I finished the polish of Thief’s Magic, including a search and destroy of certain words and phrases I have a habit of overusing (just, only, a moment later, etc.) and a spell check and name check, just in time to head into the convention for the cocktail party. We had a great time catching up with and meeting people, but didn’t stay long as all the deadline chasing had left me tired and with a sore back (which bugged me all weekend so we didn’t have any late nights this con).
We arrived in time for Nora Jemesin’s Guest of Honour speech, which you can read here. It was as fabulous in delivery as in content and received a big round of applause. Afterwards I helped celebrate the launch of George Ivanoff’s Gamers Rebellion, the third in a trilogy published by the other Guest of Honour, Paul Collins. Next I took advantage of Nora being in my home town to get all her books signed. Finally I set about booking a restaurant for Paul Collins for that night’s dinner, eventually finding Dion, a greek restaurant that proved a winner.
My first panel for the con was Plot 101. After two room changes – one because we had an audience two to three times the size the room could contain, the other to the foyer because the second room was on a schedule half an hour different to our panel. David, the moderator, did a fine job of wrangling both room changes and us panelists, and we had a lot of fun comparing our plotting methods.
After a quick lunch with Nora, I hung out in the foyer for a while, then got to see my first panel: a Doctor Who non-fiction panel called “Silence in the Library”. There was time for a cuppa before my next event, the “We Do This Stuff So You Can Write About It” one where several people with an expertise in something make themselves available to be questioned by authors. I’d brought in some weaving looms to demonstrate and give people the chance to try it.
We then attended the launch of Caution: Contains Small Parts, an anthology by Kirstyn McDermott, then slipped away to have an early dinner before hanging out in the bar with Russell and Jenny Blackford for a while.
We took it easy and arrived at midday in time to see the “Misappropriations” panel. After lunch with friends we returned to catch “F*** Your Knight and the Horse He Rode in On”, which was about, well, fantasy cliches. It was the last panel slot of the convention and everyone was a bit worn out and ready for the next event, the Closing Ceremony with the usual thanks and congratulations.
Afterwards we headed to Grill Steak Seafood, a restaurant I’d found the night before that promised to fulfil Nora’s wish to try kangaroo while she was in Australia, and ours to demonstrate to more people that roo is delicious. Which it did very, very well.
Overall there was a great positive vibe at the convention. I didn’t take any blog-worthy photos, unfortunately. The few I took at the con had terrible lighting, and I suffered a bout of camnesia every time I was outside the con, at restaurants and such. But I have many good memories and maybe some new writerly/fannish friends. Oh, and the new Jo Spurrier book, Black Sun Light My Way, which I’ve been looking forward to since late last year.