First of all, I would like to know how you people blast out awesome, fully-linked con reports with photos so soon after getting home, when I'm still attempting to restore my normal functioning. Yes, I'm looking at you. You are making me look bad. Explanations and recipes for post-con home remedies may be posted in the comments.
Right. Onward. World Fantasy was fabulous! There's no chance that I'll be able to tell you everything about it, because even if I could remember all of the details, they would fill more pages than you'd be likely to read, o short-attention-spanned netizens. I present here only the highlights.
Thursday: Before I even got to Calgary, I met John Klima in the Minneapolis airport. After arriving in Calgary, I did not attend a single programming item on Thursday. Coincidence? You be the judge. I got to the hotel in Calgary around 2 pm, threw my things into my room, checked to see that I didn't look like a crazy person after the travel, and then went to the con floor. I stopped into the art show room during set-up to talk to Todd Lockwood, and then went on to the dealers' room. There I immediately found Jeremy Lassen and Adrienne Loska, and my good time was assured. Adrienne was waiting for Ken and Jen Scholes to show up, so I happily chatted with her until they arrived and grabbed my fickle attention away. Our group captured a Mary Robinette Kowal, and then we all headed for the bar. While I was down there talking with Jen, John Berlyne showed up and I squealed like a teenage girl and threw myself at him, to his apparent delight. John, Jen and I had dinner across the street, and afterward I went to the little Scholes room party to hear Ken play guitar and sing. That is one talented guy, ladies and gentlemen. Don't miss a chance to hear him play.
::goes into fangirl reverie::
Where was I? I'm pretty sure that I went back to the bar after that, but I was completely wiped out from the long day, so I may have dreamed that part. I woke up in my own room, way too early in the morning, unable to get back to sleep. My brain is most uncooperative about letting me sleep in at conventions.
Friday: I believe that I went to one panel in the afternoon. Breakfast with Berlyne down the street at the one true breakfast spot, the one with the stuffed french toast and macaroni and cheese and all kinds of eggs benedict on the menu. It may not actually have a name for all I know, but I ate there every morning but Sunday, when I got the overpriced hotel buffet instead. I have no recollection of what I did for the rest of Friday morning. That's a sign of something, isn't it? I swear I wasn't hungover. Hmm. I may have notes about the day in my still-unpacked luggage, but I'll have to dig those out later to fill in the gaps. I know I ate lunch with the Scholeses, and that I went to the panel with all of the super-fantastic artists (Todd Lockwood, John Picacio, and Shaun Tan were on it).
...You have to understand that this all sounds like a massive hang-out and excuse to party, and it is, it truly is, but along the way we have all these impossible-to-reproduce conversations about writing, art, and other fascinating topics, while meeting people in the field we've never met before, so it's pretty much the best time you'll ever have at work when you go. Hard to convey, but true...
I took a long nap on Friday afternoon to prepare myself for socializing later in the evening. I participated in Stealth Halloween all day, but particularly in the evening, by being dressed as myself being possessed as a demon. I went to Jay Lake's wine and cheese party, where Ken played and sang again, and there I met Amanda Clark, Scott Browne and Shannon Page. A group of us formed and went out to dinner, and I was finally able to get in a meal with my good local friend Eric Vogt, who sat right next to me. :)
What party did I go to on Friday night? Ah, the book launch hosted by Patrick Swenson. Good party. I got there later than I'd intended because it took way too long to iron the red dress that I was determined to wear for at least part of my demonic possession, but if you look at Jen Scholes's Flickr set, you can see for yourself whether that was worth the effort or not. Lots of excellent socializing later, I staggered off to bed.
Saturday: Breakfast at the place, with Sean Markey, Sean Wallace, Aliette do Bodard, and Skipper whose last name I haven't internalized yet. I think that between us we ordered half of the breakfast items available on the menu, including the intensely sour maple-flavored lemonade. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Canadians will put maple into literally anything. I can say that because I used to live there.
I went to a shocking two panels on Saturday. The first was about fantasy magazines online, including Jennifer Dawson, Sean Wallace, Wendy um? (from Abyss & Apex), and John Klima. I was glad that I went, because I learned a lot about the variety of approaches the online magazines are taking with their budgets, advertising, and submission policies. The second was a panel on digital art, with the three artists I mentioned before, plus James Beveridge. That one got me all stirred up with inspiration for things I want to try in my art.
One of the highlights of my Saturday was the impossible-to-summarize lunch I had with Ken Scholes. This one was specifically for talking about writing, and Ken asked me all about my writing background and habits, then gave me some excellent suggestions for things to try next. Even from applying some of those suggestions for only the last couple of days, I feel like these are major improvements that are going to be very helpful, so I have to express my sincere gratitude to Ken for being so generous with his time and advice.
Dinner was great on Saturday night. You may notice that I spent a lot of time with the Scholeses over the whole weekend. You will be correct in that observation. Along with them, I sat with Jay Lake and Shannon Page. I don't think I can overstate the fun of sitting next to Jay Lake for an hour and a half, really. I mean, the proximity of his long and flowing hair alone is worth the effort, but then you add his personality! I'm getting flustered just thinking about it.
On Saturday night I went to the Tor party for a while, then spent more time in the bar, before the inevitable collapse into bed.
This was supposed to be the highlights, you remind me, and I assure you that these *are* the highlights. There's so much more.
On Sunday the best thing was going to meet John Berlyne for lunch, and finding that he had acquired banquet tickets for us. Because of that, I met Graham Joyce and had a lovely long chat with Robert Shearman just before he won the World Fantasy Award for his story collection. Now he knows that I liked him before he was a World Fantasy Award-winner, and I hope that counts for something. :)
The evening involved a lot of good-byes, but down in the bar I got to talk to John Picacio, Robert Hoge, and Alice Henderson a little bit each. I finally got to spend some time with Gary Braunbeck there and at dinner, which also included Lucy Snyder, Melinda um?, Adrienne Loska, and Todd Lockwood. We discussed quite a lot of religion and politics at that one, with no dissenting opinions to harsh our liberal buzz. That was my group for the rest of the evening, and it got smaller one by one until Todd and I were left in the bar, and it was great to have that conversation with him until I had to get out of there or sleep on the bar floor.
I think that's all the report I have in me at this time, although you may be able to get more out of me if you post questions, comments, or corrections. :)