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Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse

September 3rd, 2012

WorldCON Report @ 04:46 pm

I'm beginning to recover from WorldCON. I took the train to Chicago on Thursday, which was... well, it was long, and made longer by the fact that I believed the Internet (I know, right?) and decided to hoof it from Union Station. The directions were excellent, just much more of a walk than I was hoping, especially since I was carrying at least one heavy bag.

The train arrived too late for me to make it out to Mary Anne Mohanraj's party, and, I kind of wanted to hide in the bed under a blanket because I was feeling a bit like a fraud. It's a weird phenomenon that happens to writers from time to time. Even though I had a book come out last month, I instantly stop feeling like a writer the moment I no longer have a contract. Worse, in my business, there's always someone cooler or more famous or more successful than you are, and at WorldCON, they're always standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU IN LINE while the person handing you your program participant package misprounces your name.

Yeah. I kind of wanted to crawl away and die after that.

But, Naomi showed up at the hotel room and insisted we hit the party circuit, which was a good idea.  I may have found a publisher interested in reprinting the AngeLINK books at POD (print-on-demand).  They don't even care that Wizard Tower Press just acquired the e-rights.  So, that could be something perhaps...  But, otherwise, I feel like I've sort of lost my touch.  I seem to have loaned my "right place, right time" superpowers to Naomi, who kept coming back with, "Guess who I just hung out with!??" stories all throughout the convention.  I'd be more jealous of her, but she totally deserves to have a moment or two in the sun.  She's finally having a writing comeback in short stories, so it's awesome that people are sitting up and taking notice.  Meanwhile, I mostly reconnected with old friends and made new ones, which is a different kind of awesome, you know?  Not the schmoozing I thought I SHOULD be doing, but good for the soul.   In fact, on Saturday night, just when I needed it, I fell in with some Bleach fans.  But, I'm getting ahead of the story.

Friday, I got up early and went to connect with Eleanor who I knew had an early morning panel.  I listened to that, and then we caught breakfast together at the hotel.  Perhaps it was the blue moon, but Eleanor was suffering from "feeling like a fraud" too and had decided to wallow.  So, I left her to go hide in her room, and I wandered around the convention.  I had the Broad Universe Rapid-Fire reading to prepare for and I realized I hadn't brought a copy of PRECINCT 13 to read from, so I headed to the dealer's room to buy one.  I bought the second to last copy.  They were sold out of me by Friday afternoon.  The reading itself was marvelous.  Everyone read something very different, and I got to meet Cat Rambo (whose stories I've talked about here) and I think she thought I was a completely dorky fangrrl, but there you have it.  A woman from the Clarion Write-a-Thon folks came up and introduced herself and asked if I would consider writing something on internal dialogue for their newsletter, which I happily agreed to do (especially since they don't want more than 400 words.)  A lot of people told me how much they enjoyed hearing me read, and that helped with the fraud feeling quite a bit.

Friday night was also the "Social Rounds" as Eeyore calls them.  I had the Random House boat cruise, as well as Chinatown dinner with Lynne Thomas and crew, and the Harry Potter/Hogwarts Renunion Party later.  The diner was lovely.  We had some fun getting there via taxi, and then the food was phenomenonal.  The folks there were all lovely, and I honestly should have hung out with them for the remainder of the night.  Instead, I totally had to HAIL A TAXI (OMG so much harder than it looks on TV!!) and rush back to the Hyatt to get on the f*cking boat.

The boat.

Okay, the boat.  Remember that feeling of being a fraud?  Now multiply it by a THOUSAND BURNING SUNS.  I got there early, so I sat under a tree on the Chicago riverfront and watched as one-by-one, the luminaries of the SF community strolled up to get in line for the boat.  The first person I saw was Connie Willis, followed by George R. R. Martin, then came Joe Haldeman, Walter Jon Williams, Robert Silverberg, Ellen Datlow, Betsy Mitchell, China Meiville,  Charlie Anders (of io9),  and the list goes on and on.  Finally, at last, I saw my friend David D. Levine.  I instantly attached myself to him, and along with my boat buddy and Kristine Smith, we kind of played wallflowers to the massively more famous.  No one I talked to had any idea why we were selected to be on the Random House boat.  I certainly didn't feel like I belonged.  At least there were pretty sights.  The boat took us down the canal a ways and then turned around and took us out into Lake Michigan.  All of this as the sun was setting, so we got the full experience of the lights of Chicago and its famous skyline.  That part was breathtaking.  Standing around feeling like a turd among giants... not so much.

