ATH Goes International

This AAR of Liberty con is coming to you from sunny Portugal, now with more sun, where I’ve spent the last twenty four hours — give or take a couple of hours where I sleep walked through a family gathering — asleep.

The sleep was necessary to recover from a truly epic Liberty con.

We left Colorado early on the sixth, so we could avoid traveling during Robert’s birthday on the 7th.  This meant that we got there halfway through the sixth and then spent time driving to Chattanooga and having dinner and such.

We’d decided that we were going to get two cakes and some of Jonathan LaForce’s magnificent barbecue to celebrate Robert’s birthday, and we’d invite people to drop by our room if they wished at 7 pm.  We thought we’d get a dozen people or so.  In fact we had forty in the room at any time along the three hours, except that there was more than that, because people rotated.  In the end, I think we had over 100, and the last left after midnight.  This is not what I intended, but it was good, anyway.

The rest of the con had few panels (for me) but the Hoyts and their long lost cousins the Correias (true story, showed Larry’s picture around here and the opinion is, uniformly, that he’s a lost member of the family.  There aren’t many Portuguese families, after all, that run to over six feet in height or are built like brick sh*thouses. I got to spend some time with David Weber, whom I like immensely, and whom I hadn’t had time with in years.  This is probably bad for us, since every time we get together we try to figure out how to privatize sidewalks, metaphorically speaking.

There was less time with Ringo than usual, not due to any design on either of our parts, but because he was very, very busy.

To compensate I got to hash out Guardian with Larry (really, guys, I have about 70% buy in on Grant’s novel.  He says he doesn’t want me to write it, in case he can’t approve it.  I said… I think my exact answer was bwahahahahah.  But I have the right to try.  Also to show you snippets provided you understand it’s not cannon.)  I also get to write the Black Tide Novel in Portugal.  Combine that with the still unnamed novel with KJA, and with the fact I have to finish the vampire musketeer trilogy and … and a lot of other stuff (not to mention Darkship Revenge and other stuff) and I am busier than a one-armed fidller at a music convention.

Though I suppose the books are good news for you.

I met with many of you, including Orvan, Jonna who fixed a dress for me (thank you Jonna) Tully and a bunch of others, but spent most of my time with Dave Pascoe’s children, my adopted grandchildren.

I am already working on Darkship Revenge while I’m here, at my parents’ place, though I’ll confess most of what I’m doing is sleeping (variations on a theme) this time logically because of jet lag.

My dad… is much better than I could have dreamed of.  He looks, except for being a little thinner, as he did at sixty.  I want to figure out how he does this (other than walking a lot) so I can steal the secret, because people around him are aging normally but he looks like he did, save for his hair being more white.  It’s a secret I’d like.

Other than the fact that I’ve eaten all the things I shouldn’t, and paid for it in eczema last night, we’re doing fine, and I’m settling in to do some work.  I had to explain to mom I had to come and type at you and let me tell you, explaining the Huns in Portuguese is less than easy. So to put it.  To coin a phrase.

So tomorrow there will be a coherent post, and the day after there will be some form of story for Through Fire, hopefully.

For now, I’m going to take a nap.


123 responses to “ATH Goes International

  1. I’m glad your dad is doing well! I hope in between all the work you have some quality time with him.

  2. It is important to see family now and then. Good on ya!

  3. Kitteh-Dragon

    ::Kitteh-Dragon hugs Sarah:: It was sooo good to see you at LC! And I’m glad your dad is doing so much better than you feared! Pass along hugs from friends who have been praying for your parents for years? (Yes, I know, that will be even harder to explain to your mom. Bwahahahahahaha)

  4. It sounds like this will be a nice visit. It is my prayer that you can relax and enjoy your time there, and return home refreshed and renewed for your next adventures!

  5. Sarah, it was a pleasure to meet you with my wife able to join me this year. We’re all back home and Mr Nemo is channeling Lewis Grizzard: “Now that I’m back in Texas I’m going to nail my tail to the ground.” 😎

    • My tail isn’t nailed to the ground, if only because I have too much to do in the way of appointments and errands. Though my body keeps insisting I should be like Sarah and sleep some more – maybe it’s trying to nail itself?

    • I really wanted to meet Nemo, but I didn’t have time. HOWEVER like a total dork I had a challenge coin for you and forgot to give it to you!

  6. Christopher M. Chupik

    Take that nap, you deserve it.

    As to trying to explain the Huns, well, that should be interesting. Especially if you tried to explain Sad Puppies . . .

  7. Try to fit in some of that Medical-exams-they-don’t-remember-how -to-do -in-the-States stuff. Glad your Dad’s doing well.

  8. Have a good trip. Take lots of pictures, even if they’re only mental ones.

    I’ve got to get out of recovering from my recovery after finishing my 26,000 words of non-fiction in five months project–borrowed and finished the last three Harry Potter books, bought & finished MH: Grunge and something else–and get back to work.
    (Never heard a guy being described as a brick outhouse before…which makes me think of 2nd COSCOM [due to their “leaning outhouse” emblem—no relation to myself except quartermasters and I think they sent the NCOs to my great-uncle’s funeral].)

    And what with the artillery?

    • [insert]’s

    • “(Never heard a guy being described as a brick outhouse before”

      Really? Very common saying in this part of the country, and for some reason I always assumed it was of military origin.

      • I’ve always heard women described that way. Along the same lines as “she’s got a bigger endowment than the University of Texas.”

        • Until the last 10-20 years (sorry, my association with time is a little flakey), I’d only heard it applied to men in the sense of, “Damn, he’s a big bruiser that would probably crush you like a beer can if you peeved him off.”

  9. Glad the con came out well. *grin* I was very glad to reacquaint myself with my own bed afterwards, myself… for about twenty hours. Naptime is a wonderful thing.

    Hope all goes well with the book writing. Try not to be *too* busy, despite the constant calls for “story? story? story?” which sometimes sound like “EARC!” barks. *chuckle*

  10. International is okay,

    but if ATH goes Internationale, I’m outta here.

    • Randy Wilde

      but if ATH goes Internationale, I’m outta here.

      I dunno. Might be interesting to hear what Sarah changes the lyrics to.

  11. And when you get home, you get to try to sleep off jet lag again! Woohoo! 🙂

  12. Christopher M. Chupik

    International Lady of Hate?

  13. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Doesn’t Portugal have old or young people who sit on a stoop talking? That’s kinda what this is. Except on the internet.

  14. It was great to see you in person rather than in pixels, Sarah. And I’ll second your “around a 100” guess about the party. I think the cakes did it. And the BBQ, and the people, but the cakes . . . Which explains why I never did manage to get a slice.

  15. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Glad to hear that everything is OK because if you die on us, we’ll come after you to drag you back to life! 😀 😀 😀 😀

  16. Now I’m a little disappointed that Ruby and I could only come down for Friday through Sunday–we missed Robert’s party! Well, neither of us do well with large groups of people anyway, so it’s probably for the best. 😉

  17. Sleep well. Naps are wonderful.

  18. Glad to hear your OK. I suspect the Convention then Portugal was a brilliant idea. You should be exhausted whenever engaging in a trans-oceanic flight; sleep is better than suffering.

  19. > run to over six feet in height

    My buddy Felix was astounded to find out he’s “Hispanic.” His parents emigrated from Portugal, Felix is 6’5 and could easily be Larry’s older brother.

    I’ve offered to pay for his ticket if he’ll go to a con with a name badge that says “HI! I’m not LARRY CORREIA” just to see the puppy kickers get *really* confused…

    > explaining the Huns

    Some things are inexplicable…

  20. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Make America Awesome has a online petition to the rules committee over unbinding the delegates. Any chance this could show up on Insty?

    • The Other Sean

      I’m so frustrated at this point that I’m hoping small meteors hit Cleveland and Philadelphia, wiping out the RNC and the DNC. Is that wrong of me?

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Save it, figure out the factional fallout from the coming week, and work to find a third party consensus in your area for the next cycle.

      • It is very wrong of you. Small meteors run the risk of not doing sufficient damage.

        • I know someone who works in Cleveland, just a few blocks from where the Republican convention is going to be held. SMALL meteors only, please. (The SMOD excepted, of course).

          And Posner is still a moron.

      • eh, taking out Trump and Hillary would probably be enough to upset everything.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          We’ll always have their old age and possible very severe health problems.

          • The Other Sean

            People have been saying that about Fidel Castro for decades.

            • Anonymous Coward

              I am reminded of a short story in which Fidel is a vampire. Most amusing.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I am reminded of a short story by Sarah Hoyt where all of the communist mass murderers were vampires, and Hillary or Chelsea is looking to get turned by Lenin or Stalin.

  21. No word in Portugese for “Minions” umm, “Loyal henchpersons” or maybe “Cheering section, like for socc . . . umm football. But for a writer and political pundit.”

    • Soccer would use hooligans, so for us that might be fooligans? Beating a joke to death might be deemed a fooligan round?

      But Posner remains a moron, no matter how Ginsberg is challenging him for the title.

      • Moron is an absolute title, not relative. All who merit it may bear it.

        • “Stupid is not conserved.”

        • Clarification: In this usage I likely ought have capitalized the word Title, indicating it represented a championship award rather than a mere classification. Thus Posner remains the Champion Moron while Ginsberg is the leading contender (amongst many.)

          ALL are morons, but some are foremost among the category, entitled to have units of measure defined in their names and their pictures published in dictionaries in lieu of actual definitions.

  22. I got to spend some time with David Weber, whom I like immensely, and whom I hadn’t had time with in years.


    I mean, I KNOW what my reaction is when I meet authors I admire and don’t “know”– “hi, you’re awesome, I’m going to go hide behind the kids, ‘k?”– but I’m still jealous. 😀

  23. James Schardt

    I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend more time talking with you. LibertyCon was BUSY for me this year and I didn’t even have any panels of my own. I had really intended to go to your family’s mass reading but got to talking with Tom Kratman on the way… yeah… LibertyCon is a lot like that.

    • sounds like folks need a reality DVR in multiples for LibertyCon.

    • The Other Sean

      I spent little time talking to anybody and still had the most fun I’ve had at a convention in ages. I can’t remember the last time there was so much good programming going on at the same time. Take early Saturday for example: there were three things I wanted to be at at 10 AM, four (4!!!!) at 11AM, four again at noon, and three at 1 PM, and two at 2 PM. Before LibertyCon, I’d gotten used to having at most two, and often zero, things I wanted to do at any one time. LibertyCon rocks! (If only the drive didn’t take nearly 7 hours with food, gas, and restroom breaks and zero traffic.)

      • 16 hrs each way, broken into two days each way. Plus an additional three hours to and from the staging point. But so worth it.

        • Jay Maynard

          For us, it was about the same, 1100 miles each way.

          And we felt more at home there than we have for a few years at the con we had considered our home con, which was a mere 750 miles away…

  24. Glad y’all got there okay, and you’re getting your family time ‘fix’… 🙂

  25. Robert and I share a birthday.

  26. So you’re asking us to produce a self-description, and then translate it into Portuguese? Let’s see… Start with “These are the Huns, my friends…” Mix in a dash of odd, a heaping spoonful of online magic… I’m not sure what to say. Okay, who has a good description of us? We can work on translation after we nail down the description.

    • Kind of weak sauce, but I had to write something for the blog roll last week…

      …she has gathered about herself some of the most intelligent and interesting people you’ll run across in our “social media” world. Sarah can throw out a three or four word “I’m alive” post, and Hoyt’s Huns will pick up the ball and head for the goal line – with quite a bit of broken-field running, mind you. Fair warning, the puns emitted can get somewhat deep at times.

      • Kindly note that there are often extensive arguments about the goal lines: their identifications, their definitions, their placement, their desirability and their existence.

        • Don’t want to scare anybody off, RES – it takes a while for people to acclimate to this place.

          Actually, it was a week before I figure out that you really aren’t ichthyophobes…

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Aren’t all ichthyophobes. Okay, that’s not my damage, and I don’t have grounds to claim it is, but I wanted to try.

    • Bibliotheca Servare

      It’s like the Inklings, but with more gunpowder and snark. Also carp. Or something. 😀

      • Bibliotheca Servare

        Oh, and can’t forget *Peter Seller’s “Inspector Clouseau” voice* “the minkey”! (Monkey) 😛

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      1. Essentially the same as a bunch sitting on a stoop talking. (Portugal probably has a cognate to this.)
      2. Subjects include any mad idea one of a bunch of eccentrics could think up. Yes, some of us* have the capacity for tact, and sometimes the mad ideas are not very interesting.
      3. Regulars include a) people who’ve enjoyed her books b) Baen loyalists** c) people who liked her writing or indy publishing advice d) people who like how she fought her sides of various political fights e) people who like the company. These do not necessarily fit any particular model.
      4. WordPressa Delenda Est. C4C. Carp incoming.

      *Maybe not me. Certainly my brain doesn’t always work well enough, and sometimes I’m at the sweet spot where I can write, but don’t realize I shouldn’t.

      **An explanation of Jim, the Bar, and the Baen books marketing strategy and how it compares to industry may be needed.

  27. Bibliotheca Servare

    Okay. I’m *determined* to get to Libertycon 30. Determined, I tell you! My only problem? When I check online, the Choochoo’s website tells me there are no rooms available for the dates (June 30th – July 2nd) LCXXX *clears throat* is going to be held! I will not be stymied, but I am a bit concerned…anyone have any recommendations on places to stay *other* than the (evidently sold out, sadly) Choochoo? There are three of us (all
    -allegedly- adults, my mom, my dad, and myself…my parents are fairly “mundane” w/ regards to scifi etc, but I think they’re pretty awesome nonetheless. *cheeky grin* ) and none of us has ever been to a con, but we just recently moved to NC, and I decided libertycon was too darned close for me to be willing to miss it! (My mom knows about it through my talking about how I wished I could go for the past several years -when we lived in MO- and she shares my opinion about next year…my dad probably doesn’t remember agreeing, but that’s not unusual/won’t be a problem *grin*)  Plus, I thought maybe libertycon would be less stressful/anxiety-inducing than a bigger con, and an incredible number of my very favorite living authors seem to make a habit of attending, so…*rambling trails off, embarrassedly*
    ANYway, I know a lot of Huns and Hoydens attend libertycon, so…any suggestions? Sorry for the wall of text…oh, and thanks in advance for any advice! 🙂

    • This is the hotel overflow information from LC29, a good place to start.
      Don’t know that the LC folks have set up a deal for next year yet, but given the Choo Choo situation they probably will shortly. If not, you should certainly give a shout to Brandy or Derek to see what they recommend.

