February 19th, 2007


Rambled and rambling


rambled up from Boskone via train in the snow late last night. About the time the very comfortable business class car on the Downeaster crossed the border-bridge into Maine I noticed that the light of the buildings outside seemed... muted. Eventually we saw damp streets through the train windows, and by the time the train rumbled through Old Orchard Beach many of the streets appeared snow covered...

Arriving in Portland, we found there wasn't a lot of snow -- perhaps an inch -- but the roads were pretty slick. The ride home took a lot longer than I usually plan for, given the (by then) intermittent snow and intermittent damp-to-icy roads, not to mention the wind, which was gusty and changeable, as if it hadn't abated since Thursday night. I found out when we stopped at Cumbies for milk that the day had been warm locally, thus explaining the slick underpinnings to a the dusting snow.

The con itself was great -- I'd been needing con for sometime, seeing as how the last one we went to was than half-a-year ago. A good (and very long time!) friend trained up from Baltimore and another came in from Albany, and managed to spend time with each, and even both, along with official duties. Weather affected some travelers (one friend had her car rear-ended within shouting distance of the hotel and kept some home -- I had several panels remade on the spot so they were different -- though no less fun or useful -- than the ones I thought I'd be moderating.

I found myself a little food-challenged at one point when the con briefly seemed to overwhelm the con hotel's ability to feed people, that worked out and I coped the rest of the weekend by punting a lot and keeping extra crackers in my carry-bag and lemon-cake back in the room to break chunks off of in lightning visits.

Among the highlights of the con for us was our late night visit to a filksing where Filk Guest of Honors Lee and Barry Gold were kind enough ask and the singers kind enough to agree to rearrange the room's schedule so Lee and Barry could sing Lee's song, "Agent of Change," for us. A very strange and moving thing to hear a song based on our story. It gave me chills, it did. I hope to get permission to post the song here or *somewhere* ... sigh.

I'm sure I'll have more details of the con as time goes on. We saw, and held, copies of the Meisha Merlin mass market Tomorrow Log .. .but the one I held was already owned by someone who took it home. We also spoke with Ian Randall Strock, a long-time professional acquaintance and an entrepreneurial kind of a guy who has started a new online news-site trade-magazine SFScope.com and though the site is only a few days old there's already some news on it.

Elsewise I spent some party time at the con... you might have seen me at the Buffalo Dog party hosted by Lawrence M. Schoen, author of the two SRM Publisher "buffalito" books, or at the Montreal in 2009 party, the KC in 2009 party, the PhilCon party (serving genuine Tastykakes!) the Bronx Babes party, the ...well, in any case, I made it some of the parties.

Among the sadder things for me was mostly missing Christopher Stasheff...at one point he was the reader ahead of us in a reading room so we saw each other on the way out and then I managed about thirty seconds of fan-boy thank yous for Rod Gallowglass, who helped convince me I wanted to be a writer.

And, we read the first chapter and half or so of Fledgling to the assembled masses, had a quiet "literary beer" in a very noisy hotel restaurant -- I wouldn't be surprised if the folks who signed up but didn't show just couldn't find us

Despite what looked like a really good art show I only spent a few minutes there on my own and a short while at the art show reception, which I usually make an evening of, since I was suffering from schedule difficulties; I think the "grand room" approach of arts how, dealer's room, and con suite is an entirely workable model.

I'm sure more will strike me since I've already amended this twice...