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Here In Madison
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I didn’t manage to write a journal entry yesterday, Saturday, which is not a matter of great surprise to me. It was rather a long day. Heather and I rose relatively early and ordered room service, which was quite nice indeed. Then we headed down to take books and chapbooks to the Dealer’s room, where the kind and lovely Deborah Layne agreed to sell them at the Wheatland Press table. We then went on a shopping spree -- altogether this weekend we’ve purchased Sean Stewart’s new book, Jennifer Stevenson’s first novel, the new issue of Say…, Richard Butner’s chapbook, Victoria Garcia’s chapbook, the new Ratbastards chapbook, the new issue of LCRW, and Matt Ruff’s Set This House in Order. There is some crazy-good reading in my very near future.

We came back to the room after that, where Heather napped, and where I listened to internet radio (gah bless this free wireless!) and wrote about 1800 words of a new story. Nothing like surprise productivity! I was on the journals/blogs panel that afternoon, and after that we stood around out in the hall and chat chat chatted away with lots of wonderful people. Then we went on a snack run to get supplies for the Ratbastards/Flytrap party. We bought far too many chips-and-candy things, but I suppose it’s better to have too much snack than not enough. Afterward we joined up with a biggish group and had dinner at the Angelic brewpub, which is one of my favorites places to eat and drink in Madison. Afterward we joined the Ratbastards and set up for the party, which involved moving couches and testing the karaoke machine!

We went down to see the Tiptree auction briefly, then headed up for the start of the party. Which rocked! I spent much of the evening manning the table and selling books and chapbooks to people, which was fun. I was right by the door, so I got to talk to lots of people, and other people brought me drinks. I did sing a little karaoke, with Heather’s accompaniment. I’m not sure “I Will Survive” deserved the treatment it received from my vocal cords, and I apologize to Gloria Raynor for my performance.

There was drinking, talking, snacking, and vast amounts of karaoke. I had some good conversations. Sometime after midnight we switched from karaoke to a dance party, and much dancing ensued (Heather is a good dancer! Me, not so much, but I got out there anyway).

The verdict? Best Ratbastards party ever. We were still dancing at 3 a.m. when we were asked to close things down. Heather and I helped clean up, so it was 4 a.m. before we got back to our room and into bed.

We slept in until 11ish, then went to get coffee and some lunch. We passed the afternoon pleasantly, walking around, talking to people, hanging out in the dealer’s room. We joined the Strange Horizons tea party in the afternoon, and it was a pleasure, as always, full of good conversations. (There’s such a high concentration of great people here this year that I’m not even trying to name names!) It’s what a convention should be -- a chance to see my friends, share stories, have drinks, celebrate another year of success and survival. I’ve never been particularly interested in marketing or self-promotion or “networking” -- I think my work has to sell itself for the most part, and if I worry constantly about promoting myself, I’ll just get stressed out, and won’t have fun. Obviously other people approach things from a different philosophical standpoint -- and more power to them! -- but apart from the occasional reading/signing, I’m pretty happy to spend my conventions standing around holding a beer and holding forth on some subject near and dear to my obsessive heart.

Heather and I had dinner at the good Nepalese place, and have just returned to our room to get ready for the dessert function / GOH speeches, which is always fun.

It’s a good convention. I wish it didn’t have to end tomorrow.

But, hey. For now, there’s still tonight ahead of me.

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