masks for us!

So we made it to Madison, where the weather is flat-out beautiful. We got the shuttle to the hotel, checked in, changed our travel-smelly clothes, and headed downstairs to registration. We ran into a bunch of lovely people of the Small Beer, Fortress of Words, and Ratbastards persuasion, and everyone congratulated me on Rangergirl, which is certainly a nice way to start a convention! Heather and I headed off to get some dinner (at our usual first-meal place, the noodle house). Then we returned to the hotel and took a nap, because we were pretty exhausted (having arisen at 5 a.m. this morning). We missed opening ceremonies, but I think the sleep was more valuable to us. We hit the party floor around 10 p.m., spending a lot of time in the Tachyon party, and in the hall, and in the Clarion party, and hanging out mostly with Jenn and Greg and Sarah Prineas, along with various others – Deb Layne of Wheatland Press, Tempest, Alan DeNiro, Susan and Matt… well, I could go on and on. There’s a high concentration of cool people at the convention this year, which oddly stresses me out a bit – there are so many people I want to spend time with! So many potentially great conversations! I must socialize socialize socialize! But I’m trying to mellow myself out. I’ll have plenty of fun. I don’t need to be a psycho social butterfly, and it’s dumb to feel stressed about whether or not I’ll have a sufficient amount of fun.

Jay Lake is organizing an odd thing with me and David D. Levine, something for the Tiptree auction, to get people to sponsor us in a three-way battle royale as a preliminary to our later struggle for the Campbell Award. If it earns money for the Tiptree, I’m certainly willing – it’s worth making a fool of myself for a good cause. (Though for the record my money’s on Karin Lowachee to win the Campbell, but since she isn’t here, we make do.)

The parties wound down, and we spent some time at the Clarion party hanging out with David Moles and Mary Anne and Jed. (Mary Anne just sold two novels! Whoo and hoo!)

Now we’re hanging out in the hotel room. We splurged on a single room this year, so no roommates, which means my snoring won’t bother any of my friends! Tomorrow morning we’ll probably order in room service, just for the decadence, and then amble down to the dealer’s room and so on. I have a panel about online journaling in the afternoon, and then the Tiptree auction,and the Ratbastards/Flytrap party tomorrow night… should be a busy, fun-filled, eventful day.

This free wireless rocks. This is way better than taking notes and writing up con reports after the fact.

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