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Madison to Chicago


Before I talk about the con, a quick note to mention that I can't currently send email. I can receive email, and I can post to my journal, and everything else about the Net seems to work, but when I try to send mail, Eudora can't contact my SMTP server. I'll try and do some troubleshooting later. For now, don't expect quick email responses from me.

The whole con is fast becoming a blur. A few more notes before I forget them:

I enjoyed it, overall, a great deal. I attended way more panels than usual (and a larger percentage than usual of each one I attended; I usually arrive late and/or leave early); continued to enjoy the readings; had some nice relatively quiet conversations with individuals and small groups.

I laughed a lot and cried a little. I bought a few books and booklike objects:

  • A chapbook version of "The Fiction of James Tiptree, Jr.," by Gardner Dozois.
  • Meet Me at Infinity, subtitled "The Uncollected Tiptree: Fiction and Nonfiction."
  • Judith Merril's England Swings SF, 1968. Cover blurb: "HERE'S THE NEW WAVE IN SCIENCE FICTION, Presented by its foremost advocate."
  • Say ... Have You Heard This One?
  • Alchemy #2. Which still contains no email contact information or website. I'm tempted to write a papermail letter to the editor asking if he'd like me to make him a website.
  • Lafferty in Orbit, a collection of the Lafferty stories from the Orbit anthology series.
  • And I preordered the new Ratbastards chapbook. Btw, last year's chapbook featured two of my favorite stories of the year, and is still available, as are the previous volumes, hint hint.

Sadly, I only got about a third of the way through the dealer's room (I bought most of the above at the Small Beer table) before I ran out of time, and I never made it back.

Some other things I missed:

  • Seeing Heather's art. I forgot to look on the tables when I went to the art show, and I didn't get a chance to go back. Sadness! I heard good things about it, though.
  • Meeting a couple of our authors who were there and whom I haven't met in person yet. Twenty-eight of our fiction authors (and a whole passel of our other contributors) were in attendance, but I sadly didn't meet Stephanie Burgis (who's now represented by Shawna McCarthy! Cool!) or Merrie Haskell. And there were a couple of others whom I've met before but whom I barely saw in passing here and there; sorry about that, folks. I was, though, pleased to meet Doug Lain (who says we haven't ever met in person before; I guess I just must've seen his picture a lot) and Meghan McCarron (who by all accounts was a big hit) and the aforementioned Jessie Stickgold-Sarah (our Development Coordinator).
  • Not winning the bid for the copies of How to Suppress Women's Writing and the New Worlds anthology that were auctioned off. I'd like to obtain copies of both of those at some point. (The latter was apparently a 2004 reprint collection, from Four Walls Eight Windows, of material from the seminal New Wave magazine; I'd like to read it.)
  • Not getting enough hugs. People were understandably wary of invading my personal space (thank you, Rowe, for your "I'm trying to read your mind" comment; I was amused), and I didn't initiate enough hugs, so I didn't get enough of them overall (though I very much appreciated those I got). Or, really, physical contact in general; I oughtta get me a sign that says something like "If you want a back rub, sit down in front of me," 'cause it rarely occurs to me to offer but I'm always happy to give them. And almost always happy to receive them.
  • Not being sick. This occasional cough and occasional sore throat has been with me for over a week now, and given the stress of travel, I doubt it'll get better anytime soon. Feh.
  • The aforementioned readings and panels that I'd have liked to have attended but didn't make it to for one reason or another.
  • Volunteering. I would really like to do more for WisCon. But this year I decided to not push myself to do anything that would likely be stressful. I really ought to talk to Bill H about helping him out with the computery stuff; that's probably what I'm best qualified for. Though I also enjoyed my brief stint helping out with childcare last year, despite my general ineptitude at that.
  • Seeing this year's Campbell Affair in person. But I'll post someone else's photos soon.

I have no memory of what I did yesterday afternoon. In the evening, we did some more small-group hanging out, and went to bed around 11 p.m. I took an hour or more to fall asleep, and then slept in one- to two-hour chunks for the rest of the night, sliding in and out of sleep so often and so smoothly that I had a hard time telling when I was asleep and when I was just drowsing. I woke up at one point, feeling reasonably well-rested, and looked at my iPod clock and saw that it was 6:30, so I went back to sleep; woke up at 8:30 by my iPod clock, then discovered that I hadn't set it to Central time so it was really 10:30. So I guess I got a decent amount of sleep. Had lunch with Karen, then M and I drove her Honda Civic (non-hybrid) back to Chicago, arriving in the late afternoon. Been sitting around doing computer stuff and eating dinner ever since.

Side note: still trying to get my posts to show up at Technorati. I finally gave in and "claimed" my blog with them, since a tech support person told me a month ago that that was the only way to get them to index me, but it doesn't seem to have made them notice the tag. I've written to tech support again—the first time I asked them a question, I realized three months later that they'd never gotten around to answering it. Can't say I'm real impressed with them so far.

They've updated their FAQ, though, to make a little more sense, so I'm glad of that. And sooner or later I may still switch to using Movable Type, which I suspect will make it a lot easier for them to notice me.

Let's see. Other WisCon wrapup thoughts? It was great to see people; I'm sorry not to list everyone I saw or talked with there, but if I did I would be here typing all night. It was great to meet new people. There were a bunch of good conversations. I went easy on myself and didn't force myself to attend loud parties just 'cause the people I wanted to talk with were there. All in all, a good time.

And I still hope to write up notes from the difference panel (is that like the Difference Engine?) and to post Campbell Affair photos, but those'll have to wait for another entry.

What else? Oh, I watched the DVD Jay sent, a ten-minute slideshow of photos of Peter. Good stuff; I hadn't seen a bunch of the photos. I thought about asking friends at the con if they wanted to see it; I'd kind of like to show it to people, but I also don't want to force it on anyone or make anyone feel like they have to watch it. If any of you Swarthmore folks want to see it, I can do a showing at reunion or on the vacation; let me know. But no obligation.

I'm pretty sure there was a bunch more I was going to say, but I'll stop here for now.


I don't know if you've tried pinging technorati manually, but that solved the problems I was having.

Sorry to have missed you--I did come to the SH tea for about 15 minutes before losing all ability to make casual conversation, and fleeing to a panel.

Yeah, unfortunately I tried pinging them manually (as did Mary Anne for her entry); no effect.

I kinda suspect that they only know how to handle certain blog formats or something.... But I can't poke their tech support people to answer my questions 'til I can send mail again, sigh.

Btw, also in my outgoing mail is a note to you saying sorry to have missed you at WisCon. :)

Jed, I have to cop to feeling a bit unsure how to engage you without saying something either banal or overwrought. I kept thinking there would be a good time to approach you for a chat, but as it turns out I hesitated one too many times. (Dammit.) Anyway, I owe you a hug.

Hugs and backrubs are generally available over here, on demand.



You may wish to wait for those moments when I am not coated in whipped cream. Or, yanno, you may not.

I'm sad I didn't get to hug you before I left! but I got in one good one at the beginning :)

as to this: "Alchemy #2. Which still contains no email contact information or website. I'm tempted to write a papermail letter to the editor asking if he'd like me to make him a website."

I've been considering doing something similar. And Gavin Grant told me I should send him a postcard telling him that I like the magazine and want to see more because, apparently, he's being a bit on the fence about continuing to publish.

A couple of years ago I made a web site for a small restaurant that Lisa and I had been going to, and gave it to them as a Christmas gift. It was really fun.

About 10 years ago, I got really frustrated with the unreadable menu at the local lunch place, so I designed them a new menu. It's a larger version of paying the toll for the car behind you as well -- anything to try to restore a sense of community in an overly large and overly hostile world. People have helped me with my business over the years in various ways, and it's always been a very welcome surprise.

I've got your hugs and backrub requests right here -- pick them up at AW anytime. Also backrubs, as desired.

And I would definitely be interested in seeing the Peter slideshow.

I'm sorry we didn't meet at WisCon, Jed! I think I glimpsed you walking through parties I was at, but the timing never worked out to grab you and say hi. Patrick & I will both be at Worldcon in Glasgow, though--hope to see you then!

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