    • The Staybridge is the official overflow hotel, the Hilton Garden is a bit far but it you have Hilton points it can work, and I think I saw a few other places.

    • Of the 5 of us who rode up together from Texas, only Peter and I stayed at the ChooChoo. The rest stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which had better rooms, free breakfast, significantly higher price tag, and some commuting required.

      The year before that, when giving a ride or two, I know there was a block of fans at the LaQuinta, which was extremely confusing to get in and out of, and in a not so wonderful section of town, but cheaper. (As one stated, “I only come here to pass out between room parties and panels. That works!”)

      I heard nothing good and nothing bad about the staybridge suites – the consensus was just “It’s a hotel. Back to the con!”

      Of the Choo Choo itself, you’re not missing much. It’s a nice enough hotel – if they’d only do the maintenance to keep it up. This year we got the renovated section, and it was much better. We keep booking rooms there because our limited mobility makes “shortest distance from panels to room” the highest priority.

      *yawn* There, requested data dump complete. I now go get the morning cuppa that activates brain cells.

      • The Other Sean

        The one-way streets did make getting in and out of the La Quinta a bit confusing the first time, but it is a decent hotel, has free breakfast, and is relatively inexpensive. There is a five minute drive between it and the Choo Choo, and you may find yourself spending the $4 a day for the parking garage there.

      • This year we stayed in the Residence Inn at the other end of the shuttle line next to the aquarium IMAX. Same hotel we stayed in last year. We did that because we were bringing Mr Nemo and none of the other hotels are pet friendly. The shuttle makes it less inconvenient than you might expect.

        The staff was pretty much the same and were wonderful. The hotel has changed management and didn’t seem to be kept up. Several minor room problems, most serious being a freezer that wouldn’t freeze.

      • Jay Maynard

        Last year, we stayed at the Marriott. Nice place, but the shuttle stopping at 11 PM made room parties a major nuisance, as well as getting back and forth with Orvan.

        This year, we stayed at the Choo Choo in building 3. Meh. Nice enough, but the big problem is just how far it was to the con spaces. I’m still recovering from back issues.

        I reserved a train car for next year, with a request that it be as close to the convention center as possible. Did that the Sunday of the con. Good thing, it would seem.

      • Bibliotheca Servare

        Thank you so much! We might need to bring the puppy (8 month old German Shepherd/fuzzy demon named Alistaire) so it’s great to know that there are some acceptable pet-friendly options. Thank you, Mrs. Grant! 🙂

    • As Lar said, I doubt the LibertyCon folks have the #30 deals in place yet, so don’t worry about Choo-Choo availability too much just now. It’s also worth mentioning that the Staybridge Suites were very nice, and only a few blocks from the Chooch (we got registered a bit late ourselves, this year).

    • Bibliotheca Servare

      Alright, so I decided I’d reply to myself, rather than writing several individual “thank-you”s, because…well, because I’m lazy, I suppose. *sheepish expression* Anyway, I am so very grateful for all your responses! I’m relieved to learn that lots of folks don’t actually *stay* at the ChooChoo, and that there are good alternatives within a reasonable distance. I just didn’t know where to start, and you have all helped a great deal. God bless y’all. (I’m a transplant to the South -by way of St. Louis- so my understanding is I get to use “y’all” now without feeling silly. Lol) 😀

  28. A random thought just flitted through my mind. Perhaps at next year’s LC, we could have some sort of scheduled get-together of Huns and Hoydens? It wouldn’t need to be so formal as a scheduled room party, but just a “psst, Sarah’s folks are meeting in X at Y! Pass it on!”

  29. The Choo-Choo is already booked solid for LibertyCon30. You may call them at 1-423-266-5000 to request a spot on their wait list in case something opens up.

    • I called around 12:30 PM on July 15 and reserved a room. I don’t know how many they had left at that point, but there was at least one.

      • I think they periodically have room openings due to cancellations, because I got my room last year after others had been told there were no more to be had. And I know I’m not special as far as getting reservation privileges goes.

        • Yep. I’d asked in January about a room, booked at the overflow hotel as soon as LibertyCon announced what it was, and got a call in late May saying that my name had risen to the top of the waiting list and the Choo Choo had an opening. I had to turn it down because I would have had to call the Choo Choo during class hours (boss not like that).