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WFC good but odd

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As noted previously, I skipped Friday at World Fantasy entirely.

Saturday morning, woke up late and groggy. Stumbled around the house for a while, sent rejections, wondered whether to stay home. Eventually drove down to the con around 2:30 or 3 p.m.

Registered, went through the Huge Bag Of Books, left a few out on the exchange table. (The exchange table is a great idea—I picked up some stuff I wanted, and most of the books that I left there from my bag got snapped up instantly.) Went down to the bar, got scared off by the Wall Of Noise coming from it. It's great that there's a big central space for people to gather in, but it gets very loud.

Had dinner with Karen at Mosaic, a little semi-upscale Italian place half a block from the hotel. It was recommended by a famous author (whose name I'm not gonna namedrop because I've only met him very briefly in passing—Karen's the one who knows him) who's apparently an Italian-food aficionado; he noted that it was likely to be empty and quiet, and in fact we were the only people in the dining room at 5:30. After a leisurely dinner, we left when they turned on the loud music.

Then there was assorted hanging out. I attended the cutting of the balloon-shaped cake (I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't, as I'd heard rumored, an airship), then the Broad Universe rapid-fire reading; then wandered back upstairs to the parties. After a while of several of us talking loudly to be heard over the party noise, maybe seven or eight of us adjourned to a hotel room, and spent the next few hours chatting.

It's a tough tradeoff. On the one hand, going to con parties means a chance to run into lots of cool people; on the other hand, for me going to con parties generally involves a lot of standing around unable to hear what anyone is saying, which gets kind of boring even when the people I'm with are, as they usually are, scintillating conversationalists.

So given the option, I'll almost always choose to go sit in a hotel room with half a dozen friends and talk, even though that means sadly not seeing a bunch of other people.

(One of the things we talked about is that thing that sometimes happens at cons when all your friends seem to be off having fun without you and you don't know where they are. That used to happen to me a lot more before I had text messaging capabilities. These days, generally if I'm wandering around wondering where everyone is, I can text someone and find out.)

Anyway. 1:00 a.m. rolled around; then 1:00 a.m. rolled around again (when Daylight Saving Time ended); around the second 1:20, I decided that even though I wasn't tired (for the first time in a week or so), I really ought to drive home while I was awake enough to drive.

Sunday morning, I got another late start, which sadly meant that I missed a reading I'd intended to attend. Arrived at con around noon; hung out with various people, most of whom were leaving; ended up having lunch at Tandoori Oven across the street from the con with Greg and Ted (while the banquet was going on back at the hotel). We got back just in time for the World Fantasy Awards presentation.

[There were about five paragraphs of discussion here about my having never really felt in sync with WFC somehow. But I kept thinking that they read like I was complaining about or objecting to WFC, which wasn't my intent. So I waited a couple days, and rewrote them, and they still sounded like complaining. So I waited a couple more days, and then decided to just cut them entirely. Suffice it to say that I have nothing against WFC, and many of my friends love WFC, and I've even had several very enjoyable and/or interesting conversations at various WFCs; but somehow I've never quite clicked with it as a con, which is why I usually don't go.]

(Side note: It's great that the con was so close to home, and I'm glad I went. But being so close to home also meant that it took some effort to get my head into conspace; I was at work on Friday during the day, and at home Saturday and Sunday mornings, and a 20-minute drive to the con is a bigger inertia barrier to overcome than getting in an elevator to go downstairs.)

Anyway. After the awards I hung out in the dealer's room for a while, then hung out in the bar for a while. Managed to waffle about whether to attend the Interfictions reading down the street for long enough that I missed it. Decided it was time to head home; stopped by Karen's room to say a quick goodbye, and ended up chatting with her for a couple more hours. Really good to get some time with her this weekend; been too long.

Was also great to get some time with a bunch of other people. I'm not even going to try to list everyone, but I had interactions ranging from brief-but-pleasant to long-and-excellent with at least a couple dozen other friends and friendly acquaintances. Good to see you all! Also there were a bunch of hugs—yay!

There were half a dozen newish writers, mostly Clarion alums, who I met in passing, but only long enough to exchange names and handshakes. [Someday I'll write an entry about the dynamics around writers meeting editors at cons, but not today.] There were also a few newish writers who I have gotten to know a little bit and who I've spent a little time chatting with and who I kept running into, and that was nice too.

So I had a good time at the con; enjoyed almost all of it that I attended. Great to see everyone!

Oh, and I've heard good things about the other con that weekend: Imaginary WFC.

(Wrote most of this about four days ago, didn't manage to post it 'til now.)

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