Once the three hour cruise (no kidding) was over and we debarked, I rushed off the boat like it was on fire and headed for the Hogwarts' Renunion party after changing into my robes.  That was SO MUCH BETTER.  This was when I fell in with some Bleach fans, and they SAVED MY SOUL FROM BEING CRUSHED.  We could talk about things that *matter* like Byakuya's death, and I did not feel like a turd.  I felt like I was surrounded by friends.  That was awesome.  Thus, I hung out as long as I could in my Slytherin robes and watched the fan art flash on the wall.  Thank god for fans is all I have to say.

Saturday was my "busy" day, in terms of programming.  I had an utterly demoralizing signing (which I specifically did NOT WANT.)  WorldCON had these huge tables in the back of the dealers room for authors.  Each author table is roped off for crowd control.  Or, as it turns out, to make it VERY CLEAR who has a crowd and who doesn't.  I signed a pile of books for _one_ guy.  But, I think that was still better than the poor web comic artist at the end.  Right next to me, of course, was the guy who had the line all around the block.  I think he was the artist guest of honor.  No kidding.


I think it was Saturday that Naomi and I connected up with Eleanor and had tea with Jo Walton, (who, it turned out was on THE boat.  Had I known, I would have totally attempted to attach myself to her, as she is beyond sweet and awesome... and now a Hugo award winner.  Congrats!)  That was a lovely time.  Kind of worth the entire trip, IMHO.  We did that thing writers do together behind closed doors, wherein we ate chocolate and talked about other writers, our careers, the careers we wish we had, etc.

Later, I had what turned out to be my one panel of the con (I was supposed to be on one about Grimm, but it was scheduled when I needed to be on the train home.)  The panel had possibly the most boring subject ever, "Series:  Why We Love Them, Why We Hate Them."  It was made somewhat more... difficult by the fact that I was the only woman on the panel and was sandwiched between two gentlemen with a lot to say about their series.  Granted, one of them was Eric Flint, whom I think most of people in the room had come to see... so he, consequentally, dominated a lot of the conversation.  I had wanted to hear more from Shawn's favorite author in the whole world, Jack McDevitt who was sitting at the other end of the table from Eric.  At least, at the end of the panel I got a chance to tell Jack McDevitt just how much Shawn and I both admired him, and go all squee-fan-grrl on him. He seemed to appreciated it because he's just that awesome.

But, that was weirdly demoralizing too because I was the only one on the panel who had FAILED series under her belt.  I left feeling pretty loserish.

Then, con com in all its wisdom gave me a reading at 10:30 at night.  I was expecting an empty room in which I planned to regale the hotel ghosts with my nastier, pornier Bleach slash, but alas PEOPLE CAME.  I was pretty shocked, and was forced to read from my superhero romance in progress as well as tease with a bit of Samurai High.  Of the many cool people I hung out with at my reading and after was one of my fellow guests-to-be-of-honor at Gaylaxicon. 

We went from there to the Baen publishing house party, en masse, and that was crowded, noisy, hot and, as it happened a lot of fun, due to the company I kept.  I did say hello to my old friend Jim Minz, but not much else, as he was busy playing super-host to the hottest party on the floor (literally and figuratively.)

Sunday I had to leave.  Yeah, I kind of FORGOT that Sunday was the Hugo day, so I missed out on kind of the whole point of WorldCON.  But, Naomi got to be a super-cool schmoozer in my absence, so I'd say it worked out.  I, meanwhile, had a pleasant train ride home, where I worked on some proposals for new projects.

Whew.  That about all the news that's fit to print. How was your Labor Day weekend?
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From:John Jackson
Date:September 3rd, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
I know every person will react differently to the folks on the boat. Here's mine: Robert Silverberg? For realz? Whoa.

On the other hand, screw them all. You had it right: the fans are the important ones.
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Date:September 7th, 2012 06:04 am (UTC)
The superhero romance story was awesome! Also, you were awesome! :)

Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse