May 29th, 2006

Jason sepia

wiscon 30, day 3

The big day.

The reading this morning went incredibly well. Thanks to the tireless promotion efforts of Haddayr and David Schwartz, it was well promoted, and the back room of Michelangelo's was packed. It was a little intimidating, actually. At 10:00, Haddayr started things off, with two shorts, one new one, followed by "The Desires of Houses." Meghan McCarron read from her Rabid Transit: Long Voyages, Great Lies story "The Ghost Line." Alice Kim also read from her story in Rabid Transit, called "The Mom Walk: A Story in Five Stories." I read most of "Most Excellent and Lamentable," skipping one tiny scene in the middle in the interests of time. And David Schwartz read from his Minnesotan Ragnorak story (in accent) from Twenty Epics.

It was a great event, and I'm honored I was able to particpate with four other incredibly talented writers.

Afterward, Janet and I had brunch with catvalente, justbeast and grailquestion at Nick's, the same place we had brunch last year, in the same booth we sat in last year. Dmitri read over "M.E.A.L.," since he was near the back of the room and couldn't hear as well, and was interested in finding out more about what I was writing. He made some interesting comments that I'll be thinking about when I get home. Cat gave me a copy of Yume no Hon, which is very pretty.

Then it was back to the hotel for the Butner/Grant/Westerfeld/Rowe reading, which was excellent.

Another trip to the dealer's room, where I picked up a rare copy of Dradin, In Love.

Attended Cat Valente's reading from The Grass-Cutting Sword (which should be out soon).

Very briefly talked to the stunning Liz Gorinsky in the elevator, and was shocked that she actually knew who I was. Ran into Mark Teppo in selfsame elevator and chatted for a bit in his room.

Then to the Strange Horizons Tea Party, which was awesome as always. Yummy tea, yummy cookies, and a great community of people.

Then I went upstairs to gather my knitting materials and Janet (who took a nap after brunch). The "Knitting for Boys" panel was really interesting. Despite my astonishing lack of knowledge, I think I did a decent job moderating (which was mostly just me pointing to people who'd raised their hands). Lots of insight from Ben Rosenbaum, Jess Adams, and Judith Peterson, as well as great audience participation. And Jess created the wiscon_diy community for folks wanting to learn more about knitting and other DIY stuff.

After, we met up with Barth, Lisa, and Isaiah Anderson, and Rachel and David Hoffman-Dachelet for very fancy dinner. Walked the six blocks to Restaurant Magnus, and I'm fairly confident that it was the best meal I have ever eaten in my life.

Bread: fresh-baked focaccia with chimi-churri, a dipping suace of red onions, cilantro, parsley, olive oil, honey and jalapeno peppers.

Salad: Mesclung greens with granny smith apples, spicy pecans, Manchego cheese and champagne vinaigrette.

Entree: banana-glazed seared salmon with sauteed Chilaca peppers, wild mushrooms, tomoatoes, baby red potatoes, watercress and a Riesling-yuzu reduction.

Expensive but goddamn delicious. I couldn't stop groaning in contentment. Phenomenal food and conversation. Definitely one of the highlights of this WisCon.

Back to the hotel for the Dessert Salon. Yummy carrot cake.

GoH speeches from Kate Wilhelm and Jane Yolen were excellent.

Awards ceremonies for the Carl Brandon Awards. Susan Vaught, who won the Kindred Award, did an unbelievably cool thing, and endorsed her $1000 award check back to the CBS to continue their work.

Geoff Ryman was crowned with his Tiptree tiara, and given chocolate and art. He seemed overwhelmed by it all, and was incredibly grateful and gracious. I'm so so so glad he won for Air.

Upstairs for the LJ and SLF parties, both packed. Didn't stay long. Tired now.

Going to sleep in a bit in the morning, then get Janet's art taken down and pack up and get ready to go around 11:00.

Don't want it to end. Sigh. I already miss everyone.
Jason sepia

wiscon 30, day 4

Parties last night were fun, though we pooped out early. At the LJ party, I did get a chance to talk to Charlie Anders (charliegrrrl), whom I hadn't seen in years, not since we were both in the Revisionaries of Raleigh. There's a story of hers that still sticks in my memory for its short punchy coolness, and I'm so glad to see the success that she's seeing. (And yay for her novel Choir Boy winning the Lambda Award in the Transgender/GenderQueer category!)

