At this point, it is almost anti-climatic to do a Liberty Con AAR, since it started a week ago today, and I’ve been home for half the week.
I’ll just say that having come home to a power line downed by a tree threw a bit of a spanner in the works, not to mention making crossing our yard verah interesting.
That’s taken care of, and I’m working again, so there is no excuse not to do an AAR.
I’ll start by saying the day we were to leave, my husband woke me up with the words “I think we’ll have to cancel.”
Here among friends, I’ll have to admit that part of me had been looking for an excuse to cancel for at least two weeks. No, not because I didn’t want to go, but because being an introvert and being away from cons for two weeks, going to a “biggish con” seemed almost unbearable. However, when he said that — besides feeling really guilty — I knew we couldn’t cancel. We couldn’t cancel, because there were people who — if not booking on purpose to meet me — had booked with that in mind.
But our air-conditioning had failed, and we couldn’t leave the cats to bake. They can’t open a window, after all. Lack of opposable thumbs. We considered boarding them, but that meant leaving Dan’s piano exposed to warping temperatures. Um…..
After much futzing around, we got it going halfway through the day, which meant getting to the con barely in time for my first panel, at 1 pm on Saturday.
Still not sure our fix would hold, we left a local friend in charge of checking (I owe him so many low-carb cookies) and took off.
The drive was unexceptionable, except for being through some very very beautiful country I’d never crossed and we got there as my panel was starting. Dan dropped me up front, and I ran in, while son went to the registration table to get my tag and little name thing for the table. He was also on that panel, which somehow got mucked between my concept and the panel person, so it wasn’t “Barbarella, teaching my mom to write comics in the 21st century” but just “Barbarella”. Also my need for a projector somehow got lost, probably my fault, as I was dealing with floor installers most of the last few months, and a little more brainless than usual. So, Marshall wasn’t on the list, but he was supposed to be.
We made do without the projector, but here I must break for proud mommy thing: Marshall who is the most introverted of the family, did wonderfully. (I have started introducing him to being in public/public personas, because at long last, very reluctantly, he’s started admitting he writes. He has always written. He wrote a play that followed the hero’s journey at THREE (It was a chameleon in search of a magic leaf. Don’t ask) and enacted it with puppets, but he’s so contrarian he didn’t want to join the family business. However, he still wrote. Now he’s writing a novel with me, and maybe I can get him to publish his sf mysteries too.) Anyway, I had doubts about how he would do at public appearances, but he was very good.
I was surprised the room was full that early, and more surprised by scattered clapping as I came skidding in at a half-run. I met a bunch of you there, particularly Herb and Ian.
Anyway, this was Friday and Dan and I realized we were busy the rest of the con, and if we wanted to go to the Acropolis — the best Greek restaurant anywhere we’ve been — it was our only chance. So we went out for a quiet dinner. As it turned out, the waiter was a fan, and had mistaken the date of the con, which is why he wasn’t there.
Afterwards we came to the memorial late (Seriously, guys, Chattanooga has GROWN and the traffic is horrendous.)
There was a miscalculation there. I didn’t realize for a bunch of introverts talking about feelings is painful. So we put the names of the honored dead up, and then chitchated about noting. I think we mortally offended people looking in.
If I had a suggestion, it would be that during opening or closing ceremonies, the names of the honored dead that year (people related to the con or people in our community) be read and a minute of silence observed. That would make it more proper, and easier on us who have trouble with feelings in general.
Anyway, after that I don’t remember the order of panels super-well. I remember the panel for the Give me Liberty Anthology, because it was next door to an Indian wedding. The music was so loud we could barely ear ourselves THINKING much less talking.
Any implication that the author was dancing through that panel is calumny. She’s not that type of writer! Any implication she involved Chris Kennedy in her malfeasance is even viler calumny. He’s not that kind of editor! (To be fair, he’d been there for 3 panels straight and was going a little nuts at the music.) Any further implication that Larry Correia was also dancing is further calumny. He’s not that type of mega bestseller! (He came up with the best theory, which is that the music was revenge on Larry and myself, because of what our ancestors did to Goa. I’ll buy it.)
Anyway, none of that happened, though if it had happened it would be tons of fun.
There were …. other panels. And there was a Hoyt reading which….
So I said I was proud of my kid, right? Yeah. Except this is the one that’s exactly like me, from the top of his little horns, to the bottom of his little hoofkins, which he don’t have.
In describing the book we’re writing together, he gave the impression…. Well, Herb asked if it was for adults only. I vehemently denied it, waving my hands and saying it’s not that type of book, I’m not that type of writer. To which my son OF COURSE responded by saying “So, we’ll start with the stripper scene.” There is no stripper scene. I’m not that kind of writer!
And so it went, with him reading in a weird British accent I had trouble understanding. In his defense, he trained himself out of a speech impediment at 11, by learning to speak in a posh British accent. He defaults to it when nervous.
Anyway, I read from Bowl of Red, which is ALSO NOT THAT KIND OF BOOK. And I’m not that kind of writer.
Then we closed with a comics panel where — heaven helps us — I might have been the only one doing the traditional thing in comics. I posted my thoughts on that panel here: How many miles to Babylon?
Anyway, Dan cut out his last panel on editing, because we had to leave. The guys wanted to stay till Monday, but I had a bad feeling we needed to get back home. I was right as we had downed power line shortly after getting back. And see our strong objections to baking cats.
Hopefully next year — supposing everything else holds. Yeah, I know — we’ll be able to stay a day before and a day after, because the recovery was monstrous, particularly from introvert-shock after that many people for three days.
Anyway, the weird thing about this con was how little time I had with friends. I was happy to see the Correias again and to meet Hinkley, who is older son’s secret sister (Seriously, they look more like siblings than they do like their real siblings. Curiously older son was also first published at thirteen. Something in the design, maybe?) I was both surprised and happy to see Kevin J. Anderson who used to live just down the road from us, and who, now with shaved head, looks rakish and piratical. Also glad to see all my LC friends, including Uncle Lar, who didn’t recognize me.
Oleg Volk took pictures of me, and there will be a new profile pic, by and by. (It was sudden and unexpected, so no make up and I look a bit iffy, but hey.)
And now I’m going to figure out why the dryer is trying to break itself on the sheets, and do some quick house cleaning (like two hours) before I sit down to finish the Malta Story, because I don’t want Law Dog to kill me.
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot the most fun part of the con: I assaulted Law Dog TWICE, by hugging him. TBF the second time I didn’t see him, until he stood in front of me and demanded to be assaulted. But let it not be said I let a redhead go unassaulted. As grandma would say “I’m married and old, but not dead or blind.” Or to put it another way: I’m not that kind of writer.
Darkship Thieves was supposed to go up for pre-order this weekend, but between my editor and I we had some version control issues, so it’s adjourned till next week.
And I think that’s it. Till tomorrow.