Lena woke up early this morning so she could catch her ride back to St. Paul. Gave her a big hug and promised to keep in touch. It was so great seeing her, and hopefully it won't be another year before we get together again. At the middle of July, when Janet and I will be coming back from Singapore, we have a big-ass layover in Minneapolis, and we might be able to hook up then, though she's an extremely busy lady right now.

After she left, Janet and I tried to get another hour of sleep, and I got maybe five minutes. We packed a bit, then went downstairs and fetched some breakfast in the green room. After a donut and a piece of banana bread (I swear I gained ten pounds on this trip), and a cup of coffee in a glass (they were out of mugs), we headed next door to gather her remaining work from the art show. Janet sold one original and a whole messload of prints ("Book Monster" was very popular), which pretty much covered our hotel costs and the fancy dinner we had last night. Yay for WisCon attendees with good artistic taste!

We walked by the dealer's room one last time, and Gavin had sold two copies of Scattered, Covered, Smothered at the Small Beer Press table, which was cool news. It was incredibly nice of Gavin to carry copies at the table (and now there are only two copies left, ever, since we're not planning to reprint the book, so get yours today). We looked to see if Choir Boy was still available at the Dreamhaven table, and it was, so we picked it up.

Then it was back upstairs, running into people along the way and saying goodbye. We finished packing and watched a few minutes of a Gordon Ramsay show on BBC America. Then at 11:00, we headed down and checked out, and while waiting for the shuttle to the airport, got to have some last minute conversations with SarahP (who I hope is going to meet us at DemiCon, if she can work out the logistics), Jenn (who never did sign my copy of her chapbook, grrr :) ), Heather (who still has the coolest taste in hats), Tim (who told me his big secret that he's not allowed to publicly reveal yet, and it's a doozy), Alexander Lamb (who has a cool accent and a story in Polyphony 5), and Robert Wexler (who may be traveling to Chapel Hill sometime soon). Then at 11:30, we had to say final goodbyes, and get on the shuttle. It was sad.

The flights back went okay, though the one from Detroit to Raleigh was delayed for 45 minutes. But we made it back home finally around 7:45. I called my mom to thank her for taking care of the hamsters (they greatly appreciated it, and so did we) and bringing in our mail. Then I called Shanghai Express, because we were both too exhausted to cook.

As ever, WisCon was an amazing and too-short experience. I wish it could be an entire week long, or two weeks, or a month. There were so many people there that I wanted to hang out and talk to, and as a result, I never got to talk to any one person for very long. I feel like I gave some folks short shrift because of this (especially nojojojo, who was nice enough to pimp the food antho at the Food and SFF panel, which probably helped to sell those two copies, and halduncan, who made the trip all the way from Scotland). Also, I think because WisCon was so massive this year, things were a little overwhelming, and I went a bit into reclusive mode, where even when I went to parties, I didn't talk as much to people, and stayed to the fringes a bit more. So I apologize to anyone who thought I was being a bit flaky this weekend, but that's why.

Despite that, it was fun getting to see a big chunk of my greatly extended family of skiffy folks this weekend, and I miss all of you already.
Jason sepia

wiscon book haul

So here is the final tally of my book/zine haul from WisCon:
  • Flytrap no. 5 (Tropism Press)
  • Rabid Transit: Long Voyages, Great Lies (Velocity Press)
  • Farthing nos. 1 (freebie) & 3 (Farthing Magazine)
  • Turbocharged Fortune Cookie no. 3 (freebie from Lena) (Longbar Press)
  • Scribe Revolution Volume II: Virology (freebie) (Scribe Agency)
  • Tales of the Chinese Zodiac by Jenn Reese (Tropism Press)
  • A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park (freebie) (Tor Books)
  • The Heat Death of the Universe & Other Stories by Pamela Zoline (McPherson & Co.)
  • Dradin, In Love by Jeff VanderMeer (Buzzcity Press)
  • The Divinity Student by Michael Cisco (Buzzcity Press)
  • Yume no Hon: The Book of Dreams (blue) by Catherynne M. Valente (Prime Books)
  • Circus of the Grand Design by Robert Freeman Wexler (Prime Books)
  • Choir Boy by Charlie Anders (Soft Skull Press)
I so so so wanted to get Polyphony 5, Dora Goss' In the Forest of Forgetting, Maureen F. McHugh's Mothers & Other Monsters and Alan DeNiro's Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead, but I just plain ran out of money and space in my suitcase. I will, however, be ordering them soon.